Book Tour: Mask and Mirrors

Welcome to the Mask and Mirrors Book Tour, hosted by RogerCharlie!~

23157395Title: Fade To Black [The Weir Chronicles #1]
Author: Sue Duff
Publication Date: October 10, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Illusionist Ian Black has a talent for keeping secrets. College student Rayne Bevan has a gift for uncovering them. She suspects that the popular performer’s skills extend beyond the stage and that he’s the area’s mysterious and elusive defender of the innocent. In her efforts to uncover the truth, Rayne is swept into the hidden world of the Weir, a magical race who struggle to prevent Earth from self-destructing. Her inquiries expose Ian to those who would kill for his connection to the planet, and as he fights to keep Rayne, and those closest to him safe, they discover a force behind the Weir’s raging civil war—a traitor bent on launching Earth’s Armageddon.

Book Cover - Masks and MirrorsTitle: Masks and Mirrors [The Weir Chronicles #2]
Author: Sue Duff
Publication Date: April 2, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Ian Black’s commitment to safeguarding Earth has come at a price. His career as an illusionist is at a standstill and attending to the planet’s needs has distanced him from his best friend, his guardians, and the woman he loves. When presented with an opportunity to perform, Ian seizes the chance. But moments before he takes the stage, Ian encounters the mysterious Jaered and a rebel force fighting to protect Earth alongside the Weir.

Jaered is determined to stop a malevolent Weir from releasing a drug capable of wiping out the last vestiges of their race and plunging Earth into self-destruction. But when Jaered is willing to sacrifice an innocent child to obtain the drug for himself, Ian risks everything to uncover the secrets of the rebel forces and their true intentions for Earth’s survival.

Learn more about the series here!

About the Author:Sue Duff

Sue has been writing since high school but never became serious about it until a skiing accident laid her up for an entire summer and she turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. A couple years later, her first urban fantasy novel, Fade to Black, was a finalist in the RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest. By day, she’s a dedicated speech-language therapist in an inner city school district to pay the bills but her life as a writer is her true passion and the creative outlet keeps her sane.

Sue is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and The Pikes Peak Writers. Her creativity extends into her garden and the culinary arts. She is the second oldest of six girls with an avid reader mom and her dad, the family’s single drop of testosterone in a sea of estrogen. Fate thought it hilarious to give her a son but maternal instincts swing both ways and she didn’t break the little bugger. She lives in Colorado with her miniature dachshund, Snickers and hears from her son, Jonathan whenever he needs something.

To get the latest news, updates on events or the scoop on future novels in The Weir Chronicles series, subscribe to her email list.

Author Links:

Book Blitz: Raven

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Welcome to the Raven Book Blast, hosted by YA Reads Blog Tours!~

RavenTitle: Raven [Chronicles of Steele #1]
Author: Pauline Creeden
Publication Date: October 2014
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Human life has value. 
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.
 

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
On sale for 99¢ sale from March 16-23! Go get your copy today!

Excerpt:

Two sets of footsteps clipped across on the cobblestone. Before they rounded the bend to the stable door, Raven’s fingers twitched over her knife. When she saw Gorman and the younger baron, she relaxed and continued attaching her weapons.

“Can I trust you?” Baron Darius’s voice rose hesitantly as he approached.

She smiled. “I’ve saved your life once and promise to do it as many times as necessary.”

“Why?”

“It’s the reaper’s way. A life for a life.”

“How many have you killed?”

Raven clinched her jaw. “Too many.” Her gaze met the butler’s. “Will he have his own horse?”

“No. The young master’s condition makes him subject to untimely fits. He would be in danger of falling.” His ice blue eyes held a fire unmatched by his frozen features.

“Right. I expected as much.” She placed her boot in the stirrup and mounted. “Hand him to me then.”

The butler lifted him to the front of her saddle. She knew it would be an uncomfortable place to ride for a long period of time, but he’d only have to make it to Gregory’s house. On a horse, it should only be about four hours if they took it slow, less than three if needed.

A horn sounded, and the butler paled. “It’s him. The duke approaches.”

“Father is early.” The boy sounded happy but tentative.

Gorman gripped the horse’s rein and turned it toward the other stable exit. “We must leave by the north gate. The duke approaches from the south. You may have as much as an hour’s head start before he commands a pursuit.”

Raven swallowed hard. “That’s not enough time.”

“Follow me.” He released the rein and jogged forward.

The horse trotted in response. Even in the jarring up and down motion of the trot, the young baron remained silent. He gripped the chestnut mare’s mane with both hands. His knuckles glowed white under the lamps. Raven pulled gently on the reins to slow the horse to a more tolerable speed but followed the butler closely.

“Guards!” Gorman reached the gates, speaking in breathless tones. “Baron Solomon orders passage for this woman and the young baron.”

Raven recognized Grant’s red band before he turned around. He narrowed his eyes at her and barked the order to open the gate. Before she could urge her horse forward, Grant gripped the bridle by the cheek piece. He called back toward the butler, “Will she need guard?”

“That will not be necessary. She is capable of caring for the young baron on his errand.”

Even in the half-light, Raven could see the guard’s jaw tighten and nostrils flare in indecision. “Baron Solomon trusts this woman?”

The butler frowned and stiffened in disapproval. Still he answered softly, “Yes, with his brother’s life.”

About the Author:Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest

Giveaway:

Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

ENTER HERE !~

Book Tour + Suspect Profile: Liars, Inc.

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Welcome to the Liars, Inc. Book Tour, hosted by Jean Book Nerd!~

Liars, Inc.

Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Strokes
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Mystery
GoodReads

Synopsis:

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.

Buy Links:
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

FRI MARCH 20. PARVATI AMOS PROFILE

Paula: Welcome to Day 5 of the #CatchAKiller Blog Tour. It’s time to learn about Parvati, Max’s fierce but flawed girlfriend. Be sure to check out the tour next week too as Special Agent James McGhee will be interviewing each of the suspects! Also, stop by my blog today or tomorrow and find out about Mystery Twitter Theater: Oh noes! There’s been a murder on Twitter, and if you can deduce the killer before anyone else, the prizes are EPIC!

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CASE CA4153-228
INFORMATION PROFILE
LEAD INVESTIGATOR: McGhee, James, Special Agent
SECONDARY INVESTIGATOR: Gonzalez, Alex, Special Agent
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY: Amos, Parvati and Bhatnagar-Amos, Priya, JD

SUBJECT: Amos, Parvati
AGE: 17
GENDER: Female
NATIONALITY: American
ETHNICITY: Indian
HEIGHT: 5’3”
WEIGHT: 120 lbs
HAIR: Black
EYES: Brown

Parvati Amos is a seventeen-year-old female. She was born in Los Angeles, CA. Her current legal address is 6 Cormorant’s Nest in Vista Palisades, CA. Parvati is currently a senior at Vista Palisades High School and is being questioned in conjunction with the disappearance of Preston DeWitt.

CRIMINAL HISTORY: Arrested for shoplifting at age 15. Charges later dropped by store.

MEDICAL HISTORY: Cracked ribs at age 11 and broken wrist at age 14 from sparring in karate class. Broken arm and orbital fracture at age 15 from zip-lining accident. No other medical or surgical history. Subject denies psychiatric disorders, tobacco use, and drug/alcohol use.

ACADEMIC HISTORY: Attended elementary school in Los Angeles and Vista Palisades Middle School. Ninth, tenth, and most of eleventh grade at Bristol Academy until she was expelled for stealing from locked classrooms during the spring semester of her junior year. Mother clarifies it was a prank “kids being kids” that was taken too far, the bulk of responsibility pinned on her daughter. Subject is currently a senior at Vista Palisades High School.

WORK HISTORY: None.

SOCIAL HISTORY: Subject says she prefers a few close friends to a lot of superficial ones, but that she gets along with everyone at school and has no enemies. No current boyfriend. She has known Preston for three years and Max for about eight months. She and Max dated for a few months and broke up recently but are still “school friends.” Subject has been a vegetarian since she was a child. In addition to speaking English, she also speaks Hindi, Farsi, Spanish, and some Arabic.

About the Author:

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Giveaway:
Open to International | Must be 13+ to enter
Giveaway Banner Blog Tour
  • 1 Deluxe Swag Pack. Includes (1 Black or White T-shirt, 1 Notebook, 1 Signed Postcard, 1 Magnet, 2 Signed Bookmarks, 1 Signed Bookplate, and a Mini Shark’s Tooth Pendant) all wrapped in crime scene tape and packaged in an official evidence bag.
  • 2 Mini Swag Packs. Includes (2 Signed Bookmarks, 1 Magnet, 1 Signed Bookplate).

ENTER HERE!~

Book Blitz: Numbers Game

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Welcome to the Numbers Game Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

NumbersGameTitle: Numbers Game
Author: Rebecca Rode
Publication Date: March 16, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Treena can’t wait for Rating Day. Her high score will mean a life of luxury, showing the world that she’s a valuable member of society, not a pathetic waste of space. It won’t hurt her chances with her top-Rated boyfriend, either. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life—and boyfriend—back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone seems to want her dead. And then there’s the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. They must band together if they are to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within Treena’s heart.

Buy Link:
Amazon

Q&A with Rebecca Rode

Q: Will you tell us about Numbers Game?

A: Absolutely! In the New Order Republic of America, 16-year-olds are given a Rating, a number that encompasses what they’re worth to society. It determines their career, living conditions, and potential partners. This is the story of Treena, who gets a different Rating than the one she earned. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, determined to get her boyfriend back in the process.

Meanwhile, she meets Vance, a mysterious prisoner-turned-soldier who has his own agenda. When someone tries to kill Treena—twice—they uncover a dark conspiracy that risks much more than Treena’s Rating.

 

Q: Great. You probably get this question a lot, but the concept is so unique that I have to ask—where did you get the idea for Numbers Game?

 

A: I love this question! My husband sent me to the bank to finalize the loan on the truck he was buying. I looked at my credit score and thought how strange it was that one number was supposed to incorporate everything about me—my purchase history, how reliable I’d been, whether they could trust me to make payments, that sort of thing. And then I thought how strange it was, that we as citizens are so trusting of the accuracy of that little number, and how important it is in our lives. It spiraled from there—what is someone was manipulating the numbers? What if the number included appearance and intelligence rather than just financial history? It didn’t take long for the plot to unfold in my mind.

 

Q: What type of reader would like this book?

 

A: I tell people that it’s like a thriller version of The Scarlet Letter, but set in the future. With bombs. And kissing. Dystopian fans who like Divergent, Hunger Games, and Matched would love it.

 

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?

 

A: At first, Tali was my favorite. She knows exactly what she wants and doesn’t put up with anything. But now that the book is done, I think Vance has overtaken her as my favorite. The way he sees the world and struggles to survive while torn between two worlds really resonates with me.

 

Q: What was your favorite part of the writing process? What was the hardest?

 

A: I really enjoyed taking an idea and running with it. Once I had the world solidified in my head, it was fun to explore all the different aspects of it—political, social, financial, emotional, etc. I wrote myself into a dozen corners because I was just having too much fun.

 

The hardest part? Probably the time it took to finish it. When I began writing Numbers Game in 2012, I was also juggling a journalism career and three kids, and then my nonfiction book was accepted for publication, so that took all my remaining hours. When my fourth child was born, everything came to a screeching halt for a while. It wasn’t until Numbers Game won first place in a statewide writing contest in that I decided to buckle down and get serious with it.

 

Q: Why did you decide to make it a series instead of a stand-alone book?

 

A: You know how some authors say that their characters grab hold of the story and steer it in a different direction without their permission? That’s kind of what happened here. It just couldn’t end with this book. There was so much more that needed to be explored. Besides, Treena had a little more growing to do, and I think you’ll love the person that she becomes.

 

Q: Thanks for joining us. Where can we find out more?

 

A: Visit my website at www.AuthorRebeccaRode.com or sign up for my monthly newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bdwUKL. I give away free stuff sometimes, if you’re into that type of thing. But remember, Numbers Game is only discounted on Amazon for a few days, so you may want to snatch it up quick.

Also, take the time to check out the Numbers Game Quiz to see what your number range is!

About the AuthorRebecca

REBECCA RODE is an award-winning author, journalist, and mother of four. She is the author of the YA dystopian novel, NUMBERS GAME, and the inspirational book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU’RE FALLING TO PIECES. She also writes for Deseret News, KSL.com, FamilyShare, and Provo Daily Herald. However, her true love is writing for teenagers. She enjoys traveling, reading, and martial arts, and she has a ridiculous addiction  to chocolate-banana shakes. Visit her at www.AuthorRebeccaRode.com.
Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Giveaway:
Open internationally. Enter to with a Kindle Fire!

ENTER HERE!~

 

Review: Shadow Study

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Title: Shadow Study [Study #4] [Soulfinders #1]
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job – and his life – are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret – or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is – while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous.

*Spoilers from the first three books will be present, ratings are at the bottom if you just want to know what I thought of it overall*

I have mixed feelings about this book. I fell in love with the Study series back in 2010 or 2011, and when I found out that there would be a new adventure for Yelena, Valek, Ari, and Janco, I fangirled for a good few weeks (and then I noticed the release date and cried, but that’s besides the point). I loved Poison Study, but the next two books disappointed me [Magic Study] [Fire Study]. Not that they weren’t interesting, but the characters kind of let me down. This book, unfortunately followed that pattern.

I loved that this book finally gave a peak into Valek’s past. This was probably the most captivating part of the novel. Valek’s past has always been hidden in the shadows, more so than him, and his story was probably what kept me constantly reading the book. Every time his part popped up, I’d sit up straighter and give the book my full attention, because oh my goodness, it was amazing. Gah, reading about him training and his life in general is the best thing ever. And how he met the Commander! AH. It was awesome. I’d actually recommend the book for old and new fans, JUST for Valek’s story. You have to admit, you’re curious too.

Then there was Yelena. I love her. Don’t get me wrong. But I hate that since she got her magic she’s become a very dependent character. It’s like all of her kickass training and stuff got tossed out the window the minute she found out that she has magical powers. I hate it. And I hated it especially in this book. As stated in the synopsis, her magic is blocked, and she becomes this weak girl. She’s mopey, and sad, and “vulnerable”. Yet, in the first book she was kickass and amazing. She doesn’t even try now. No more warm-ups and training for her. It’s annoying. that’s what it is. Reading about her worrying over her powers drive me insane. I know that she’s worried about some things, like fire world stuff, and getting like barraged with magic mojo, but when it comes to a physical fight, she just can’t and that bothers me beyond reason. She was probably the let down for me in this book, and that sucks.

Janco and Ari are awesome as always, and I really love the new badass touch the new characters add to the story. At least someone can hold their own in a fight. They’re story provides another hint of mystery and intrigue to the story, as well as general confusion and fascination. I love the final twist within their story. It really makes you question loyalties and who’s trustworthy and it’s perfect.

As per usual, her world building was wonderful. While I would’ve liked a little more of it, just to refresh my memory after all these years, it was a perfect amount if you were to read the series consecutively, without pause. I’ve missed the lands of Ixia and Sitia, and I know I’ll miss them just as much as I wait for the next book to come out…

All and all, not my favourite of the series, but not a bad start to the new segment of it. Valek’s story honestly makes the book, and if you don’t want to read it for any other reason, read it for Valek, and you won’t regret it.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.23/5

eARC obtained via Mira via Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Leo

17825503Title: Leo [Sign of Life #1]
Author: Mia Sheridan
Publication Date: March 11 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.

When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and he moves to another city, he promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.

Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She’s content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY LEO. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Honestly, I was kind of disappointed with this book. Hear me out.

I loved Mia Sheridan’s novel Archer’s Voice. It was a beautiful and heartbreaking story. And this one could have been.

Evie grew up in a foster home, with foster parents that weren’t all that attentive. As pointed out repeatedly throughout the book, she overcame all these difficulties and has managed to make a life for herself. That is, until she meets Jake, who sends her life spinning out of control, as old questions, worries, and heartbreak resurfaces.

I honestly felt very little connection to Evie, Leo, and Jake. They were surface characters to me, and that sucks, especially since I know that Sheridan is capable of wringing every tear and emotion from me with her words. I didn’t really get to feel Evie’s pain, it was mostly shown. She felt bad, this or that was hard for her to say, but she didn’t dig and she couldn’t make me feel for her.

Admittedly, the end of the book was a nice punch in a gut, something I feel like I should have felt for a fair amount of the book, but I was so disappointed that the emotional rebuilding was rushed and abruptly cut off by the end of the book. The length of the book was fine, but could have been filled with more emotion than I was given.

Next, Jake. Jake, Jake, Jake. If you’ve stuck around long enough, you know how I feel about super possessive relationships, and this was a tad much. It wasn’t one of those crazy psycho-esque novels, with the ‘loving’ boyfriend bashing in walls and killing people for their beloved, but it bothered me nonetheless. The book starts off with Jake stalking her, and then a few days into their half relationship he starts getting possessive (i.e. you’re mine, stay over at my place, you are everything to me). Like woah buddy, calm yourself, you guys have barely breathed the same air for ten minutes. Chill. I understand that it happens, people can just know that the other is ‘the one’, but that’s pushing at relationship a bit too much.

Lastly, the overall narrative. Everything was very robotic, very instructional almost.

Back in my kitchen, I put my own dinner on a tray and take it back into the only other small room. I sit on the floor and lean against my loveseat as I eat. A studio apartment doesn’t allow for a lot of furniture, but that’s okay because it’s not like I entertain. I put The Shawshank Redemption, one of my favorite movies, into the DVD player and push play. I don’t spend the extra money on cable so I reply on the DVDs I’ve picked up at garage sales. I’d usually rather read anyway, so it’s fine by me.

After I clean up my dishes, I end up falling asleep in front of the movie and when I finally drag myself into bed, it’s after midnight.

There’s too much telling, not enough showing, and it makes for a very rough and stilted narrative. Granted, I didn’t notice this right away, but after so long, it’s hard to get past.

Overall, I liked the idea of the novel, I liked the ending of the novel, but I would also love to cut out most of the beginning and middle of the novel just because it dragged on forever and didn’t really add much to the story. Not bad, but if you were to pick up a book by Sheridan, I’d go with Archer’s Voice.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 3/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.13/5

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

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Title: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Mary Jennifer Payne
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Mystery Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she’s in a different country.

Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.

Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she’ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.

I wanted to like this book. Truly. It sounded so interesting the premise – a sort of mystery/thriller. But it wasn’t. It was more of a panic attack, mixed with filler story, with a touch of forced romance.

Edie sucks as a main character. I couldn’t like her. There was nothing attractive or nice or remotely relatable about her. She starts off judging a girl because she’s small, quiet, friendly, and dresses in a fair amount of black, basically kicking her to the curb because she looks different. Then she has the audacity to say that she doesn’t like bullying, but proceeds to make fun of her in her head and get annoyed that this girl is being friendly to her. Like really??

Then her mom disappears and she’s like THIS IS MY SECRET, but wait, I want to tell this person, and this person. But I think I will actually tell all my secrets to this guy who doesn’t like me at all and might just turn me in to save his own butt.

Is that really the best idea?

There’s such an inconsistency between her thoughts and actions. This makes it extremely hard to relate to her or care about what she’s thinking, if what she does is going to be the opposite.

Further, her character sucks. She’s not a frugal spender, and she uses money she steals on ‘dates’ and to pig out on meals that I don’t even provide myself when it’s my own money being used. She generally just had a bad personality and I couldn’t find it in me to like her.

Then there’s the romance. The romance was so forced and didn’t fit at all in the book. She’s supposed to be distressed and anxious, and she is, but it’s hot and cold as the romance takes over the storyline. And it’s so random. They’ve known (and hated) each other for like 20 minutes before they start making gooey eyes at each other and it bothered me so much. She has time to do all these things with him and yet she also states that finding her mother is number one priority (that inconsistency thing again).

The last thing I have to comment on is the writing style. It was a lot of fact fact fact, thing that is actually happening, and then fact fact fact again. I couldn’t get immersed in this world, despite my best efforts. On top of that, there were a lot of metaphors and similes that were fairly unnecessary or irrelevant that just cluttered the narrative.

I wanted to this like this, but there was basically no connection between me, the characters, and their world. I couldn’t bring myself to like them, or feel happy or sad for them. There just wasn’t anything in this book that did it for me.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 2/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall: 2/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.14/5

eARC obtained via Dundurn via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tour + Review: Mean Streak

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Welcome to the Mean Streak Blog Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours !~

MeanStreakTitle: Mean Streak
Author: Sandra Brown
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central
Genre: Adult Romance Suspense
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

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Review:

This is the first book that I’ve read, in a long time, that actually had me captivated from beginning to end. Also, it was my first Sandra Brown book ever. And I loved it! It was intense, it was interesting, and I actually didn’t expect that end.

I think my favourite part of this book is that I didn’t expect the end at all. Like maybe one part here and there, but I just… it was really well organized and everything just falls into place at the end and it’s wonderful.

I love every character in this book, well except for that cheeseball, but that’s ’cause he’s supposed to be annoying. ANYWAYS. I loved Emory. She’s a pure hearted character, but she doesn’t come off as the cookie-cutter type. She enjoys helping people for the sake of helping people, and doesn’t care for riches, fortune, or popularity, and I love that Brown made her characters in a way that seemed normal and realistic.

The others characters popped out of the page for me as well, and I loved that, throughout the novel, each one rolled down a road I never expected them to take. The number of random twists and loops kept me guessing and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the ride.

I think my two favourite characters were Knight and Grange, the two police men on Emory’s case. They were the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the novel, as some of their lines just sent me off grinning like a fool in the middle of my Shakespeare lecture (yes, we were learning about Hamlet).

The plot itself had a couple of holes and unanswered questions, but overall it was a very well pieced together novel. It did kind of strike me the wrong way as to how various characters kind of let their unanswered questions slide. Sometimes, they would question something, and then the other character would give them a vague answer that wouldn’t sit well with them or the audience, and a number of times, we never got that answer. This still bothers me as I ask the question “Why?” for a few actions and reactions throughout the book. I understand that some were meant to lead readers towards a different conclusions, but I feel like it could have flowed better, or have been a bit more cohesive within the storyline.

Overall, I loved this book. I love mystery/thriller type novels and this was the perfect book to get me back into reading!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.01/5

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About the Author:Sandra

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway (USA/CAN):

  • 5 winners will each get a signed personalized copy of MEAN STREAK in Trade PB and swag (image attached) + a dozen buttercream cookies from Cheryl’s

GiveawayMS

ENTER HERE !~

Tour + Author Interview: Of Sea and Stone

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Welcome to the Of Sea and Stone Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

OfSeaAndStoneTitle: Of Sea and Stone [Secrets of Itlantis #1]
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publication Date: February 2, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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Synopsis:

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

Buyer Links:
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Interview:

I am extremely excited to introduce all of you to Kate Avery Ellison. Kate is here today to talk about the first novel of her new series Secrets of Itlantis, called Of Sea and Stone! Hey, Kate! Welcome to Between Printed Pages, we’re so happy to have you here today.

Thanks! I’m happy to be here.

Before we start, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I live in Atlanta with my husband and our two cats. I write full-time and I love it. My husband and I are huge geeks. I love to watch sci fi and fantasy TV shows, play strategy board games, and read lots and lots of books.

What was the inspiration for Secrets of Itlantis and what gave you the jump start to begin writing Aemi’s story?

I had the idea about 10 years ago, actually, so I’m not sure exactly what was the inspiration. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of underwater cities, though, and I’ve always wanted to write something set in a world like that. My previous series, The Frost Chronicles, was set in a frozen wilderness filled with mysterious monsters, and I wanted to work on a series that was pretty different than that for my next series, and underwater/tropical locations felt pretty different!

I understand that you’re into digital art (which looks amazing by the way). How did you start up this hobby? What are your favourite digital design programs and how did you train them to work with you?

I started the hobby when I was a kid—I wanted to photoshop myself into photos with actors, that kind of thing. It was very silly. I also liked making web banners for stuff I was fangirling over. When I was older, I taught myself Photoshop (my preferred design program) using Youtube tutorials and other websites, and now I do all kinds of photomanipulation. I also design my own covers. You can see some of my stuff here: http://werekat12.deviantart.com/

What was the most enjoyable scene in the book to write?

Well, I don’t necessarily want to give anything away by describing it, but basically all of Chapter 29. I could see everything unfolding in my head, and it was epic and made my heart pound to envision (especially since I have a fear of dark, deep water). And there’s a kiss, as well as lots of action. It was actually the first scene I ever imagined from the book before I started writing it, so it’s iconic to me in that sense as well.

If you could choose three songs that describe this book, what would they be and why?

Yellow Light by Of Monsters and Men – this song has a really wistful, dreamy quality to that I think fits some of the settings, particularly the garden spheres in the underwater city of Celestrus, as well as the melancholy Aemi feels as she seeks to escape.

Never Let Me Go by Florence + the Machine – this song pairs well with parts of the scene that was my favorite to write. It has a desperate melancholy coupled with a sweetness that just works for me. It’s a good song for both Nol and Aemi in that scene and in that moment.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde – it’s kind of a fitting way to end the book and it has a lot of resonance with me for the entire series and the various factions and enemies that all have different plans for Aemi.

Last, but not least, what is your favourite word?

Oooh, good question. I have several favorite words. One is “scuttle.” I think it sounds so crab-like.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Kate Avery Ellison! Congratulations on the release of this series! We can’t wait to read it!

Thank you! Hope you enjoy it.

Buyer Links:
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About the Author:Kate

I’ve been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I’m thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I’m not writing, I’m creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway:

  • 2 print copies of A Gift of Poison by Kate Avery Ellison (US/CAN)
  • 25$ Amazon Gift Card (INTL)

ENTER HERE !~

Giveaway Winners: New Years Giveaway

The names are in! Below are the winners of the New Years Giveaway!

First, I’ll let you into my magical way of choosing the winner.

I compiled all the entries into one. Yes, it was a lot of work, but I wanted it to be as fair as possible. What did this involve? I went through the comments, Google Form, and Rafflecopter entries and put them all together based on the time submitted. Them I went to random.org and put in the range and it spat out the winners. Ta-da!

Anyways, for the part you actually care about… the winners!

Michelle
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
Losing It by Cora Carmack
Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert

Bube
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
West of Want by Laura Kaye

Yun-a
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Thank you to everyone who entered! Stick around for more giveaways in the future (:

-AK

 

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