Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rundown Cover Reveal

Curveball Series #2
by Teresa Michaels
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations


Breanne Sullivan never expected to find love again. Allowing herself to move on wasn’t easy, and now it may be too late. Determined to give herself a second chance, she will go to any lengths to prove her love to Drew. If only she could find him. Desperate to numb his heartache in the wake of Breanne’s rejection, with something other than women and booze, Drew Scott packs his bags for the West Coast. Distance and a fresh start are just what he needs to heal the wounds caused by the only woman to ever captivate his heart. But when the past and present collide in an unexpected way, Breanne and Drew quickly learn that things aren’t always what they seem. Caught between solving the mysteries that haunt them and getting the happily ever after they deserve, the two once again find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that could destroy them both. Answers come at a dangerous price. Sacrifices must be made in order to protect the ones they love. Can Breanne prove her love to Drew before its too late? Or will opposing forces interfere and destroy any chance of them having a future together?

Meet the Author

Teresa Michaels lives in the New England area with her husband and children.  Curveball is her debut novel.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Claddagh & Chaos Cover Reveal

Claddagh & Chaos
Shamrocks & Secrets Series #2
by Cayce Poponea
Publication Date: April 11, 2015
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations


Shamrocks left us with Patrick posing an intriguing question. What exactly happened during those twenty five years? We know that they got their happily ever after, but how did Patrick and Christi get there? Could love have a shelf life?  

Meet the Author

Cayce Poponea currently resides in Southern Georgia, with her three dogs and wonderful husband. A true romantic at heart, she writes the type of fiction that she loves to read. When she isn't setting behind her computer screen, creating yet another heart stopping, page turning novel. You can find her enjoying down time with her family.

Friday, March 27, 2015

MEReadAlot's Monarch Madness, The Selection by Kiera Cass

Hi all!

Meredith here, and I'm excited to participate in MEReadAlot's Monarch Madness Blog Hop!

Be sure to check out all of the blogs in the links below for great books and giveaways.

So, on to the book (or in this case) books I read for this hop...

Now, actually I didn't "read" these books. For the first time I enjoyed a series via Audible. 

I was on a long car ride, alone and needed something to keep me awake as I cruised the desolate Florida Turnpike (seriously, most BORING road ever).

I can't tell you how I ended up picking this series. I believe I was at a stoplight and it was on my phone screen so I tapped. I wasn't planning to "read" this series, but I'm so glad I did.

I will admit that it took me about an hour to really get into the narrator. It was a bit strange to hear a woman try to lower her voice and "act" out the male parts. But after a while I got used to it (so used to it in fact that I insisted on getting the second two books in the series on Audible).

I knew of this series before I started it, so I haven't been living under a rock or anything. I also knew that people either LOVED it or completely despised it. There just doesn't seem to be any in the middle for this series. I didn't read any reviews until after I completed all three books so that I wouldn't have a tainted view of the series.

Personally, I enjoyed it. It was romantic, swoony, and fun. For me there was no contest, I was Team Maxon—beginning, middle, and end. He had me from the moment I met him. Nothing against Aspen. He was sweet enough and had a "first love" history with America. But he wasn't the one she was meant to be with in my opinion.  

This series isn't perfect (seriously what series is??). But I thought it was quite enjoyable. I was fine with the world-building (or I guess lack thereof in some instances). Mainly because I felt the story was about America and her journey in the Selection. Yes there were hints at society and the rebellion against the class system, but that wasn't what this book was about. We know how America feels about the system and we see her in a few instances fight back. But overall, this is a romance. If you go into the series expecting a full-blown romance you won't be disappointed. However if you go into expecting the next Katniss or Tris, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. 

As a whole, I gave the series 4 stars on Goodreads. I read it in a weekend (or rather listened to it).
I loved the secondary characters and the relationships between the girls (especially the progression and changes that occur up until the end of the Selection). I admit I got a bit tired of the wavering between Aspen and Maxon, but at the same time I do understand where America was coming from. It's hard to give up the comfort of that first love, especially for America who is never sure if Maxon feels the same way about her. Her insecurities are genuine. She's a 5 after all competing against girls that come from better classes for a prince for goodness sake. Her emotions and lack of confidence (even when Maxon seems to make it clear he loves her) feel real and I thought were believable. 

There were a few things I'd have liked to see play out a bit more, but generally speaking, I found this to be a fun and totally swoon-worthy YA romance. Bonus points in that it also got me out of a YA reading slump. I NEEDED this book AND Amy Rubinate (the narrator). I actually miss listening to America and Maxon soothe me to sleep each night.


I'm giving away an ecopy of The Selection. 

If you've been on the fence about this series, or if you've sworn not to read it, I'd love for you to give it a chance. 

So to enter, simply comment below on your thoughts about the series. Do you want to read it? Have you held off because of reviews? Are you willing to give it a try?

That's it, just comment and I will pick a winner on Friday, April 10th.

Good luck!

The Selection by Kiera Cass:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Red by Alyxandra Harvey Release Day & Giveaway

Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Bad girls burn hot…

Red is the color of Kia Alcott's hair.
It's her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it's the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.

When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It's an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.

But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn't stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family… 

Excerpt: Ethan from “Red” by Alyxandra Harvey
I continued along the edge of the property, an arbitrary line drawn by men in business suits in an office in town. The forest was the forest and it only cared about its own ferocious appetite. The Blackwood wards looked innocuous enough: palm-sized Gorgon heads with snakes for hair. Unlike the myth of Medusa, they couldn’t actually turn people to stone, but they worked on the same principle. The magic inside kept people and beast alike away from the estate.
I wished it worked on me.
I wondered if Kia would notice anything, if she managed to get this far into the forest. Most people didn’t. She didn’t seem like most people, though—I could already tell she saw more than she let on. And in this place, that was as dangerous as anything else the magical wards banished.
I painted dozens of hidden Gorgon heads with a mixture of blood and bone dust—; most from the butcher shop, others best left unexamined. Magic flickered and flared, intensifying. Even though I’d done this once a month since I turned ten, the hairs on my arms still lifted, prickling like needles.
The more magic you used to keep monsters away, the more monsters were drawn to you. It was a delicate balance. Who knew what else had already gotten out?
Or in?

About the Author
Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.
Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris ON SALE for $ 1.99

Amazon Buy Link

GoodReads Link

Synopsis: According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player. With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time. But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

EXCERPT: An exhale of breath leaves Brandon’s lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under myself, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark-green depths of his eyes, the cologne I gave him for his birthday filling my head. It’s woodsy and yummy and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers, but on Brandon, it’s even sexier. My eyes flutter closed, and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy. Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading his fingers through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek, and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight. When his mouth first meets mine, it’s hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart. Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest, and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip, and I pull it, sucking on it gently. He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back. Brandon is an amazing kisser, just as I knew he would be. I have no control over my body’s reactions. I lose myself in his lips, his tongue, and his strong arms, forgetting time and space and even my surroundings—until Gabi’s snicker brings reality crashing around us, reminding me we have an audience. And that I’m kissing Brandon. We break apart, out of breath, and stare into each other’s eyes. That was unexpected. 

Jennifer's Review:
I am a fan of Rachel Harris's books -- so this was a must read for me. 

Aly struggles with this idea of girls being classified as Casuals or Commitments. She's a clear Commitment but tries to recreate her image into a Casual because that's what she thinks guys want. 

The book takes place in high school we are talking about high school issues and the way that someone in high school would react. My point is that you have to keep that in mind with the concept/storyline of this book. I think Rachel did a good job of portraying all the potential craziness of high school -- the "catty" girls, the loyal BFFs, the parties, first love, the wanting to be part popular crowd, the concern with image, stereotypes, and journey it take for some to be comfortable in their skin, etc.. 

 Aly undergoes a "makeover" - makes some questionable choices, turns herself into somethings she's not and will never be (at least from the clothes perspective). The makeover does create more confidence in herself. She puts "success" of this "makeover" all in the hands of  the most popular boy in school -- if she can land a date with the hottest boy in school, Justin then she has accomplished her goal. I found it totally believable - clearly its a terrible idea (you shouldn't change yourself for anyone but yourself)-- but high school is full of terrible ideas, and learning from your mistakes. At the end Ally figures out that you should be true to who you are and at some point you'll meet someone who appreciates you for that. 

The romance is fluffy and light -  a quick and fun read. Brandon and Aly were friends for years (best friends for the last 3 years) then Aly undergoes her "make over", she recruits him to pretend to be her "casual" boyfriend (thankfully he is against the "make over" idea but he does pretend to be boyfriend). I didn't love that it took a "make over" for Brandon to wake up but i think the reality that Rachel was trying to protray is that sometimes people don't know what they have right before their eyes till others take notice. That's exactly what it took -- other boys noticing Ally for Brandon to stand up and realize "hey, she's not just going to be there for ME all the time". Yeah, that stinks but that's high school. 

The book is told from both Ally and Brandon's POV which I really enjoyed. Without that it would of not made any sense :-) As it was funny to see how they both got everything essentially wrong when it came to how the other felt. Displaying the lack of communication at its best. 

I would of liked some more depth into Brandon -- i.e. more background into his mom/dad and more on how that affected him -- I think that would of made me more of ok with his reactions/path/etc and made me like him more....We got that with Justin and therefore I connected with Justin more.  

The ending was great and I myself would love a second book where we get to see what happens with Justin. I liked his character change/depth was great and found myself wanting to know more about what's going to happen to Justin. I actually found myself rooting for Justin! Brandon did a nice turnaround in the end and that's what saved him in my eyes. 

About Rachel Harris: Award-winning and Bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing. An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Invaded by Melissa Landers - REVIEW

Invaded (An Alienated Novel)                                
by Melissa Landers
Cara always knew life on planet L'eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L'eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L'eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L'eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L'eihr relations. Humans don't know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx's people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists' multiple attempts on Aelyx's life. The Way clearly needs humans' help but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

Goodreads Link

Amazon Buy Link

Jennifer's Review:

Cara is on the planet L'eihr and is trying to adjust to life there. She is definitely pushed to her limits in this book both physically and emotionally. She arrives on L'eihr and is treated poorly by almost everyone. She becomes a L'eihr citizen (which was no easy task) and is still not accepted. On Earth she was valedictorian of her class but on L'eihr she struggles especially in their form of PE!  She does have her moments of doubt for both the alliance, her ability to live on L'ehr and her own "happily ever after" but she never gives up. If you liked her in book 1, you are going to love her in this sequel.

Meanwhile Aelyx  is on Earth with his own set of problems. He is miserable without Cara but is trying his best to create a favorable alliance all the while dealing with multiple assassination attempts. I liked Aelyx POV chapters but there was definitely more going on with Cara and her exploration and trials in a new world.

Love triangle? Well it seemed like it was or could of gone that way at the end of book 1 but thankfully it goes in a whole different direction!

Melissa did a great job with the romance in this book despite the fact that Cara and Aelyx were physically apart (the ultimate long distance relationship) they were never far from each other's thoughts. Melissa's switched POVs so we get to see into both Aelyx and Cara's thoughts as well the pressures that the distance created in their relationship. Romance is not the main theme in this book like it was in book 1 (mostly because the physical distance) but honestly there is so much else going on (world building, sci fi aspect, Cara adapting to life on L'ehir) that the lack of romance is not a detractor at all. You can get your romance fix by reading the novella  "Until Midnight" that Melissa published over the holidays that is free on Amazon :-)

The secondary characters were great in this book as well. We all met Syrine in book 1 and we all probably did not like her. Her development was great and even though you may of wanted drop kick her in book 1 you will definitely grow to like her in this book. David was a new character. I really enjoyed the development of his friendship with Aelyx and I could say more but I don't want to include any spoilers :-)

The plot was well paced and  keeps you hooked. Secrets, unexpected twists, and several revelations come about that change the game. The ending does not end with a cliffhanger but is definitely open ended. I am not sure if there is a book 3 but I certainly hope so!

To top it all off I have signed copy of both books and that is just soo cool!

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett

Melissa Landers Website