Sunday, March 20, 2016

Everything Wonderful About YA Romance Tied in a Bow


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a kickass heroine, a boy so hot he’ll make you shiver, and a falling-in-love story fit for the big screen. You’ll want to settle in and have the popcorn ready.
It’s all fun and games until you fall in love…
After Mariely Hinojosa and Cabot Wheeler both break up with their significant others at the same party, Mariely sees a way to get even with both of their exes. Everyone knows that the best way to get over a breakup is a hookup—a fake hookup, that is. Three weeks, all fun, no strings, and definitely no heartbreak at the end.
But somewhere between the sweet hand-holding and melt-your-mind kisses, their fake relationship starts to feel less like an act and more like the real thing…but Mariely’s a free-spirited girl from the other side of the tracks, and Cabot’s the hot trust-fund guy from the Hills.
They’d never work for real…


CRAZY STUPID FAUXMANCE is everything wonderful about young adult romance wrapped up in a shiny bow. I absolutely adored this book and read it from start to finish because I just couldn't put it down.

In this book, the third in the Creative Hearts series, we follow Mariely Hinojosa and Cabot Wheeler as they suffer rather crushing betrayals by their boyfriend and girlfriend, leading to the ultimate break-up of their relationships. But when Mariely takes the advice of a friend and decides the best way to get over her ex is a hot hookup, she suggests to Cabot--who is desperately trying to get his exes claws out of him--that they fake a relationship until the school's most popular dance, then go their separate ways. They're sure this will be the key to getting Cabot's ex off his back and help Mariely recover and save face from her rather humiliating and public heartbreak.

But of course, nothing is ever quite that simple. Cabot is hot with a capital "H" (I mean, even the name is hot) and Mariely soon finds herself falling for him. She's not the only one who falls though, as Cabot finds her exuberance refreshing and falls for the gorgeous and unique theater nerd.

I loved that this book had plenty of conflict, yet none of the irritating situations we sometimes see introduced into ya romance. Both characters were mature, yet written so the age was still believable. I loved Cabot. He was truly a sweetheart and Mariely's silent strength and her style. I also found her positive attitude, despite her adversity, really nice. They were so sweet together and I could practically feel their chemistry leap off the pages.

At the time when I requested this book for review, I didn't realize it was a part of the series for a book I had already read, Willa Got Her Groove Back, but was pleasantly surprised when I started to read and realized that this book (and I'm assuming the rest in the series) continue with the same characters introduced from the first book, only with an emphasis on a different main character. And actually, I have to say, I liked this book even better than the first. Maybe because in the first book, Willa was really just starting to come into her own and her story had just begun for me.

In Crazy Stupid Fauxmance, I was entertained completely and loved every minute! The only negative was that it made me all the more anxious to discover  what happens with Willa and Finn!!!!

5 of 5 stars

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Confusing But Solid Young Adult Fantasy



PROGENY is a book with a promising premise and unique theme that, for the most part, held up to the promise of its synopsis.

I'm not gonna lie. This book confused me at times, and I'm hoping I'm not the only reader that will/does feel that way. (Because if I am, then what does that say about me? lol Duh!) This book is about Audra, the progeny, in a long line of descendants of a serial killer, who finds herself in the beginning of the book, explicably with no memories of her life. She knows very little and is aware of the fact that she has had her memory wiped in order to forget something, but what? She soon discovers she wanted to hide, as she finds herself being hunted by the very people that want the information she fought to forget.

The premise of this book was super interesting and the book was definitely action-packed. Overall, it was a good read. My confusion aside, what I wished we could've seen more of and would've made this a 5 star read was more emotional connection to the characters and a more developed romance between Audra and Luka (the main characters). Also, I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this way, but I feel like this was the second book in a trilogy. The first book should've been Audra and Luka's story, how he was supposed to be her hunter but changed sides and fell in love with her. That would've made for an amazing read. Of course, that could be the romantic in me speaking. 

Overall, the intrigue and action of the plot made up for the book's shortcomings though, so it gets 4 stars!

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Food For Thought on this SciFi/Dystopian, Syncing Forward - My Review plus Giveaway!


1st Place for 2015 Feathered Quill Award, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Finalist in the 2014 Book Pipeline Contest

--Travel to the future - it will only cost you everyone you love.--

Attacked and injected with a drug which slows his metabolism to a fraction of normal, Martin James becomes an unwilling time traveler who 
hurtles through the years. His children grow up, his wife grows older, and his only hope is finding the people who injected him in the first place- not an easy task when one day for Martin lasts four years. And while Martin James strives to find a cure before everyone he loves is gone, others are uncertain if his journey can be stopped at all.

W. Lawrence weaves a dystopian future filled with the best and worst of humanity, highlights the blessings and curses of technology, and pushes the limits of faith and hopelessness. Above all,Syncing Forward is a tale of one man's love for his family, and their devotion to saving him from being lost forever.



SYNCING FORWARD is a super unique and intriguing spin on your typical SciFi/Dystopian, as it takes the reader to the future through the main characters POV, Martin, who's forced to fast forward through his life.

After being given a drug that slows down his metabolism so that time moves super slow for him but carries on as normal for everyone else, Martin struggles as he comes back into time again and again, only to discover just how much life has passed him by. The book takes us through his journey as scientists try to reverse the effects of the drug. I found this interesting and kind of sad because he basically is synced back in time only discover these major life events that he's missing-- his children growing up, grandchildren, friends and family passing away, and the world changing. But the book doesn't stop there, because as everything is fast forwarding around Martin, soon the ever-changing environment, politics, and technology around him proves threatening to humanity.

I enjoyed this book a lot and thought the underlying theme of people's reliance on technology and the destructive direction humanity is heading was spot-on. The glimpse of what may be in human kind's future was interesting and well thought out, and with Martin's passing of time and life, it made you think about what is really important in life. This book was food for thought, which is always a plus. It was well-paced and the writing solid.


W. Lawrence's Website / Twitter Facebook  / Goodreads

W Lawrence was born in San Francisco, California, and moved two dozen times before settling in Pennsylvania with his extraordinarily patient wife and two precocious daughters. He wants a boy dog. He works in the world of corporate security as an investigator and professional interviewer/interrogator.

Lawrence is obsessed with 5K zombie runs, comes home empty-handed from hunting turkeys, and loves non-fiction books about pirates. He has no problem reconciling that his two favorite shows are Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.


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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sneak Peek, Not Sure What to Think


Friday, March 11, 2016

A Kind of Crazy Book


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Excerpt from Mind Matters - We Are Our Thoughts


Do you ever get lost in the maze of your mind? When your thoughts start spiraling in a continuous loop—positive or negative—it can seem impossible to consider a different idea or even catch your breath.

If the way you think greatly influences the way you live, then it’s important to know how to manage your thoughts and channel their power to improve your life, rather than hinder it.

Mind Matters explores practical ways you can bring balance to your thought life, from replacing anxious thoughts with hopeful ones to curbing unnecessary thinking altogether. It also points out traps that keep you stuck, like “clearing your mind” by airing your thoughts on Facebook.

As you learn the art of controlling your thoughts, you will be able to focus on what you can do in the present to experience the life you want in the future. Whether you struggle with anxious thoughts or just need a few tips to better manage your mind, this easy-to-read guide provides you with simple instructions you can immediately put into practice.



Tanya J. Miller is a certified life coach with over eighteen years’ experience working with youth, young adults, and women throughout the community and in ministry to pursue purpose, passion and destiny.

Tanya holds a BBA in finance and business management from Northwood University and an MBA from Regent University and is also certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Scrum Master.

Her lifelong passion for writing eventually led her to start the blog Talking with Tanya in 2005. Mind Matters is her debut book. Tanya is married and currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Don't Forget About the Mind Matters Journal!

Your thoughts are powerful, which means what you are thinking matters. However, it’s easy to get trapped in your mind whether by blissful daydreams or anxiety spirals and held back in your life.
In Mind Matters the book, it taught you simple steps that will enable you to keep your thoughts in check so you can focus on and improve your present reality. You will now need to ensure that you will do what it takes to stay out of your head and be a part of life.
With the Get Your Mind Right journal, you will have a way to talk through those tough times or hard situations that you may face or go through in life. Those unfortunate moments, those devastating memories, those challenging problems - they won’t own you. You will have the tools in this guide, and you will be able to put in the work necessary to take care of your mind matters.
Live well. Live life alive, on purpose, and out loud!


Control what you can control – your thoughts – and leave the rest alone. You have no power or authority to do anything but that. If you didn’t know, know this: who you are at your core begins with your thoughts. What do you think about yourself really?

You need to realize that deep down inside, in your centermost thoughts, lies what you could be. A core is defined as the essential, basis, root, foundation, and bottom line. This means that the very makeup of who you are, what you are about, and where you want to go all come from your thought life. So whatever you think, so shall you be. It’ll come into fruition. It’ll become your real life.

What do you want your real life to look like? Do you want to allow yourself to be overwhelmed, bogged down, caught up in your feelings, going every which way but right? Or do you want it to be better, to be balanced, with you caring about the matters of your mind? If you want to jump back into life, you need to do the work. Get ahold of yourself, and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. You can’t do this for anybody but yourself.

 You have to want this for you.

If there’s something in your control that you can change,

don’t be afraid to do something about that!



Sunday, March 6, 2016

Read an Excerrpt from Fantasy Novel, EXILE


Epic fantasy from an exciting new talent

A gripping tale of heroism and the darkness within

On the fringes of the Verian Empire, two small boys stumble upon a strange altar, buried in the heart of a mountain. There they awaken a horror unseen for generations, that will descend upon the realm of men while it is at its weakest. For Veria is a nation at war with itself, only recently recovered from a bloody rebellion, and the time of heroes has passed. The empire is in a state of chaos, and while its ruler, the Empron Illis, rids the land of his remaining enemies, unseen forces are gathering at the borders. However all eyes are turned inwards. The Empron is not a well man, and there are whispers among the common folk that his advisors are spies; demons that only wear the flesh of men.

Yet there is hope...

In the distant mountains, a forester who has buried his past learns that he has not been forgotten, and that his crimes have sought him out at last. But he is no simple woodsman. He is Beccorban the Helhammer, Scourge, Burner and the Death of Nations, and his fury is a terrible thing.

For when all the heroes are gone, Veria will turn to those it has forgotten, before all is lost.


*Available on Kindle Unlimited*


The Forester watched from the undergrowth as they torched his home. It hurt more than he had thought it would. The flames stretched towards the sky, licking the tops of the trees and turning the snow to rain before it could hit the ground. The crimson men had searched the hut and its surroundings for over an hour. With the weather closing in, their commander had ordered the small wooden building set aflame.
That was clever, thought the Forester. There was no way that all eight of them would have been able to ride out the coming storm in the hut. Instead of taking the comfort for himself as many commanders would, he had removed the temptation, replacing it with a large fire to sustain them all equally. That showed bravery. That showed leadership.
It would not save him.
The Forester slid back from his hiding place and blended in to the shadows. Snow was falling so thickly now that it was hard to see more than a few yards ahead. A peal of thunder crashed around the forest as if some god had stamped his foot to keep warm. Soon it would be dark and cold and terrifying as a man's imagination turned every shadow into a monster from a children's story. That was when they should have come, just like the Sons of Iss had. He had already discarded the notion that these were they. The Sons of Iss came dressed all in dark cloth with long sharp knives, not in plate armour. These were something less. Something he could deal with.
The Forester pulled his hood over his head, becoming a great ogre of dun fur and white ice that only resembled a man. He brought his breathing under control and took one last look at the glowing fire that marked the ashes of his memory, before disappearing into the growing shadows.
The wind began to howl.

Kiren leant in close to Huril, shielding himself from the biting wind. It seemed to be a living thing, screaming in his ears as its icy fingers searched for every gap and crevice. After burning down the small hut, Barin had ordered the men to huddle close. Only a few of the older men — about three of them — had brought furs. The rest sat frozen and miserable, every bit of exposed skin wrapped in whatever they could find. The Guide had disappeared an hour before, hissing something in Barin’s ear and then melting into the bushes like a shadow. It felt as if a weight had been lifted off of Kiren’s shoulders, but he did not know why.
Dreng returned from his scout with a brace of winter hares. Whilst the others ransacked the hut, the wiry tracker skinned and prepared his catch, storing the still warm meat in his pack and scraping the skins clean. He sat now opposite Kiren with the white furs wrapped around his hands, each pelt still tinged pink with gore. At any other time Kiren's stomach would have lurched at the thought of touching the oily, recently dead flesh, but now he glared at Dreng with jealous eyes as his own hands threatened to turn blue.
These few days in the mountains had been miserable. Now it seemed that they would all freeze to death, their mission a failure. They had been outfoxed by one old man who was probably somewhere warm and dry with a full belly. If this weather continued he would return home to eight living statues in compensation for the loss of his dwelling.
Barin stood away from the group, leaning against a tree with his cloak wrapped around him. Kiren wasn't sure whether the Lommocel was dead or not. It was hard to look in any one place for longer than a moment yet he wasn’t about to get up and check. The snow was flying sideways and stung his cheeks with its force. Kiren wanted to close his eyes but every time he did so he felt incredibly tired. Before the storm struck, Barin had given them a short speech about staying awake. To fall asleep in this cold was death, he had said, and he tasked every man with keeping his neighbour alert. Nevertheless, it was hard to keep the mind active when all there was to do was sit and wait. Kiren turned his head and looked at the men around him. All were so covered in snow that their crimson armour was frozen and powdered white. In fact it was hard to tell them apart.
You still with me, boy?” Huril's gruff voice penetrated the fog of Kiren's thoughts.
Still here,” he said and Huril grunted in response. Kiren had never been this close to the old soldier. He smelt of tobacco and sweat. Strangely he found that comforting. It reminded him of a tavern; the smell of woodsmoke, cooking grease and packed humanity. Somewhere warm.
He looked at the men around him one by one. Next to Huril there was Millar, the farmer's son turned recruit. Next to him sat Sarif Morn and then Shume and Dreng. Next to him was Grosh... was that Grosh? Yes, it must have been. Then... Shume. Kiren shook his head. He must have counted wrong. There was no mistaking that the figure to his left was Shume. He had been staring at the back and side of his face all day and knew every inch of that jowly expanse, even huddled as it was into a cloak. Who was the other figure, then? The Guide? No, he was far too broad to be the Guide. Besides, the Guide had left an hour ago. He had to have counted wrong.
Kiren slowly turned his head and stared at the large man between Sarif Morn and Dreng. He was one of the few who had brought furs, although they were caked in frost and snow. He sat hunkered down, staring at the ground, his hands hidden inside the folds of… what was that? A bearskin? Kiren carefully counted the party in his head. Barin, Morn, Dreng... Huril, Grosh, Millar, himself and Shume. Eight men.
But there were nine in this clearing.


I am from the wild lands of Essex, and have been all my life.
I've always been a student of history. My first history teacher at secondary school taught me that there are only five letters in the word history that matter: 'story.' Ever since then I've been hooked.

I'm somebody who loves to read. I love Bernard Cornwell's earlier works like the first Sharpe novels and the Warlord Chronicles. I've experienced the can't-put-down quality of Wilbur Smith's Courtney novels. I'm a big Conn Iggulden fan (Emperor and Conqueror series) and love A Song of Ice and Fire - who doesn't?

Arguably my favourite author is the late David Gemmell. His simple historical fantasies really struck a chord with me when I was younger, and encouraged me to write my own stories.

I like stories about heroes, or things that make you scared to turn the page, stories that leave you feeling empty or that you've left friends behind in the epilogue. A writer is someone who can reach out from a page of prose and grab your attention and not let go until your heart is beating faster or aching with loss.

If my own stories can make even one person feel something like that then I will consider myself a success. If they don't, I'm going to keep writing them anyway, so you might as well read one of them!

Join Tom on Goodreads!

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