31 December 2015

Finishing the Series Challenge 2016


Hi again! My next challenge is a new one I found this year, Finishing the Series 2016 challenge. The reason I picked this is because I have a never ending list of series that I have started and have not finished! P.S. This challenge is hosted by, Bea's Book Nook so click the link to check this challenge out and or sign up!

There are several levels and I really feel confident to go for Level 2 which is 2-4 series, but again since I am trying to get back into the swing of things and so for that reason I will start with Level 1 which is 1 series and if I do better than that I will feel accomplished! 

The series I want to catch up on is....

*Drum Roll Please*

The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare!!

The reason I choose this series is because I have read the first two and have not gotten past that point for whatever reason. But I feel determined that this year I will get through the rest of the books!
 

30 December 2015

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2016


I feel like its been awhile since I've posted anything but one of my new year resolutions is to put my blog back together and start posting regularly again. I did not put all of the hard work into this to just give up. So any followers that have not heard from me in awhile stay tuned because 2016 will be great! 

Included in my resolution to be better at posting, I am also going to actually participate in the challenges that I sign up for. The first one being the, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Gone With the Words or Love at First Page (Amazing names for blogs by the way!) To sign up for yourself or see what goes into this challenge head over to either of the pages above! 

There are several different levels to choose from, and normally I would be overly ambitious but since I want to be successful and also be apart of several other challenges I am going to go for the first level which is, 1st Base! this means my challenge is to read somewhere between 1-5 books. 

Thanks so much for everyone who stopped by! Question for everyone before you go, what Contemporary Romance books would you recommend for me? I have an idea but I really do not know what to pick! 

 


21 December 2015

Review: MARY: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan

MARY: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 245
Synopsis: Mary in the mirror.
Mary in the glass.
Mary in the water.

Mary lurks in the emptiness, in the darkness . . . in the reflection. That is, until Jess unleashes her into the world. Now Mary Worth is out and her haunting is deadlier than ever.

No one is safe.

Shauna, Kitty, and Jess must band together to unearth the truth about Mary's death to put her soul to rest for good. Their search leads them back to where it all began-to Solomon's Folly, a place as dangerous as the ghost who died there a century and a half ago. Quick sand, hidden traps and a phantom fog are the least of their worries. To stop Mary, they need to follow a dark string of clues and piece together a gruesome mystery that spans generations.

But time is running out.

As chilling facts come to light, Mary inches ever closer to her prey. Can Jess, Shauna, and Kitty break Mary's curse before it's too late? Or will history repeat itself until there is no one left to call her name . . . ?



Meet Hillary, (Taken from Goodreads)
 
Hillary Monahan is Eva Darrows is also an international woman of mystery. Holed up in Massachusetts with three smelly basset hounds, she writes funny, creepy things for fun and profit. 

(I absolutely love this intro that is why I used it!)











My Review:

I borrowed Mary: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan from work and this is my honest review.

This book is the much-anticipated sequel to Monahan’s first book, Mary which is about a group of girls who decide to summon the legend of “Bloody Mary.” One girl in particular, Jess decides to summon Mary because she happens to be an ancestor of hers, and Jess wants to learn more about her. The problem is, her and her three friends get a lot more than they bargained for when Mary latches on and terrorizes them throughout the whole book, she even kills a few people along the way.

The second book follows the two surviving friends, I will not release names so as not to spoil the first book. But this sequel is these two girls adventure in trying to solve Mary’s death in order for her to stop terrorizing the human world forever. The process of these two girls finding, and collecting clues as to how Mary died, and ways to possibly get rid of her was intriguing. Between many chapters there were old letters for us readers to read, so we felt almost as if we were apart of the hunt too.

Even before hearing about these books I was extremely interested in the legend of Bloody Mary. This story brought back memories, to back when I was in camp as a little girl. My friends and I used to lock ourselves in the camp bathroom, turn the lights off and play around with calling out bloody mary. Nothing ever happened, but I remember being so scared every time I walked into the bathroom, for fear that she was going to pop up. Thank god that phase didn't last long.

I cannot say much else about this book without giving away spoilers, but I must say it was very well written, and extremely intense. I was biting my nails, and hanging onto the end of every page the whole time I was reading. I also loved the fact that I got the chills every time Mary was described in the book, or when the girls knew she was around by hearing her moans or smelling her, that brought me back to being scared at camp too and I loved every second of it!

 

09 December 2015

Release Day Blitz: A Cross The Divide by Stacey Marie Brown

  

 
  Across the Divide by Stacey Marie Brown
Synopsis: The hunter is now the hunted. Zoey Daniels is becoming the very thing she once despised. Fae. After Zoey and Ryker finally found their way to each other they are torn apart by an ex-girlfriend, a stone, and mortality. Ryker’s powers have fully adapted to Zoey, slowly killing him. Now the mysterious feared demon, Vadik, has discovered their location in Peru and has taken Ryker and sold Zoey back to DMG. The very place which gave her life now might take it away. Or someone she loves… Dr. Rapava is so obsessed with building an army against the fae he will do anything to control Zoey and her new found powers. Zoey’s has to become an unfeeling brainwashed soldier to survive. But when her survival depends on torturing one to keep another alive, she is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.   


    
Haven't started reading the Collector's series yet? Start with City In Embers! It's FREE!
 
Synopsis: Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.
After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves. But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them. When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey's whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.
  About Stacey Marie Brown
Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family's farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. She volunteers helping animals and is eco-friendly. She feels all animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.


 

08 December 2015

Review: Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Book Format: Paperback
# of Pages: 384
Synopsis: Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I ...

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she's an outsider - half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.


Meet Austin, (Taken from Goodreads)
Austin Aslan has been an EMT, a community organizer, a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, and he once ran a Congressional campaign in Oregon. He was inspired to write his debut novel, The Islands at the End of the World, while living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He earned a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His research on rare Hawaiian plants located on the high slopes of Mauna Loa won him a pair of destroyed hiking boots, a tattered rain jacket, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He lives outside Tucson, Arizona, deep in the Sonoran Desert, where he pets scorpions and hugs saguaro cacti with his high-school-sweetheart wife and their two young children. Austin is pursuing a PhD in geography at the University of Arizona and thinking up new stories while conducting ecosystem resilience research atop the Peruvian Andes. He continues to write fiction and looks forward to the publication of his "Islands at the End" sequel, "The Girl at the Center of the World" in the fall of 2015.


My Review:
 I received, Island at the End of the World by Austin Aslan from the publisher and this is my honest review.

This novel is about a girl named Leilani who lives in Hawaii with her native mother, younger brother, and American father. Lei is only half Hawaiian so she gets a lot of crap from the people at school. They did not feel that she fit in, and because of this they bullied her often. Leilani also suffers from seizures, and at the beginning of the book her and her father are traveling to another part of Hawaii so Lei can take part in a medical trial to hopefully help her with her seizures.

In the middle of this trial, the world decides to end which makes it really hard for Lei to get medical treatment so she and her father decide it is time to make the trek home. The only problem is since the world is coming crashing down pretty much on top of them, there are no planes flying home, nor are there boats sailing toward their home. Lei and her father are stuck bargaining, and fighting their way out of the town to get home to their family.

I enjoyed this book for so many reasons, most adventure books incorporate some sort of hardship, or distraction along with the adventure. For example, a love interest or a death. There was a unique hardship in this book which was Lei’s epilepsy. Not only was her disease a hardship, but it was actually a very important part of the whole story for Leilani and her world.

We did not get to know the characters of Lei’s mother, brother, and grandfather (hopefully in the second book) but we did get to know Lei, and her father in great detail and both of them are extremely strong characters. She and her father have a very strong bond, and I admire that. They have the ability to joke around and be friendly, but her father also can be authoritative without a problem. I could not stop turning the pages of this book from the first page to the very last. I loved it to pieces and I cannot wait to read the second book!

01 December 2015

Book Tour: Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager


Next Door to a Star
 by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Release Date: September 1st 2015

Publisher: Limitless Publishing


Synopsis from Goodreads:


Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.



Cliques.


Back-stabbing.


Love gone bad.


Is this really what it’s like to live…


Next Door To A Star?


Check out the Trailer:




Meet Krysten,
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.




Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


30 November 2015

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages: 288
Synopsis: An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.






Meet Sophie (Taken from goodreads)
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The books follows her life from when her credit card debt first become overwhelming ("The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic") to the latest book on being married and having a child ("Shopaholic & Baby"). Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Gemma Townley is her sister.




My Review:
I got an ARC of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella from work and this is my honest review.

I originally picked this up because I am a fan of young adult books and I figured, if I was going to start Sophie Kinsella I might as well start with a genre that I knew I liked. But as I got into the book I realized the story was about a girl named Audrey who had severe anxiety which caused her to have to leave school and stay in the house while she received treatment. I connected with this because I have anxiety a lot.

I enjoyed all of the aspects of this book from all the family drama around computer games all the way to Linus and Audrey talking and getting to know each other. My favorite character by far was the mother just because of how crazy she was. She reminds me of a few people in my family and I thought was hilarious. Practically every scene with the mother in it had me cracking up.

The most touching part of the book was that even though the family had its fair share of crazy moments, they cared for one another. They were all always there for Audrey even though she went through phases of having to wear her dark sunglasses for weeks at a time. Her family stuck by her at all times, no matter what.

Overall, this book totally gets a 5 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a nice family story which contains a bunch of chuckles which I promise you will get out of it. 



20 November 2015

Review: Bulletproof by Maci Bookout

Bulletproof by Maci Bookout
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 188
Synopsis: Maci Bookout was just a normal, slightly overachieving high school girl in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But then she got pregnant, and everything turned upside down. Even as she rose to fame on MTV's hit series Teen Mom, Maci was struggling to balance life as a single teen mom with her own hopes and dreams...all while honoring her own sense of independence.
This is the true story of how she took charge of the unexpected to build a life for herself and her son Bentley, and managed not to go crazy in the process. Because sometimes growing up is an act of will...and Maci's will is bulletproof.



  
My Review:
I borrowed Bulletproof by Maci Bookout from work and this is my honest review.

I have been watching 16 & Pregnant as well as all of the different Teen Mom shows that were out there. A lot of people I knew always put this show down. Many people said these girls just wanted attention and they were really horrible people. Hearing people say this about these shows always shocked me and made me feel uncomfortable about admitting that I watched every single episode of every single season. But those were the old days, now I am completely comfortable admitting that I watch all of these shows.

To be completely honest, I started watching back in high school because I thought it was a good idea. I figured it would be a good way to make sure at least I never became a teen mom. Not that I had many boyfriends in high school but watching the show ensured that I was more responsible than I already thought I was. Watching these girls get pregnant at a young age, and struggle through their lives with new babies, and schools, and jobs really opened my eyes at such a young age. I was very inspired by each and every one of these girls for different reasons.

Anyways lets get to Maci's story at hand. Out of all the girls I watched on TV Maci has by far always been one of my favorites. I loved how much of a good mom she was to Bentley no matter how hard it was to get pregnant and have a baby at such a young age. She was responsible enough to finish high school before she even had Bentley. As well as getting jobs here and there and going to school on and off until she finally graduated college recently. Her graduating really inspired me to work hard at school even though I do not have a baby.

I am so glad I got to read her story. From falling in love with Ryan all the way to falling in love with Taylor and having Jayde. I feel even more connected to her more now after reading her story then just after seeing it on TV. Definitely give this a read, its really inspiring.  

 

11 November 2015

Review: Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

Hit by Delilah S. Dawson 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Book Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 336
Synopsis:  NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.


Meet Delilah, (Taken From Goodreads)
Delilah S. Dawson writes whimsical and dark Fantasy for adults and teens. Her Blud series for Pocket includes Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants, winner of the RT Book Reviews Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013. Her YA debut, Servants of the Storm, is a Southern Gothic Horror set in Savannah, GA, and HIT is about teen assassins in a bank-owned America. Her Geekrotica series under pseudonym Ava Lovelace includes The Lumberfox and The Superfox with The Dapperfox on the way. Look for Wake of Vultures from Orbit Books in October 2015, written as Lila Bowen.

Delilah teaches writing classes at LitReactor and wrote the Island of Mesmer world for Storium.

Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta. Find out more at www.whimsydark.com.


My Review:
I borrowed Hit by Delilah S. Dawson from work and this is my honest review.

In Hit, we meet teen Patsy who is tasked with the scary job of offering people two choices; to die because of their debt or to be a bounty hunter like her, all because her mom is underneath her own pile of debt. Throughout the novel we follow Carly on her journey of ruining the lives of many.

After reading the description of this book I knew it was for me. Ever since I started getting back into teen I have loved roadtrip books. This might not be a traditional road trip story but it is close enough and I loved it to pieces. The plot was my favorite parts, growing up I used to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter so much so any reference to bounty hunting makes me want to pick up a book right away.

One of the first stops she makes a visit to the father of Wyatt. He decides not to take the deal, and because of this Patsy is forced to shoot him. Fortunate enough for her this leads her to her road companion Wyatt. He turns out to be the sweetest boy ever and Patsy is very lucky. The two have their ups and downs; I mean she shot his father for goodness sake but the two are still cute together. I ship them wholeheartedly.

As I neared the end of the book the people she had to offer the deals to were getting more and more interesting. I won’t spoil who the last few are, but I promise you are in for the ride of your life with this story. I love the whole book, and loved the ending even more even if I did have a few questions.
 
 

10 November 2015

Book Blitz: Somewhere in Between by Samantha Harris


Somewhere in Between
Samatha Harris
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: November 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Alexandra McCabe is disconnected from the world, grieving the loss of her parents…
Content with studying and keeping to herself, Alex has no interest in the campus playboy, Drew Collins, trying to get close to her. But even dousing him with beer doesn’t deter the easy-going charmer, and against her better judgment, the pair fall into a reluctant friendship.
Drew is bored with college life, and Alex’s romantic rejection intrigues him…
Their friendship is good for both of them, but Drew is used to getting what he wants, and he’s tired of shallow sorority girls. He’s much more interested in the feisty redhead, but despite his growing feeling, Alex keeps him firmly in the friend zone.
Old heartaches and new tragedies deepen a complicated relationship…
Whatever life throws their way, Alex and Drew remain best friends with their own traditions. Drew is Alex’s family, her rock, and Alex keeps Drew grounded, always challenging him to better himself.
When years of buried feelings rush to the surface, they threaten to change everything…
Drew promised his mother he’d tell Alex how he feels, when the time is right-but how will he know when that is? Alex is terrified to reveal those ‘three little words’ certain Drew doesn’t feel the same, and she’ll lose the only family she has.
Should Alex and Drew open their hearts, and risk being crushed? Should they be satisfied with a deep, lifelong friendship? Or does the only chance for happiness lie…
Somewhere In Between?

EXCERPT:
“I never got the point of this movie,” I said, grabbing a handful of popcorn.
“What do you mean the point?”
“I mean, this old chick trains this girl to fuck with the guy’s head and he just takes it? What a pussy!” Red just looked at me like I was crazy. “What?”
“It’s romantic!”
“This is not romantic.” I pointed at the screen. “This is stupid. The old hag tells him she will break his heart. She is engaged when he finds her again in New York, and he still practically begs at her feet. It’s pathetic.”
“He loves her so much that he spends his life doing everything he can to be worthy of her.”
“Why isn’t he worthy of her in the first place?” I pointed out. “He’s a nice guy.”
“It’s a gesture. He wants to prove his love. Like what your mom says.”
“That is nothing like what mom says. You fight to be the man the girl deserves after she loves you, not to make her love you. That guy is an idiot. He falls for the first girl to kiss him, and she does nothing but use him and fuck with his head.”
“Then why did you agree to watch it?”
“Gwyneth Paltrow gets naked.” I shrugged.
“Nice.”
“So,” I tried to steer the conversation toward her date with Russell without sounding too interested, “you never told me how your date went.”
“Eh.” She shrugged.
“Eh? What does that mean?”
“It was okay, but there wasn’t really anything there. We have nothing in common.”
“Well, that’s too bad.” I tried and failed to hide my smile.
“I think it was mutual anyway. He hasn’t called me, so no big deal.”
I told that son of a bitch to stay away from her. Looks like he heard my warning loud and clear. “I’m sorry, Red.”
She looked at me with a smirk on her face. “You are not.”
“I didn’t like the guy, sure, but I do want you to be happy.”
“Well then, I guess it worked out for everyone then, didn’t it?”
“Yeah, I guess so.” I chuckled.


Author Bio:
Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.

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09 November 2015

Book Blitz: How We Began by Multiple Authors


How We Began
Alexis Hall, Amy Jo Cousins, Annabeth Albert, Delphine Dryden, Edie Danford, Geonn Cannon, Vanessa North
Publication date: November 9th 2015
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
How does love begin? A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.
In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, seven authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.



EXCERPT
TruNorth by Alexis Hall
We play the O3 in London.
The crowd is amazing, filling up this vast dome. When there’s that many people, they look like coloured beads, shaken back and forth by these huge ripples of motion.
They’re here for us. To see us.
There’s something almost physical about so much excitement and anticipation and all this… I don’t know what else to call it except love. Surging towards the stage, beating against my body, as if it’s trying to push right inside me. I never know if I’m flying or drowning or dying.
But when I’m here, when I’m on stage and my face is on the screens and my voice is everywhere, I don’t care.
It’s weird because it’s not the sort of thing you can really seriously want or imagine wanting. It’s too big. Too impossible.
But now I know what it’s like, I do want it. I want it so badly it tastes like blood in my mouth.
We close with Something About You—our first number one.
I wish you could see what I see when I see you
Cos then you’d believe there’s no reason to doubt you
You’d know how your smile lights up my world
Because to me, oh to me
There’s something about you.
It’d been waiting for us after The Next Big Thing. All we had to do was record it. The video’s a bit rough around the edges. Not the video itself—it’s Glyde’s handiwork, so slick as slick as can be—but us.
Still learning our parts.
It’s effortless now, though. We know how to move and how to stand together. Whose arm should be flung across whose shoulder. Who keeps his hands in his pockets. Who tucks his thumbs in his belt.
Max, Me, Oli, Rayan, Callum.
All choreography, but it’s meant to look natural.
Glyde calls it “coordinated anarchy”. Vigorous young animals having the time of our lives.
He really does call us that. With this awful fondness.
We’re doing it now. Running to the edge of the stage, waving, blowing kisses, swapping places, jumping past each other, coming together at last. I rest an elbow on Max’s shoulder, put my left arm round Oli. Rayan leans against him on the other side. Callum, on the far end, folds his arms. Close but not touching.
We’re publicity-still perfect.
We did good tonight. I know we did.
Adrenaline sparks beneath my skin even as my breath slows and my heart calms. It’s a hectic, electric feeling, not quite like happiness. This moment when I blur so absolutely into who I’m supposed to be and everything else falls away.


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08 November 2015

Review: The Truth About My Success by Dyan Sheldon

the truth about my Success by Dyan Sheldon 
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages: 352
Synopsis: What happens when a bratty teenage star and a hardworking waitress get a taste of each other’s worlds? Best-selling Dyan Sheldon at her snarky, entertaining best.

Paloma Rose is sixteen and already a major TV star. She has money, franchises, adoring fans—and an agent and parents who are dependent on her success to sustain their very comfortable lives. But all that could come to an end when Paloma becomes more famous for her bad behavior than for her acting and her show’s sponsors threaten to cancel the upcoming season if things don’t improve. Meanwhile, Paloma’s worried agent happens upon Oona Ginness working in a coffee shop. Maybe she’s not as tall or as blond as Paloma, but details aside, they really might be twins. So a plan is born: What if they send Paloma to a brat camp to become a better person and put the malleable and much nicer Oona in her place? Oona thinks it’s a stupid idea, but the money is hard to resist, given her family’s dire circumstances. What does she have to lose? Of course, plans don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to. . . .



Meet Dyan, (Taken From Goodreads)
Dyan Sheldon is the author of many novels for young adult readers, including the #1 New York Times bestseller CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, which was made into a major motion picture. American by birth, she lives in North London.





My Review:
I received The Truth About My Success by Dylan Sheldon from the publisher and this is my honest review.

In this novel we meet teenager Paloma Rose. She is the star of a very popular tv show. The only problem is, she is a complete terror to all of those around her. The story starts off by showing us her rich life. She lives in a mansion with her neurotic mother and alcoholic mother, and her scheming manager is never too far behind. Paloma’s mother and manager fear that she is going to ruin her fame if she keeps acting the way she has been recently. To fix their fears they enroll the help of Palomas look-a-like, Oona.

The two decide to send Paloma off to what she thinks is a all expenses paid vacation in order to have Oona act as the brat in order to fix her down spiraling reputation. Paloma ends up at an attitude fixing ranch where they refuse to call her anything else than her name given at birth, while Oona takes on the role of the teenage girl on a famous TV show.

I honestly loved this book, the fact that the bratty teenager got tricked by being sent off to a ranch to fix herself so that somebody else could play her part on TV, I feel like that would never happen. Producers come across bratty people all the time and I will bet that 90% of them would love to send them away and replace them with a look-alike but that just is not in the cards. I found it hilarious how much trouble Paloma was giving her mother, because she actually really deserved it. Paloma shows us flashbacks all the time of how non-existent her mother was the years she was growing up. Anybody would rebel on their mother if they did not show an interest in them their whole lives.

Oona was my favorite character. No matter what happened with Paloma or to herself throughout the whole book she managed to stay very down the earth even while living in a beautiful mansion and being treated like a queen, she still kept her old ways. The only thing I did not like is that they forced her to leave her dad. The house seemed as if was big enough I could not understand why they could not give her dad a room in the house so that he did not have to be alone. But I guess, it turned out to be good for him considering what happened in the end.

No spoilers, but I must say the ending of this book was great! Paloma’s mother and her manager definitely got what they had coming to them and I loved every second of it. From the described look on their faces in the beginning all the way to the deals made by all the characters at the end. This was an interestingly good book and I am glad I picked it up.  




27 October 2015

Book Blitz: Live Me by Celeste Grande


Live Me by Celeste Grande 
Release Date: October 27th 2015 
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Synopsis:  

Broken…
Shattered…

How can you begin to live again when you’ve already been forced to…die?

Evangelina Ricci is trapped in a world that’s a never-ending nightmare, a constant ache in which consumes her every breath. Unable to bear the torture any longer, she does the one thing she can to take back control.

Run.

With her best friend Jace in tow, Evangelina attempts to escape her darkened past by leaving for college and diving head first into an aggressive schedule, determined with everything she is to make a name for herself. There’s only one problem—she can’t run away from the demons she struggles with. The demons that’ll forever be there, locked inside, battering her soul. Hiding behind a flawless fa├žade, Evangelina faces her ghosts until her world is turned upside down, invaded by…him.

Blake Turner. Sweet, witty, flirtatious and drop-dead gorgeous, he finds Evangelina at every turn. Scared he’ll uncover the truth she keeps so well guarded, Evangelina tries her best to put on her act, deterring him like she has so many times before—only this guy’s different. He’s relentless. Utterly, absolutely and completely relentless. He sees her and he wants her and won’t stop until she’s his.

Will Evangelina succeed in pushing Blake away? Or will he break down her walls and be the person to make her realize life is worth living?



Purchase Links:
 
Excerpt: 
I drew my knees into my chest and began to sing. In hysterics, my fingernails gouged holes in the flesh on my shins. The words barely made it past my lips as salty tears invaded my mouth. Right here, I wanted to forget the person who did this to me, who made me this way.
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
God help me. I couldn’t do this anymore. I just wanted to end it. That would be the only way to make it better. Free myself of the agony. Living this way just wasn’t worth it anymore. I might as well finish myself off all at once instead of shutting down one cell at a time.
            I ripped the portals of torment from my ears and threw them down in disgust. “Please, God. Give me a sign. Something. Anything. What am I supposed to do?” I shivered, a weeping lump of flesh.
            The silence around me was deafening. The only sound was the sporadic hitch of air that came from your chest after a good bout of hysterics.
            Breathe in. Breathe out. Hitch.
            Breathe in. Breathe out. Hitch. Hitch.
            Frantically wiping up and down my face, I dragged myself off the lounge chair. Going to the perimeter of the roof, I peered down, wondering what it would feel like to free fall to the bottom. Take hold of my fate and say fuck it. Break these chains and finally be free.
I pulled myself up and over the cold cement rail and settled my back against it. Holding on, I stared down at the tiny cars as I inched up on my tippy toes and leaned forward. Maybe I could fly like a blackbird. Dragging my bottom lip between my teeth, I creeped further, teetering on the edge. My stomach lurched, and I swallowed hard.
            Pussy.
            Another breath and I pushed back, unable to go through with it. That prick wasn’t worth ending my life over. He’d already taken too much of me; I couldn’t allow him that as well.
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
 

Meet Celeste,
Celeste Grande grew up loving words. From an early age, it was easy for her to open her heart through pen and paper and come away with something poetic. She never thought anything more than releasing her emotions would come of it though. A workaholic that can’t keep still, in her ‘real’ life, she’s a Certified Public Accountant who dreams of writing sexy books all day long. When she isn’t working, she’s reading, writing, mommying and being a wifey to the love of her life.
She lives in New York, still putting pen to paper and anxiously awaiting the debut of her first novel, Live Me, a new adult romance, in October of 2015.




Author Links:


26 October 2015

Book Blitz: The Libby Garrett Intervention by Kelly Oram


The Libby Garrett Intervention (Science Squad)
by Kelly Oram 
Release Date: 10/24/15
Bluefields Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:
Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it.

When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program—Owen's Anonymous—and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard as nails coffee man to be her official sponsor...

Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson—a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.

Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?

This follow-up companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment can be read as a stand alone. (But where's the fun in that?) ;)



Excerpt: 

Libby “Oh, whoa, hold up and stop right there! Are you intervening with me right now? Is this supposed to be an intervention?” Coffee Man’s stare wasn’t going to break, so I looked around the group at everyone else. None of them would meet my eyes. “Did someone cook up something special in the chem lab or something? You’ve all officially gone mental. I’m not on drugs!”Avery finally looked at me. She shook her head. “Of course you aren’t on drugs, but your relationship with Owen is just as destructive.”I barked out an incredulous laugh. They were comparing me to a drug addict and saying Owen was my crack? “Are you freaking kidding me?” I screeched. “I came here to apologize to all of you and this is what I get?” I jumped to my feet. “This is such equus ferus feces!”I bolted for the door and got about three steps before Adam intercepted me, blocking the way like a lean, tattoo-covered wall of attitude. He stood in a typical bouncer’s stance with his feet shoulder width apart and his arms folded across his chest. Though he wasn’t particularly tall or bulky, he was still intimidating. I glared at him. “And you’re a gluteus maximus!”Adam’s face pulled into a frown and he looked to the group to translate. Aiden grinned. “That’s Libby speak for ‘This is horse shit’ and ‘You’re an ass’.”Adam brought his gaze back to me, and I kept up my glare, refusing to take it back. I waited for him to flip out on me, but was shocked when his lips twitched as if he was fighting a smile. I had to be wrong, though, because there was no way Mr. Uptight had a sense of humor. “Get out of my way,” I said. His face hardened again. “You sit that luscious little gluteus maximus of yours back down on that couch right now,” he said, “or I’ll put it there myself.”



Buy Links:

About the Author
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.
Author Links:
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20 October 2015

Review: The Truth About My Success by Dylan Sheldon

The Truth About My Success by Dylan Sheldon 
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages: 352
Synopsis: What happens when a bratty teenage star and a hardworking waitress get a taste of each other’s worlds? Best-selling Dyan Sheldon at her snarky, entertaining best.

Paloma Rose is sixteen and already a major TV star. She has money, franchises, adoring fans—and an agent and parents who are dependent on her success to sustain their very comfortable lives. But all that could come to an end when Paloma becomes more famous for her bad behavior than for her acting and her show’s sponsors threaten to cancel the upcoming season if things don’t improve. Meanwhile, Paloma’s worried agent happens upon Oona Ginness working in a coffee shop. Maybe she’s not as tall or as blond as Paloma, but details aside, they really might be twins. So a plan is born: What if they send Paloma to a brat camp to become a better person and put the malleable and much nicer Oona in her place? Oona thinks it’s a stupid idea, but the money is hard to resist, given her family’s dire circumstances. What does she have to lose? Of course, plans don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to. . . .


My Review: 

I received The Truth About My Success by Dylan Sheldon from the publisher and this is my honest review.

In this novel we meet teenager Paloma Rose. She is the star of a very popular tv show. The only problem is, she is a complete terror to all of those around her. The story starts off by showing us her rich life. She lives in a mansion with her neurotic mother and alcoholic mother, and her scheming manager is never too far behind. Paloma’s mother and manager fear that she is going to ruin her fame if she keeps acting the way she has been recently. To fix their fears they enroll the help of Palomas look-a-like, Oona.

The two decide to send Paloma off to what she thinks is a all expenses paid vacation in order to have Oona act as the brat in order to fix her down spiraling reputation. Paloma ends up at an attitude fixing ranch where they refuse to call her anything else than her name given at birth, while Oona takes on the role of the teenage girl on a famous TV show.

I honestly loved this book, the fact that the bratty teenager got tricked by being sent off to a ranch to fix herself so that somebody else could play her part on TV, I feel like that would never happen. Producers come across bratty people all the time and I will bet that 90% of them would love to send them away and replace them with a look-alike but that just is not in the cards. I found it hilarious how much trouble Paloma was giving her mother, because she actually really deserved it. Paloma shows us flashbacks all the time of how non-existent her mother was the years she was growing up. Anybody would rebel on their mother if they did not show an interest in them their whole lives.

Oona was my favorite character. No matter what happened with Paloma or to herself throughout the whole book she managed to stay very down the earth even while living in a beautiful mansion and being treated like a queen, she still kept her old ways. The only thing I did not like is that they forced her to leave her dad. The house seemed as if was big enough I could not understand why they could not give her dad a room in the house so that he did not have to be alone. But I guess, it turned out to be good for him considering what happened in the end.

No spoilers, but I must say the ending of this book was great! Paloma’s mother and her manager definitely got what they had coming to them and I loved every second of it. From the described look on their faces in the beginning all the way to the deals made by all the characters at the end. This was an interestingly good book and I am glad I picked it up. 


 
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