Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book review: The Sentinel by Holly Martin

When Eve is rescued from a horrific coach crash by her teachers, she is shocked to discover they possess super strength and speed. But what happens next is even more harrowing. 

In the aftermath of the crash she discovers that everyone in her life from neighbours, doctors, dentists, teachers, shop keepers and even her family and friends are actually super strength Guardians sent to protect her. They all have one thing in common, a single minded ferocity that she must be kept alive at all costs. 

However, she is surrounded by secrets and lies. Those in the know deny all knowledge of what happened that fateful night. Everyone else carries on as normal, seemingly unaware of the new strange world that she has stumbled against. 

With the help of Seth, her best friend, Eve discovers the prophecies surrounding her true identity and the super strength she too holds. With her Guardians pledged to protect her, her closest friends ready to die for her, her own hopes and dreams are put on hold whilst she battles to control the amazing powers she has been bestowed with.

But those that seek to destroy her move ever closer. Will the Guardians be enough to protect her when so many are prepared to stop at nothing to see her dead? And will she be strong enough to fulfil her destiny when the time comes? 

A free e-book copy was given to me in exchange for a review.

There was a lot to be covered in The Sentinel; at its heart, I feel like it’s a good book, or at least a good premise.  It takes place in our world but has an entirely new one that we need to be introduced to in order to understand what’s happening.  This is done by way of the main character, Eve, who’s special to this world but doesn’t know it.  Even though she was being raised by guardians, and even her dog was a shapeshifter who had vowed to protect her, she was raised to think she was a normal human being.

Well, not necessarily.  That’s a bit of the problem that makes it not actually the best book it could be.  Apparently she’s spent her entire life being taught self-defense and other such things on the weekends (she says that where other girls her age might be out with friends or on vacation or dates on weekends, she was stuck training).  That isn’t a problem itself, but she claims that she’s “always been normal” and “never had reason to think she wasn’t.” But when it comes down to it, she realizes that a lot of her life isn’t normal.  So the beginning was kind of weak, and felt more like a stock “Normal girl is actually not normal at all” thing.  That definitely should’ve been cut out.

Another thing I have to complain about is that things happen much too fast.  The book is definitely long enough, but so much is happening, and most of it is just talked about.  Integral training is told rather than shown, entire scenes reduced to a few sentences telling what they did and how much fun Eve had or how frustrated she was that she couldn’t get something of her powers down right away.  Like I said, it makes the entire thing rushed.

Finally, I feel like there are too many characters.  The ones who are obviously important to Eve are easy enough to discern between after a while, but she has so many guardians hovering around her who are all named and she talks to at some point that I got them lost in my head.  Near the end when a name is mentioned, I went “Wait, who’s that?” It was supposed to be a big revelation but yeah, I was just confused.

Still, I feel like this is a pretty good read.  I enjoyed it for what it was and would definitely recommend it for fans of the genre.  And perhaps you can go into it without being as picky as I am.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book review: The Sandman and the War of Dreams (The Guardians #4) by William Joyce

When the Man in the Moon brought together the Guardians, he warned them that they would face some terrible evils as they strove to protect the children of earth. But nothing could have prepared them for this: Pitch has disappeared and taken Katherine with him. And now the Guardians are not only down one member, but a young girl is missing.

Fortunately, MiM knows just the man to join the team. Sanderson ManSnoozy—known in most circles as the Sandman—may be sleepy, but he’s also stalwart and clever and has a precocious ability to utilize sand in myriad ways. If the other Guardians can just convince Sandy that good can triumph evil, that good dreams can banish nightmares, they’ll have themselves quite a squad. But if they can’t…they might never see Katherine again.

The Sandman and the War of Dreams is the fourth book in the Guardians series, taking place right after Pitch and Katherine were swept up by the elusive and illustrious Mother Nature.  Like the first three books in this series, Sandman is told in the style of a fairytale, with a sweeping world that it takes place in and those silly little things added on to keep it light even when they’re worried about Katherine’s safety.

This particular one focuses on Sanderson Mansnoozy, aka the Sandman, as well as Mother Nature.  I loved this book just as much as the rest; it just seems to go by so fast, to the point where you’re finished and wanting more and more.  The lore behind both new characters is well-integrated and fits in with what’s already established, which is a trick some authors seem to have trouble with in sequels or series.  I also liked that Mother Nature is neutral, despite that she somewhat seems evil.  Her backstory makes you have sympathy for her, even if she’s done some terrible things.

All in all, this is a great book, an innocent fairytale that will appeal to both children and adults.  Honestly, I’d have to say the only thing I was disappointed in with the book is that the third one said Jack Frost would be showing up in this one, and he never does.  A bit of poor planning, I guess.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book review: On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul? The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie's steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.

A copy was given to me as part of the On Solid Ground tour.

Well, I read the book that came before this and, if you’ve seen my review for it, you’ll see I was incredibly unimpressed, especially considering all the hype that was around it.  The same pretty much goes for this book.  The only reason it gets two stars instead of one is because there were moments in it that I actually, genuinely enjoyed, but I found myself frustrated at that because I had already decided that it wasn’t that great of a book, so to see that the author is capable of actually entertaining me made me feel like the effort had been wasted in an otherwise bland story.

When I reviewed the first book, I mentioned that the dialog was really stiff.  Well, that’s changed in this book.  Instead of sounding like bad actors reading from a script someone who doesn’t understand the conventions of casual English wrote, it sounds like everyone’s either a Shakespearean actor or they’d be more appropriately put into a daytime soap opera.  The dialog is honestly so melodramatic that there’s no way the author ever actually listened to how college students in their early twenties communicate.

Related to that, literally all they ever talk about is Gracie’s former relationship.  She and Becki have weekly lunch dates and the first time they’re shown having one, they talk about Becki breaking up with her own boyfriend, and then a big deal is made out of how she shouldn’t be complaining because of what just happened to Gracie.  And then they talk about what happened to Gracie.  Gracie could be in bed with her new boyfriend and she’ll just be laying there, flashbacking to what Noah did to her.  I realize the entire point of this book is Gracie healing after an abusive relationship, but come on.  We get it.  She’s emotionally scarred.  Does she have nothing else in her life that she needs to think about?

Well considering her parents are willing to pay her rent and any and all living expenses (which apparently includes four-hundred dollars spent at a furniture store so she can remodel her apartment) apparently she really doesn’t.  That part irked me, too.  It just made me see her as a spoiled brat.  Which is about the only characterization we actually get, considering like the first book, everyone says what a free spirit she truly is, but nope, we don’t see it.  The attempts to actually show it are just as stilted as the dialog is.  When she was standing up on stage with Calon and started rapping as a warm up for the show, I was groaning instead of laughing.  I also feel like times that should’ve been shown were really glossed over, which just means we have a lot going on but very little actually happening.

That’s another complaint I had about this book.  The ending was really rushed and I felt Brownlow could’ve gotten a whole other book out of it.  The revelation about the sex tape and what’s on it should’ve been a big deal, but we get so little on it.  Gracie finds out, breaks down for a few pages, then goes to the police.  The frat house is shut down and some guys are dragged off, and apparently that’s that (I guess there’s no such thing as due process in this world).  Again, I feel like the process could’ve been an entire book of its own.  The fact that it’s in there just made it seem to drag out unnecessarily.

There’s also the fact that it’s inconsistent.  For instance, at the start of the book it’s mentioned that Alternate Tragedy had gotten big and would be going on their first real tour when summer ended, so they were in town just chilling out and performing at Mitchell’s because they wanted to.  And then later we find out they’ve been put on a tour at the last minute as the opening act for another band and Gracie’s angsting about Calon and the rest of the guys leaving town.  Editing is a thing you should do.

And of course there’s a ton about Gracie and Jake we find out that we should’ve already known from the first book.  I realize that not everyone is expecting to do a sequel to their book, but we don’t even find out Gracie’s major until this one.  Which is kind of an important detail for a book about a college student.

To sum it up, I just… had no sympathy for this book.  Because the first book gave me no reason to sympathize with Gracie or see why she would want to stay with Noah, all the talk about how badly he hurt her and how she must heal just comes off as melodramatic for me.  And the fact that it only takes her a couple months to “get over it” makes me facepalm really hard.  I only wish that whatever possessed Brownlow during those good passages could’ve been more consistent.  Another disappointment.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Tour: On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

The strong force of the wave pulled me under. I gasped for air just before my face disappeared below the surface. My body rolled over and over, my arms flailed, and my head pounded into the sea bed which felt like a concrete floor. The salty water stung my eyes. I forced myself to keep them open, fearing I would slip into unconsciousness from the blow I took to the head. I knew I had to hold it together long enough for the swell to pull me back up when the wave rolled. But something was pulling me deeper. I fought with all my might, kicking against the thick water swallowing me whole. I used my arms like underwater oars and sliced through the depths trying to reach what I needed most, but I was in too deep.

“Get out!” I could barely get the words out before I had to run to the bathroom and void my gut of its contents. Noah didn’t move.

I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and screamed, “I said, Get! Out!” I stumbled back into the room, grabbed the box of mementos I’d collected from the last year of our relationship, and dumped everything into the trashcan in the corner. Like a communal grave, there lay movie tickets, dried rose petals, a strip of photos from the boardwalk, all the beautiful letters he wrote last fall semester, an empty beer bottle, and all the rest of what was now just a reminder of the guy I thought I knew.

“Gracie, don’t…” His face fell, but he didn’t move from the edge of my bed.

“Don’t? Don’t what, Noah? Don’t break up with you? Are you kidding?” My ears burned from his admission of guilt. It hit me broadside. I wasn’t prepared for the words he had spoken just moments before.

The rush of water covering me grew cold. Icy. My body quaked. My lungs burned and begged for air. I could see light above. It glimmered and danced on the small waves my panic created. I reached for the surface. Even if I couldn’t pull myself up, maybe just feeling the sun’s warmth would stop the shivering that threatened to unravel me.

My legs gave out beneath me and I crumbled into a heap on my apartment floor. I sobbed so uncontrollably I gasped for air. I was livid. Repulsed. Crushed and torn. Noah was the love of my life, and things were just getting back to the way I longed for them to be. Back to what used to be our “normal.” Before he pledged Sigma Chi. Our relationship hadn’t been easy since I transferred to Knoxville. But our story wasn’t ready to end.

It went something like this:

Bad boy meets good girl.

First kiss.

Bad boy turns sensitive.


Good girl gives sensitive boy all of her.

Long distance.

Flowers. Love letters.

Long, sweet phone calls.

Good girl transfers to sensitive boy’s school.

Sensitive boy becomes fraternity boy.

Drunken social events.

Secrets revealed.

Fraternity boy pulls good girl under.

Good girl finds herself in too deep.

- In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow
Publication date: June 6th 2013
by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: New Adult Romance

Long- Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?




On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow
(In Too Deep #2)
Publication date: December 3rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived.  However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul?The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie’s steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.




Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters life on the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Blitz: Letters to Nowhere series by Julie Cross

Letters To Nowhere Series Julie Cross
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Book 1: Letters to Nowhere

From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest Series...
Set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics...

I've gotten used to the dead parents face. I've gotten used to living with my gymnastics coach. I've even adjusted to sharing a bathroom with his way-too-hot son. Dealing with boys is not something that's made it onto my list of experiences as of yet. But here I am, doing it. And something about Jordan--being around him, talking to him, thinking about him--makes me feel like I can finally breathe again. That's something I haven't been able to do lately. He knows what it feels like to be me right now. He knows what it's like to wonder--what now? I think about it constantly. I need answers. I need to know how to get through this. In the gym, if you're struggling, you train harder, you do drills and conditioning. How do I work hard at moving on? At being on my own? And what happens if I might be...maybe...probably falling for Jordan? I mean we live together now. That can't happen, can it? But kissing him...well, let's just say it's not an easy activity to forget.

You can find my review of book one here.

Book 2: Return to Sender

If only summer could last forever…

Karen and Jordan might be out in the open with their relationship, but that doesn't make it any easier for them to face events looming in the future. Like Jordan leaving for college halfway across the country. Or Karen's win at a big international gymnastics competition setting the bar high for her future and adding pressure like she's never experienced before.

But when Nina Jones (aka-US Gymnastics Dictator), makes plans for Karen and teammate Stevie to train at a gymnastics camp for a month—the same camp where Jordan coaches—romantic summer interludes replace their fears of being apart. Both Jordan and Karen know that when fall comes, some very tough decisions will have to be made, but for now, it’s stolen kisses, racing hearts, and whispered words.

Book 3: Return to You

Releasing December 15th 2013

How many dreams can you chase at once?

Even with bad boy, TJ, disrupting their morning workouts, Karen and Stevie’s daily battles with each other are sure to bring both of them closer to a national title at next month’s championships. It’s the kind of feud that creates winning results.

Until a fall from the uneven bars shakes Karen’s rock-solid confidence. Not only does she balk every time she so much as attempts a routine, she’s also facing all this without much support from Jordan. After receiving some bad news, Jordan’s reluctance to listen to reason causes Karen so much frustration she begins to avoid him, needing space to deal with her own issues. He needs someone to force him to make the right choice, he needs his dad to intervene and Karen knows this, but is torn between her loyalty to Jordan and her concern for her coach’s son. Even though both paths lead to the same person—Jordan—it feels like she’s choosing between two different people.

And then there’s the growing tension between TJ and Stevie. They’re obviously on the verge of either ripping each other’s heads off or ripping each other’s clothes off. It’s hard for either Jordan or Karen to tell where those two are headed. Tension is building from every possible outlet and there’s bound to be an explosion of some kind in the very near future.


Purchase book 1:

Purchase book 2:


Julie Cross is the International Bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and the final installment, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere (8/13), a mature young adult romance set in the world of elite gymnastics, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels with publishers like Entangled, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books.

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics  Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict. You can find her online via twitter, her personal website, email, facebook, Goodreads, or co-moderating the YAwriters section of reddit.


Each blog hosting this blitz is authorized to give away one e-book copy of the first book in this series, Letters to Nowhere.  The prize will be gifted through Amazon.  To sign up, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cover reveal: Draw Me In by Megan Squires

Draw Me In by Megan Squires
Publication date: December 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

He’s a young, up and coming businessman with the keys to his family’s Italian wine enterprise.

I’m a fine arts student, navigating life in the Big Apple, my pencil and sketchpad in hand.

We meet. We fall in love.

But it’s not that story.

Sometimes, by a rare gift of fate, two lives cross paths. And hey, if that happens to occur when staring at Michelangelo’s naked masterpiece, even better. We can tell our future children how a seventeen-foot tall marble guy named David brought us together.

But there’s always more to a relationship than its beginning and ever after. In life, there’s a whole lot of backstory. There are ex-fiancés and hot roommates and family members whose advice continues, even beyond the grave.

When you say you love someone, it’s never just that one person you’re saying it to. And it’s never just that one moment that sets everything in motion.

There is always more that draws you in.



Megan Squires lives with her husband and two children just outside of Sacramento, California. A graduate from the University of California, Davis, Megan is now a full-time mother, wife, and dreamer—though her characters don’t often give her much opportunity to sleep.
Visit to learn more about her latest young adult series.

Author links:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book review: In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

A free copy was given to me in preparation for its sequel’s blog tour.

In Too Deep is obviously an Issue Book; you can tell that just from the summary.  Because of that, I feel like I’m supposed to treat it a little gentler than I might with another book, because there’s a lot of psychology behind it and even though I might not agree with Gracie’s choices, I’m sure there are girls who this kind of thing has happened to, and whose stories are too close to this for it to be comfortable.

That said, however, after the first few chapters, I started to have very little sympathy for Gracie.  She’s… kind of stupid, to put it lightly.  Past the gesture Noah made with the Jack Johnson song in the car, I didn’t see anything really appealing about him that would have sucked her in.  He was either really boring or really mean.  The only reason I can really think that she’d want to stay with him is that she gave her virginity to him, which is pounded into our heads.  She even angsts about how whoever she ends up with “won’t have all of her on their wedding night.” Melodramatic much?  Geeze.  I understand there are people who that’s important for them but… well yeah, I don’t get why she cares about that, of all things, after all that’s happened.

The storyline itself is, as you’ve probably guessed, one of those ones that just uses the same plot point over and over.  They break up, she vows she’s done with him for good, she cries to Jake, Noah says he’ll change, she takes him back, he does something stupid, lather rinse, repeat times ten.  Hence why I thought she was kind of stupid.  There’s also the thing about him sucking the life out of her, about how she was so vibrant and full of life, but we never see that, not even in the flashbacks to before they were together.

The dialog is ultra-stiff, too.  A lot of the time they don’t use contractions, and I’m reminded of really bad actors reading from a script.  That’s not good.

And yeah, it reads like wish fulfilment when Gracie finally has sex with Jake.  I swear to God she thinks she’s had a religious experience.  I found myself rolling my eyes at all the “our souls connected” iterations.  I also don’t really get what Jake sees in her considering, again, the whole “vibrant and free” thing is never shown, only needy clinginess.  For God’s sake, she self-diagnoses herself as addicted to relationships.

Yeah this book just didn’t really do it for me.  It wasn’t terrible, but I don’t think it’s lived up to the hype I’ve seen around for it.  It feels amateurishly written from the point of view of someone who either doesn’t understand the subject at all, or is too close to it and therefore thinks that everything they write is the absolute truth.  Either way, I’m hoping the sequel is better.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cover reveal: Tipsy by Cambria Hebert

Title: Tipsy
Author: Cambria Hebert
Series: Take It Off - all the novels in this series can be read as stand alones
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Format: Ebook and Paperback


Julie Preston is an artist. But her canvas isn’t paper or clay. It’s hair. She spends her days coloring, blow drying and styling her clients hair at the Razor’s Edge salon. Julie is also annoyed. She went out on a date and had a great time, gave the guy her number and the jerk never called.

So when he waltzes into the salon and sits down in her chair she briefly considers strangling him with the pink cape she fastens around  his neck.

Too bad she can’t.

Blue Markson, the guy who never called, is a police officer so causing him bodily harm would be a first class ticket into the slammer. Just looking at him again makes Julie forget why she was mad in the first place, but she’s already learned that Blue is nothing but heartache. So when he starts coming around, acting like he hadn’t made her stare at the phone for days, she tries to brush him off.


Her life is about to blow up in her face, she’s about to get caught up in a sticky web of crime and the one guy who can help her is the one guy she vowed never to trust again.


Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting

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Cambria’s website: 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, with the aim to increase blog followers and let us get to know each other.  Each week we're given a question or an activity.

This week's question:

Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?

This is actually an easy one for me.  The one that comes straight to mind is Coraline.  You might call me biased since I saw the movie first, but I'm being honest here.  The movie was extremely faithful in its adaptation, but it still expanded upon the story and gave you more than the book did, so I have to say I like the movie better for that reason.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Living Blond Trilogy Book Blitz!

Living Blond Trilogy: Diamonds Are a Teen’s Best Friend, The Seven Month Itch, How to Date a Millionaire 

Allison Rushby 

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Book 1 in the Living Blond trilogy…
Diamonds are a Teen's Best Friend

Nessa Joanne Mulholland, aka Marilyn Monroe's No. 1 teenage fan, is used to moving house. This time, however, she's relocating in movie-star style—crossing the Atlantic on board the Majestic, headed for Paris from New York City. And it really would be in movie-star style if it wasn't for the fact that she's bringing her cringe-fest professor dad along for the ride (Dad's specialization: human mating rituals—need Nessa say more?). Oh yeah, and sharing a cabin that's five decks below sea level and next to the engine room. Still, at least Holly Isles is on board. Yes, really, that Holly Isles—star of stage and screen. Suddenly, things are looking up. Looking a little Marilyn, in fact, because events are strangely mirroring Nessa's favorite movie of all time, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.


As Holly Isles, world-famous actress, confides in Nessa over mocktails.


As Nessa coaches Holly in the amazing "Nessa's Lesson's in Love"—the ultimate man-catching rules to finding true and lasting lurv.


Nessa fall for Holly's too-cute nephew, Marc. . . and 

Cover your eyes!

As it all goes terribly, horribly, embarrassingly wrong.

There's no doubting it. This is going to be one pitchy crossing.
Book 2 in the Living Blond trilogy…
The Seven Month Itch

Nessa Joanne Mulholland, aka Marilyn Monroe's No. 1 teenage fan, is living the high life in Manhattan. Literally. Waffling and pancaking it up every morning (care of housekeeper Vera) in her soon-to-be stepmother's Tribeca penthouse apartment. Things couldn't be better. Or so she thinks, until things start to go terribly, horribly wrong, in true Nessa fashion. All of a sudden, she's starting to feel the need to pull at her collar. Yes, it's summer in NYC and things are heating up fast, including the professor and Holly's wedding plans.


Along with Nessa as her dad's too-gorgeous research assistant moves into the new family penthouse while Holly's away filming in LA . . .


As Nessa gets dumped for "Doris Day" . . .


As Kent Sweetman decides he wants Holly back, wedding or no wedding . . . and

Bite your nails!

As the cupcakiest wedding ever hangs in the balance.

Phew! The temperature's getting hotter by the second, heat rash is setting in fast—and everyone's starting to scratch that Seven Month Itch!
Book 3 in the Living Blond trilogy
How to Date a Millionaire

Nessa Joanne Mulholland, aka Marilyn Monroe's No. 1 teenage fan, is about to become a big sister—twice over. Her movie-star stepmother, Holly, is very pregnant with twins when, suddenly, B and G (that's Boy and Girl) decide they need to get away from it all.

Within hours, Nessa, her dad, Holly, her best friend Alexa, and tag-along cousin Nat are on a private jet and headed for some rest and relaxation Hawaiian style. Except that, on hitting the sand, there's not a lot of rest and relaxation to be found. The penthouse apartment they've booked is suddenly unavailable, Holly's blood pressure skyrockets, Nat is bronze-beach-boy crazy, and what's with the three cute guys living upstairs?


At Nat's crazy antics (will Nessa and Alexa really have to chain her to the apartment balcony to keep her out of boy trouble?)


When Nessa meets someone who's had the life-saving operation her mother couldn't have.


As two gorgeous babies make their way into the world . . . and


As Nessa finally gets things right . . . for once.  



Having failed at becoming a ballerina with pierced ears (her childhood dream), Allison Rushby instead began a writing career as a journalism student at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Within a few months she had slunk sideways into studying Russian. By the end of her degree she had learned two very important things: that she wasn't going to be a journalist; and that there are hundreds of types of vodka and they're all pretty good. After several years spent whining about how hard it would be to write a novel, she finally tried writing one and found it was quite an enjoyable experience. Since then, she has had nine novels published. She keeps up her education by sampling new kinds of vodka on a regular basis.
Author Links:


Grand prize giveaway

Prizes (open internationally):

--20 super-cute ‘We love Marilyn’ ‘Marilynette’ wristbands

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Book Tour: Destiny (New Avalone #1) by Andrea Buginsky

Elena Baxter has spent her life desperately wanting to fit in. She’s used to being teased and taunted by the popular girls, but when she celebrates her sweet sixteen birthday and receives two amazing gifts—the power of telekinesis, and the truth about her heritage—she has high hopes that things will change. But her wish does not come true, and Elena is bullied just as she was before, only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When an explosion hits, chaos ensues and she learns that her new power just might be bigger than she is. 
She embarks on a journey to a secret island to learn how to control her powers, and she’s thrown into a different world, one where she just might be able to fit in. What Elena learns about her heritage forces her to face her past – and the demons it created – head on. 

Buy Links:


Elena was getting upset as she defended her family’s honor. She wasn’t thinking about where that might lead. She wasn’t thinking at all.

“Why, Elena, I didn’t mean to upset you.  I just meant that-“

“I know exactly what you meant, Barbara Thomas! You think your family is better than anyone else in this town. You always have. Just because your dad happens to be the former mayor’s son doesn’t mean you own this town and everyone in it! I’m so sick of your mock sentiment when all you really feel is that you’re better than everyone. You’re no better than the rest of us!”  

As she yelled, things around her felt funny, and she realized she heard screaming. She looked around, and was startled to see everyone staring at her, horrified. She took a deep breath, and realized what had happened. She let her emotions get away from her, and her powers erupted.

The only words she could think of to describe the scene around her were total chaos.  Every locker had burst open, and the entire contents – books, folders, papers, pictures, mirrors, backpacks – had come flying out. The posters on the walls were scattered everywhere. Most of the students and teachers were picking themselves up off the floor. Elena knew her powers had gotten totally out of hand, and she made everything around her fly out of control, literally.

She heard footsteps walking toward her, the only sound in the hall. She looked up and saw her counselor, Mrs. Adams, walking toward her. She gently took Elena by the shoulder and guided her to her office. She looked back and saw Barb and the other Bimbettes staring at her, as well as everyone else in the hall. 

About the Author:

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy novelette was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea is currently working NEW AVALON, a YA fantasy series. Book 1, "Destiny," is available on Amazon

Connect with the Author:

Tour Schedule:
24th October

25th October

26th October

28th October

1 Digital copy of The Chosen by Andrea Buginsky to the best reviewer of this tour
1 Digital Copy of Destiny

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Cover Reveal: Girls Are Players by Ingrid Seymour

Girls Are Players by Ingrid Seymour
(G.A.P. #2)
Publication date: December 4th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Jessica Norton is a villain in the body of a gorgeous, rich, college girl. She cheats, lies, plays with people’s feelings, and purposely breaks unsuspecting hearts to avenge a personal loss. She’s the kind of girl people love to hate—even if it’s just because she has it all. Except . . . she doesn’t have it all. What she wants most is the love of her high school sweetheart, Taylor Drennon, the guy who got away, the one who left without telling her why and caused all her bitterness.

Not surprisingly, Jessica’s evil has made her a pariah. Alone, without friends or Taylor’s love, her college life is a nightmare. She’s haunted by her own mistakes and drowning in lack of direction. Something needs to change. So when the first opportunity to turn her life around presents itself, she takes it. Home for Christmas break, Jessica runs into Taylor. His unexpected friendliness seems like an invitation to rekindle their love. Inspired by a drastic idea that will both distance her from her heinous reputation and pull her closer to Taylor, she decides to transfer to OSU where he attends under a football scholarship.

Confident she can regain his heart, Jessica reenters Taylor’s life with a splash. Failing to naturally lure him closer, she is then forced to rely on her old games and underhanded scheming. Though Jessica’s heart is in the right place, it is hidden from Taylor by her blunders.  More than once their powerful chemistry takes control, leading Jessica to believe she’s winning. But, it’s a hot and cold affair, and she’s not the only one to blame for their stormy love. If Jessica can only coax Taylor into explaining why he doesn’t want her, maybe she could finally walk away from him for good, maybe she could finally be happy.


Ingrid Seymour loves, loves, loves to write. Her favorite genres are Young Adult and New Adult. The idea for her debut novel "The Guys Are Props Club" assaulted her one day, and she just had to commit it to paper. She wrote it in record time and had incredible fun doing it. Now, she's enjoying hearing from her readers. It's a dream come true. Find her at and share your thoughts!

Author Links:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I had mixed feelings about Fangirl from the very beginning.  To put it positively, there’s absolutely no doubt that this book has some incredible parts.  Many of the scenes, especially near the middle, made me think that this book was worth reading.  There are also a lot of parts in the prose that just work.  They’re especially clever, I guess I would say.

Unfortunately, Cath pissed the hell out of me.  She’s so flipping dumb sometimes!  She actually passes in a piece of fanfiction for a writing assignment in her Fiction Writing class, and when the professor fails her, she tries to argue the point about “original fiction” and proceeds to have a breakdown.  And then the rest of the book is all about how she’s thinking of changing her focus.  Like, did she not think she’d have to write original stuff?  Did she think she could cruise through her writing classes with slash fic?  Yeah, dumb.

There’s also the fact that Rowell doesn’t seem to be aware of how college works sometimes.  She gets the more general details down, but she misses others.  Like the fact that most college students don’t carry backpacks, at least if they live on campus (their dorm is right there; why would they want to carry around thirty pounds of books and stuff?).  There’s also about halfway through the book, when Cath doesn’t want to go back to college and it says she didn’t sign up for her classes, anyway.  Like, no?  That happens at the end of October/early November.  She would’ve had an academic advisor breathing down her neck about it for sure.

Although what bugged me most was definitely that her professor gives her such a long extension on her short story project.  And just how it was handled in general.  I took Fiction Writing in college, and you didn’t just write something and pass it in at the end of the semester.  You had a first draft done within a month and then workshopped it.  And then you edited and rewrote and possibly workshopped again.  And then you have a meeting with the professor at the end of the semester about your writing.  So, not only did her Fiction Writing class contain none of the peer editing that is the entire point of creative writing classes, but she didn’t write it and then was given the entire Spring semester to pass it in.  Like, no.  That’s not how it works, no matter what the circumstances are.

So yeah, there are some amazing parts in this book but it was kind of ruined by these details.  Which brings it down to average in my mind.  And I was so looking forward to this book, too.  Not a huge disappointment and I’d say it’s still worth the read, but not great.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book review: UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale #1) by Chanda Hahn

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her newfound fame brings misfortune as an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and stop these deadly events, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

Like a lot of people, I downloaded this book because it’s free on Amazon.  Can’t go wrong with free, right?  Despite that it’s one of the most popular free downloads on the site in its categories, though it’s… not that great.  I’d say it’s a little below average at best.

There are definitely good parts about this, but not a lot.  Plenty of the scenes I liked the concept of, for example, and the plot itself is one that could’ve been great.  But the writing and execution is… meh.  Even if a book is self-published it should be polished as much as possible, and it's obvious in some places that it wasn’t.  For instance, one minute Jared is just this mysterious guy who seems to be helping Mina out for unknown reasons, and the next Mina suddenly knows he’s a fae, with no explanation of her thought process.  However, this is kind of made worse by the fact that the fae are never explained.  I felt like I was missing something when they were suddenly thrust in there without even a short infodump explanation of something Mina’s mother said like Hahn did every other time.

There’s also the fact that Mina just readily accepts what her mother tells her, and even says it “explains” some things.  Like, what?  The moving around, sure, but her mother consciously put her daughter down and made her feel like an outsider because she thought it would make it harder for the Grimm Curse to find them.  I can’t really say I can sympathize with her, especially since it didn’t work.

All-in-all, this is one of those books that could’ve been great, and does have some spots where it is, but it’s just not there.  The other two books in the series aren’t free and I can’t say I’m willing to pay four dollars for more of the same.  Maybe I’ll keep an eye out for them being made free, though.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book review: Picture Me by Lori Weber

When a well-meaning English teacher has overweight student Krista read aloud a poem about body image titled "Barbie Doll" in class, she ignites a simmering bullying event based on Krista's appearance. Krista's best friend, and witness to the event, Tessa, is suspended for fighting to defend her friend. The girl who bullies Krista seems unaffected by the incident at school and more concerned with what an older guy thinks of her. But as the three characters' paths intersect, their inner lives are revealed. Each emerges as a much more complicated individual than their simple bully, target, and witness labels.

Received as a free ARC from NetGalley.

Okay.  So.  This book was a huge disappointment for me.  The premise is definitely an interesting one, and it’s relevant to what’s going on in schools now.  The fact that the author decided to have it from the bully’s point of view could’ve been great.  Not everything is black and white, after all, and so being able to look into the mind of the person who was being so horrible was something I looked forward to, just to see how the author would make us sympathize with Chelsea.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  The only point of view I found myself enjoying in this book was Tessa’s.  She’s Krista’s best friend, Krista being the one who’s bullied.  Tessa is the only one who was at all tolerable in the book.  Krista’s character development is rushed and unbelievable (going from completely confident in herself to starving herself within a week?).  Chelsea’s story is even worse.  We’re supposed to believe that her home life is horrible, that her mother doesn’t care about her at all, but what we see is the exact opposite.  The worst part of her life is that she doesn’t have a father and her family is lower-middleclass, I think.  They can’t really afford a lot of nice clothes or fancy food or whatever, but Chelsea makes it even harder for herself by being an ungrateful brat who seems to think she deserves to live the same type of life as Paris Hilton and all those types of people.

There’s also the problem that the author attempts to have side stories, mainly Tessa’s family issues and Chelsea with that older guy (as a warning, there are implications of violence and even rape in Chelsea’s side story).  But well… they don’t fit at all.  And nothing is resolved.  At all.  The ending just stops.

So yeah, this book isn’t that great.  Not one I’d recommend even as a quick read, which it thankfully is.  I finished it in maybe four hours, and that was with taking breaks.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book review: Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2) by Kiersten White

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be...kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

I will admit that it’s been years since I’ve read the first book in this series, and it probably would’ve helped to pick that up and reread it before reading Supernaturally, because it took me a bit to remember everything that had happened and get back into the world.  I won’t blame the book for that; it’s my fault.  As with the first book, Supernaturally presents and incredibly interesting mythology and take on the supernatural creatures you know and love (and even some you might not know about, such as the fossegrim that attacks Evie in the lake).  Although it is kind of annoying when Evie starts making fun of people who go by the traditional views of vampires, such as when her English class is reading Dracula and she complains about how inaccurate it is.  They don’t know any better, so what do you have to complain about?

Beyond the mythology, though, this book is just okay.  There are definitely times in which the narration is very, very clever, because Evie is a pretty clever girl, despite being naïve.  And the ending was one I expected as far as her learning to do a certain thing, but it wasn’t in the way I had expected so that was good.  But it wasn’t a book that made me reluctant to put it down most of the time.  Jack ending up being somewhat of a bad guy didn’t surprise me, although there could have been more lead-up to it.  There are plenty of hints, but they’re ones you can dismiss pretty easily.  Not enough foreshadowing, I guess.  And the plot doesn’t really seem to revolve around what was hinted in the summary.  In fact, because Jack ended up being the bad guy, you could say the summary doesn’t really fit it at all.  Yeah, the faeries are asses, and Reth is annoying, but they have very little part in anything.

Still, I’ll be looking around for Endlessly so I can finish up the series and see how things go.  Happy reading!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The goal is to gain followers and make friends.  Each week we're given a question or activity to do.

This week's question:

What book (or TV show or movie) have you not read that seemingly everyone else has?

Oh boy, this could be quite a long list.  I haven't read the Hunger Games series, for instance, nor have I read Vampire Diaries or most of the Pretty Little Liars series.  For that matter I haven't seen any of the movie/TV show forms for them.  There's a ton of anime I haven't seen that all my friends seem to have watched (K Project, Attack on Titan, just to name a couple).  There's just too much media to consume and not enough hours in the day/funds.

In case you're new to the blog, I'm giving away an ebook copy of The Rules of Regret by Megan Squires over here!  Feel free to enter.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Rules of Regret Book Blitz and Giveaway!

The Rules of Regret by Megan Squires 
Publication date: October 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

“Life doesn’t come with a blueprint, which makes it hard to have any plans.”

Nineteen-year-old Darby Duncan is finally on her own. Her boyfriend of six years just left for a high-powered summer internship, though in reality he’s been absent for much longer than that. This newfound freedom wasn’t a part of Darby’s plans, but as she’s come to discover, plans only exist on paper, not in reality.

And guys like Torin Westbrook aren’t supposed to exist in reality, either. But he does, with his disheveled curly hair, irresistible dimples, and endearingly quirky habit of reciting quotes from classic movies and ancient thinkers. When Darby meets Torin as a fellow counselor at the survival camp she impulsively applies to, she’s certain his main goal is to turn her world upside-down.

But Darby’s not sure she can adapt to Torin’s ways of viewing his past and the tragedies he’s faced. Because she’s had her own share of heartache, too, and as much as she wants to believe that it’s all been for a purpose, her grief hasn’t allowed her to get to that point. Yet the more Darby is around Torin, the more she craves the freedom to break out of her carefully constructed routine and mindset and fall into something new.

She’s just not sure that she should be falling for Torin along the way.


Direct buy link not yet available but will be found here come release day:


“I don’t think that stellar tooth brushing of mine should go to waste,” he blurted during a commercial break of Jeopardy. I’d been tucked under the cover of the sheet while he rested on top, so when he turned to face me he’d inadvertently pulled the fabric underneath him.

“Argh,” I growled as the sheets tourniqueted me.

“I’m sorry!” Torin laughed, and tossed off the covers to join me. It felt like the sleep sack again, but more intentional,because in this moment, he knew I was there with him. “Is that better?” He slipped down next to me, tugging the duvet up to our ears. I wasn’t really cold, but being under the comforter with him made me understand why it was named that: comforter. Because that was the exact sensation I experienced. Overwhelming comfort with the boy that I’d just discovered I more than likely loved.

“My mouth really does taste amazing right now, Darby.” He pulled at the fabric draped over us. I slid toward him an inch, and our legs pressed closer together. Fabric on fabric, with even more cloaked over us. “You should taste it for yourself.”

“Oh yeah?” I teased, and he moved forward. Our arms tangled. Skin on skin. Not much, but enough to change the way my heartthrummed inside my chest.

“Yes. And really, to get the full sensation, you’re gonna have to use your tongue. It seriously is all Double Mint Gum status fresh up in here.” Torin waved a hand over his mouth and smiled so widely I worried for a moment that the newly formed scab on his face would burst.

“This is how you want our first kiss to happen?” I asked, hesitant because it didn’t feel romantic or spontaneous the way first kisses should. Though in reality, I supposed it wasn’t a first kiss at all. A third, but the first one that we’d both intentionally desired. And the first one that was okay for us to have together. For all intents and purposes, we were about to have our first kiss. I started to freak out.

“This is how I want everything about you. Like this. Making the mundane monumental.” He scooted closer. “Seriously. Everything you touch turns to gold, Darby.”

“Ah, there it is,” I said, nodding, poking at him beneath the covers.


“Your plagiarizing. It’s been a while, but I see you’re back at it.”
Torin shrugged indifferently. “So what? I like quotes.”

“I like your originality,” I countered, because I did. I liked when Torin was just Torin; when I knew the things he said came from somewhere deep inside him, not from some surface level of past memorization.

“It is as though a thousand little garden gnomes chewed up mint-flavored crystals and then blew them into my mouth. In Antarctica.” I burst into laughter so loud I thought the neighbor on the other side of the adjoining wall might report me to the front desk. “That was a Torin original. You like?”

“I love,” I giggled, instinctively covering my mouth with my hand.


Each blog hosting this blitz has been authorized to give away one ebook copy of The Rules of Regret.  Just go below!

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Good luck!