Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Keep It Secret by Olivia Snow ~ Release Day!

I'm reviewing this book very soon so keep an eye out for that! Stoked to read this! 

NOW AVAILABLE

Keep It Secret
by Olivia Snow



**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual content.


After the unexpected death of her father, and her mother's emotional abandonment, Ava Veneziano's life is turned upside down...



She turns to drugs, sex, and alcohol as a way to cope with all the destruction in her life, inconsequence, she flunks a grade and loses touch with her favorite cousin Vanessa.



Five years later, Ava and her mother are reunited with the family they'd lost touch with and they end up moving into their home.



Enter Vanessa Saint John...



Vanessa is unawarely beautiful, with an overbearing and controlling mother. She's never been given the opportunity to have a boyfriend or experience life like a normal seventeen year old girl.



However, all of that changes when her cousin Ava moves in, and she finally gets the attention of Gabriel Mason.



The same boy who's also caught the attention of her beloved cousin.


Get Your Copy Now!


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



Olivia Snow lives in a lovely town in Colorado, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful but highly energetic children that she can barely keep up with. Her day is devoted to chasing after her three monsters, cleaning, cooking and often times tearing out her hair. 


She loves drinking coffee eating chocolate and cheesecake. In her free time, you can catch her reading a steamy book, watching juicy drama filled reality TV or just cuddling with her yummy hubby.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel ~ Blog Tour: #Review & #Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on The Book of Ivy Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours! Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule.


Title: The Book of Ivy
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Author: Amy Engel
Publication date: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen 
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Source: Copy for review 






Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Google Books    



After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president's son - my soon-to-be-husband - and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he's not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy. 

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him... 


    



My hopes for The Book of Ivy were very high, and I'm happy to say the book went above and beyond them. I'm always afraid of becoming sick of dystopian stories, but so far I've been lucky. The world Amy Engel has created is nothing short of intriguing and satisfies my craving for an entertaining and thought-provoking dystopian novel. 

First of all, I loved the themes she weaves in this story - the importance of thinking for oneself and that things are rarely black and white just to name a couple - in and around the characters and their actions. Ivy finds herself questioning more and more all that her father and sister drilled into her head her entire life. Bishop gives her room to find herself and learn how to think for herself, which earned him mega points in my book. He doesn't see her as a weak girl who needs to be saved, and he's right about her. 

The setting is a small town in what was once southern Missouri in the Ozarks area. I liked knowing this because in a lot of dystopians, they're usually vague as to where they take place, and it helps me connect more with the story itself as well as the characters. So I definitely appreciated that info was given. 

Ivy is a girl I felt empathy for because she's forced into an arranged marriage to a stranger, and she's only sixteen. Not only that but she also must face the ever-increasing amount of pressure from her father and sister to do what they tell her to in order to move forward with their plan to take back control of the people. She deals with all of this better than I would have, especially at her age. But the more time she spends with Bishop, the more she begins to realize the world isn't exactly the way her father always told her. 

Bishop is easy to love. He has so many good qualities but is still a realistic character I could connect with. I relished the moments between him and Ivy and could not bear for distance to creep back into their relationship. No instalove and no triangles here, and that was refreshing. The romance is subtle and not overdone at all. 

I found many quotes in The Book of a Ivy that have become favorites of mine, and I'm only sharing two because the rest would give key plot points away, which I definitely don't want to do. This book brought out so many emotions in me and caused me to savor every word, sometimes more than once or even twice. 

"No matter how hard I look, I cannot find the blood on his hands." - Ivy

"I will be the one with blood on my hands, and I don't know if that's something I can ever wash away." - Ivy

I liked the subtle Romeo & Juliet joke Bishop makes when they come across the book in his father's library because Ivy and Bishop in their own way are like a twisted version of the famous star-crossed lovers. Their families hate each other, and I couldn't help but think their story will probably end in tragedy as well. While they didn't choose to be together necessarily, there is passion stirring between them that could blossom into love. 

It pains me that I must wait a year until the next book comes out, lol. Oh, the humanity!! I'm dying to know what's going to happen next. Until then, I'll have to find ways to keep myself occupied - Netflix marathons here I come! 

My Rating:






Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net or @aengelwrites.








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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lennon's Rain (Lennon's Girls #2) by Chris Myers ~ #Review



Title: Lennon's Rain 
Series: Lennon's Girls #2
Author: Chris Myers
Publication date: September 30th 2013
Age Group: New Adult (Sexual content)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Copy provided for an honest review by AToMR Tours






Purchase: Amazon | B&N 



Sometimes in love, you choose wrong...

Eight years ago, Lennon lost his heart to Rain, and suddenly she's back, all grown up and sexy as hell. At a sorority party, he convinces himself that outbidding every other guy for a body shot from Rain is for charity. But he knows better. He doesn't want any guy, except him, tarnishing the memory of the little girl he proposed to in fifth grade.

Jinx loves Lennon and is past ready for him to make his move. With his sexual prowess, she worries why he hasn't made any advances. She fears she is losing him, and the only way to keep him is to overcome her past and give him what he desires. 

Rain knows Lennon is trouble. If she couldn't say no to the gangly boy asking her to skateboard off some roof, how will she refuse Lennon's seductive powers now that he is a man? Rain has many reasons to resist his charm. He has a girlfriend, he's moving to LA with her, and Rain has no intention to march in the long parade of Lennon Tyler conquests.

Now, Lennon must choose. Someone has to lose, and that person could be him. 

***WARNING: This book is New Adult Contemporary Romance and contains sexual content.*** 



~ WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead ~

Everything I loved about Lennon's Jinx was ripped away from me in this book, Lennon's Rain. What the fuck happened to the characters? All of the character development, the time spent getting to know them, and the progress in the storyline *poof* gone. Just like that. I feel like my time has been wasted. I felt as though I was reading about complete strangers - strangers I hated. Sadly, I had to force myself to finish the book.

I'd like to say upfront that my intense dislike of this book has nothing to do with the writing. Myers is a talented and awesome author. This is the fourth book I've read by her, and I'll keep reading her books. Lennon's Rain just didn't work for me, and much of the reason is due to my personal thoughts and beliefs.

"With her past history, she needs to make the first move. With the way she dresses, it's driving me insane. She could at least throw me a bone to gnaw on, but she hasn't. I haven't even gotten to second base, which until now, I'd stopped counting in middle school." 
~ Lennon (talking about Jinx)

Awww, I'm SO sorry this girl was raped by someone whom her mother trusted to take care of her. Someone her mother believed in over her own daughter. I'm SO sorry her fear and trust issues interfere with your sexual needs, because it's all about you and your dick, right? Apparently you think because she won't put out that gives you the right to take a body shot between the double D's (while you still have a girlfriend) of some chick you "proposed" to back in fifth grade.

Of course Jinx is gonna have issues with sex - she's never experienced it in a healthy way. Instead, she's only felt disgust and fear because she was RAPED!!! The thing is, Lennon knew all of this when he began dating her, and instead of working through this with her, he decides to throw it all away for a girl named Rain. Who has Playboy sized "perfect breasts." Woo hoo, good for her.

"Jinx should be here to keep me out of trouble." ~ Lennon 

Nope, not her job. YOU shouldn't go to a topless sorority event without your girlfriend even if it is for charity! EVEN IF JINX DECIDES TO HANG WITH HER FRIENDS THAT NIGHT. It's one night, dude. It's totally okay for her to want to hang with her besties once in a while.

"Susan digs her nails into my arm. 'Lennon. No.'
Clive pulls her back. 'Don't interfere. That's Rain. He's waited a long time for this.'"

Um, what?? Don't hold Lennon back even though this is going to devastate Jinx? Clive pissed me off in this book. Even Currie did.

Rain and her "Devil Girl"? I wanted them both to disappear. For good. I never connected to Rain and could care less about her story. I'm supposed to believe that because Lennon "proposed" to her when they were in fifth grade, she's supposed to be and has always been the love of his life? No. Just...no. She was mentioned in passing in the last book! He would've been pining away for her instead of starting up a relationship with Jinx.


And why does Currie start hating Jinx all of a sudden? That made no sense to me. She was concerned for her and helped her along with Lennon the night Jinx's stepfather attacked her. Okay, they don't have to always get along, but Currie was like, ditch this girl. Jinx stayed by Lennon's side the entire time Currie was in the hospital. Doesn't Currie know that?


Denage wasn't herself, either. She reneged on her agreement with Lennon concerning Currie's safety. I want it to be as though this book never happened. The characters were completely rewritten, and I don't understand why. 


I felt terrible for Jinx - I was all for Jinx and Lennon to be together, but after everything he has done, I'm as anti-Lennon as I can be. I can't stand the way cheating was handled in this book. My blood was boiling. I've never wanted to thrown my Kindle across the room, but I did this time. (Felt like it, not actually went through with it).


I'm going into book three as though this one never happened.



My Rating:




~ Book One ~



Click here to read my 5 star review of book one!


~ Book Three ~

 





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Family Heir: A Bigfoot Novel by Sara M. Drake ~ Blog Tour: #Review & #Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Family Heir Blog Tour hosted by CBB Book Promotions. Click here to follow along with the blog tour.  



Title: Family Heir: A Bigfoot Novel
Author: Sara M. Drake
Publication date: May 30th 2014 
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Copy for review






Purchase: Amazon | B&N



Kelley longed for a normal life - to go to college, to have normal friends, and to work a nice desk job. When an unknown predator starts a killing spree, she finds herself drug back into a world that includes vampires, werewolves, and her ex-husband. Kelley agrees to lead the small team to find the murderer - which consists of one uncommunicative ex-hubbie and an inexperienced federal agent. Only shots in the night prove that Kelley has become a target and her training as a Hunter does nothing to prepare her for being hunted. 



Family Heir is a really cool urban fantasy novel that left me craving more. The cover drew me to reading the synopsis, sounding like a book I'd love - and I was right! The writing was awesome, the world building was creative, and the characters were a LOT of fun to read about.  

Kelley is on a date when her ex, Troy, comes storming in to find her. They're needed to hunt down a killer. Attacks are increasing in frequency, and they're gory. Innocent people are being killed, even very young children. Kelley and Troy are divorced, but you don't find out why for quite a while. I was dying to know why and actually found myself wanting them to get back together when I didn't know why they split up in the first place. 

In their world, scientists have confirmed the existence of creatures such as vampires and werewolves. The vampires and werewolves don't trust the government as much as they do the Families of Hunters spread out around the world. They work in conjunction with the Hunters to make sure any dangerous rogues are arrested or even killed if necessary. There was even mention of two mermen who had to be killed because they were raping and killing tourists. *shivers*

Kelley and Troy are Hunters, and their Family is based not far from where they currently live in Wyoming. They've trained as partners since they were kids. Even though they're now divorced, Troy refuses to work alone or with anyone but Kelley, which led me to start thinking he might not have wanted the marriage to end. I was looking forward to seeing how they work together and also with the addition of a newbie federal agent (Brent) whom Kelley thinks is cute and loves making him blush furiously. 

Kelley is a character I loved instantly. She's witty, intelligent, and fierce when she needs to be. Troy is one of the most interesting characters I've read about - he speaks in one to two words at a time. That's it! But Kelley knows him so well she can fill in the blanks for others who don't know what he's talking about. 

With everything Family Heir has going on - the interesting dynamic between Kelley, Troy, and Brent unfolding, the tension with the unlikely trio hunting down the killer, the mystery of why Kelley and Troy divorced, and the reaction Kelley has to getting sucked back into the world of werewolves and vampires that she was trying to leave behind - there's never a dull moment in this novel. There was so much I wanted to find out and had a wild ride to get there, which I'd take again any day. I highly recommend this book to fans of Urban Fantasy or to anyone who wants to escape with some really awesome characters into a suspenseful story.   


My Rating:






Sara developed her book addiction as a young child. Her concerned parents attempted an intervention and cut off her supply. These desperate times called for desperate measures forcing her to write her own stories. Since a human being cannot live on books alone, she has worked as a stage hand, care giver, active duty Air Force, college instructor, mental health counselor, and civil servant on the theory that more pay equals more books. Outside of that, she spends time developing a reputation as a crazy cat lady and irritating introvert. 










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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton ~ Blog Tour: #Review & #Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Shadows on Snow Blog Tour hosted by RBTL World of Books Blog Tours! Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 


Title: Shadows on Snow
Author: Starla Huchton
Genre: Fantasy/YA
Publisher: Self Published
Publication date: November 3rd 2014
Available Formats: eBook & Paperback
Source: Copy for review 






Purchase: Amazon | B&N  



Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe. 

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death. 

Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left. 



When I saw that Starla Huchton had another book up for review, I automatically signed up didn't need to know anything else about it, not even the synopsis. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but after reading the first three books in her Evolution series which I'm now obsessed with, she's become an author on my auto-read/auto-buy list. 

Starla's writing is magical, inventive, and unique. It transports you to places you didn't even know you wanted to go, and once you get there, you don't want to leave. Her novel Shadows on Snow is no different as a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale. I describe the novel as a re-imagining rather than a retelling because while elements of Snow White are present, Shadows on Snow is quite different and stands on its own. 

First of all, Snow White is male (Prince Leopold) instead of female! Prince Leopold is born to parents who had tried to have children for a long time. When he's born, they rejoice over their miracle baby, and he's described as having an almost ethereal and otherworldly beauty and grace surrounding him. Everyone in the kingdom instantly loves him. He's the personification of all that is good and positive in the world.  

The story is told in first person not from Prince Leopold's POV but from the POV of a boy working in the stables. Prince Leopold's father has died, and his mother is gravely ill. The boy from the stables is tasked with finding out why the Queen is so ill. This is really all I can say to give you an idea of how Shadows on Snow begins because anything more and I risk giving away too much. And I definitely don't want to ruin any of the surprises coming your way!  

There's so much awesomeness in this story! It's full of magic, romance, suspense, and hope. There are some dark times, but I kept holding onto the hope that everything would turn out okay. I desperately wanted them to turn out okay! It's amazing to me how the same author can create completely different characters and completely different worlds - a testament to the talent of Starla Huchton. It's my mission to read every book she has written and will write. 

I had sky high hopes for Shadows on Snow - the title, the cover, the synopsis, the author, and the promise of great writing heightened my anticipation of starting this book. I'm so glad I'm one of the first to read it because now I can recommend this novel as well as Starla's Evolution series. Shadows on Snow needs to be on your TBR today!      


My Rating:






A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, The Dreamer's Thread, was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance Endure series in 2013. All three books of the Evolution series, a New Adult Superhero Romance series, were released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, Master of Myth (the Antigone's Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers' contest, The Sandy, in 2012. Shadows on Snow, a gender-flipped retelling of Snow White, releases in November 2014.

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at DesignedByStarla.com




 Google+ | Goodreads     


Other Works by Starla AKA S.A.

Evolution Series

The Endure Series
Maven #1
Nemesis #2
Progeny #3
Paradigm #4 (WIP)

The Antigone's Wrath Series
Master of Machines #2 (WIP)

Stand Alones

Shadows on Snow (Coming this Fall) 






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