Megan Crewe’s Secret Project Reveal

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Welcome to the reveal for Megan Crewe’s new project – A Mortal Song, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

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Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publication date: September 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

Buy Link:
Amazon

Pre-order Deal:

Everyone who pre-orders A MORTAL SONG (in any format) and submits their receipt at http://bit.ly/SONGpreorder will receive an exclusive gift package including a digital booklet following Sora’s journey through Japan with behind-the-scenes travel photos and author commentary, a 25-page story giving a look at a key sequence in the book from another character’s POV, and a high-res digital poster of the cover signed by the author. They’ll also get access to a bonus content area with deleted scenes and a chance to earn bigger prizes. And for the entire pre-order period, the ebook is only $0.99!

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About the Author:Megan

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH

Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Review: How Many Letters Are In Goodbye?

26404153Title: How Many Letters Are In Goodbye?
Author: Yvonne Cassidy
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
GoodReads

Synopsis:

It’s been almost eleven years since Rhea Farrell last wrote to her mother.

It was a Friday night ritual – until Rhea’s father decided it was stupid to write letters to a dead person. That was the summer before the accident. The summer before Rhea began to keep her first secret.

Now about to turn eighteen, Rhea finds herself alone on the streets of New York with nobody to talk to about the future, or the past. So, just like she used to do as a little girl, she begins a letter with the words ‘Dear Mum’ and tells her mother the things she can’t tell anyone else.

In the city where Allison Farrell was born, her daughter begins to delve into her past. And as she uncovers more about who her mother truly was, Rhea starts to figure out exactly who she herself wants to be. And that sometimes it takes longer than you think to say goodbye…

Did I pick this book up because of its intriguing cover? Maybe… But did I stay for the story? Definitely.

I saw this book and thought of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, and thought I’d give it a shot. To be perfectly honest with you, the beginning of this book took me about two weeks to get through. It was difficult getting into the story – Rhea begins as a curious, but fairly bitter character – she’s an orphan and has been scorned by the only family she has left, it makes sense. However, this is probably where the story loses a few points for me. As it was so hard for me to get into, a fair amount of the first third of the book was something I had to push myself through.

That being said, as time went on – as she met new people, gained better influences, and got back into the world – Rhea really began to grow on me as a character – I actually began to like her!

This book really depicts how people can change people – given the right opportunities and the right support, anyone can come back from the darkness they’ve shrouded themselves in. This book was a roller coaster of emotion. It made me love her family, and then hate them for backstabbing her. Then I loved a few of the other characters, and again trust was broken. Scorned, betray, distrustful – I understood all these emotions through Rhea and I felt for her – as new characters began popping up, I approached them with the same distrust she did. It’s hard to be let down so many times without becoming jaded.

The story unfolds slowly, but very well. While I believe the pacing could have been better (i.e. this book could have been a lot shorter), I liked that I got to know Rhea so well. I liked that they really dug into her history and what made her her, but also put focus on the future – who she was, how she could grow, and who she could become one day.

Of the novel, there was one point in particular that surprised me – mainly because it wasn’t advertised, and it was done so well – it was so subtle that I felt it was natural. Of course that was it, of course that happened – why wouldn’t it?

As a whole, How Many Letters Are In Goodbye was very well crafted and very well done.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.46/5

eARC obtained via Flux via NetGalley

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Party

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Hi, there! Rebecca Hamilton here to tell you how SUPER excited we are to bring you this MEGA giveaway! First place prize is a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, but we also have 12 runner up ebook and paperback prizes! Entering will connect you with 21 paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors for more great deals, freebies, and giveaway, so in a way, everyone wins!

Before you enter the giveaway, check out an interview with Emily Mitchell from the Middlemarch Shifters series by Shelley Munro, one of the authors sponsoring the giveaway!


Hi! Greetings from New Zealand, and a big thank you for hosting me and helping to spread the word about My Scarlet Woman and the Middlemarch Shifters series. I’ve brought a friend with me today—Emily Scarlet.

EMILY: Excuse me, Shelley. It’s Emily Mitchell now.

SHELLEY: Right! Pardon me. I thought I’d start from the beginning. Why don’t you tell everyone how you decided to visit Middlemarch?

EMILY: Sure. It was an emotional time in my life. My first husband changed after our marriage. I was happy playing wife and homemaker, cooking for him and making sure everything was just so while he concentrated on his career. What I didn’t know was that Michael was having an affair with his secretary. Color me stupid! I didn’t have a clue. The first I learned of the affair was at breakfast when he told me I was boring and he was leaving me for Tessa. Then, a few hours later, the police were at the door telling me Michael was dead. A car accident.

For six months I brooded and one day I decided, enough. The cheating louse wasn’t worth it. I went shopping, changed my hair and swapped my glasses for contacts. A poster for the Middlemarch Singles dance caught my eye, and I decided it was fate. The perfect place to find a man for one night of naughtiness. My girlfriend Maggie, who was also my sister-in-law, just about had a cow when I told her what I intended to do. She insisted on going with me and kept telling me I needed medication. She was wrong. It was the best decision ever!

SHELLEY: Emily, the special man you met that night swept you off your feet, and you ended up marrying him. We won’t spoil the story for readers, but tell me more about Middlemarch. It’s a small country town. Don’t you miss the city?

EMILY: I adore Middlemarch. It’s home. Why don’t I give you a list of the reasons I love living in Middlemarch? Besides, the next Middlemarch Singles Ball is soon. The ladies reading this might enjoy attending. http://www.middlemarch.co.nz/events/singles-ball.html

SHELLEY: Thanks, Emily! That would be great.

Emily Mitchell’s Top Reasons to Visit Middlemarch, New Zealand

  1. The ratio of men to women. There are eligible bachelors in every direction you look. That’s the reason the ball started—to bring more women to the Middlemarch region.
  2. A large majority of the men have special abilities. *glances over shoulder* Sorry, I can’t tell you more, but if you spend any length of time with one man and love is in the air, he’ll let you in on the secret.
  3. There is a real sense of family and community. The Mitchells are a big family, but their friends are an extended family too. Trouble brings them circling the wagons, I can tell you!
  4. The scenery is gorgeous in all seasons and the air is crisp and clean.
  5. The town is safe, a good place for kids. *pauses* We’ve had a problem…no, Middlemarch is a safe place.
  6. The city isn’t far away. We can drive there in an hour if the need for a fancy dinner or culture strikes.
  7. The Middlemarch Rail Trail and the Taieri Gorge Train bring lots of tourists. They’re both fun activities, even for locals.
  8. The local café, Storm in a Teacup, makes brilliant coffee. The meals are excellent too. Of course I’m biased since I own the place.
  9. The local pub is rough and rustic, but they serve a good beer. Excellent on a hot summer’s day like today.
  10. It’s where my husband Saber was born, and he’s a man in a million.

SHELLEY: Thanks for telling us about Middlemarch, Emily.

Readers, if you’d like to learn more about Middlemarch and the Middlemarch Shifters series, please download your FREE copy of Welcome to Middlemarch here. https://www.instafreebie.com/free/i9fGK

 


Don’t forget to also check out the complete list of books included in this promotion! Some of the authors have even put their books on sale just for you! Click any book to check it out on Amazon!


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Enter the Giveaway – Click Here!

Book Blitz: The Proverbial Mr. Universe

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Welcome to The Proverbial Mr. Universe Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

proverbialTitle: The Proverbial Mr. Universe
Author: Maria La Serra
Publication date: June 27th 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Dear girl with the red scarf,
Love was never meant to be conquered;
you have to surrender to it.
Trust me. After all, I am Mr. Universe.

When the universe conveys a message, you listen.

Olivia Montiano just caught her fiancé cheating. Now she is forced to question what she wants out of life and love. Striving to live up to her father’s unrealistic standards for the past twenty-three years, every decision she has ever made was with her father’s wishes in mind—until she finds mysterious, handwritten letters tucked away in places only meant for her. That’s when she realizes she’s been on the wrong path all along and gives her heart to a guy her father thinks is entirely wrong.

Washed-up abstract artist Nick Montgomery has had quite a few setbacks in life. He’s become accustomed to never needing anyone, thinking he’s just fine—until he meets the girl with the red scarf. She’s not his type. But the universe has other ideas. Nick has a secret he’s keeping from her, afraid it will bring their new relationship to a sudden halt.

Will they figure out what the universe holds for them?

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

She was taken aback. “I … I’m not looking for anyone. The only reason I’m here tonight was to get away from someone.”

“Right, and here you are … you found me instead. You can’t deny it’s not serendipity.”

“Serendipity?” Olivia repeated.

“Look, I believe you walked into this bar tonight, not by chance, and I was meant to talk to you. When you’re not looking for something and find something extraordinary, that’s serendipity.” He motioned with his hand in the air like it was some magic trick.

She observed in silence, wondering if this sort of crap worked with other women.

“You think you’re something extraordinary?”

“No, not me … us,” he replied.

Olivia laughed. “Do girls fall for this kind of stuff?”

“I wouldn’t know,” he replied honestly and let out a long breath. “Alright look, we got off on the wrong foot. Can we call it a truce?”

Olivia bit her lip. She hated to admit it, but she was kind of having fun, well maybe just a little. He did manage to get her to forget her problems at least for the moment.

“Nick Montgomery.” He encouraged her by holding out his hand.

She hesitated before taking it. “Olivia … Montiano.”

“Olivia Montiano? Is that your real name?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” Her brows tangled together.

“You’re not one of those girls who like to toy with men. Give them a fake name and number?”

“Do I look like the kind of girl who would do such a thing?”

He amusingly narrowed his eyes at her.

“Okay.” She laughed. “Yes, Olivia is my name. I was named after Olivia Hussey.”

“No way!”

She caught sarcasm and narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you familiar with Olivia Hussey?”

“Yeah, sure. Everyone knows who Olivia Hussey is … okay, not really.”

“She’s an actress, obviously one of my mother’s favorites.”

He shrugged. “Anyhow, it’s a lovely name.”

He tapped his fingers on the counter. “Montiano … where have I heard that name before? Sounds very familiar to me.”

She shrugged innocently. Her surname name had been all over the news for the past year.

“Hey, you know what I realized? We share the same first four letters in our surname. You have to admit it’s more than a coincidence.” he said.

“Wow! A good observation.” She smirked, not seeing what the big deal was.

He studied her for a moment, raising his hands in the air in defeat.

“Alright, Olivia Montiano, I give up. I see you’re a woman of many well-kept secrets, and you have the right to them.”

After a short moment of silence, she said, “So, what’s your story?” She was trying to be a little more friendly-ish.

“Nope, I’m not going to tell you a single thing.”

“Alright, I guess I deserve that,” Olivia replied.

“Okay, you don’t have to twist my arm. I’ll tell you … but over dinner.”

“You don’t give up? No, that won’t be possible.”

“Are you afraid that you will find me interesting? See, I’m the type of guy who stays on your mind, long after you met me.” His eyes danced.

Oh great, he was one of those. Full of himself. She should introduce him to Dario.

“For sure. You’re not a guy who is … forgettable.” Olivia laughed.

“Are you making fun of me?”

“You’re a very strange man, Montgomery.”

He took out a blue pen from under the counter. “Give me your hand,” he asked and extended his hand to her. She hesitated for a moment, allowing him to take her hand in his.

“You’re not going to write your phone number, are you?”

“Only a fake one.” He smiled.

Blitz #3

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:Maria

Maria La Serra, a fashion designer, turned writer, lives in Montreal with her husband and two children. She will try everything at least once, except for skiing, hiking or camping-okay anything relating to activities done in the great outdoors. The Proverbial Mr. Universe is her first novel.

Author Links:
Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:

Bitz-wide giveaway for a $15 Amazon Gift Card, open internationally!

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Review: The Raven Boys

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Title: The Raven Boys [The Raven Cycle #1]
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance
Published: September 18, 2012
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Since the final book just came out, I decided to give this series a chance.

A friend was the first person to tell me about this series – how did I miss the absolutely stunning cover? Well, I didn’t really, but I saw Maggie’s name on it an walked away.

No offense to Maggie Stiefvater, but her Shiver/Linger/Forever series bored me to tears. I read all of them, despite becoming greatly disinterested about 25% way through. The series was just too cheesy and repetitive and cliche for my taste.

That being said, I really enjoyed The Raven Boys.

The novel’s synopsis really doesn’t do the book justice. It’s not a dumb book about love, it’s more of a paranormal mystery.

Blue is from a family of psychics, except all she can do is act as an amplifier to her powers. Otherwise, she’s about as useful as a stool (when it comes to paranormal oddness). As such, she finds herself an accessory when it comes to her aunt seeing the dead, or her mom doing a particularly difficult reading. That is, until she’s recording dead spirits into a book, and suddenly sees one for herself.

His name is Gansey, and though she’s never met him, her aunt tells her that if she can see his spirit, then she either kills him, or is his true love.

Cheesy right? Not really.

Because once she meets Gansey, they do not really mesh – instead it’s his friend Adam that courts her.

Now on to Gansey and friends. The Raven boys are the “privileged” – identifiable by the school crest on their sweaters. They’re the sort of people whom you can smell money rolling off of. Except Adam, but we’ll come back to him.

Gansey is the leader, generally chill and level headed, and hell bent on finding Glendower – an ancient king who supposedly possesses enough power to have lay in a sort of stasis since he disappeared hundreds of years ago. Due to this Gansey has an odd interest in ley lines and magic things.

Then there’s Ronan, generally rough around the edges, and in the edges, and everywhere else for that matter. He actually became one of my favourite characters simply because he was such an enigma. Throughout this book, you never really find out much about him, but still find yourself loving his character.

Adam’s next. While he goes to the richy rich school, he’s actually not rich – just smart. And he works damn hard to be. But his life isn’t easy as pie, and he finds himself resenting Gansey for the money he has (and sometimes flaunts). Adam is determined to escape his circumstances on his own, without anyone’s help or charity – i.e., his pride is surprisingly bigger than all the richy rich people.

And lastly, there’s Noah. Oddly my favourite character, despite the fact that he rarely speaks. I love him so much, and I can’t even tell you why ’cause spoilers.

Overall, this book sets up the rest of the series – we learn a lot about what they’re looking for and how they’re going to find it, and about all those who tried to do so before them. While there was a lot of information, I didn’t find it totally overwhelming, likely because it was spread out throughout the entire novel. That being said, there were times where I had to read sections over again ’cause it just didn’t process the first time.

The book also has a lot of background for characters, and I actually felt like much of the storyline was Adam’s, instead of Gansey’s and Blue’s. Although they presented a lot of background information, Adam really stood out in this novel for a great number of reasons. Also helped that both Blue and Gansey thought about him a lot.

Overall, this novel was more of a mystery than a romance – there was actually very little romance in it in general. There’s a lot of intrigue and surprises, and it honestly kept my interest the entire time. Definitely would say to give it a chance, it might surprise you.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.04/5

Blog Tour + Guest Post: Artificial

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Welcome to the Artificial blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

Artificial

Title: Artificial [The Kepler Chronicles #1]
Author: Jadah McCoy
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date
: April 4th 2016
Genres
: New Adult Science Fiction
GoodReads

Synopsis:

She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Guest Post:

Welcome author Jadah McCoy (JM), as well as Syl and Bastion from Artificial! Today, Syl and Bastion will be giving us a peak into their lives before Artificial. Enjoy!

JM: Hey guys! Tell the audience a bit about yourselves!

Syl: Well, I grew up on Kepler in the sewers beneath Elite. Scrounging for food, barely surviving, you know the drill. My life revolves around avoiding those fu—

Bastion: *he covers Syl’s mouth with his palm* Careful, darling. A family blog is no place for your potty mouth.

Syl: *she rolls her eyes, swatting him away* Like I was saying, the Cull come out at night, and we do our best to avoid them. I don’t plan on being eaten anytime soon.

Bastion: *waggles his eyebrows very inappropriately*

JM: And you, Bastion?

Bastion: Me? Oh, I’m boring, really. *he makes a dismissive hand gesture* I live in a metropolis and occasionally pester an old mechanic into partaking in my mischief.

JM: So your homes are obviously very different, then.

Syl: *glances at Bastion* They couldn’t be more different. His is full of bright lights and life, mine is comprised of empty buildings and death. His flourishes, mine is slowly dying.

JM: But both are obviously very dangerous, albeit in different ways.

Bastion: Yes, well, while Syl here turns giant bugs into puddles of guts for a living, New Elite’s monsters are not quite so forthcoming.

JM: I see. And what was life like before you two met?

*they both look away, thoughtful*

Syl: Well, it wasn’t great.

JM: How so?

Syl: A lot of people died…some of them because of me. We were running out of food, out of space…running out of time.

JM: That sounds not so great. Bastion?

Bastion: It was…long and boring. Before Syl, my life was like a moonless night, and then she shot across my sky like a meteor.

Syl: *she rolls her eyes* This is him avoiding the question.

JM: …Did you really just quote Twilight?

Bastion: What? It’s a classic!

JM: Now I think you’re trying to get me off track.

Bastion: I would never. In fact, I resent that.

JM: Back on track! There’s a lot to hate about Elite and New Elite, that much is clear. But what’s one thing you love about where you live?

Bastion: Easy. That there’s still good in my fellow androids, despite all the war, the genocide, the horrors. There are still those out there willing to sacrifice themselves to help other androids, to help Glitches, and even humans.

JM: Syl?

Syl: I guess the mystery…the beauty. There’s so much knowledge out there…about my people, where they came from, all the strange things about them I don’t understand yet. It’s strange to walk into a room, untouched by anything but dust. The person’s shirt still laying across their bed where they took it off last. All their belongings still there. It’s haunting.

JM: I can see that. You must feel like an intruder everywhere you go.

Syl: Sometimes, yeah.

JM: So, I took the liberty of gathering a few questions from your adoring fans!

Bastion: Oh, joy! Let me sum it up for you, love. I don’t dream of electric sheep, I’m not going to tell you a joke, and my joy stick only vibrates if you pay ex—

Syl: *she covers his mouth with her hand, this time* Family blog, remember?

JM: Okay! First question is from Holly. What does Syl find most attractive about Bastion?

Bastion: Oi! These questions aren’t so bad!

Syl: Seriously? What do I find most attractive about Bastion? Hm… Probably the stupid face he makes when he gets his ass kicked and I have to save him.

Bastion: That’s cold, love.

JM: Next question is from Dylan. Bastion, as a Glitch, can you recognize other Glitches?

Bastion: Not really. I don’t have a “Glitch radar,” so to speak. But there are certain places Glitches are more apt to frequent.

JM: Last one. From Teresa, why does android society seemingly follow so many human social conventions?

Bastion: *laughs* I’ll say this: humanity is a hard habit to break once it’s learned. And the vastly superior genetically enhanced apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my friends.

JM: Very interesting. Well, that’s all I’ve got for you. Thanks for answering questions!

Bastion: No problem. Thanks for creating us!

Syl: *laughs* See ya, boss.

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Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:Jadah

Jadah currently lives in Nashville, TN and works in law. When not babysitting attorneys, she can be found juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki – it’s always a toss up when she fantasizes).

She grew up in rural Arkansas, yet can still write good and sometimes even wears shoes! She did date her first cousin for a while but they decided against marriage for the sake of the gene pool.

Her true loves are elephants, cursing, and sangria – in that order. If you find an elephant that curses like a sailor whilst drinking sangria, you’re dangerously close to becoming her next romantic victim – er, partner.

She cut her writing teeth on badly written, hormone-driven fanfiction (be glad that’s out of her system), and her one true dream is to have wildly erotic fanfiction with dubious grammar written about her own novels. Please make her dreams come true.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:

Enter to win a signed copy of Artificial. Open to U.S. and Canada!

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Review: Every Last Word

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Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
GoodReads

Synopsis:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

First thing’s first. I cannot attest to the legitimacy of the portrayal of OCD or anxiety in this novel. I know nothing about either disorder or its effect on a person’s way of thinking or acting.

That being said, this books spun out a wonderful story about healing and self-discovery. Sam wove a web of secrets for herself, keeping her condition hidden, but also her new friend and locker neighbour Caroline. However, she spent a great amount of time trying to ensure that her acceptance in the popular circle was secure.

That being said, when she discovers the Poet’s Corner, she learns that there are people out there who are having a hard time with life too. She begins writing and finds that it helps her keep her brain in check.

I really liked the poetry aspects of this novel. It reminded me a little bit of Collen Hoover’s Slammed, with a little more camaraderie and a little less teacher x student love haha. As I’ve said in the past, poetry really gets to the heart of things and expresses feelings and aspects of characters that you’d have never known about otherwise. It’s so hard to see into the heads of those around you, but poetry helps lay it all out there for the world to see. The poetry is probably was what sold me on the book, but it wasn’t all perfect.

One thing I didn’t quite understand about this book is how she was able to keep her OCD so hidden. While I’m no expert in it, I’ve read other books where the repetitiveness of a task is clear and overpowering. Sam’s wasn’t quite that. There were just enough scenes to ensure that readers never forgot she had the condition, but it never overpowered her, especially since it sounded like her diagnosis was quite extreme. She just seemed like a normal girl with a couple hangups, like her need for the speedometer to read a certain way. While there were intrusive thoughts and some aspects that showed the difficulties with the condition, it just didn’t seem like a prominent aspect of the book to me, like it was addressed, but then moved away from after a moment.

The end of the novel was a real twist. I don’t know if this is supposed to be some kind of paranormal thing, or if this is actually possible, but the end of the book definitely surprised me. Again, I’m not an expert in this subject in any way. This is just what I think, and I thought it was a really interesting end to the novel.

Overall, I think this novel is a good one to read. It has an great story line that had me sobbing at some points, and a lot of insightful poetry and characters that have their own unique voices.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5
GoodReads: 4.18/5

eARC obtained via Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour + Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame

TheWayToGameTheWalkOfShameTourBanner

Welcome to The Way to Game the Walk of Shame book tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

GameShameTitle: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review:

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is Jenn P. Nguyen’s debut novel, but you wouldn’t be able to tell. It’s a wonderful story about Taylor Simmons, the class nerd and “ice queen”, finding herself in a bed that’s not hers. To weasel her way out of the labels that often come with a perceived one-night-stand, she sets up a contract (signatures and all) with Evan, the school’s “play boy”, that would be in play until the dust and gossip settles and everyone believes they’re a real couple. But when all is quiet, the two realize that maybe they’re relationship goes beyond the contract.

I grinned like a dufus so much when reading this book. The two of them are so cute together. Though they’re quite different, they fit very well together, challenging one another to always be better. I think my favourite part about this book is that there are so many unique, romantic, and memorable moments that stand out to me. I want to blurt them all out, but that would ruin the fun. The Valentine’s day scene, and the few times he goes over to her house are probably my favourites. Though I read this book about a month ago, these scene still stay vivid in my head (which, to be honest, is pretty rare).

Something else I appreciated about the book was that they didn’t have to get hot and heavy to show their feelings, it was the little things that made a difference. This is actually a “hands-off” book. Maybe a couple kisses here and there, but the romance was purely in their everyday interactions. They didn’t need to go further to figure out that they had feelings for each other, and I really like that about this book.

While there were some areas of the plot that I questioned (particularly the antagonizing teacher, who seemed to have a little too much sway in the whole university acceptance process), as well as some areas that I personally didn’t like (slut-shaming), especially since that was why this whole story came to be in the first place, this book really won me over. While these parts stuck out to me, they didn’t really stay in my mind long, especially  since the rest of the book was quite the opposite (i.e. memorable and sweet), it kind of overpowered all the stuff that didn’t quite gel with me.

The only downside that I can see right now is that I can’t read any other books by her at the moment, because this is her first! Adorkable, sweet, and wonderfully crafted, I’d definitely recommend this book to all contemporary romance lovers out there. You won’t be disappointed!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.98/5

eARC obtained via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:JPN
Jenn Nguyen fell in love with books in third grade and spent the rest of her school years reading through lunchtime and giving up recess to organize the school library. She has a degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and still lives in the city with her husband. Jenn spends her days reading, dreaming up YA romances, and binge watching Korean dramas all in the name of ‘research’. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is her debut novel.
Author Links:

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway for a print copy of The Way to Game the Walk of Shame. Open to the US only.

ENTER HERE!~

Mega Paranormal Romance Giveaway!

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Hi, there! Kimberly Loth here to tell you how SUPER excited we are to bring you this MEGA giveaway! First place prize is a $2,000 Amazon Gift Card, but we also have 15 runner up ebook and paperback prizes! Entering will connect you with 21 paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors for more great deals, freebies, and giveaway, so in a way, everyone wins! I myself plan to connect all the entrants with an opportunity to get Kissed FREE.

Before you enter the giveaway, I would love to share more with you about my inclusion in the feature deals associated with this promotion: Kissed.


Kissed by Kimberly Loth

Three boys. Two Kisses. One Devastating Choice.

Kissed-SmallTrapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.

Available on Amazon for $0.99

Want more? Read an Excerpt Below!


Excerpt of Kissed

But I wasn’t quite asleep.

My eyes would not open and my hands would not move. I could hear everything. Footsteps shuffled around me. The agony in my head disappeared and my stomach stilled. Thoughts raced through my brain but no emotion came. Only peace. The swishing of a broom distracted me. If only I could move, but not even my pinky toe would budge. My eyes refused to listen to my commands to open. Hours passed.

Eventually, a finger traced along my jaw and the touch did not burn. It tingled a bit, but didn’t burn. How strange to be touched but not hurt. The skin was rough, like someone who worked with his hands. A gardener perhaps. Someone who shared my love of roses. I shivered and waited. This must be a dream. A strange fantasy that my unconscious mind thought would be a good idea of a sick joke.

A warm cloth gently cleaned my wounds from the rose thorns. The pain disappeared and the gardener left my side. I tried to sigh, but nothing happened. Then a hand picked up one of my feet and slowly washed away the dirt. He worked with such gentleness. I wished I could awaken and see who would take such care of me. No one had done so in the last eight years. And still wasn’t, because this was a dream, right?

Strong arms slid under my legs and neck and picked me up. My head rested against his heart. It beat fast. His muscles rippled underneath my cheek. He moved silently out the door and I instantly missed the smell of roses.

A door creaked open and I heard the whoosh of an air conditioner. We moved with complete silence. He laid me down with care on my bed. At least I hoped it was my bed. He moved me under the blankets and placed my hands across my chest.

Then, he kissed me.

Feather light were his lips, petals of a rose resting on mine. So different from the calloused hands. The kiss lasted only seconds but was soft and deliberate, leaving me longing for more. It tasted sweet, kind of like the honey but with a touch of cinnamon. And I could hear soft music playing, the kind that makes you weep with happiness. It took away all my pain. My body came alive and my fingers tingled. Life took on meaning. This man, whoever he was, woke something raw inside of me. A taste of something I’d never known before. Something exquisite and sweet. But terrifying.


More Books Participating in this Promotion!

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51UbxJ2ZO7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ 415iey11r+L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ 41qjM+8zLcL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

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About the Giveaway

Welcome, fans of the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres! This one is just for you! And really, it is! We want true fans of the genre to win this one, so our totally bad ass team of paranormal-romance-writing detectives have devised the perfect plan for vetting winners and making sure these awesome prizes go true fans of the genre–so if that’s you, don’t worry, we won’t let giveaway bots or cheaters steal your prize!

Our only rules for winning: 1 Entry Per Person (plus the additional entries you get for referring friends) and You Must LOVE Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy!

By entering this giveaway, you will be subscribed to the newsletters of our sponsoring authors for opportunities to snag more great deals, giveaways, and freebies, though you can unsubscribe at any time.

Not only will one grand prize winner snag a $2000 Gift Card, we also have a TON of fabulous runner up prizes (6 print books and 9 ebooks)!!

  • The Beast by J.R. Ward (any format)
  • Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning (any format)
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (ebook or paperback)
  • Charlaine Harris, Dead until Dark (ebook or paperback)
  • Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh (ebook)
  • Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep (ebook or paperback)
  • Signed Copy of The Blackburne Legacy by Apryl Baker
  • Magick After Midnight Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Wolf Rampant Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Mythean Arcana Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Cursed by Lucy Leroux (ebook)
  • Flower of Hell by Noree Cosper (ebook)
  • Darkness Rising by Lisa Carlisle (ebook)
  • Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon (ebook)
  • Winner’s Choice on any top 10 PR/UF book on Amazon at the time of the drawing

Good luck, and don’t forget to share this giveaway with your Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy loving friends for extra entries to win!

Enter the Giveaway

Tour + Review: Infinite Dolls

InfiniteDollsTourBanner-1

Welcome to the Infinite Dolls blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

InfiniteDollsTitle: Infinite Dolls
Author: Emalynne Wilder
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Born to be the best.

Head of his class.

No strings attached.

The third year of medical school is supposed to be the hardest, but Callum Trovatto has no idea what he’s about to face when Everly Anne Brighton stands between him and a passing grade, shaking up his world with her secrets, and digging into his dark past.

Hopeless.

Trapped by her father’s rules.

Longing for freedom.

Expected to die before her twenty-first birthday at the hands of a rare medical condition, Everly Brighton begins to defy the carefully crafted routine her father enforces to keep her alive, despite the fact that it could kill her.

INFINITE DOLLS is an emotionally charged love story about finding faith, coping with loss and living in the preciousness of Now.

Buy Links:
Amazon | iBooks | Barnes and Noble

Review:

This book will break you.

There, that’s it. Right there. Done.

Okay, not really, but honestly this book went way beyond any of my expectations.

This is a tale of life and learning to take chances, even when all the odds are stacked against you. This book is about perseverance in the face of adversity. This book is about understanding that life isn’t always fair, but it should never prevent you from doing what you aspire to do.

Callum was doing just fine in school until Everly came around. An enigma to everyone, the only one she was civil with was Callum. Through their chats they learned that neither is what they seem – Everly wants to experience the world, but is afraid of what could happen, while Callum wants to help people, but he’s having trouble accepting that he isn’t a superhero. The story was gripping and beautiful and I want to tell you everything that happened, but if you don’t actually read the book, you’ll miss the beauty of it.

The story was raw and real – but not necessarily realistic. Maybe it’s the fact that Everly had to grow too fast, or that Callum is a smart genius child, but they both seemed eon’s ahead of their time. The dialogue was real and raw, but often more poetic and “confessional” than I’ve ever heard, even from adults. Sometimes it was great, other times it kind of detracted from the novel and made you sit back like, “Wait… they’re only like 20, right?” That being said, this type of dialogue left room for a lot of life lessons that really hit home for me, and it really added to the overall feel of the novel.

One thing that really impacted me was Callum’s obsession with the word “just” and its effect on how a statement comes across. It’s amazing how, when you think about it, one word can change how you respond to a statement. “It was just a million dollars” versus “It was a million dollars” – it’s a big difference in how someone comes across, and my use of the word will be something that I’ll keep in mind in my own life.

All in all, this book was a beautifully written novel. The characters were well crafted with unique and surprising personalities. With a captivating story line, from Callum’s POV, through which we follow him through school, his practicum, and his career, and watching him and Everly navigate every obstacle that comes their way, this story will hit you straight through the heart.

I know I’m making this sound cheesy, but honestly this is a breathtaking novel. Definitely would recommend.

Plot: 5/5
Characters
: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads: 4.49/5

About the Author:biopic

Emalynne Wilder is the voice of the Broken-Hearted. The Forgotten. The Unheard. Painfully shy in person. Unapologetic on paper. She’s the girl listening to your dirt from the corner of the room as she plots how to turn tragedy into triumph.

Author Links:

Tour-wide Giveaway:

Enter to win a paperback copy of Infinite Dolls and a swag pack! Open internationally!

ENTER HERE!~

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