Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Bit of A Disappointment For This Mystery


New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession 

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew. 

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.  

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.



DON'T YOU CRY was a bit of a disappointment. I really thought I'd love this. I expected it to be intense and thrilling, but it fell short for me. While the writing was really great and the twists at the end were awesome, the first 2/3 or more of the book were really slow and very boring at times. In fact, there were a couple of times where I skim read and even thought about skipping parts. It's a shame, really, because the concept of the book is great and the ending really picks up, it's just getting there that's hard. If you don't mind a really slow paced mystery, then you will probably like this better than I did and it's definitely worth a shot.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cute and Refreshing Book - Review of How Willa Got Her Groove Back plus GIVEAWAY

How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Creative HeArts #2, companion series
Publication: February 25th, 2016

When your life feels like a bad movie, rewrite the script.

When Willa Schofer's father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa's senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother--the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he's constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk.

Just when Willa's decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously--how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he's not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she's allowed to crush on the guy.

Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool.

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Willa Got Her Groove Back was such a cute refreshing read, especially in the midst of reading other darker literary works, which tend to be dry at times. This book came just at the right time for me. It had a nice balance of emotion, romance, and conflict to drive the story.

With Willa Got Her Groove Back, we get Willa Schoefer who lost her mother as a child and so she's really close to her father. He comes home after a work stint where he was traveling and she's super excited to see him, when he drops the bomb that he is engaged to a super famous actress. (He's in the movie biz so this makes sense.) Along with his new fiance, Willa is gaining a step-brother to be.

Needless to say, Willa is unhappy about the engagement for multiple reason, as is her future step-brother, but before you know it sparks are flying between the two of them, along with a nice side of love-hate. The writing was really good and the pacing spot-on. Overall, this book was really enjoyable. The only thing that annoyed me at all is the ending, which while it certainly is NOT a cliffhanger, it leaves you wanting a certain something to happen and gets you super close only to discover we have to wait for the next installment. Arrrgh!

I definitely recommend this to YA and clean NA lovers alike!

About the Author

Emily McKay is a life-long fan of books, pop-culture and anything geeky. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and baking cookies. When she’s not kicking-ass and scooping cookie dough, she’s watching videos from Screen Junkies (her favorite Youtube channel) or Pemberly Digital or Classic Alice. Okay, she has a Youtube problem! She’s seeking help. Really. Though, she may also have a slight problem with procrastination.

When the internet is down and there are no chocolate chips in the house, she does write books – everything from Harlequin romance novels to post-apocalyptic YA. Though her interests may appear broad, the common denominators are swoony heroes and snarky humor.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Could've Been Epic...


STAIRCASE TO THE MOON is one of those books that had the potential to be completely amazing--one of those historicals' you think about long after they're over, but it just missed the mark. 

The book  is set in the Australian Outback just prior and during World War I. Because her mother died when she was young, Emily grew up with her father, uncle and three brothers in a very strict and overprotective environment in her father’s tailor shop. When her brothers and father arrange a marriage for her with a much older (and gross) man, she escapes her home to take a seamstress job in the Australian Outback. This job ends up being a Godsend for her. he family has three daughters and one son, whom she's immediately attracted to, but not long after she arrives, the war starts and the men of the household she has come to love, end up leaving for Europe as part of the Australian Army.

This could've had everything. Emily was strong and determined. She was capable and helped push the other women in the house and motivate them to take care of themselves when the men were away. I think what was missing for me was a more personal connection with the characters, especially the main character. There was a void I'm not sure I can put my finger on, other than that the reader wasn't made to truly FEEL much from Emily. In fact, there is a romance toward the end that could've been so incredible, but it was just kind of "blah" because I  couldn't emphasize with and feel the connections and emotions of the characters. Also, added detail and drawn out scenes where it wasn't needed drug the book down. If it weren't for these negatives, the book could've been epic. Instead, I was left thinking the book was just okay and feeling slightly disappointed.




When her conservative family tries to force Emily into an arranged marriage with a much older, wealthy man, she decides to take destiny into her own hands and escape her strict father and overbearing brothers. She embarks on a ship to North-Western Australia to take up employment as a private seamstress for a large and rich farming family, who welcome her with open arms. Surrounded by the breathtakingly beautiful and remote landscapes of the Kimberly region, Emily starts to believe that happiness and love really are possible in her new life. But storm clouds are gathering, and as the men of Kimberley march off to war in Europe, Emily must step up to prove herself against all the odds. And that’s when things start to turn out different than she ever could have imagined...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

His Personal Relationship Manager Book Blast Give!away

His Personal Relationship Manager  His Personal Relationship Manager by Jennifer Peel

Kenadie Marshall suffered the most public of humiliations, being left at the altar. Instead of wallowing in her misery, she makes it her mission to help others find true and lasting love, all while swearing off relationships for good. Between the software application she developed and a team of relationship managers, her brainchild, Binary Search, has an uncanny knack for choosing the perfect match almost every time. Attractive and loveable Jason Hadley is taken with Kenadie Marshall from their first meeting. Determined to win her over, he does anything and everything he can think of, even if it means using her firm’s service and dating other women to stay close to her. Will Kenadie realize she’s met her match before it’s too late? Or will Jason’s ploy go too far? Find out in His Personal Relationship Manager, a romantic comedy with an epic battle of wills.

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Praise for the Book

"One of the best romantic comedies I've read in a long time!" - Becky Monson, Bestselling Author of the Spinster Series "There's nothing more satisfying than a story with a great plot, strong characters, and a romance that makes me swoon. This story has it all and more! I loved every minute of it!" - Katie from Katie's Clean Book Collection

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He paused for a moment. His intense gaze had me feeling undone. “Are you happy, Kenadie?” “That’s a complicated question.” “Well, you are a complicated woman.” “I don’t try to be.” “It was a compliment.” “How do you do that?” “What’s that?” “You always know what to say to make me feel better about myself.” “Well, that’s easy. You give me good material to work with.” “Jason … Today, I’m happy.” “You don’t know how happy I am to hear that,” he said smoothly.  

Author Jennifer Peel

Jennifer Peel Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.


    Book Blast Giveaway – $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash 

 Ends 2/25/16

 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Borrowed Magic Book Blast & Giveaway

Borrowed Magic by Shari Lambert

After a three-year siege, Lord Kern, the dark mage, is dead. Magic has left Tredare, and life is almost back to normal. For everyone except Maren, that is. Before the siege, an attack by Lord Kern left Maren near death and with a sliver of magic buried deep inside her. Now, for reasons Maren doesn’t understand, that magic has been triggered, giving her the ability to “see” the truth: that her world is nothing more than a magical façade; and that the kingdom’s hero may not be a hero at all. But this gift of sight comes at a high cost. Maren is in constant pain, and fears her own death is imminent. Plus, no one believes her suspicions that another Dark Mage has risen, and that Tredare may be in just as much danger as it was when Kern was alive. With the country’s future in the hands of a man who’s vowed revenge on its king, Maren must convince someone else of the truth. Unfortunately, the only person powerful enough to help is also the one man she can’t trust; the man she almost married; the man who abandoned her and disappeared for three years: Kern’s son. As Tredare crumbles around them, Maren must persuade him to help - before the king is murdered by the very hero he reveres; and before the same magic that gives Maren the gift of sight also takes her life.

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Excerpt from Borrowed Magic

The siege had ended. Lord Kern, the dark mage, was dead. Maren pushed her forehead against the warm glass, straining for a better view of the commotion below. A cheer went up from the crowd, and she searched for any sign of the man making his way to the castle. The man who’d saved the city – and the kingdom. All she could see was a mass of bodies, crowding the path leading up from the city gates. It wasn’t uncommon to see people in the streets of Delorme. They’d come every day for the past two and a half years, standing in subdued silence as they waited for the daily rations that grew more and more meager as the weeks went by. But today the crowd wasn’t silent. Today was different. The tent cities beyond the wall, once teeming with soldiers draining the city of life, were now abandoned, destroyed, thin plumes of smoke the only movement. What was left of the lush, green fields sat charred and barren. Desolate. “Anything?” Maren jumped back from the window and felt the color rise to her cheeks. “It’s all right, Maren,” Adare said, trying to get her own view of the street below. “We’re all curious. And you have more right than the rest of us. You knew him better than anyone.” The dull, familiar ache in her chest forced Maren to hesitate until she was sure she could speak without her voice breaking. Even then, she couldn’t meet the queen’s eyes. “I’m not sure I knew him at all.”

  add to goodreads 

  Praise for Borrowed Magic 

 "I was enthralled from the very beginning up until the very end. This is one of those rare stories that has been created by a truly talented author, that captivates its readers and pulls them in. I felt every emotion as it reached its final conclusion, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that we were given the ending we so desperately hoped for." -Tasha Williams, Red’s Midnight Readers “Borrowed Magic is a spellbinding story, and the mystery kept me turning pages well after I should have gone to bed. Completely engrossing.” -Dawn Rae Miller, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of Larkstorm (The Sensitives Trilogy) "Shari Lambert has a way of capturing your mind and transporting you into her fantasy world. Filled with royalty and dark forces at court, Borrowed Magic reminds me of a Phillipa Gregory novel with the bonus of magic.” -Jamie Blair, author of Leap of Faith 

Seige   FREE EBOOK Siege: A Borrowed Magic Novella

For six years, peace has reigned over the kingdom of Tredare. Lord Kern, the dark mage who murdered the king and queen eight years prior, is imprisoned in a magical tomb. Or so everyone thought – until one night when Kern appears during a ball at the royal castle, and life in Tredare changes for the worst. Especially for innocent Maren. Unbeknown to her, Maren’s father has a past history with Kern, and now she’s crossed Kern’s path, getting in the way of something he wants. Angry and boiling with dark magic, Kern vows to destroy those who dare defy him – including Maren, who protects the current King and Queen. Despite Maren’s best efforts, Kern lays siege to Tredare for three years. Years Maren spends plotting revenge on the man who’s determined to ruin Tredare.

  Free Ebook

shari LambertAuthor Shari Lambert

Shari has always loved to read. “Bookworm” may even be an understatement. But when she discovered Georgette Heyer in high school, her love of reading exploded. Ms. Heyer’s books were not only entertaining, witty, and smart, but they saved Shari from the awkward, unromantic teenage years. To this day, Shari’s favorite books all have romance in them. Although Shari spent a good deal of her time at Brigham Young University on the ballroom dance team, she did manage to get a BA in History and English before going on to get a Juris Doctorate. After graduation, she decided her first priority was to be a mom -- a career she’s stuck with and loved. In between cleaning, laundry, and homework, Shari writes. Just like with reading, she wants to get lost in a world, whether imaginary or historical. She lives just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and four children.


  BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/23/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Great Historical With an Interesting Point Of View


This is the first book I've read by Kathleen Grissom, and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. GLORY OVER EVERYTHING is not a fast read, but instead, a slow-moving, eloquently written historical that focuses on the character Jamie Pyke. The book goes from past to present, moving through the story of how he became James Burton and touches on racism, slavery, but mostly on what it was like to be free, yet still enchained by fear. Fear that escaped slaves had of getting found and sent back to the bonds of slavery. Fear of persecution. And even your own fears of who you are and how the discovery of who you really are could destroy you.

Jamie Pyke is raised by his grandmother and is brought up with an education and the belief that, like her, he is white. After the shocking discovery that he is only half white despite his pale complexion, he is faced with the fact that his father, the white owner/master of the plantation where he lives, plans on selling him as a slave. Defending himself, he kills his father and with the help of his mother, a slave, and others who care for him, he flees.

When he makes it to the Northern free states, he meets Henry, a black boy, also on the run. It is then that Henry helps him get his start, and insists he live as a white man.

Later in the book, Jamie takes on Henry's son as a favor and eventually must face his fears, and his past, when the boy gets stolen for a slave and Jamie must bring him back.

There is so much going on in this book. Jamie falls in love with a white woman, whom becomes pregnant with his child, his true identity gets discovered, he must leave his home, and so much more. Though a slower read (until the end where it's fast-paced), this book was great. I loved Pan, Henry's son, and many of the other characters Kathleen present to us. Though at times I got frustrated with some of Jamie's decisions, it's understandable why he was so scared all the time, always looking over his shoulder and having to pretend to be someone that he wasn't, harboring the secret that he is really biracial in such a volatile time. I was so glad with his decisions at the end, to finally see him come full circle and decide to be so brave.

I would definitely consider reading more books by Kathleen!

4 of 5 stars!

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



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