Review: Before I Fall

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 25, 2010
GoodReads

Synopsis:

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

I wrote this review for a media class, and I figured I’d post it since a) I already wrote it, and b) the movie just released recently. Let me know if you want more reviews like this in the future. Here it is:

I turned the last page of Before I Fall expecting one more line, a funny quip, or even an epilogue. All I got were the Acknowledgements, and I sat there for a moment stunned. How could it just end like that?

Originally published in 2010, the novel Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is gaining worldwide attention due to the upcoming release of its movie adaption by the same name. The movie stars Vampire Academy actress Zoey Deutch as Samantha Kingston. According to the synopsis, Sam is popular, has the perfect boyfriend, and dies on Friday, February 12, only to wake up the next morning and relive the day of her death six more times.

I decided to take a chance on the book before watching the movie. As they say, the book is always better.

Without spoiling anything, I have to say that Samantha’s character undergoes a huge transformation throughout the story. Although we only see seven days of her life, her character develops exponentially. Sam plays by the rules of her friend group without really questioning why they do the things they do. As the book progresses, we see Sam become herself, living her life authentically and being more accountable for her actions.

Each relived day is spent differently – the first two are slightly similar, then she spends a couple full of angst, and then another day is spent solely with her family. Each day is a testament to how multifaceted our lives are, and how easily we neglect different aspects of them.

Something I often didn’t think about during high school was that my friends were basically my family. I saw them eight to nine hours a day, spoke to them when I was home, and hung out with them during the weekend. My family was on the backburner. This is true in Sam’s story as well. Her friends have become such a large part of her life that her family is neglected as a result.

That being said, there is more to it than that. With friends, there is the potential for judgment and shame for saying or doing the wrong things. There is also a certain amount of scrutiny that you are under when you are popular. Sam reflects on this as she watches her friends bully people, her boyfriend belittle her, and people’s reactions to her being nice. It is fascinating how much is missed when focusing on oneself.

Before I Fall encourages readers to examine their everyday choices. A couple changes here and there lead Sam to learn things about her friends, family, teachers, and classmates that she would never have known otherwise. Her relationships were superficial, and she drifted through life with ease. When push came to shove, however, she began to see people for who they were and began to challenge the status quo.

Before I Fall is a very easy book to lose yourself in – the plot is well developed, the characters are thoroughly fleshed out, and the story feels real, relevant, and heartbreaking. In the end, I gave Before I Fall four and a half stars of five.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.92/5

Cover Reveal: A Raven’s Touch

It’s here! Today is the day! Without further adieu feast your eyes on the newly updated cover for A Raven’s Touch.

A Raven's Touch by Linda Bloodworth

The cover was created by Amanda Walker. Feel free to ask her questions about her pre-made covers. Linda says she is fantastic to work with, honest, and super friendly. She also offers PA services, so do check her out.

Synopsis:
Bullied through high school, seventeen-year-old Justice St. Michaels is grateful for the help of her best friend Moira O’Fhey. Together they’re just managing to scrape through the nightmare they call high school. Between Justice’s bizarre body changes and being involved in explosive school fights, things are going from bad to worse. Darien Raventhorn arrives on the scene only to add fuel to an already burning question—has Justice been living a lie her whole life? Thrust into an unwanted revenge mission Justice must avenge a family death, embrace her birthright, and slay a demon before all Hell breaks loose.

About the Author:
Linda Bloodworth loves chips, like really, ketchup to be exact. Ketchup chips are only found in Canada. Lucky for Linda she lives in Toronto with her husband and three fur babies. In between writing, debating for hours about the Oxford comma, and the misunderstood semi colon, Linda enjoys camping and getting away from the city on day trips.

Here’s the only picture that Linda will allow:
linda-hair

How do I get my hands on this book!?
Right here >>> https://books.pronoun.com/a-ravens-touch/

CONTEST TIME!! – THIS IS A 2 PART CONTEST

How to Enter:
1. Post a screen shot of your confirmation order for A Raven’s Touch in the comment section on Linda’s BLOG: https://lindabloodworth.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/cover-reveal-a-ravens-touch-linda-bloodworth-contest
It doesn’t matter when you’ve purchased the book now or before.

2. Subscribe to her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bLecmr. PLEASE MAKE SURE SHE CAN IDENTIFY YOU. Your screen shot + sign up name should be the same. You MUST approve the subscription email you receive.

Prize:
A $3 Amazon Gift Card!

Timing:
Linda will randomly pick the winner Oct. 23 @ 10 AM ET.

Thank you so much everyone! Linda can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Please leave a review on Amazon or any other retailer. Your review is INCREDIBLY important and helps Linda out as an author. Let the contest begin!

Book Blitz: The SnowFang Bride

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snowfangTitle: The SnowFang Bride [SnowFang #1]
Author: Merry Ravenell
Publication Date: Oct 11, 2016
Genre: Adult paranormal
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Centuries of political games killed most of the female werewolves. Now only a few survive, and the Elders work to change the old ways of thinking.

Winter, the only daughter of the SilverPaw Alpha, finally meets the soul Gaia has chosen for her: Sterling, the cold, demanding, and entirely-too-human Alpha of the tiny SnowFang pack.

Thrust into a world of human wealth for which she was never prepared, Winter must become Sterling’s flawless wife and Luna from the moment she arrives. The city is full of threats, both werewolf and human, and Sterling’s past is full of secrets best left undisturbed.

When they are betrayed by those closest to them, Winter and Sterling embark on a dangerous game of brinkmanship that will change their lives, and the future of the werewolves, forever.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBook

Excerpt:

So his little show was just to press my buttons? Press his buttons? Fine, I’d play along with that game and press all the buttons.

Slow and deliberate, I turned my head. My cheeks burned with what I was about to do. I swallowed the sudden lump of nervous giggles and daring. I shrugged my shoulders once. My dress slid over my arms, my breasts, until it caught on my hips. I gave the fabric a little push over my curves, and it fell into a pool of silk and sequins at my feet.

I stepped over the fabric, and gave Sterling an eyeful of my delicate panties and rump. This moment made it worth every bit of chafing suffered on account of the thong’s sequins and beads. I paused so Sterling could get a second helping, then sauntered into the bathroom for my shower.

I had to suppress giggles. Naughty giggles, nervous giggles, giggles that half expected him to storm in after me and put his hands all over the flesh that I had just paraded before him. I removed my bra and panties, tossed them outside the shower and waited to see what happened.

Buttons pushed. With both hands.

Sterling appeared about two minutes after I had taken up residence under the delightfully hot water. The giggles had passed, and the burst of maidenly nerves as well. Now I was just smug. So smug. So the brave Alpha hadn’t known what to do, hmm? He thought he got to call all the shots, hmm?

He started it, now it was his move.

The steam carried his scent. He smelled of desire, frustration, the musk of competitive spirit and rankled anger. I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply and took fierce pleasure in having provoked him so completely. The consequences were going to be hard to complain about.

“I can smell your smugness,” his tone was rough.

I laughed. “Oh, can you now, dear Alpha?”

His shadow moved outside the steamy glass. I turned my head just as he yanked open the shower door. He was not naked, but in his robe. His eyes remained rooted above my neckline, and his neck muscles ticked as they struggled to keep his gaze above my shoulders.

I smirked and taunted him, “You can look.”

He made a noise somewhere between laughter, frustration, and a curse. Then he slammed the door. It throbbed on its hinges.

“Am I too intimidating, Alpha?” I called over the water, then collapsed into snickers.

“You are taking too long,” he informed me with raw dignity. “I will shower in the guest room.”

“How cold a shower will it be, dear Alpha?!”

He slammed the bathroom door behind him.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBook

About the Author:merry

Merry leads a heavily caffeinated lifestyle offset by the occasional 5K or 10K. She lives in the North Bay area of CA with her husband and fellow author, David, plus their two cats.

Author Links:

Twitter | Website | Facebook | GoodReads

Blitz-Wide Giveaway:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card | Open internationally | Ends October 27, 2016

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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!

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

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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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

Cover Reveal: A Raven’s Touch

Facebook Cover Release Day Dec 28

Welcome to A Raven’s Touch Cover Reveal, hosted by Linda Bloodworth!~

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Here we go!

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Synopsis:
Bullied through high school, seventeen-year-old Justice St. Michaels is grateful for the help of her best friend Moira O’Fhey. Their only wish is to graduate high school, leave the sleepy town of Fallingbrook and all that happened behind them. The Heavens have other plans. Between growths on her back and being involved in explosive school fights, nothing seems to make sense. When an unexpected encounter with Darien Raventhorn causes worlds to collide it exposes the truth about who Justice’s real identity. To avenge a family death, Justice must embrace her birthright, and slay the demon before all Hell breaks loose.

Excerpt:

Moira squeezes my arm.

“We need to get up. Come on. We aren’t going to be sitting ducks. He looks like he wants to start trouble.”

My heart starts beating faster and I stand up. Moira has already packed her bag, and she pushes mine into my hands. With her hand on the small of my back, she urges me along.

“It’s a public place, Moira, he won’t hurt us here. He’s all talk, right?”

She looks me in the eyes.

“Don’t underestimate crazy.”

What can you expect in A Raven’s Touch?
Adventure, friendship, and bit of romance mixed into a very different kind of paranormal story. It’s not the formulaic story where there’s one type of paranormal hero. Be prepared for Half Angels, Witches, Elves, demons, and a dragon for good measure.

Add A Raven’s Touch to your TBR pile.

Pre-Order on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018WJX1YC

If you miss the pre-order, don’t worry, the official release day is December 28, 2015.

About the Author:
Linda Bloodworth loves chips, like really, ketchup to be exact. Ketchup chips are only found in Canada. Lucky for Linda she lives in Toronto with her husband and three fur babies. In between writing, debating for hours about the Oxford comma, and the misunderstood semi colon; Linda enjoys camping, and getting away from the city on day trips.

Connect with Linda:
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Email Linda

Cover Reveal: Steam

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Title: Steam [The Legends Saga, #3]
Author: Stacey Rourke
Publication Date: September 14, 2015
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
GoodReads

Synopsis:

A journey through time.

A scarlet letter.

A soul crushing betrayal.

The thrilling Legends Saga concludes in a mash-up of literary all-stars. The works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come to life in an intricately weaved backstory of love, lies, and deception. The driving force of all involved? Passion. But when that passion is cloaked in darkness, madness reigns.

About the Author:Stacey

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction  and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. Mark your calendars! Her latest literary adventure, Crane, will release May 26, 2014. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects.

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows

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Title: The Witch of Painted Sorrows [The Daughters of La Lune #1]
Author: M.J. Rose
Genre: Historical Paranormal Fantasy
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

First thing’s first. I loved the cover for this book. It really caught my eye, and of course I was one to judge a book by its cover and requested it…

I didn’t love this book. It was a slow start that never really got going. When I thought something crazy was going to happen, something else would jump in from left field, take me for a spin and then drop me off back a description central. I love description – it helps build the setting, the characters, the mood and atmosphere of the novel – but this one wasn’t a captivating one. I didn’t want to wrap my world in this place and stay for a while. There was a lot of disconnect between myself and the characters and their world.

Sandrine and the other character switch personalities a lot. Sometimes they want to be really nice, sometimes they’re cruel, sometimes their irritating beyond reason, and yet none of these personalities reconcile with one another, and I couldn’t be with the characters, I could only just observe from a distance.

That being said, the world building was well done, overall, but even then, there was nothing that really stood out to be as historic? Aside from the sexism in the city of Paris (only boys allowed to do all the fun stuff), I didn’t really see anything that screamed 1890s. It was more of just a fancy Paris. Maybe it’s ’cause I’ve never been to Paris? I don’t know.

On the other hand, I loved the description of the art. That was something that captured me. Not necessarily PG, but the way she painted and the way the whole process was described, there was something hauntingly beautiful about it. That was also the only time I really cared about what was going through her head throughout the novel. That part of the world was the only part that really resounded with me because I could feel her passion and see the art that was around her.

I think my least favourite part of the book was the questioning-to-create-drama part. How did that happen? What’s happening? Who is this person? Did I do that? On and on it went. Every few chapters would end with some rhetorical questions that I already knew the answer to and it’s just like girl, if you don’t get what’s happening you need to WAKE UP. I get that she might be irrational because of the whole possession thing, but really, how oblivious do you have to be to not see what’s going on. And I hated that she kept switching back in forth – oh, I don’t want her in me – actually I do – actually I think I’m better with her – wait no, she’s bad -but she makes me better. It was like watching someone chase their tail – interesting at first, silly and tiring later on.

Overall, the concept was interesting, and while it wasn’t a very time-specific setting, I could imagine Sandrine’s world well. That being said, the characterization and descriptions held up the plot, and the lack of a huge climax was disappointing.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3.5/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 3/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.54/5

eARC obtained via Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cover Reveal: Every Last Breath

9780373211142_prd_proof_FCTitle: Every Last Breath [The Dark Elements #3]
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: YA/NA Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

Reviews:

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”
—New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”
—#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

“Constantly entertaining…the narrative sizzles with as much tension as romance.”
Kirkus Reviews on White Hot Kiss

“With her signature flare for combining humor, romance and action, Armentrout weaves a fast-paced read that will have readers’ hearts racing in more ways than one. Like Armentrout’s previous heroines, Jasmine is fun and full of attitude, while Dez is as snarky as he is sexy. This is a must read for new and old fans alike!”
—RT Book Reviews

Pre-Order Links:
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BAM

9781460323670_new_BitterSweetLove_ebook

Title: Bitter Sweet Love [The Dark Elements #0.5]
GoodReads

Synopsis:

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

Title: White Hot Kiss [The Dark Elements #1]9781460323687_whitehotkiss_ebook
GoodReads

Synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

9781460330524_stonecoldtouch_ebookTitle: Stone Cold Touch [The Dark Elements #2]
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

About the AuthorAuthor-photo

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Author Links:

Website | TwitterFacebook | Goodreads

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