Tuesday, 31 January 2017

By Your Side by Kasie West

Sponsored post: I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
By Your Side
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?



By Your Side by Kasie West

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


By Your Side “Who else would be dumb enough to get trapped in a library?”


This was a YA contemporary romance, featuring a couple trapped in a library.

I liked Autumn in this, and I could totally relate to her anxiety disorder and the panic attacks that she suffered from. Dax was also really cute.

The storyline in this was about Autumn and Dax getting trapped in a library together for a weekend, and slowly getting to know each other. I liked how the story moved on from being trapped in the library though, and we got to find out what happened to the pair of them afterwards. We did get a bit of a love triangle brewing as Autumn had been flirting with another boy prior to meeting Dax though, but there was no cheating.

The ending to this was a happy one, and things were tied up nicely.



7 out of 10

Monday, 30 January 2017

Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor #Giveaway


Curse of Stars
Donna Compositor
(Diamond Crier #1)
Publication date: February 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.
Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.
In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.
“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction
EXCERPT:
“You must be Sabina,” he said.
Her heart felt ready to explode. Ringing in her ears made it hard to hear but she could have sworn he called her Sabina. She didn’t know whether to answer him or not. She went by Sabi but her birth certificate said Sabina. He wasn’t wrong, but she wasn’t about to admit that.
“Sabina Petris.”
The sound of his voice was soft, almost welcoming. But the way he looked at her, how his gaze bored directly into her eyes, it sent goose bumps across her skin. All she wanted to do right then was leave.
“Sorry,” she choked, the word barely making it out. “You have the wrong house.”
The thin smile that sliced across his face like a paper cut cracked open to reveal gleaming teeth underneath. Sabi couldn’t help but think of a wolf and how he would eat her with his big teeth.
“I don’t think so. But maybe it’s Perez now, yes? At least that’s what my sources say.”
Every thought she had smashed together in her head. He had her name. Her name. But who was Sabina Petris? And why did he say Perez like that wasn’t her real name? Crap, she needed to get out. Now.
“Baby, you okay?”
Sabi jumped and nearly choked on her heart. Keeping her eyes on the man in front of her she called down to Mrs. Wexler in the steadiest voice she could muster, “Fine. I’m fine.”
Nothing about her cracking voice sounded fine.
“Why don’t you come on down? Come sit with me until your Mama gets home?”
Yes! That’s what she’d do. Nothing could happen if she stayed out in the open with Mrs. Wexler. She took a step backward, not daring to turn her back on the man, but she stopped when he spoke.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t. Or your sister, Matti is it? Could feel the effects of that poor decision.”
Bile burned Sabi’s throat and her vision swam. The man took a step closer.
“You are my property, Sabina. Your parents knew this. They knew this would happen. Come with me now and I’ll forgive their indiscretions. I can’t say the same for their people, of course. So many deaths piling up behind your parents. Something like that is hard for people to forgive.”
Everything in Sabi’s head cleared and one thing rang out above it all: Matti. Get to Matti. Whoever this guy was, whatever he was saying, he wasn’t right. In the head, in life, in anything. Except just looking at him Sabi knew he was far from harmless. He was too casual, too confident. He was the wolf and she the prey and she was getting too close to backing into a corner.
With every ounce of air she had in her lungs Sabi screamed Mrs. Wexler’s name and booked back down the stairs. Footsteps thundered up to meet her and Mrs. Wexler mumbled ‘outside’ and nearly pushed Sabi down the rest of the stairs. But she didn’t need any help. And she didn’t stop on the stoop or to see what her neighbor was going to do.
Guilt slowed her down, but the way Matti rolled off the man’s tongue made her pump her legs harder. It was blocks to the school, but Sabi wasn’t about to wait at a subway stop, sitting like a duck with a price on its head. She needed to get to Matti.


Author Bio:
Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez

Sponsored post: I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Blue Typewriter Press and NetGalley.
The Secrets We Kept
Blurb (from Goodreads):
One year. That's how long it's been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something's different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can't even begin to recognize, much less understand.

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she's determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one...long before Sully’s resolve ever does.

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.



The Secrets We Kept by Lily Velez

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars



The Secrets We Kept “Some things are just so broken, they can’t be fixed again.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a couple reunited.

The characters in this were okay, but I didn’t really feel much for them, and I couldn’t really get invested in their story.

The storyline in this was about Cadence moving back to New York after going to live in California, and holding back some big secret from her ex-boyfriend and love-of-her-life Sully. There was some talk of Cadence being depressed and taking anti-depressants, and a real big deal was made of it even when it wasn’t really Sully’s business seeing as he was the one that dumped her, and there was quite a bit of Sully sticking his nose into Cadence’s business. The real secret was held back until right at the end, and it could be a bit of a touchy subject for some people (major spoiler -  highlight to view spoiler - Cadence had an abortion whilst in California.) I did find the pace in this pretty slow though, and the story really struggled to hold my attention.

The ending to this was okay, and things all seemed to work out after the truth came out. I just wish that I had enjoyed the book more though.



5 out of 10

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal--and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina's extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart--and her country--in two.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) “I am not mad. I am the only person who knows what he truly is, what he truly intends. And I am telling you that you must run.”


This was a YA fantasy story set in a fantasy world.

Alina was a strong character, and she really showed that strength when it mattered most. It was also good to see how much she cared for her best friend Mal, and the lengths she went to to protect him.

The storyline in this was about the Grisha – those people able to do magic, and in particular Alina and the Darkling’s magics. There was also a ‘dark fold’ – an area of darkness filled with evil creatures, and plans for Alina to use her new-found magic to help destroy it, and a bit of a love triangle between Allina, the Darkling, and her best friend Mal. The pace in this was a little bit slow for me, and the strange names confused me a bit. I did appreciate the twist we got thrown towards the end of the book though, as it really livened things up.

The ending to this was pretty good, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the rest of the series.



7 out of 10

Friday, 27 January 2017

Revelations by T. Marie Alexander #Giveaway


Revelations
T. Marie Alexander
Publication date: January 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Have you ever craved something so badly that all reason was just an excuse getting in your way?
Have you needed something so desperately that you didn’t care how you got it or who you hurt in the process?
I have—and not that long ago.
Acceptance.
Acceptance… from family and friends…
Acceptance of the person I am inside and not outright rejection.
It didn’t come easily for me, and now I believe the world needs to know just how ruthless life can be. How that overwhelming yearning for acceptance can mold you into someone you don’t recognize when you look in the mirror. I’m through hiding behind one façade after another—it’s time for the world to meet the real me.
~Antoinette Justice
EXCERPT:
I turn the music off, turn to face him, and ask, “What is it?”
“I don’t know watcha talkin’ ’bout,” is all he says. Now, I could leave it alone and let him talk to me when he wants, but there’s no fun in that.
“Come on, Brad. Spit it out.”
He doesn’t spit it out, just keeps driving us wherever we’re going. When we leave town, I give up on talking to him. He’s impossible when he gets like this. It almost makes me wish I hadn’t started talking to him. Okay, so that’s a pretty terrible lie. My life got immensely better once I allowed Brad to take over, but when he gets like this, it is frustrating. I know what he’s upset about. Just want the thunder to be over so we can get back to the sunshine and rainbows.
After two hours of driving in silence, we finally make a stop at a funky looking shop with a day glow sign that reads, “I tell your past, present, future.” I glance over to Brad, a little worried. He brought me to a freakin’ fortuneteller. I hope he knows they are a bunch of con artists.
“I use ta come here for advice.” He finally says something to me. It’s not what I want to hear. This is ridiculous. But I don’t tell him that. “I think ya need some advice ’bout life.”
“Not from a con artist.”
“She’s not a con artist. Madame Mercy is different. She sees into ya soul. And she doesn’t charge.”
Ha!
Madame Mercy? There’s no way I will ever talk to someone named Madame Mercy. She sounds like the Wicked Witch of the West. And a fortuneteller who doesn’t charge has to be up to something. She’s probably worse than the ones that do. Either way, there is no way I’m stepping foot into this overly hippied out acid house. I sit back in the seat, which I swear has other life forms growing on it, and cross my arms. If he wants me to go inside that whacko’s shop, he’s gonna have to drag me inside, kicking and screaming. I’m not goin’.
“Take me home,” I demand.
“No, Anna. Ya goin’. I’m tired of watchin’ ya destroy ya life. You’re better than dat.”
“This isn’t ’bout life. This is about Kaz and everyone else.”
“If by everyone else, you mean Nick.”
My face heats up at the mention of Nick. I shouldn’t be attracted to a married man. I know the consequences of wanting a married man. Besides the obvious, he’s a teacher and I’m only fifteen, being attracted to him will only derail my progress with Kaz. What I don’t understand is why Brad cares so much. He’s been getting on to me nonstop about older guys. Women are allowed to be attracted to older guys. Where is it written that is some taboo thing? I know I can’t do anything, not that I want to. I’m not ready for that. But there is nothing wrong with being friends. I want friends. I need friends. And they give me that.
“There’s something ’bout ya that makes a good guy give into temptation.”


Author Bio:
T. Marie Alexander lives in Arkansas. She can be found sitting at a computer on any given day, usually writing or looking up something to do with fashion. When she is not doing either of those things, she’s reading on her Kindle or binge watching Roswell on Netflix time and time again. She shares her apartment with her husband and some annoying ghost that like to take her belongings. Her dream of becoming an author started around the age of seven when she would glue small pages together and write about her favorite thing at the time, boy band crushes. T. Marie writes Young Adult Science Fiction and Paranormal Fiction.

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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Celtic Fire by Liz Gavin #Giveaway


Celtic Fire
Liz Gavin
(Highland Celts Series, #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal Romance
This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.
When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.
Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.
Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?
Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?
Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?
When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.
Failure was not an option.
EXCERPT:
Rowen
Although my heart is heavy and my thoughts are gloomy, I take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand. I search for the sacred oak, the oldest tree in the grove. Finding it, I lie on the ground, face down, in front of the revered tree. Earth’s energy radiates from the ground, traveling through my body and limbs, filling me with a potent magnetism, and making my skin tingle as I say my prayer.
“Forgive me, Great Mother. I have failed you yet again. I am your vessel on this realm and as such I should never doubt your ways. Nevertheless, when the time came for Caddaric to go back to Avalon, I despaired and fought against the inevitable, as I always do.
Please, give me strength to control my weak heart, wisdom to understand your signs, and courage to do your bidding.”
The wind picks up around me making the dry leaves and little twigs swirl. Faint whispers come in the breeze. A thousand gentle fingers move over my body caressing, soothing me.
“Oh, Mother, you are too kind and never abandon me. I promise to serve you faithfully and perform my duties accordingly from now on.”
The wind blows stronger, molding my clothes to my body, covering me in dry leaves. I feel faint and when I open my eyes, I’m not in the sacred grove any longer. I’m lying on a sunny field, there’s a gentle breeze blowing from the distant line of apple trees, bringing the sweet smell of their flowers in full bloom. Recognizing my beloved isle of Avalon, I get up and look around. I see the Lady of the Lake standing just a few feet away. I go to her and offer a curtsy. The Lady gently holds me by my shoulders, smiles serenely and holds my gaze. Not for the first time, I wonder if her eyes can read my soul.
“Rise, Rowen, my child. And do not cry. You should rejoice over your successes instead of mourning what you perceive as failures. Your apprentices look up to you and seek your guidance, because your advice is wise and respectful. The villagers worship the Great Mother according to the old traditions, because they follow your firm yet kind leadership. Despite being so young, my beautiful Rowen, you are wise and your people respect you.”
I am touched by her words. I never expected the Lady of the Lake herself would answer my prayer and come talk to me, comfort me.
“You are too kind, my lady. I am honored and, although I think I do not deserve your comfort, I am thankful.”
“I speak only the truth, Rowen, as all true servants of the Goddess shall do. Now, you will not like what I need to tell you. You have always been loyal to your vows and I count on that loyalty to see you through the task I need you to undertake.”
“You frighten me, my lady. What do you need from me? You know I would never deny you, or the Great Mother, anything.”


Author Bio:
International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.
This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.
Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Nelumbo Nucifera by Cristina Slough #Giveaway


Nelumbo Nucifera
Cristina Slough
Publication date: January 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller
On the surface, Gaby Parker has it all; however, behind closed doors, is a woman who lives in constant fear of the man who was supposed to love her: her husband, Kyle. Beaten, desperate, and broken, Gaby realizes the only way to escape from her violent husband is to kill herself — on paper. Gaby is dead, and Riley Locklin is born, residing in the tranquil coastal town of Chesswick Bay Montauk where she hopes to start over and meets a man who shows her bruises aren’t kisses.
Meanwhile, back home, Kyle is doing everything in his power to prove Gaby isn’t dead.
But…police find her burnt-out car and remains?
Kyle isn’t buying it; he knows she’s still alive. He launches his own full investigation to find his wife — and he’ll stop at nothing to claim her back. A female Detective assigned to his wife’s case doesn’t like him very much after discovering a domestic violence report – scorned by the history of her mother’s domestic abuse, she’s determined to send Kyle down for his wife’s murder.
And then he finds her. Will Gaby finally take a stand?
Are you a reviewer?
You can request a review copy here!
EXCERPT:
When Kyle went to his car, the club was aglow with flashing blue and red lights. The wail of sirens assaulted his ears. Two ambulances were parked outside.
He caught a glimpse of a woman being carried out on a stretcher. Police had concealed the club with yellow tape. The last thing that he needed was to get pulled into this shit. To his relief, as the gate opened, he was able to get straight on the road. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Right now he needed Randy, but now he was embroiled with the night’s events. Kyle pulled out into the interstate. He pushed his foot down heavy on the accelerator; his pulse was beating hard in his chest. He tried to think back: Had there been any clues? He debated the pros and cons of going after her. If he found her, he knew that his rage would win and he wouldn’t be in control anymore. He imagined her, out there somewhere, laughing at him, thinking that she had gotten away with it. Meanwhile, he was under the microscope with the cops—especially with Detective Isla Bitch Morany. Even thinking about that woman made him want to punch something; he would love to wipe her smug know it all look off her face. But her badge protected her; it acted as a shield, because if she was working a normal job, there was no way she wouldn’t have had a fist or two to knock her back in line.
Kyle thought about the money he had parted with since this all began; he was satisfied that the bulk of his funds were off shore; Morany may have uncovered his dirty dealings, and they were enough to get him in hot water, but his reserves would be enough to save him, probably. He drove past a parade of billboards advertising the Love of God:
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
It felt as if that sign had been placed there especially for him. Things between him and Gaby had never been smooth, but he thought he had things in a structured order, and he was desperate to claw it back. He decided that he was going to do just as God had instructed: “Be wise as a serpent.”


Author Bio:
Novelist, movie addict, and animal lover, Cristina Slough is the author of:
Nelumbo Nucifera and Till Death Us Do Part.
Cristina has always been a bookworm, rarely seen without a pen and paper in her hand, she loves delving into a literacy fictional world of her own.
Although Cristina loves pink and fluffy, her writing isn’t. She loves to focus on raw human emotion and gritty story lines; she’s very fond of messing with her readers heads by weaving twists into her books.
Cristina is married to Adam, who runs a successful business; together they share their Bedfordshire home with their son, and several spoiled pets. As a family, they love to travel frequently, the United States being a firm favorite.

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Sponsored post: I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Allegedly
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.


Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Allegedly “I didn’t kill Alyssa.”


This was a YA contemporary story, about a teenage girl who allegedly killed a baby.

I felt quite sorry for Mary in this book, being locked up for years when you did nothing wrong would be awful, and the way the other girls in the home treated her was pretty bad.

The storyline in this was about Mary discovering she was pregnant by her boyfriend Ted, and realising that because of her history she wouldn’t be allowed to keep the baby. We had Mary trying to hire a lawyer to protest her innocence and considering running away with Ted to save her baby from being adopted. This was an enjoyable story, although the number of double negatives really irritated me – “I don’t say nothing.”, “I don’t have to do nothing.”, “Nobody asked her to save nobody.”

The ending to this left us with a massive twist, and I kind-of wanted to know what would happen next.



7 out of 10

Monday, 23 January 2017

Sulan, Episode 3: The Dome by Camille Picott #Giveaway


Sulan, Episode 3: The Dome
Camille Picott
Publication date: January 15th 2017
Genres: Cyberpunk, Dystopian, Young Adult
After escaping the League, Sulan and her friends are granted entrance into the Dome, a utopian biodome in the wilderness of Alaska. Sulan soon finds herself a pawn in Global Arms’s political maneuvers to secure the national mercenary contract. Forced to put on a public persona that makes her skin crawl, she must charm Vex media moguls to further the cause of Global. Should she fail to embrace her new role as company spokesperson, the consequences will be deadly to everyone she loves.
Meanwhile, the League unleashes a new deadly threat on the United States. When Sulan and her friends stumble on the trail of a League mole within the Dome, they set out to track him down. Will they be safe in their new home, or will they find themselves trapped among enemies?
Previous books in the series:
Grab book 1 for FREE on Smashwords!
EXCERPT:
With nothing but two hundred yards of grass between us and the nearest row of houses, there’s no way we can escape without being seen. At least they won’t catch us with the brining salt. Now we just need to come up with a good excuse for being out here together. In the middle of the night. I wonder if they’d believe we were just stealing chocolate from the kitchen?
Taro turns to me, dark eyes intense. “Do you trust me?” he asks.
“Of course,” I answer without thought.
Before I know what’s happening, one of his arms wraps firmly around my waist. Taro draws me toward him in a rush, his other arm wrapping around my shoulders.
My boot catches on a rock and I stumble into his chest. My cheek hits his sternum, right against his heart. It pounds against my jaw in a rapid rhythm.
Even as my mind fumbles in shocked understanding, Taro places one hand under my chin. He tilts it upward and I find myself looking into his dark eyes. He leans over, his face stopping only an inch from mine.
His eyes draw me in, pinning me in place. My brain goes all fuzzy. His closeness sends strange sensations through my body. My legs feel mushy and my heart beats too fast.
He leans down, coming close, closer. Our noses touch, and my view of his eyes goes blurry.
His lips brush mine. The touch is light, like a delicate bird landing on a branch. A shockwave goes through me. My legs lose what remains of their strength and go rubbery. I throw my arms around his neck to keep myself upright.
He cinches his arms around me. The pressure of his lips on mine increases.
My eyes slide close of their own volition. My mouth develops a mind of its own, moving against Taro’s with equal pressure.
I lose all sense of place. Some distant, vague part of my mind tries to tell me something, but I can’t hear anything over the roaring of blood in my ears. The world narrows to consist of only Taro. His arms wind around me, holding me as if he never intends to let go. The strong muscles of his legs press against mine. My hands marvel at the strong tendons in his neck and the thick, spiky strands of his hair.
And his lips. I drink in the sensation of him. Our kiss deepens, becoming rough. His tongue slides into my mouth. I inhale sharply in surprise, then strengthen my grip around his neck. I kiss him back, my tongue meeting his. A meteor is streaking through my bloodstream. I am on fire. Taro lifts me off the ground, squashing me against him. We kiss each other hard.
He abruptly pulls away, breathing heavily. I blink in confusion, my breath rasping. With deliberate slowness, he sets me on my feet and takes several steps back from me. Even in the darkness, I see his flushed cheeks.
The separation clears some of the fog from my brain. I stare, dumbfounded, at Taro. I look around, trying to recall where we are and what we were doing before the kiss.
“Nice, Hudanus,” calls the rude, cackling voice of Jason Van Deer. “Always knew you had a thing for Brains. Too bad she doesn’t have better taste.”


Author Bio:
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Reality is in a Dream by Lauren Mayhew

Reality is in a Dream
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Most dreams are a reflection of recent events in your waking life. Not for Liliana. Hers begin to reveal a forgotten life - memories that fill her with joy and fear.

When a pair of eyes begins to watch her from the sky, she cannot shake away the feeling of dread that washes over her with their every appearance.

The only person that she can trust to help her is her best friend Justin. Together they begin to decipher Liliana's dreams in an attempt to uncover the truth, but it soon becomes clear that they are dealing with events that are far beyond their imagination.

The more that the two of them uncover, the harder it becomes for Liliana to distinguish between two realities. She desperately needs to find answers before time runs out.


Reality is in a Dream by Lauren Mayhew

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Reality is in a DreamDownloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk

This was a YA paranormal story about a girl with special powers.

Lily was an okay character, although at times she sounded delusional. It probably wasn’t a good idea to tell her parents things that she believed to be true, but which to her parents sounded crazy.

The storyline in this was about Lily having flashbacks in dreams to another life where she had a brother and a fiancée, and finding out that she was being hunted by someone evil. She also had special powers that allowed her to hop inside mirrors, and sometimes to see things happen before they really did. I did find the pace in this quite slow though, and I did lose interest a bit at times.

The ending to this was quite interesting as I wasn’t expecting the twist that we got thrown.



6 out of 10


Saturday, 21 January 2017

It’s You by K.P. Kelley #Giveaway


It’s You
K.P. Kelley
(It’s You, #1)
Publication date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes her first duo of paranormal romances!
ONCE UPON A TIME…
the most beautiful boy in the world kissed me.
I’ve never been able to forget.
Perhaps it was his jet black hair,
or the changing copper-color of his eyes,
the intense way he looked at me…
or the fact that he awakened my passion for the first time,
at once otherworldly yet heartbreakingly real.
But after that kiss, I never saw him again.
His name was Jack Beauloup.
Jack, my “Beautiful Wolf.”
Twenty years passed. He has returned. For me.
--

It’s You
K.P. Kelley
(It’s You, #2)
Publication date: January 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
The thrilling conclusion of Katy Regnery’s first paranormal romance series!
HAPPILY EVER AFTER… To some, they’re just words signifying a fairytale ending. For me, Jack Beauloup, they represent an unyielding desire: Forever with Darcy Turner, the unexpected love of my life. A love that has placed her human life in danger.
According to Pack Law, my binding is an abomination that must be severed. It’s ignited a fiery hatred that I must confront and control.
But what is bound cannot be broken. I will keep Darcy safe. Even if it means giving up on my dreams. Even if it means giving up my life.
EXCERPT:
Darcy put her hands on his face and tilted it to the side, leaning forward to press her lips against his. His mouth was hot and soft, but he didn’t respond to her. He was pouting. He was telling her how much it bothered him that she wanted to go home. She laced her hands around his neck, pulling him down to her, rubbing her body against his, gently wiggling her tongue between his lips.
She heard his keys fall to the floor as his arms swooped around her, lifting her off the ground, into his arms, flush up against his body. He sighed into her mouth, his tongue stroking hers with the same rhythm he’d used to make love to her, and she felt her hunger for him pooling, throbbing and insistent, below her waist.
Sounds of passion escaped her throat as he grappled for the button of her jeans, urgently unzipped them, then pushed them down. She unbuttoned and unzipped his pants as fast as she could, freeing his hard, ready sex. Without breaking contact with her lips, he put his hands under her arms and lifted her against the back of the front door, holding her hips with his hands and sinking without warning into her wet, waiting body, thrusting upwards as she cried out his name.
She felt vulnerable and confined, at his mercy, which she found incredibly hot, and she wound her hands in his hair, throwing her head back against the door as he plunged deeper and deeper into the recesses of her body, his pelvic bone rubbing the nub of sensitive flesh over her entry. The sharp sweetness of their mating became more and more tightly coiled until—
“Jack…Jack…Jaaaaaaaaaack!” Her head fell forward on his shoulder and her body convulsed around him as he thrust into her one final time, emitting a loud, roaring growl from his throat and howling her name, “Darcy!” as they climaxed together.


Author Bio:
K.P. Kelley is the paranormal-writing alter ego of New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery.
She has only read two paranormal books: Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness, both by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. K.P. has absolutely no idea if she’s doing the “paranormal thing” right…if she is, your encouragement would be much appreciated.
Her first two books, It’s You #1 and It’s You #2 will be available on January 3rd and 17th because K.P. hates cliffhangers and doesn’t think a reader should have to suffer through them for more than two weeks.
You can find K.P. hanging out with contemporary romance author, Katy Regnery. They share a brain.

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Friday, 20 January 2017

Scorch Road by Toby Neal & Emily Kimelman #Giveaway


Scorch Road
Toby Neal & Emily Kimelman
(Scorch Series, #1)
Publication date: January 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller
For fans of romance thriller suspense and family romance series, comes a new romantic action adventure!
One of five brothers and a sister, JT Luciano is a widowed environmental biologist with a touch of the Sight who is preparing for an apocalyptic event he knows is coming. Holed up at his military survival camp named the Haven, prepared for his family, JT is ready for whatever might come… except for one woman.
Elizabeth Johnson, virologist and Senator’s daughter, is carrying precious cells for a vaccine against the swiftly-evolving, deadly flu that’s sweeping the nation. Her plane crashes in JT’s potato field—and she must convince him to leave his safe haven and help her get to Washington, DC.
One by one, the structures of society implode in the face of the flu’s devastation as JT and Elizabeth travel a scorching road cross country. Danger brings them together to find one good, true thing in a changing world.
Help Pick The Cover Design for the first book in the new “Scorch Romantic Thriller Series” by bestselling authors Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman!
From Toby & Emily:
We are dying to hear your thoughts! We love both these covers but want to know what YOU think. Which one just screams “Romantic Thriller”?
To show our gratitude for sharing your opinion with us we are offering everyone who votes a free copy of the first book in this smoking hot new series, “Scorch Road.”
We can’t wait to see what you think!


Author Bio:
Kirkus Reviews calls Neal's writing, "persistently riveting. Masterly."
Award-winning, USA Today bestselling social worker turned author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kaua`i in Hawaii. Neal is a mental health therapist, a career that has informed the depth and complexity of the characters in her stories. Neal's police procedurals, starring multicultural detective Lei Texeira, explore the crimes and issues of Hawaii, and are so popular that they've spawned a licensed fan fiction world on Amazon.
Neal focuses on mystery but also writes romance, YA, and memoir.
Receive one of her books, full-length, award-winning Torch Ginger, by signing up for her email list at http://tobyneal.net/
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
--
Emily Kimelman is the author of eight mysteries in her best selling Sydney Rye Series about a brave female protagonist and her giant dog, Blue. Emily also writes dystopian, paranormal romances under the name E.J. Kimelman. A traveler, mother and all around bad ass chick, Emily is always happy to hear from readers. Connect with her on Twitter @ejkimelman, Facebook, and at her website www.emilykimelman.com. Visit Emily’s website and sign up for her Readers’ Group to receive four FREE ebooks including the first book in her Sydney Rye Series, UNLEASHED. You’ll also get special offers, new release announcements and more.
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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