Reviews

Taken Book Review & Music Playlist + Giveaway!

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Title: TAKEN (Breaking the Darkness, #1)
 
Author: Felicia Starr
Expected Release Date: November 11, 2013
Genre: Fiction | YA | Paranormal
 

Opening her eyes to an imposing prison of complete darkness, Kasha is accused of possessing powers and abilities she had no previous knowledge of until the moment she comes face to face with herself while meditating. Haunted by memories strung together by lies and deceit, she soon discovers that maybe her beloved grandmother kept a few secrets she had not been aware of.

 Secrets that could be her salvation… or her undoing.As she struggles to control her newfound powers, only time will tell if they will be enough to help her decipher who has imprisoned her or what they want from her. She must search for the answers and the freedom she so desperately desires. Could a handsome guy whom vows to help her get away prove to be the man of her dreams… or perhaps her worst nightmare?




NOT KNOWING WHO TO TRUST, SHE MUST FIND A WAY TO ESCAPE BEFORE SHE PAYS THE ULTIMATE PRICE AND FINDS HERSELF TAKEN BY THE DARKNESS.
 

You must betray your heart and walk amongst the darkness in order to find the truest light.

 
 

My Review

 
First, I should admit that I almost forgot about this review and almost couldn’t make this post. But I’m so happy I proved myself wrong and finished this book in time to write this book. This was such an amazing read and worthy of any and all your shelves. Felicia Starr (awesome name btw) did such an amazing job throwing you into such a devistatingly nail biting story. The characters were so captivating and the scenes so enthralling. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read something like this before. Sure I’ve read books on astral projection and enjoyed it fully but this took all that to a new level of enjoyment.
 
 
In a quick breakdown of this. I will say that I was a bit frustrated with the begining of this story as it focuses on the darkness surrounding the main character Kasha, literal darkness I mean not the hypothetical kind. But I enjoyed the connection the author forged between the main character and her late grandmother, that I kept reading and it was so enjoyable once you get down to the meat of the story. i admit that there is alot that is predictable in this story but Ms. Starr did such a stand up job delivering those scenerios I was just a shocked as the characters. I loved Graven, he is so swoon worthy and early this year I was asked who was my book boyfriend and I had responded that this year I was unfortunately single… I recant and say Graven hands down! Kaden made me nervous as did Phalea but regardless, I enjoyed their characters individually and for Ziona is worth she is a pretty kick butt villian. I put her up there with my all time favorite villian Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty, she was just a lot more modern, what with her killer wardrobe and all. I am completely enthralled with this story and I can’t wait for the next in the series.
 
 
 
Also. has anyone else noticed how awesome this cover is! I can’t stop looking at it. I have to have it in paperback like now! Its just mystically beautiful ❤ Keep reading for a sneak peak into this amazing story and see the playlist.
 
 
 http://grooveshark.com/playlist/TAKEN/92820228
 

A Note from the Author:

I did not listen to a specific play list while I wrote Taken. Sometimes I needed to write in the dark and be with the silence or what we think of as silence. I had to really heighten my hearing and tune in to what the darkness sounded like.

When I had to write or edit during the day, I would often plug in and listen to Pandora. This is a playlist of a hand full of songs that I either found myself listening to or that resinated with time and the story.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

                                                                                                          

Without the sun and moon to guide my inner clock, there was really no way for me to
distinguish how many nights or days had passed. The darkness was different from any I had experienced before. My eyes could not quite adjust.
 

Although I had a real bed and a partial bath with a toilet and small wash sink, there was no sense of comfort. What seemed to be the only entrance was   sealed so tight that no light seeped in from the perimeter. There were no windows; the walls were cold and barren. My hands explored my surroundings, yet I could not even find an outlet or light switch.
 

I tried to escape my fears by focusing on remembering less stressful times, most of which were with Gram. I replayed the past in my head, hoping that somewhere hidden in those memories might be a clue as to what happened and how I ended up in the dark.
 

When my fear and confusion subsided enough, I willed myself to sleep. It was my only escape from the heaviness the darkness imposed upon me. This didn’t help my capacity to estimate the length of my imprisonment. I didn’t know how long or how often I drifted off to sleep. There were moments I lay there struggling to determine if my eyes were open or closed.
 

One would think the quiet would be soothing, only it amplified every little thing. I realized there was no true stillness. I could envision the flecks of dust floating through the air, crashing into the floor like pellets of hail on a summer day. The anticipation of hearing footsteps approaching my room sent continuous chills up my spine with every little noise the silence allowed.
 

There was something about the smell in the air and the chill of the walls and floor that led me to believe I was still somewhere in the desert. The lack of moisture in the atmosphere left my mouth sticky and dry. Being dehydrated from lack of fluids wasn’t helping. I wasn’t sure if the faucet water was safe to drink.
 
The pains in my stomach reminded me how much I longed for a veggie-filled pita with hummus and feta cheese. My mouth watered at the thought of a guilt-filled bag of Doritos. I should have been grateful I wasn’t completely being starved in there. I don’t know how or when, but food did appear in my room from time to time—and I use the term food loosely. A couple of crackers or a piece of jerky doesn’t really constitute food to me. I had to take what I could since I still didn’t have a clue where I was, who was keeping me, or why.

Since Gram died, while I was away at college, there really wasn’t a home to go back to. I decided to take the small amount of money she left me and put most of it in the bank. I’d just moved to Santa Fe and
prepaid a year’s rent for a studio-sized house on a small side street. Santa Fe was appealing because it was close to the last place Gram lived, La Cienega, just outside the city limits. The sad thing is, without employment and friends or family in the new city, no one would miss me.
 

At this realization, my heart grew heavier. Although I could feel the burn in my throat, threatening the shower of tears, I choked it back. Tears wouldn’t fight off the shadows. Appearing resilient would help me keep up my strength.
 

I contemplated screaming out, demanding an answer as to why I was there. Trepidation brought that action to a silent halt. I didn’t want to face the potential terrors that stalked the future. I watched enough crime television shows to know how much worse this could get. I counted on my silence as my best defense.
 
I continued to make desperate attempts at feeling around the walls that encased me. Pressing my face against the cold surfaces, I struggled to hear a trace of someone, anyone, only my ears were denied. Could it be I was truly alone in this unwarranted exile? Perhaps this was it; in the end the darkness would consume me.

I dropped to my knees at the center of my prison. I could feel the surge of sadness and anger coursing through my body. My core heated and it felt as though my blood was on fire. I acknowledged each pore of my skin as the fine hairs stood at attention from the vibration that shook my extremities. With my teeth clenched and my eyes pressed shut, I tried to regain my breath and focus on Gram.
 

In a whisper, I called out to her. “Gram… Gram, I know you are out there watching over me. I just wish I could hear your voice.”
I continued to speak to her in my head. As much as I always wished something exciting would happen to me, being incarcerated in this godforsaken dark box wasn’t at all what I had in mind.

As I looked down toward the amulet resting on my chest, my fingers encased the charm. I closed my eyes, and memories of the time my grandmother draped it around my neck flocked to the forefront.

It was the summer I turned sixteen. Gram and I took a road trip to the Painted Desert, one of our favorite places to visit. I loved being surrounded by mountains made of rainbows of rock. Some people referred to this location as the “badlands.” When I was there, though, I felt filled with a unique sense of lightness that almost lifted me off my feet. Being there was effortless.
 

I could walk for hours, soaking in the beauty and freshness of the landscape. I felt connected, not necessarily to anything in particular; I just felt at one with nature. It was like the spirit of the earth moved through me. Even when I was alone on a trail, I never felt lonesome.

The day Gram gave me this necklace, it was as if the heavens had opened up and dumped colors all around us. The sun sank past the painted-rock walls that bordered our location. The sky swelled with layers of purple, pink, orange, and even a touch of gold at the tips of the earth. Gram always knew how to pick just the right moment and location to make a special occasion feel magical.
 

“Kasha, you are becoming a strong and beautiful young woman. The women in our family have always had a special bond with one another. You must always remember, even when we’re not together, we’re a part of each other, linked always.”
 

I knew part of what she was being at had to do with my mother. It had been many years since I saw her last, but now was neither the time nor place to start thinking about that. Squeezing the pendant in my hand, a giant, slow breath helped push her out of my head, for now.
 

Gazing back down at my necklace, I pretended to make out more than the silhouette in the darkness. In my mind, I could see the pentagonal piece of petrified wood encased in silver. The pie-shaped stones enhanced each point of the rounded pentacle. Beautifully etched floral designs in the metal surrounded the stones. A remnant of something engraved on the rear side was almost visible, but it had worn down long before I took possession. If only I could make out what had been there; I often fantasized about what it might have said.
 

I wasn’t sure if there was any significance to the markings, but they looked ancient. Maybe it once belonged to an Egyptian pharaoh or a Celtic princess. Too bad I never took the time to ask Gram if she knew the history of this piece. It would have been interesting to know to whom it had belonged.
 

“You have an intensity about you that is unrivaled. Keep this with you at all times. You will find it will keep you grounded and connected to what is important.”
 

Gram always said weird stuff like that. I’d gotten used to it and stopped trying to figure out if her comments had hidden meanings. As a kid I would get embarrassed when she talked like that in front of other people. I saw the way they looked at her, probably thinking, What a shame that beautiful woman is so crazy. It was that quirkiness I grew to love most about her when I became a young adult.
 

I guess Gram was at least a little bit right about this amulet. Holding it brought thoughts of her to me. It seemed to cool me down and calm my nerves. At the same time, it warmed me and gave me comfort. A brief moment of peace helped subdue the constant fear and avoid the panic that could set in at any moment.


 

 
 
 
 
 
December 9th – Angela at I Feel the Need, the Need to Read– Review, Top 10

December 9th – Kelly atKelly P’s Blog – Spotlight/Excerpt

December 9th – Cherry at Cherry Mischievous – Guest Post

December 9th – Chemistry at Books 2 Chocolates – Author Interview

10th – Taneesha at Kaidan’s Seduction– Review

December 10th – Diana Ramsey at Offbeat Vagabond – Spotlight

December 10th – Brianna at abookandalattee – Review

December 11th – Jess at Jess Resides Here – GP & Playlist

December 11th – Taneesha at A Diary Of A Book Addict – Review

December 11th – Laurie at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Top 10 List

December 11th – Crystal at Book Worms and Couch Potatoes – Review/Interview

December 12th – Kim atLittle Red’s Book Reviews– Review/Playlist

December 12th – Kendall at Book Crazy – Review

December 12thRavenz Reviews – Review

December 12thalwaysjoart – Top Ten/Playlist

December 13th – Tiffany at Painted Words – Review/Playlist

December 13th – Adrian atAdrian J. Smith – Top Ten List/Other

December 13thKnock Your Books Off – Review

December 16thOzero – Review

December 16thPage Flipperz – Top Ten/Guest Post

December 16thUrban Fantasy Investigations – Top Ten/Guest Post
 
 
December 17th – Sarah at Literary Meanderings– Interview/Top Ten List

December 17thI Heart Books – Guest post

December 17th – abookandalattee – Review

December 18th – Our New Generation for Reading – Spotlight

December 18th – Becca at Becca the Bibliophile – Top Ten/Playlist

December 19th – Good Choice Reading – Review

December 19th – Katelyn – Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands – Playlist

December 20th – Tiffany at Bookish – Review

December 20th – Jayne at Fiction_TheNewReality – Review/Interview

December 20th – Kelly at Lisa’s Book Lair– Review/Playlist

December 20thScorpio’s Tantalizing Teasers – Review
 
December 20thMiscellaneous Thoughts of a Bookaholic – Review 

 
 


Author Felicia Starr lives five miles from her favorite Jersey Shore destination with her amazingly supportive family.  She loves to spend time creating special memories with her husband and two young boys.
 
Everyone expected her first publication to be a cookbook, but her love for writing has surpassed her love for cooking.

 Felicia graduated magna cum laude from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a post baccalaureate in elementary education. 

She is a licensed real estate sales person, a certified yoga instructor, and most importantly, a stay-at-home mom.  

 


  Twitter | Facebook | GR Website
 
 
 
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Dragon Fire Review + Giveaway

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Dragon Fire

(Book #1)

Dina von Lowenkraft


Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 5, 2013 (ebook)
December 15, 2013 (paperback)
Publisher: Twilight Times Books

ISBN: 978-1606192917

ASIN: B00ECNEZ6G

Pages: 353

Goodreads Rating:  4.29
My Rating: 4.5

Follow the tour HERE 

Book Description:

Some choices are hard to live with.

But some choices will kill you.

When seventeen-year-old Anna first meets Rakan in her hometown north of the Arctic Circle, she is attracted to the pulsing energy that surrounds him. Unaware that he is a shapeshifting dragon, Anna is drawn into a murderous cycle of revenge that pits Rakan and his clan against her best friend June.

Torn between his forbidden relationship with Anna, punishable by death, and restoring his family’s honor by killing June, Rakan must decide what is right. And what is worth living – or dying – for.

My Take On The Book:

Wow! I really enjoyed this book, more than I expected to. To be honest, I was a bit lost at first while reading this, there is a lot of back story and I got lost in translation. I felt like there was more to the story and we as readers might have just been plopped into it. The writing style was also different, between the abrupt POV changes and the lingo you can find yourself confused if you don’t slow down.

But fear not, once you get into the swing of things, it’s easy to follow and all is answered with time and patience. And this intriguing book is worth the wait! It’s a beautiful story of love, loss and betrayal.

The Great (Pros):

 

  • Mythology. I loved the lavish descriptions, the dragon mythology and the different types of dragons. They were woven together so perfectly and serve to place you into the beautiful a mysterious world. I also happened to love the non-dragon beings (I can’t delve into that, it would totally ruin the mystery)
  • Romance. While it was there and helped to drive the story onwards, it was written in a way that wasn’t overbearing or overindulgent. I loved Anna and Rakan/Pemba! They were well matched I also loved the romance between Dvara/Dawa and T’eng Sten/Torsten there was a lot of unbridled passion there.
  • Mystery and Intrigue. One of the reasons I kept turning the page was my need to know what the hell was going on.
  •  The Cover.It’s just so darn beautiful. It’s exactly how I pictured Anna as I read this.
  •  The Ending.While it falls a bit on the predictable side, it was done well and it answers most of your questions.

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

 

  • The Ending. Lol I know I have this as a pro but it is also a con. While many answers were given at the end of this story…You get a whole new lot of questions and a few lingering ones. This book also ends in an open ended fashion. It’s set up with the intent of a sequel BUT nowhere does it say this is a series, a duology or a trilogy.
  •  Ingrid. Anna’s mom. She just rubbed me the wrong way. I hated reading about her, and more to the point I hate writing about her. I didn’t like how she treated Anna or how she revered her slimy boyfriend Ulf. She doesn’t come off as a loving mother, only an insecure woman who nags and whines. I was literally left feeling as if Anna was some sort of nuisance to her.
  • Descriptions. While most of the story is beautifully and intricately woven, there are a couple of moments where that all gets muddled up.

4.5 Quills

All in all this story was beautiful and sensual and very intriguing. Chapter by chapter you’re sucked into this magical world of dragons and mythical creatures. It’s a lovely and enthralling book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance, fantasy and dragons.

 

About The Author  

 

Born in the US, Dina von Lowenkraft has lived on 4 continents, worked as a graphic artist for television and as a consultant in the fashion industry. Somewhere between New York and Paris she picked up an MBA and a black belt. Dina is currently the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children and three horses.

http://www.dinavonlowenkraft.com/

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123641.Dina_von_Lowenkraft

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Grimnirs Review + Giveaway!

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Grimnirs
Runes
Book #2.5
Ednah Walters

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
ISBN: 978-0983429791
ASIN: B00H15YMJW
Pages: 288/348
Goodreads Rating:  5.00
My Rating: 4.5
 
Book Description:

One lost love.

One lost best friend.

One hot soul reaper.

Straight out of the psyche ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The love of her life, the guy she’s loved from a distance for years, has moved away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing. The connection defies logic. It doesn’t help that Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful, and cocky. A general pain-in-the-butt. Being around him makes her feel more alive than she’s ever felt before. But more important, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Echo is perfect for her. Echo might even be her soul-mate. There is only one problem. Echo is a freaking soul reaper. A Grimnir. The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life. You see, once you fall for a Grimnir, your life will never be the same again.

My Take On The Book:

Admission time, I haven’t read book 1 or 2, but I literally jumped at the opportunity to read this one. I’ve been wanting to read this series for a while now so I couldn’t say no.

It was a solid story, and even though I hadn’t read the first 2 books, it was surprisingly easy to follow. The whole concept was mind blowingly awesome. Sure the back story I was missing drove me a little crazy but that was my own fault lol.

The Great (Pros):

Um just about everything in this story is done like a pro. The cover art it just so hypnotically beautiful. I mean look at! It’s this beautifully innocent looking blonde girl and she just sits there looking so sad. The colors and design are great. It’s one of the reasons I was so drawn to this series.  What else did I like? That characters, their development, the romance, the action, it was all way up there with the exception of one or two tiny little things. One of them literally made my stomach churn with dread. Read on to learn what those 2 cons are.

The Not So Great (Cons):

  • Eirik. Poor Dude! From what I gather, he never seems to catch a break and that sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cora, Echo (swoon), Rainie and Torin. But this guy is the first person you read as in this book and then well, as you can tell by the book blurb, gets his heart stabbed with a rusty spoon. It’s so heartbreaking for a character that I genuinely liked… or as much as I can like having read only this book. Echo was a great love interest. He literally had me fangirling it, but to be honest, I was partially hoping that he was just another Bill Compton (Southern Vamp Series/True Blood) and worthless of my admiration. I’m pretty sure I’m over-reacting but I can’t help myself.
 
  • Sex Scenes. Now, I’m totally down with the get down, but I felt really awkward and a tad uncomfortable reading about teenagers doing the deed. Sure I now teens, get it on, I was teen not long ago lol but I felt dirty reading about it. I had to imagine them as 20 somethings to adjust. It wasn’t super graphic or anything like that, but it was descriptive enough to kind of send me reeling.

4.5 Quills

Would I recommend this book? Yep, most definitely. But be smart and read the first 2 books lol. This book has it all, the paranormal, the romance, heartbreak, mythology, gods, magic, action, blood and lots of sizzle and steam.


 

Excerpt From Grimnirs 
by Ednah Walters

“You, doll-face. Why are you having a shitty day?”
I glared ahead. “Because you are screwing with my head. How come you keep saying things I don’t remember?”
“I told you. The Norns put a whammy on you.”
“Norns?”
“Deities of destiny. Mean, bitter hags. They control the destiny of all beings—Mortals, Immortals, even the gods. Interestingly, I just found out why they targeted you and erased your memories.”
“Why?” Not that I believed his rambling.
“Say please.”
I was tempted to ignore him, but something weird had happened to me and I wanted answers. I eased the car into a parking spot across from my school, switched off the engine, and turned to look at Echo. He was dressed in all leather again today. I realized that what I’d assumed was a leather shirt was actually a vest of some kind. Once again, he wore fingerless gloves and silver Gothic rings with weird markings.
“Please,” I said through clenched teeth.
He touched his lips. “I want a kiss, too.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Why are you such a tool all the time? You think this is fun for me? Not remembering things? Waking up one morning and seeing souls? Ending up in a psych ward, where they pumped me full of drugs, then coming home only to be met by you, a reaper?”
“Grimnir,” he corrected then frowned. “Are those the fake memories the Norns gave you? Psych ward? That’s just wrong.”
“I was in a psych ward,” I snapped.
He raised his hands. “Okay. No need to be snippy.”
“I’m not—”
He covered my mouth then smirked when I bit his hand. I bore down until I tasted blood. He didn’t even wince. His grin broadened instead.
“Drink my blood, doll-face. Bond with me for eternity.”
The thought was scary. I pushed his hand away and wiped my mouth. “Ew. Can your blood do that?”
He laughed.
“Will you be serious for even a second?” I asked.
“Don’t you want to be mine forever?”
“Ew, no.” I made a face. “I don’t even like you.”




About The Author

EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at www.ednahwalters.com

Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She is presently working on book 3, (GRIMNIRS Release date TBA). Read more about this series and the world she’s created here www.runestheseries.com

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She’s presently working on book six. You can visit her online at or www.ebwalters.com.

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The Awakening: Britton Book Review

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The Awakening: Britton
(The Awakening #3)
Abby Niles

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 25, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Covet

 
ISBN: 978-1622663453
ASIN: B00FIL335A


Pages: 200
Goodreads Rating:  3
My Rating: 4

There’s a thin line between love and hate…

Book Description:

“I would lick that man up one side and down the other.”

Half-shifter and lead SPAC agent, Val Calhoun, has listened to women gush over the Don Juan of the precinct for the last four years. Yeah, Detective Britton Townsend is hot and has stunning blue eyes, but that foul mouth he saves only for her? What a waste of good looks. And no way does Val want that mouth anywhere near hers.

When the shifter community is threatened, Val is assigned to the case…and fails. So the High Council turns to the rogue shifter they’d sentenced to twenty years as a human–that same obnoxiously sexy Detective Townsend. And sends the two arch-enemies deep into the North Carolina Mountains-—together, and alone.

Being stuck in a tiny honeymoon cabin with Miss Castration and only one bed is definitely not Britton’s idea of a good time. But the High Council doesn’t take no for an answer. After his shifter abilities are restored, Brit is once again susceptible to the dreaded, irreversible bonding instinct, the Drall. Thankfully, all he’s ever felt for Val is intense loathing, no reason to worry. Right? All he has to do is solve this case pronto, and he can go back to his footloose Casanova ways. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. Or worse…fall in love.

Amazon   Goodreads   B&N

My Take On The Book:

I don’t know if it’s just me, but books from Entangled are either a hit or miss. Luckily, this one was a hit hands down. I loved the blurb and the cover picture but I was reluctant to read it based on my past experiences with this publishing group. It was a last second decision and one I’m pleased I made.

The Great (Pros):

 

The Characters. I’m so happy that the books I’ve read recently all had well developed characters. The kind that stick around well after the story is over, that kind that keep you invested in their wellbeing. This book was no different. I couldn’t stop rehashing the events in the book.

The Romance. Well golly ::fans face:: this author sure knows how to bring the steam to paper or in this case, digital book page. The chemistry of the two main characters is off the charts. I love the progression from hate to love.

Britton. He deserves his own bullet simply on merit. He’s loyal, noble and strong and smexi. He was written and developed beautifully.

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

 

Repetitiveness. I have this thing, it really irks me. I hate when words or phrases are written or said too much. Unfortunately, this book has a bit of that. For ex. the constant use of the word Drall.

Tear Jerker. Way to take it to the extreme lol. Honestly this is really a con but I can’t very well add it to the pros list. Who likes to sob hysterically because of a book, not me. Truthfully though it ought to be in the pros simply because the author wove a tale that enthralled me from the very beginning.

 

4 Quills

 

I haven’t read the other 2 in the series but I just might, now that I’ve read this one. This book literally made me squeal and giggle. I had a constant mantra while reading it, “I love this book, I love this book, I love this author, I love this….” And then I cried for well over 20 pages and that mantra changed to “I hate this book, I hate this book, I hate this book, why? Why? Why?” In the end though, I was happy. It’s a solid shifter read. Well written and well crafted.

About The Author 

Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she’s been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.

In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn’t stop her though. She found some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.

And eventually sold.

Today, she juggles work, being a single mom, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?

Abby is the author of the contemporary MMA romance, Extreme Love, the first book in her Love to the Extreme series. Fighting Love is scheduled to release in December of 2013 and Winning Love is scheduled for 2014.  She is also the author of the dark paranormal romance series The Awakening: Aidan and The Awakening: Liam. The Awakening: Britton is scheduled to release in November 2013. Both series are with Entangled Publishing. She also has a geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, with Carina Press.

Website: http://www.abbynilesauthor.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/abbyniles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbynilesauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AbbyNiles

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The Cheesecake Queen Review and Giveaway!

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The Cheesecake Queen
Miranda Koerner

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 21, 2013
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
ISBN: 978-1939590237
ASIN: B00GSQWMYC
Pages: 143
Goodreads Rating:  4
My Rating: 4

Follow the tour HERE

Book Description:

Sugar Rule 1: Christmas is the perfect time for cheesecake.

Sugar Rule 2: Men are as useful as burnt cookies.

After losing her reporting job to layoffs at the local paper, Caeleah Turner’s pity party at the airport is interrupted by a woman claiming to know the location of the world’s best cheesecake. Intrigued, Caeleah trades plane tickets with the woman and finds herself in Chestnut, Colorado, a tiny town hiding a woman known as the Cheesecake Queen. The Cheesecake Queen not only bakes the best cheesecakes in the country, but her cheesecake is known to cure everything from infertility to baldness—one woman even loses 100 pounds on it! There is a thick batter of secrets behind The Cheesecake Queen and her two sisters, who operate all the bakeries in town.

But as the mayor’s efforts to shut down the Sugar sisters before Christmas gear up, Caeleah finds herself wanting to sample his own treats.

There’s a bigger secret than love to Cinnamon’s cheesecakes. And Caeleah is determined to find out what it is.

My Take On The Book:

I’m not sure if I should add or deduct quills based on the cover alone. The cover look so deliciously yummy that I wanted cheesecake every time I looked at the cover and writing this review is no different. I’m pretty sure I gained an extra 5 lbs. I’m going to have to diet extra hard this holiday season lol.

I absolutely adored the intro/chapter 1 of this book. It was just enough to peak my interest. I was giggling as I turned to the next chapter and I love books that hook you from the beginning.

It wasn’t too long of a read but then again I devoured this book so I might be a bit off on that calculation. Even so, it felt like the right length for this type of book.

The Great (Pros):

 

The Actual Story. This book was deliciously good. It reminded me of those Halmark/ABC Family Holiday Movies that I adore.

The Character. There is something gratifying about a book that has strongly developed characters. I loved each character in this book. They each had their own type of charisma that shines through on each page.

The Sugar Sisters/Names. Omg, the names of these ladies were just too perfect. Who but a baker with the last name Sugar would name their children Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg.

Romance. I loved the romance woven into the grander scheme of things. Throughout the book I found myself rooting for the leading lady and her man, even if said man made me want to smash a pie in his face. It was a cute little love story that if anything ties everything together and keeps the story moving.

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

 

Inconctencies. I have a pet peeve with these alond with repeation. And while there weren’t many of these in the story, there were a few that left you scratching your head and re-reading those lines.

Ginger’s story. While her backstory was really well constructed, I just felt bad for the girl. She looked like she needed a hug. It was one of the plot points that turned me off from the story a bit.

 

4 Quills

This book was great. I would recommend it to anyone that loves romance. Well romance and food. It was oddly remincent of the holiday movies ‘Matchmaker Santa’ and ‘Recipe for a Perfect Christmas’. It’s got that perfect touch of holiday magic. Now to quote the book “Christmas is the perfect time for cheesecake” and I am off to find some!

About The Author

Miranda Koerner is a writer living in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and two Chihuahuas. A former children’s magazine editor and reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the Express-News, Miranda has written for The Current, Taste, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Her YA novel The Butterfly Dress was published by Girl E books and is available through Amazon.com and Smashwords. She is anticipating her next novel, Blue Mermaid, with Turquoise Morning Press in April 2013.

Author Links

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A Review on Gateway by Christina Garner

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Gateway
(Gateway Trilogy #1)
Christina Garner

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: May 17, 2011
ASIN: B0051UBSLE
Pages: 185

Goodreads Rating:  3.63
My Rating: 5

Book Description:

Everybody has their demons. Some are just a little more real than others…

Ember has always known she doesn’t belong in this world. But when she tries to correct the mistake, she wakes to find herself in a mental institution.

She’s soon drawn to Taren, the mysterious boy with hazel eyes. He’s not what he seems, but what is he?

When chaos erupts, they are forced to flee the institution together, and the secret that Taren has been keeping brings Ember closer to understanding her own. And leads her to… the Gateway.

My Take On The Book:

After reading the synopsis of the book I went into what my friends would call a book obsession in overdrive. I just knew I had to read it. The premise was right up my alley and I couldn’t get this book out of my head. It was haunting me. The cover though minimalistic was right on point with the story. And once I started I couldn’t really stop. It took me a couple of hours but truthfully I think it only took so long because I was forced to stop 3 times, once to sleep, the next to eat and the last because I had errands to run and you can’t very well read while driving a car. I’ll admit the. Chapter lengths threw me for a loop in the beginning as the first 3 were relatively short but understandably so. It was at chapter 5 when I realized they had lengthen dramatically. But I kinda liked it that about the story.

The Great (Pros):

  • Ember. There is just something about this girl that makes you care. She’s strong even if she herself doesn’t know it and it’s refreshing. Too many times you have a strong female character that just oozes self-esteem and that can make it too hard for a reader to connect with the character. Ember was nothing like that, she had limitations and while she felt inadequate quite often it wasn’t done in a whiny way. She just pushed herself to be better.
  • Taren. Right off the bat I loved his character. He was shrouded in mystery and you really don’t know where he stands but I’m a sucker for those kinds of leading me. He had his moments, or rather I had moments where he made me angry but I always held out hope. His chemistry with Ember was tangible and sweet. And his caring for Callie usury proved how multidimensional he really was.
  • Kat. What’s not too love about her. She’s snarky, caring, tough as nails and loyal. She’s understanding to Ember’s situation, a real friend to Taren but from what I see, it doesn’t get in the way of her ability to do her job. Plus she’s a lesbian which is way cool because I haven’t read many books with gay female characters as they all tend to be gay males.
  • Callie. So cute and innocent. And downright frightening. I really liked reading the scenes with her.
  • Demons, daemons and the gateway. I loved the history and thought put into this book. The difference between demon and daemon is chilling and the gateway was crafted so perfectly I was able to envision it all with crystal clarity.
  • Guardians and Keepers. While these terms have been used before and will probably continue to be used in paranormal books, I liked the variation in this story. It just serves as further proof at the attention this author gave the story while writing it.

The Not So Great (Cons):

There aren’t many to speak of. The story was left open ended but not a cliffhanger. The characters were well developed but we didn’t get too much backstory which is fine. There were some passages that I had to reread because the wording felt a bit odd but that was the only flaw I could find in my eyes. I can honestly say there aren’t any characters that I disliked.

5 stars

This way a solid read. Something I would happily recommend to readers. It had romance but nothing too severe to stifle the progression of the storyline. It had genuinely unique ideas which is hard to come by when dealing with paranormal books especially those with demons. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next instalments! Keep your eyes peeled for my review on the next book 🙂 if you read Undertow, Scars of the Bifrost or Dark Souls after my review or you’ve read The Revealers by Amanda Marrone then this book is right up your alley. You can purchase this book via amazon or B&N for 2.99. I suggest you also take the time to sign up for the author’s newsletter for info on this series.

 

Author Bio 

Christina Garner began writing stories at the age of six. At eighteen, her aspirations as an actor had her loading up her Buick and setting off for Hollywood. Since then she has written and directed 10 short films, including Rewind and Reminder, both of which received acclaim on the festival circuit. In 2007 she was hired to write her first feature film. May of 2011, her debut novel, Gateway became an Amazon Bestseller, followed by Chasm, Book 2 in The Gateway Trilogy. Look for Tether in late 2013.

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 “I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”

Come Little Children Book Review & Giveaway

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Come Little Children

D. Melhoff

 

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Supernatural Thriller

Release Date: October 30, 2013

Publisher: Bellwoods Publishing

 

ISBN: 978-0992133108

Pages: 466

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nM0QAA607yo

 

Follow the tour HERE

 

 

Book Description:

 

The Nolan morgue is more than just an ordinary funeral home.

 

When their newest employee uncovers a supernatural conspiracy connected to a string of child murders, she must use every shred of her intelligence to stop a new breed of serial killer and escape the morgue alive.

 

After graduating from the mortuary program at Mount Royal University, Camilla Carleton moves to a secluded town in the northern Yukon for her first job at a family-run funeral home. Her new employers, however, are the town’s most controversial citizens, and when strange occurrences begin happening around the morgue—including late night visits from children who were thought to be dead—she won’t stop until she uncovers the truth behind these paranormal events.

 

But unraveling the funeral home’s secret is just the start. When Camilla is faced with life and death decisions of her own, she must fight to undo a horrific chain of events while struggling to outsmart a serial killer, save her family, and escape the morgue alive.

 

My Take On The Book:

 

I was initially hesitant about reading this book, but after reading and re-reading the synopsis I decided what the hell and signed up for the tour. I’m really glad I did!

 

‘Come Little Children’ is an eerie, haunting and downright frightening book. There were parts that I found myself wanting to skim over, so it wasn’t a perfect read but it was close.

 

 

The Great (Pros):

 

 

  • The Romance. While a prominent part of the story, it isn’t over the top or overpowering to the actual storyline. The characters had chemistry and at times their interactions make you or me in this case giggle like a schoolgirl lol.

 

  • The Characters. Even the a-holes were well constructed. I didn’t have any scratch my head, what the hell moments in regards to their actions.

 

  • The premise of the story. It was creepy and really creative so I really loved it.

 

  • Peter. Swoon. A talented, ambidextrous, romantic artist. Loyal and passionate. What’s not to love about a man like that? He was a family man through and through. I want my own Peter 😉

 

  • Camilla. She was an original type of character. A little on the weird side and definitely had some problems but I think that’s what I liked about her. Her differentness worked with this type of book.

 

  • Abigail. I can’t say too much on this front except evil little Spawn of Satan. She was the perfect mixture of outward innocence and a vile child.

 

  • The Ending. Tear jerker for sure. I really loved the ending of this book. It was different just like the rest of this story. There was just something so haunting about it. I kind of saw it coming but at the same time I didn’t. It was that will he won’t he moment and I loved it. I didn’t even mind the crying!

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

 

  • Inconsistencies & Predictability. Really this is all that holds this story back from ah-maze-ing-ness. Like I said before this, was a near perfect read. Most of what I found I wanted to skim over were the bouts of information overload here and the lack of information there. The other parts were the predictable moments with the exception of the ending. It felt like the scenes in slasher flicks where you’re screaming “Don’t go in there” and they do it anyway.

 

 

4 Quills

 

I’d recommend this to any and all horror buffs. It pushes the boundaries of social norms. Leaving you to question your own morals and asking yourself what you would do in a similar situation. A stand up book and take notice book, worthy of your shelves.

 

 

 

About The Author 

 

 

D. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town located an inch above the Canadian-American border. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Raimi, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror.

 

 

 

 

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Untethered Review & Giveaway!

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Untethered 
Katie Hayoz


Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: April 3, 2013


ISBN: 978-0988997479
ASIN: B00C7A8YW2


Pages: 350
Word Count: 85,000


Goodreads Rating: 4.40
My Rating: 4.5/5


 

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin. In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it. But if there is one thing she’s sure of, it’s her love for Kevin Phillips. She’s willing to stake everything on it –her family, her friends, and possibly her soul. 

Sylvie has been best friends with Cassie forever. But everything is turned around when the boy Sylvie’s loved since fifth grade falls for Cassie. Devastated, Sylvie intends to get Kevin by any means possible, even if it involves treachery, deceit, and the dark side of astral projection. She is positive her plans will give her what she wants, but she doesn’t count on it all spiraling out of control. 

Finalist in the Mslexia novel competition, Untethered by Katie Hayoz explores the intoxicating and dangerous world of jealousy and obsession when coupled with paranormal ability. It is a touching, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-breaking novel that speaks to the self-doubt lurking in us all. 

Amazon Paperback on Amazon  Amazon.uk

 

My Take On The Book:

 


Ok so this one isn’t exactly a 5 star book but it is way too good to be a 4.5. There has got to be a better in-between option for these types of books. What more can I say except this book was/is great. 



I was a little hesitant to read this when I first read the synopsis but selfishly I’ll admit it had more to do with the best friend/long time crush deal. I don’t know why most books and movies I’ve seen/read lately have that same prominent heart wrenching theme. But that’s not really the point, or at least it isn’t yet lol. 

 

The Great (Pros):

 

  • Nelson. Whoa, a blue haired artistic hottie. Can you say swoon ::sigh:: ❤
  • Sylvie. Honestly, she seemed worse in the description and I didn’t think I would like her… but I did. She’s actually a really relatable and likable character. I’m sure everyone at some point in their life has wanted to be someone else. Sylvie just happened to take that want a tad too far, OK A LOT too far but in her defense she was coerced. She’s human and that’s exactly what I liked about her most. She had moments of complete and utter dumb-fuckery (pardon my language) but she’s a teen who gets picked on regularly and astral project without the ability to control it so those moments are pretty understandable.
  • Astral Projection. I read a book years ago (like maybe 6 or 7 years ago) about a girl who astral projects and her body gets taken over by what I believe was a long lost relative. I can’t remember too much, like I said it’s been years but I think the book was Stranger with My Face by Lois Duncan. Anyway the point it, that I know I thoroughly enjoyed that book and this book reminded me of it. I really enjoyed the whole concept of astral projecting and the scariness that someone can inhabit your body and you have basically no control over it.
 
  • Writing Style. I loved the chapter break ups and the way we saw the future and were thrown back into the present. Some parts of it were very predictable but not enough to take away from the story. It was well edited and I was able to immerse myself into the story and picture almost everything that was described.
  • Sam and the whole family dynamic. I loved the whole family, broken and all. They genuinely care for each other and it shows. It gives you the warm and fuzzies even in the worst of times.

The Not So Great (Cons): 

 

  • Kevin. I’m not sure why, maybe it was my love for Nelson but I severely disliked Kevin. He seemed way too fake.
  • Casey. As much as I wanted to like her, I couldn’t  It’s not just that she went out with Kevin, it’s not just how mean she really gets with Sylvie but it’s the lies. Sylvie asks her very directly a few things and she outright lies. That is not best friend behavior. She was not a sympathetic character and I didn’t want Sylvie doing certain things but not because I felt bad for Casey. Sure she had some endearing qualities but they did not out weight her bad.
  • Casey and Sylvie Friendship. It just didn’t feel real. If anything, it seems as if it was more of a comfort thing then an actual friendship. As I said before, friends don’t do what these girls do or try to do to each other.

4.5 Quills

If you enjoyed ‘The Wake Trilogy’ by Lisa McMann then this is definitely the book for you. It’s got the teen angst, the sweetness and cuteness of young love, the darkness of the paranormal and jealousy and it’s haunting, utterly haunting from the cover to the last page. It’s an absolutely great book and an excellent read. Kudos to author Katie Hayoz for creating such an eerie and tangible world.

 

About The Author

Katie Hayoz was born in Racine, WI, the youngest of six kids. Originally, she wanted to become pope (for the awesome hat and fancy robes), but quickly realized reading was her true religion. Writing was always a hobby, but she decided to go at it seriously when she ended up in Geneva, Switzerland. Now she’s constantly at her laptop in the small apartment she shares with her husband, two daughters, and two fuzzy cats. She devours YA novels like she does popcorn and black licorice: quickly and in large quantities.


Connect with Katie 

www.katiehayoz.com

www.goodreads.com/Katie_Hayoz

www.twitter.com/katiehayoz

www.facebook.com/katiehayoz.author


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Sleepwalker Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!!!

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Sleepwalker

Tanith Davenport

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Total-e-Bound

ISBN: 978-1-78184-815-9
Number of pages: 36

Word Count: 14,000
Goodreads Rating: 5
My Rating: 4

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/yTBATkCiyVc

 

Book Description:

Tally Haslam has too much to deal with. An herbalist and aromatherapist, her latest creation – an aphrodisiac potion – remains in unsaleable condition as she has nobody to test it with. And, much to her annoyance, she sleepwalks.

 

Hoping to get away from it all for a weekend, Tally travels to nearby Madigan Hall for their yearly Paranormal Evening—but on the first night she wakes up outside the bedroom of another guest: Kyle Hunter, who has chosen to pleasure himself with the door open. Tally escapes without being seen, but is unable to get Kyle out of her head—especially when she finds herself at the same table at him the following evening.

 

However, Tally’s world is turned upside down when, at the paranormal dinner, she encounters the ghost of the Blue Lady, who seems determined not to leave her alone—and shows a disturbing penchant, when Tally sleepwalks again, for leading her astray…

  

My Take On The Book:

 

What can I say about this short book? Nothing more than, it was awesome. It was a surprisingly quick read, very to the point. The story picks up with our main character Tally sleep walking, a recurring theme throughout the story and jumps right into things. It literally had it all, the paranormal, the romance and the steamy scenes that we adults look for in the adult reads.

 

The storyline was tied together very well leaving almost no questions unanswered. The book was also well written with the exception of a few scenes. But the mistakes weren’t glaring and in no way did it leave you confused. Since this was such a short read that I was able to knock out in just about 35 minutes, (yeah I’m weird, I time myself) I’m only gonna do a quick Pros and Cons List.

 

The Great (Pros):

 

  • Kyle. Sexy and funny and a complete smart ass. A great love interest.
  • Ashlee. Kyle’s sister. She was way out there and definitely in a good way. She was friendly to Tally and I loved the banter between her and her brother.
  • Tally. Tally had her stupid moments, ok, they were very stupid moments. She liked to over think things but she was a great main character.
  • The paranormal storyline. Ok I know that is a bit vague as far as bullets go but that is really all I can say. Sure the sexy scenes where downright steamy, but it was the actual storyline that was my favorite. I also really enjoyed how the author made this storyline work in such a short book.

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

 

  • Length. There weren’t very many cons other than my turning the page at the end and feeling let down that it was over.
  • Inconsistencies. There were a few of these littered throughout the story. Most notably, the sex scenes. The characters weren’t doing any weird acrobatic or almost physically impossible moves that I couldn’t envision, it was just the minor details that the author overlooked that I as a reader could not. For example in one of the scenes it is mentioned that she’s not wearing underwear under her nightgown but later in the morning she’s looking for them and a few more sentences with said underwear commence.
  • Grammatical errors. Once again nothing to big, but I did do my little weirdo twitch in a few parts when I noticed them. For example, the word a instead of an and so on. Like I said nothing too drastic.
  • Lack of Kyle info. Off the bat, other than what he looks like nude then dressed and the smart ass comments, you’ve got next to no info of the loveable oaf. You don’t know much about him. Sure you know he’s a skeptic and that he’s only at this convention for his sister but as a love interest for the main character, short story of not, I would like to know a little basic knowledge about him. Where does he work? Things like that.

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4 Quills

 

A short read, but a great read. I would definitely recommend this one to basically anyone that enjoys these short paranormal reads with steamy scenes. Enjoy the Guest Post and Excerpt Below.

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