Friday, January 30, 2015

Today's Reading: Blurred Lines

I am down with a stomach bug. Boo hiss. But the silver lining is I declared it a reading day! Here's what's on tap: 

Blurred Lines by Jen McLaughlin

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tonight's Reading Material: Snow Day = All Night Readathon

Snow Day tomorrow! Whoooo hoooo!!! Breaking out in my party dance. So since sleep is optional when books are available, I have picked three to plow through. Here's my late night reading material: just a little light reading.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

4.5 stars for #Nerd by Cambria Hebert


#Nerd (Hashtag,#1)
By: Cambria Hebert
Published: November 1, 2014
Genre: NA, College, Sports, Contemporary Romance, Grief

Rating: 4.5 stars 

DESCRIPTION:
Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together…
In more ways than one.

She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn’t even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo’s relationship.
But that’s about to change.

It starts with a dare. 
An initiation.
A challenge.

Quickly, it turns into more. But when you’re a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.

Stick to your circle.

And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.

REVIEW:
#CanIHaveAMoment #ExperiencingGirlCrush
#ThisBookWasFreakingFabulous

This was great, unique spin on a contemporary sports romance. The use of hashtags and the BuzzFeed really added colorful flavor and set the stage for each chapter. 

I was laughing and crying and wanting to bash certain characters over the head. That's a great thing. You want that connection and pull. Hebert did a wonderful job getting into the minds of her characters. 

Another thing I really enjoyed was how she took a genre that is very saturated and carved a unique storyline that was compelling. 

I did notice a few football terminology errors (because I do like football and my husband is obsessed... I MEAN, OBSESSED with football) so I knew some terms were incorrect, and there were a couple grammatical errors I spotted. But those were minor and the flow and pitch were purring along as smooth as Romeo's Mustang.

There was great emotion and character development. I really didn't like Romeo at first, but he changed and grew on me. Rimmel was fantastic. ***Having a girl crush at the moment.*** What a tough cookie. I enjoyed getting into her head, and Hebert did a fantastic job pacing that unveiling. She didn't lay the characters bare, but slowly showcased new aspects.

Great job.

Monday, January 19, 2015

5 stars: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol


This is a snack size review. I'll post a meatier revision later. I just wanted to scream the delicious yumminess of this book to you. Fan-flipping-tastic! Can you see me waving Trey's #1 fan foam finger wildly? Who is this Trey you ask? Oh my friends... He is my new book boyfriend. Get this book and fall in love with this amazing story and cast of characters.

SALE! Alienated by Melissa Landers for 99 Cents!


Get your copy before this deal ships out! 
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

2.7 stars to The Conspiracy of Us


The Conspiracy of Us (Untitled, #1)
By: Maggie Hall
Published: January 13, 2015

I'm sorry to say that this book did not live up to my expectations. I'm torn between giving it 2.5 to 3 stars. The idea of the book reminded me of the National Treasure movie, so it didn't seem very original to me. I felt that the characters were flat and weren't well defined. There wasn't any real character development. The story seemed rushed and disjointed. However, the author was adapt descriptive wise and provided a somewhat emotional pull. I think a good, hard visit with the editor and another draft round or two and this would be stellar. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review Snack Size: 5 stars for Never Never


Never Never (Never Never #1)
By: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Published: January 7, 2015
5 stars

I will be publishing a full length review, but as I literally just finished the book my thoughts screamed to be announced. My brain is fried. I feel like I just stepped off the tilt-a-whirl after 10 consecutive rides. That was fan-flipping-tastic! Wow, I feel like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. Holy crap on a cracker.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAYS! Even In Death by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie - A collection of freakishly great short stories!

I am so proud and honored to be a part of the Even In Death Book Blast! My wonderful friend, Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie is a fantastic author and I can't wait to share my review with you! At the bottom of the post there are TWO FANTASTIC GIVEAWAYS! 


 

Title: Even In Death: A Short Story Collection
Author: Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

Published: August 4th, 2014 
Word Count: approx. 40,000
Genre: Short Story
Age Recommendation: 15+

Synopsis
Even In Death, a collection of ten short stories, explores the thin line between love and hate; extreme emotions even death cannot destroy.

Julie wants nothing more than to receive a flower bouquet from the hometown veterinarian. However, in “A Flower Story,” flowers are delivered long after a person is alive to smell them.

After purchasing their dream home, Sara and David feel truly blessed. Unfortunately, the couple soon discovers they’ve inherited a wicked curse. In fact, in “What’s Really There,” the former residents’ spirits refuse to move on.

In the title story, on the anniversary of his fiancés’ death, Mark realizes that he can see and communicate with spirits, including Amy’s. Can Mark and Amy’s love survive even in death?

“A Flower Story,” “What’s Really There,” and “Even In Death,” as well as the other seven stories in the collection are rife with emotion that will linger well after the last page.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie lives in Warrenton, Virginia with her husband, two cats, and three dachshunds. She’s a middle school counselor, graduate student at Longwood University, (pursuing a degree in School Library Media) blogger, short story and Young Adult novel writer. When she’s not working, she’s traveling or dreaming of traveling. She’s been on several cross country road trips with her mom. In fact, Hawaii and Alaska are the only states she hasn’t been to.



EXCERPT
When Angelica adjusts her sunglasses, Olivia notices her best friend’s black eye.
“Oh, sweetie, what happened?” Olivia reaches across the sticky table for Angelica’s hands but she moves them quickly; as if Olivia’s touch is a flame that will burn her beyond recognition.
Angelica chews on her bottom lip. “Nothing.”
“I’m worried about you.”
“There’s nothing to worry about, Olivia.” She separates the ‘O’ from the ‘livia.’
A spunky orange haired waitress arrives at their table. Her name tag reads “Bad Susie” with a little devil sticker next to it. “Can I take your order?”
“Plain coffee, please,” Olivia says.
“Same here,” Angelica says.
Susie places a hand on her hip. “You sure you don’t want pancakes? Eggs and toast?”
They shake their heads.
Bad Susie tilts her head, focusing on Angelica. “You’re worth so much more.”
“What?” Angelica winces.
“You’re wearing sunglasses indoors, long sleeves and jeans, and it’s like eighty degrees outside. And your makeup is only partially covering your bruises. Obviously your boyfriend is a beater. Just know you’re worth more than that.” Before Angelica has a chance to respond, Susie moves to the next table.

GIVEAWAY!!
Giveaway Details
There is a tour wide giveaway.  Prizes include the following:
$10 Amazon GC (INT) and print copy of Even in Death (US)


RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET LINK

REVIEW
I have known Kristy for several years now, and I must say I had no idea just how dark she could write! This was a great reminder never to piss her off... hahaha... she was knocking off characters left and right! But let's get down to the truth of it. This was really spectacular writing. Ten short stories all tucked together in a frighteningly lovely package. 

One thing that immediately struck my mind while reading was her masterful use of psychology. As a school counselor, she has probably dealt with a great many issues, but Kristy nailed the psychotic and paranoid personas perfectly. Kind of freaked me out, actually ;)

These stories stretch across many issues and topics. From different mental disorders to abuse. From Paranormal to serendipity. From grief to recovery. It was a harmonious cornucopia of stories that blended into one delicious read. A Flower Story was incredibly moving. It forced me stop to absorb the harshness and ironic turn of events. A few stories made me seriously cringe, shudder and frankly weirded out. A Fine Winter Day and Motivator were delectably bizarre and I enjoyed both entire stories. What Caught My Senses had my mind flashing images of Stephen King movies. 

Two stories really stuck out to me. Kayanna Pepper and Even In Death. For Kayanna Pepper, it may be the subject matter (art) but the overall story was vivid and authentic. It flowed with purpose and left me a very satisfied reader at the finale. Dealing with tragedy is always tough. Everybody handles it uniquely. It can change our whole course of life and driving passions... or at least damper them for a while. This was a great example of overcoming the past and releasing the chains that bind people to guilt.  Even In Death was tragic. As in... break out the tissues. Shakespeare would love the whole thing... except the ending. The paranormal was not in your face but just part of the story, not the style. I love how Kristy used so many types of loss in just this one story. Not only the kinds of loved ones gone, but careers, families, marriages, entire futures. She created a story that was emotionally tough to read, but very moving at the end.

Bravo my friend, bravo. Well Done! I encourage everyone, especially those who love thrillers or gritty realism to hit Amazon today!


Friday, August 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan. This book completely disintegrated my mind!


Reason to Breathe (The Breathing Series #1)
BY: Rebecca Donovan

PUBLISHED: June 4, 2013 by Skyscrape 
GENRES: YA • Contemporary Fiction • Gritty Realism • Abuse • High School • Drama • Romance • Sports
READ: JUNE 2014 (softcover)



OVERVIEW:
USA Today Bestselling Novel
"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide. 

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.

•••
REVIEW:
Have you ever read a book that completely blew your mind? 
As in complete and utter melt down. 
Empty
black
nothingness...
inside your cranium. 

That was my shattered mind after reading this book. I literally had trouble functioning hours after I finished. Holy Mind Destruction. And I LOVED it. I absolutely loved every freaking syllable of this book.


This was beyond brilliant. This was so jammed pack with luscious story lines, complicated situations, moving character development and horrific details. The seriousness, the depth and the severe biting nature of the scenes were overwhelming.


Hallelujah! The angels were singing. My shoulders relaxed and I breathed deeply in that satisfied reader hangover mode. Having a giddy flashback moment... OK.. onward to the characters. My personal favorite was Sara, the BFF of Emma. She reminded me of Tarzan's best friend with her tenaciousness, her boldness, fierce loyalty and dazzling personality.


I could not help but fall in love with Evan. (Sigh) I mean... really. Who wouldn't. But there was a section in the book where he made my jaw drop and it took about thirty minutes to wire it shut. Scrumptious plot twist, oh yay!



The main character was Emma, a girl who shut everyone but Sara completely out of her life. She was so believable. Her emotions gutted me. The sheer determination, gumption and self control she had left me gobsmacked. I wanted to shake her, warn her, hug her and smother her in bubble wrap and take her home with me. All at the same time. 

Rebecca was able to wrench my heart from my chest with a dull spork and then carved it into mince meat with a blender. Some authors can make you feel. A precious few can literally pull a Potter move and suck you into the book and drop you smack dab into the middle of what was written, like you are living it. She is one of them.

For a majority of this book, I felt like I was watching a train wreck about to happen. You know... the slow motion, the inability to get their attention... the absolute horror that you know you'll see but you can't stop it from happening. I literally had to put the book down to wipe the sweat off my hands.


Rebecca masterfully incorporated everything a reader could want into one book. It was a smorgasbord of delicious writing ingredients, all incorporated and baked to delectable perfection. It was tension filled, drama infused, twisted, rich, raw, organic and believable. 

I have to break out the minions to truly express my now obsessive compulsive addiction to this series. Rebecca created a gem among the many CF books out there with the amount of complexity, harsh dynamics and impact.


Bravo, Rebecca. Bravo. 


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Tonight's Reading Material

Guess what came in the mail today? Oh yeah. That's right! ON THE FENCE by Kasie West! No sleep tonight, baby.... 




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Advanced Copy of CHASING FREEDOM by Nicola S. Dorrington

CHASING FREEDOM 
BY: Nicola S. Dorrington


EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2014
Ebook Format

GENRES: YA • British • Supernatural • Werewolves • Vampires • Shapeshifters • Witches • Mind Readers & Clarvoyant • Action • Suspense • Mystery • Good vs Evil • Modern Day • Romance

 (technically 4.7)

NOTE: I received an ARC in return for an honest review.

BOOK OVERVIEW:
Chase Finn is being hunted, and if he ever stops running he’s going to end up dead.

It doesn’t matter that he’s only seventeen. It doesn’t matter that just a few weeks ago he was a normal teenager. All that matters is that he is a threat, and the Agents tracking him will stop at nothing to see him neutralised.

With the line between friends and enemies blurring, Chase discovers he is just a pawn in the middle of a war that’s lasted for centuries, but he isn’t going to let himself be used any longer.

Soon both sides of the war are going to learn that the most important thing about Chase Finn isn’t that he’s a werewolf, it’s that he’ll sacrifice everything, even his own freedom, for the people he loves.

• • • • • • • • • • • 
MAMA'S REVIEW:

Mmmmm.... This was a yummy read. Nicola created yet another British based novel that was a delight. I must say, this really fits the bill for someone looking for a true YA novel. The romance is light and very age appropriate. 



I just want to cut to the chase. (Hahahaha... I HAD to do that!) A gorgeous, rugby playing, British accented Werewolf who needs someone to be there for him? Yes please! Sign me up!


Nicola has a very unique style of writing that I quite enjoy. I loved how she took so many different character types and melded them into one cohesive storyline that worked. The characters meshed well and I thought (apart from Chase) that the secondary characters really shone.

As for the romance (rolling up sleeves)... it was organic, natural and well paced. Instant attraction, yes. But no insta-love. YAY! The crowd roars!!! It couldn't help but be reminded of the Beauty and the Beast kiss while reading it. Chase is this big, beast who's beautiful inside and out. Vix is the quite, delicate yet strong and determined brown haired beauty. SIGH. Will they fall in love? Will they ever kiss? HA! No spoilers here my friends! ;) (EVIL GRIN)


There are a host of other characters in the book that I thought fell into the lame duck category. You know the types: angst ridden, masochistic, guilt ridden and frozen with doubt. Will they get back on that horse or are the doomed to stay locked up in the prison of their own making?


I find that the storyline, though paranormal is very rateable. People go through all kinds of changes and sometimes those closest to us can deal with it, and sometimes they can't. How do we handle rejection and how do we process unexpected detours in life? What if you had your whole life mapped out in front of you and then BAM! something happens. You're whole life plan is out the window. What do you do?

There were a few grammatical housekeeping items I saw that needed to be polished up early in the book but overall I felt the writing was excellent. British life fascinates me and I love to read from that point of view. Character development is a big point for me. She subtly but dramatically molded each personality throughout the story. I remember reading a line saying to myself, "Wow, when did they grow up?" That kind of finesse is hard to accomplish.

Nicola had quite a bit of tension and drama throughout the book. A couple of scenes had me reaching for tissues or freaking out. You always know if a book is a good one if it pulls emotional responses out of you. 


This isn't listed as a series but I really, really, REALLY hope Nicola adds to the story. There was a MIGHTY big cliff hanger that has me dangling and it is a moral imperative that I find out what happens! So Nicola, (I know you're reading this) PLEASE put me out of my misery and tell me there are more installments coming!! Also, I must say I love the cover graphic with the moon, trees and model! Love it. LOOOOOOVVVEEE it!!

I urge you guys to go get a copy and read it today! Well done my friend!