Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Atom: Hachette Australia
Goodreads Summary: 
Riley Vasquez is haunted by the brutal murder of the couple she was babysitting for.

Max Cross is suffering under the shadow of a life-altering diagnosis he doesn’t dare reveal.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend a weekend away at a therapy camp alongside five other teens with “issues.” But that’s exactly where they are when three masked men burst in to take the group hostage.

The building has no windows. The exits are sealed shut. Their phones are gone. And their captors are on a killing spree.

Riley and Max know that if they can’t get out, they’ll be next—but they’re about to discover that even escape doesn’t equal freedom.
Rating: 2 Stars
Review: 
I'll admit that I struggled to read The Masked Truth. With every Max chapter, it was as if my vision blurred, and I had to resist the powerful urge to skip a sentence, paragraph, all of it. I don't know why, but I just really disliked Max's POV. I didn't hate him too much, but I disliked him.

The main thing that kept me going is my love for Kelley Armstrong and the positive reviews I read on Goodreads. Unfortunately, the alluring synopsis doesn't tell the true tale behind The Masked Truth. The above is also why I didn't DNF it. I was also hesitant to miss the possible great ending. Well, I was right. While I may have strong negative feelings about most of the book, I was genuinely surprised and happy about the ending.

Riley and Max as a relationship really didn't appeal to me. I suppose I'm just cynical, but even Kelley Armstrong had a hard time convincing me that their relationship was real and would last. I liked but didn't love Riley, same to say for Brienne.

My only real like about The Masked Truth is the villains. It was so twisted, brilliant even. Passing it off as hallucinating teenagers, their situation "real" but nonexistent. The title suited the book well, separation of truth and lies, so the truth was indeed hidden beneath a mask of lies.

I read a plethora of reviews whilst reading The Masked Truth, and based on that I think The Masked Truth is the kind of book that'll appeal to some, but not the cynical, doubting minds of people like me.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of a sarcastic, witty guy.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

28355848Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Books
Goodreads Summary: 
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: 
With all it's glorious recommendations from fantasy authors I know and love, only now did I bother to read Truthwitch. But hell, it was worth it. I couldn't stop reading, even when my neck ached and my eyes begun to tire I continued, mesmerised by Safiya and Iseult's story, unable to stop.

Okay, I have to start by talking about Safi and Merik. From their first meeting, I knew something was going to happen between them it was destined. I love them so much, and certainly ship them, they're perfect for each other.

Iseult or Safiya? At first, I thought Iseult, because of her representing the dark, but I grew to like Safi more and more, so my decision at the end of Truthwitch is Safiya. I've heard that Windwitch is centered around Merik, and I am so, so so excited.

As for the actual world Truthwitch is set it, Susan Dennard had it sussed. She is an expert worldbuilder, and built her world perfectly, filled with heaps of tiny details missing from many fantasy books. She included real world issues as well, such as race discrimination and a fragile truce between some countries, the brink of war.

Told from multiple third person limited POVs, Susan Dennard's Truthwitch will entice you and leave you wanting more. I only just finished reading it, but I'm already craving Windwitch, book two. For all you fantasy lovers, don't hesitate before you decide to read Truthwitch.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of AMAZING fantasy books.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Heir #5) by Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperCollins
Goodreads Summary: 
Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet by The Crown—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

In The Heir, a new era dawned in the world of The Selection. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: 
Well, The Crown certainly brought the series to an end. Following on from the events of The Heir, Eadlyn narrows down her Selection to The Elite, six men until a new Prince of Illea.

I enjoyed The Crown, but I didn't love it. I have never really looked back on past reviews, so I am uncertain as to what I wrote about Eadlyn's character in my review of The heir, but my current and final opinion is that I can relate to her, but I feel as if she is too distant.

Eadlyn's character develops hugely in the finale to the series, and she begins to understand what lies in the world outside her sheltered life.

My major dislike of The Crown was how I predicted everything from a mile away. Sure, I turned the pages in the correct order (besides checking the ending I'd already predicted), but I felt as if Kiera Cass was whispering what was to happen in my ear. Untrustworthy characters, plot twists... All of that.

Overall, The Crown was quite an interesting book. I found it easy to put down, but the story was there.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Quotes: 

"Maybe it's not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it's the last ones." — Kile Woodwork to Eadlyn.

Recommended for: Fans of quick reads.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: Unforgiven by Lauren Kate

25261903Unforgiven (Fallen #5) by Lauren Kate
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Goodreads Summary: 
High school can be hell.

Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.

Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.

Tick-tock.

Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: 
I didn't hear many positive things about Unforgiven, but I decided to read it anyway, as I've already read the rest of the series and wanted to see it for myself. What I found surprised me. The main thing I'd heard from multiple people and reviews is that Cam's character changed. Personally, I felt like the basis of his character was still there, but distant. He definitely changed; I think some of it was due to him seeing Lilith again, in the sense of "love can change people". His cockiness just wasn't present, and he handled the situation in a very out of character way.

I didn't hate Unforgiven, but I thought it lacked something. not creativity, but maybe authenticity. The story line wasn't bad, however I disliked how things played out, a lot of new things were revealed and I didn't think they belonged in the Fallen universe. Unforgiven is good if you want another tricky, slightly rushed love story. I don't think it captured the meaning of Fallen, so I wouldn't recommend it as a must read after Rapture.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of short love stories.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Goodreads Summary: 
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: 
I started reading A Midsummer's Nightmare when I realised I needed to return it to the library before I got charged. This is the case with a lot of books I borrow, especially the ones I don't have an extreme desire to read. As for this one? I definitely wasn't expecting a tough rollercoaster ride.

Like most books, it started wild. Our main character Whitley parties hard, getting drunk and depressed. But then it really started to get interesting. Whitley is such a strong character with a definite voice, I related to her so much that by the last eighty or so pages, my eyes were filled with tears as I read on.

A Midsummer's Nightmare discusses many topics, including bad parenting, drunk teenagers, partying and cyber bullying. However, it wasn't normal; Kody Keplinger linked all of the above to eighteen year old Whitley Johnson.

The first book by Kody Keplinger I read was The Duff, a book I enjoyed but didn't really love. This one has a lot of negative reviews, but I actually enjoyed it more than The Duff and found it more memorable. I agree, Whitley and Bianca and quite similar, but I still see them as different.

Honestly, I cannot describe how much this book affected me. I really felt for Whitley, and am extremely happy that in slightly more than 300 pages she dug her way out of hell with the help of some special friends. It's not often that I read stand alones, but this one started and finished perfectly.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Theme song for Whitley: 
Recommended for:
 Fans of YA Contemporary, Stand Alones, and The DUFF.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Goodreads Summary: 
Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: 
The Raven King started with excitement, and ended with excitement. As for in between? It was both utter seriousness and complete humour. The Raven King revealed all the answers I expected, plus more. The plot twists wowed me, and I loved them all so much. However, I did not expect to laugh at every second page. I'd forgotten about how funny Maggie Stiefvater's writing could be. You could say, I missed it.

Now, the story line. Where do I start? It was a delicately woven quilt, detailed and complex but not an overwhelming design. The only thing I disliked was that there was no follow up to a few events, mainly minor, e.g. Blue being seen with The Raven Boys. I mean, seriously. Wouldn't that create some drama at her school? To be honest, Blue's school was a VERY minor part of the story. I thought it should've had a bigger part.

My favourite character of the series will always remain Ronan. From his first appearance in The Raven Boys, I loved his attitude, and everything about him. Sarcastic, protective, he is honestly like a brother to me. He hides his emotions well, but shows that he cares about his friends in his own way.

The ending really surprised me. For a bit, I was screaming "no! Ronan, come back, don't you dare do this to me!" And then it was suspicion that kept me reading on. The actual Epilogue fast forwarded to graduation time, Adam trying to make peace with his parents, and Ronan's graduation present for the crew.

Maggie Stiefvater's style is unique, humorous, and extremely enjoyable. This is the fifth book I've read by her, and I will definitely be reading more. The Raven Cycle is one of my favourite series and I definitely recommend it.

Uh, guys... How did I NOT see Pynch coming from a mile away? Oops. But I ship it with my heart.
Purchase Location: University Book Shop Dunedin
Edition:
 Hardcover
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Quotes: None, but it was my first time using markers in my books. I tagged some quotes, Ronan moments, pages I loved, and more.
Recommended for: All fans of a great adventure and paranormal story.


Book Blitz: Grand Finale: The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl by Leigh Statham (Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.


Book Tour Grand Finale for

The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl
By Leigh Statham


We hope you enjoyed getting a little taste of Lady Marguerite Vadnay's adventures in this Steampunk world. If you missed any of the tour stops, go back and check them out...



Launch - Tour Welcome



"I’m so excited to share my latest adventure with you. Lady Marguerite Vadnay is at it again, causing problems, and getting in trouble around the world."


The Broke Book Bank - Review



"Right away, I was pulled into the story. It was easy on the eyes and flowed beautifully. There’s plenty of refresher information so I didn’t feel like I missed anything. It was quite comfortable just jumping in. My luck paid off and the good feeling lasted."






Falling Leaves - Excerpt



Lady Marguerite Vadnay strapped herself into the tiny compartment and slipped her goggles over her eyes. A glass hood lowered over the upper half while her lower body sat snug in the cockpit of the single-man aership. The wind was blowing enough to rock the small cabin back and forth as her envelope filled beside her, eventually leaving the ground completely, its seams tight with helium.


Letters From Annie (Douglass) Lima - Interview



What dangers should we avoid in New France?

Don’t get on the wrong side of a pirate, or a nun. Some of the girls at His Royal Majesty’s Flight Academy for Resilient Young Women wouldn’t be fun to run into in a dark alley if you’ve recently stolen their boyfriend. But for the most part it’s a wonderful place to visit.


The Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Promo



Katie's Clean Book Collection - Top 10 Tools Lady Marguerite Always Has on Hand



2. A Dashing Young Man (or two) – This goes without saying. A lady must have someone to dote on her every need and provide for her, unless you are a young lady who can take care of herself, then a dashing young man is an excellent target for anger or love, depending on the day.






Wishful Endings - Excerpt



The view was instantly breathtaking. Her new home city of Montreal lay beneath her in all its splendor. The river wound like a loose ribbon through the brick and wood dwellings. Her school was visible almost immediately, its roof littered with experimental equipment for weather and aviations. The chapel caught her eye next, its soaring crucifix and brightly colored windows winking in the perfect morning sun.


Bookworm Lisa - Excerpt



Before she could call for help, Marguerite was whipped around the tower, her envelop caught in the trusses. She banged into one pylon and then another, the glass around her shattered, tearing at her exposed cheeks and nose. She cried out and braced herself for impact with the ground, her giggles from the moment before were now cries for help.


Rockin' Book Reviews - The Beauty of a Steampunk Setting



But even better than the aesthetic beauty of the steampunk life is the versatility it affords a history buff. You can take almost any story from the past and turn it into something amazing using the basics of steampunk world builind.






Mel's Shelves - Crushing on Jacques



Jacques Laviolette is a man of many talents. Marguerite frequently takes for granted the tiger she has by the tail in this series. He comes from money, but he’s seen the rough side of life as well. He’s handsome, has a secure future as an aership captain, and certainly doesn’t need the headaches she brings to his life, and yet, he loves her anyway.


Christy's Cozy Corners - Excerpt



“Marguerite!” Jacques was the first on the scene. “Are you alright, my dear? Quick! Someone get a ladder. Call the medic! Move!” He was barking orders like the Air Captain he was born to be.


EskieMama Reads - Interview



What’s your next project?

I have a scifi book out on sub right now, and this amazing idea for a steampunk novel based on a Broadway play. Can’t really say much more, but keep your eyes open for some awesomeness!


Don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway below!


The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous GirlThe Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl
(The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl #2)

by Leigh Statham
YA Steampunk
Paperback & ebook, 297 pages
September 20th 2016 by Month9Books



Lady Marguerite Vadnay and her trusty automaton, Outil, have settled into life in New France rather well. Marguerite is top of the class at flight school and her future as an aerpilot is nearly secure. She has everything she wants— except a commission on the pirate hunting dirigible The Renegade. Using every card in her aristocratic arsenal, Marguerite wiggles her way onto the finest warship France has to offer. But as usual, Marguerite’s plans endanger the lives of those she holds dear— only this time no one else is going to save them. As Marguerite and Outil set off on a rescue mission they may not return from, she finally realizes it’s time to reorder her cogs.



This steampunk adventure is littered with facts from The Golden Age of Piracy and follows (not too closely) some of the lives and adventures of the brave men and women who sailed the seas as privateers, pirates and soldiers.



Other Books in the Series

The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl (The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl #1)The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl
(The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl #1)

by Leigh Statham
YA Steampunk
Paperback & ebook, 297 pages
March 17th 2015 by Month9Books



Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th-century French girls can only dream of: money, designer dresses, suitors, and a secure future. Except she can’t quite commit to a life of dull luxury and she suspects she may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithy in the family's steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love—only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure, and restitution await her if she can survive the voyage.



Based on the true story of The Daughters of the King, Louis the XIV’s social program to settle the wilds of Canada with women of noble birth, Marguerite’s steampunk adventure follows in the footsteps of nearly one thousand brave women and girls who were rewarded handsomely for trekking across the pirate infested Atlantic to a strange land.



"The writing is solid and the world-building – that clever combination of historical detail and Ms. Statham’s imagination – is excellent."~ The Australia Times Books



Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats.

Leigh is also a founder of QuantumFairyTales.com and is currently serving a life sentence there as senior editor and gnome driver. She loves all things sparkly and strange that go bump in the night.


Tour Giveaway


• 1 winner will win signed copies of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl and The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl plus some awesome Steampunk goggles (US only)
• 3 winners will win ebook sets of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl and The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl (open internationally)

• Ends September 23rd
Grab Our Button!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (22)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke And The Bookish

This week's topic: Top Ten Artists/Bands

In no particular order, but for this Audio freebie I wanted to share some of my favourite music, since I rarely listen to audiobooks!

1. Ellie Goulding
2. Demi Lovato
3. Shawn Mendes
4. Tove Lo
5. Zedd
6. Against The Current
7. Clean Bandit
8. Bruno Mars
9. Fabienne Bergmans
10. Carly Rae Jepsen

Release Day Blitz: The Surrendered by Case Maynard (Excerpt + Teaser Images + Giveaway)


The Surrendered
Case Maynard
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.
Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.
Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.
EXCERPT:
A sinking feeling washes over me. “We’re going to Meadowood.”
He responds without opening his eyes, “I want answers.”
I start to argue that this will be a fool’s errand, but in truth, I want the same answers he does. “Do you think the man who rescued Oliver was with the Southies?”
“I don’t know who else it could’ve been.” He sits up and stretches. “It must’ve been them, and I want to know why they changed the plan without informing us. The Master and his Regulators got to the rooftop very quickly after I fired that shot. I have to wonder if someone told them we were there.”
“You think the Southies took Oliver to get the combination and then set the Regulators on us? Why would they do that?”
He rubs his face. “It doesn’t make any sense. But something’s not adding up.”
I ponder this, thinking about my brother’s strange plea. “I know you think I’m insane, but I can’t help but feel like Oliver knew someone was going to take him; I swear it felt like he was speaking to me when he said not to interfere. But that doesn’t make any sense, either. He’s been behind the fence for years.”
Cason yawns and tries to shake off the effects of the Papaver. “I don’t think you’re crazy; his message did seem odd for someone who was about to hang for a crime he didn’t commit. I don’t know, but hopefully he’ll be at Meadowood and you can ask him yourself.”
My mood elevates as I realize I may only be hours away from a reunion with my brother. The pain in my arm forgotten, I try to concentrate only on this knowledge, confident we’ll have our answers soon enough. “I didn’t get a chance to thank you for earlier. You could’ve just turned me over to the Master and walked away, but you didn’t. I’m grateful for that.”
I feel a little embarrassed as soon as the words leave my mouth. Normally I’m not one to share my feelings, but the Papaver Flower makes me breathless and lightheaded and loosens my tongue.
He reaches for me, careful not to jostle my splinted wrist, and pulls my face to his. “I’m probably going to ruin that sentiment by telling you the Master would never have let me go anyway, but know this—” he runs the pad of his thumb along my lower lip and meets my eyes “—if everyone else in the entire world leaves you to fend for yourself, if your father, your mother, your brother disappoint you, if God himself decides you aren’t worthy . . . you’ll still be able to count on me. I’ve got your back, Vera.”
the-surrendered-teaser-8


Author Bio:
With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Cover Reveal: Cherished by Christina Bauer


Cherished
Christina Bauer
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
For Elea, there’s never been a better time to turn away from witch life. The Tsar is in exile. The Vicomte is dead. And Rowan? Falling for him only broke her heart. Instead of casting spells, Elea spends her days running Braddock Farm and enjoying the flirtations of the very handsome and non-magical Philippe. Everything is going perfectly, except for one problem.
Someone’s trying to kill her.
Shujaa is a Changed One, a Creation Caster mage whose mutated form makes him invincible in battle. Now that the Tsar and Vicomte are gone, Shujaa wants to rise and rule. To do so, he must eliminate all those powerful enough to oppose him, and Elea is top on his list. Anyone who offers her aid quickly ends up dead.
In the end, there’s only one person who can keep Elea safe while helping her defeat Shujaa: Rowan. Like it or not, Elea must team up with her old love. With Philippe along for the ride, Elea plans to team with Rowan without losing her heart this time. But that’s when all her plans fall apart…
Previous books in the series:

29547423 29541045


Author Bio:
Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: The Revelations of Carey Ravine by Debra Daley

The Revelations of Carey Ravine by Debra Daley
Publisher: Heron Books
Goodreads Summary: 
London in the 1770s is bursting with opportunity. It's a city fuelled by new ideas and new money, where everything is for sale - including entrée into the ruling class.

Making their way in this buccaneering society are Carey Ravine, a spirited young woman of enigmatic background, and her husband, the charming, endlessly enterprising Oliver Nash. Carey and Nash share a historic connection to India and a desperate ambition to better themselves. But as Nash's plans draw them into a restless association of gamblers and secret societies, Carey begins to question what's really hidden behind the seedy glamour of their lives. Her unease grows with the appearance of a mysterious man whose appearance unearths a troubling secret from the past. Carey finds herself forced to investigate the truth behind the stranger's claims­­ - and to confront her own illusions about herself.
Rating: 3 Stars
Review: 
I didn't love this book. I had to read more than half of it before I started to like it. I don't think it was because of bad writing, more so that I was uninterested in the topic. I thought The Revelations of Carey Ravine would tie into historical fiction, but it didn't really, although having a historical setting.

Regardless of the storyline and plot, I really liked Carey Ravine, or Mrs Nash. The book is told in first person, past tense from her perspective, enabling us to really get to know her. The timestamps of each chapter helped with seeing how much time as passed.

Oliver Nash is nothing but charming. Throughout the book, Carey's revelations give her reason to suspect his loyalty and love. Debra Daley told this part of the tale very well, playing Carey as a middle aged woman very much in love and reluctant to face the truth or accept that she is being lied to.

The second half of the book improved by so much. It's almost as if the two halves were written by different people; the foreshadowing is over and done with, leaving space for plot twists, harder truths for Carey to face, plus a shocking betrayal that slaps her in the face.

I may not have liked The Revelations of Carey Ravine on a whole, but the basic storyline is genuine and interesting. I think the ending is suitable for Carey, not a happy ever after, but maybe it could be, after hard work and effort.
Purchase Location:  ~I received a copy from Hachette NZ in exchange for an honest review~
Edition: Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of books set in historical times.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stacking The Shelves (32)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Books:

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
American Monsters by Derek Landy

This will be my last Stacking The Shelves for a while as I'm taking a one month vacation to China! See you when I'm back, I have posts scheduled for while I'm away :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Soul Finder by Jacinta Maree (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Soul Finder
Jacinta Maree
(The Immortal Gene, #2)
Publication date: September 16th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Supernatural
Since being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.
Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.
Unable to see into Diesel’s cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.
Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.
Book two of the thrilling Immortal Gene series dives deeper into the danger of trusting your heart over your head.
Sequel to:

Soulless
EXCERPT:
Diesel slowly stood. “I have been thinking a lot lately. About how delicate this situation is. I have had many experiences in hostage situations. But you are different. Difficult.” He stepped around the table. I shuffled back. His voice dropped and curled with a gentle accent that didn’t suit his pitch. A Russian accent, spoken through an English voice. Krane. He jabbed at his own temple with the gun. “You’ve done something to me. You’ve planted this desire in my head. Something I need to stamp out.” His eyes shot down and his eyebrows twitched, pinched by a thought.
“I need you to stay with me, Nadia. I have sacrificed so much for you. Don’t you get it? You and me, we are more than life. We are more than this. Without you I will crumple into ruins.” The earnestly behind his words shuddered his breath. Weakened his body. I blinked at the poetry of it. At first I thought I was the wax, bending and breaking within Diesel’s presence, but it turned out I was the flame. I was destroying him.
“You forget.” I turned the gun against my own head. “I know your weakness too.”



Author Bio:
Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, video gaming and Japan. She writes a variety of genres including YA paranormal, steampunk, horror, new adult, dystopian and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and bestselling author, Jacinta writes to bring enjoyment to others while fulfilling her own need to explore the weird and the impossible.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Book Blitz: Terra Nova by Christine Hart (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Terra Nova
Christine Hart
(The Variant Conspiracy Trilogy, #3)
Publication date: September 28th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
The end of the humanity and an unrecognizable future Earth are now days away. After their first glimpse of the Terra Nova virus, Irina and her variant friends know their former employer’s plans are almost at hand. Their failed attempt to publicize Ivan and Innoviro Industries’ horrific activities has left them utterly reliant on their own wits and weapons.
After surviving a catastrophic earthquake in San Francisco and destroying a secret viral testing facility, Irina’s crew has traveled by a variant portal to London. On the other side of the world, they begin tracking when and where Terra Nova will be unleashed on the world. They know stopping Terra Nova is only the beginning of unraveling Ivan’s plans to reinvent the planet, but if they can’t stop this virus, there will be no one left to save.
EXCERPT:
Faith appeared with four glowing green drinks in a cup holder tray. Clear plastic cups, lids, and straws let the liquid inside glow through. It looked like something that would spawn ninja turtles. “These are the Incinerator’s own toxic spills. They’re just vodka and sprite with a capful of that crap they put in glow sticks. Did you know you can drink that shit?”
Jonah reluctantly took a plastic cup. “Are you sure we should drink it?”
“It’s not going to kill us. No more so than the alcohol.” Ilya picked up a cup and took a long generous pull on his straw.
I took an experimental sip. It tasted like vodka and sprite. There was a mildly synthetic aftertaste, but nothing toxic. I took another, much larger sip. There it was – the warmth I’d been craving since my shower. I might stand a chance of sleeping tonight after all.
Jonah followed my lead and took a slurp on his straw, pausing to let the liquid do its work. He looked at me with a devilish grin and grabbed my hand, pulling me off to the dance floor. His touch radiated energy into me, right through my skin waking up every cell in my body.
He leaned down and kissed me, running his hands through my hair. His powerful grip felt restrained, as though his mind fought to control his body. The intensity surpassed our first night together. After we had spent so long mocked by his unstable mutation, first hurting me and then nearly killing him, we were both finally stronger than ever.
“I can’t help myself. I need to touch you. I don’t ever want to let you go. We’re going to make up for some lost time tonight.” His lips brushed my ear as he spoke. His fingers traced the line of my neck and it sent shivers down my spine. So much for sleep!


Author Bio:
Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban Burnaby home staring at North Vancouver’s iconic Coast Mountains. I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.
In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.
When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller. I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my husband, baby daughter and preschool son.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cover Reveal: Dawn of the Vie by Laura Diamond


Dawn of the Vie
Laura Diamond
(Immortal Aliens, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 3rd 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Since their Arrival less than 30 years ago, immortal Vie rule the planet like the super-predators they are. Enslaved humans are their servants…their entertainment…and their food. Anemies—humans with various types of anemia—are simply exterminated. Their nutritionally deficient blood is useless to the Vie.
Or so it’s thought…
_________
Alex, an Elite Vie, is a bit of a Renaissance Alien. Part scientist, part Raid Specialist, part drug addict, he knows Anemie blood is valuable. Rather than blindly carrying out his boss’s kill order, he convinces some colleagues to spare a few Anemies, not only for study, but also to reserve a secret stock.
The more Anemie blood Alex drinks, the more he slips into delusion, and the more his double life threatens to crumble. But quitting Anemie blood is not an option. Every Anemie has their own personal flavor. Each gives a unique high.
When Alex takes a hit of Justin’s blood, his hallucinations bleed into reality…
_________
Anemie Justin knows his little sister, Sammie, and he are living past their expiration dates. It becomes a guarantee when they’re bitten by a Vie named Alex during a raid. (The bite is fatal, thanks to a toxin carried in Vie saliva.) Alex adds insult to injury by promising Justin a second chance—an antidote in exchange for agreeing to be a lab rat.
And a mule…of his own blood.
When Justin says no, Alex takes off with Sammie.
All Justin has to do is find them, beat Alex, and cure himself and Sammie. All he has is a stake and serious lack of self-preservation.
No problem.
_________
Alex wants Justin’s blood.
Justin wants his sister back.
GAME ON.


Author Bio:
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

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Release Day Blitz: The Billonaire Shifter's Curvy Match by Diana Seere (Excerpt + Giveaway)


The Billionaire Shifter’s Curvy Match
Diana Seere
(Billionaire Shifters Club #1)
Publication date: September 13th 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
Welcome to the most exclusive club in the world. The Novo Club. Novo is Latin for “change.” Our members prefer the word “shift” though.

It’s the hottest club in town.

The price of membership is your heart and your secrecy.

All you need to do to join is to be loved beyond your wildest imagination by someone powerful with an…alpha side so primal it’s in their blood.

Are you ready?

Good. Then let’s begin.

The Billionaire Shifters Club is a new series featuring the five Stanton siblings, four brothers and one sister who are all part of an ancient shifter family living in modern America. The subterranean club-within-a-club beneath the streets of Boston, Massachusetts holds secrets only the Stantons and their fellow shifters know.
When Lilah Murphy started serving drinks at the exclusive Platinum Club, she never expected she would be on the menu.
Biotech billionaire Gavin Stanton had one taste of the new, curvy server and his craving could never be satisfied until he had her fully. Completely.
Eternally.
Fate brought them together, but a centuries-old secret could tear them apart, for the Stanton family holds a shifter legacy that no human has ever threatened.
Until now.
Gavin Stanton is the billionaire CEO of a Boston biotech firm. He’s also a werewolf, the son of a large, ancient family with roots in the British aristocracy. His work is his life. But then he feels the Beat—an irresistible urge to mate with Lilah, a beautiful human who inflames his passions like no other—and he abandons everything he thought he knew in his need to claim her.
Lilah Murphy is broke and desperate. All she wants is a job to support herself, her sister, and her ailing mother. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a rich, powerful guy who would discard her after a few hot nights together and get her fired at her new, high-paying job. But she, too, feels the Beat. She hears him in her mind, feels him in her soul, and the urge to answer the ancient call is undeniable. Is she strong enough to embrace his secrets—and her own?
The Billionaire Shifter’s Curvy Match is the first in an all-new series of hot (did we mention *hot*?) romances about the billionaire shifters and the women they’re fated to love
EXCERPT:
The sound of screeching rubber on asphalt drowned out the rest of her words. They both paused, expecting to hear cars colliding. Instead, there was eerie silence—and then the plaintive cry of a wounded animal.
A dog.
They both ran to the window. Outside, the usual neighborhood lowlifes loitered on their grubby street, where the most vibrant business was a check-cashing place. And a bar. Actually, a lot of bars.
And was that a limo? What the hell was one of those doing here?
The dog’s cries continued.
“Smoky!” Lilah gasped, turning away from the window, her heart pounding. “That bastard hit Smoky!”
Smoky was the neighborhood stray. He should’ve been ill-tempered, given his bad luck to live on the streets, but his was the friendliest face on the block, looking happy to see you, always eager for a pat, his tail wagging.
The limo might’ve killed the poor little guy. Taking three stairs at a time, Lilah flew down the stairwell to the stained security door and out the rusty gate to the sidewalk.
The usual drug dealer was standing on the corner, interrupted from talking to whoever was inside a parked silver Chevy. Under that car, only a few feet from him and still whimpering, was a huddled mass of pale fur.
Smoky.
Jess was right on her heels. “Oh, no.”
“We have to help him.” Lilah glanced up and down the street, preparing to cross, her long hair flying as she whipped her head back and forth to make sure it was safe.
Jess grabbed her arm. “You can’t! That’s the dealer who stabbed somebody last year, isn’t it?”
“Different guy,” Lilah said, although it wasn’t. She strode into the street just as the driver of the limo was getting out. She couldn’t leave Smoky to die in the street with those scumbags.
Then she saw the limo driver pull his arms back, hands on hips, revealing a barely-concealed gun on a holster around his chest. The window in the back of the limo remained up, and why shouldn’t it? Why would some rich dude want to get dirty? Why would he care if he’d run over some poor homeless dog?
The tiny scar above Lilah’s left eyebrow began to throb. It jolted her, making the scene before her look shimmery. Unreal. She pressed her fingertips into the tiny divot and hoped the throbbing would go away. The last thing she needed now was a three-day blinding headache.
And she’d run out of her meds. No money.
“What’s wrong, Lilah?” Jess grabbed her elbow and pulled her out of the middle of the street. She’d just frozen there, staring at the back windows of the limo.
Lilah could hear Smoky’s whimpering and the city traffic, but it all came as background noise through the throbbing in her head. It wasn’t quite pain. The pulsing felt like it pierced her brain, a second heartbeat she couldn’t quite follow.
Her vision was fine, and that meant it wasn’t a migraine. Then what was this?
And why did it worsen when her eyes flickered toward the back windows of the limo?
“Let’s get Smoky,” Lilah said, though her mouth felt like it was filled with cotton.
Jess had an arm around her. “I’ll get him. You’re about to faint.”
“I’m fine.” Lilah forced herself to move, shooting an icy glance at the neighborhood felon before she squatted down to the car’s rear bumper.
“Lilah, you look really pale,” Jess insisted, frowning. She looked so much like their mom when she did that.
“Here, puppy,” Lilah cooed, reaching out a hand. She knew the biggest danger was if Smoky ran away again and hid where nobody could help him, so she grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him as gently as she could out from under the car. Luckily, Smoky was a small thing, barely fifteen pounds, and she got him bundled up in her arms without having to drag him far.
He relaxed in her arms, his shivering more from fear than any injury. Thank goodness.
But as soon as she stood, the throbbing, pulsing pain returned. Her gaze was pulled to the back window of the limo, now open. To the man sitting in the shadows.
Him. Her head felt like someone had dropped a brick on it, her body filling with heat and lava.
It’s him.
What was the matter with her? She had to get Smoky inside. She didn’t know anyone who rode around in a limo, so why did she feel like she did?
Him.
It didn’t matter. She had to get closer. She had to see him.
Holding Smoky in her arms, Lilah took a step toward the limo, then another.
Jess snagged her elbow. “Lilah, no! You can’t! That driver has a gun—”
Lilah was beyond reason, the pounding turning into a word, a word that had no sound, no form, no sense.
Him.
Him.
Him.
That voice. It pounded like a hammer forging steel. She continued to advance on the shining black limo, barely noticing when the driver climbed inside and slammed the door. She was fearless in her uncontrollable need to see that face, to know he was real.
You’re real.
Jess was at her heels. “Lilah, please—”
The limo peeled out, its tires screeching as it drove past her only an arm’s-length away. Two bright blue eyes, glittering with otherworldly sharpness, met hers through the open window. Gold highlights tickled his hair, a honey brown that curved up at the neck, a little too long to be all business, with waves she wanted to sink her fingers into. A strong jaw, set firmly, and those wild, seductive eyes… oh.
Oh my.
And then the voice changed in an instant.
Mine.
Mine.
Mine.


Author Bio:
Diana Seere was raised by wolves in the forests outside Boston and San Francisco. The only time she spends in packs these days is at romance writing conventions. In truth, Diana is two New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors who decided to write shifter romance and have more fun. You can find “her” on Facebook at Diana Seere’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/dianaseere
Sign up for her New Releases and Sales email newsletter here: eepurl.com/beUZnr

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Top Ten Tuesday (21)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke And The Bookish

This week's topic: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of YA

I don't really want it to be under anything but the broad umbrella of YA. These are SERIES, not INDIVIDUAL books; for obvious reasons :P. I added one stand alone, it's #10 because it doesn't really relate to the others, but I really love the book.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
3. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
6. Fallen by Lauren Kate
7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
8. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
10. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Monday, September 12, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Avenging Fate by Jennifer Derrick (Excerpt + Teaser Images + Giveaway)


Avenging Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2016
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Still reeling after killing the man she loved, Atropos turns her attention to the twin tasks of avenging his death and freeing humanity from the deadly grip of the Keres. When she sets out on a murderous mission to retrieve her shears, her only aide is her temperamental ex-boyfriend, Ares. He is fickle at best, traitorous at worst, and assistance from him may be worse than none at all.
Along the way, she allies with a group of powerful supernaturals and learns that the crimes of the gods are more twisted and far-reaching than she realized. What begins as a quest for vengeance becomes a journey through betrayal, loss, love, and hope. It ignites a war that will pit Atropos against the gods in a battle for the freedom of humanity.
Avenging Fate is the second book in The Threads of Moirae Series by Jennifer Derrick.
Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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EXCERPT:
When we reach Alex’s house, I’m not surprised to see that it’s been vandalized. With no residents to defend it, it was easy pickings. The front door’s been kicked in and the frame is splintered so it won’t close properly. A couple of the windows are broken, too. Once we’re inside, I’m relieved to see that most of the damage is limited to the kitchen. Whoever came here was looking for food and not much else. The presence of a rotting, stinking corpse on the kitchen floor probably made them hurry up and get out.
I leave Ares and Elaina to gather up any dog food and supplies they can find as I make my way down the hall to Alex’s room. Stopping in the doorframe, I grip it hard to keep myself upright. The memories and the grief come fast and hard, threatening to overwhelm me. The hospital bed is still in the room, as is most of the medical equipment that kept him alive those last few days. No one’s made the bed, so the sheets are still rumpled from Alex’s body.
The IV still hangs on the pole next to the bed, and the oxygen tank is on the floor under the bed. The needle and tubing for the IV and the cannula for the oxygen rest on the mattress where I dropped them the night I took Alex away from here to die in peace. The book we were reading together lies facedown on the mattress, open to the page where we left off. Everything is frozen in time, except the most important part. Alex is gone and he isn’t coming back.

Alex’s bookcases still droop alarmingly, although they aren’t as orderly as they once were. It appears the looters rifled through them, probably looking for stray cash tucked in the pages of the books. I force myself to cross the room and scan the shelves for anything that might indicate where Emily has gone. I also check the desk, but find nothing in either place.
I cross to the bed and can’t help myself. Picking up the pillow, I hug it to my chest, burying my nose in it. I catch the last whiff of Alex’s shampoo, the same fruity-spicy scent he always used. I’m aware this isn’t good for me and it’s not helping us with our mission, so I reluctantly put it down. But I can’t resist one other thing. Grabbing the book, I fold down the corner of the page we were on and tuck it in my waistband next to the gun. It’s sentimental and dumb, but I want to remember our reading time.
When I turn to leave, Ares is standing in the doorframe, watching me with an expression that is both pitying and concerned. I can stand the latter, but I don’t need his pity.
“Don’t say anything,” I warn as I push past him and head down the hall toward Emily’s room.
“I just came to see if you’re okay. I figured this would be hard for you.”
“Just getting up in the morning is hard for me, but I do it,” I say. “I’ll be okay.”
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Author Bio:
Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.
Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

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