Tag Archive | contemporary

Review: Serious Moonlight

Title: Serious Moonlight

Author: Jenn Bennett

Date of Publication: April 16th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

My Review:

Jenn Bennett has been my favorite YA contemporary author for a while now, and this book just kept her position at the top! A boy that likes street magic and a girl that wears flowers in her hair made my eyes fill with hearts.

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At first, I must admit, I was annoyed with Birdie. But she grew up rather sheltered, so her personality fit with that. As the book went on, she really grew as a character, and I started to like her. Daniel was just a bucket full of sunshine and sweetness, and yes there’s a secret hidden there, but it made me love his character even more.

Bennett knows how to write character driven stories and she knows how to breathe life into every single one of her side characters, too. No one ever feels like they are there for no reason. Always a purpose. Plus, we also get quirkiness and swoon which I love! Can’t wait to read the author’s next book!

 

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?

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Review: Broken Heart Attack

Title: Broken Heart Attack

Author: James J. Cudney

Date of Publication: November 25th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance?

Kellan’s back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright?

My Review:

This is the second book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series and another home run! I love, love, love being in Kellan’s head and seeing what shenanigans are going to go down next.

All I’ve gotta say is Nana D is my favorite character, hands down! She’s freaking awesome, and I wish I had a funny grandmother like her! Kind of reminds me a bit of Thelma from Mama’s Family, but awesomer and more hilarious! And that’s hard to top!!

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As with book one, Kellan faces drama and mystery! I was flying through the pages wanting to know what was going to happen with Kellan’s family life and with the investigation. There was great characterization, addictive writing, and a wonderfully developed mystery! By the time I got to the last page, I was like nooooooooo! I have to know what happens next! Can’t wait for book three!!

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Book On Sale: Bacon Pie for .99

Hey guys, since it’s Thanksgiving week and you know you want to definitely try Bacon Pie—right? Right? Well, you can totally grab my co-authored book for .99 for a short time! It’s fun, romantic, and quirky! Plus it helps so there’s no leftover pie!

Purchase Bacon Pie on Amazon

Goodreads

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Did you pick up Bacon Pie while on sale?

 

Review: Unconditional Love

Title: Unconditional Love

Author: Alexa Whitewolf

Date of Publication: November 8th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s summer in Tofino, BC. This means chilling, hanging out with friends and meeting hot boys.

Not so for Maya Finnigan, who’s stuck in summer school with extra classes in order to make it to college. Looks like another summer of studying and boring “fun” – and hanging out with her loyal German Shepherd, Bear. Or will it be?

Kolt Waters meets the “hot” criteria with his intense blue eyes and Brit accent, plus he’s the boy-next-door. But his smug attitude and never-ending jabs get on Maya’s nerves.

When Bear goes missing, surprisingly it’s Kolt who jumps to the rescue. But is their budding romance a happily ever after or a wreck in disguise? And what’s the story with their parents, and the secrets they hide?

Dig in for a summer of fun, mystery and first loves…as unconditional as they come.

My Review:

Sometimes you just have to read a novella! This was the perfect size, and it was such an adorable read! Also, there is a little side love story in here as well that I absolutely loved! Plus, there is a POV from a very special animal as well that just made the story that much better! 

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I thought Maya and Kolt were super likable characters, and I always love the dislike to like scenarios! And it was done so well! Sometimes when you get to an end of a story and feel that deep breath escape from yourself because the story was so cute, that’s what I did! I’ve read all of Alexa’s books so far, and this one does not disappoint!

Also, awesome news! This book is FREE on Amazon, etc!!

 

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Do you have an awesome pet?

Author Interview: Moriah Chavis

Check these out on Swoon Reads!

 

What kind of books do you write?

I’ve written in different genres, but I’ve found my niche in contemporary YA. I love to experiment with my writing, so I have lots of different ideas. But there’s always a romance!

Do you outline or just go with it?

My writing style has changed and evolved. In past manuscripts, I’ve been a “pantser” (just went with it). With my current WIP, I outlined it first. It really helped focus the story, this one specifically. It changes story to story, though.

What’s your favorite book you have written? Tell us a little about it.

Every book I’ve written has a special place in my heart. I love the one I’m currently working on. It’s a tie between a manuscript titled The Way to Grace and this one!

What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing? The best thing?

That first page. The first page is always daunting. It’s so blank! The best part of writing is hitting that grove, where you know the story is going somewhere. I really start to believe in a story at around 30K-40K.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer, and when was the first time you wrote a story?

Twelve-years-old. I finished my first novel-length story at eighteen.

What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year? And what’s your favorite book ever?

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

It’s a toss up between Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (really anything she writes) and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

You also have a Bookstagram account on Instagram. What are your favorite kinds of pictures to take? Inspiration?

I love #copythatcover! Meredith of @fromlibrarywithlove is a huge inspiration and so sweet. I also love @latenightreading, @erinsummerill, and @pink_eye_pro.

When you take Bookstagram pictures, do you take them daily or a bunch at one time?

I usually take them one day at a time. Sometimes I don’t have time for this, so I miss a day. But my pictures are better, I’ve found, if I don’t stockpile them.

What’s your favorite color?

My favorite color changes with my mood! I love red, blue, green, purple! I love purple right now.

Do you have any advice for other writers out there?

Keep going. It’s a never-ending process, but it’ll be worth it (I hope) in the end. You meet wonderful people along the way and get to develop your craft. Every story is a story worth discovering.

 

Author bio: 
As long as she has a book in her hand, her Nikon around her neck, or her laptop nearby, Moriah is happy. She holds a Liberal Arts degree from the University of South Carolina and loves talking literature. Currently, she’s a graduate student at USC working on her Masters in Library and Informational Science. If not being crushed by her cat, she loves being outdoors and sometimes goes for a run. And yes, a turtle passed her a few miles back.
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Review: Watching Glass Shatter

Title: Watching Glass Shatter

Author: James J. Cudney

Date of Publication: October 8th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.

My Review:

Not long ago, I read Father Figure but Cudney, and after, I just knew I had to read Watching Glass Shatter! They are both very different books, but equally as good! Also this one had some interesting secrets!

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What I liked best about this book is it is very character driven. I’m sure I’ve said this numerous times but those are my favorite kind of books. There were a lot of POV’s, and I’ve read books where the personalities feel too much the same or that they are there for no reason. But like Six of Crows (completely different genre), they perfectly fit in the puzzle of this novel.

There were five Glass boys, and each one I enjoyed reading. I’d have to say Caleb and Jacob’s story line was probably my favorite. Also, Caleb talked about the movie 54 and Ryan Phillippe and how he was his crush in his younger years—that reminded me of my Junior High years! Teddy had a great story line, too—a very close second!

I felt for the mom, Olivia, especially. As a mother, sometimes I think I’m doing things not enough or that I could have done things better. But no mother is a hundred percent perfect, we try our best because, and each day is a learning curve. And I loved her character!

There was a choice between Zach Glass and another character that most people would want to whip out the witch hunt torches for, but sometimes, things happen. As long as it isn’t a repetitive circle I believe people should be forgiven.

Overall, this was such a dang addicting read that I finished it way quicker than expected. I will say there is a particular chapter that made me tear up! Cudney just knows how to brings out all kinds of different emotions with his books. I need his next book already!

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How does this book sound to you?

Review: Meant to be Broken

Title: Meant to be Broken

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Date of Publication: July 2nd 2018

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Goodreads 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 QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably 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 really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

My Review:

Contemporary is always tricky tricky for me because most of them I just can’t truly get into. However, this book had me coming up with all kinds of emotions—aww, I want to throw this book at the wall, these characters are stressing me out, puppy dog eyes, and more!!

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Yes, for all you love triangle haters, usually me included, there is one—but it makes sense. You know right off the bat who Rayne likes. And it makes you think well, sometimes you just meet the wrong person first, and instead of stay with them, there should be a way to change that—even if it’s his brother.

Gage was pretty awesome, and I loved the chemistry between him and Rayne. Preston, I went back and forth with that boy! Actually, there were aspects all throughout the story where all the characters were stressing me out! And this was good stressing out! Because I prayed and hoped the journey would end well, but I just never knew! I’ll keep the spoilers out!

Overall, a great book and loved the addiction of it. I’d love to read more from this author and can’t wait to see what she does next!

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