Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: Replica (Replica #1) by Jenna Black

Book: Replica (Replica #1)
Author: Jenna Black
Published: July 16th, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA/Dystopian/SciFi/Murder Mystery
Series: Book 1
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis:
Sixteen year old Nadia Lake's marriage has been arranged since she was a child.Her betrothed was born in a family with the highest power in the corporate states.Nadia lives a very privileged life but that comes with paparazzi scrutinizing her every move,using every detail of her personal life as gossip fodder.Her future is assured as long as she can keep up with her flawless image.That is not easy when her betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathaniel Hayes is heir to the company that begin the process of human replication.Yet Nathaniel is more interested in staying in what is now the underbelly of the state that used to be New York.He'd rather be there than courting his bride-to-be. Especially when she is not really his type.

When Nathaniel turns up dead,all bets are off.

When the new Nathaniel wakes up in the replication room,he has no memory of how he ended up here. He has no idea who would end his life and he is terrified to think that the person he loves most of all,may have had a hand in it.Now Nathaniel and Nadia must find out the truth without spilling the secrets of those in their life.

Disclaimer: I got this ARC as a gift from Christina at A Reader of Fictions. Thanks Christina!

Review:
I wasn't expecting anything from my blogger friends so when I got this in the mail I was both thrilled and shocked at the same time. This had come in a package along with Extremities:Stories of Death,Murder & Revenge.Once I read the back of this book,I just knew that this was going to be an awesome book. I waited until the next day to start it,in an attempt to finish another book first.The next day,when I finally curled up to read it,I devoured it.

I know when most people think dystopian,they think The Hunger Games trilogy or the Divergent Trilogy but this was totally different and in an AWESOME way.First of all it was set in what used to be New York so there's some familiarity there. It wasn't some random place that was obviously made up.

The arranged marriage thing is something that people in India still do so that wasn't totally weird. I've often joked with my family that they should do an arranged marriage for me. Then again, I'm 27,way too old for the arranged marriage stuff.I think if either Nadia or Nathaniel had been lousy characters,I would have had an issue with the whole arranged marriage thing.

Nathaniel is supposedly a playboy but I never got that feeling about him. Maybe because I realized who he really was,whereas the people living there had no idea who Nathaniel Hayes was. I also knew that he was nothing like his father,which ended up being a massive relief.

Nadia was a teenager who didn't realize what she was really capeable of. Yes she along with Nathaniel made rash decisions but that's part of being a teenager. Most teenagers make rash decisions. But along with that,we got to see her bravery. How she handled herself during her first round of questioning and her second and so on. Especially when it came to Dirk Mosely.

Almost instantly we are thrown into a world that seems to thrive on half truths & secrets. None as damming as the one that Nathaniel has from his family. Only Kurt Bishop & Nadia know the true Nathaniel.When Nathaniel is found dead only hours after Nadia is seen having a disagreement with him,questions surface. Was Nadia tired of keeping her future husband's secrets,was Nathaniel caught "going outside the arrangement?" The answer to those questions end up somewhere in the middle.

Dirk Mosely gave me the creeps from the beginning. I knew fairly early on that he could and would make life difficult for Nadia if she did not do as he told her to. His threats against her family,particularly her niece and nephew would likely be enough for her to give in. From the time Nadia was small,it was instilled into her how important it was to keep her family safe at all costs.

Dante may have been Nadia's butler but he turned out to be a heck of a lot more interesting than I had ever even guessed. His connection to Kurt and to the Basement was fascinating.He was sort of living a double,even triple life.He was quite a brave guy.

I adored this book so much. It didn't follow the typical dystopian format which was awesome. There wasn't really a romance element although towards the end there were flickers of one between Nadia & Dante.It kept me wanting more and more.I couldn't put down this book from about halfway to the end. The pacing was fast and totally engaging which I was thrilled about. I hate it so much when the pace is slow.That's one of the things that make me ranty.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Especially the way the epilogue left it. It's clear that this is far from over. Five stars to Book One of this awesome new series.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Musings #5

Okay so I was booked on Tuesday so I couldn't do my Top Ten Things That Make Me Shun A Book like so many others in the blogging community. I needed a topic for today SO I decided to do my Top Ten Things That Make Me Shun A Book today. Hope you enjoy!

~God/Religion~
This is my number one thing. I am an atheist so it would make no sense for me to read a book about a God that I don't believe in. I am also not religious at all so anything that so much as HINTS at being religious in any capacity does not get a home on my bookshelf.

~Politics~
This one's easy. I find politics to be boring and I will not read a book that so much as HINTS at it.

~Insta-love/lust~
First of all I am not into that cheesy & corny crap. There is no such thing as insta love. There is such a thing as insta-lust and I wish people would call it that rather than calling it love. You cannot love someone you don't know and may have never met.

~Bad Author Behavior~
If I hear a story about an author behaving badly to either another author or a blogger like myself,I will NOT pick up their book.To me it would be like rewarding them for behaving badly. No just no.

~Using Sex As The Only Plot Point~
If I have to hear someone say "Well Sex Sells" one more time, I may put my fist through a wall. Yes sex does amp up the book sales but for me if there is nothing else to the story I am going to throw it as far away from my body as possible.Even erotica has to have SOME sort of plot in order for me to read it. If it doesn't,then I don't read it. Simple as that.

~Steampunk~
If someone could just explain to me WHAT it is,I'd be greatful. As it is,I don't get it and don't understand the appeal.

~Aliens/Zombies/Werewolves & Vampires~
I threw all four of these together because I just don't get the appeal of any of them. I like a good SciFi book as much as the next person but Aliens? No thank you. I think I've seen enough Vampire crap to last me a lifetime. Zombies,um no thank you. There was only one series that I loved a werewolf character and if you are as much of a geek as I am,then you'll know what I'm talking about.

~Abuse~
Sometimes these stories are done beautifully and they tell the tale of a battered woman escaping from a violent man. But I rarely read them and that's because usually we are forced to read about the abuse in graphic detail. I will not be okay with that. It's like abuse is being glorified which makes me sick.

~Cheating~
This is something I don't accept in my real life.Why should my reading choices be any different.It's rude,disrespectful and like abuse,it glorifies the act.

~Historical Books~
I hated history in high school,hated it in college so why would I want to read anything with a historical theme? Answer is,I wouldn't. Historical books of any kind bore the heck outta me and you won't catch me reading them.Ever.

So what was on your TT list this week? Share your TT link with me so I can stop by if I haven't already.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder & Revenge by David Lubar

Book: Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder & Revenge
Author: David Lubar
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Tom Doherty & Associates LLC
Genre: Teen/Horror/Mystery
Standalone
Book link: Goodreads
Purchase links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis: Girls enact revenge on a sadistic PE teacher. Two stowaways find themselves on a ghost ship.An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim. These are just some of the taglines for the 13 short stories in this book.

Disclaimer: I got this book as a gift from Christina at A Reader of Fictions

Review: Like the book itself,this review will be quite short and quick. I had never heard of this book before so I was curious about it. It was downright spooky and creepy. I don't know how Christina knew I'd be into it as I don't think I asked her to send it to me.

But anyhow I finished the book in about a day. I decided not to read it at night as it kept freaking me out.Usually I am not that into short stories but these kept me engaged and interested to see what the next short story would bring and if I'd be hiding under the bed again.

I agree with the warning sticker on the back of the book. This collection of short stories is definitely not appropriate for kids. These stories would bring on nightmares for even the bravest kids so wait until the kid is a teenager.

I adored the cover. It was so creepy with the black,red & grey with a pinch of white. Perfect for the kind of book that this was.

The writing style & editing were interesting. The writing style definitely read like a MG book which was weird because this book was not recommended for kids in middle school. No editing issues either which was a relief. I've found that editing issues are more common in short stories like this.

I'm torn between a 3.5/4 star rating. It was a good,short read but not one I am likely to read again.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Promo & Excerpt: Choices of Fate by S. Simone Chavous


Book Title: Choices of Fate
Author: S. Simone Chavous
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 06/14/2013
Series: Fate Series, Book 1


Synopsis:
On her own since the day she turned eighteen and left the group home where she grew up, twenty-five year old Alexa Ryan has made a comfortable life for herself. She has a great job, the perfect apartment, every material possession a girl her age could desire. Unfortunately, she also has an unusual condition that has forced her to keep everyone at a distance.

Ethan Kellar has spent his entire life running from destiny. When he was just a boy, a powerful seer prophesied his role in events that would determine the outcome of the secret war his people had been fighting for centuries. A role he was determined not to accept, leading him to avoid letting anyone get too close, until the night Alexa fell into his arms.

Drawn to her in a way that he has never experienced, Ethan decides to take the ultimate risk by trusting Alexa and revealing to her all that he truly is. Thinking she is an ordinary woman, he believes that she could be his key to preventing the prophecy from being fulfilled and allowing him to live the life he has always wanted, one that he chooses. Having been so consumed with the desire to determine the course of his own life he wants no less for Alexa and knows he must tell her everything, give her a choice. Before that happens they surrender to the intense physical attraction between them and he realizes too late that in trying so hard to change his fate, he may have set the events of the prophecy in motion.

In that moment, Ethan makes the most difficult decision of his life and does the only thing he can to save Alexa. He walks away.
Consumed by grief, Alexa falls into a deep depression until she learns that her brief encounter with love resulted in a child and somehow finds the strength to put herself back together for the sake of her baby Chloe.

Nearly two years after Ethan walked out Chloe develops an unexplained illness that sends Alexa in search of anything that can help. Her pursuit leads her back to Ethan and thrusts her into his dark and mysterious world, unlocking the secrets of her past and revealing threats to their future. Together, Alexa and Ethan fight to protect Chloe and their love, but there is one battle Ethan fights alone as he struggles to choose his own path and avoid the choices of fate.

Excerpt: 
“I am sorry, Alexa. Please understand this is incredibly difficult for me.” He leaned in and placed his forehead against hers. “I want you so badly right now, in this moment, but I want you forever more. That is why we must wait.”
Well, shit. Hearing that just made her want him even more. Maybe it was all just a line of bullshit, some kind of reverse psychology to get her in bed, but it was working.
Forgetting her embarrassment she leaned her face up and pressed her mouth against his yet again, then pulled away and said, “Please, Ethan,” another kiss, “please, I want to be with you tonight.”
Before she could blink he was over the center console kissing her fervently as he pressed his knee between her legs sending a jolt of arousal through her.
And just like that he pulled back, hovering over her and looking into her eyes while she panted with desire.
“Alexa, I cannot come up with you tonight.” Her expression became one of hurt and confusion, until he continued, “But, I am going to make you cum with my mouth, I must taste you.”
His words and the hunger in his eyes were almost enough to send her over the edge.

And then he crushed his mouth against hers, sliding his tongue inside as a promise of what was to come when he moved between her legs.

Buy Links:




About the Author
S. Simone Chavous spent seven years as a tax accountant before deciding to pursue her true passion as an author.
Choices of Fate, the first book in the Fate Trilogy, is her debut novel.
She lives in northern Indiana with her boyfriend, two beautiful daughters and their rambunctious vizsla, Lily.

Connect with the Author



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Catalyst (Tethered Book 1) by Jennifer Snyder

Book: Catalyst (Tethered Book 1)
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Publish Date: June 12th, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Series: Book One
Book Info: Goodreads
Purchase Links: Barnes & NobleAmazon


Synopsis:
Addison Harmon has just learned that she inherited a house from her biological mother who she never knew.She, along with her best friend Vera decide to take a trip out there to see the house. Addison has no idea what is about to happen.All she knows right now is that she needs to decide what to do with the house.When she arrives at the house,strange things start happening.She meets the very sexy Kace Sullivan who seems to know more about this house than she does. Addison is not sure that she wants to know about the secrets this house holds within it.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: 
I wasn't sure how I would feel about this one because it looked so good. I was afraid that my expectations wouldn't be met and I would have to chuck the e-book aside (very hard to do unless I want to hurt my Kindle) Thankfully I didn't need to worry because I loved it and was very glad that I had gotten this book.

A lot of the book reminded me so much of Charmed and I LOVED that TV series so much. Addison was awesome. I could see the progression from being curious of the house to almost afraid of it by the end because she still didn't quite understand what was going on. She was just hoping that all this creepy stuff was actually going on and that she wasn't simply going crazy.

Vera bored me.We really didn't get to know her very well and I was really peeved at her running out on Addison because she was scared. I believe she should have stayed and supported her best friend. Especially given the fact that Addison wanted her there.That should have trumped fear.

Oh Kace, I'm pretty sure he earned his spot as my number one book boyfriend. He was so dreamy and usually I don't use those words to describe a man but wow, I loved him. I loved how he comforted Addison when she was scared. I loved how he provided her with information instead of hiding it.

I have a soft spot for cats so of course I have to mention adorable Binks. I knew there was something weird about him from the beginning. I wasn't sure exactly what it was until it was explained in the book.

Oh Admer,another character that I loved. I knew that there was something strange about him from the beginning and I'm still a little irked that we didn't know what was up with him until practically the end. Like Addison,I think he definitely knows more than he told her initially and I'm hopeful that he'll give Addison the full story in the upcoming second book.

Editing-wise,very well done. I didn't have any issues with the pacing or grammar,spelling or anything else. I just didn't want to put the book down at all. The book kept me hooked throughout the whole thing.

I am giving this book 4 stars mainly because I don't feel like I got to know Theo or Callie that well. If they are going to be important characters in the next book,I'm hoping that we'll get to know them better.Aside from that small character development issue,I adored this book so much.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Like Falling (Surface #1) by Jaden Wilkes


Author: Jaden Wilkes
Published Date: July 30th, 2013
Genre: Romance/New Adult
Series: Book 1
Available in Kindle version.

Disclaimer #1: This book is not suitable for anyone under eighteen due to the graphic depictions of sex & drugs.

Synopsis:
Sarah Miller has always done what was expected of her in her quiet Mennonite community. Pursuing a higher education had long been her dream.Her parents agree to let her go to university as long as she studied things relating to the Bible. However they still long to see her married and popping out babies like the other women in their community.

Sarah is different from them though. She has bigger plans for her life and going to university is the first step towards those plans.In her Archaeology 101 class she meets two men who will drastically change her year. One a quiet student sitting in the back of the classroom and the other being the professor.

Things progress in unexpected ways during the year but the one thing that is constant is Sarah's evolution from a quiet & shy Mennonite woman to an outgoing, experienced woman in every single way.   

Disclaimer #2: I got this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: 
I just don't know where to start with this one. Parts of it were so funny but then there were quite a few cringe-worthy moments.The Mennonite community has always fascinated me. It upholds several of the values that I also hold dear. Family is most important & helping others is key as well. So I was hoping to really like Sarah and up until a point I really did.

Through the first part of the book I really liked Sarah as she struggled to adapt into what is called "the outside world" by both Mennonites & the Amish.She was so young in maturity/emotional level that she didn't even realize that her professor was actively pursuing her and that it had nothing to do with her intelligence and everything to do with her being so naive.

I liked her friend Naomi and Naomi's girlfriend Veronica "Nic" but I felt as though Naomi and Nic cared more about partying, sex and alcohol than about Sarah. That really bothered me. Tyr (pronounced tear) was a different story all together and truthfully I didn't like it when they finally got together. I thought they were better off as friends.

I also really could not stand Sarah when she and Tyr finally got together. I seriously wanted to shake her. She became a sex obsessed young lady whose only enjoyment was having sex with Tyr.It really drove me nutty. She went from an introvert who had no sexual experiences to someone who was close to having a sex addiction.

I definitely lost some respect for her throughout the course of this book. No,what happened with Andrew was not her fault. He abused his power & he appealed to her sexually immature self for his own use. 

But with Tyr,she sounded like a teenage girl talking. Yes she was 18-19 years old so still technically a teenager but oh my God she seemed very superficial by the end of this. And exchanging I love you's,Really? They had only been dating a few months and for months before that they had been doing this dance around each other.

Her discussions with her family were another thing. I wanted to strangle her every single time she talked to them.She had grown rude and disrespectful to them.All I kept thinking was "They won't be around forever so respect them" And I know it's hard for Mennonites to break away from their families,but if she really felt this was the right thing for her,she needed to shut them down kindly but firmly and not let them control her life & decisions.

The thing about being a young adult is that you need to keep your options open. That's why I liked Eric. He was a good guy from Sarah's own community who didn't pressure her and who she admitted that she had an attraction to. I am really annoyed that she didn't give him another shot because she was completely wrapped up in Tyr.

I will concede that the sex scenes were definitely hot. That was one of the few parts of Sarah & Tyr's relationship that I enjoyed reading about because they were so well written.

I won't comment on the editing as this was a e-galley so there were some kinks to work out with editing.

I will say that this book gets three stars from me. Mostly because I ended up detesting both Tyr & Sarah when they got involved. I am curious to see what the next book holds so I'll probably read it too.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cover Reveal: I Found My Heart in West Virginia by Chelsea Falin & Cory Hammond


Title: I Found My Heart In West Virginia
Authors: Chelsea Falin & Cory Hammond
Genre: New Age Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Late Fall/Early Winter 2013

Synopsis:
Cheyenne, or Shy as she is better known, makes the huge decision to move her and her four young children to the mountains of West Virginia. Despite coming from a small town in west-central Florida, she had been living in upstate New York with her ex-husband...had been, those were the key words. After finding out her ex-husband was having an affair with a childless eighteen year old girl, Shy calls it quits. West Virginia had long ago found a special place in her heart. The mountains are beautiful, the people are friendly, and you can find a piece of the old life hidden out in the hollers. It doesn't hurt that Cheyenne's favorite cousin, Jace, and his family abide there either. Nor does the cheap property prices. Shy hopes she will find a new life for her and her children. She wants freedom, and a simpler way of life. What she doesn't expect to find is a rough-around-the-edges backwoods boy with plenty of troubles of his own to entrap her heart so quickly after the end of her marriage...or ever, come to think of it. 

Excerpt #1:
Cheyenne/Shy's Point of View

Shaking her head, the judge looked up from her papers. “Mr. Carter, is this all of the paperwork you have for me?”

“Yes ma'am.” He answered. I wonder where he dug out those manners from because I certainly had never seen them.

“Mrs. Akers, you also?”

“Yes ma'am.” I answered.

She nodded her head. “Okay, this case is simple. I'm throwing out both of your claims and starting from scratch. “ Both of us cringed. Neither of us knew whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing and for who. “Here's the deal: I am extremely surprised that you are paying only $600 a month for the care of four children, Mr. Carter. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

“But, your honor...” He began to protest.

“No, hush. This is  ridiculous. Do you really think $400 a month would cover the expenses? No. Now, Mrs. Akers. Here is what I am going to tell you. I can grant you the $800 a month today, or you can go back and refile your claim without a set amount. Simply refile with all of this information and say that you want the claim disputed. You can get much, much more than what you are currently receiving.” My heart was thumping at what she was saying, but I couldn't help but wonder how much longer that would leave me in the hole, without any form of support besides the money I currently made. I voiced my question. The judge took a deep breath. “Well, that depends. I see you live in West Virginia now.  Since you're here in New York now, I suggest you go to the department of children and families and refile. It takes four to six weeks to process, and then they will set you a court date within four weeks of the time they decide to allow your case to go through. You may be without child support for two months, but I think it would be well worth it to you.”

“Your honor, if you don't mind me askin', how much money do you believe I could receive?”

She snorted. “I wouldn't be surprised if you got at least $500-$600 every two weeks, plus,of course, you'll get a lump back payment.”

“That's ridiculous!” David cried out. “Her and her kids aren't worth $600 every paycheck!”

David was going to curse his outburst, and while I felt so bad for my poor children, I enjoyed hearing what the judge's next words were. “Mr. Carter, it is people like you that make me sick to my stomach. These are not her children. She did not immaculately conceive them all by herself. You provided the sperm and I'm assuming not much else. If you hadn't dragged her to this court today, demanding you pay even less than the ridiculously low amount you already pay, she probably wouldn't have ever filed for more. I know her type, and she is going to do just fine for her kids all by herself. I hope she wrings you're sorry ass dry in court, and I pray I get the case so I can have the pleasure of helping her do it.”

“You can't talk to me like that!” David sputtered, his face turning red and the veins in his neck bulging.

“I just did. Case dismissed.” The judge, who was now my hero, banged her mallet and whisked herself out of the court. I couldn't help but smile as I made my way out of the court room. It had been a private hearing, so Jace was waiting just outside of the doors for me. Although there were chairs available for him to sit in, he had chosen to lean up against the wall.

“How'd it go?” He asked me anxiously as soon as I came out of the court room holding my little folder tight against my chest.

“Good, with a tiny bit of bad news.” I looked up and saw David storming towards us. “But I'll tell you all about it later.”

“You had better not take this thing back to the courts, do you hear me?” David sputtered. His face was still bright red. He wasn't taking this very well.

“No, sorry, I didn't hear you. I was thinking about going down to the department of children and families.” I said, careful not to raise my voice. I was going to rise above him and his petty yelling. I no longer disliked him...I loathed the very thought of him.

“You do and you'll regret it! Trust me one this one!” He threatened.

I was about to reply with a smart remark when Jace stepped up. “Why don't you just back off before I put you in the ground?” His voice was soft, but it was lined with steel. He meant what he said.

“You can't threaten me! I'll have you thrown in jail you backwards hillbilly!” David never did know when to keep his mouth shut.

Jace only laughed. “That's hypocritical,  ain't it fella? I seem to remember you doin' some threatenin' yourself just a second ago.”

“I...you...ugh!” David stuttered. He had always let his anger get the best of him, and his tongue couldn't keep up with his foul mind. He stormed off without a backwards glance, leaving his threats behind him. Truth be told, he was probably scared of my cousin. I know I would have been if I were in his shoes.

Jace and I looked at one other and we burst out laughing. David looked so funny fuming and fussing like a toddler, and I was ecstatic about the way things had gone today. “C'mon, let's go Jace.” I said.

Excerpt #2
Willy's point of view

I saw the girls- all four of them- headin' back out of the woods, soaking wet. I whistled and yelled, “Woo wee ladies, y'all are lookin' like some hot messes.” The guys laughed, and I saw Cheyenne blush. The other three girls only rolled their eyes. They did this kind of thing all of the time, but it would seem as though Jace's cousin did not.

I hadn't been drinking all that much, shocking though that might be, but I grinned at the girls like a bobcat. My second go at getting a good look at that girl was just as good- if not better- than the first time around. Looking at her now, in nothing but a blank tank top stuck close to her body and a pair of ripped jeans, I felt about ready to burst. Later, after some subtle prompting by Jace, she ended up beside me, but we didn't talk much at all. It was nice, though, I gotta admit, just being next to her.

Time went by, and around midnight, we all called it quits for the night. I only had two beers under my belt, so I drove Jace's truck home. His cousin sat in the front seat, looking just a bit shiny in the eyes. Jace was nearly passed out and Josh was holding his stomach. Those two had drunk more than their fair share.

I looked back at Cheyenne...or did she like being called Shy better? Eh, who knew. “So how many'd you drink little girl?”

She looked at me. “First, I'm not a little girl, honey. Second, I only had about six or something.”
and here I was thinking that she was, as her name implied, shy. Seemed to me now that she was feistier than she acted. “Well, excu-use me darlin'.”

She half-laughed,half-snorted at me, rolling her eyes as she did. “How many'd you drink then?”

“Two.” She laughed at me. “I figured someone'd better be the designated driver and caretaker, after all.”

“I thought designated drivers didn't drink anything at all.” She retorted. She didn't look at me though. She stared out of the passenger side window. Maybe she was shy and it was just the alcohol doing the talking. Either way, I didn't care. I was going to take advantage of her being pulled out of the little bubble she had seemed wrapped in until she downed her six beers.

Laughing, I said, “Well, you must not be from around here honey, because drinkin' two beers is like drinkin' a bunch of water to me.”

“Does that mean your an alcoholic?”

I snorted. “Hell nah it don't. I just like to have fun I guess. I'm a mite bigger than you to boot.”

She shrugged, and kept looking out the window. We pulled up to the Aker's house in silence, and between me and her, we got the other two inside. I wasn't sure what to do with Josh, so I dumped him on the floor in Jace's bedroom and covered him with a blanket. When I came back into the living room I caught the butt end of a conversation between Cheyenne and Miss Debbie.

“Oh no, honey, I'm sure they're fine. I'd be glad to watch 'em. I promised them me and Jack would take them to go get ice cream in the morning anyways. You go on home and rest.”

“Well, I don't think I can really drive myself...” she started.

Before I knew it, my big mouth had gotten me into something, “I can take you home.”

Miss Debbie smiled at me and looked down at her niece. “See? Jace can bring your truck back to you tomorrow, no worries.”

A few more protests and Cheyenne turned to me. “You sure you don't mind? It's a good twenty minutes or so to my place.”

I shrugged. “I offered, didn't I?”

She shrugged. “Yeah, I guess...thanks.”

We got outside, and I said to her, “Uh, we're just gonna have to walk down to my place to get my truck is all.”

She looked a little nervous. “How far is your place?”

Joking, I said, “Close enough they can hear you scream.”

She laughed genuinely for the first time since I'd met her and followed me up the holler, which was lit only by the pale light of a full moon. It was an unusually beautiful night. Or maybe the company I was in just made it seem that way.  I wasn't but four or five houses down the road, and we made it in plenty of time. I opened up the front door, unlocked as usual, and told her that she could come on inside while I got the keys. Matt was sitting on the couch watching television when we came in.

“Hey boy, what do you think you're still doing up?” I asked him.   

He just shrugged. “It's not a school night.”

“Uh huh,well I gotta drive her home and when I get back, your butt better be in bed, ya hear me?”

Matt laughed. “Uh huh. Got it.”

“Good.”

“Uh huh.”

Cheyenne just stood there staring at us, the shine of alcohol was slowly leaving her eyes but it was pretty obvious she was still buzzed. I grabbed the keys, told Matt I'd be home in an hour or so, and then I herded Cheyenne out towards my old beat up truck. It was an ancient red Toyota, but it had served me well so far. She still seemed anxious as we pulled out of my short driveway and down the holler toward what served as the main road in these parts. I looked over at her a few times,one hand on the wheel and one arm resting on the open window. When she never said anything, I decided to try and strike up a conversation. She might be one of the most gorgeous things I had ever seen, and I might not be inclined to getting involved with anyone, but a guy could be friendly, right?


Author Bios:


Cory Hammond is currently working on her first independent title, but has co-written one previous book with Chelsea (Southern Jokes: Funny But True). This will be her second co-authoring pursuit. Cory is a recent high school graduate and will be starting college in the fall where she will be pursing her AA Degree. Her hobbies and interests include: writing, fishing (particularly cast netting), football, reading, music, and World War II history. 

Cory's Links:
Facebook



Chelsea Falin is the independent author of twelve current titles. This will be her thirteenth title. Her previous works include the 'Growing Roots Series' and the 'Benson Family Chronicles.' She has wanted to be an author since a very young girl, and finally made that dream come true about four years ago. In her personal life, Chelsea is a wife of almost five years, the mother of a four year old daughter, and a freelance blog/article writer. Her hobbies and interests include: fishing, writing, reading, football, hiking, traveling, cooking and history.

Chelsea's Links:

Chelsea Falin and Cory Hammond are sister-in-laws who first met over five years ago when Chelsea began seeing Cory's brother. The two have since become best friends and their similar personalities paired with their unique writing styles make all of their joint writing endeavors appear seamless. 



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #4

So before you all get a glimpse of my goodies this week, I must let you know where this feature comes from. I've been totally negligent on that. So Stacking the Shelves comes from Tynga's Reviews and as most of you know,it's a way for everyone to share the book related goodies they got this week.

You may wonder why I am posting this a day early. Well that's because I managed to get myself double booked for tomorrow.This is just a one time thing though. By next week I should be back to normal.

So here are my goodies for this week.

Bought
Received for Review
Maine Squeeze (e-galley from Netgalley)
The Road to Her (e-galley from Netgalley)
Like Falling (Surfacing #1) (e-galley)
Grievous Bodily Harm: A Toni Day Mystery (Print copy)
Portrait of a Crossroads (e-galley from Netgalley)
Sixteen Sixty-One (e-galley from Netgalley)

Won
Playing Nice (e-book)

Gifts
Replica (from Christina @ A Reader of Fictions)
Extremities: Stories of Death,Murder & Revenge ( from Christina @ A Reader of Fictions)

As much as I was hoping that this week wouldn't be as crazy as last week I was wrong. Big time wrong. No it wasn't a busy mailing week but definitely a busy Netgalley week. I guess Netgalley was feeling pretty generous this week. Can't complain there.

Be sure to leave the link to your book haul in the comments. I look forward to seeing what everyone else got this week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Tour: Romancing the Bookworm by Kate Evangelista


Title: Romancing the Bookworm 
Author: Kate Evangelista     
Release date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: New Adult Contemporary romance
Book Information: GoodreadsBook Trailer
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble


Synopsis:

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.

It's spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Roni, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she's wrangled into waiting tables with Roni at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick's Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational's organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.

Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he's concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he's convinced it's a risk worth taking. What he hasn't planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.

Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my participation in a blog tour.


Review: I was excited to read this book from the minute I saw the synopsis and I was hopeful that the book itself wouldn't disappoint me. It didn't disappoint me at all. In fact It felt as though the book was written FOR me in so many ways. I have always preferred the company of books to the company of actual people. I have very little experience with romance much like Tamara.

I fell head over heels for Xavier from the beginning. He was a very dreamy guy. Not just in looks but in personality too. However I knew pretty quickly that he was hiding something and I was hoping that it wasn't anything too serious like all of his stepbrother's issues.

Roni was an awesome best friend. Best friends are supposed to be there for you. They are supposed to apologize when they wronged you and Roni did that. Not only that,but she pushed Tamara OUT of her comfort zone. That I loved.She didn't do it maliciously. She did it out of love for Tamara. I wish we had seen more of Hudson,Roni's brother. I really liked him.He was a loyal guy to both his best friend Xavier and to Roni.

I know I wasn't supposed to,but I fell for Zander. Yes he had problems but at the root of it he was a good guy. I truly believe that. No he didn't handle things well with Roni, or with Xavier for that matter,but underneath all the drugs & alcohol I truly believe he was a good person. He had gone through so much hell and now he was feeling unloved by his family,pushed out by Xavier. Like Xavier admitted near the end,I do believe Zander loved Roni. I am SO hoping the author does another book,this one with Zander & Roni as the focal points.

Xavier and Tamara were so flipping CUTE! Gah I was so hoping that Tamara would cash in her v-card with this guy. I think cashing it in with some guy who she doesn't know would have really upset her. I also like that they didn't rush into it and that Xavier allowed her to set the pace. That showed so much respect for her.

I really liked how there were so few characters.It allowed for better character development and it allowed me to care about the five main characters.Sometimes a book can have too many secondary characters that it gets confusing and I get frustrated.

This book really spoke to me and I really adored the entire thing. I am giving it five stars because this book was perfection. From the plot to the characters to the backdrop.

About the Author:


When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.






You can follow the tour to see reviews, guest posts, and excerpts by clicking the link below.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Say When (Something More #1) by Tara West

Author: Tara West
Published Date: July 10th,2013
Published by: Shifting Sands Publishing
Series: Book 1
Genre: Romance
Purchase LinksAmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis: Christina Duval has just ended her engagement to the affluent but otherwise tedious,rude & abrasive Jackson much to her mother's disgust. Her mother still attempts to control her life and up until now Christina has allowed it.Christina's disgusting & pervy father is dead thankfully, It takes meeting a sexy stranger for things to turn on their head.

Andres is unlike anyone Christina has ever known.He intrigues her from the beginning.She wants so desperately to trust what he says to her but after her experience with men,she's tentative.Christina knows that she must trust Andres with more than just her body. She must trust him with her heart.

Disclaimer: I got this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Review: When we first meet Christina, she is a a doormat. She allows everyone around her to control her life. From her mother to Jackson. She has no say in her own life.That really drove me bananas as I really don't have patience for those who don't stand up for themselves. She has two friends, Grace and Karri. I still don't understand why she is friends with Karri except that she feels terrible for Karri's son Ty and for Karri's sweet natured mother because Karri just won't give up the drugs. Grace is a great friend and I enjoyed watching the threads of friendship be woven into the story.

Watching Christina become more assertive was so awesome to see. Reading about her standing up to her mother and telling her mother everything she had been so afraid to tell her made me so excited. I could see Christina's self confidence rise and my enjoyment of her character grew as well.

Andres was everything that Christina wanted,needed and deserved in a man. He was sweet,gentle & supportive.All things that Christina didn't have in her relationship with Jackson.As my friend Molli would say,he was swoon-worthy.

Normally I cringe at the insta-love and the insta-sex but this just WORKED. Christina needed a guy that was completely different from her father and ex fiancee and Andres gave her that.The sex scenes were extremely hot.It's been awhile since I read something that had the kind of chemistry that Andres and Christina had.Andres gave Christina the courage to assert herself which I loved.

This book gets a 4 star review from me. Mostly because it chronicled Christina's emotional growth which I enjoyed. It's not getting the full 5 stars mainly because I feel it was too short and while it was a good read, I wanted more of it. I am so excited to see where the story goes and I wish it was 2014 already so I could get my hands on the next book.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cover Reveal: Out From Under by Selene Chardou


Title: Out From Under, A Novel (Stand alone, not part of a series)
Author: Selene Chardou
Expected release date: July 31st, 2013
Genre: Romantic Mystery & Suspense / Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult

Book Synopsis
Trista Lennon is strong, independent and only desires freedom. Freedom from the control of her parents, freedom from the motorcycle gangs she has had to put up with her whole life and freedom
from a relationship that will trap her into the very life she has no wish to ever live.The day before she’s supposed to leave for Stanford University to pursue her dreams, her world is shattered. After a tragedy that tears her family apart, Trey, her cousin, Talia, invites her to L.A. Her life is all the sudden Hollywood stars and sunshine, late nights and wild parties.

And then she meets him.

Linx Carter isn’t looking for a relationship. He survived a dysfunctional marriage with his childhood sweetheart, which produced two sons, an inability to trust women and a multitude of lies. He merely wants to recuperate from a rough, six month tour Winter’s Regret just completed with superstar band, Scarlet Fever, and enjoy a little peace and quiet.

Until he sees her.

Trista and Linx fight their attraction for one another like war on a battlefield.She has a closetful of secrets and he would rather be single and pathetic than date a teenage girl who seems older than her years. However the passion between them is too much to resist and they realize in order to heal one another, they must destroy the walls they have constructed so tightly around their hearts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Selene Chardou is a world traveler and the alter-ego of Elle Chardou.

Ms. Chardou’s writing is all about hot romance and exciting times with the wild, damaged, out of control and/or rich and famous set in the New Adult realm. She is currently working on Out from Under and The Will to Love, the first novel in the Scarlet Fever Series, which will chronicle the relationship of Will Cullen and Laurel Munsen. She also has a pop stars series planned and an MC series planned that chronicles the issues between Lucifer’s Saints and Demon’s Bastards motorcycle clubs.

Ms. Chardou has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Contact Information:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: 314 by A.R. Wise


Author: A.R. Wise
Publish Date: December 24th, 2012
Published by: Amazon Digital Services Inc.
Series: Book 1
Available: Amazon

Synopsis: Alma Harper has done her best to forget all about what happened in Widowsfield 16 years ago. She has a great career that she loves and is rekindling things with her one true love.Ye the number 314 haunts her as does the day her brother disappeared.When a reporter appears in Alma's life just days before March 14th,Alma realizes that for her own sanity she must find out what happened that day,sixteen years earlier.

Disclaimer: I got this book as a freebie off of Amazon.com.

Review: I wasn't sure exactly what I was getting into when I got this book as a freebie off of Amazon. I needed a scary book and boy did this book deliver in a big way. The beginning was definitely creepy and disturbing and if I had a weaker stomach I probably would have abandoned the book.This was definitely not a book for everyone due to it's dark subject matter. Nor do you need professional help if you enjoyed this book.

The hops from sixteen years ago to present day were a little difficult to adjust to but once I did adjust to them I had no issues. Editing was great. I found no issues in either grammar,spelling or formatting which really made me a happy camper.Editing is a big issue for me so to see a flawless editing job in this book was a great feeling. Pacing-wise the story was good too. There was one point,about 3/4's of the way in,where there was a little lull but thankfully it didn't last long.

I really loved Alma. I resonated with her so much it was nuts. From the estranged relationship she had with her father,to the on and off again relationship she had with her high school boyfriend. Really just those two things were SO similar to my own life.We got a few flashback snippets of her relationship with her mother and that's where the similarities ended.I am extremely close with my mother (best friend close) and Alma was not.

Paul was so awesome throughout the book. You knew that he loved Alma.It was plain as day.Especially when he agreed to join Alma on a quest for the truth.Yes he had kind of a douche-y history but it was clear that it was always Alma.Thankfully the romance/mushy stuff took a backseat to the creepier stuff.

Eeeek, I loved Jacker. He was another awesome character who turned out to be so much more complex than anyone could have imagined.Rachel and Stephen were awesome too,even if Stephen was a tad bit overzealous about the whole Widowsfield thing.I actually felt sympathy for Rachel because Stephen seemed SO obsessed with it.Now I wanted to like Aubrey,I really did but she came in so late in the book that it was hard for me to really care too much about her.

I didn't even realize this was book 1 of a series until I reached the end. GAH! I was so aggravated about that.However I still plan on reading book two. Now that I look back on this book it does seem like the entire thing was the beginning of a series.There was a LOT of character development which I loved.This book is getting 4.5 stars from me. It was practically perfect except for that small lull that I mentioned earlier and the addition of Aubrey who I think was brought in too late in the book. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West


Author: Kasie West
Publish Date: February 12th,2013
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre: YA/Paranormal
Standalone

Synopsis: Addison "Addie" Coleman lives in constant what if's.As a Searcher,Addie can look into the future whenever she has to make a choice about something,anything.A very important choice hits her out of nowhere when her parents announce that they are divorcing. Now Addie has to choose who she wants to live with (a rough decision for most kids in this situation) However Addie can look into the future and see what life she likes best. Her father will be leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms" while her mother will stay put.

In one future,Addie is adjusting to life outside the compound,meeting new faces like Trevor. He's sweet and kind to her. In the other future Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in their high school. Things kind of turn on their head when Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the compound.It will eventually come down to,who can Addie not afford to lose.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book off of Amazon.

Review: I must admit that I had heard so many great things about this book but I was worried that I wouldn't like it. While the beginning was a tiny bit on the slow side,it really picked up quickly and I was drawn into such an interesting world.

I know it sounds crazy but for the longest time I was drawn to Duke. Yes he was an arrogant ass in the beginning. Yes he had the typical quarterback's attitude but I was drawn to him. Trevor on the other hand was kind of boring. I know he was sweet and Addie liked how he understood her but I really thought he was boring.In terms of character development,both love interests definitely had distinct personalities that authors tend not to showcase enough for me.

Addie was awesome. She was the kind of character that I would want as a best friend.She was funny, loyal & kind. Laila was awesome too. She definitely had spunk just like Addie did but again they weren't like two peas in a pod or anything. They had their own distinct likes & personalities. Bobby was a class A jerk and I wanting nothing more than for him to get what was coming to him. 

From a writing standpoint,it was perfection. Great pacing & the editing was perfection. No issues at all. At first going back and forth between the possible futures was a bit confusing but I caught on quickly.

It really made me think though. All I could think when I was reading this (outside of what future will Addie pick) was my future. If I was a Searcher would I Search frequently to make choices or would I just let life happen until I had to make a significant choice like Addie did. I found myself wondering what my future held and I even wished that the ability to know my future was a real thing.

It was an amazing book that I would happily and enthusiastically recommend to all of my friends. Five stars to this book that made me think about my own life.