Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blog tour: Nashville Nights series by Stacey Mosteller excerpt

Today I bring you an excerpt from the Nashville Nights series, being released as a box set tomorrow, November 27th.  Nashville Nights is a new adult romance series by Stacey Mosteller, published by Swoon Romance.  The excerpt is from Pretending He's You.

Pretending He’s You (Nashville Nights Book 4)
Part One of Two
Olivia Barrett’s always had a weakness for bad boys and Tyler Chamberlain is no exception. His tattoos, his piercings, and even the fact that he has a girlfriend doesn’t keep her away.

Interested in Tyler since she first saw him pick up a guitar, she’s been trying to find ways to be with him for years. He’s the one Livvie runs to when she needs a friend, the one who makes her laugh and holds her when she needs to cry. Unfortunately, they are never single at the same time and sneaking around is getting old.

Now, tired of making bad decisions, Livvie’s making changes. Her friends are all starting to grow up and she doesn’t want to be left behind. Terrified her friends are moving on without her, she’s determined to make things work with Emmett, her on-again off-again boyfriend since high school.

The only problem? Tyler isn’t ready to let her go. Despite her boyfriend and his girlfriend, these two are drawn together like magnets. When she’s with Emmett she wishes she was with Tyler and vice versa.

Will Livvie ever get tired of pretending and pick one guy? Or will she keep bouncing back and forth between the two of them indefinitely?


Tyler’s angry now too. I can see it in his eyes when he stands. “Drop it Olivia.” His voice is low and full of menace, but I don’t care.
“No. You owe me Tyler. Tell me why.”
He stalks over, not stopping until we’re standing toe to toe, and he has to bend a little to look me in the eyes. “You don’t want me to tell you why. Trust me on that.”
“I do. Tell. Me. Why.” I cross my arms over my chest, refusing to budge. What’s the worst he can say?
Narrowing his eyes, he says, “Fine. You want to know why?” Duh. I just said I did…twice. “Because Livvie. You’re a good fuck. Don’t mistake it for love. It’s just shagging.”
“You asshole!” My voice is rising, and I’m trembling. I can’t tell where the anger ends, and the pain begins, and I know later I’m going to crash and crash hard. Right now though? Right now, I just want to punch him. I want to do him bodily harm. I want him to feel the pain I’m feeling. “Fuck you.” I turn my back on him, leaving him standing in the middle of his room.
Just before I slam the door; he laughs. “Already did love. Don’t pretend you didn’t like it. Your screams said otherwise.” I know my face is bright red now. I can feel the blush spreading. It feels like my entire body has caught fire from embarrassment. He’s such a jerk. Jensen’s in the kitchen when I walk into the open living area, giving me a look that says he heard the whole thing.
“Do you need a ride?” I nod, not trusting my voice. If I attempt to talk, I will lose it. He gives me a sympathetic smile before he grabs his keys and ushers me out of the house. “I’m sorry he hurt you,” Jensen mutters. I don’t say anything. I just want to forget tonight happened. He doesn’t talk anymore, and the ride to my house is silent except for the music playing low on the radio. Thankfully it’s on punk rock and not country because I can’t take anything sad. If I have to hear a song about a dead dog or a broken relationship, I’ll completely lose my shit.

When he pulls up in front of my house, I practically jump out of the car. “Thanks Jensen.” I shut the door quickly and run inside. I don’t want to see Chris, I don’t want him to know I’m upset because if he sees me, he’ll figure out what’s going on and then he’ll spend the rest of the night pounding Tyler. I don’t know why I’m protecting him because he sure as hell doesn’t deserve it, but I don’t want to be responsible for them fighting either. Once I’m in the safety of my bedroom with my door locked, I strip off the clothes that smell like Tyler and head for the shower. I’m determined to wash the memory of him off. I sit on the floor of my shower; my knees against my chest, and my arms wrapped around them, sobbing until I have no tears left. I’m stronger than this. I’m better than what he tried to make me. My daddy always told me I was a prize, but I let a dude treat me like a throwaway. Fuck Tyler Chamberlain.

You can buy the books here!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Book review: H2O by Virginia Bergin


It's a number that marks the percentage of the population that survived. It's a number that means she's one of the "lucky" few still standing . And it's a number that says her father is probably dead. 

Against all odds, Ruby has survived the catastrophic onset of the killer rain. Two weeks after the radio started broadcasting the warning "It's in the rain. It's fatal, it's contagious, and there's no cure," the drinkable water is running out. Ruby's left with two options: persevere on her own, or embark on a treacherous journey across the country to find her father--If he's even still alive.

Received for free from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

My impression of H20 was actually mostly positive.  It’s a book about an apocalyptic future where an asteroid almost hit the earth, but scientists managed to blow it up.  But in exchange for avoiding that catastrophe, the asteroid mixed with the earth’s atmosphere, releasing a super parasite that attaches to water and destroys humans almost on contact.  It’s a really bloody, awful death.

For one, the book goes into just enough detail about everything to paint a picture of what the world is like without dragging it out, or making it monotonous.  With those small details, the author still manages to paint the picture of the world being miserable and, often, absolutely gross, just as a landscape full of dead and decomposing bodies should be.

I also do like that Ruby learns from her behavior and realizes what she does wrong.  I feel more sympathetic towards her than a lot of YA protagonists I’ve been reading about these days.  It is a bit ruined by the fact that she is so awful to “the nerd.” It just wasn’t congruent with the way she seemed to be characterized otherwise.  Yes she was portrayed as ungrateful, but every teenager is ungrateful.  There wasn’t really any explanation about her being popular before the parasite destroyed the world, jut a typical teen with her friends.  And to be honest, if I were in the same situation, I wouldn’t care who it was, or if they had been the biggest geek in school, as she always describes him.  I’d be happy to have someone I knew alive, especially considering he was a lot more prepared to take care of himself than she was.

The ending was also rather rushed, and I never felt like there was a particular climax to the story.  It was a good book, but it fell short in any sort of immediate plot other than “get here, then get here.” So it’s average, thanks to the author thankfully not falling into a lot of YA cliché characterization.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Blitz: Never Forgotten (Collective #3) by Stacey Nash

Never Forgotten by Stacey Nash
(Collective #3)
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: September 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Continuing on from Forget Me Not and Remember Me, this is the thrilling third novel in Stacey Nash’s unforgettable series.

Since the strike on Collective territory during Anamae’s rescue, things have taken a turn for the worse. Unprovoked attacks on innocent people have Anamae and her friends fighting day and night to minimize the damage. With hundreds of lives lost, morale amongst the resistance fighters has plummeted. But that’s the least of her worries.

Manvyke still has Anamae’s mom, Annie, secreted away somewhere and after the way they parted, Anamae worries it’s not at her mother’s bidding. Maybe Annie’s disappearance all those years ago wasn’t her choice. But with Manvyke scouring the world, there’s something far more pressing than the need to find Anamae’s mother …

It’s a fight against time to find the other keys before Manvyke. In his hands, the three relics could unlock enough power to reek a much worse havoc than the current issues at hand. If the councillor gets his hands on those keys, civilization will bow down.


Author Website

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: The Before Now and After Then by Peter Monn

Danny Goldstein has always lived in the shadow of his identical, twin brother Sam. But when a hurricane of events forces him into the spotlight, he starts to realize that the only thing he’s truly afraid of is himself. 

With the help of his costume changing friend Cher, a famous gay uncle with a mysterious past of his own, two aging punk rocker parents and Rusty, the boy who will become his something to live for, Danny begins to realize that the music of the heart is truly the soundtrack for living.

Received from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

I wanted to like this book.  And there were times where I did, but unfortunately they were very few and mostly clustered in the beginning and end.

The writing was… very mediocre.  It had the problem of way over-sharing.  It was more like a bulleted list of “this happened, and then this, and then this” where a lot of the non-essential events that did nothing but fill the gaps between actions could have been cut.  And of course related to this, it tended to gloss over important things.  They spend time being excited about something, and then it happens but it only takes about a paragraph, literally “And then this happened” and a scene change sometimes.

It was also extremely cheesy.  I felt like I was reading a daytime soap opera instead of a young adult novel about teenagers who would never talk like that.  There was simply too much effort put into making them seem like they were in love and apparently not enough thought into the actual book and its plot.

One of the consistency problems I had is a spoiler so tread with care.  Danny’s friend share ends up being pregnant and it turns out she’s an entire three months along.  She says she had been suspecting for a while and after she gets over the shock, Danny says she is “Almost like the old Cher.” Except he never knew the old Cher.  If she was preparing for the prospect that she could be pregnant that’s all he knew of her- and this entire book takes place, except for the last chapter’s time skip, over the course of about two weeks.

There’s also the smaller one where Danny asks about and is told TWICE that his mom, her best friend and his father are reforming a band they had in college.  Listen if you’re going to ask a question Danny, because otherwise I’m chalking it up to bad editing.

Honestly it’s not bad and most inoffensive towards the groups it’s trying to support so it isn’t a complete flop.  But it reads a lot more like a first draft than it should.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cover Reveal: Falling for Shakespeare by Erin Butler

Falling for Shakespeare by Erin Butler
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: September 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Katie thought she knew where her life was going. She was dating the captain of the football team, had a BFF for life, and everyone at school wanted to be her. But then her pregnant teen sister’s pregnancy changes all that. Everyone dumps her, including her friends and boyfriend.

Hey, Katie, welcome to life at the bottom of the high school food chain. This is how the other half lives.

Then there’s Nick. He’s a straight-A student and self-professed geek who’s had a thing for her since middle school. He needs a date for the winter formal, and Katie needs something to keep her busy. Nick’s plight becomes her personal pet project. She will help him get over his insecurities and get a date. Besides, she was popular once. She knows how to get dates.

But Nick has other plans. He’s going to use these “dating” lessons as a way to win Katie’s heart.

Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.

She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she'll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine--in that order.

Erin is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal novel, HOW WE LIVED, a contemporary NA novel, and the forthcoming YA contemporary romance title, FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION. Find out more about her at or @ErinButler on Twitter!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

Like a lot of people, I’m a pretty loyal fan of Sarah Dessen and her books.  Saint Anything is her most recent one, filled with just as much heartbreak and recovering from tragedy as her books tend to be.  This time we follow Sydney, whose family is still reeling from her brother being sent to jail for hitting a kid while drunk driving.

As always, Dessen writes characters well, full of quirks and reason to like them even when they’re being unreasonable (for the most part).  The acceptance of their situation is not rushed; in fact, I felt like it went at the right pace, especially since the story takes place not that long after Peyton was put in jail.  Sydney’s mother is a bit frustrating, with reason to be, though I felt like it was laid on a little bit thick in some parts.

The only problem I really had with the book, though, was something that seems common in Dessen’s books: she loves flipping around in time.  One minute they’re in the present, and another minute there’s a flashback.  Sometimes there’s a flashback within a flashback and I just got completely turned around and confused at just what was going on in the present.  I feel like for how long she’s been around, Dessen could learn to write a bit more linear.

Despite that, though, this is definitely a book I’d recommend.  So happy reading!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact by Melanie Abed

Anni doesn't know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.

In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?

Received from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

There’s really not much to say about this book.  It was sort of cute and had some pretty original concepts in it, such as the funk, but I found myself bored with it pretty quickly.  The side characters, especially the adults, tend to be cardboard cutouts there for the purpose of advancing the plot or, worse, just being mean to Anni so that she can talk about it for a page or two.  I suppose the point is to show that she really didn’t belong in her previous life, but I found it annoying because there were plenty of ways to go about that without sacrificing characters to the cardboard gallery.

The writing itself is extremely amateurish too, a lot of rapid-fire dialog with no narrative or explanation, just the author expecting the reader to follow when I really didn’t.  It might have been the whole “I was bored” thing, but there wasn’t any substance to it most of the time and yes, that doesn’t help to keep my attention.

Not to mention that like the previous book I received from this promotion company, the formatting was horrible.  Lots of line breaks in the middle of sentences and even words when there was plenty of space left.  I usually read landscape format so I tried switching to portrait, but it was still a problem and either way, the pictures at the start of every chapter would be sliced into pieces between pages, kind of ruining the effect.

So yeah this book was kind of a disaster.  No one I’d recommend.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book review: Femme by Mette Bach

Academics have never been Sofie's strong point; she s too busy spending all of her free time with her boyfriend, Paul, the captain of her Surrey high school's soccer team. When her English teacher implements a new program that pairs her with straight-A student Clea, Sofie worries about how Paul will react to her hanging out with the only out lesbian at school. Sofie is as surprised as Paul at how close she and Clea quickly become.

When Sofie discovers that Clea is planning a road trip to check out some American colleges over the winter break, she invites herself along, causing more issues with Paul. But it's only after a college student asks if Sofie identifies as a "femme" lesbian that she starts to question her own sexuality and her relationship with both Clea and Paul.

This book was received from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Femme isn’t all that impressive.  I finished it in a single day, but that’s only because it was so short.  I’ve never read a book in this series, but looking at other reviews, there are a lot of them saying they don’t expect much from it, and I feel like this isn’t an exception.  There’s too much going on and it’s glossed right over within a half a page to a page.  The entire climax of the book is resolved in a page when they get into the school and Sophie’s friend is like “Oh it’s over.” It’s some buildup for a resolution that isn’t satisfying at all.

There’s also a lot of stereotypes.  The entire book focuses on it, in fact.  You have Clea the butch lesbian, Sophie the ‘femme’ lesbian, the stereotypical mean girls.  There’s a talk with Sophie’s teacher about how you shouldn’t be afraid of labels because they can help you know who you are and blah, blah, blah, but it doesn’t really stick with the reader.

Not to mention this book falls into the category of ‘adult who thinks they know how to use teen slang when they really, really don’t.’  It’s painful to read some of this stuff.

The only reason I gave it two stars on Goodreads instead of one is because I did manage to finish reading it without feeling the need to toss my Kindle across the room, so at least there’s that.  But it goes into the increasing pile of ‘coming out stories that I wouldn’t recommend.’

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cover Reveal: Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1) by Kristin Cast

Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast
(The Escaped #1)
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication date: June 9th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal


There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back.  He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.
Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets.  First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life.  Then, she will become the hunter.
With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another.  Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the HOUSE OF NIGHT series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.

You can find it on Goodreads here.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. Tommy was adopted, so maybe he ran away to find his birth parents. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in his own thoughts about particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pull-out off the highway, so maybe someone drove up and snatched him. Or maybe he slipped into a parallel universe. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it is possibly true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.

Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy and third-person chapters about people who find the things Tommy left behind—his red motorbike, his driving goggles, pages from his notebook—Particles explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.

Received an ARC as a gift from someone I follow on Twitter.

Evidence of Things Not Seen is an interesting book, in that I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it before.  While it’s obvious the author was trying to make it mysterious, so that we’re never quite sure whether the boy was kidnapped, wandered off, or if he really could have slipped into an alternate dimension.  This is told by alternating chapters that are from the point of view of one or two people, and each chapter only loosely relates to any others, so other than cameos, you never really see other characters again.

Of course some things you do find out about, because a new character is related to the last, but it still seems a bit disjointed to be called a novel.  And while I’m not exactly squeamish, quite a lot of the chapters center simply around abuse.  While of course it’s a horrible thing, I feel like perhaps the writer didn’t think it through too much and simply went for shock value for a lot of the book.

While I did enjoy finishing it, I wouldn’t say that it was anything special.  The disjointed chapters, sudden resolution and the fact that it feels like the author was going for shock factor a lot didn’t put it at anything above average in my mind.