Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Over The Rainbow by Brian Rowe Blog Tour & Giveaway

Over the Rainbow 

Summary from Goodreads:
Zippy Green never meant to fall in love with a girl, but when she does, her ultra-conservative father tries to send her to anti-gay camp. At the Kansas City airport, however, she hides inside a giant suitcase and sneaks onto an airplane headed not to the camp, but to Seattle, where her online love Mira lives. Halfway through the flight, the plane barrels out of control and crashes into the ground, knocking her unconscious.

When Zippy awakens, she finds that most of the passengers have vanished. She doesn’t know what’s happened, but she’s determined to find out. She begins a quest on foot toward Seattle, and along the way, she meets a teenager with a concussion, a homeless man with a heart condition, a child without a shred of bravery, and a terrier named Judy. Together the group discovers that more than two-thirds of the world's population have mysteriously disappeared. But that's only the beginning...

All Zippy wants is to find her Mira, but before she can she has to contend with two outside forces. The first is her homophobic father, who does everything in his power to keep her from the girl she loves. And the second is extinct creatures of all shapes and sizes, including living, breathing dinosaurs, which have replaced the missing population.

Want to win a copy?  
Just fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
*(The giveaway, prizes and rules are being hosted/provided by the author Brian Rowe.)*


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Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Fly Away (Wildflower #2) by Amy Maurer Jones

Fly Away 

Book: Fly Away (Wildflower #2)
Author: Amy Maurer Jones
Publisher: Amy Maurer Jones
Rating: 4 Stars
Level: Young Adult
Source: E-Arc Review Copy

Summary from Goodreads:
Joshua Bangs and Jordan Stone are vying for the love of Laney Stillwater. They can’t walk away because their souls have been bound by the spirits for all of eternity.

In the second installment of The Wildflower Series, the stakes are higher than the guy getting the girl. Laney struggles with her feelings as the two boys fight for her affection, but a broken heart pales in comparison to the soul-devouring perils awaiting them in the spirit world.

Over the course of hundreds of years the past lives of the three reincarnates have proven time and time again that their love is beyond tragic. It's fatal.

My Review:
Wildflower, the first book in this series was so good I wasn’t sure how the author was going to top it.  Let me tell you, she did!  From start to finish I didn’t want to put it down.

In this one the story gets more in depth with the characters and their background stories.  Laney, Joshua and Jordan spend more time dream traveling to the spirit world and grow closer.  The love triangle between these three gets more involved.  Laney is struggling with her feelings toward Jordan while trying to be loyal and loving towards her boyfriend Joshua.  Then there is Gracie who is still causing trouble, her specialty. 

The author does a wonderful job incorporating teenage high school drama, love, friendship and historical time travel together.  While it sounds confusing it works great.  I love how we get to be in the present with the characters and also time travel with them to their former selves  in history.  I don’t want to spoil it for anyone by giving more details of the story away.  The ending is a real shocker, I will tell you that!  I think I was left staring at my Kindle for a few minutes until I realized that yes that was the end of book two.

 If you haven’t read this series I  recommend you do.  It’s really good and a real page turner.   I can’t wait until book three is released.  This e-arc was provided to me for review.  This did not affect my review in any way.

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Purchase the book: Amazon   Smashwords  

 


Friday, July 19, 2013

Fly Away by Amy Maurer Jones Sneak Peek





Fly Away by Amy Maurer Jones
Sneak Peek

Chapter One
Dear Sherry

Dannie

May 8, 1940

Dear Sherry,
I arrived safely somewhere in North Africa. Our trip over was very quiet and uneventful. One of the other companies had a lot of excitement in the form of torpedoes.
From what I have seen of these North African cities, I am left with the feeling of appreciation that I come from the good old U.S.A.
I am writing this letter from our new base, which is located on top of a hill overlooking a large vineyard grove. It's lovely, but pales in comparison to my memory of you and the shorelines of the Cape Cod Bay.
Your letter arrived yesterday, and I was overjoyed at receiving it. I always am. I was so thrilled when you agreed to write me back in Falmouth. Please don’t think I’ve got a string of girlfriends because I’m a pilot. I did go out quite a lot at home, but that was almost a year ago. I’ve not the slightest idea what you think of me, and I know perfectly well I’m no prize package. If you only knew how much I’d like to tell people you’re my girlfriend.
Well, Sherry, I will close hoping I receive another letter from you soon.

Love,
Dannie

         I lay wide awake in my cot surrounded by snoring men. I should be snoring too but as usual my thoughts drift to Sherry. Never before had a girl affected me so profoundly. What’s worse is that my best friend was drawn to her first. I saw Josh walking with her on the beach. They were strolling, arm in arm, talking and laughing. While Josh never proclaimed her as forbidden territory, it was obvious he was intent on making her his own.
         I tried to steer clear of her, I swear, but it was impossible. Seeing her at the diner, day in and day out in that cute little pink uniform with her luxurious black hair twisted and coiled at the nape of her neck nearly drove me mad. I kept imagining her long, dark mane unfurling around her shoulders while she stood bare legged in one of my tattered old tee shirts. God help me.
         I was a lost cause. When I saw her for the last time that morning in the diner, I’d asked her to write me to keep me company overseas. She agreed happily and we’d shared a few letters in the past months. I’d never mentioned it to Josh, and I wonder if she is writing him as well. The idea of the possibility makes me nauseous and jealous, jealous of my best friend. Damn it! This is so wrong, but I can’t help myself.
         I finally managed the nerve to ask Sherry to be my girl, to make things official between us. Waiting for her reply has been hell. If she says yes, how will her choice affect Josh and my long cherished friendship with him? If she says no, will it mean she is in love with him and not me? Will I still be able to love Josh if she chooses him?
I both long for and dread the arrival of her next letter.


Chapter Two
Reunion

Laney

I could barely contain my excitement at seeing Joshua again today at school. His dad had held him on a short leash during summer break. While I’d texted and spoke to him nearly every day, I’d only actually seen and spent time with him on a number of occasions.
He’d spent the last month before school began with his grandparents in Florida. He hadn’t seen his mom’s folks since the Christmas holiday, and they begged him to spend part of the summer with them. Naturally, Joshua’s dad was thrilled with the idea since it meant placing more distance between us. You see, Joshua’s father, who is employed and presently brainwashed by Gracie Henderson’s father, is convinced my family is involved in some type of evil cult worship or equally bizarre and unappealing practice. Needless to say, he’s a bit uncomfortable with the idea of Joshua and me dating. He’s so paranoid he even made Joshua quit his job at Papa’s ranch. We can’t seem to catch a break.
My stomach tightened and my pulse raced at the sound of Joshua’s Jeep pulling into my driveway.
“I gotta run! I’ll see you after school!” I yelled to whoever might be listening before I shoved my strawberry Pop-Tart between my lips and darted out the front door.
“I sure have missed you.” Joshua beamed encircling me into a deep bear hug.
He’d been waiting outside the door to his Jeep like usual so he could help me climb into the massive vehicle.
“Me too.” I smiled, stretching onto my toes to give him a quick peck on the lips.
“Whoa, get back here! That wasn’t the type of kiss a guy gets from his girlfriend after a month of missing her in misery. You better give me some real sugar, baby,” he teased.
In an instant his lips were on mine. At first the connection was soft and tender, but eventually his lips parted and his warm slippery tongue begged for entrance into my mouth. I obliged happily. I savored the taste of his delicious tongue snaking along my teeth. He moaned contently as he licked my lower lip. My tongue traced along the edge of his mouth until his lips parted wider. I darted my tongue inside his mouth and he responded by sucking hard on my soft flesh. Soon we were panting and frenzied. Finally, we forced ourselves to break our embrace.

“That’s more like it,” he breathed in a daze.
I giggled, pleased with his satisfaction.
“Remind me to pick up where we left off later, but right now we better get to school,” I reminded him as I lightly kissed the edge of his jaw line.
“You’re killing me, Laney.” He half smiled at me mischievously. “But you’re right.”
He opened the door to his Jeep and assisted me as I hoisted myself into the passenger seat.
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“So, the Hendersons still have your dad convinced that Laney is a bad influence?” Carly inquired innocently.
“Carly,” I warned.
“No, she’s right.” Joshua sighed. “My dad’s still freaked out about the fact that Laney and I tried to run away together last winter. Granted, Mr. Henderson doesn’t help matters much, but at the end of the day he’s mostly afraid of losing me.”
Mike Bangs had lost his wife, Rachel, to cancer a little over a year ago. Of course the thought of losing Joshua too would be unbearable.
“But Laney isn’t trying to come between you and your dad,” Carly persisted.
Joshua shrugged at her words, unable to respond. He agreed with Carly, but he had failed to convince his father of the truth her statement offered.
“Let’s talk about something else,” I suggested.
“At least he’s compromising,” Carly continued as if I’d said nothing at all.
I rolled my eyes as Joshua glanced at me in sympathy.
“Well, I’m off to the library. I’ve got to find something interesting to pass the time in history today. It’s going to be so boring!” Carly complained.
And she was gone.
“She’s right, you know. Dad’s being ridiculous. I’m just glad you put up with him. Any other girl would have bailed by now.” He grabbed my hand and kissed my knuckles.
“I don’t have a choice. I love you,” I explained.
“Thank God.” He smiled impishly. “You wanna come over and work on our homework this afternoon?”
“I suppose I could pencil you in,” I teased.
“Please do. I’ve been looking forward to finishing what we started this morning all day long.” He winked.
My stomach tightened at the memory. God, I love him!
Homework after school at his house was his dad’s only concession where I’m concerned. No ranch, no visits to my house and no dates. Of course, that won’t stop us from getting creative. Joshua realized he could tell his dad he had plans with Scott while conveniently leaving out the detail that it was a double date including me. And, if all else failed, we could still travel together in the spirit world, but that would be a last resort.

Chapter Three
Frenemy

Laney

            We’re three weeks into the new school year and Gracie is still pining away for my boyfriend. After a summer almost completely void of Joshua, we are still going strong. It’s doesn’t matter however, because Gracie believes she’s got a chance at stealing him away from me. She’d finally given up on Jordan after he’d gone to the principal last year and proven that she and Laura Rice planted the ritual knife in my locker. Laura’s dad is our school janitor and Gracie convinced her to steal his keys to gain entry to the school building afterhours.
As usual, Gracie sweet-talked her way out of any severe punishment by placing the majority of the blame on Laura. She claimed that it had been Laura who led her to suspect that I was a witch. She chalked up Laura’s motive to jealousy over Jordan. It was no secret that the poor girl had a crush on him. By the end of her sob story, she’d insisted that she was just as much a victim in the matter as I was due to Laura’s deception and manipulation. Because Laura was so fearful of being socially outcast and her father’s job security being placed in jeopardy, she’d neither denied nor defended Gracie’s allegations. When all was said and done, Laura’s father nearly lost his job, Laura had been suspended from school for ten days and Gracie walked away with the equivalent of a slap on the wrist, three days of in-school suspension. It wasn’t the sweet revenge we’d all been dreaming of, but it was something.
At first I was relieved when Gracie gave up on Jordan. I hoped I might finally be able to be friends with the guy without interference from the hag from hell. Unfortunately, that relief faded all too quickly when it became obvious that she had set her sights on Joshua as a replacement for her previous obsession.
“Hi, Joshua, my dad’s planning a big party this weekend to celebrate the fifty-year anniversary of our family business. He said to make sure you and your daddy are invited. He’s really fond of your dad and admires his work ethic. It would make his day if you both came, and I know neither of you would dream of disappointing him,” Gracie babbled excitedly, feigning friendship with my boyfriend, who couldn’t stand her.
Her voice was her usual sickening sweet purr, but there was a definite subtextual threat in her message. She was letting Joshua know that he’d better be there, like it or not, because his father’s job depended upon it. Gracie has never been above blackmail to get what she wants and now she wants Joshua.
“I’ll be sure to mention it to him,” Joshua replied coldly between clenched teeth.

“Great! I’ll see you there!” She smiled with exaggerated enthusiasm. “Oh, and don’t bring her.” She gestured toward me with disgust. “You know how my daddy feels about the Stillwaters.”
She spun around on her heels and trotted back down the crowded hallway without waiting for Joshua’s reply.
“Bitch,” Joshua uttered under his breath.
We all heard him anyway.
“So, looks like your plans are open this Saturday, Laney. You wanna catch a movie?” Jordan bit back a smile.
Jordan knew all too well what it felt like to be caught in Gracie’s snares and he was enjoying Joshua’s discomfort a wee bit too much.
“Don’t, Jordan,” I warned.
I could see Joshua’s muscles flexing under the fitted fabric of his tee shirt.
“What? It’s just a movie. You can bring Carly along if it makes him feel less threatened. I just wanna hang out,” he continued casually.
Carly had been gone for six weeks over the summer. She’d spent the majority of the vacation at a cool art camp in Boston. With both her and Joshua absent, I’d faced a very lonely summer if not for Jordan. He and I had done a lot of hanging out while Carly created art and Joshua’s dad scheduled endless activities, leaving my boyfriend too busy to spend time with me. I never kept any of our outings from him. Any time I’d spent with Jordan I’d made sure my boyfriend was in the know. I felt guilty knowing that it made Joshua jealous, but the truth was I enjoyed spending time with Jordan. Neither one of us had ever crossed the line. Our relationship was strictly platonic, although Jordan wasn’t above allowing Joshua to wonder about what we’d done when we were together.
“Sorry, Jordan, but she’s not going to be available,” Joshua protested.
“Oh, but it sounds to me like she will be, Romeo,” Jordan sneered.
“Stop it, Jordan.” My voice trembled.
I didn’t like the idea of Joshua spending time with Gracie any more than he liked the idea of me spending time with Jordan. I know Joshua loves me and he knows I love him. Still…
Jordan instantly recognized the pain in my expression and simultaneously regretted his words and recoiled from my reaction.
“You know he has to go, Laney,” Jordan said gently.
“I know…but you don’t have to gloat about it,” I snapped.
Jordan still wants me. I know this. I should end our friendship since he can’t accept the fact that I’m in love with Joshua, but I can’t. I love Jordan too, just not the way he wants me to.

“No way! Dad can go to the Hendersons’ party for all I care but we are going to have some fun this weekend. I’ve already worked out the details with Scott. I’m trading the Jeep for his mom’s station wagon and we’re heading to the beach in Falmouth,” he insisted.
“I would love to spend Saturday at the beach with you, Joshua, but you know just as well as I do that you have to go to that stupid party.” I forced him to see reason. “Your dad could lose his job if you don’t play along with Gracie’s little game.”
“At least there will be a lot of people at the party so she won’t be able to corner you so easily.” Carly attempted to comfort both of us. “…and I will definitely chaperone Ms. Stillwater and Mr. Stone at the movie theater,” she promised.
This allowed the two of us to relax a bit. Joshua trusted Carly’s ability to defuse anything Jordan may be planning, and the realization that Joshua wouldn’t be left alone with Gracie at the party loosened the binds squeezing at my heart, if only fractionally.
“This sucks.” Joshua acknowledged the inevitability of the situation.
I grabbed his hand and squeezed it tightly in my own.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1) by Bella Forrest

A Shade Of Vampire (A Shade Of Vampire, #1) 

Book: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
Author: Bella Forrest
Publisher: Bella Forrest
Rating: 3 Stars
Level: Young Adult
Source: e-book review copy

Summary from Goodreads:
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

My Review:
A Shade of Vampire is a short story/novella about vampires. It's short but interesting and is a great first book setting up for what I hope will be a great series.

Sofia is kidnapped on her birthday and brought to The Shade. It is a secret island that the vampires live on. She has been brought there to be part of the prince Derek's personal slaves. Derek has been asleep by a witch's spell for the past four hundred years and has just woken up.

I was surprised by the way the story unfolded. I liked how it starts to build up but doesn't give too much away. I liked Sofia, she is very outspoken and seems to stand up to the vampires. Derek is drawn to Sofia right from the start and doesn't want to hurt her. Sofia doesn't come around to the idea of her and Derek until the end. There wasn't really any romance in this one, but there was action and suspense. Near the end there is a surprising person who shows up. We don't get much background information about the characters so I'm hoping in the coming books we do. Overall I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the reading the other books in this series.

This e-book was provided to me by the author for review. This did not affect my review in any way.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Last week I read: Fly Away (Wildflower #2) by Amy Maurer Jones (arc ~ release date July 18, 2013)

Fly Away 


This week I'm reading: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1) by Bella Forrest

A Shade Of Vampire (A Shade Of Vampire, #1) 


Next I'm going to read: Descendants (The Descendants #1) by R. Lynn

 Descendants (The Descendants Saga, #1) 

What are you reading?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cover Reveal/Feature: The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle



Summary:
 
At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious.  Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks.  But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.
As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him.  It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior.  Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief. 
Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated.  Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light. 
While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both tribes.  Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.

This book is set for a release date in October! 

Put it on your to-read list on Goodreads

Krista Holle's website/blog 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Four Hundred Days (Lor Mandela #2) by L. Carroll

Four Hundred Days (Lor Mandela, #2) 
Book: Four Hundred Days (Lor Mandela #2)
Author: L. Carroll
Publisher: L. Carroll
Rating: 4 Stars
Level: Young Adult
Source: e-book Review Copy

Summary from Goodreads:
When Audril, the heiress to the Lor Mandelan throne, sneaks away to Earth to save one of her dearest friends, she finds that a power hungry tyrant from her own world has begun systematically obliterating towns and cities to get her to turn herself over to him.

On Earth, she meets a wildly eccentric old lady named Teedee Venilworth whose imaginary butler/fiance supposedly holds the key to her success. But how can someone help if he doesn't exist? Could it be that creatures who dwell in shadow are not exclusive to Lor Mandela?

Book number two in the Lor Mandela Series, "Four Hundred Days", is an action-packed whirlwind of intrigue and fantasy. Join the extraordinary characters from the first book, (both the good and the evil), as they traverse the haunted corridors of Alcatraz Penitentiary, travel via portal to an ancient castle on the cliff shores of Ireland, and meet a foreboding race of mystic warriors known as the Solom.

Soar on the back of a large horse-like creature to the Northern High Forests, and discover that on the picturesque world of Lor Mandela, your friends can become foes, your enemies your allies, and just because someone dies, it doesn't always mean that they're dead.

My Review:
Four Hundred Days is action packed, entertaining and so much fun to read!

The story picks up soon after Lor Mandela: Destruction From Twins left off. Audril continues to get into trouble and not listen to her dad. When she receives another riddle she does a crazy thing with her powers and goes back to Drolana (earth) to help save her world. If that isn't enough, she has a love interest with Dallin and an enemy Ryannon who claims to love her.

I enjoy Audril's take charge attitude. Her interaction with the other characters is so fun to read. I love the squakis especially Tibbit, she is so cute and funny. Ryannon, I have a love/hate relationship with his character. He is a great villain though. Teedee was a really strange character that I found to be even weirder as the story went on. I was quite shocked when I found out who she truly is.

The entire book was action packed, full of suspense with a little romance thrown in. We are left with a cliffhanger ending that left me wondering. I like how the author mixes the two worlds Drolana and Lor Mandela together. The portals really came to life in this one too. You'll have to read the book to find out what I mean by this.

The author brought so much to this book that I didn't want to put it down. A must read for all fantasy fans! I'm now waiting for book three. This e-book was provided to me for review. This did not affect my review in any way. 

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Purchase the book: Amazon  Smashwords