Archive | May 2018

Review: The Similars

Title: The Similars

Author: Rebecca Hanover

Date of Publication: January 1st, 2019

39109661

Goodreads Summary:

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

My Review:

I’ve been having a problem with the newer YA fantasy books lately, so it was nice to get a breather from that business. I’ve read clone type books before, so this was a pretty fun take on it. Kind of The Islandish mixed with a soap opera, I’d say.

giphy

Photo Credit

At first, at the beginning, I didn’t like the political type feel, so I had to zone that out. But once we get past that it really gets flowing. The romance aspect was the best part—I really adored Levi. There were a lot of times when I was questioning what was going on with him—never quite sure what was behind that persona.

Emma was a great character, thank goodness not annoying! I’ve been getting too many boring or uninteresting female characters on my radar lately! She was smart and always seemed to ask the right questions. I will say, I guessed the twists pretty early on, but I’ve read so many books and seen so many movies, I’m rarely surprised these days.

The author’s writing was right up my alley. She had a good way of pulling me in without me getting bored with pointless descriptions. Yes, it does end on a cliffhanger, and yes, I want to read the next book!

name-tag2

How does this book sound to you?

Advertisements

Author Interview: Calvin Demmer

TheSeaWasaFairMaster_Cover

Book Description:
The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.
The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.
For the sea was a fair master.

Continue reading

Meant to be Broken: Trailer Reveal + Excerpt

unnamed (1)

Date of Publication: July 2nd, 2018

Summary:

Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star quarterback, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love endure if it’s all built on a lie?

Pre-Order: https://www.fillesvertespublishing.com/product/meant-to-be-broken/

 

 

Excerpt:
At 9:30 Saturday morning, I find out Preston Howard wants to date me. At 11:30, my mama hears it from old lady McAlister and has a “spell” in aisle three of the Piggly Wiggly. It’s taken seventeen years, but I finally understand the two things my social life and Mama have in common. They’re both erratic and one usually suffers because of the other.

The store manager calls me on my cell and asks me to come get her. He has my number because he’s Daddy’s best friend’s brother and used me to babysit his kids a few times last year. I answer, expecting another job offer.

“Rayne? This is Dave Sullivan, you know, the manager down at the Piggly Wiggly? There’s been an incident with your mama.”

Apparently it’d happened in front of the Luzianne tea bags. She was comparing the family size to smaller ones when Mrs. McAlister offered her a coupon… and a piece of news.

The details get a little sketchy from there—something about her sinking to the floor and gasping for air. That’s when the manager came over with one of those small brown paper sacks they use to bag up ice cream and had her breathe in it. A nurse and a vet, both in the crowd assembled around her, agreed from their varied medical expertise it didn’t appear to be life-threatening. When the paper bag seemed to work, he decided to call me instead of the ambulance.

I pull into the parking lot ten minutes later. She’s sitting on the front bench beside the automatic doors where the employees go to smoke, under the “I’m Big on the Pig!” sign. Mrs. McAlister sits beside her, a little too close, waving a folded-up circular in her face. I wonder what the store employees and shoppers think of me, casually parking the car, walking-not-running, and looking both ways before crossing the main traffic flow. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they’re all watching from between the weekly specials scribbled on the plate-glass windows.

I don’t feel the need to rush. It isn’t a heart attack or stroke. I call it her bipolar though Daddy gets mad when I refer to it like that. The diagnosis is anxiety, better known as my evil little sister—always around, always a pain, and always ruining my life.

This sort of episode has happened before, just not too often in public. In most societies that’s considered good news—but not in the South. They say we don’t hide our crazy, we dress it up and parade it on the front porch. And even if we don’t, someone else will do the parading for us—telegraph, telephone, tell-a-southern woman. We know how to reach out and touch some people.

Mrs. McAlister jumps up from the bench and grabs my arm as I step up on the curb. “I suwannee, child. She liked to turned over her buggy and spilt them groceries everywhere.”

Talking to some of the older ladies in town always feels like walking out of real life and into some part of Steel Magnolias. She gives me her version of the sordid details. Mama created quite a scene, not just with her episode but also by her scandalous choice of groceries. The mayonnaise was the only casualty, rolling out the leg hole of the kiddie seat portion of the cart when Mama accidentally gave it a rough shove while collapsing on the linoleum.

Mrs. McAlister hadn’t bothered to pick that up and put it back in the buggy, which was now waiting by the customer service desk. It wasn’t Dukes Mayonnaise. She leans in close to whisper because how embarrassing would that be for Mama. To her, it’s further proof Mama hadn’t been feeling well long before their conversation. What southern woman in her right mind buys off-brand mayonnaise?

unnamed

About the Author:

Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She earned a BA in English/Writing from Clemson University and worked in corporate communications and the media for more than 17 years before pursuing her true passion for novel writing. Brandy is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Young Adult RWA.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

Connect with Brandy:

Website: http://brandywsnow.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandy_snow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BWSnowWrites/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/snowbrandy/

 

name-tag2

How does this book sound to you?

Review: Kiss Collector

Title: Kiss Collector

Author: Wendy Higgins

Date of Publication: December 18th, 2018

18457118

Goodreads Summary:

When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect.

Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral she can’t seem to break free of. As family, academic, friend, and guy drama come to a head, Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst, and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race…or at least some of them.

 

My Review:

I’m a big fan of Wendy Higgins’ books, so it’s no surprise I really liked this one. It was a fun and sometimes emotional ride that was a great escape from a lot of the books I’ve been having to trudge through lately. Plus, there was kissing! Lots of kissing!

giphy (1)

Photo Credit

Zae was a relatable character, especially when it came to her friends. It reminded me of my high school days. You have a group of girl friends and sometimes you love each other, sometimes you’re jealous of one another, but in the end, you always fight for one another.

I thought the poetry aspect was super cute, and there was one particular boy who held my attention for most of the story. I also really, really loved the ending!

How does this book sound to you?

Windswept: Release Day+ Excerpt + Giveaway

22002724

Summary:

Tanzy’s journey continues in Windswept, the second installment of the Hightower Trilogy…
An Unseen World believes Tanzy Hightower is the key in an ancient prophecy meant to deliver the only new birth in all of time. They have waited a thousand years for her soul to return to life in human form. Some of them will stop at nothing to fulfill the prophecy, and others have sworn an oath to end Tanzy’s existence, permanently.
Tanzy’s body is compromised. Her veins are now home to the blood of a savage, wild horse, and its instincts are becoming impossible to control. Her world is also divided. She is determined to rescue Lucas, an Unseen creature who has loved her since her first life, and to find her treasured Harbor and the other stolen horses, which are bound for a catastrophic end in a world she can’t access on her own. Yet the only allies she has left insist she seeks refuge in a remote safe house on the Outer Banks.
While her fellow candidates beg her to stay in hiding, new enemies work to draw her out, making it clear Lucas and the horses are hers for the taking. But Tanzy knows all to well that when your loved ones are used as bait, finding them is only the beginning.

wp-1525827292320.png

Excerpt:

“Our enemies are close. Too close,” Maris whispers, and swings her gaze from me to Jayce and back again. “If we all join hands, I will be able to seal our sounds inside so we can speak freely.”

“How do I know you’re not an enemy, too?” I ask.

“You don’t.” She flexes her fingers, but waits for me to decide to make contact.

“For Pete’s sake, Tanzy. This isn’t The Bachelorette Candidates’ special edition. You’re not getting married. You’re just casting a damn spell.” Jayce grabs my arm with one hand and Maris’s arm with the other, and joins us together. “There. Hashtag let’s-do-this-already,” she says, clamping her palms in ours to complete the circle.

Maris suppresses a smile and closes her eyes. I deny a shudder of nervousness and force out a long, slow exhale.

“May I begin?” Maris asks, barely tilting her face in my direction.

I open my mouth. Close it. Yes, I mentally project, and Maris squeezes my fingers. It takes every ounce of self-control left inside me to not jerk away.

“Air and water join us here, use our light, and make a sphere. Seven colors round and round, shield our circle, hide our sounds,” Maris commands. She repeats the incantation two more times. The air warms and thickens. A growing charge pulses through my arms like an electric current.

Maris falls silent. Everything does. The mist continues to drizzle, blanketing the muddy earth and barren trees, but the steady hiss has vanished. Even though we sit within a few steps from the creek, I can’t hear it. With a start, I realize it must work both ways. No sounds in. No sounds out.

“We are safe to speak, but it won’t last long.” Maris slips her hand from mine. Her charcoal skin is pale in places where I’d unwittingly tightened my grip. Will I ever learn how to use the horse’s strength deliberately?

I rub my clammy, filthy hands together, trying to make them warm enough to stop shaking. They’re sweaty with nervousness, and the rust-colored film on my hands rolls into beads. It’s not gritty like the dirt I clung to when I climbed out of the ravine at Wildwood. It’s smooth, and presses flat into tiny flakes wherever I push down.

This is not earth.

This is dried blood.

David Andrews’s blood, caked in the webbing between my fingers and crusted beneath my nails.

The sound of his last, sputtering breath echoes in my brain. I let out a cry and wipe my fingers violently against my dress. Copper streaks the wrinkled white linen within seconds. The color leaves my hands, but there’s no relief from its weight, its smell.

 “What’s wrong?” Jayce’s voice is an octave too high. “Is that blood?” She sniffs at the air. Her pupils dilate as she arrives at her own conclusion.

I can’t summon the focus to answer—can’t stop trying to make my hands clean. From the expression on Maris’s face, she’s seeing the memory of me strangling Vanessa’s husband. The image of life leaving his eyes. The nightmare I can’t wake from.

Her gaze trains on Asher’s mark, and she brings an open palm to the brand. Heat crawls across my chest, but I’m frozen in place. My arms don’t heed the mental command to bat her hand away. Two of the circles turn black, shimmering like the coming night, and then fade back into the appearance of an old scar.

 “When did this happen?” She regards me with new distance, studying my face like I’m a complete stranger.

“Vanessa tricked me into believing her husband was attacking her. She told me he would kill her. She set me up. She made me believe . . . I thought he was Asher.” The confession tumbles from me, heavy and slipping.

“You’ve killed someone?” Jayce asks, her throat constricting around the words.

“She has taken two lives. Two of these rings belong to her now,” Maris says. Her fingers curl. She stares past me. I risk a glimpse of Jayce, whose face falls from brazen to defeat within a single second.

“Tell me about the first,” Maris orders, her mouth forming a grim line.

“An Unseen attacked Vanessa in the woods. I got between them. He picked me up by my throat and I . . . exploded,” I whisper. “I didn’t want to kill him, but he kept coming.” The memory plays in front of my open eyes. “If I hadn’t killed him he would’ve killed me.”

“Doesn’t matter. She’s useless.” Jayce shakes her head and mutters under her breath.

“I’m not useless.” My fingernails dig into my palms.

“Yes. You are,” Jayce growls.

“Enough,” Maris says. “This is Hope’s fault. She chose to keep Tanzy in the dark, and this is the price. Tanzy, you can’t kill anyone else, Seen or Unseen, for any reason.”

“A third kill, and you belong to Asher,” Jayce adds, focusing her icy glare on my face.

All the air is sucked from my lungs. I was under the impression the three circles had everything to do with Spera. How could I have missed this? A mental path quickly links the two lives I took, and arrives at one common denominator: Vanessa. She’s masterminded every move I’ve made since waking with the horse’s Vires blood coursing through my veins. She must know what will happen if I take a third life.

It’s an insurance policy, I realize. If I won’t use the Vires strength for Asher, I can’t use it at all.

Windswept is HERE y’all! And with it comes a category 5 giveaway. Don’t you just love a good storm?

Up for grabs:

* $50 Amazon gift card

* Custom leather Kindle cover inspired by Wildwood and hand detailed by Rockstar Custom Leather

* Custom leather bronc halter hand detailed by Rockstar Custom Leather

* Signed paperback of Wildwood, book #1, with bonus swag

* Signed paperback of Windswept, book #2, with bonus swag

How do you enter? Why, spread the word about Windswept, of course! Use the Rafflecopter form below to submit your entries. The giveaway opens Tuesday, May 22nd, and ends Saturday at the stroke of midnight. Winners will be selected at random by Rafflecopter within 48 hours of closing.

Windswept is on sale NOW for just $1.99 on Amazon for Kindle. If you haven’t read Wildwood yet, you’re in luck, because it’s on also on sale for just $2.99.

Click here for the Amazon listing for Wildwood

Click here for the Amazon listing for Windswept

Want a little taste test? Check out snippets, book trailers, and more on Jadie’s Instagram page.

Thank you so much for celebrating Windswept’s release week! If you win the gift card, what will you splurge on? Comment below!

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

name-tag2
How does this book sound to you?

 

Review: Allied

Title: Allied

Author: Amy Tintera

Date of Publication: May 1st, 2018

image1

Goodreads Summary:

In the final book in the New York Times bestselling Ruined series, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.

Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia’s violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.

But it’s not only Em who is upset by Olivia’s increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia’s army and joins Em instead. The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.

My Review:

I have been a huge fan of this series, and I also loved Amy Tintera’s other duology! I was wondering how this would end. Good? Bad? Ugly? I’ll just say it ended how I wanted, but the road getting there wasn’t fist pumping worthy.

giphy

Photo Credit

I did like this book, but didn’t love it as much as the other two. I liked Galo, but I wasn’t rooting for his chapters in this book. I just wanted to keep getting back to the others’. However, his relationship with Mateo was extremely cute.

Loved Em! Loved Cas! My two little babies will forever hold a special place in my heart. Olivia was still cray-cray and as hostile as ever.

I actually think this trilogy would have worked better as a duology, but it was still fun, full of action, and sprinkled with cute romance. Plus, Tintera’s dialogue is always the best!

Have you started this series yet?

Review: Wildwood

Title: Wildwood

Author: Jadie Jones

Date of Publication: September 26th, 2017

35664715

Goodreads Summary:

Tanzy Hightower is not crazy. At least, that’s what she tells herself. Crazy looks more like her mother, who studies each sunrise with the same fascination other women give tabloid magazines in the grocery store checkout line. Crazy sounds like the woman on the radio claiming there’s a whole separate world existing parallel to our own. Still, Tanzy can’t deny the tingle of recognition she feels each time she sees her mother standing at the kitchen window, or hears the panic in the woman’s voice coming through the speakers of her father’s truck.

Tanzy intends to follow her father’s footsteps into the professional horse world. But the moment she watches him die on the back of a horse in an accident she feels responsible for, everything changes.

On the first anniversary of his death, a fight with her mother drives her back to her father’s farm in the middle of a stormy night. Neither Tanzy nor life as she knows it escapes unchanged when she is struck by lightning and introduced to a world… unseen, and receives proof her father’s death was no accident.

Two strangers seem too willing to help her navigate her new reality: Vanessa Andrews, a psychiatrist who believes lightning chooses who it strikes, and Lucas, a quiet, scarred stable hand with timing that borders on either perfect or suspect. But Tanzy has secrets of her own. Desperate for answers and revenge, Tanzy must put her faith in their hands as her past comes calling, and her father’s killer closes in.

My Review:

Love the cover and love the name Tanzy! If I had another kid, I might’ve actually named her that! Also, she loves horses! Who doesn’t love horses? They are mystical and magical and awesome!

giphy

Photo Credit

I really liked the writing in this one! It wasn’t over the top or not enough—it was the perfect blend of what needed to be said. After Tanzy’s father is killed in an accident, things pick up right away. Tanzy has questions along the way and you kind of guess along with her as she isn’t sure about a lot of things.

I’m already ready for the next book and to learn more about the worlds and get more of Tansy!

name-tag2

How does this book sound to you?