ARC Review: Awake-Natasha Preston

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Release Date: August 4, 2015cooltext1889161239 copy

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it…because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

cooltext1889171582 copy2/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & SOURCEBOOKS Fire

PROS:

  • The cult is creepy and delusional. The absolute belief they have in their faith is disturbing. They don’t question or doubt, they mindlessly carry on despite the horrific requests made by their leaders in the name of earning a ticket to Heaven. The preparations are ritualistic and if it weren’t for their vegetarianism and connection to living off the earth, would seem a little Satanic. 
  • The last few chapters are adrenaline-packed and full of uncertainty. The fear is clear and haunting. The danger escalates and foreboding overtakes the story. You might want to read this with the lights on. Violence and desperation war with the fight for survival. 

CONS:

  • It took an obsenely long time to reveal what Noah is. For more than half the book he was giving me alien vibes only to find out the truth way far in. 
  • Scarlett and Noah don’t have strong or memorable personalities. Their interactions largely consist of sitting in bed watching movies and nothing else. It was difficult to become attached to either character because there wasn’t much to them.
  • Secondary characters were basically nonexistent. They show up for small moments and then vanish. Scarlett’s best friend falls in the realm of the cliché, jealous slutty friend. 
  • Pacing in slow and it makes the story hard to commit to. The mystery compelled me to read on.

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ARC Review: Strong Enough-M. Leighton

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cooltext1889161239 copyFrom the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the first in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met? And is he strong enough to let her?

How would I describe myself? Well, I’m Muse Harper. I’m a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to make—abandon everything I’ve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

That’s when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didn’t know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isn’t all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish I’d found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I don’t know if I’d have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to make—trust the man that I’m falling in love with and hope that he’ll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get.

cooltext1889171582 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via M.Leighton, NetGalley & Berkley

+++Does contain what may be triggers to some: Abuse, violence.

Strong Enough is deliciously dark and powerful. A turbulent storm of lies, a harrowing past and a deadly future, Jasper and Muse are volatile temptation in an explosive package of lust, danger, and suspense.

PROS:

  • Dear, sweet, sinfully irresistible Jasper. Holy hotness. Jasper is one of M. Leighton’s darkest characters yet. His quiet, deadly authority radiates off the page with his slow predatory prowl and hungry gaze. He’ll eat you alive and you’ll beg him to come back for seconds. Jasper has a sickening, twisted past full of deep-seeded trauma and emotional scarring. Jasper is domineering and cold one moment and feisty the next. He knows what he wants and he takes but not without a substantial amount of blunt remarks that are oh so sexy. Watching Jasper open himself up to feeling again is revitalizing and full of profound hope. Despite his best efforts to hide, there are cracks in his armor put there by his kryptonite, Muse.
  • That opening scene. My heart stopped and then shattered into a billion tiny, bleeding pieces. That little boy, OMG, how anyone could be so cruel and heartless to their own. Jasper and his mother. Like a knife to my patched up heart. Do yourself a favor and have some tissue handy. The emotions are dynamite, chaotic, and will throw you for a loop. The pain is agonizing and powerful.
  • The sex scenes are intoxicating, borderline BDSM, all about control and pleasure. The way Jasper basically growls at Muse…there are no words for that level of scorching chemistry.
  • Muse is inquisitive, artistic, and full of a slow simmering fire that ignites when she’s in the vicinity of Jasper. She pushes and forces Jasper to open up to her by not taking no for an answer.
  • The Black Ops craziness is fueled by mystery, suspense and the idea that time is running out and fast. The violence is short-lived but graphic and unsettling. 

CONS:

  • The pace starts out fairly slow and doesn’t pick up into well into the book. Despite the knowledge that Muse is desperate to find her father and worried for his safety, the car rides and tension at the hotels take away from that anxiety. The story shifts from the unwavering desire to make sure her father is okay to sizzling infatuation between Muse and Jasper.
  • Muse’s relationship with her father felt stilted. Muse is definitely a daddy’s girl however, the affection between them is almost mechanical and formal. Additionally, the story of Muse’s mother was intriguing but a pull away from the overall plot arc. What should have added another dimension Muse’s father’s complex past and guarded thoughts, only served to make them more hazy.

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Release Day Blitz & ARC Review: Home-Melissa Pearl

cooltext1889161239 copyRachel Myers never meant to stay in Payton. Her eyes were set on bigger things than waitressing at Clark’s Bar. She wants to perform on a stage of her own with bright lights, fame, and fortune. But something got in the way—Joshua Clark. He’s a good man who loves her, a solid rock she can depend on. She wants that to be enough, but it hasn’t quelled her yearning for the big city.

Josh knows Rachel wants more out of life and might leave one day. Yet so far, she hasn’t gone anywhere. Deep down, he believes his love is enough to keep her…or at least he hopes so. Until one night, a city boy from Hollywood promises Rachel a record deal and destroys everything.

Jumping at a chance she never thought she’d have, Rachel leaves Payton. And Josh. But the sparkle of Los Angeles is not all it’s cracked up to be, and Rachel quickly figures out that some sacrifices are not worth the risk. Is she too late? Will Josh forgive her, or has her desire for fame ruined the best thing she’s ever had?

Sometimes you have to say goodbye before you can say forever.

cooltext1889171582 copy***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and with participation in this tour

Home is a musical kaleidoscope of heartache and discovery, of redemption and epiphany, and most importantly, of learning that home is always, always where the heart is.

PROS:

  • The seedy underbelly of LA and the horror of how easily young people can be suckered into cons with the promise of fame are a bleak wake up call. Graphic, violent, and manipulative, the imagery is slimy and the men were beyond lascivious and grotesque.
  • Rachel’s helplessness and desperation bled off the page. Her dream of becoming famous and making her mother proud push her to let her guard down and it’s disastrous. Gullible and hopeful, Rachel gets herself into precarious situations and does what she needs to survive. A fighter till the end, Rachel is no stranger to suffering and living day to day. Rachel’s light and charm shine through the terrifying reality of her new life. She won’t let anything beat her. When she’s down, she rallies and that makes all the difference.
  • Josh’s complete and utter infatuation with Rachel is written in every adoring look, in the gentle touches, the fierce jealousy, and the passionate way he cradles her in her sleep. Rachel is precious, worth more than anything to him and her playful ways enrapture him. Josh’s hurt at Rachel’s decisions make him blind and pigheaded but he never stops loving her. The way he pines is both endearing and incredibly attractive. Out of all of the Songbird novels, his love, at least to me, feels the most natural and potent. Every second of his thoughts are spent on Rachel and keeping her happy, of protecting her, and of worshiping her smile, her music, her gorgeous curls. There are times where you’ll want to shake some sense into him, get him to see what’s beneath the surface but his pride blocks all sense.
  • Make sure to check out the companion playlist. It’s not ALL country (as a proud country listener I don’t mind) and there’s quite a few I’ve never heard of. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite. Listening to the soundtrack connected and cemented the emotions in several scenes. It’s a sensory experience that takes the story a lever further.

CONS:

  • Rachel’s naiveté is hard to swallow and a little unbelievable. Despite being a small town country girl, after her first colossal mistake, she keeps up the same mentality of being overly trusting and deluding herself. You’d think she’d be more cautious but each time it’s like she forgot when happened to get her in her terrible predicament.
  • Towards the end of the book, the story became more about other characters than Rachel and Josh. Their dramatic stories took over the plot and were a distraction for the emotional build up of the final few scenes.
  • The tone got lost. Half the time there’s strong Southern twang, expressions, and country songs and others, it reads casually, without the expected drawl. Josh especially doesn’t feel like a Southern boy and the whole country theme fell flat when Rachel wasn’t spouting her particular very Southern phrases.

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Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!”

She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

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Blog Tour, Giveaway & Review: Finding Flynn-Alexandria Bishop

cooltext1889161239 copyAshtyn Moretti is ready for the best summer of her life. But her parents have other plans when they drop the bomb that her perfect summer will be spent…

Away from home.

Away from friends.

Away from half her family.

Armed with her Summer from Hell playlist and a Kindle full of book boyfriends, Ashtyn prepares to face what she is sure will be the worst summer of her life. Or will it be? Flynn James has one thing on his mind—the success of his band Marlowe. He’s focused and doesn’t have time for any distractions, and that includes facing his past. But then a petite brunette comes walking into the pub where he works. Neither Ashtyn or Flynn were looking for love but they can’t deny their obvious attraction. Ashtyn’s summer has been full of lies. The last thing she expects is for Flynn to be one of the liars too. Can she forgive his lies and turn her summer around? Can Flynn keep his secrets without losing everything? Or will this really be the Summer from Hell?

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review and with participation in this tour.

Finding Flynn is a sexy, sizzling read full of tantalizing moments, laughs, and heartache. 

PROS:

  • Flynn is a HOT, flirty tease. Between his gorgeous green eyes, rock star persona, and giant heart, he’s a total knockout. Absolutely swoon worthy. Just like an Abbi Glines character ;) (if you’ve read the book you’ll get this). The way he makes Ashtyn blush is glorious. He teases and says the sweetest, sinful things. Sigh. His inner demons are heartbreaking and scarring. His relationship with his father, the sadness over his mother all make him complex and deeply emotional even if he keeps it all inside. 
  • The ending is an explosive sucker punch of emotional chaos. Seriously. Heart-stopping, hold-your-breath crazy shock. Talk about an adrenaline rush. 
  • Ashtyn and Flynn are scorching together. They have a magnetic ease that is part dirty talk, embarrassment, and crazy attraction. They get each other. Through their mutual love of music and willingness to confide in each other, they’re therapeutic and perfect for each other. 

CONS:

  • Ashtyn’s character is a little underdeveloped. I found myself struggling to get to know her. Apart from her obsession with All Time Low and anger at her situation, her likes and dislikes, her passions are all hazy and rarely mentioned. 
  • Flynn and Ashtyn fall hard and fast. Literally in a day and the book takes place over summer. While it does fall into a sweet, sexy summer romance, the intensity of their feelings is sudden and strange. There’s hardly any build up and while their moments are adorable, it’s borderline instalove with a hint of drama. 
  • Throughout the story there are hints of this big, catastrophic secret and when it comes out…it doesn’t feel like a huge deal. On top of that, Ashtyn gets so angry and I was confused, why did it matter so much? It wasn’t an end all, horrific, mind-blowing reveal, so her willingness to give up was overly dramatic.
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cooltext1921345213 copyAshtyn 
We’re strolling through a nearby empty park. Leaves are dancing in the light breeze, and a creek is babbling gently nearby. It’s quiet and peaceful but it isn’t doing anything to help calm my nerves. Although we came out here to talk, we haven’t said a word. I open my mouth and immediately close it. My mouth is dry like I just spent all day rocking out at Warped Tour, leaving my tongue like a sheet of sandpaper.

I lick my lips hoping to produce some saliva and ask, “Are there any drinking fountains nearby?”

Flynn gets a shit-eating grin and points to a giant statue with fountains on all sides. “Over there.”

I take a giant gulp that I immediately spit right back out. Unfortunately, Flynn is standing within shooting range and gets a mouthful of the nasty liquid, which tastes like coppery rotten eggs. I’m not sure which one of us is more shocked but I can’t hold in the laughter. The pain in my side is almost unbearable.

I almost don’t hear Flynn say, “You think that’s funny, do you?”

Not understanding his tone, I look up to a blazing green fire. I don’t know whether to be scared or seriously turned on. I turn to run but he grabs me and flips me around. My body shakes with fear and desire as Flynn rubs his hands up and down my arms. I don’t speak, too terrified of what I would say but even more terrified of ruining whatever is happening. I nervously gnaw on my bottom lip and he zones right in on it and licks his own.

Leaning forward, I run my hands through his silky hair. He lightly presses his lips to mine, stopping everything around us. Not satisfied with the featherlight kiss, I greedily run my tongue along his bottom lip and use my teeth to gently tug on his lip ring. A guttural groan escapes him, causing my entire body to tingle, right down to my toes. Suddenly I understand what all those girls are feeling in the romance novels I devour. This single kiss will ruin all future kisses for me.

Letting go of his piercing, I push my tongue against his mouth and he grants me access. The moment our tongues tangle, the air around us thickens and everything shifts. Flynn’s hands trail my body. Everywhere he touches, my body is on fire. My back hits cold stone, and I wrap my leg around his waist. Flynn lifts me and both legs hook around him. His hardness hits my sweet spot and I let out a husky moan, causing him to rock against me. My eyes roll back into my head and I throw it back, unable to control myself any longer.

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“It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by REM
 
“Leaving Town” by Dexter Freebish
 
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
 
“The Weight of Lies” by The Avett Brothers
 
“Baba O’Reilly” by The Who
 
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister
 
“My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit
 
“Breakdown” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
 
“Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who
 
“I Would Be Sad” by The Avett Brothers
 
“Last Resort” by Papa Roach
 
“For You” by Staind
 
“Rise Above” by Black Flag
 
“Riot Girl” by Good Charlotte
 
“Therapy” by All Time Low
 
“California” by Phantom Planet
 
 
“Somewhere in Neverland” by All Time Low
 
“Won’t Go Home” by 3PM
 
“Kiss Me” by New Found Glory
 
“Here’s to the Night” by Eve 6
 
“Always Love” by Nada Surf
 
“If These Sheets Were States” by All Time Low
 
“Have Faith in Me” by A Day to Remember
 
“Don’t Leave Me” by An Honest Year
 
“Somewhere in Neverland” (acoustic) by All Time Low
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Alexandria Bishop is an Oregon girl and lives there with her husband, young daughter and fur baby. She’s been a bookworm her entire life and always dreamed of becoming a writer but never thought it would be a reality.
 
Alexandria spends more time on social media than she would like to admit, come visit and say hi!
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Happy reading, 
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Author Interview, Character Interview & Giveaway: Shadow Dancer-Addison Kline

Shadow Dancer
Title: Shadow Dancer
Series: Shadows of Morrow #1
Author: Addison Kline
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: July 13, 2015
cooltext1889161239 copy      Some secrets should just stay buried. On the day Tristan Morrow is born her mother goes missing, prompting an investigation that produces no solid leads. Fast forward 15 years, and the Morrow family still doesn’t know the truth behind Catherine Morrow’s disappearance.
 
     When 15 year old Tristan is required to write a biography on her mother for a school assignment, she learns the truth about her mother’s fate, and is hell-bent upon finding out who was responsible for her death. But when Tristan herself goes missing too, everyone is suspect, even her own father and boyfriend.
 
      Set in rural Fox Hollow, PA, Shadow Dancer unravels a web of lies, deceit, madness and corruption. Can investigators crack the case before Tristan meets the same fate as her mother? And who is responsible for the disappearances? There is much uncertainty as the investigation unfolds, but there is one thing that is certain: Tristan Morrow holds the master key to the entire riddle. cooltext1889172435 copy
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Addison Kline is an International Best-Selling Author who resides in Philadelphia with her husband, their children and their two dogs. When she is not writing, she enjoys watching reruns of Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead and Sons on Anarchy, traveling with her family and reading to her heart’s content. 
Addison is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association and while she loves to write in a variety of genres, Addison always says “mystery is her game.” Her favorite genres to write include romantic suspense, psychological thrillers, mystery and thrillers.
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  1. What does your writing process look like?

To watch me write a book, you’d probably think I’ve gone insane. I write out of order. Post-it notes everywhere. Sometimes I write at the computer, other times I have to write in a notebook. Maybe I need a change of scenery? I’ll go to the park and scribble my thoughts done. To the outsider’s eye, my process is a chaotic mess, but somehow, I make it work.

  1. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

When I’m writing a mystery novel, my darkest scenes are written in the middle of the night by candlelight. I love writing during storms, especially rain and snow storms. It always sets the perfect tone. When the whether won’t cooperate, sometimes I listen to Rainy Mood. Also, I cannot write without music.

  1. What book do you wish you could have written?

I wish I had the guts to write a memoir of my actual life. Sometimes truth is much stranger than fiction.

  1. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Stephen King, JK Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, Sharon Sala

  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are very important to me. I pick names based on meanings, based on what sounds right, the family’s heritage and their personality.

  1. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Aside from being a mother to beautiful, respectful boys? Hitting the top 100 list on Amazon.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Writing full time

  1. Have you always liked to write?

Yes. I’ve been writing since I was six years old.

  1. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t quit and don’t be afraid to make up your own rules.

  1. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

This is an impossible question for me. I can’t bend my mind around the not writing thing.

  1. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I think every author does, but it’s rare these days. Critical reviews can be incredibly helpful to growing as an author. I take each review with a grain of salt. I don’t let the good ones go to my head, and I don’t let the bad ones dampen my spirit. I keep it moving.

  1. What is your best marketing tip?

Start a newsletter. Grow a mailing list. Get social with your readers.

  1. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Editing

  1. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Nothing is off limits.

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Not really. I write the book as it comes to me.

  1. How many books have you written?

I have fully written 17 books, with 10 more partially written works. I am working on my 18th full novel. I have 10 projects published.

  1. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I am working on re-releasing Black Horse through Booktrope! I am also working on a top secret manuscript behind the scenes.

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JJ- Hey guys! This is JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio 104.9, and I’m back up at the Morrow Manor. This time I’m on the porch of the Morrow house hoping to get a word with the lady of the house, Bridgette Morrow-Kilpatrick. After last week’s travesty with Frank and Jack, my now destroyed shoe laces, and their lovely farm animals, I’m ready to get back on track! Hopefully the pig isn’t a house pet. Okay! Let’s see if Bridgette’s home to answer some of our big questions!

JJ grabs the handle of the bronze door knocker that has the face of a horse on it, and bangs thrice on the door. He waited a moment, waiting for someone to answer, and when no one answered the door, he knocked louder. Suddenly the old oak door swung open and Angus Morrow stood glaring at JJ Penn.

Angus- Whatever it is you’re selling, I already have two!

JJ, looking surprised at Angus’ disgruntled appearance, appealed to the retired physician.

JJ- Oh, Dr. Morrow! I’m not selling anything at all. I’m here to see…

Angus- Oh great, you want a donation, don’t you? I already gave to the FOP, the AOH, the DAR, and the March of Dimes…

JJ- No! Actually, I’m here to see Mrs. Kilpatrick…

Angus- Oh, so you don’t want any of my money, then… Great! Come on in!

JJ smiled as Angus welcomed him into the foyer as if he was his long lost best friend.

Angus- Bridgette is in the kitchen… Enter at your own risk…

Angus strolled back into the den, moccassins flopping against the floor. He found his recliner and flopped lazily into it, closing his eyes and forgetting all about JJ, who stood nervous outside the kitchen door.

Enter at your own risk?

JJ was unsure whether he wanted to open the door or not, after all the misadventure he had encountered last week. After a moment, he decided, How bad can it be?, as he swung open the kitchen door.

Steam rose from boiling pots on the stove, a strange smell permeated the air in the kitchen, and JJ watched as Bridgette attempted to cook a successful dinner for her family. Her red curls cascaded around her, as the heat in the kitchen made it frizz and grow to comedic levels.

JJ- Whatcha cooking there, Bridgette?

Bridgette- Who the hell are you?

JJ- I’m JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio-

Bridgette- Are you the fellow that the guys scared away last week?

JJ, looking embarassed, flushed a little as he stared at his feet.

JJ- That would be me…

Bridgette- Well, I’m in the middle of cooking dinner… I’m making spaghetti and meatballs tonight.

JJ- Oh, uh, it smells…  interesting…

Bridgette- Well, you interrupted me… I’m in the middle of something.

JJ- I could wait til you’re done.

Bridgette- No, you’re here now, might as well get this over with. Now what do you want?

Bridgette lifted a lid off of a pot of spaghetti sauce. She stirred it quickly, eyeing the black burn spots on the sauce with dismay. Arms moving quickly as her mood became frantic, she opened the oven as smoke poured out into the kitchen.

JJ- Well, I have a couple of questions to ask you, but I must ask that we stay on topic… Your husband and brother sabotaged my entire broadcast last week. So… Bridgette, are you listening to me

Bridgette: Blech!

The smoke had gotten into Bridgette’s face. She waved her arms around wildly, trying to cut through the smoke, but she was unsuccessful. Suddenly, the smoke detector that hung over the stove  began to wail angrily.

Bridgette: Look what you made me do! Oh my God, another dinner ruined!

Bridgette ran from the kitchen to the dining room and brought back an ornate dining room chair, which she placed directly under the smoke detector. Taking in JJ, who was just standing on the wall looking at her, Bridgette gave him an evil look.

Bridgette: Well don’t just stand there! Stir that pot!

JJ jumped at Bridgette’s sudden outburst, but quickly grabbed a pot holder from the counter, and stirred the wooden spoon that lay in the pot of burning spaghetti sauce. Bridgette climbed onto the dining room chair, her tennis shoes leaving marks on the seat. She reached up to try to turn off the wailing alarm, but she wasn’t tall enough, so she got up on her tippy toes. JJ, who had stopped stirring the pot, and coughing from smoke inhalation.

Bridgette: JJ Penn, you stir that pot right now!

Finally the blaring of the smoke detector ceased and Bridgette climbed down from the chair. With a pot holder, she swiftly pulled out a pan of completely charred garlic bread from the oven, which she proceeded to throw in the trash, pan and all. The lid of the trash can slammed shut as Bridgette whipped back to the stove. She picked up the pot that once had boiling water, but now only had a big clump of spaghetti. She turned the pot upside down, allowing the pasta the drop like a lump of lead into the trash. Last, but not least, she  took the small pot of sauce dumped it in the sink.

JJ: Now what are you going to do?

Bridgette looked at JJ as if she was about to commit murder. Eyes wild and wide, hair standing nearly on end, Bridgette approached JJ as anger seeped out of every pore.

Bridgette: Oh, JJ…. It’s not what I am going to do. It’s what YOU are going to do!

JJ backed up nervously, a look of fear on his face. Bridgette reached into the cutlery drawer, frantically scattering the contents of the drawer, as she made a loud clanking. JJ was white as a ghost, fearful of what she would pull out of the cutlery drawer.

Bridgette: Ah! There is it!

JJ: Don’t hurt me, please! I’m young, I have so much living to do!

Bridgette rolled her eyes at JJ as she showed him what she had pulled out of the drawer.

Bridgette: Order the pizza! You weren’t hugged enough as a child, were you?! Five pizzas. Go pick them up. Here’s some money…

Bridgette handed JJ the menu and the money as a relieved look washed over his face.

JJ: Your family is going to be the death of me.

Spooky reading, 
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ARC Review: Never Always Sometimes-Adi Alsaid

24338298Goodreads/Amazon/iBooks/B&N

Release Date: August 4, 2015

cooltext1889161239 copyNever date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

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***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Harlequin Teen

Never Always Sometimes is an endearing friends to lovers story with tons of laughs, feels, and discoveries. 

PROS:

  • Never Always Sometimes is a special story. It’s a story that’s incredibly real and yet feels like a fairytale. The magical friends to lovers story is something that many yearn for and are too afraid to risk. The despair lies in the notion that if it doesn’t work out, your best friend could become an enemy or worse, indifferent. Never Always Sometimes explores one of the potential outcomes of taking the leap and maybe, despite the ending, that the journey was worth it.
  • Julia is a loud, quirky, feisty young lady with a shade of awkward that’s more than unique-she’s like a unicorn in a land full of horses. Her lines are brilliant, hilarious, and colorful, they had a light and happiness to the plot with lots of sarcasm and wit. Julia’s relationship with her mom is heartbreaking. The intense longing she has to impress her, to make her proud is bittersweet and downright sad. The yearning is potent and carries through the story in everything Julia does. From the “nevers” list to her phrases, her mother is there in an almost worshipful way. Julia clings to this idea, she becomes it, and it defines her. 
  • Julia and Dave are a perfect fit. They know each other so well they don’t even need to speak but when they do, it’s with warmth and laughter. Knowing each other on such a deep, personal level is what everyone thirsts for in a friendship, they’re a beautiful example. They complete each other and it’s easy to see why they’d think romance would be the next level.
  • An important lesson, one that is both painful and powerful is that there are many kinds of love and that sometimes, no matter how great and fierce that love is, it’s not the kind that’s needed. Sometimes that love, though enough, is a substitute for the earth-shattering wonder of true love. 

CONS:

  • Sections were slow and uneventful. I got a little bored. The story is relatively laid back and shows the average day of a teen well. Despite the humor, parts fell flat.
  • Dave was sort of lost in the cracks. The story switches POVs from Dave to Julia but because Julia has such a huge personality, Dave slips into the background. There’s not a lot of memorable characteristics, it’s almost like without Julia, he doesn’t know how to be, what he likes, or how to find himself.
  • Secondary characters were fleeting and hardly functioned in the story. Gretchen and Brett have a few good lines but only appear to add to drama or facilitate plot movement.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Cover Reveal: Sky Drifter-Paris Singer


Title: The Sky Drifter
Author: Paris Singer
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Booktrope
Release Date: August 8th
cooltext1889161239 copyWandering in the vastness of space, is the Sky Drifter; an academy reserved for the best students in the known universe. Seven is just such a student;gifted in strategy and Sphere, he lives happily on-board with his friends Iris and Pi; taking on his rival, visiting planets for exploration and competition. Everything is the way he likes it, until he sees a mysterious girl in a red coat, who will reveal to him a secret that will bring everything he thought he knew crashing down around him.

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Paris Singer was born in Brussels, Belgium. He has lived in the U.K. and in various places in Spain, where he currently resides.

At university, he studied English law and Spanish law. He didn’t like it. He then studied translation and didn’t like it, either.

Currently, he is an English teacher in the south of Spain.

He has far too many interests, he’s told. A few are basketball, tennis, swimming, playing his old guitar, learning Japanese, painting, reading, cooking…(See? Too many).

Not a day goes by, however, where he doesn’t write something, be it under a palm tree or on a bench at a bus stop somewhere.

Facebook/Twitter

Pleasant reading,
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