Monday, October 31, 2016

Blog Tour: Burned by Magic by Danielle Annett...Review and Bookmarks!

Love urban fantasy? Then be sure to check out the Blood and Magic series!
Keep Reading for more info and my review of the third book in the series, Burned by Fire!
Plus, there are free downloadable bookmarks available!

About the Book



Burned by Fire
Blood and Magic #3
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Vampires
Publication date: September 30th 2016
Aria's pyrokinetic ability has always been hard to control, and being pulled in so many directions, isn't making it any easier.
Now she has to help Inarus, a foe turned friend who is being targeted by the Human Alliance Corporation-the very organization he once worked for.

But the HAC has more than just Inarus in their sights. Aria finds herself going deep into enemy territory to save a witchling child with never before seen powers, that the HAC has kidnapped to further their own ends.

Aria has been hired to save a child once before, and she failed. That failure has haunted her even to this day and she wonnt let herself fail again. With the HAC closing in, and complications between herself and the Pack rising, Aria has no choice but to succeed. A child's life is on the line and Aria will risk everything to save that life.


Buy links: Amazon Kobo


About the Author



Author Biography
Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and blogger. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads




My Review


Title: Burned by Fire (Blood & Magic Book 3)
Author: Danielle Annett
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Bookmarks & Tours Blog Tour

With the fascinating urban fantasy Burned by Magic, we once again return to Danielle Annett's world of Blood & Magic.

In the world of Blood & Magic, paranormal beings have integrated into society. Along with humans you'll find vampires, shifters, mages, witches, and more. But as with the previous two books, things aren't going all that smoothly. Speaking of the previous books, Cursed by Fire and Kissed By Fire, I highly recommend you read both of them first so you can understand and appreciate this story fully.  I'm going to try my best not to spoil anything from any of the books here in my review, but it will be difficult because they are all so connected.

Following the events of the first two books, Burned by Magic finds pyrokinetic Aria struggling to adjust to her new reality while still running Sanborn Place, a paranormal mercenary firm.  She also must protect a former enemy as well as herself while trying to figure out the Human Alliance Corporation's endgame.  To complicate matters even further for Aria she must deal with some rather tense relationships throughout the book. 

We get to see many of the familiar faces from the previous books as well as meet a few new ones.  I love the characters in this story and feel for Aria because she has so much on her young shoulders.  And on top of someone being after her and wishing to harm her, she has to deal with complicated relationships with the males in her life. It'd be almost too much for a normal person to handle so it's a good thing that Aria is anything but ordinary.

Danielle Annett has created a fascinating world filled with intriguing characters that I would love to know even more about.  The PSY abilities and different types of paranormals were quite interesting. I love the variety of characters throughout the story. It seems like you discover something new about the rules and characters of this urban fantasy world with each page.

And while it does answer some questions from previous books, the story almost felt too short, really. I wanted more of this world and characters. I eagerly look forward to what the author has in store for Aria and her friends.

My Rating: 4 Stars

*I received a free digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.*


Blog Tour: A Lover's Lament by K.L. Grayson and B.T. Urruela...Review & Giveaway!

a lovers lament kl grayson bt urruela baner

The blog tour for A Lover's Lament kicks off today!
Keep reading to learn more about this emotional story and to read my review...and make sure you enter the giveaway!

About the Book



a lovers lament
A Lover’s Lament by K.L. Grayson and B.T. Urruela
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Military/General
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Published on November 1st, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Heartwrenching and heartwarming describe this unique romance that draws from the experiences of coauthors KL Grayson, a seasoned bestselling romance author and mother, and BT Urruela, a first-time author and wounded Iraq vet. This blend of female/male coauthors makes this story raw and real.

In a matter of seconds my entire world changed, and it was in that moment that I stopped living and simply began to exist. In my grief, I sent a letter to the first boy I ever loved. I didn’t expect him to write back. Sergeant Devin Ulysses Clay did what I couldn’t: he put the shattered pieces of my heart back together. But now that I’m whole, I have a decision to make. Do I return to my life as I knew it and the fiancĂ© I left behind, or do I walk away from it all for the only man to ever break my heart?

***

A letter from Katie Devora—a letter that I almost didn’t open. Her words put a fire back inside of me that I didn’t know I’d lost. The Army saved me from a callous mother and a life on the wrong side of the tracks that was quickly spiraling out of control. So unlike most of the men in my platoon, going home wasn’t something I longed for. I was content overseas, spending my days defending this country that gave me my life back. Fighting became my new normal … until her.


My Review

Title: A Lover's Lament
Authors: KL Grayson & BT Urruela
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Netgalley

An emotional and at times heartbreaking story, A Lover's Lament is a wonderful romance about two people who seem destined to be together despite the obstacles they have to overcome.

Told in alternating perspectives, the story is about childhood friends, Katie and Devin, who fell in love as teens, but eventually had to unwillingly go their separate ways.  They reconnect as adults thanks to a military pen pal program when, after a horrible loss, Katie's therapist suggests she write to a soldier. Much to Katie's surprise, Devin is on the list of names she is given.

Through letters, emails, and phone calls Devin and Katie reconnect and rediscover their love for one another.  During most of the book the couple is separated, their only interaction the letters and calls as Devin serves in Iraq.  I thought this was interesting to see and enjoyed watching them rekindle first their friendship and then their romance thousands of miles apart.  And when the two are finally on the same soil, the chemistry is definitely strong between them.

By choosing to show both points of view, we are able to see the different paths life has taken them and the heartache they've both suffered. Katie is lost in her grief until her connection to Devin helps her to heal. And as a soldier at war, Devin also has some healing of his own that needs to happen. They are both supportive and caring toward one another as they help each other heal.  There are also a few flashbacks that help us to understand their bond and where things went wrong for them before.

Both Katie and Devin have a wonderful support team that appear throughout the story. Katie's friend, sister, and mother all help her as she learns what it means to be involved with a soldier...the fear, anxiety, uncertainty, etc. Meanwhile, Devin has fellow soldiers and team that understand what he's experiencing. And thanks to the way the authors chose to write the book as sort of a long distance romance, we are able to get a tiny glimpse of what life is like for Devin as he serves overseas and the harsh realities of war.

I love stories of friendship turning to romance and A Lover's Lament definitely fit that description, but it wasn't easy for our main couple. They faced heartbreak, separation, death, and more. And as they worked to overcome the many obstacles that they faced, their relationship just seemed to grow stronger as time passed despite the distance between them.

I became lost in this beautiful and emotional story and couldn't put it down.

My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*



GIVEAWAY!



Follow the Tour by clicking here!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry narrated by Jake Urry...Review!


Today it's my pleasure to tell you about The Cryptic Lines audiobook...
Keep reading for my review and more info about this book, its creator, and the narrator who brought it to life...

About the Audiobook


Audiobook Title: The Cryptic Lines
Author: Richard Storry
Narrator: Jake Urry
Publisher: Richard Alan Storry
Length: 4 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)
Audio Release Date: March 16, 2016

Synopsis
Set in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem – the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred’s Will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears…

To Buy
Audible | Amazon 


About the Author


Richard is the author of four published novels, with his fifth “A Looming of Vultures” due for publication in 2017. Prior to writing his first novel, “The Cryptic Lines” he was very busy in the theatrical world: He composed the incidental music to Chekhov’s Three Sisters, seen in London’s West End, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Eric Sykes, and subsequently broadcast on BBC4 television. His musical adaptation of “The Brothers Lionheart” premiered at London’s Pleasance Theatre, followed by a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival where it was voted Best Childrens’ Play. “The Cryptic Lines” has now been adapted for both the stage and screen.



About the Narrator



Jake Urry is a British actor and audiobook narrator, and also co-founder of Just Some Theatre. Since graduating from an Acting degree course in 2012 he’s toured with Just Some Theatre as an actor and producer, worked on a number of commercial voice over projects and most recently started producing Audiobooks. Jake has produced over 10 titles since March 2016 and has rapidly found himself at home narrating Thriller, Horror, Mystery and Suspense titles. His audiobook work includes dark psychological thrillers White is the Coldest Colour and Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl, occult mystery series The Ulrich Files by Ambrose Ibsen, and gritty Sci-Fi novel Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats. 



My Review


Title: The Cryptic Lines
Author: Richard Storry
Narrator: Jake Urry
Format: Audiobook
Length: 4 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)

An entertaining story full of twists and turns, The Cryptic Lines quickly captured my attention and wouldn’t let it go.  And while this was partly due to the fascinating and complex mystery that Richard Storry has written, narrator Jake Urry breathed life into this story and its characters which allowed me to feel as if I were there with the characters solving the cryptic clues left for them by an eccentric old man.

That eccentric old man was Lord Alfred Willoughby, a wealthy man who decided to leave his son a set of clues concealed in the lines of a poem that he must solve in order to earn his inheritance.  However, his solicitor is included this puzzle-solving treasure hunt and whoever solves the clues first is the “winner.”  The pair decide to work together and we are soon taken on a fascinating journey through the Willoughby estate as they work to solve the complicated clues and meet a colorful cast of characters.

Filled with complicated clues and puzzles, The Cryptic Lines reminded me of some of my favorite classic mysteries.  With each new clue, I became more invested in the plot and its characters.  Richard Storry’s detailed descriptions made it easy to imagine myself a part of the story and to lose myself as I eagerly anticipated what would happen next.  At times a bit predictable, it was nevertheless an entertaining story perfect for mystery fans.

A wonderful narrator, Jake Urry’s haunting voice mesmerized me as he brought the story to life.  Each character had their own distinct voice making it easy to distinguish who was speaking and giving them distinct personalities.  And I loved the way he set the mood for each scene.  You could sense the urgency, frustration, and other emotions that each scene invoked by the way he spoke making the story feel even more real.

The Cryptic Lines was an enjoyable short mystery filled with surprises that was made even more entertaining by the work of its narrator.

My Rating:  4 Stars

*I received a free copy of this Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.*


I hope you enjoyed learning about The Cryptic Lines and I hope you'll give it a listen sometime!


The Audiobookworm

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher Evans...Review and Giveaways!



I am absolutely thrilled to tell you about Spells & Sorcery today!
The first in a new series by author, S. Usher Evans, I loved this book so much!
Keep reading for more info, my review, along with a couple of giveaways!


About the Book



Spells and Sorcery
S. Usher Evans
(Lexie Carrigan Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
You have magic.
One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.
Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.
Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.
Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

About the Author



Author Bio:
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.
Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

My Review


Title:  Spells & Sorcery
Author: S. Usher Evans
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Author

Spells & Sorcery is just pure magic!  Not since Harry Potter have I enjoyed a book on teens with magical abilities more and I could definitely see the influence that Rowling’s work had on the author in this book.

In this fabulous book, we meet Lexie, a teen who has just learned that she is a magical with special abilities that will kick in on her 15th birthday…oh, which just happens to be tomorrow.  Lexie struggles with her new abilities leading to some humorous moments for the reader.  But she also struggles with the secrets her sisters and aunt have kept from her and begins to feel a bit ignored by them when it comes to assisting her in learning more about being a magical.

This leads her to the park where she meets a mysterious stranger named, Gavon, who provides her with books on magic and magical history and seems to know a lot about the magical world and Lexie’s family.  He gains her trust, but should she really trust him…well, let’s just say, you’ll have to read to see what happens.  But it is definitely worth-reading.

S. Usher Evans has created such entertaining characters and a wonderful world that I wish I could leap in the book and be a part of the story.  I loved the interactions between Lexie and her sisters and aunt.  They felt like a real family and I could definitely relate to being the younger sister who feels a bit out of the loop.

As for Lexie, our main character, she was so real with all the imperfections, snark, and uncertainty that you’d expect a scared 15-year-old to have upon learning they have magical abilities.  As the story progresses and things get more complicated for Lexie, she also shows growth as a character and matures as one would hope to see.  She learns a lot more about the magical world, its history, as well as her family, as secrets get revealed and things get dangerous.  That’s a lot for an adult to handle, yet alone a teenager, but she manages to do it with a few expected hiccups along the way.

Spells & Sorcery definitely took me on a rollercoaster of emotions as I felt things I wasn’t expecting based on the blurb and cover.  Not going to spoil anything, but there were times I was laughing, crying, angry, and…you name it.  The author did such a fabulous job of making me feel connected to the story and its characters.  I became invested in what was going to happen to them and couldn’t wait to see where the story would take us.  And the final scenes with the main antagonist of the story were just so well done!

I not only want more books featuring Lexie and her magical world, I need more books!  I cannot wait for the next installment in this fantastic new series!

My Rating: 5 Stars

*I received a free digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*



GIVEAWAYS!

XBTBanner1

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Fast-Pitch Love by Clay Cormany...Review and Giveaway!



Looking for a fun and sweet romance...look no further!
Keep reading for more info, my review, and a giveaway!


About the Book




Fast-Pitch Love
by Clay Cormany
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Clean Reads

Summary:

What does a high school boy do if he thinks the girl of his dreams will be an assistant for the softball team his mother coaches? Easy! He volunteers to be an assistant, too. That's what Jace Waldron does in Fast-Pitch Love. It might be his only chance to make a move on Stephanie Thornapple while her boyfriend is away. But Jace's plans go awry, and soon he faces the double challenge of coaching a team of mischievous preteen girls and learning there is more to romance than physical attraction.





About the Author


Before writing Fast-Pitch Love, Clay Cormany spent over 20 years as a writer and editor for Ohio's State Board of Education. His creative work has appeared in numerous central Ohio publications, including the Columbus Dispatch and Spring Street, Columbus State Community College's literary magazine. He has also edited numerous books, including a three-volume biography of Christopher Columbus and A Death Prolonged by Dr. Jeff Gordon, which received coverage in the New York Times and on PBS. Fast-Pitch Love reflects the two years Cormany spent interacting with softball players and coaches both in practice and competition. He contributes the earnings from sale of the book to girls softball programs in central Ohio and elsewhere.
Author Links:


My Review



Title: Fast-Pitch Love
Author: Clay Cormany
Format: Digital Copy
Source: Blog Tour/Author

This was such a sweet and fun read perfect for sports fans and anyone who enjoys a good coming of age story.

Told from a teenage male’s POV, something I haven’t read that often in YA contemporary books, Fast-Pitch Love tells the story of Jace and the summer he planned to win the heart of his crush Stephanie by helping his mom with their little sisters’ softball team.   However, things don’t quite go as planned, but with the help of Stephanie’s sister, Sylvia, Jace remains determined to get what he wants.  But sometimes what you want, might not be what you need, as Jace discovers during this fateful summer.

This was such a fun book to read.  It kind of reminded me of one of my favorite teen movies from the 80s, “Some Kind of Wonderful.”  While both had completely different plots and characters, the theme is the same:  guy wants to win the heart of the popular girl, a female friend helps him out, guy realizes that maybe what he wants has been in front of him all along.

And I loved the relationships and bonds Jace forms with the team of girls he helps to coach.  Plus they were absolutely adorable!  While I never played a sport in my life, I have spent my entire life as a spectator at many sporting events whether it was my dad’s, brother’s, nephews’ or nieces’ playing or coaching.  I was very excited to read this story and loved the scenes with the team.  Jace and his experiences with the team were so funny yet real and I could easily relate as I have seen many of the same things happen on teams that my nephews or nieces have been on.  Kids definitely teach you patience and how to enjoy the little things in life.  You learn through them as well. Your words and actions have so much impact on them and you are a role model to them.  This is something Jace learns as a coach and it really affects him and his behavior in the book.

Jace shows tremendous growth as a character in this story.  His familial relationships grow stronger.  His confidence grows and he learns what is important in life.  I enjoyed watching the changes that he goes through. It was a great being able to see things from his perspective as well.  While I did miss getting the female perspective a bit, it was a nice change.  And who knows, perhaps the author could even write a second companion book with another character’s POV, such as Sylvia…I’d definitely be willing to read that one.

Overall, I would say that if you are looking for a sweet, romantic story with some humor and fun, then you should definitely check this one out.

My Rating:  4 Stars

*I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


GIVEAWAY!



Blog Tour Organized by:


Book Blitz: My Junior Year of Loathing by Jennifer DiGiovanni...Giveaway!



About the Book



My Junior Year of Loathing
Jennifer DiGiovanni
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Junior year is supposed to be tough. Exams, term papers, homework, college tours, and participation in extra-curricular activities can all add up to non-stop stress. But Melinda Banner has goals to achieve and dreams to make real. This year, she’ll be unstoppable. But even over achievers need a break.

While walking in the woods to take a break from the stress of it all, Melinda meets a boy named Connor. After a few more run-ins, the two settle into an uneasy friendship, if you can even call it that. But Connor’s closed and mysterious. Whenever Melinda asks too many questions, he suddenly has to go or is no longer interested in talking. When they’re together, she’s torn between wanting him to open up and running away as fast as she can. Still she can’t seem to shake her budding interest in him.

Connor has his own way of looking at the world, and his views often conflict with Melinda’s practical nature. Can you like someone and loathe them at the same time? Is he even worth the emotional tug on her heartstrings or distraction from all things Junior year?

And, as if she needs another project right now, Melinda starts to obsess over the abandoned estate she passes on the way to school each day. Between Connor and the old estate, Melinda’s beginning to think she’s taking on too much.

But Melinda’s smart. She finds a way to indulge her interest in the estate and fulfill her obligations. She will uncover the truth behind the aging edifice for an epic article in the school newspaper.

But when her investigation reveals a connection between Connor and a tragedy long-since forgotten, Melinda has a choice: put off her junior year achievements to save a local landmark and a boy who constantly pushes her away or put them both out of her mind for good and focus on making the grade.


EXCERPT


My eyes land on the monstrous wall running the length of the block ahead of us. What was once red brick has now faded to ashy gray and tan, adorned with splotches of green lichen. To me, the Westerly Estate has always looked completely out of place in Harmony, like someone froze time and plunked a long-forgotten fairy tale castle in the center of mid-town Manhattan.
Becca’s renegade curls swat the side of my forehead when she turns away from Will. “I’m sure you’ve heard the story behind the Westerly wall.”
“Something about Old Man Westerly building it because he hated his daughter’s boyfriend?” The memory is fuzzy, but I recall my father telling me about the local legend when I was younger.
Will laughs. “Dude must have been a fun parent.”
Becca nods. Finally, they agree on something. “Judging by the state of the wall, the estate behind it must be a total wasteland. I wonder why the mayor doesn’t force whoever owns it now to fix it up.”
I straighten my spine, searching for tall stone turrets, perhaps the tower of London, or at least a mansion like Brian’s. Only the top floor of a tired-looking manor house with faded clapboard siding and a shingled roof pokes over the top of the brick barrier. In the distance, I spot a redwood barn and two corroded metal silos.
“Old man Westerly built the wall a long time ago—maybe the seventies,” Becca says. “According to the story my gran told me, he completely despised his daughter’s boyfriend.”
“Yeah, and I bet the wall was his bright idea to separate them,” Will cuts in.
“All that to keep out one guy?” I ask.
“He was probably her one true love.” Becca enhances the mood by fluttering her eyelashes faster than a crazed hummingbird’s wings. “Then, right after the wall was finished, the Westerly family moved away and sold the land. Apparently, there was some sort of accident.”
“So the place is cursed,” Will says.
“Supposedly haunted,” Becca adds.
Will huffs. “No one believes the ghost stuff. But whoever bought it made a bad investment. Must be a toxic-waste dump or something if you can’t build on it.”
The light switches to green. Will punches the gas, and Becca slams into me, her shoulder knocking mine.
“You’re out of control, Gamen,” Becca gripes. “Sorry, Mel.”
Two cars roll through the intersection before the light shines yellow and then red. Will swears under his breath. “First-day-of-school traffic. Everybody wants to show off their new wheels.”
“Do you really think there’s a ghost?” I turn to Becca.
“Of course there’s a ghost,” she says. “People see her all the time.”
“Like who?” Will asks, arching an eyebrow.
She shrugs. “Just people.”
“Name one person. Have you seen her?”
“No, Will,” she answers with a sigh. “But everyone knows about her, so the story must be true. She’s waiting for her true love to come back and rescue her.”
Will barks out a laugh. “True love. Right. More like a sex fiend.”
“Awesome. We’re talking about ghost sex now,” Becca says.
“I wonder what the real story is,” I say. “The truth could make a great headline for the paper. If I find out what really happened to the estate, maybe someone would clean the place up. I’m sure it was beautiful, back in the good old days.”
“Don’t you have enough to worry about this year?” Becca asks. “You can’t spend time researching a story like that. You’re assistant editor of Out of Tune. You’re on student council. You play basketball and run a whole bunch of other clubs. Our school would not exist without you.”
“You’re exaggerating.” My face flames.
The light flips to green, and Will floors the gas. As we pull away from the Westerly Estate, I glance at the second story of the old manor house. A shadowy profile appears in the left window. I blink, stare hard, and blink again. It’s gone.


About the Author



Jennifer DiGiovanni is the author of the School Dayz Series. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to try new sports and activities from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.






GIVEAWAY!


XBTBanner1

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Blog Tour: Cease & Desist by Stephen David Hurley...Review!


Today I get to tell you about an interesting new book...

Keep reading for my thoughts and more!

About the Book


Cease & Desist
by Stephen David Hurley
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: October 10th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

What if the secret to being charismatic were actually a gene you could inherit, and pass along to your children. What if this "X-factor" could make you a star? Welcome to the world of Cease de Menich, a sixteen-year-old actress in New York City who gets cast as Joan-of-Arc in a reality-drama, only to discover her "acting gift" has been passed down through her bloodline for almost six-hundred-years. Cease finds the plot of the drama reveals dark secrets from her past--an abusive mother, a brother who committed suicide--and the reader must decide if she's a reliable narrator or a terrified girl who's succumb to the pressure of fame and the abuse of her past.

Cease & Desist is a dark, contemporary YA thriller with a supernatural twist. Readers of books like I Let You Go and The Girl on the Train will enjoy this coming-of-age story, which struggles with the realities of sexuality, violence as entertainment, and mental illness. Cease & Desist has excellent crossover potential into the adult marketplace.

Buy: Amazon 


About the Author




Stephen David Hurley teaches middle school and blogs about fiction, faith and young people. You can find his blog at—you guessed it—fictionfaithandyoungpeople.com

Author Links:





My Review


Title: Cease & Desist
Author: Stephen David Hurley
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Netgalley

To be 100% honest with you, I am not quite sure what I just read, but I do know that I enjoyed it.

As the story starts we are introduced to Cease, short for Cecile, the narrator of our story, an actress in a new scripted time-traveling “reality” show/competition featuring strong historical female figures. She plays Jeanne (do not let her hear you call her Joan) of Arc on the show where the rules and script are constantly changing.  I am not even sure Cease knows what is going on with the show, herself, half of the time.  The show has become more violent and sex-driven than what Cease originally signed up for and she is not sure she can cross those lines just to win.

The story gets off to a bit of a confusing start with bits and pieces of information being revealed by Cease about both the show and her own life and history so you are never quite sure what is going on or if you can even trust Cease’s view on things.  There are secrets in Cease’s family and life that are slowly revealed and you can sense Cease slowly unraveling as the story progresses.  The inside of Cease’s mind is definitely a complicated and odd place to be.

Cease & Desist was definitely a strange and complicated story, but I couldn’t put it down.  I may not have been sure of what was going on, but I needed to know what was going to happen next…where was this crazy journey Cease was leading us on going to take us.  Overall, this was an intriguing and unique story with fascinating characters and a plot that challenges sex and violence in the media aimed at teens.

My Rating: 3 ½ Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


Follow the Tour by Clicking Here!

Blog Tour Organized by:


Release Day Celebration: The Pacifist by Jenny Holiday...Review and Giveaway!



She’s done holding her peace…
Out Oct 25th – the third book in the New Adult College Romance series: New Wave Newsroom
Follow the tour and enter to #win a $20.00 Amazon GC and a box of 80’s themed candy goodness!

About the Book

Title: The Pacifist
Series: New Wave Newsroom #3
Author: Jenny Holiday
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Length: 36k words
Format: Digital/Paperback
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9950927-3-0
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9950927-2-3

She's done holding her peace...

Laraline Reynolds has spent her entire life as a certified Good Girl. The perpetual peacemaker in her volatile, conservative family, Laraline promises herself that she'll spend her last year of grad school getting in touch with her inner rebel before she settles down and marries her family-approved long-distance boyfriend. But Laraline's Year of Fun quickly turns into something more complicated, and she finds herself at the forefront of a movement to change her college's sexual assault policy.

It's the Year of No Fun for Tony Bianchi. A fifth-year senior, he needs to graduate, so he's put a moratorium on his two favorite distractions: girls and photography. But when Laraline comes calling, needing some photos for her cause--and for her campaign for a seat on the college board of governors--Tony's resistance comes crashing down.

They both fall hard. But while Tony is ready to give it everything he's got, Laraline is afraid. She wasn't prepared for her one-year rebellion to lead her to the life she truly wants. In order to break free from her family, she'll need to do the scariest thing of all--follow her heart.

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

More books from the New Wave Newsroom!


The Fixer: On sale for just 99cents!!!!

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

The Gossip Out Now:

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks


About the Author


Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a brief detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. More recently, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. A lifelong city-lover, she lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.

You can visit her online at the following places: 


My Review of The Pacifist


Title: The Pacifist
Author: Jenny Holiday
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Barclay Publicity

The Pacifist is a “totally rad” addition to the New Wave Newsroom Series by Jenny Holiday!

Set in the early ‘80s, it tells the story of Tony, the former photographer of Allenhurst College’s newspaper Laraline, a grad student and daughter of a professor at the college.  A fifth year senior, Tony is determined to have a “ Semester of No Fun” and graduate this semester.  When he takes a photo of a couple kissing on campus he inadvertently causes problems for grad student Laraline.  Determined to have a “Semester of Fun” before settling down, Laraline has shed her peacemaker image and nickname, Dove, and is trying to escape some of the pressure she is under from her parents and probable fiancĂ© to be perfect.  The two come together in more ways than one when they start working together on a project to raise awareness and get the campus to change the sexual assault policy. 

This was a short and quick read that not only has a sexy, steamy romance, but also has a great message and as with previous books in the series raises awareness of important issues on college campuses in an interesting way without being too in your face about it.  It makes you think and can start a dialogue…something that was a problem for these students in the ‘80s is still a problem now, which is a little sad, really.

As for the chemistry between the characters, it was definitely there.  This book felt much steamier and sexier that the other two books to me.  I kind of wish there were more conversational interactions between the two and that the book was a little bit longer, but that’s just me.  And I’d love to know what happened to these characters.  In fact, I’d love to know what happened to all of the New Wave Newsroom series’ characters.  

As with the other books in the series, this one was inspired by a song.  In The Pacifist’s case, it was Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and there is a scene with Laraline where the song comes into play.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book and its characters and hope to read more from Jenny Holiday, whether it is from this series or a new one.

My Rating: 4 Stars

*I received a Digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

***

GIVEAWAY!



Follow the blitz and enter to win!
OMGReads - Review
Fiona Reads and FoodSpots – Spotlight/Excerpt
PBC – Spotlight/Excerpt
Evermore Books – Spotlight/Excerpt
Reese's Reviews - Review
Miss Riki - Review
Bookworm Dee Reads – Spotlight/Excerpt
Tangle Hearts Book Reviews – Spotlight/Excerpt
KeyReadThat - Review
EskieMama Reads – Spotlight/Excerpt
underneath the covers – Spotlight/Excerpt
Books,Dreams,Life – Spotlight/Excerpt
RhiReading - Review
What Is That Book About – Spotlight/Excerpt
Just Books – Spotlight/Excerpt
Becky's Book Bytes – Spotlight/Excerpt
Those Crazy Book Chicks – Spotlight/Excerpt
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Spotlight/Excerpt


Blog Tour: The Blessed Knights by Mary Ting...Review & Giveaway!


So happy to tell you that The Blessed Knights (The Angel Knights Book 3) is out soon!
Keep reading for more on the book and series as well as my review and a giveaway!

About the Book


Eli, Lucia's half-demon love interest, has been stabbed with a true-cross dagger and captured by Cyrus, master of the possessor demons.

The Chosen Knights must work together once again not only to save Eli, but also to decipher a clue to find the second missing page of Jacques de Molay's journal. Meanwhile, Uncle Davin informs Crossroads Divine Elders of the danger ahead and learns there is much more to fear.

Countless children are being taken from all over the world to be turned into demons.

Michael, one of the Divine Elders, has no choice but to intervene. The Chosen Knights track down Mortem, the demon who is the key to finding Cyrus, and learn they must travel deep into the pit of a Hawaiian volcano.

When they astral travel to the past in search of a clue and follow Jacques de Moley to Roselyn Chapel in medieval Scotland, what they find will rewrite history.

Out October 28, 2016
Order this title at these online retailers:

Add THE BLESSED KNIGHTS to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

***

Check out the entire Angel Knights series!


THE ANGEL KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights Book 1)

Michael and Claudia’s decision to move back to Crossroads was to keep their children safe, but they can’t escape who they are. Their children, Zachary and Lucia, were destined to be demon hunters—Venators. From the age they were able to hold a sword, they were trained to become the best and to ensure they would become leaders one day. 

All is peaceful throughout the land until the Fallen and demons’ presences were felt in the between and on Earth. As the Venators investigate these locations, they will quickly learn how dangerous their lives are. Hearts will be broken. Teammates will lose their lives. And they will face obstacles which will test their faith. 

As danger grows, the fear of fallen angels and demons regrouping has the Divine Elders on pins and needles. Now, Zachary and Lucia, along with Uncle Davin, must prepare themselves—mentally and physically—to live on Earth to investigate where the focal point of evil resides before it’s too late.

Order this title at these online retailers:


THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights Book 2)

A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD'tale Magazine

When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.

There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.

Order this title at these online retailers:

***

About the Author


International Bestselling, Award-Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great.
Connect with Mary: 


***


My Review of The Blessed Knights


Title: The Blessed Knights
Author: Mary Ting
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Barclay Publicity

Picking up where The Chosen Knights left off, The Blessed Knights is an exciting addition to this fascinating series, a series that is best read in order to fully appreciate and understand.

As I said this one picks up where the last book ended and reading the review (and blurb) may spoil a few things for you, but I’ll do my best.  In this book, Lucia, an Angel, and her friends and family and searching for and trying to rescue Eli, a half-Demon, who was taken prisoner by Cyrus.  Lucia and Eli have done something that Angels and Demons should never do…they have fallen in love with each other.  So Lucia and the rest of Eli’s friend, The Chosen Knights, characters we have met in previous books are determined to save Eli and destroy their enemy in order to stop him from going through with his evil plan. As they try to save the lives of others, but they face many unexpected obstacles along the way.

Mary Ting has created a fascinating world and characters with this series.  Full of action, characters you will root for, characters you will hate, emotions you’d never expect to feel, and so much more, this book (and series) is so good.  It is a classic good vs. evil story, but told in such an interesting way with relatable characters.  And I still love Uncle Davin.  He adds levity to what could have been a dark story…in fact, the author is really good about that.  She is great at adding a little comic relief to help balance out the dark moments of the story.

I will warn you that this story has a cliffhanger ending which promises another book to come.  While we do get some answers in this book, there are so many questions left unanswered, I can’t wait to read the next book!

My Rating: 4 Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

***


GIVEAWAY!



CELEBRATE THE RELEASE WITH A GIVEAWAY!
1 Grand Prize: $20 Giftcard to Amazon
2 Runner-Ups: Digital Edition of Any Backlist Title from M. Clarke or Mary Ting

Monday, October 24, 2016

Blog Tour: All Her Secrets by Kate Avery Ellison...Review & Giveaway!


If you like thrilling stories with unexpected twists, look no further...
Keep reading to learn more and to enter the giveaway!

About the Book


In this near-future psychological thriller, a wealthy inventor's daughter and a guy from the wrong side of the tracks are entangled in a revenge kidnapping and imprisoned in a mountain cabin to await ransom. They must trust each other and work together if they want to escape, but they're both keeping secrets. And secrets can be deadly.

Title: All Her Secrets
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 9780998103907

Nothing is as it seems in this psychological YA thriller set in a not-too-distant future.

A GIRL WITH SECRETS 

Eighteen-year-old Victoria, the daughter of inventor and visionary-genius Bill Faraday, was almost murdered by a stranger four years ago. She's been trying to forget the incident ever since. 

When Victoria discovers something that might explain why she was brutally attacked, she heads home from college to uncover the truth. Then, she’s kidnapped. 

A GUY FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS 

Sam’s just a poor kid from Toivo, an experimental utopia gone wrong, but he knows who Victoria is as soon as his cousin Craig drags her from the trees. He doesn’t want anything to do with what appears to be a revenge kidnapping, but Craig has a gun and needs someone to take the fall if things go wrong. 

A DESPERATE PLAN TO SURVIVE 

Craig and his buddies imprison Sam and Victoria in an abandoned mountain cabin to await ransom. Putting aside mistrust for tentative friendship, Victoria and Sam conspire to escape together, and the close quarters ignite a startling attraction between them. Then they discover strange tunnels beneath the cabin. And what they find inside the tunnels proves more bizarre. 

With a plan in place to escape, freedom seems within reach. But Sam and Victoria are both keeping secrets about their past.

And secrets can be deadly.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo


About Kate Avery Ellison:


Kate Avery Ellison decided she wanted to be an author when she was five years old, and with hard work, determination, and the support of loved ones along the way, her dreams of telling stories for a living came true in 2011 with her first novel, The Curse Girl, and continued with her Amazon bestselling series The Frost Chronicles and numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. She loves putting a dash of mystery in everything she writes, an ode to her childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes, and she can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever she can.

Kate wishes she could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, she makes her home in humid Atlanta with her husband, son, and two spoiled cats. When she isn’t dreaming up her next novel or holed up writing it down, Kate can be found binging her favorite shows on Netflix, reading on her Kindle, building intricate train track configurations with her toddler, and playing board games with her husband and friends.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon


My Review


Title: All Her Secrets
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Netgalley


All Her Secrets was a very intense and suspenseful read with an ending that I never would have predicted.

I absolutely loved just about everything about this thrilling book.  All Her Secrets is set in the near future in a time where robots have taken over the jobs and duties that humans once performed.  These robots, including pets, are able to learn, imagine, and quite possibly feel thanks to the work of Victoria Faraday’s father in the field of Artificial Intelligence.  But not everyone is thrilled with the creation of the robots and advances made in technology as it has put many people out of work and led to poverty and other issues.  These people include Sam, a poor kid just trying to make ends meet and live his life who soon becomes caught up in his cousin’s illegal schemes.

Victoria and Sam’s worlds collide when he unwittingly becomes an accomplice in her kidnapping.  As the two are locked in a cabin for days awaiting a ransom from her wealthy father, they begin to bond.  With each moment, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen between both these characters and Sam’s cohorts. I felt the uncertainty and fear right up until the shocking conclusion.

If you are worried you are going to get bogged with discussions of technology, don’t…All Her Secrets is more of a psychological thriller than a sci-fi novel.  What at first seems like a futuristic novel with a message about the dangers of technology, becomes so much more as you read further.  To me, it is about human emotions and connections.  This book made me think about the relationships between humans and the thoughts and feelings associated with being human.  Connections and interactions are so important to the characters in this book and help keep them sane and that is so true in real life today for so many of us.

And I really enjoyed the use of alternate POVs the author chose to use.  It was really important for this story in order for the reader to get inside the characters’ heads and understand their thoughts and motivations.  It helped me to connect and understand them better.  But like that title suggests, there were definitely some secrets that are not immediately shared that made me keep turning the page to see what was going to happen as I made a few of my own predictions (I was wrong on a couple of them, by the way).  And there were so many unexpected moments.  It seems like every few pages we learned something new.

Highly enjoyable, All Her Secrets is perfect for those looking for a page-turning thriller with some sci-fi elements.

My Rating:  4 ½ Stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book free in exchange for an honest review.*


GIVEAWAY!

Kate Avery Ellison is offering one (1) lucky winner a $25 Amzon Gift Card and five (5) runner-ups an eCopy of one of her books (winner’s choice)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: