Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Water Weaver-Morgan Sheppard

syn
The young maiden, Marella, was born to the island of Wraidd Elfennol, a place balanced by the four elements of nature – Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The essence of each element contained in sacred artefacts ensuring the balance of life.

 

Every year, the community from across the island gather for the Summer Solstice. It is at this celebration the Lords and Ladies of Wraidd Elfennol make an astounding announcement. The sacred artefacts are missing. They then proclaim that four individuals, along with their animal Life Partners, will be selected to restore the balance.

Marella and her otter, Nixie, are chosen because of their link to the element of Water and along with her, three others – each in-tune with a different element.

Together they embark on a quest to either find the missing artefacts or somehow create new ones. As the world around them changes, danger lurks with every challenge the group face. They must hurry as the elements need to be restored before a year and a day have passed.

Failure is not an option or the world as they know it will cease to exist.

ExcerptAs Marella watched the bonfire, she could feel a sense of anticipation. She could feel something. but just didn’t know what. She must have made some noise, some movement, because Edlin looked down at her. “Marella?” he questioned.

 

She laid her hand upon his arm and then, in a sudden movement, threw her arms around his waist. “It is time,” she said simply, before turning to Riva and holding her too.

Edlin and Riva watched Marella as she turned back towards the bonfire. They saw her head move so that she could see towards the north. There stood Daren with Ula by his side. Together they stepped forward until they stood in the place that Demi had just vacated.

“We are the Chosen of Lady Daire – called to represent Earth, the senses, and our ability to manifest our desires.”

Daren’s voice boomed out so that he could be clearly heard by everyone in the main square and sounded as deep as the earth itself. Ula let out a spine-tingling howl as she lent her voice to the occasion.

Lani moved forward, showing no sign of the shyness that had been with her earlier. “We are the Chosen of Lord Adaryn – called to represent Air, our thoughts, and our ability to have a sense of self.” Lani’s voice was filled with the power of the winds. With a screech, Shaw circled above her head before landing on the ground next to her.

Then it was Kai’s turn and he stepped up to the bonfire with Kenna at his side. “We are the Chosen of Lord Ethon – called to represent Fire, our passion and ideas, giving us the ability to make decisions.” Kenna gave a bark followed by the fox’s call that is often mistaken for a woman in distress, known as the Vixen’s Scream.

It was time for Marella to complete their circle. She looked at her parents before looking down to see Nixie by her side. “Ready?” she thought to him.

Always,” he replied.

Together they walked into the light and felt the heat of the bonfire upon their faces. She raised her voice to the sky and said, “We are the Chosen of the Lady Erwyna – called to represent Water and our emotions, giving us the ability to be moved by feelings.” Nixie gave the loud scream that was usually only used by otters when they were threatened. Marella had never heard him make this noise before and she felt it down into her very marrow.

The four humans, acting again as one, all raised their arms in the same manner as the Elders had not so long ago. They stood facing the bonfire and the crowd was silent behind them.

giveawayComment for a chance to win (1) ebook copy of Water Weaver. International. 

auth

I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a lover. I am many things, been given many labels, but I can say that I am just ‘simple complicated me’.
 
Always a prolific reader and dabbler in my younger days with short stories, poems and limericks, I have just published my first Epic Fantasy novel, ‘Water Weaver’.
Favourite quote – “Aim high and reach for your dreams”.
Colour – Rich Purple
Food – Chocolate (of course!)
Time of Day – nighttime, I love the moon in all her beautiful phases
Season – Autumn/Fall
Weather – I love the rain and thunderstorms
 
I welcome your company as I walk my path.

Amazon Author Page

Facebook/Goodreads/Google+/Tsu/Twitter/Website

Happy reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: What We Left Behind-Robin Talley

9780373211753_BBGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBookssynFrom the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves comes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love isn’t enough to conquer all.

Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They’ve been together forever. They never fight. They’re deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they’re sure they’ll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, their relationship will surely thrive.

The reality of being apart, however, is a lot different than they expected. As Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, falls in with a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.

While Toni worries that Gretchen, who is not trans, just won’t understand what is going on, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni’s life. As distance and Toni’s shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?

review3/5 Stars

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

Here’s the thing: There’s a lot of negativity about this book, mainly about the use of genderqueer, that takes away the positive aspects of this book, the things that make it so important, and truly shine. Despite the “misuse” of the genderqueer label, there are tons of other terms that are relevant and so crucial to be aware of when talking about the LGTBQIA community. 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You want to learn about the various terminology, and intricate associations with gender in the LGBTQIA community.
  • You’re looking for a complex contemporary full of unique, and diverse characters. 
  • You’re in search of an on the cusp evolution from high school to college. Mature YA-New Adult. 

PROS:

  • The story is educational in that it spreads awareness of the terms and to question how to address people properly in the LGBTQIA community, especially those where it is not clear. It can be embarrassing but it is courteous and important to ask how they’d like to be addressed. For people who are not up on their gender and LGBT studies, this could be extremely enlightening. 
  • You can feel every ounce of anxiety and confusion from both Toni and Gretchen. The fear of confession, of being rejected, and not knowing who they want to be. Gretchen and Toni were together for so long that they forgot how to be without each other, they were more half of a whole than individuals, this is highlighted in Gretchen’s character. 
  • Gretchen and her group of friends were entertaining, fun, and got through hard discussions without digressing into a philosophical spiel.  Even situations that were WAY awkward were dealt with, whereas Toni evades and then makes spur of the moment choices that are as infuriating as Toni is annoying. Gretchen is a sweetheart. She’s constantly trying to be a peacemaker and the perfect girlfriend, she’s incredibly in love. It’s almost toxic because she loses sight of who she is. 

CONS:

  • While there was decent information about transitioning, gender binaries, and all the terminology, the way it was presented was almost like a textbook. It took away from the overall emotional appeal. Everything became about definitions and getting it right that it was robotic. On top of that, it dragged down the pacing, making the story seem much longer and convoluted than it actually was.
  • Toni is hard to deal with. Toni is self-absorbed, and so caught up in being politically correct that Toni dismisses anyone who is not in the LGBTQIA group. Toni’s kinda snobby. Especially when you read Gretchen’s POV, Toni doesn’t even try. While I understand that Toni is dealing with serious stuff, trying to sort through feelings about the gender binary, how to present to the community, and emotions about dressing as male when Toni’s rejects the binaries, Toni’s horrible to Gretchen. Dismissive, cold even, and barely thinks beyond the limited scope of friends and self. 
  • The plot was underdeveloped and secondary characters functioned to further Toni’s label system. Each new character, even those that lasted, were not known for their personality but where they fit on a spectrum-in Toni’s little boxes. Almost ever conversation was about the use of gender neutral pronouns, labels to escape labels, and how to identify under label constraints. 

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

You and Me and Him Cover_hres18520642

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz & ARC Review: Lux-Courtney Cole

CourtneyCole-Lux-LaunchGraphic-600pxCourtneyCole-Lux-Cover-250pxAmazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Add LUX to your Goodreads TBRsynMy name is Calla Price and I’m broken.

My pieces are all around me, floating on the wind, even as I desperately try to grasp them.

Who is dead? Alive? Insane?

What is the truth?

I don’t know.

I do know this: The darkness is strangling me. With every breath, I choke on another lie.

My mind has protected me, but that shield will soon be lowered.

All will be revealed.
Every answer to every question.

It’s all been leading to this.

Don’t be afraid.
Be terrified.teaserCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-177deathCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-111DarknessCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-83bloodCourtneyCole-Lux-Numbers-23SaveMeSeries reading order: Nocte (#1), Verum (#2), Initium (#2.5), Lux (#3)

Get NOCTE: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Audible (Add on Goodreads)
Get VERUM: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Audible (Add on Goodreads)
Get INITIUM: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo (Add on Goodreads)
Get LUX: Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo (Add on Goodreads)review4/5 Stars

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

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re not afraid to slowly spiral towards insanity only to be reawakened and dropped right back down the rabbit hole over and over again. 
  • Psychological thrillers tantalize you.
  • You’re dying to be so utterly consumed by the story that the whole outside world fades away and you have to question if maybe you too, are part of the story.

When I first started this trilogy, it was because I couldn’t get on social media without seeing it. These intoxicating covers were EVERYWHERE and then some. I had to be a part of this collective escape. So I lept. Nocte everything it promised, dark, captivating, crazy, and yes, a sort of mental maze that left me feeling lost, confused, and shocked to see the end. But something, something nagged at me and I was slightly disapponed and then I read Verum and holy hellfire and deceit was that a ride down into oblivion masked in truth. Lux was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and trust me, it’s like live dynamite just waiting to explode. 

Courtney Cole is one twisted, evil mastermind. My mind was BLOWN wide open and put back together again and then the ending came and my recently saved mind just gave up. What’s magical and incredibly addictive about this story is that it has always been in the reader’s hands. Sure, you know Calla’s mind as well as you can, but ultimately, you’ve always had to decipher and piece together the clues, we each had our own version of the truth, what we believe is a choice. Lux continues that tradition in a poetic, infuriating, and mildly bittersweet way. When you get to the end, read the author’s note, it’s important. 

The memories come to gether, they merge and split, and dance in Callie’s mind from the previous books. The same dark, Gothic feeling of wrongness, that eerie sense of disaster on the horizon permeates throughout. Everything is suspect and you won’t be able to stop the wheels turning in your mind as you scramble to uncover the truth. 

There are moments of stomach-dropping disbelief and harrowing sadness that will leave you breathless only to be spun around on the merry go round that is Calla’s mind. 

That raw passion and chemistry between Dare and Calla is still potent as ever but there’s a shadow that threatens to snuff out the light. It’s dizzying, beautiful, and bursting with chemistry and adoration. It’s magnetic. 

Love, above all else, is the savoir and reaper. 

There are a few elements that border on supernatural and came as quite a twist. 

All I can say is: You’ll see. And you won’t be able to forget. 

authCourtneyCole-Headshot250pxCourtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist who would rather write than eat chocolate. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, but no amount of working in the corporate world could quell her urge to write.

Courtney was born and raised in Kansas, home of incredibly friendly people and the most horrendous weather on the planet. Because summer days were so hot, she grew up reading stacks of books… and when she didn’t like the ending, she wrote her own.

Courtney has relocated to Florida where she writes beneath palm trees. To learn more about her, please visit her website. To sign up for her newsletter and receive exclusive sneak peeks and super-fan perks, click here

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

We'll Never Be Apart_hres23897947._SX200_SY200_2246559791cMHG1mVaL

 

 

 

 

 

Keep reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal: The Barrier Between-Stacey Marie Brown

Amazon/iBooks/Nook/Kobo/Goodreads

synZoey’s life has taken a dramatic turn. Only a few months ago she was a Collector working for the a secret part of the government called the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), tracking and collecting fae. Her life had been changing and improving with a partner she loved and a sister she adored.

Now all that is gone—Daniel murdered by a fae, and Lexi killed when the Seattle area is devastated by a powerful, magical electrical storm. Zoey herself is altered by her association with the Wanderer, Ryker, in life-changing way.

Zoey discovered she was an experiment from the very company she worked for. She could die at any moment of a threatening defect—taking Ryker’s magic with her.

In a race against time, Ryker and Zoey set out to find a way to transfer his powers back before it’s too late. Their journey takes them to the rainforests of South America, dealing with those who are after something Ryker possesses and who will stop at nothing to obtain it for themselves.

What Zoey and Ryker discover can destroy them or tear them a part for good.

Haven’t started reading the Collector Series yet?

Amazon/iBooks/Nook/Kobo/Goodreads

synZoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.

After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.

But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.

When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey’s whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.

authWebsite/Facebook /Twitter

Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. She volunteers helping animals and is eco-friendly. She feels all animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Sister Pact-Stacie Ramey

sisterGoodreads/Amazon/iBooks/B&N/BAM!/IndieBound

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire

synWho holds your secrets?

Allie is devastated when her older sister commits suicide- and it’s not just because she missed her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they’d always be together, in life and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why.

Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief.

But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie’s not sure which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister’s death or facing her new reality without her.

ExcerptLiquid inspiration from the Nyquil bottle makes me feel like I should paint something for Leah. Let her know I get it now. Maybe I didn’t always when she was alive. Maybe I didn’t listen when she tried to tell me things.

I open the door and look out into the hallway. Lights off, TV on downstairs. Mom’s check-out gives me the clear shot I need. In the garage I find the white paint from the trim in my room and the tools and brushes. Everything seems really clear right now. And brilliant. I feel sort of brilliant. Like every part of my brain is working.

Back in my room I shake the can of paint and open it with a screwdriver and hammer, trying hard not to spill it on my hardwood floors. Too late.

My curtains are in the way, so I rip them off the rod. I have to stand on my window bench to reach as high as I need. I start to paint, not knowing what I’m doing until the image forms on the wall, like magic. By the time I’ve painted the point of convergence on my window where the pink diamond goes, I recognize it. I painted it like it was burned into my brain. But I guess I knew all the time even as it materialized. I’ve made Leah’s ring.

I sit back and admire my work. I hope wherever she is, she sees this and knows I’m sorry. A shooting pain goes through my head and my eyes try to adjust to the blinding light the sun throws as it sets. Spiky rays of light come from the sunburst that flashes through my painting, making it seem like it’s alive.

I blink away the brightness and try to let my eyes settle. When I open them again I’m confused. Because I see Leah standing there. Really standing there. I steady my gaze and look again. I’m not imagining it. She’s there, surrounded by light, kind of outlined in it. Like one of my rendering sketches.

I want to reach for her, ask her if she’s really here, but when I blink again, her image disappears and I know it’s just my guilt and my need that’s bringing her to me. Even if she can’t stay.

I close up the paint cans and take them and the medicine bottle downstairs. The paint and tools go back into the garage and the brush gets washed in the sink and left to dry on a bottom shelf of the garage. I turn the water on in the sink and run my hand over its stainless steel surface, careful to wash all the remnants of my painting party down the drain. Finally I wrap the medicine bottle in newspaper and push it to the bottom of the trashcan, making certain that it’s completely covered. One thing Leah taught me was how to hide your party.

When I’m done, I walk back up to my bathroom, and brush my teeth, trying not to look in the mirror too long. As if my crazy would show somehow. I crawl into bed, setting my alarm for the morning. First day of school. I put my hands together in the prayer position and put them under my cheek.

I think about what I just did and try not to worry about what it means. It’s too much allows the headache to creep back in, crouching and ready to spring. I’ll close my eyes and go to sleep, and hope that tomorrow will be okay. I know it’s not what I should be doing. I know I’m copping out, but I can’t help it.

I’m living my life in tiny squares. Checker board moves. I go forward. I go backward. I jump. Each play means something. Each turn matters. The most important thing is to keep moving. To not get jumped. Sometimes a little Nyquil helps that. They don’t call it medicine for nothing.

authsister pact authorTwitter/Website

Stacie Ramey learned to read at a very early age to escape the endless tormenting from her older siblings. She attended the University of Florida where she majored in communication sciences and Penn State where she received a Master of Science in Speech Pathology. When she’s not writing, she engages in Netflix wars with her children or beats her husband in Scrabble. She lives in Florida with her husband, three children, and two rescue dogs.

giveawayEnter for your chance to win a copy of The Sister Pact

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Disavow-Jamie Magee

Amazon/iBooks/Nook/Kobo

syn

Mason Wade had fought death, and to some degree he had won. The fire of a phoenix coursing through his veins made him feel like hell. Each of his new senses forced him to reach into a past he knew was better left alone, yet he was grounded in the primal desire to protect Indie, to be a lethal supernatural guardian. The discovery of a secret library within the Falcon Manor landed River Sabine, the very girl who first stole his heart and left him in his darkest hour, front and center in his life. Mason and the others discovering how closely his past is connected to the paranormal war at hand have only scratched the surface of how deeply entwined those who lurk at the Falcon Manor are; a painful lesson Indie is forced to learn as she fights to rise to her role as the Queen of the Veil and protect the hearts of her own. An impossible decision must be made; no matter the choice lovers will divide. The only real question is whose sacrifice will be for the greater good.

Haven’t started the Rivulet series yet? Get the first one for 99¢!

Amazon

synIn life he haunted her…in death she haunted him.

Love is eternal…

Weeks away from her twenty-first birthday, the date where she would assume control over her family legacy, a night terror robs Indie of the balance she was clinging to. Like the dream she had before she lost her family, it predicts a fatal catastrophe on the horizon. The fight between life and death, good and evil, began the moment her thundering heart awoke her.

Everything changed after that dream. The one thing that keeps her curse at bay is stolen, and then her enigmatic boy arrives in the flesh. Face to face with her fiery born-again lover Indie realizes that the only way she can prevent the tragedy before her is to surrender everything she was, is, and could be.

Can she bend the laws of nature and fight the improbability that fire and ice could ever be one? As far as Indie is concerned, there is not a myth, spoken fate, or curse that is stronger than her stubborn desire to have it all … including him.

authWebsite/Facebook /Twitter

Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she’d never been, introduce her to people she’s never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.
Magical reading,
Jordan

Release Day Blitz & ARC Review Preview: Omega-Lizzy Ford

Omega_fb“Omega,” a young adult dystopia with Greek gods by Lizzy Ford, is now available! Grab it today! All proceeds from release day sales are being donated to charity!OmegaAmazon/Amazon UK/Barnes and NobleiBooks/Kobo/Smashwords/Goodreads

synIn a modern world ruled by territorial Greek gods, the human race has been oppressed, exploited and now, nearly destroyed by the constant infighting of gods.

However, a human girl with the power of a goddess is coming of age. Alessandra is the Oracle of Delphi – the last prophesized – and bears the mark of the double omega. Soon after she turns eighteen, Alessandra is told her destiny: to step between the warring gods and the human race and save her world from certain ruin.

For the gods, her appearance marks the beginning of the end – their end. They and the Triumvirate – leaders of the human elite – who serve them will stop at nothing to preserve their power.

Alessandra emerges from the forest where she spent her life hidden from gods and men and immediately plummets into a race against time, gods, and herself to discover who and what she is in a world where everyone she meets has a hidden agenda, and those pulling the strings remain in the shadows.

Before she can determine exactly what kind of savior her world needs, she must first master her power by completing three trials devised by the Triumvirate to enslave her.

One lone girl stands between warring gods and the people she’s destined to protect, but it’s the battle to understand who she is that she must win first.

review4/5 Stars

***I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Omega in exchange for an honest review via the author

Omega is an enchanting spin on mythology meets dystopia. Magical, captivating, and all sorts of awesome, Omega is an unforgettable and intoxicating read. Get ready to fall in love with the sweet ambrosia that is Alessandra’s story. 

For the full review, check back on November 4 for a special look at teasers, fav quotes, and an indepth pros and cons list 🙂 

Magical reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: The Liberty Box-C.A. Gray

hshbGoodreads/Amazon

synKate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.

Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author.

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for a NA dystopian that is NOT romance-centric
  • You’re into scifi-style technology that could potentially be a reality
  • You’re into rebels, mind power, and need a break from paranormal mashups

PROS:

  • The dystopian world is extremely realistic and possible. The circumstances that led to the fall of the United States are terrifying because they’re probable. 
  • Jackson’s quick-witted, clear-headed and courageous. The teachings from his grandfather in Iceland to embrace his mental capabilities and become one with his surroundings are intriguing and peaceful. They way he hunts, reads people, and sees things far more clearly than anyone else, give him and edge that’s incredibly attractive and fierce. 
  • Kate’s memories show how easily the entire country has been brainwashed. Nothing is as it seems, everything is an illusion, and you can’t be sure of anything except the corruption of the government. Anyone who doesn’t fall in line is expendable. The forced vaccinations, the reform schools, and mapping brain wavelengths are a unique form of prison. 

CONS:

  • The story has quite a few slow points that drag but then quickly pick up with bursts of action. I found myself having to push through some sections.
  • Characters seem disconnected and it’s hard to find cohesion between the two POVs for a large portion of the story. Some parts felt like two different books. 
  • There’s a ton of description and details about the dystopian world, techniques of hunters and rebels, and while normally this makes for an intricate world that sucks the reader in, there wasn’t enough of an emotional balance. When things fall apart, people die, and chaos happens, there’s no foundation for the pain, no real scenes of emotion between characters, and it felt robotic. 

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

Ebook-Defects-book-1-in-the-series1731277720640755Deviation-NEW (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Keep reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Chasing Forevermore-J.D. Rivera

Chasing Forevermore Front CoverRelease Date: October 26th, 2015

syn

Mackenzie…

After being dealt a hard life, things were finally looking up. I had a wonderful boyfriend and perfect daughter.

Life was great.

But at some point, your past always comes back to haunt you, crashing into you when you least expect it. And all you can do is weather the storm, even if it’s hell bent on destroying everything.

Hayes…

Perfect girlfriend, check.

Perfect daughter, check.

All that was missing was Mackenzie sharing my last name. But life is never that easy. And some choices you make can destroy everything. I just pray I didn’t fuck up beyond repair. Because I can’t live my life without her and I’d do anything to make it right again.

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author.

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for a short, sweet, and realistic romance 
  • You’ve read Chasing the Stars and you’re dying to know what happened to Mackenzie and Hayes

PROS:

  • The attraction between Hayes and Mackenzie is undeniable as ever. The easy-going, warm way they are with each other makes them feel like a happily ever after in the making. They’re playful and loving, they glow right off the pages.
  • Mackenzie’s fears are real and well founded. No matter how solid we feel  in a relationship, the moment doubt creeps in, we start second guessing everything. Mackenzie’s love for Hayes is enough for her to wish his absolute happiness above her own. 
  • The scene at the rock, under the stars. OMG, everything stood still, my heart stopped, I did not, could not believe. Shock, fear, sadness all collided with an overwhelming urge to shake Mackenzie.

CONS:

  • Some sections are extensive and other scenes fall short and feel clipped.
  • The ending is abrupt and cuts off, it feels rushed and a little too easily resolved.
  • The drama with Mackenzie’s family, particularly her estranged brother should have been an emotional whirlwind as Mackenzie struggled to process her feelings but like many of the other scenes, they were short and didn’t have the emotional build up or impact. Mackenzie doesn’t go through a grieving process and everything piles up. There are a few loose ends that leave the story feeling like it could have been taken a step further. 

ExcerptChapter One

Mackenzie
     My life was perfect. I had the perfect boyfriend, the perfect daughter—I can honestly say I’d never been this happy in my entire life.
     Rolling over, my heart leapt at the sight of my man. Hayes was sleeping peacefully, the sheet flung below his hips, showing off his impressive chest. He had always been hot, but since he came back into my life, he’d gotten hotter, if that were possible. His chest and six pack were very impressive, along with his biceps. But that wasn’t what made my heart leap. It was his new tattoo. A huge star between his pecs with “Harley” written inside. Mac, his nickname for me, was over his heart, but that tattoo had been there for a while.
     “Why don’t you stop checking me out and kiss me instead?” Hayes rasped, pulling me on top of him.
 
     I giggled and let my lips seal over his. He immediately deepened the kiss and I sighed. Not only was he great looking, he was also a great kisser, among other things.
     “Happy birthday eve,” he whispered against my lips before kissing me again.
     “Thanks,” I said, pulling back and looking at the clock on the nightstand. “I better get up and get dressed. Why did I sign up for a morning class?”
     “I don’t know, babe. Can I join—”
     “Dadddddyyyy!” Harley yelled from her room.
     “Never mind.” He sighed and we both got out of bed.
     I stood still for a minute, listening to him talk to Harley. Hayes was such a good father. He had been since the moment he laid eyes on her, and it still shocked me. He had always been a player and a big partier, but I guess that just goes to show, if you really love someone, you’ll change.
     I headed into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and took a quick shower before digging out a long sleeve black t-shirt and ripped jeans. I placed my wet hair in a bun and didn’t even bother with makeup. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone.
     When I stepped into the kitchen, Hayes was feeding Harley and he had a bowl full of cereal waiting for me. “I didn’t know how long you’d be and didn’t want it to be gross, so I left out the milk.”
     “Thanks,” I said, grabbing the milk out of the fridge and adding it to the bowl. After placing it back in its spot, I walked to the table and sat down. I scooped up a big bite and chewed the sugary goodness. “So, what are your plans for the day?”
     He shrugged. “Same as always. Although, I was thinking about going over to Carson’s and hanging out before I pick Harley up from the sitter.”
     I smiled and shoveled more cereal into my mouth. I’d never actually asked, mainly because I’m scared of his answer, but I’d been worried Hayes only sticks around because it’s the right thing to do. He’d been hanging out with Carson a lot over the last month, and I had overheard Hayes and Carson talking about old parties. Once I heard Carson refer to them as the “good ole days”, I felt that maybe Hayes’ “change” was only because he felt obligated.
     I mean, hell, he had replaced me quite easily. When we had reconnected, he had been dating a girl who looked similar to me for several months. Hayes had claimed he dated her because she was as close to me as he could get, but maybe he’d be better off with her. Young and carefree, not strapped down with a child. Stop it. He loves you. He loves Harley. Of course, I knew that, but insecurities died hard.
     “Babe, are you okay?” Hayes asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
     I cleared my throat. “Yeah. I’m good,” I said, glancing at him. “I was just thinking about class.”
     “You sure that’s all you were thinking about?”
     I took one last bite of my cereal and stood before heading to the sink. “I’m sure.” I rinsed the bowl and placed it in the dishwasher. “We still leaving tomorrow morning for your parents’ house?” Tomorrow would be my birthday, the day before Thanksgiving. Hayes had planned a big celebration for me.
     “Of course.”
     “Since you want to hang out with Carson, I’ll pick Harley up from the sitter after my last class.”
     “Babe, I’ll pick her up. I have one class today and I’m only going to stop by his place for an hour or so.”
     “Okay,” I replied, then kissed Harley before walking into the living room to grab my bag. “I’ll see you tonight.” I knew it wasn’t fair, he deserved to hang out with his friends, but I couldn’t help the tightness in my chest.
     “Are you not going to tell me goodbye?” Hayes asked, spinning me around. “I won’t push you to tell me what’s wrong, but you better at least give me a kiss.”
     I smiled weakly, then placed a kiss on his lips. “Sorry,” I whispered. “I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.”
     Hayes smashed his lips against mine, giving me a hard, lingering kiss before pulling back. “I love you.”
     “I love you, too,” I said before opening the door and leaving.
 
***
     Heading to the union after leaving my second class of the day, my cell began ringing.
     I smiled at Miranda’s name on the screen. “Hey.”
     “Hey, isn’t today when you have that big gap between your second and third class?”
     “Yeah,” I replied, weaving in and out of people walking along the sidewalk.
     “Brad and I were wondering if you’d like to come have lunch with us. He’s picking me up in front of the union.”
     “Yes. I was on my way there anyway. I’ll see you in a minute.”
     “Great. I’ll be waiting.”
     We disconnected and I couldn’t help the sudden pep in my step. Maybe having lunch with my two best friends was exactly what I needed.
     I picked up my pace, walking as fast as I could until I reached the front of the building. Miranda’s long blonde hair waved in the wind, making her easy to spot.
     “Hey, you,” I said, coming to stand beside her and placing my arm around her.
     “I have missed you,” she replied, wrapping her arms around me. Miranda was my very best friend, aside from her boyfriend and my adoptive brother, Brad. And, of course, Hayes.
     “You just saw me like three days ago.”
     “I know, but I still missed you.” She looked down the street. “Brad should be here any minute.”
     “Okay.”
     I took a deep breath and tried to relax. I had no idea what had me all messed up inside, but I needed to get it under control. I knew Hayes loved me, and I knew he loved Harley. Maybe it was our impending trip back to Maverick and knowing I’d be there for more than a couple days. Running into my parents was a high possibility…if they still lived there. I was sure Hayes’ parents knew, but I never asked. I didn’t really want to know.
     “Here he comes,” Miranda said, stepping closer to the street.
     I glanced up and saw Brad’s big black truck pulling up in front of us. I walked closer and opened the back door, pulling myself up and in. “Hi,” I said. “I hope you don’t mind me crashing your lunch date.”
     Brad gave Miranda a peck on the lips before turning to face me. “Mackenzie, you know you are always welcome.”
     I smiled. “Thanks.” Brad could always make me feel better with just a simple sentence. He was my confidant, and basically, my and Harley’s savior. I had a deep love for him.
     “Where do you two pretty ladies want to go?”
     “Anywhere,” I replied as Miranda said, “Pasta House. I want lasagna.”
     I shrugged. “Fine with me.” Brad nodded and pulled away, but not before catching my eye in the rearview mirror. He knew something was wrong.
     “How was class, beautiful?” he asked Miranda, and I checked out. They hadn’t been dating long, but I knew they were it for each other. They were both blissfully happy, and neither of them felt beholden to the other.
     I was so gone in my thoughts, I didn’t even realize we had parked until Brad opened my door with a raised brow. “You coming?”
     Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I said, “Sorry. I’m just spacey today.”
     “You will tell me what’s wrong. You know that, right?”
     I nodded. “I know. But I promise I’m okay.” I looked around, noticing we were alone. “Where is Miranda?”
     “She had to pee so she raced inside. Tell me what’s wrong.”
     I sighed. “Sometimes I just wonder if Hayes sticks around because he feels like he has to.”
     Brad’s eyebrows bunched. “What the hell, Mackenzie? That boy loves you.”
     “I know he does. I do. But I feel like I’m making him give everything up. He doesn’t get to have fun anymore.”
     “I can promise you he is perfectly happy. You need to stop worrying.”
     I looked to the ground. “It’s just—”
     “Don’t you dare even go there.” He took my chin in his hand, forcing me to look at him. “You are good enough for him. You and Harley are all he wants.”
     I nodded. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I just feel like I’m holding him back…with everything.” I shrugged. “Thank you for being here. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I wrapped my arms around him and closed my eyes as he hugged me back.
     “I’m always going to be here, kiddo.” He released me, flashing a smile. “Now let’s go eat. I’m starving.”
J.D. Rivera lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two boys. Her life consists of school projects, homework, cartoon shows, and little league sports. She loves Diet Mountain Dew, the OKC Thunder, costume jewelry, the beach, and reading.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:
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Jordan

 

ARC Review & Giveaway: Wolf by Wolf-Ryan Graudin

 

Special intro from the author:

“Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them–made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that ever stayed the same. Her story begins on a train.”

And so begins the story of Yael, a girl who can change her appearance to mimic any other female. A girl who must win a 20,000 kilometer cross-continental motorcycle race from Germania to Tokyo so that she can have an audience with Adolf Hitler. A girl who has every intention of killing him.

Whenever I describe the premise of WOLF BY WOLF to people, the reactions I get are quite similar. It’s the “are-you-insane-or-are-you-onto-something” face: dropped jaw, squiggly eyebrows. I must admit, I felt many of those same feelings when I first started penning Yael’s story. Alternate history + sci-fi + epic motorcycle journey felt like a strange recipe for a novel. But I pushed through my fears and kept writing, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I, for one, don’t think I’m insane, but I’ll let you, dear reader, come up with your own conclusion.

Happy reading!

Ryan Graudin

synCode Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.


The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission? 

review
5/5 Stars
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
From the first page, Wolf by Wolf is an addictive, compelling, whirlwind of a story. The history nerd in me reached Nirvana. Wolf by Wolf is one of the best books I’ve read, and those of you who follow know that I read hundreds a year. From the sweeping historical rewrite to the adrenaline rush of the motorcycle race that spans continents, Wolf by Wolf has something for everyone and will leave you with an unshakeable book hangover. 
PROS:
  • The opening page. There’s beauty in simplicity. Ryan Graudin jam packs so much into short, compiled sentences that each word hits like a sucker punch. I fell in reader and writer love with that first paragraph and immediately knew that this book would be one of the greats. 
  • Yael is as fierce, brave, and calculated as the wolves she has inked on her body. The trauma and pain she has suffered seems insurmountable but we learn that through memory and determination that we can overcome even the most horrific of pasts. Yael’s time in the camp, the incredible losses she’s went through, everything is ingrained into her very soul and marked on her body, she’ll never forget and it’s through these reminders that she finds the courage and strength to rebel and take on a task more risky than any other. Yael doesn’t let any setbacks break her down, she’s come so far and has been broken but never beaten. She is a lesson in inner strength and perseverance. 
  • The historical rewrite is ingenious, mainly because it could have been. So many elements of the story are bold and brutal, historically on target and put you right in the mad frenzy that was Hitler’s reign. The policing, the camps, the politics, and the terrifying roots of Hitler Youth become a stark reality that is much more real than what you read in history books. One of the sentiments that stayed with me from this story is the coldness of historical memory, the need to reduce people down to numbers so much that we forget the individual. Through Yael, you see every person, every memory, present and memorialized in her tattoos. 
  • Each character, no matter how small, leaves an impression and has their own unique background. The stories of the wolves added levels to Yael’s character, you see how she was built through her union with others and how their experiences changed her life. 
  • THE moment. The critical seconds when Yael meets Hitler face to face. My heart stopped. The anticipation built into an overwhelming and all-consuming beast of anxiety. The emotion is astounding and poignant, every memory, every ounce of pain culminates in a few short seconds.
  • Motorcycles, nefarious tactics, and honor all reign supreme during the Axis Tour. It’s not simply a race but a legacy of political propaganda and competition. The race is full of perilous terrain, vindictive components, and deadly situations. Though it’s stressful and in some part horrifying, there are scenes on the road that are light and playful, it’s a nice balance. 
CONS:
  • The twist was sort of predictable for me but the sheer rush of the scene itself more than made up for it. Even when you know what’s coming, the actual occurrence is more fierce and tense than you could ever imagine.
auth
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.
giveaway
Giveaway Details: 1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of the book with a special WOLF BY WOLF pin. US Only. Ends on October 26th at Midnight EST!

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If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this (really, if you like books at all, you should read this): 

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Happy reading, 

Jordan