Release Day Blitz: Wilder by Lena North

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Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.
 
Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction.
 
And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder when she needs it the most, and as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad – having Mac in her life becomes more important with every bad thing that happens.
 
“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.
 Excerpt“Let him go, Wilder,” a deep, gravelly voice rumbled.
 
Slowly, I turned my head to the side and realized immediately that I had been so very wrong. My father was not a fat loser of a drunk sitting in a corner drinking cheap whiskey.
 
My father was a tall, scary man with long, pitch black hair and tattoos slithering down his arms from under a tight t-shirt that showed off a lean muscular body. I realized another mistake I’d made. I’d thought that he wouldn’t know who I was since I didn’t look at all like my mother, but the man in front of me would recognize me anywhere because, except for the color of our hair, I looked just like him. It was like looking at a weird mirror where my face stared back at me from a man much older than me. He seemed calm, unnervingly so, but the two men at his sides were scowling angrily. At me? Or at the drunken man on the floor?
 
“I’ll deal with Doug. Let him go now,” he ordered calmly.
 
“Shit,” the man beneath me whispered. “You’re Wilder?”
 
“Shut up, Doug,” one of the two men flanking my father said quietly.
 
Slowly, I let go of the man, and he scrambled to his feet quickly, cowering as he approached the three men standing side by side, hands on their hips.
 
“I’m sorry, had no clue, wouldn’t have -”
 
My father’s eyes flicked to the side, one eyebrow went up slightly, but then he looked back at me. This was clearly an order because one of the men immediately moved over, grabbed Doug’s arm and led him away.
 
“Willy’s gone then?”
 
At first, I was surprised by the question, but then I understood. Willy had known this man. And he’d known him well enough to share the contents of his will, had told him that I’d know the truth once he was gone.
 
“Yeah,” I whispered hoarsely.
 
“Do you know who I am?”
 
I stared at him. Did he think I was stupid? Slowly, I pulled off my sunglasses and stretched them out in the general direction of where I thought Mickey would be. He took them, and when he did, he squeezed my hand a little. This calmed me down, and I raised my chin, holding my father’s eyes. Eyes that were the same freakishly yellow color as my own.
 
“I buried my grandfather and my mother this morning. Then I went to the attorney’s office and heard how Paolo Fratinelli became the owner of everything except our ranch and a small house in this village. Next thing, Paolo told me that he isn’t my father and that I should go to this place to find the man who was. So yeah… It’s been one of the worst days of my life. But I know who you are,” I said, slowly and succinctly.
author
The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.
 
Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…
 
Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say). Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.
 
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Fantastic reading, 
Jordan

Blog Tour & Excerpt: The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

codexblogtourbannerthelostcodex_ebook_450x675AmazonUK/Amazon/iBooks/Goodreads

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Allies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart.

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence.

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated.

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost.

For what is written can still be erased.

villainExcerpt

“You mentioned the need to take a symbolic object within the dream,” I say as I hover over his work, “one I must destroy. Yet, you have given no instruction on what that object must be.”

He nudges his half-moon glasses up his bulbous nose, barely sparing a glance toward me. “I did.”

Which means I must figure it out myself. I do not bother asking how one even brings an object into their dream, as I can already guess his answer.

What, then, would sufficiently constitute symbolic for a series of dreams I cannot remember? In place of images, all I possess are deep-seated emotions that refuse to relinquish their hold on me. Including a maddening sense of love . . . love for a nameless man whose face I cannot conjure.

Why can I not recall his face?

Perhaps a blank mask will do? Destroy the mask, terminate a passion for an imaginary person for whom I have assigned preposterous feelings for.

Epic reading, 

Jordan

 

Release Day Blitz: The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

codexreleasedaybannerthelostcodex_ebook_450x675Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks

synAllies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart.

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence.

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated.

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost.

For what is written can still be erased.

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PURCHASE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

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author
heather_front_headshotWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | Newsletter

Heather Lyons is known for writing epic, heartfelt love stories often with a fantastical twist. From Young Adult to New Adult to Adult novels—one commonality in all her books is the touching, and sometimes heart-wrenching, romance. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher.She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

Theme Reviews: What We’ll Do For Blood by C.L. Mannarino and Descent by Sloane Murphy

THE THEME IS VAMPIRES. THE FIRST IS A YA SORT OF SUBURBAN FANTASY, THE SECOND IS A YA PARANORMAL DYSTOPIAN. 

what-well-doGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kobo

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In the sleepy town of Northam, Massachusetts, not everyone is who they seem to be. 



Take Scott Whitney, for example. A struggling high school senior, Scott wants nothing more than to have his much-divided, social-climbing family believe him when he comes to them with something important, no matter how often he disregards their rules. 



One night, Scott catches his father’s beautiful colleague, Maria, drinking his father’s blood in their office parking lot. When his father has no recollection of this event, and gets weaker the more he spends time with Maria, Scott turns to his mother and sister for help. When he realizes that Maria has captured their hearts and minds, as well, Scott has to find a way to believe in himself, and become more than anyone thought he was capable of, in order to stop her.

But what will it cost him?

What We’ll Do for Blood is the first book in a series of young adult supernatural novels. If you like heart-racing action, highly-driven characters, and strong family ties, then you’ll love C.L. Mannarino’s visceral vision of a world where the supernatural is very much alive.

review

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

Let me preface this review by saying that I think someone who is looking for a more adult vampire story minus the hyper sexualization that’s found in many adult vampire urban fantasies would like this a lot. Unfortunately, I was not a fan and DNF’d this at 30% or so. 

What We’ll Do For Blood features a diverse cast of characters of many ethnic groups and social classes. There’s a strongly defined line between the upper suburban and those who are more middle class. The world is thoroughly outlined, though occasionally I questioned the time period. 

The pacing drove me crazy. Some points were unbearably slow and so full of description that I skimmed. Nothing happened for nearly 100 pages. The things that did happen, that caused me to throw up my guard and question Maria, were TOO subtle and really not enough to heighten the anticipation. Had they been amped up a little more, it would have increased the anxiety and foreboding. The story got lost as it lagged. 

Some things made hardly any sense at all. There are references to how nice Maria is from Scott and she’s a terrible person, like a serious jerk to him. There’s one scene that was so repulsive and rude that I have no clue how Scott went from that to Maria is so nice again. Sure, Maria has some sort of hypnotic gaze or something that puts people under a spell, but like I said above, so subtle that comments and reactions like this are frustrating. 

I couldn’t connect with Scott or any of the characters really. I sympathized with Scott because he is under a lot of pressure to conform to a specific image for his family, but he does nothing to help his cause. Like he knows he needs to do certain things and he’s like nope and then wonders why people get annoyed. The references to his weight really bothered me and then I laughed pretty hard because 150 pounds is massive I guess. I just…the development was hindered by the slow pace. There wasn’t much room for growth or really forming a solid connection with any of the characters. Scott’s girlfriend was there in glimpses, you couldn’t really get a solid read on her, but she seems like a nice person. It was like looking at her from far, far away. 

EBOOK

Goodreads/Amazon

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Six hundred years after The Outbreak, the human population stand side by side with the Fae & the Vampyrs to stop the Demon King from starting a second Dark War.

Seventeen year old Adelaide Tate is in her last year of the Academy, with her eyes set on becoming part of the Red Guard.

Who cares that no female has ever joined?

When a dark force develops an unhealthy liking for her, Adelaide needs to fight for her life and figure out what makes her so different from the others.

Betrayal. Fear. Anger.

She must overcome it all in order to turn her world the right way around again.
Adelaide has one choice. Accept the help offered to her by Xander Bane, or face the Demon Hoard alone.

One thing is for sure. The descent will be bloody.

review

2.5/5 Stars 

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

Descent is super short. Not novella length, but I’d say about 100 pages less than the average YA paranormal. That being said, I think that had the book been longer, it would have been far more developed. This reads like a rough draft in terms of connecting the different story arcs and relationship building. The first half of the story feels like a wholly different book than the second half. There’s an abundance of telling and leaping from one scene to the next, abruptly cutting off before the scene actually builds. It almost feels like a summary. 

The world building is complex and intriguing. I love the darkness and the role of the academy. The battle scenes are INTENSE. The gore, the weapons, the feels. If the focus, as the blurb suggests, had been more on Adelaide’s quest to join the guard it would have added to this world building, but that kind of fell to the wayside with everything else going on. 

I really wish that first section had been further developed because it would have been so much more special. Don’t get me wrong, the feels are pretty strong, but not sucker punch level. This heartwarming and bittersweet friendship between Adelaide and her best friend was potent and one of the best parts of the story. They’re there for each other to balance and offset, to hold each other when they’re depressed or insecure, to give each other encouragement and soothe old wounds. The friendship is powerful. For me, there wasn’t enough of it. I would have liked more of just the girls hanging out, talking about their past, their love interests, really digging in so that the emotional connection would have been 10x stronger. 

There’s a serious case of instalove on one side, and on the other side is an over a decade long build lusting. That was pretty cool. This offsets the whole instalove aspect and shows something deeper and long-lasting. The chemistry is there and it’s HOT. Switching between two POVs you see the romance develop and grow into something profound. They way he cares for Adelaide is beautiful and oh so sexy. Sometimes it’s a little crude, a little blushworthy, but the sweetness makes up for it. 

Some plot points didn’t make sense. I kept asking myself why certain things were happening, like a specific abduction. What was the point of the whole ordeal with minimal danger only to return the character later, no harm done? It just didn’t add up. 

There are so many clues that the plot twist is expected and when it gets to the reveal, while it may be shocking for Adelaide, it certainly wasn’t for me. 

I adored the bad guys. They were layered, sympathetic, multidimensional, and full of character, life, and just all around great lines. They really livened up the story and made me want to read more…even more so than the good guys. 

Quite a few typos. 

Overall, Descent is an engaging and enjoyable dystopian with all your favorite sorts of paranormal creatures. 

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

Interesting reading, 

Jordan

Lost Reviews Series: Amity by Micol Ostow & Shadowboxer by Tricia Sullivan

PSA: Akin to the theme reviews series I started yesterday, I’ve decided to add lost reviews as well. These are the books that I’ve read, but haven’t reviewed because at the time I couldn’t put my opinions into words. Some of these books were read over a year ago and now that I have time to reflect back, my opinions are more firm. These reviews will be much shorter than my average reviews. 

amityGoodreads/Amazon/iBooks/B&N

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Here is a house of ruin and rage, of death and deliverance.
Here is where I live, not living.
Here is always mine.

When Connor’s family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England’s Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity’s help.

Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she’s haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?

Because Amity isn’t just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she’s done before. As she’ll do again. And again. And again.

Inspired by a true-crime story, Amity spans generations to weave an overlapping, interconnected tale of terror, insanity, danger, and death.

review

3/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & EgmontUSA

Amity is bone chilling, nail-biting, creepy as sin. There’s so much that will leave you reeling and breathless, uncertain of what’s going on only to hit you with something so horrific, you’ll wish you didn’t know. 

The house itself is terrifying. It has a life of it’s own that is both poetic and so disturbing. It’s alive and breathing. You feel it watching, almost as if it can leap from the pages. If you’ve read The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, you’ll know what I mean. 

There are two stories that alternate. One 10 years in the past and one in the present. One male, one female. Both perspectives are strong. Gwen and Conner are worlds apart and yet living the same fate. They’re forced to question everything and doubt their own minds. You may doubt yours too. Sometimes the flips between POVs are trippy and confusing and throw you off. Other times, they’re eerie and oh so dark.

The pacing is moderate to slow. Some sections lag quite a bit despite the creep factor. 

I could have taken or left Conner. He couldn’t keep me invested. Gwen and Conner both talk to the reader, almost in a diary form. Even with that format, it wasn’t powerful enough. 

If you’re looking for a spooky Halloween read aloud, check this out. 

shadowboxGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

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Thai martial arts, international crime, celebrity and mythical creatures combine in this masterful new tale of two people facing incredible dangers, from award-winning author Tricia Sullivan.

Nothing she’s faced in the cage will prepare her…

Jade is a young mixed martial arts fighter. When she’s in the cage she dominates her opponents—but in real life she’s out of control.

After she has a confrontation with a Hollywood martial arts star that threatens her gym’s reputation, Jade’s coach sends her to a training camp in Thailand for an attitude adjustment. Hoping to discover herself, she instead uncovers a shocking conspiracy. In a world just beyond our own, a man is stealing the souls of children to try and live forever.

review

2.5/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Ravenstone

Shadowboxer is one of those books that had so much potential and had the two main story arcs been separate books and then later intertwined, it probably would have worked better. Instead, these two stories don’t line up like they should. It feels like two separate books. When the stories come together, it feels contrived, forced, and messy.

That being said, I liked the stories as separate entities. Give me a badass female character who speaks her mind, knows how to throw a punch, and doesn’t let anyone push her around. Jade is loud, bossy, take charge, and ready to jump in any fight for what she believes in. Jade has worked so hard to get where she is and strives for excellence in her martial arts. She’s abrasive, rude, crass, wholly herself, and doesn’t apologize for who she is and that makes her someone you can respect, even if you don’t like her. Despite these awesome qualities and the story that goes with them, I didn’t particularly like Jade. Sure she’s overcome a lot, she works for everything, and has super big dreams, but the girl is catty and rude and a mess. She doesn’t even shell out the respect she gets. 

The pacing is abysmal. Jade has a strong voice and stuff happens but it’s so slow and takes ages to get to the second story arc where they merge together. You’ll wonder as chapters alternate what exactly is going on and why it matters. Not knowing in some ways pushes you to read more and in others makes you forget everything as you struggle to piece it together. 

The second story arc in Thailand is excellent. The scenery is diverse and rich and colorful and there’s so much life in those pages. You’ll feel like you’re transported. It’s not always pretty, but it’s real and raw and sucks you in.

The soul stealing. When I read this book, I didn’t bother with the blurb-I almost never do-and so I read those sections without knowing what was happening and it kind of added to the mystery. There’s this cool shadow realm that full of Thai lore and spirituality. It’s fascinating and engaging. You’ll want that poor little girl to escape her fate. 

Overall, Shadowboxer was interesting but easy to put down and forget about. It was complicated, packed with info, and voice, but dragged too much to keep attention. 

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

Creepy reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Origin by Dylan Quinn

Goodreads

Expected Release Day: Sept. 22nd, 2016

Cover Designer: Airicka’s Mystical Creations

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

synOne Sacrifice can save humanity.
So can one heartbeat. One kiss. One touch. I didn’t save my Gemini’s soul the night I rescued him from the dark realm. Cade Adams saved mine.
One kill can change everything.
Since I eradicated the worlds most dangerous demon, the Fallen factions are out for blood, and their target is my family: Genesis–the Origin of humanity. The only way to protect my legacy against an ancient prophecy threatening to take me out is to resume my reign as Chayah, Eternal Mother. But I can’t remember her. My own secrets are buried so deep, even I can’t reach them.
 
One secret could destroy us all.
Thousands of years loving Cade and five lifetimes leading Genesis are lost to me. While I’ve been away fighting to remember my own life, my family’s been fighting each other. Our own demons just may destroy humanity’s only defense against the darkness before the Eternal war has even begun.
Sometimes the most dangerous battle is the war within ourselves.
auth
Since sneak reading her first big girl romance at the age of eleven, Dylan’s been addicted to Happily Ever Afters. Playing pretend with swoon-worthy book boyfriends and their strong leading ladies often keeps Dylan sleep deprived, though she seldom complains about dreaming in dialogue.
 
With juxtaposed interests, Dylan writes it all ~ Character driven romance in NA, YA and adult, from sticky sweet to taboo heat ~ Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense. Nothing’s off limits.
 
When she’s not writing guilty pleasures, Dylan plays stage mom to her daydreamer offspring in the Midwest. This Music fangirl goes nowhere without her beats and playlists. She has an affinity for Moscato and chocolate-covered strawberries. Dreams of singing on the Voice with Adam and Christina, and fantasizes about getting trapped in Mystic Falls with Damon Salvatore.
 giveaway
 Enter for your chance to win a signed print copy of Gemini, swag pack & $5 Amazon gift card
 
Romantic reading,
Jordan

ARC Review: The Masked Maiden by H.D. Gordon

the masked maidenGoodreads/Amazon

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HERO OR VILLAIN? YOU DECIDE.

When she decided to become a vigilante, no one told 17-year-old Aria Fae about the possibility of public backlash, or the attention the media would garner by dubbing her The Masked Maiden of Grant City.

On top of this added heat, a rogue supernatural known as The Scarecrow has escaped his prison, and his history with Aria makes her the crazed warlock’s obvious target.

Now, she must face her past and defeat The Scarecrow once and for all, or die trying.
When things reach their worst, will The Masked Maiden be the hero Grant City needs, or the villain they’ve made her out to be?

review

4/5 Stars

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

I was hesitant to pick this book up because I wasn’t completely sold on the first book in the series. So I put it off for a while and rediscovered it in the process of catching up on back reviews. I’m absolutely floored. I really don’t know where to start because this is such a drastic change from book 1. I am now 100%, completely, and totally invested in this series. 

Aria Fae has always been a badass, but she’s grown so much as the story progressed, not only in maturity, but in heart and understanding. Aria’s past is highlighted. There are flashbacks and agony over her horrible childhood. The cruel way the Brokers rob the Halflings from their homes and the tasks they put them through are truly horrific. Aria as a child is just as feisty as she is now and outspoken. She doesn’t take anything from anyone, she’s a fighter from the get-go. There are moments of fear, and uncertainty, and heartbreak as seen through her young eyes and the emotions are on full chaotic display. 

The story arc is fantastic. A perfect blend of teen angst, superheroes, and serial killers. The suspense is heart stopping, the dangers will keep you on edge. Serious adrenaline rush. There were many moments where I held my breath, hoping that Aria would get there in time or make it out alive. 

The scenes with the Scarecrow are straight out of your deepest fears and worst nightmares. From the way he talks to Aria, the grotesque form of his body, the blunt descriptions of his psychotic murders. Chills. These flashbacks are particularly disturbing and sickening. Every ounce of terror rolls off the pages. 

Romance. Forget triangles. This is definitely a love rhombus. And (un)fortunately they’re all perfect. Dreamy sigh. Aria has the best luck romantically, everything else not so much. The struggle is real. Choosing between a blast from the past childhood love, a super sweet and gentle millionaire heir, and an older ex-military protector, no wonder she’s so spastic and jumps at every opportunity to escape the awkward. The feels are strong. There are many cute, passionate scenes that are both romantic and gasp-out-loud sexy. The way they look at her, happy sigh, the way they make her feel. Break out your Keats poems and put on a romantic comedy post book to recover. 

Secondary characters are as lively as ever. Each has a unique and developed story. It’s not ALL about Aria. She’s there for her friends, she’s kind, she’s awesome and epic and better than before. Her humanity is coming out and it’s glorious. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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

Epic reading, 

Jordan