Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cover Reveal: Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair

Louder Than Words
Release Date: 09/16/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Disappointment has
been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad's dead, her mom is
numbing the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends are slowly
abandoning her. Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe,
shouldn't have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt, shouldn't have sent her
running to the girls' bathroom for the final moments of her Junior year. Lesson
learned. Best to keep all the sordid details of her life to herself.

Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky teen recently transplanted from New York and fellow
summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she's
not letting him get too close, not til she's sure she can trust him. By the
time Rex's charming persistence wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's
put Ellen on the perma-pal shelf and shifted his romantic attentions to her
arch-rival. Even worse, the teacher who tried to seduce her is still
misbehaving with impunity.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must
decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about her teacher and
risk retribution, to tell Rex how she feels and risk heartbreak, or hold all
her secrets inside, the only safe place she knows.

About the Author
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by
day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance
also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that's
another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and
kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but
least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing
requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year "fish or cut bait" dating rule
and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She
lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Ignite (Project Integrate #0.5) by Jamie Campbell

Title: Ignite (Project Integrate #0.5)
Author: Jamie Campbell
Source: Amazon Freebie
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

The Spark That Ignites The Flame.

Seventeen years ago an entire generation of aliens were sent to Earth in order to save their home planet and integrate into the human population. Now, those aliens are being hunted.

Amery Jones is finally allowed to go to camp for the summer. With her best friend Lola by her side, she is expecting awesome times ahead.

Unfortunately, Lochie, her charming mortal enemy and the only guy who can get under her skin, seems to have made it his mission to annoy her for the entire summer.

When one of the campers goes missing, Amery finds herself teamed up with Lochie in the search mission. Now, more than ever, her alien status has to remain a secret.

This was fun short story showing a bit of the history of Amery, Lola, and Lochie.  The story takes place in a summer camp - something Amery is being allowed to do for the first time.  When a camper goes missing it gets pretty interesting.  This was a good short story and gave a bit of background for the characters, but not much more than what we already know in the first book.  In fact, I would recommend reading it after the first book so you have a little more suprises when you first meet them all.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Fates (Fates #1) by Lanie Bross

Title: Fates (Fates #1)
Author: Lanie Bross
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything.

She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people's fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home.

But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she is falling all over again--this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die. In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in?

While Fates got off to a bit of a slow start while it introduced all the characters, it was amazing once it picked up.  Using the theory of multiple universes all influencing each other, Lanie Bross was able to create several diverse worlds and outcomes for our characters to explore - even if they didn't actually want to.  I really enjoyed how different each world was and watching our characters' reaction to each one of them.

Corinthe is an exiled Fate - she now works on earth to ensure that humans meet the fates the "Unseen Ones" mete out.  She has assisted life, love, and even death in hundreds of lives, but her last task leaves her feeling unsure about if it is the right thing to do.  All the worlds in existence will be effected by her decision.

Luc was a bit dry as a character for me.  He was very focused on getting his sister back, and until the very end he didn't seem to care about much else.  While that is a noble goal, I had hoped to see more about his life goals and desires - especially during his internal dialog sections.

This was a very exciting story overall, and I want to read book two to find out what Luc is going to be up to next - and just how he plans to solve his new problem.  While the ending is not a cliffhanger, the author made it very obvious that the story will continue.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.
But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met?
Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can't get caught.
Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can't really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here.
As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she's to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.
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Title: Fire in the Woods
Publication date: September 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton
Jennifer M. Eaton
Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.
Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.
Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Rival Love by Natalie Decker

Rival Love
Release Date: 08/26/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

Skylar Fletcher is a
proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect
boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall.
But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is
time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often
bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star
quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon
discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret
attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more
than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out?
Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.

About the Author

Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets,
sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going,
which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light
at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had
to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite
time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in
High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied
Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books.
She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome
dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out
with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because
Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it

Author Links:
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: Unite (Project Integrate #1) by Jamie Campbell

Title: United (Project Integrate #1)
Author: Jamie Campbell
Source: Contest Win
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Science Fiction
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

United They Stand.

Seventeen years ago an entire generation of aliens were sent to Earth in order to save their home planet and integrate into the human population. Now, those aliens are being hunted.

Amery Jones is your typical teenager, except for the fact she is an alien and a member of the government’s secret Project Integrate.

When Amery’s best friend Lola is kidnapped in order to get to her, there is only one person that can help – the exceedingly annoying and charming Lochie Mercury.

Together, Amery and Lochie must put aside their differences and attraction in order to rescue Lola before it’s too late.

This contemporary science fiction was very subtle at first.  We know that Amery is part of a special program, but we aren't entirely sure what it is at first.  Her life and history are revealed in pieces as we need to know them.  She seems to be quite the average teenage girl - boy troubles, school troubles, parent troubles, but to top it all off she's not actually human.  

I loved that the book didn't dwell to much on her accepting the fact that she was different.  She had already done that and moved on.  This was a unique look at prejudice and how it can make people over-react.  The Organization is dead set on having an aliens make their home on earth - especially when it's so hard to tell them apart from the humans.  They want Amery dead, and are willing to do anything to make it happen.

My biggest problem with the book was Lochie - for several reasons both big and small.  One, I had no idea how to pronounce his name and no matter how I tried it out it sounded silly to me - petty, but that can make a difference on a very small scale.  He also seemed to just happen to be places, know something, or have some tool on hand to make things way easier a few too many times.  He seemed to just be Amery's "get out of jail free card".  Anytime a situation came up they couldn't get out of, he magically pulled a tool out that would solve everything!  He was also a bit one dimensional and overly trusting.  If I had rescued some girl over and over and she didn't tell me why people were after her I would be mad, I don't care if I loved her, I would be mad.

The story overall was very interesting and had just enough action to make it very well balanced.  I do want to know what will happen next.  While we have a fairly good resolution at the end, there is much left undone and unsaid to encourage you to read the sequel.  I know I'll be getting it soon, I really enjoyed this version of alien life on earth.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
by Steve Bryant

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Lucas MacKenzie eBook Final
Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.
Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.
When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show's enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.
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Title: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
Publication date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Steve Bryant
Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard

Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard 
Publication date: March 1st 2014

Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

I have always loved Phantom of the Opera - the story, the music, everything about it.  Lesa Howard has done a fantastic modern re-telling of this classic tale.  Christine is a great ballerina that has earned a spot in a prestigious Academy.  She's on the verge of making into their company, but she's missing just that little extra something that could help her make it all the way.  When a mysterious tutor offers to help, but refuses to show himself, she takes him up on his offer to help her dance better.  And so starts our Phantom.

Christine is not your typical teenager.  She attends high school online and her dance career is her life.  But she does have some of the typical teenager concerns.  She wants a social life and a boyfriend.  She wants to experience everything life has to offer without having to give up her dream of dancing.  It's a delicate balancing act that she struggles to maintain.  Throw into that some family issues and she has a lot on her plate.

Eric, our phantom, is a mystery.  And knowing that it is a re-telling, I sat in anticipation for him to make his move.  When he does, it's a big move and I was really shocked.  Parts of this story aren't for the faint of heart.  There are some adult topics that are very important, and while I'm not sure I approve of the way Christine handled all of them, she handled them in a very real way.

There are a few unexpected twists as their story unfolds and Lesa Howard's writing was beautiful.  I fell into the story and the characters completely.  Christine's life was fascinating.  It's amazing how grueling her training and life was and how intense her training was.  This is a great read for lovers of Phantom or contemporary young adult.

I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Pull Down the Night (The Suburban Strange #2) by Nathan Kotecki

Title: Pull Down the Night (The Suburban Strange #2)
Author: Nathan Kotecki
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: Octoer 8, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

This year at Suburban High School is just as troubling as the last. A curly-haired girl ghost is disrupting lives with dreaded “kiss notes,” and students are inexplicably sinking into depression. Bruno—the new kid on the block—finds himself at the center of the mystery when he discovers his natural map-reading abilities are actually supernatural. When the reluctant hero isn’t engaged in cosmic battles against evil, Bruno is swooning over the mesmerizing Celia (from The Suburban Strange) and navigating the goth sensibilities and musical obsessions of the Rosary, her über-chic clique. A hypnotic coming-of-age novel that chills and thrills.

The Suburban Strange (The Suburban Strange #1): Review

Book Two wasn't quite as exciting for me as book one was.  There was still a lot going go, so the book moved forward a nice pace.  Two of the orginal Rosary members have left for college, but there are two new students that slip into place fairly nicely, Bruno and his brother Silvio.  Now Bruno starts off the year with a huge crush on Celia.  She seems to be the center point of the story again, even though much of the book followed Bruno this time instead.  

I really enjoyed Bruno - he was a very dynamic and interesting character.  We get to follow Bruno as he discovers he is Kind, and his experience is very different than the story we hear from Tomasi in book one.  His power is very similar, but manifests in a different and fun way.  We also meet another Kind that has found themselves at Suburban High that gives some interesting insights into things.  The ghost "haunting" the school is a familiar face that I was very happey to see.

The Unkind in this book takes a very different twist that I really loved.  There is also a gatekeeper type that we meet who has a lot of interesting things to say and do, expecially towards the end of the story.  A lot of the story was figuring the new characters out and showing how they fit in the grand scheme of things.  There just wasn't as much action as there was in book one.  Very interesting characters, but a little bit slower.  Still a great story, and I'll be watching for book three.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Life AD 2: M.I.A.: Missing in Atman by Michelle E. Reed

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Life AD 2: M.I.A.: Missing in Atman
by Michelle E. Reed

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Dez is finally hitting her afterlife stride. She hasn’t missed a meeting or session in forty-two days, and she’s put the adventures and danger of her first days at Atman behind her. Life after death is becoming tolerable, yet nothing is quite what she’d hoped. Confusion over her feelings for Charlie, residual resentment over losing Hannah, and a continuous stream of unwanted assignments leave Dez restless and argumentative.
In a missed encounter with Crosby, her prying gaze lands upon a single entry in the datebook on his unoccupied desk. These few, hastily scribbled words reveal an enormous secret he’s keeping from her. Possessed by a painful sense of betrayal, she once again sneaks off to Atman City, determined to find answers to an unresolved piece of her life.
It begins as all their adventures do, but as light falls into darkness, a stop in an unfamiliar neighborhood sets forth a chaotic series of events. Dez will have to fight for her very existence, and will face painful, irreparable loss in an afterlife teeming with demons wielding ancient powers.
In M.I.A.: Missing in Atman, the second book in the Atman City series, Michelle E. Reed continues the story of Dez Donnelly, pushing her to her limits and surprising readers at every twist and turn of the vast world that is Atman.
Death was only the beginning.
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Title: Life AD 2: M.I.A.: Missing in Atman
Publication date: December 16, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Michelle E. Reed
Michelle E. Reed
Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)