Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blog Tour: Dream Cast and Promo: Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog

Synopsis


Bestselling and award-winning author Allen Paul has created an endearing character in Honey, a swamp dog who gets rescued at the moment she's about to get shot. Taken to live at Banbury Cross Farm with other rescued Dixie Dingos, her quick cuts and darting turns soon draw notice; she's then trained for agility championships, the most popular of all canine sports. From the start, Honey forms a deep bond with Miss Jane, who saved her in the nick of time. Her trainer is Ace, a worldly wise black man who manages the farm's kennel. Honey forms another deep bond with Miss Jane's partner, Mr. Billy, a skilled horseman who delights Honey by quoting famous rhymes.

The story is told by Honey in a charming southern voice. She's just turned one (equal to a 10-year-old girl or boy) when the story begins. At its center is a haunting mystery: Why are swamp critters turning up dead with a wild look in the eye? Many believe a big coyote named Geronimo scares them to death. When two dead dingo pups are found, Honey becomes convinced that her pack, which is still in the swamp, could be next. Somehow she has to get them out. The plot thickens when several small pets get killed in the nearby town. Rewards are posted and a group led by the trapper Topper Guy, who nearly shot Honey, head for the swamp. Twelve innocent dingos mistaken for coyotes get shot. Miss Jane confronts Topper Guy and demands that the killings stop. The upshot is a high stakes bet: Topper Guy wagers his guns against Miss Jane's favorite horse that Honey won't win at the Sportsman's Championship. How Honey fares in that contest, and how the mystery killer gets caught, make for a thrilling read that kids at heart of all ages will love.

In the end, Honey learns an unforgettable lesson that her pack, which now includes humans, comes first. Based on a true story, this book will appeal to middle grade readers and adults. On July 17, 2013 a front-page article in the New York Times cited new genetic evidence suggesting that the Dixie Dingo (registered as the Carolina Dog) is the oldest breed in North America, predating European settlement by many centuries. They were Native American camp dogs but are not related to the Australian dingos. Many Dixie Dingos still live in southern swamps. With their antenna-like ears and muscular build, their look is quite distinctive. Dixie Dingos are excellent pets who form deep bonds with humans.

The Ideal Cast

Topper Guy and Raghead                                               Gary Busy, William Macy,
(the villains)                                                                     Steve Buscemi

Miss Jane (the heroine)                                                   Emma Watson, Cate Blanchett
                                                                                         Laura Linney

“Mr. Billy”                                                                       Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges,

(Miss Jane’s partner)                                                        Richard Gere

Ace (Honey’s trainer)                                                       Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker,
                                                                                          Cedrick the Entertainer


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allen began his career as a reporter with the Associated Press in Raleigh, NC. Later, he wrote speeches in Washington for a congressional committee chairman, a member of the president’s cabinet and the chairman of one presidential campaign. He was in Poland gathering material for his first book when the Berlin Wall fell. That book – Katyn: Stalin’s Massacre and the Triumph of Truth – became a bestseller in Eastern Europe. It earned warm praised from the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York Review of Books and many other media outlets.

He was a Fulbright Fellow in Poland in 2010-11 and collected material there for a novel based on a daring mission of the Polish underground at the end of World War Two. It will be published in 2015.

His first book for younger readers (middle grade) was inspired by his own dog, Honey, whose breed – the Dixie Dingo – is probably the oldest in North America.

Allen holds a B.A. degree in English with a minor in History from Guilford College, and a Masters of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife, Betsy, live in Raleigh and have two grown children.

WEBSITE: http://www.allenpaulbooks.com/honey/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8285333.Allen_Paul
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/honeythedixiedingodog


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog: Champion of the Strays by Allen Paul.

1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.
~Ashley

Review: Anyone?

Anyone?

by Angela Scott


23487625
The end of the world? That’s the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters and deep philosophical exercises in school. No need to sweat it. So when sixteen-year-old Tess’s doomsday-dad builds a bomb shelter in their suburban backyard, everyone thinks he’s gone crazy….

…Until fire rains down from the sky, sinking whole cities into colossal craters and setting much of the world ablaze.

Tess’s dad gives her a few short minutes to gather her emergency bag and her freaked-out kitten, then leads her outside and into the underground shelter. Terrified, the last thing she expects is for him to leave her there all alone, but he has no choice—he must find her missing brother.

Before leaving, he makes Tess promise to keep the hatch door shut, not to open it for anyone but him, and to stay put until he returns.

But he forgot to tell her one thing: What is she supposed to do if he never comes back?




My Thoughts:
Okay, do I need to get myself a bunker? I feel like that is a necessity after reading this book. Also, I feel like the author knows something and the world is ending soon. Just a feeling.

Whoa I loved the idea of the dystopian end of the world. I also like how we start with the earthquake. The very first page. I didn't have to read through six chapters of life which would bog this book down. The disaster is perfect for this.

I'm so happy that Tess is realistic. In the bunker, she's freaking out. When her dad doesn't return, she's freaking out. Outside the bunker, she's freaking out. But even though she is scared, she keeps her head and keeps moving forward. She's so strong and I admire her so much.

This book is written so well. The dialogue, both internal and external, is realistic and perfect. The setting and the world-building is wonderfully done. The characters are developed and I couldn't put this book down.

5 stars

~Ashley

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Becoming Jinn

Becomming Jinn
Lori Goldstein

22718738
Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.



My Thoughts:
Okay first, thank you so so much, Lori for being so incredibly wonderful. You are an amazing person and a fabulous author. I will read anything you write and you've been an incredible mentor.

On to the review. JINN is fantastic. A romance plus a side-romance (some people think it's just friendship but whatever) plus a girl becoming jinni and trying to find herself. Sounds good, right?

Right. First, I like how Azra doesn't like her destiny. She doesn't want to become jinni and she doesn't love it when she does. But she's good at it and I think that makes it interesting as well, with a character who is good at something she dislikes.

I love the history and information thrown in about the jinni. Lori sprinkles it in perfectly without putting too much anywhere. But by the end of the book, I understood the world and what would happen at certain times in a jinni's life. I'm so glad that I got this, too, because it definitely enhanced my pleasure with the book.

Okay, so the lifeguard is cute, but I'm for the nerdy neighbor. Actually, I got to write notes in the book and Lori, you are about to find a ton of 'Henry <3' notes. He's so sweet and a good person but he, too, is trying to find himself in the crazy teenage years. He makes mistakes. He finds romance. He gets angry. But he's real. And he's so trustworthy and loyal through everything. Easily my favorite male in the book and I call dibs.

The jinni idea is wonderful. I can't expand on that much, but the idea is original and fun to read.

Not that end!!! What was that?! I mean, yay because now Henry, but no!

Now for the less-fun part: JINN is wonderfully written and fun to read. Lori has true talent.

Overall, I LOVED this book. It was so much fun to read and I couldn't put it down. Go out and get sixteen copies of this book. Okay, maybe just one will work...

5 stars


About this author
Lori  Goldstein
My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.


Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.

**A huge thank you to Lori Goldstein for putting me on the ARC tour! I hope you enjoy my comments!**

~Ashley

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blitz: The Five Stages of Falling in Love

   
Purchase on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1uDW62G
Purchase on iBooks: http://bit.ly/1L5c3DE
Purchase on B&N: http://bit.ly/1xLum7S
Purchase on Kobo: http://bit.ly/1upZf01


Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.
Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her? Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days. When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again. As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.    


About Rachel Higginson
Rachel Higginson is the creator of The Star-Crossed Series, Love & Decay Novella Series, The Starbright Series, The Siren Series, Bet on Us and the soon to be released, The Five Stages of Falling in Love! She is also the co-creator of the podcast "Zach & Rachel Take Over the World." She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days raising four amazing kids. In the few spare moments she has to herself, she is either reading for hours on end or writing her own stories.

   
 © 2015 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)

~Ashley

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: Naked


Naked
Release Date: 07/07/15
Entangled Teen
305 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
A teenage prostitute looking for redemption must face her secrets before they destroy her…

When tough teenager Anna ran away to New York, she never knew how bad things would get. After surviving as a prostitute, a terrifying incident leaves her damaged inside and out, and she returns home to the parents she was sure wouldn't want her anymore.

Now she has a chance to be normal again. Back in school, she meets a boy who seems too good to be true. Cute, kind, trusting. But what will he do when he finds out the truth about her past? And when a dark figure from New York comes looking for Anna, she realizes she must face her secrets…before they destroy her.


Pre-Order Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo Books


About the Author
Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list. 

She wants to bring something new to the world through her writing, but just giving a little piece of herself is more than enough.

Keep a look out for her debut novel NAKED, coming from Entangled Teen in 2015



Cover Reveal Organized by:



~Ashley

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: Crossing the Ice Audiobook


Crossing the Ice (Ice #1)
by Jennifer Comeaux
Release Date: 08/03/14

Narrated by: Emily Stokes
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins

Summary from Goodreads:
Falling hard never felt so good.
Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let
anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother
and sister team.
The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...
The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are
on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will
their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?




Buy: Audible│Amazon│Barnes & Noble│Kobo Books│iBooks


My Thoughts:
First thing's first: audiobook. I really did like the reader/speaker. I didn't have any sort of problem with her reading and I think she did a satisfactory job. To me, it kind of sucked because she read just slower than the pace I like but if I sped it up, it was WAY too fast. So I just kept with it. Definitely not a major problem.

Now for the book. Okay, I really liked this. I like the characters and how they all work together to have both romance and tension. Stephanie is one of the main sources of conflict here and I like that. She will just walk into a room and insult people. If I'm honest, I was hoping that we'd find out a reason for her meanness, but I suppose that's just who she is.

I was really interested in the ice skating influence/aspect of this. I live where we don't get snow, so of course there isn't really much ice. But that's something I've wanted to do for a while. I want to figure skate. So picking up a book with so much skating in it was really interesting. I loved the turns and jumps and everything. I actually wouldn't have minded seeing more.

I was so upset with the ending/almost ending. The Olympic try-outs. It killed me slightly. My only problem was that after that, it glossed over the actual Olympic meet and Josh's performance. I think it was an Olympic meet. I couldn't tell because it was so fast. Maybe it was because we are in Courtney's perspective; in that case, this was clever but I still think she would have cared more about Josh.

I liked Courtney's relationship with Mark. But at the same time, I didn't. I thought it would be more friendship and less Mark-wants-to-win. I got that attitude from him a few times and I couldn't imagine Courtney having a best friend who only wanted to win, not be close friends.

I thought the romance was rather cute. It follows Josh and Courtney and goes through how she doesn't want to fall for him but he really likes her and boom! she's fallen. It's really cute. And then they start hanging out more and more and that's even better and then there is a fallout and then it's back...yeah, it's good. The romance has its own story arc that ties into the actual arc, which is so perfect. That's the makings of a good romance book.

Awww, that ending. Yes, Josh, yes.

Overall, I thought this book was really good. It was nice just getting to listen to it. I was interested throughout, but I wish there was a little more ice skating. I thought there would be more of a focus on that.
4 stars

About the Author
Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her
home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of
romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is travelling to
competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer
loves to hear from readers! Visit jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com for contact information and to
learn more about her books.


Giveaway




Organized by YA Bound Tours

~Ashley

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: The Necromancer

The Necromancer (Linaera the Great, Book #1)
By Alex Stargazer
Genre: Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult


Book Blurb

‘I am Neshvetal. My name carries the bitter taste of death; my magic brings it to my enemies; and my laughter sings with the howling wind.’

From ice and fire he was born; but death is his master now.

His children—decaying and sadistic, merciless and cruel—smile as they grow ever more.

The Dead are rising. Will you join them?


A tale about death and life, magic and ordinary people; the Necromancer is a story for the brave and the strong of heart. Read it—if you dare. For it is often in the darkest times, in which the heroes emerge...

My Thoughts:
Okay, first off, the world created was incredible. I absolutely loved diving into such a new place but still understanding what was happening. It was written to be understood and there is also a map and information about the language spoke, among other things. Things were seriously thought about and put together. This wasn't a book just thrown together. Look at the names. The only way I'd come up with those was if I sneezed. But Alex put all of this together perfectly.

The opening scene really caught my eye. It's full of action and mystery, perfect for the start of this book. Nothing is really given away at all, which I like. It's also a way to set us up and set the bar of expectations. I admit mine was set high after this.

I love the fantastical blend in this. And the dark fantasy. Alex writes the story and it weaves different elements together to make such a good story. He writes really well. This book was great.

One thing Alex asks at the very beginning in his notes is, Can a fourteen-year-old write a good story? I did want to discuss this, because, yes, I believe one could. I had my story idea at eleven or twelve and wrote it at fifteen. But I've been writing for a while. My idea and rough draft definitely needed some serious editing work, but they are definitely a start. So I do think it possible to write a good story at 14, and Alex proves it with this.

4 stars

Author Biography

Hello! I’m called Alex Stargazer. That’s not my real name. And no: I’m not going to tell you. I like a little mystery.


What I will tell you: I’m sixteen. I have a passion for fantasy; and a soft spot for romance. I like to write about anything fantastical (elves are a favourite; dragons too) and my favourite book’s either Narnia or Northern Lights—never could decide, poor vacillating me.

Anyway: give my stuff a read. You might like it. No, really; I got fans. (If you listen carefully at night, you’ll hear them whispering my name. They’re shy, are my fans; but they’re a determined lot.)

PS: if you want to know more, email me at alexstargazerwriterextraordinaire@outlook.com. Yes, the address is deliberately long; I don’t like stalkers. They scare me.

Links










~Ashley

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: Raven


Raven by Pauline Creeden 
(Chronicles of Steele #1) 
Publication date: October 28, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult

Synopsis:
This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel – all four parts of the serial in one volume! Also includes bonus features not found in the episodes ~

Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.



Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23277025-chronicles-of-steele

Purchase:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NLL6S42/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00NLL6S42&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chronicles-of-steele-pauline-creeden/1120594003?ean=9781502357595


My Thoughts:
Ooh I'm so glad I was picked for the tour.The style of writing on this is really good. I like the flow and the word choice definitely makes me feel. I can see what happens and everything fits together. It makes for an excellent story.

I love Raven's name. And her personality. She's just a really really cool character.

I also adore the plot of this story. It's all about the reapers and I think that is so great. I constantly have books about werewolves and faeries and such, but not so much about reapers. Yay for originality! I love how this is set in older days. It definitely enhances the story and I simply like the time period.

Also, thank you so much for having all four parts in one book. This made it a LOT easier.

I'm just really pleased with this book. Just how it started, how it turned out. It's really a good book all around. I'll be picking up anything else this author writes.

4.5 stars

AUTHOR BIO:
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. It is also the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Winner in Historical Fiction. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best YA Horror Novel.

Author links:



Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
$20 Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Blog Tour: Review, Dream Cast: Gone Too Far

Gone Too Far

by Natalie D. Richards

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: January 6th 2015



Synopsis:

Keeping secrets ruined her life. But the truth might just kill her.


Piper Woods can't wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She's sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone's sure it's suicide, but Piper remembers Stella's name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.


Drowning in secrets she doesn't want to keep, Piper's fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished...


BOOK LINKS:

Amazon paperback: http://tinyurl.com/lbrckdu


My Thoughts
Oh my goodness I can't believe I was able to review this book. But I am so so glad I was, because wow, this seriously blew me away.

Okay, first, I love the mystery set up. It's not to the point of a crime/detective story, but this story deals with Piper, a girl who didn't speak up when another girl, Stella, is being bullied about a sex tape gone viral. When Stella suicides, Piper feels awful and gets a text basically saying she can make them pay. All she has to do is give the name of the person she wants revenge on. This goes on for a while, with new victims being humiliated. After a certain victim, Piper decides she can't do this anymore and wants out. But the mysterious texter won't let her out. And then he threatens her.

All the while, Piper is quickly falling for the hot football player, no matter how hard she tries not to. Only about halfway through does she decide to let him in and they start to date. Nick is a true gentleman and a sweet guy, just perfect for Piper through her crisis. He's also trusting and loyal, even when he finds out what she's done. They have a bit of a rough spot, but after that, all is fine and dandy and cute.

I really like how Piper is going along with the texter's plan at first because she thinks he is doing justice. Because she just saw Stella get bullied and then heard about her death and she wants revenge on the main guy who did the teasing, Jackson. I think the story is set up perfectly so that we empathize with her and we also want that revenge. It's done just right and if this was written any other way, I feel like we might not have gone along with this for so long. But I think the best part for me is when Piper realizes she is ruining lives. After she hears Jackson's comment about his dad, she seems to start to think more. And after victim three, she wants to quit. Because she realizes that what she is doing is affecting people to the extent of possibly ruining lives. And we see a good side to her.

Piper is perpetually good, even if she doesn't see it herself. She is such a strong and likeable MC. She ends up wanting a punishment for what she has done because she feels so wrong about it all. I love her even more after finishing the book. I love her decisions, even if I disagreed with one or two.

This kept me in suspense until the very end. There were plot twists and new things thrown in and I loved every second. I actually was sobbing at the end, but because I loved the characters so much. But Natalie, how could you do that to me?! Especially that character! And the effects it had!

Nick is awesome. He's really sweet and polite, but he also keeps Piper in check. She's sort of (okay, very) rude to him at first, but he handles her snark with grace and moves them on. And then of course they start dating and he still keeps her tame. He brings out a really good side of Piper. That being said, he's not perfect and Natalie doesn't pretend he is. He has flaws and he does show them every once in a while. He gets mad at Piper. But it's not the end of the world. They work through it. Piper realizes she was wrong. And that's so important. People aren't perfect and neither are book characters, no matter how much we want them to be.

Tate. Okay, I'll admit, I was so-so about him at first. Of course I didn't hate him, but I didn't love him, either. But on that fateful night, I completely melted toward him. Even more so at the party (trying for no spoilers here). And then at the end. Tate, seriously, you are the best. He develops so much and ugh I love the guy.

I love the ending and I might cry just typing this. I love the new group of friends and I love the conversation in the office, even if it did kill me slightly. I was sobbing through that whole part. And I just, ugh, I hate thinking about everything lost. That's what makes me so sad. But this book made me sad in a good way. If that's even possible.

Would I recommend this? Is that even a question? I've already started.

5 stars


Dream Cast
Piper Woods
Actress: I was going back and forth for a while, but I have to choose Hailee Steinfeld
Long brown hair and brown eyes

Manny Raines
Actor: Christopher Davis (I don't think he's actually an actor but I found him and he really reminds me of Manny)
Blond, brown eyes, freckles

Nick Patterson
Actor: Alex Pettyfer (Do you know how hard green eyed actors are to find?)
messy blond hair, tall, green eyes, dimples, broad shoulders

Jackson Pierce
Actor: Steven R. McQueen
dark hair, football player

Tate
Actor: Tom Felton
Model-like face, tall, blonde

Stella DuBois
Actress: Jackie Emerson
Photogenic, long red hair, fierce attitude

About the Author

At seven, Natalie D. Richards wrote about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he's the family dog. Her psychological thriller, Six Months Later, will be released in October 1, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire. Until then, you'll probably find her writing her next book or trying to wade through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom.




AUTHOR LINKS:



Giveaway
Win (1) finished copy of Gone Too Far, a copy of Six Months Later and some swag (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


A HUGE thanks to Natalie for writing and for FFBC tours and NetGalley for my review copy!


~Ashley

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: Open Road Summer

17978160Open Road Summer
Emery Lord
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.


My Thoughts
So I am finally back (yay!). For good. I am late on the bandwagon and I just heard about Open Road Summer for a book club, but I'm rather upset that I didn't read it before, because....

Oh my goodness. I loved just about every word. I like how this goes through a road trip for a concert tour for a famous young singer, Dee Montgomery, Her best friend, trouble-child Reagan joins her. After a scandalous rumor, another singer, Matt Finch joins the girls on tour. Matt tries to win over Reagan, and she begins to fall for him, no matter how hard she tries not to.

I think one of my favorite points of this story is the media and its effects. Newspapers, magazines, and websites all publish unfavorable and completely untrue information about Dee, the picture-perfect idol for all young girls. Of course, we see how this affects Dee's fans and Dee herself. She gets increasingly stressed, understandably. But it's important to realize how untrue how the media can be. I like how that is put in.

Reagan is such an incredible character. She's a real sweetheart under everything and she knows her faults, probably more so than others around her. She has made mistakes, some really awful. She's hurt people around her, but she would die for her best friend. This story is told by her and we get to see how she struggles to love and to live her life without hurting people. I love that struggle. I love seeing such a real character and I love having an imperfect main character. Because people aren't perfect.

Aw, Matt is incredible. Swoon. Matt is the best type of book boyfriend, because he is the sweetest thing in the world, yet he is imperfect. Yay for imperfect but realistic characters! He flirts and teases, but under his perfect exterior, Matt is hurt and scarred. But he lets Reagan in and tries to get her to do the same, no matter how often she hurts him.

This book went in so many directions. At first, it goes through the concert tour, but as Reagan falls in love, we see her struggles, Matt's struggles, and Dee's struggles with her own romance. And the twist with Matt? Eeep! I was also so sad when Dee did...what Dee did. I'll leave it like that. It was really sweet, and I understand why she did it, but it still makes me sad.

Rating: 5 stars

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Review: Postcard Books

Stars and Swipes and Hugs and Misses
Wilhelm Staehle
Stars and Swipes: 30 Postcards of Awkward Americana Hugs and Misses: 30 Postcards of Awkward Romance

Stars and Swipes:
Here are 30 exquisite postcards from Wilhelm Staehle’s Silhouette Masterpiece Theater (silhouettemasterpiecetheater.com). Each panel in the popular weekly web comic features a painstakingly detailed etching carved from a beautiful painting; the results are gorgeous and very funny. Stars and Swipes offers a hilarious vision of classic Americana, with farcical frontiersmen, prattling presidents, and other all-American oddities.

Hugs and Misses:
Here are 30 exquisite postcards from Wilhelm Staehle’s Silhouette Masterpiece Theater (silhouettemasterpiecetheater.com). Each panel in the popular weekly web comic features a painstakingly detailed etching carved from a beautiful painting; the results are gorgeous and very funny. Hugs and Misses is a terrific Valentine’s Day gift, full of lovelorn ladies, roguish gentlemen, renegade Cupids, and indecent proposals.

My Thoughts:
I'm going to review both right here, right now. These are postcard books, little books full of humorous postcards based on a theme. The themes for these were patriotism and love.

These are hilarious. I was thoroughly entertained by them, though it only took ten minutes to go through both. I was just laughing my way through and I now need to look for more postcard books.

Each postcard brought something new to the theme and changes the way I look at it. They had cute little jokes on them, most of which I completely understood. Some went over my head. I'll have to ask people about those:)

Definitely a fun read for anyone, though a more mature audience will benefit from the humor. Get these and enjoy them!

5 stars

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Review: The Resurrectionist

15799400
The Resurrectionist
EB Hudspeth

Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.


My Thoughts:
I am a bit confused as to if this is complete fiction or not. And I'm terrified it's not. It doesn't have the disclaimer at the beginning saying it's fiction, but it is described as a fictional biography. I'm rather freaked out, but I'll review this as a fictional biography.

The amount of detail is incredible in this. Dates, names, and places all weave together to form a perfect biography of this man. He was interested in anatomy, later in "discovering" mythical creatures. He performed countless gruesome surgeries and created new creatures, such as Darwin's Beagle, a dog he sewed wings onto. This went throughout the entire story, and we got to see his life and relationships, which were just as gruesome as his work. I was upset with the turn-out of Alphonse, his son, only because I rather hoped he would grow up to be decent. I'm also sad about Spencer's brother's fate. Though both added to the story.

I am curious as to the accuracy of the dissections/surgeries. In the case of the dog, Spencer attached wings, which moved by the dog's accord. I couldn't help but wonder how he connected the nerves and muscles, or if he did. But that added to the feel of the story for me, the suspicion and mystery.

I LOVE the Codex at the end. It throws in some of Spencer's works and his studies. It adds some credibility and interest to the story. Again, the detail is fantastic. Every little bone, muscle, anatomical part was labeled and thorough descriptions were provided.

This book delves into the mind of a once-sane man who descends into insanity. Spencer starts out just working in the medical field but through his works, we can see he goes mad. The Codex reinforces that, as do the many quotes from spectators and colleagues.

There is a slight mislabeling on page 96, in the Codex. I think it was the pelvis or something, but the last two were wrongly labeled.

4 stars

~Ashley

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Discussion Challenge

Okay. I give in. Hours after I was seriously wondering.

I am officially a part of the 2015 Discussion Challenge, hosted by the lovelies Nicole and Shannon at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight , respectively.
2015 Discussion Challenge3

(I had to make that really large so it seems important)

I think I'm going to go for the Gift of the Gab (49+ discussion posts), so expect at least one a week here!

~Ashley

2015 Challenges!

I meant to post this yesterday but I just never got the chance. So here I am today, January 2, starting late. Sigh. I'll make it.


  • Goodreads Challenge:
    • Goodreads hosts a challenge where you can set your goal for reading each year. My goal for last year was 47 books (the number on my shelves I hadn't read). This years I've jumped it up to 82 books.

  • 2015 Real Book Challenge
    • Jaime and Erin over at FictionFare are co-hosting a challenge. The goal is to read as many REAL books in a year as you can. Yes to ARCs but no to ebooks. I'm joining them for the level of Real Book Snob (21-30). I'll most likely get more than that, but I'm not sure I want to stress myself out with it if not.

  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge 
    • My Reader's Block is hosting this fun challenge that I mentioned in an earlier post. So I begin that challenge this year, as well. 

  • Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
    • Hosted by the incredible Alexa and Rachel (yay!)
    • I'm so excited for this one, especially for reading their favorites
    • I'm going for 12 fantasies...let's see how that works out

  • 2015 TBR Pile Challenge
    • Thanks to Evie at Bookish, I am taking part in this challenge as well
    • I'm going for Could This Be Love? (41-50 books)

  • 2015 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
    • This is absolutely perfect for me because I've been dying to read my Harry Potter series in French!
    • I'll do Beginner (1-3 books) and I'm going to attempt to keep them all in foreign languages

  • 2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
  • 2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
    • This one will be perfect for me because my goal is 33 books more than 2014's goal.
    • I'll be doing the I'm On Fire! (16+ more books)

Updates:
-I'm part of a Valentine's giveaway hop
-I'm thinking of joining a discussions challenge. More on that later.

I hope everyone had lovely holidays and I hope you've set your goals for 2015 high. Enjoy your year and wish me luck on my challenges!
~Ashley