Q&A with Author Cindy Fazzi!

Q&A with Author Cindy Fazzi!

Hi Everyone!

Last week, I had the honor of reviewing and participating in the blog tour My MacArthur by author Cindy Fazzi!

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We had a small Q&A and here it is – enjoy!


Q: What was the inspiration for writing this book?

Cindy Fazzi: Isabel Rosario Cooper inspired My MacArthur. When I was a college student in Manila, I read a number of history books about General Douglas MacArthur and they all mentioned in passing his relationship with Isabel. MacArthur was larger-than-life in the Philippines, so I was really intrigued by this young woman who became MacArthur’s romantic obsession.

 

Q: If you could go back in time, would you go back to the 20s to watch some of the events of your book take place or what time period would you go to and why?

Cindy Fazzi: If I could go back in time, I would go back further than 1920s. My favorite period is the late 1800s. I wrote a novel that pre-dates My MacArthur. It’s called Three Sorrows, a love triangle set in 1898, when the Americans colonized the Philippines. Douglas MacArthur’s father, Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, is mentioned in Three Sorrows because he was the military governor-general in the Philippines at that time. Arthur greatly influenced his son Douglas’s love for the Philippines.

Three Sorrows remains unpublished today. A number of literary agents told me it wasn’t commercial enough. So I went back to my lingering interest in the MacArthur-Cooper affair. I was always interested in the story, but I couldn’t muster the courage to write it for the longest time because Douglas MacArthur intimidated me. The pang of rejections from Three Sorrows pushed me to finally write My MacArthur because I realized it more commercially viable.

 

Q: Are you working on any new books?

Cindy Fazzi: Yes. I’m rewriting a manuscript I first wrote in 1995. This is the third time I’m completely revamping this novel. It’s about a missing illegal immigrant, a Filipino woman, and the bounty hunter who’s committed to finding her.

 

Q: Will your future books remain in the historical genre or will they be in another genre?

Cindy Fazzi: I mentioned Three Sorrows, another historical novel. I hope a publisher would acquire it one of these days. I do write in different genres out of necessity. I was compelled to do it because it was so hard to sell historical fiction. Two romance novels I wrote after My MacArthur were published first. I wrote a guest blog post about writing in different genres as a way to adapt to a very competitive publishing landscape, if you’re interested in the topic.

I’ve completed a novel called The Lark, which I’m trying to place. It’s about an American woman who’s obsessed with the mysterious illegal Mexican immigrant who saved her life. Both The Lark and my work in progress, about the missing Filipino woman, are contemporary thrillers. Both novels focus on illegal immigration in the United States.

 

Q: Here at Charmed Book Haven Reviews, the books are rated by what I like to call “Charms”. The Charm of Intelligence, The Charm of Learning, The Charm of Character, The Charm of Agility, The Charm of Romance, The Charm of Worthiness, The Charm of Necessity, The Charm of Imagery, The Charm of Believability, and The Charm of Everlasting – if you could be any of these Book Charms, what would it be?

Cindy Fazzi: Wow, they’re all great charms! I like The Charm of Everlasting best. I hope My MacArthur is memorable enough to merit the “everlasting” tag. Thanks for having me on your blog and for highlighting My MacArthur.


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Get your Copy Today!

Available: Amazon/B&N

Add to Goodreads

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour & ARC Review: My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi

WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour & ARC Review: My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi

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Title: My MacArthur
Author: Cindy Fazzi
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 1st, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

hs- about the book

The year is 1930. The place: Manila. Douglas MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines, a United States colony. He’s fifty years old, divorced, and he falls in love at first sight with a ravishing young Filipino woman. He writes her a love note on the spot. Her name is Isabel Rosario Cooper, an aspiring movie actress. One glance at his note and she thinks of him as my MacArthur.

MacArthur pursues his romantic obsession even though he’s breaking numerous taboos. She reciprocates his affection because he could open doors for her financially struggling family. That MacArthur happens to be handsome compensates for the fact that he’s as old as her father.

When MacArthur is appointed the U.S. Army chief of staff, he becomes the youngest four-star general and one of America’s most powerful men. Out of hubris, he takes Isabel with him to America without marrying her.

Amid the backdrop of the Great Depression, MacArthur and Isabel’s relationship persists like “a perilous voyage on turbulent waters,” as she describes it. In 1934, after four years of relationship, MacArthur leaves Isabel for fear of a political scandal.

The general goes on to become the iconic hero of World War II, liberating the Philippines and rebuilding Japan. Isabel drifts in Los Angeles unable to muster the courage to return to Manila.


hs- about the author

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Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. My MacArthur, published by Sand Hill Review Press, is her literary debut.

She writes romance novels under the pen name Vina Arno. Her first romance book, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015. Her second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, was published by Painted Hearts Publishing in 2018. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

Contact

Website/Twitter/IG/Facebook/Goodreads/Google+

 


 

hs- my review

It’s been too long since I’ve reviewed an Historical Fiction novel! General Douglas MacArthur is well-known as the Chief of Staff and commanded Allied forces in the South Pacific during WWII. Before he became a beloved hero, he got involved with a young Filipino Isabel Rosario Cooper which at the time was a big no-no due to his political standing and her ethnicity.

Author Cindy Fazzi takes us back to the 20s during the Great Depression. We first meet Isobel as she is going to a boxing match and in the midst of enjoying herself, she catches the eye of the future General Douglas MacArthur. We follow them through their courtship and bounce between Isobel and Douglas’s perspectives. You can feel their love through the pages and my heart broke knowing it never worked out.

Society, politics, and threat of a scandal tore these lovers apart, but the memory of them will always remain and echo through the ages.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: After They Go By J. Mercer

Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: After They Go By J. Mercer

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Title: After They Go
Author: J. Mercer
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads


ag- about the book

A large family saga set in a coastal tourist town: 
One sister chained by family tradition. 
The second stunted by her sister’s shadow. 
The youngest propelled by desperation.

Gwen is the oldest of four children in the Aaldenberg family, and the one who seems to have it all. She’s also most desperate to escape. Betta, having nursed their dying grandpa for the past three years, is anxious for Gwen to go, so she can finally have reins to the family business. And Esmerelda, viciously determined to follow in Gwen’s footsteps, vies for popularity as a freshman in high school, only to learn she must sell her soul, reputation, and most prized possession for acceptance. 
As their father struggles with retirement and their mother with depression, Gwen discovers the debt her grandfather’s passing left them in–and during a time of year when their coastal town, dependent on tourists, can barely sustain itself. Gwen and their father agree Betta can’t take over the store under such stressful circumstances, not when she’s been carrying the load for so long, and to protect Betta, they play it off that she needs some time to rest.  
When Gwen’s fiancé moves to town, Gwen does her best to resign herself to a local life, while Betta struggles for meaning without the store. In order to carve out a place for herself, Betta must decide to what lengths she’ll go in order to become her own person, and Gwen must decide what’s more important: her sister or her future. Can this family pull through their disappointment, jealousy, and regret? Or will they cling so tightly to their desires that it ruins them?

ag- about the author
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J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband–though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases.
Find her on Facebook @jmercerbooks or online at www.jmercerbooks.com.

ag- my review

I don’t know why this reminded me of Big Little Lies. The author wrote these characters in such a complex way, you needed to keep your eye on them all and each event that takes place. Since this is told by multiple perspectives, it can be difficult keeping track especially if you need to put the book down for any reason.  Despite all of that, they are woven together in together in the end to make a complete, cohesive story.

The Aaldenberg family is going through financial struggles that bleed into the mother and her three daughters’ lives. Gwen wishes to be free of obligations of any kind, but since she is the oldest, she is forced to tow the line despite wanting to have her own life. Betta has taken on much of the family burdens to the degree where she wants to take the wheel of the family business. The youngest, Esmerelda, is facing the harsh reality that sometimes in order to be popular, you have to basically sell your soul.

A small community can hold it’s secret, but for this family they need to learn trust, openness, and sacrifice. This story kept me indulged to the very end. Much like the family will keep all readers.


ag- giveaway

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Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Tour-Wide Giveaway: Shades of Wicked By Jeaniene Frost

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Tour-Wide Giveaway: Shades of Wicked By Jeaniene Frost

Title: Shades of Wicked
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Rebel (BK. 1 – Part of the Night Huntress World)
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Available: Amazon/Avon Romance/B&N/Google Play/iBooks
Add to Goodreads


md- about the book

In this thrilling new Night Rebel series set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress world, sexy and ruthless vampire Ian finally meets his match!

The Rule Breaker…
Master vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker…
Veritas’ normal role is police, judge, and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s carefully cultivated, devil-may-care roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences.


md- giveaway

To celebrate the release of SHADES OF WICKED by Jeaniene Frost, Pure Texuality is giving away a paperback copy of Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, to one lucky winner!

Enter Giveaway Here!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, by Jeaniene Frost. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle. Giveaway ends 11/9/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.


md- about the author

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JEANIENE FROST is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress and Night Prince series, as well as the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in Florida with her husband, Matthew, rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling — by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon


Excerpt

This had better be the right whorehouse.
It didn’t look like the seedier brothels I’d recently been to. This three-story structure could pass as the meeting place for an elite social club. Despite its unexpected prettiness, if I had to wade through another flesh-fest only to turn up empty-handed again, I wouldn’t be responsible for what I did to my quarry when I finally found him.
To vent my aggravation over weeks of fruitless searching, I kicked the door open. Politeness had been wasted at the last several establishments anyway. No smart proprietor willingly gave up a well-paying client, and I’ll say one thing for the bordello-loving vampire I was after: He obviously paid well.
To my surprise, I didn’t see anyone in the elegant foyer. Brothels usually had several prostitutes lingering around the entryway to welcome new customers. I was further surprised when I didn’t hear sounds of carnal activity coming from the upper floors of the house. I pulled out my mobile and checked the GPS pin. Yes, this was the right place. What’s more, it certainly smelled like sex, once you got past the choking scents of various perfumes and colognes.
But where was everyone?
Faint vibrations in the floor made me stride toward the hallway. Ah, so the party must be downstairs. I followed the strongest scents of perfume until I found a staircase that descended two floors. It ended at a locked door that I also kicked in. No point in being dainty now.
Noise blasted out. The basement must have been soundproofed for me to miss it before. Now, I wished I couldn’t hear what was going on. A boisterous chorus assaulted my ears, repeating over and over. Thunder and Blazes, the favorite opening song of the former Barnum and Bailey circus.
And I had walked into a circus, I saw now, although one without any real animals. About a dozen naked women and men frolicked on the ground, doing woefully inadequate impressions of the creatures their full body paint represented. No work ethic, I thought when three faux lions appeared more interested in petting each other than in more realistic fights for dominance, and don’t get me started on how they ignored the two faux gazelles that walked by them.
The dozen or so prostitutes dressed in clown suits showed more dedication for their roles. They emerged from a fake car in the far corner of the room, some falling forward in rolling somersaults once they exited, some tripping each other with comedic exaggeration, and some blowing up balloons into explicit body parts that they then graphically connected.
An eruption of fireworks yanked my attention to the other side of the room. They were going off around what looked like a throne, haloing its occupant in a blaze of sparks, fire and smoke. The mini pyrotechnic display was so bright, I couldn’t make out the enthroned person’s face, but when he called out, “Act Eight will now begin!” I heard a distinct English accent.
Then the smoke cleared enough to show a tall man wearing a blue circus-ringleader jacket. The smoke still concealed him from the waist down, but I didn’t need to see more to know I’d finally found my target. The vampire who’d blazed a trail through a dozen whorehouses in only two weeks had a face as beautiful as an angel’s, not to mention that his fire-and-umber hair was as distinctive as his looks. When he got off the throne, revealing he wore nothing beneath the ringleader jacket, I realized those weren’t Ian’s only notable attributes.
For a moment, I stared. What vampire in his right mind would pierce himself with silver there?
I was the only one shocked by the silver piercing through the tip of Ian’s cock. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and rushed toward him. Even the glitter-covered acrobats leapt from their swinging perches near the ceiling, gracefully landing near the pile of limbs that now formed around the red-headed vampire.
It wasn’t enough that I had to be burdened with a vampire so mentally deficient that he’d willingly given himself a case of perpetual cock burn. He also had to be depraved enough to indulge in carnival-themed orgies. I wasn’t about to find out what the rest of Act Eight entailed. I made my way to the growing flesh pile and began flinging people aside, taking care not to throw them too hard. Their heartbeats meant they were human, so they couldn’t heal the way my kind could.
“What’s this?” Ian asked in an annoyed manner when I reached the bottom of the bodies. Then he let out an appreciative noise when I yanked him up with none of the care I’d shown the other people.
“Why, hallo, my strong blonde sweeting.” Now he didn’t sound annoyed at all. “Are you the surprise I was promised?”
Why not let him believe that? “Sure,” I said. “Surprise.” And I grabbed him by the cock. I had one more thing to verify before I went any further.
Ian chuckled. “That’s the spirit, poppet.”
I dropped to my knees. I wasn’t about to do what he thought. Still, this act allowed me to zero in on my goal with the least amount of resistance from him. Once I got a good look at the smoke-colored brands near the base of Ian’s groin, I released him. Only one demon branded people with these particular markings, and it was the same demon I’d been after for thousands of years.
“Ian,” I said as I straightened. “Say good-bye. We’re leaving.”
He laughed outright. “I don’t think so. You might be lovely, but two’s lonely, while a dozen is a party.”
I gave a disparaging look around. “No great loss. The clowns were fine, but none of your faux animals fought each other or even attempted to jump through the fire rings.”
At that, he gave the animal-painted prostitutes an accusing look. “You didn’t, did you?” Then, his eyes suddenly narrowed as he looked back at me. “Wait a moment. I know you.”
We’d only officially met once before, so I hadn’t thought he’d remember me. Someone with his tendencies had to have crossed paths with vast numbers of blonde women.
“Veritas, Law Guardian for the vampire council,” I confirmed. Then my hands landed on his shoulders. “And as I said, you are coming with me.”


md- my review

Let me take a moment to release my excitement for the lonnnnng awaited release of this book:

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I previously wrote a review on the Night Huntress series not to long ago. Check it out here!

Ok, when Jeaniene decided to continue the Night Huntress, but jump straight to Vlad instead of Ian – I was a little frustrated. I lied, I was VERY frustrated. I mean, we have Spade and Menchares having their women in their lives. Yes, Ian is prude, rude, and has caused the majority problems Kat went through for two books, but hey, he was redeemed! Well, sort of….don’t fight me on this, you…will…lose!

We were introduced to Veritas, a Law Guardian of the Vampires, back in Destined for an Early Grave and she returned for the original Night Huntress finale in Up from the Grave. I’m a little confused by her description in the new series. I could be wrong, but I remember her being described as tiny and small due to being turned at a young age. In this first book, she’s actually more physically developed and completely the opposite of how she used to be. Um, need answers on this!

Anyways, she tracks down Ian in order to join forces to trap Dagon, a demon who has a contract on Ian’s soul. We meet up with cameos of familiar characters *inserts fangirl scream*. I will not say who but the moment they showed up, I needed to take a second and let myself bask in their fictional presence. I adore this world too much, I’m telling you.

We go into Veritas’ origins threw me in for a loop. I did not expect for her story to go in that direction. We also see a whole other side to Ian besides his humor and promiscuous ways. Underneath, both of these characters have more than meets the eye and their growth with one another is as organic and raw as it was for Kat and Bones. I will not compare the two couples because they are not comparable. Each pairing is unique and I have always admired Frost’s way to make them that way. She does not have cookie-cutter characters. They all have their own voice and you learn to love each of them in their own way.

I will say, though, that ending….Jeaniene, I read your Night Huntress outtakes book, and I’m onto you!

Rating 9


If you haven’t read this series – why not? Pick it up and catch up!

I cannot wait for the sequel and already have a feeling this series will earn it’s stars in the best way along with the others.

Have you read this series?

Let me know in the comments below!


Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & ARC Book Review: Carols and Chaos By Cindy Anstey

Blog Tour & ARC Book Review: Carols and Chaos By Cindy Anstey

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Title: Carols and Chaos
Author: Cindy Anstey
Release Date: October 9th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Google Play
Add to Goodreads

hs- about the book

A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.

 

hs- about the author

Cindy

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and…a chocolate Labrador called Chester. 

 

hs- my review

Halloween is over and now the holidays are upon us! I read Cindy’s novel Suitors and Sabotage earlier this year and at the time, I heard that she was coming out with a spin-off for it. The moment I found out I was approved for this book, I was excited to dive in and see what she had to offer.

We focus on one of the ladies maid’s Kate and Matt, Ben Steeple’s valet, from the previous novel. There were hints of their attraction from the novel and they are further explored in this one. Due to the holiday hustle and bustle in Shackleford Park, the Steeple and Chively families come together to feed the flame between these two.

Now, I enjoyed Suitors and Sabotage, but it needed to be fleshed out more. There was more talk than show pertaining to scene development and even pertaining to Kate and Matt’s relationship. I mean, there weren’t that many scenes where they were paired together for us to fully understand or watch their relationship grow to what we could have perceived.

I was great to be back into this world and the atmosphere of the 1800s. However, the lack of action made the experience lacking. The mystery aspect didn’t even show up till halfway through the book. It was a good read, yes, but when you tell more than show – it robs you of the experience.

If you need a quick, holiday-themed mystery, try this out. But do not expect everything you wish for wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

Shout out to Alex @ Thepaperbackpiano for posting about this tag and the original creator Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward! I’m a huge horror fan and am excited to take part in this wonderful tag. Alex, I absolutely loved your answers! I hope you and fellow readers enjoy mine and take part in this! Happy Halloween, Charmers & Beyond!

 

Witch: A Magical Character/Book

 

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What if you discovered a literary world you’ve fallen in love with is real? Oh, and you have magical powers and are needed to help save it? Even though this is now an amazing show on Syfy, I still love the magical world Lev Grossman has created. Take a look!

Werewolf: A Perfect Book to Read at Night

 

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An oldie but goodie. It’s full of tropes and yet, it’s been keeping me up at night. Karou, Zuzana, Kaz – ah, I love everyone and this world!

 

Frankenstein: A Book that Truly Shocked You

 

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Check Out My Full Review!

This book is was transformed into the classic film that the horror community enjoys and treasures today. The original book it came from, is just as terrifying and shocking.

The Devil: A Dark, Evil Character

 

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Do I really need to state the true obvious villain in this book in the series? *Coughs* Umbridge *Coughs*

Grim Reaper: A Character that Never Should Have Died

 

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Mercutio, Mercutio, MERCUTIO! He is literally my everything. For years, I have been working on a modern day Romeo and Juliet apocalyptic novel and believe me, Mercutio will be avenged! Or at least his new incarnation. He is one of those characters were never should have died, period.

 

Zombie: A Book that Made You “Hunger” For More

 

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Those who are new to my blog, I am not a huge Jane Austen fan. I don’t know what it is about her books. They just never entertained me. Now, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, though, I could not get enough of it! It put me down a path classic crossovers with various monsters (i.e. werewolves, vampires, etc.). Some are well-written, some are not. Much like fairy tale re-tellings, these type of books breathe a whole new life into old novels.

Gargoyle: A Character You Would Protect at All Costs

 

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I would definitely protect Louis, no doubt about it.

Vampire: A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You

 

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This book drained me to the point where I thought I would never cry again. Gage, poor little Gage. This book is extremely dark, but is a reminder that some things should remain buried.

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Ghost: A Book that Still Haunts You

 

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Check Out My Full Review!

This book still haunts me due to the fact that you never know what may happen if you purchase a haunted “collectors” item from the internet. It could be your past coming back to haunt you and cost you your life….It’s a story that will never escape my mind.

Demon: A Book that Really Scared You

 

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The book that inspired the current hit The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix as well as two films, this story is extremely chilling. Shirley Jackson’s entrancing writing drags you into this world, causing you to question what you see, hear, and experience. In the end, you wonder whether or not you are going mad or the main character, Eleanor, is truly the mad one. That, in a nutshell, personally scared me.

 

Skeleton: A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With

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Actually, fast-forward to Mockingjay, shall we? Gale abandoning Katniss? Yeah, boy, please.

Mummy: A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time

 

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I will forever want to preserve this book! I have four copies and even one of the horror spins of this novel, making Jane Eyre a vampire slayer. It’s truly a classic you must read at least once!

 

Creepy Doll: A Cover Too Scary to Look At

 

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I have seen others, but this is the least unnerving of all of the others and thought would fly here.

 

Monster Mash: It’s Fun to Be Friends on Halloween! Tag Your Friends!

Instead of picking specific people, I choose all of you! Don’t forget to tag Alex @ Thepaperbackpiano and also me. I am curious to see your answers for this Spooky Tag.

 

What did you think of my answers?

Have you read any of these books and if so, what were your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: To Catch a Rogue By Bec McMaster

Book Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: To Catch a Rogue By Bec McMaster

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Title: To Catch a Rogue
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #4
Release Date: October 30th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/iBooks
Add to Goodreads

md- about the book

The Company of Rogues finally knows the identity of the mastermind behind a plot against the queen—but their enemy is still one step ahead of them. When he kidnaps one of theirs, the Rogues plan a daring rescue mission that will lead them into the heart of the bloodthirsty Crimson Court.

It’s a job for a master thief, and there’s nothing Charlie Todd likes more than a challenge. To pull off the impossible, Charlie needs a crew, including the only thief who’s ever been able to outfox him.

He broke her heart. But now she must risk it all to save his life…

Lark’s spent years trying to forget her past, but the one thing she can’t ignore is the way a single smile from Charlie still sets her heart on fire. When he proposes they work together again, it feels just like old times, but she has one rule: this is strictly business.

It’s Charlie’s last chance to prove he can be trusted with her heart. But Lark’s keeping a deadly secret. And as passions are stirred and the stakes mount, it might be the kind of secret that could destroy them all…

md- about the author

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BEC MCMASTER grew up on a steady diet of 80’s fantasy movies like Ladyhawke, Labyrinth and The Princess Bride, and loves creating epic, fantasy-based worlds with heroes and heroines who must defeat all the odds to have their HEA. If you like sexy, dark, paranormal romance, try her Dark Arts series; for some kick-bustle ladies-saving-the-day steampunk romance then check out London Steampunk; and for rocket-fuelled post-apocalyptic romance with a twist on the werewolf theme, then see her Burned Lands series.

Bec has been nominated for RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance for Heart of Iron (2013), won RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance with Of Silk And Steam (2015), and Forged By Desire was nominated for an RWA RITA award in 2015. The series has received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, with Heart of Iron named one of their Best Romances of 2013.

Join Bec’s newsletter for all the latest news on releases, exclusive excerpts and cover reveals, and get your copy of ‘Tarnished Knight’, a novella in her award-winning London Steampunk series. Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://eepurl.com/F_LkD

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

md- my review

I came in late to The Steampunk Conspiracy game. Don’t judge me, but I did. The plus side, though, the author fills you in on all of the action you missed in the previous novels through a quick synopsis at the beginning of the book and throughout the novel. This, obviously, a huge relief for me trying to catch up on it and the original series: The London Steampunk.

Here is an excerpt to fill you in on who the rogues are:

“The Duke of Malloryn puts together a highly-skilled team of individuals (human, mechs, and rogue blue bloods) to combat a mysterious threat against the queen, and the Company of Rogues is born.”

Each of these books are set in a world where vampires are considered “blue bloods” and there are different courts where they dwell. The Crimson Court is a common threat to the blue bloods who fight for justice and peace. In this book, The Duke of Malloryn, is kidnapped and held captive within the dark Crimson Court. The Rogues are notified and decide to send one of their best to rescue the Duke and also recruit an old flame of his to tackle the task.

Charlie and Lark have a complicated past. Charlie broke her heart by choosing another woman over her and disappearing. Lark, in turn, went on her own path, acquiring a long list of secrets in her wake. Oh my gosh the secrets!

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The plot is solid, adored the characters and the chemistry surrounding them. I felt for Lark, I truly did. I can understand her coldness toward Charlie and being resistant to him even though her hidden feelings fought against her. The events unfolded organically, no stone unturned. Usually characters were as many secrets as Lark would tend to get taxing, but this was completely the opposite.

Everything came around full circle and I’m definitely going to be looking into the previous books! Love steampunk and vampires with a dash of sexy rogues? Take this series and go!

Rating 9

md- giveaway

Want to win a $10 Amazon gift card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Tis’ the Season, Charmers!

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I haven’t been around much except for blog tours, but behind-the-scenes I’ve been delving into some wicked Halloween reads. Witches, Vampires, Horror Anthologies, Man-made creatures brought back from death’s grasp, and more. Halloween is basically my Christmas and for the next few days, I’ll be delivering my offerings of frightful reads, podcasts, and other spooky themed goodness.

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Rosemary’s Baby is a notorious famous horror film directed by Roman Polanski back in the 60s. For years, this tale has inspired generations of horror filmmakers and writers all across the globe. People seem to forget this apocalyptic masterpiece actually derived from a novel, however. A novel created from the unique mind of author Ira Levin and, in my opinion, ahead of it’s time.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse appear to be the perfect couple. Rosemary, a stay at home wife dead set on starting a family, while her husband Guy, struggling actor, are searching for their perfect apartment home in New York. They choose to move into the Bramford, a prestigious building with a slight, um, dark reputation for attracting not-so-pleasant guests who meet violent ends. Despite warnings about it’s past from Rosemary’s father figure Hutch (adore this man), Guy and Rosemary move in anyway. Soon, strange things begin to occur that will shake not only Rosemary’s personal life, but the future of the world itself.

Rosemary befriends a woman named Terry at the beginning of the novel right when her and her husband move into the Bramford. Terry tells Rosemary of her past dealings with alcohol and drug addiction. Eventually, she ended up on the streets until the Castevets, an elderly couple who live at the Bramford as well, “rescued” her.

We don’t get to spend much with Terry in the novel even though I would have loved to have more scenes written with her in them. Why? Well, Terry’s life is cut short because of her apparent suicide outside the Bramford. Enter in the Castevets, who never suspected why she would have done such a thing, but due to Terry’s death – this ushers them into entering the Woodhouse’s lives. When I say enter, I mean basically take over.

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Dinners with the couple, digging them into their current lives, wondering how many children they may have, religious backgrounds, their stances with their families, suddenly “appearing” with desert at their door on baby making night, etc.. Ok, I don’t care, but there were red flags about this couple from the get-go that any intelligent person would have picked up on. The couple is obviously up to no good and they turn the Woodhouse’s lives turn upside down.

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I’m not going to spoil anymore than I already have. If you’ve seen the movie, I have to give props to Polanski for sticking close to the book (even though he is a creep, look him up). He stuck extremely close to the book while adding onto the incredible foreshadowing author Ira Levin wrote in the novel. You have to read the novel at least twice or even more to pick up on all of the pieces. Polanski also became insanely creative with the metaphors in the book by making them even more relatable, both politically and religiously to the times, in the transfer to film. These aspects enhanced the true darkness of it all and that is what truly makes the film a classic. For the book lover side, he practically used the dialogue word-for-word straight from the book-it’s incredible! When it comes to transferring content from book to screen and directing the actors that you can’t see anyone else play those characters, this film and book are a perfect representation of how it should be handled.

This book was written during a time of female oppression during the 60s. The overall transformation of Rosemary, in book and in the movie, is astonishing to watch unfold. Her cutting her hair, her rebellion against the Castevettes and her husband’s control, the rights to her baby and her choice to be a mother or not, and her own push to find out what is really going on behind the walls of her home and beyond – all signs of women’s fight for rights. This book can be looked at under many lights, both horror and political.

Regardless of your preference, though, this is the perfect Halloween read for this year or any year!

Rating 10

Have you read “Rosemary’s Baby” or have watched the movie?

What are your thoughts on them?

Do you have any Halloween Recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour: ARC Review & Giveaway: Death by the River By Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Blog Tour: ARC Review & Giveaway: Death by the River By Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Title: Death by the River

Author(s): Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor

Release Date: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo

Add to Goodreads

cl- about the book

A high school “American Psycho.”

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.

SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

 

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Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight.
Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is:

It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

cl- my review

This book is nothing short of intense. I cannot stress the fact that if you choose to read this, you need to know there are scenes involving rape and violence. At first, I wondered if this was truly a YA novel due to the scenes, language, slut/kink shaming, and the content. I am used to reading content like this in adult novels, but not YA. I understand times are changing in YA but not to this extent. I am not knocking the book for this, merely stating my opinion. If these aspects were not in this novel, it would not be as intense and driving as it was for me.

Leslie and her sister Dawn are polar opposites. Leslie is dating a non-popular guy, living in a healthy relationship, and has her priorities straight and standards high. Her sister, on the other hand, is basically trapped in a toxic relationship with Beau, the high school quarterback who comes from the Devereaux family that owns the majority of the town.

Beau is constantly antagonizing Leslie behind her sister’s back, taunting her and making aggressive moves toward her that are nothing short of assault. Since his family practically runs the town, the principal and various students turn a blind eye to rumors surrounding him. He smiles like an angel on the outside when his inner core is dark and on the verge of exploding, destroying everything and everyone around him.

Watching Beaus dissension into rage, madness, and ruthless behavior sent shivers down my spine. He is an extremely frightening character. He has a history of abusing his mother, terrorizing animals, and takes unsuspecting girls into his “sanctuary” in the Abbey where his actions know no bounds. That is, until his secrets begin to rise from their graves and oh, what tales do they have to tell. Then the destruction of Beau Deveraux takes hold and his ghosts are ready to reek their revenge.

I need to give props for the authors with delving deep into the town’s history and the background of the character’s families. It gave me an even deeper understanding as to where Beau’s inner demons derived from. From generation to generation, the mental illness and past abuse running in the veins of the family finally came to a head and the seed is planted within him. It is not an excuse, but at least you know the source of the issues.

I felt for Leslie and her worry for her sister. I grew angry with Dawn over her insistence of believing there was good in Beau despite the signs of the opposite. I cried over Beau’s victims and crimes. This whole story, quite frankly, there were various times where I needed to set the book down and brew a heavy batch of chamomile and peppermint tea to bring me down from the edge.

This book is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. If you are easily triggered, do not read this book. If you are looking for a Halloween read that will have you looking over your shoulder then try it out.

Rating 9

cl- giveaway

Want a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy “Spooky” Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Titles: Dark Falls; Dark Secrets
Author(s): Lori Ryan and Savannah Kade
Series: Dark Falls series
Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Available:
Dark Falls
Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Dark Secrets
Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

inn - about the book

Dark Falls

A cop hunting a violent thrill seeker. A woman from his past. Will their history and heated attraction put his case on ice?

Detective John Sevier never wanted to be anything but a cop. When a string of jewelry store heists threatens the woman he let get away years before, he’ll stop at nothing to bring the adrenaline junkie gang leader to justice.

Ava McNair never looked at her life as a sacrifice. She loves taking care of her dad and running her family’s jewelry store with her special needs sister. So what if that meant dropping out of college and leaving behind a man who just might have been the one? When fate gives her and the detective who got away a second shot at love, will she step up and take it or will life tear them apart again?

With Ava in the path of a killer, will John be able to move fast enough to take down a violent man set on wreaking as much damage as he can before he goes down?

Dark Secrets

When Grace Lee storms into the Dark Falls Police Department, heads turn. But she only has eyes for Detective Nate Ryder—the officer who closed her brother Jimmy’s case too quickly, declaring his death a suicide rather than a murder. As a forensic scientist, Grace thinks the signs are obvious, the trick is convincing Nate.

Nate has to admit Grace’s argument makes a lot of sense, and he feels obligated to revisit the case. The problem is, while he’s following the old evidence, she’s collecting new samples—and putting herself in danger from the same organization that killed her brother. Jimmy was definitely onto something before he was murdered. Now, Nate has another worry: some of the new evidence Grace has found points back to members of the Dark Falls PD. 

As strange coincidences turn deadly, Nate has to become Grace’s protector. They don’t know who they can trust and who they can’t. Will Grace and Nate be the next victims in a massive cover-up? Or can they figure out which cops are dirty fast enough to stay alive? 

inn- about the author
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Savannah Kade grew up in East Tennessee and started writing when she was only 8 years old. It was a romance for the ages, but it will never see the light of day. She’s been writing ever since and fighting for heroines who are quirky but not dumb, heroes who are real men, and for love stories that are more than just a cute trope. She now lives outside of Nashville with her amazing husband and 2 kids. She can usually be found working on her next novel.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter

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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing. ​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

 

gb- excerpt

Dark Falls

Ava McNair smiled as she watched the couple leave her store. She loved seeing couples find the perfect engagement ring to start their lives together. These two were young, but she could see the devotion in the way they looked at each other.

He’d come in ahead of time to choose a ring, then told his girlfriend he needed to swing by and pick up a watch his mom left to be repaired. The look on her face was priceless when he dropped to one knee after Ava passed him the ring box.

“Nice,” Kirsten James said, winking at Ava from her spot by the door. The woman might look harsh in her guard uniform, but she was as much of a softy when it came to that kind of thing as Ava was.

Ava grinned and turned to go to the back to check on her sister, but the door chimed again. What she saw when she looked back was anything but expected.

The man entering her familys jewelry store had filled out. His face was different, worn in a way, but in a good way. At least, she thought it looked good on him. His eyes were the same, though.

John Seviers eyes trapped and held her, his light brown gaze doing things to her just like they had years before when shed been stupid enough to walk away from him.

To say he was the one who got away was an understatement. Shed been so naïve and focused on all the wrong things at that time in her life. She never realized what she was losing until it was far too late for her to do anything about it.

Not that she would have been able to hold on to him anyway. Halfway through college, her life had changed drastically, and she’d had to drop out to help her dad and sister. She would have lost John then, anyway. Still, an eighties rock ballad was playing in the back of her head somewhere as she thought about not knowing what you had ’til it was gone.

Kirsten stiffened and looked ready to move into action if Ava didn’t say anything. It was no wonder. A six-foot-one man who looked like he could eat glass for breakfast if he got the craving, was standing frozen in their showroom. And Ava probably looked like a deer in headlights.

“John.” Ava breathed the word out, then shook herself to clear the fog. She waved a hand at Kirsten. Its all right. Johns an old friend.

She thought she saw something flicker in his eyes at the words, but if it had been anything more than her imagination, it was gone.

Um…” Ava looked around the showroom. One of her salespeople was on the other side of the store helping an older gentleman pick out a bracelet for his granddaughter. Kirsten was still staring at her and John.

Ava swung a hand in the direction of the workshop and offices at the back of the store. We could, um…”

Thankfully, John nodded, seemingly unconcerned at the fact she couldn’t seem to get a sentence out that didn’t include “um.” Scratch that, she hadn’t actually gotten a complete sentence out, period.

She went to the back, hoping to pass right through the workshop where her sister, Janna, designed most of the jewelry they carried. They had other artisans who worked for them, repairing jewelry and watches and such, but Janna was their only bench jeweler. Anything in their cases that her sister didn’t make was ordered from jewelry wholesalers or outside artisans.

Janna stood at her bench, the spotlights that surrounded her all aimed at a four-inch square space in front of her as her hands worked with small samplings of metals and gems. Janna had a habit of getting lost in her work, but today when Ava hoped she might do just that, her sister looked up.

Janna’s eyes went from Ava to John and back to Ava in a comic demonstration of her surprise at seeing a man with Ava.

Yeah, it was somewhat of a shock to Ava, too.

John, this is my sister, Janna. Janna, John and I were friends in college.Ava watched as Jannas eyes went wide.

John smiled and nodded. Whether he remembered Ava mentioning Jannas issues with anxiety when they dated, or he just read people really well, she didn’t know. But for whatever reason, he didn’t offer his hand to Janna to shake. That was good. It was what Janna was more comfortable with.

Janna looked to Ava. Big John?

Oh Lord.

Ava’s cheeks flamed hot, and she knew they must be red. She and Janna shared everything, which meant Janna knew all about the John Ava had dated in college. She just hadn’t expected Janna to put the man standing before her together with their conversations about John in college. And yes, Janna had truly nicknamed him Big Johnin college, but it wasn’t for the reasons one might think.

Not that he couldn’t have earned the nickname that way. Back in the day, one of Ava’s friends had described John’s body as “call him if you need your house moved over a few inches” kind of big. She wasn’t wrong.

Ava put her hands to her cheeks, and a small semblance of a laugh slipped from her lips. She dodged Johns smiling eyes and Jannas impish grin without answering and led the way back to her office.

She could try to explain to John that Janna had given him the nickname because that was how hed seemed to her at the time. Ava had talked about John so much when they were dating that Janna had labeled him big” in Ava’s world.

She didn’t know how to say all that without making the whole situation worse, though, so she clamped down on her lips, imprisoning them between her teeth as she shut the door behind them.

The look he gave her told her he was enjoying this far too much.

For your information,she said, crossing her arms, Big John is another John. Not you. It’s…” she didn’t have any ideas… “someone else.

Uhhuh.” He matched her crossed arms and let a smile cross his face.

 

Dark Secrets

Grace didn’t usually spray luminol and pull out her black light when she entered a motel room. But today she held the light up and frowned at the blood revealed by the generously applied chemiluminescent.

Old blood was everywhere. Small spots peeked out from under the edge of the bed where the old polyester blanket touched the carpeting. It looked to Grace as though something had happened in that spot and the bed had simply been moved.

In one corner, another streak of luminol glowed cautiously, the remnant of a merely passable scrubbing. Some of the luminescent spots revealed that her suspicions had been correct about the old carpeting, about this motel room, and about the stains.

Crap. This was the last thing she needed. She’d requested this room specifically. She didn’t always spray Luminol and pull out her black light when she rented a room. Then again, she couldn’t recall ever renting a room this awful in her life. She could imagine Jimmy here, though. If he was on one of his serious benders this would be nothing. Unfortunately, that meant there was nothing obvious here that supported her theory about her brother. She’d have to wait for lab results.

“Oh, Jimmy,” she lamented out loud to the dark room. “What did you get yourself into?”

The way her heart clenched couldn’t be stopped. No matter what the room looked like, no matter what she might be able to prove, none of it would change the facts. Jimmy was dead. Gone, after a life that had been a struggle from the beginning and continued to be one well into adulthood. Grace blinked back the tears that threatened.

Many people didn’t know what it was like having an addict in their lives. They were lucky. Addicts stole, they lied, they betrayed. And they often left you with only one option—completely cutting yourself off. She hadn’t been able to do it. Neither had her parents. So they’d all suffered alongside her little brother.

But, dammit, she’d really thought these last five years had seen a turnaround. He’d been clean and four months shy of his five-year chip. But the Dark Falls Police Department had written of Jimmy’s death as just another junkie overdose. Case closed.

Grace wasn’t buying it. Jimmy wasn’t using again. She knew it. She’d spoken to him just a few days before he died.

No one would believe her. No one did. Even her parents were skeptical, but she believed. She’d lived with Jimmy, and watched him turn to alcohol at age ten, then cocaine at thirteen, she’d gotten good at spotting the signs. Lots of siblings did. Sometimes parents tried to deny it. They turned their kids away, or they made up excuses and always believed the best. But siblings of addicts had a radar for it. Their investment was entirely different from a parental bond.

Grace knew. She’d talked about it in Al-Anon meetings. She’d gone steadily for almost two years, then off and on for another handful. The siblings of addicts all had similar stories. They knew. They could tell when their brothers or sisters were using again. Grace couldn’t count the number of times someone had showed up at a meeting with a suspicion, then even several months later said, “I was right.”

She’d had that feeling about Jimmy before. It happened the first time he’d gotten clean. He’d stayed clean for six months before relapsing. The second time—after their parents had paid to put him through an expensive rehab program—he’d stayed clean a year and a half. But Grace knew that his eighteen-month chip was an excuse to celebrate, to think he’d been cured only to have him slide back. But she didn’t have that feeling. Not this time. The third time seemed to have stuck.

Jimmy had moved to Dark Falls, something their mother had protested with every fiber of her being. He should be close to home. Part Vietnamese, part Chinese, and gay as the day was long, Jimmy wanted to get out of the South. Grace understood. She’d supported him. They texted daily, and she talked to him just a few days before he died. She did not believe he was using again.

She’d even demanded a full autopsy. She checked off her mental list as she looked around the room at the various splotches her quick test had revealed. She’d want samples of them all. Jimmy’s death was listed as an overdose. Had there been fresh blood, the police wouldn’t have been able to write it off so easily.

Grace had only pulled out the Luminol on a whim when she’d seen the dark patches in the carpeting. It could have been wine or cheap beer, but her senses told her to test it. Shit. She looked around behind her, holding the light up. A lot of it was faint, old, but she needed to know what it was.

She had her work cut out for her.

After gathering samples from at least five spots around the room—samples that she highly suspected would be all different—she turned off her black light and clicked the regular light back on.

Surveying the horrible room she didn’t want to be in, she pulled out her phone and called her oftentimes partner, Brad, back home. “Brad, I was right.”

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, ARC Review, Giveaway: Ravaging the Duke By J.R. Salisbury

Blog Tour, ARC Review, Giveaway: Ravaging the Duke By J.R. Salisbury

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Title: Ravaging the Duke
Author: J.R. Salisbury
Series: Mayfair Bk. 2
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

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Inheriting the title from his murdered father, Alec finds just how dire things really are. His father’s gambling obsession left the family with nothing but the entailed properties. The ton views him as a disgraced duke. Alec, now The Duke of Wexwood, finds himself in need of a bride. One with a substantial dowry. It needn’t be a love match as Alec doesn’t believe love exists, except in rare cases. He needs a woman who can help him rebuild the dukedom.

Margaret Douglas is an American recently arrived back in England. She has fulfilled her late father’s wishes by returning with her mother. Now she needs to find a husband. One who won’t squander her dowry, someone who’ll see her as an equal.

Introduced by her cousin, the Earl of Norwood, Margaret and Alec come to an agreement which quickly turns into a passionate romance. 

Lurking in the background are secrets—ones Margaret can’t hide from the duke. Secrets she brought from America. What will happen when Alec finds out what she’s hiding?

 

r- about the author

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Amazon bestselling author J.R. Salisbury divides her time between the U.S. and U.K. with her aging Yorkie, Rocco. When in the U.K. she finds herself shrouded in history, making an author’s imagination come alive.

J.R. writes novels surrounding the Victorian era and Scottish historical romance with perfectly imperfect heroes and strong, sassy heroines.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

r- my review

It has been awhile since I’ve picked up an historical romance novel. I remember back in high school when I used to fly right through them not for the romance, but the historical aspect of it. This one, I felt was a great start back into the genre.

We travel back to the times when arranged marriages were pertained to be fruitful due to titles, dowry obtained by one or both parties, or alliances. I assumed this was between the late 1800s. This case came into play greatly pertaining to the two characters: Alec and Margaret.

Alec’s legacy is in great peril due to his father’s gambling addiction. He has been currently seeking a wealthy female to wed in order to settle debts and re-establish his families’ title. He’s gone through plenty of potentials, but none of them has stuck. Then there is Margaret Douglas.

Margaret is independent and a good head on her shoulders. She will not accept proposals for anyone who she does not deem worthy of her. Alec is introduced and they begin to both realize they may be trouble for each other due to their own secrets. As Love begins to bloom and grow, Margaret realizes she wants to “save” Alec and help him to restore his title. However, it may be too much for both of them to bare.

This is a well-crafted novel to be sure. The past came to life and jumped through the pages. Women were not known to raise their voice due to their stance in society. Margaret is not on of those dainty characters I’ve read in other historical novels who will slightly help their love interests and in the end it was more of the man who did the work, not the women. Margaret is constantly fighting for her voice to be heard and she breaks through!

Rating 8

r- giveaway

Want a Chance to Win a $25 Amazon gift card, Swag, & two of J.R.’s ebooks (winner’s choice)? Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: Almost Human Series By Melanie Novak

Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: Almost Human Series By Melanie Novak

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Series
Almost Human, First Trilogy

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Fatal Infatuation (Bk. 1)
Avaiable: Amazon
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Lost Reflections (Bk. 2)
Avaiable: Amazon
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Available: Amazon
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Series
Almost Human The Second Trilogy

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Born to Blood
Available: Amazon
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Descendant of Darkness
Available: Amazon
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Destined for Divinity
Available: Amazon
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Fatal Infatuation

Shy Felicity never expected to gain the attention of a handsome man…or a vampire, but she’ll need all the help she can get to navigate difficulties of addiction and desire; perils of zombies and vampires; and struggles with abuse, morality and…college.

Cain is an elder vampire who displays quiet confidence even as he struggles to overcome sins of his past. Surprisingly, he found that in losing his life he gained his faith and a purpose. His mission: find the hostile vampires that inhabit this small college town, and educate them to live in peace with humans. Their leader, Sindy, is a wicked temptress who has set her sights on Felicity’s new friend Ben. She will be difficult to control, but after meeting Felicity, Cain’s most difficult task lies in controlling himself.

Lost Reflections

Felicity has helped her friends to escape the venomous vixen Sindy, but cannot divine the motives of Cain, the vampire who captured first her gratitude, and then her heart.

She finds the historical account of Cain’s past enthralling and frightening. Now she must determine whether the addictive venom in Cain’s kiss is clouding her judgment, and if his thirst for her blood is a driving force too strong for their love to conquer. 

It’s difficult to contemplate such questions while under the attack of a vengeful vampire and his zombie slaves. Felicity’s heart has already been lost to Cain; will she lose her life as well?

Evolving Ecstasy

The relationship between Cain and Felicity has crested to a peak that leaves them unsure whether to step back from each other for safety, or jump into a future united in death. 

Felicity is unlike any human Cain has known before. She treats him as an equal; a man worthy of friendship, respect and even… love. She embodies qualities of gentleness and loving trust that he has never found among his own kind. This makes her far more desirable to him than any creature of darkness could ever be. 
The venom of Cain’s bite could protect Felicity from hostile vampires, but it would give him a measure of psychic control over her as well. Would Felicity only accept becoming a vampire, due to his addictive venom, coupled with the foolishness of a young girl in love? 

Perhaps there is a brighter future for her in the human world. Is Cain’s desire for Felicity’s love worth the loss of her life?

Born to Blood

Alyson used to think that vampires were almost human; that is, until she became one. Finally consenting to be lovingly turned by her boyfriend Mattie, Allie has come to possess traits and powers previously unknown among vampire kind. Now Allie seeks the help of the elder vampire Cain, to discover not only what she is capable of, but why.

Still healing from heartbreak over Cain, Felicity looked forward to a nice, human relationship, but dating the son of a vampire hunter, and having a psychic bond with one of his prey makes life far from normal. How can Ben and Felicity discover the truths of love when they are forced to live with so many secrets? 

Someone has contrived a diabolical plan to control destiny, and blood may not only be the catalyst for change, but also the master of manipulation behind it. Is rebirth as a vampire always at the discretion of an undead sire, or sometimes is one simply born to blood? 

Descendant of Darkness

The saga continues…

Heartbroken and soul searching, the vampire Cain believes he has finally found his purpose. He is mentoring Allie, who is grudgingly coming to terms with the fact that she is unique among vampires… The United One. Together with Allie’s husband Mattie, they are working to discover her powers, when the vampiress Sindy returns with some new tricks of her own.

Ben and Felicity have tried to leave their past involvements with vampires behind them, settling into human life together, despite having to deal with Ben’s vampire hunting father – but is mundane love strong enough to supersede the supernatural?

The vampire Elric has sabotaged his master’s plans to control The United One more times than for which he can expect to safely escape the consequences. Coven Master Arif knows what he wants, and the guiding forces behind his plan know how to help him get it… If Elric rebels, he could lose his love, but thwart disaster for the human race. Is staying true to the coven in order to save his love, worth the price the world will pay? 

When you are descended from darkness, is it still possible to reach for the light? In times of peace, prepare for war.

Destined For Divinity

Sindy is a vampiress of little morals and large aspirations…or at least, the old Sindy was. Love and friendship are becoming more important to her, and after becoming an accomplice to kidnapping and an agent of betrayal, she would be willing to settle for escaping the tangled web she has woven without getting herself dusted.
Felicity is being held for a ransom that no one of sound moral conscience should be willing to pay. Coven Master Arif, a vampire whose terrifying talent of mind-control holds her more tightly than chains, wants control of The United One; Alyson. A vampire of great power unlike any other, Alyson is a good friend to Felicity and a dear covenmate of… 
Cain, a vampire who declared his love for Felicity, but left her to fulfill her dreams of having a human family. Since renouncing his vampiric tendencies, Cain’s existence has been one of self-sacrifice and benevolence. To rescue Felicity, he would have to betray Alyson and endanger the world, an act that would torture his conscience for eternity. 
Perhaps Felicity’s husband Ben can rescue her, but to ensure Felicity’s safety he would have to play by Arif’s rules. Is Ben willing to make a deal with the devil to retrieve his wife? Or should he put his differences aside to try and work with Cain, his former rival, to find a solution? Cain may be able to help rescue Felicity, but is he willing to give her up…again? 
Alyson has never been one to meekly follow others. Is it time for The United One to take a stand of her own? Her blood dictates that her divine destiny is to rule vampire-kind. Maybe it is time to lay down some rules! A battle is sure to ensue…can Alyson protect everyone she loves? 
Will Felicity survive Arif’s wrath to keep her life…and her humanity, or when all is said and done, will she find herself ALMOST HUMAN? 

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Hello, fellow readers! For this set of reviews, I’m going to review the first trilogy as a whole before reviewing the second one later in the post instead of doing separate reviews for each book to make it easier. Also, I recommend you read the trilogies as a whole instead of the separate books. It’s easier to understand and flows better this way.

This first set revolves about college freshman Felicity who begins to go to college in a small town that is plagued by vampires. She works at a local bookstore and meets Cain while being attacked by local vampires when she is walking home with her coworker Ben. Cain fights them off and instantly attracts Felicity due to him rescuing her.

There are Twilight vibes through the first book, but it gains it’s own footing after the first few chapters. I was wondering why Felicity’s parents were old fashioned due to the fact she didn’t have a cell phone. She is very immature despite her age, but since she came from a pretty heavily controlled background I could understand that. She eventually began growing up as through the first installment. Still, I struggled to like her. I almost wanted to spray her with cold water, she would not chill out with all the boy talk.

Now, Cain reminded me like Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Tall, strong brooding game, and a whole lot of guilt he is clearly carrying on his back. He has a lot to teach Felicity when it comes to vampires. Also, huge knight and shining armor allure to him that you can’t help but admire.

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This book is mainly used as a platform of what the rest of the series is going to look like. There wasn’t a whole lot of action and it was pretty slow. I felt like I was watching a new teen vampire drama in my head and achingly waited for it to pick up. Instead, it abruptly stopped right when it began to make a turnaround. There were repetitive pieces that could have been removed to insert content from the sequel and it was annoying. On the other hand, it made me want to jump into the next book.

The second book throws us back into the aftermath of the first book. We get a deeper look into the past of the villain, Sindy, and our sweet lover, Cain. And, wait for it, we get zombies. That’s right, you heard me right…ZOMBIES!

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The second “chapter” is more developed than the first and overall it flows much better than the first. Cain and Felicity’s relationship gets steamier, but it turns out that he may have feelings for Sindy as well. I remember when I read this parts and I was like, “Um, excuse me? No, no, just NO!” I don’t care if she is like a vampire version of Faith from Buffy and Cain feels for her. No! No excuse!

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The repetitiveness continued, however, and it made it hard for me to continue at times. I pressed through because I needed to know what happened in the final book. And oh, was I ready for it!

So, Cain bites Felicity in order to protect her from other vampires. It kind of reminded me of Bill Compton from True Blood claiming Sookie. Except instead of verbally saying it, he bites her and therefore seals the deal. According to this series vampire lore, the venom secreted from a vampire’s fangs can become addicting. In other vampire books, we see this issue come up time and time again. Add in that Felicity is still an immature, barely legal teen puts a damper on the whole situation as well, but I digress. Love is love, even in a paranormal romance novel.

tumblr_nq2dzgpQw51teja04o1_250.gifBen, Felicity’s friend from the very beginning, become more to the forefront in this book and weird things begin happening involving those two. I’m not talking platonic things either….

This final book in this volume is one where I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading half the time because it did not go how I expected it too. It just didn’t. See, Ben’s father comes to town and turns things upside down. Others may be surprised with the secret he reveals, but I actually wasn’t. Maybe it’s because it was apparent due to Ben’s draw for killing vampires…maybe.

We also get the future trilogy established through Alyson, Ben’s friend from the first book who continues to be there in the background of the second and third book. She’s dating a vampire as well and he returns to give her the gift of immortality and thus, we will be siding along with Allie more so in the second trilogy and placing Felicity and Cain on the back burner.

Rating 6

For the second trilogy, I’m going to sum it all of up in one word: Intense. Allie’s transformation into a vampire reaps strange results because she is now wielding some serious power that no other vampire has. She is taken under Cain’s wing in order for him to teach her ways on how to keep those around her safe and also what she may be able to do with her powers. Oh, I forgot to mention he is a brooding mess because *spoiler* he abandoned Felicity in the last book.

The first half of the second series is mainly about Allie turning into a vampire and being about Allie, Mattie, and Cain. Ben and Felicity’s relationship is taking place in the background mostly then everything comes to a head in the final book of it. It’s a step up from the previous series. It had it’s draggy moments, but overall I like the second trilogy better than the first.

If you need a vampire fix – give this series a try!

Rating 7

Want a chance to win 3x Paperback Sets and Swag Packs?

Enter Here!

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: The Thorne Brothers Series By Lee Kilraine

Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: The Thorne Brothers Series By Lee Kilraine

Titles: Give It Up & Give and Take
Author: Lee Kilraine
Series: The Thorn Brothers
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Google Play/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

 

r- about the book

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Give It Up

Beckett. Asher. Gray. Eli. Ryker. Wyatt. Five out of six very different brothers reunited—and working to make their construction firm a success. But oldest brother Beckett just found their major new project becoming one hard and sexy challenge . . .

A rough childhood tore Beckett and his brothers apart. It took everything he had to track them down and establish Six Brothers Construction. He only trusts them—and his drive to win. Now if SBC can build a billionaire team owner’s much-hyped new mansion, it will put them on the map—and finally fulfill Beckett’s promise to take care of his siblings. Too bad he’ll have to collaborate with hot new rival Samantha Devine, who’s throwing him curves on-site, out-the-box . . . and between the sheets.

Sam knows from experience that arrogant good-ole-boy Beckett is long, strong, and built to go the distance. But this is her only shot to prove she and her fledgling design company can succeed on her own terms. She’ll match Beckett’s expertise by day—and reignite the explosive heat between them by night. But when passion threatens to become real love, will this competition separate them for good . . . or make the sizzling collaboration of a lifetime?

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Give and Take

Six Brothers Construction was built to reunite a family and heal a painful past. So far it’s opened to rave reviews. But the youngest sibling is about to discover that the right woman can shake even a rock-solid foundation . . .

Wyatt Thorne was so traumatized by his mother’s abandonment he didn’t speak until he was six. At 26, he’s still the quiet type—strong and silent, most comfortable with a hammer in his hand and work to do. But the reassuring rhythm of his life is interrupted when his brother Beckett decides to pay forward their unused office space to a needy start-up. Enter Rhia Hollis, flighty, impulsive, and outspoken—everything that drives Wyatt crazy. Only this time in the sexiest, most irresistible way . . .

Rhia is determined to disprove her reckless, party girl image by making her new company, Seize the Day, the premier event planning firm in Raleigh. She has big dreams, and the Thornes’ offer of a free command center is a huge help. But Wyatt’s gruff, stubborn resistance to her presence is an annoying hindrance. They’re as different as night and day, yet when they begin to meet in the middle, the sparks fly hot. Is this a case of opposites distract—or the beginning of a beautiful long-term project?

 

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Before I begin my reviews, I’d like to take a moment….

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Ok, now I’m good to go. Let’s dive into these two books of lust, banter, and a whole lot of Thorne!

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The Throne brothers, aside from a construction business, have a long line of former lovers under their belt which is established throughout the beginning of the novel. Beckett, in particular, believes in this curse due to the fact that all of the families’ relationships, however brief, are quick to fade into the black as quick as they were to begin. He doesn’t have time to attempt any such maneuvers with anyone in particular. Well, that is except one woman who slipped through his fingers after a steamy encounter.

Samantha Devine has worked her butt off to establish her design business with her best friend. Coming from a background where her father is a well-known builder, she abandoned him due to his mistreatment.  And despite all odds, she’d obviously do anything to keep it afloat.

The universe (or the author in this case) works it’s magic by bringing in a client who wants both Samantha and Beckett’s companies to work together to create the perfect home in five months. Five months! I could not imagine a project that huge complete in that short amount of time let alone work with someone I had a, well, pleasant encounter that turned sour.

Anyway, Samantha and Beckett struggle initially to put their differences to aside to complete the task. Only their way of putting them aside is not the conventional way we would perceive to taking care of them…if you know what I mean…tumblr_nzht9h2fO01r2pp2to1_500.gif

The book basically establishes the Thorne brothers and their individual personalities. This one pertaining to Beckett and Sam, is the perfect beginning to a series and I was completely more than ready to jump into the sequel!

Rating 9

 

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This one surrounds Wyatt Thorne. Now, Beckett practically raised his brothers. Wyatt, in particular, took the trauma of their families’ problems to heart through the inability to speak until his twenties. He takes his work in the company seriously and pours himself into it and he’s perfectly fine with keeping to himself and doing so. That is until Beckett decides to rent out a part of their office to a new event planning business. But low and behold, the owner, Rhia, is a former partier who is trying to get her feet on the ground through her new business venture and in doing so continues to step on Wyatts toes, so to speak.

A side story in this one is continued from the first book where the brothers hired a P.I. in order to find their missing brother Ryker and they accidentally discover an unknown sister instead.

These books keep getting progressively better and better. I am eager to see if they ever find Ryker and what other secrets they may uncover as each brother proves that maybe they aren’t cursed and can find love.

Rating 9

 

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Want a Chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card? Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Scorchin’ By Olivia Rush

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Scorchin’ By Olivia Rush

Scorchin

 

Title: Scorchin’
Author: Olivia Rush
Series: The Hot Boys Series Bk. 2
Release Date: September 20th, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

hs- about the book

New York’s hottest fireman just got hotter.

As a top journalist, I’ll do anything for a story.
The hotter the story, the better.
And hot’s just what I get when Stone Black from the Fire Station 128 came into my life.

Love wasn’t part of the plan, but those gorgeous green eyes and a hose big enough to put out my fire won me over.
I try to keep it physical, my career allowing no time for romance, but I soon learn there’s more than meets the eye with Stone.
He’s not just one of New City’s finest fireman, he’s a loving single father.
Now, he’s ready to tear down my professional boundaries, to take what he wants.

Soon I’m dangerously close to my story, and only Stone can protect me.
And when I find out I’m carrying his baby, it’s clear that if I’m not careful I just might get burned.

Maybe…that’s just what I want.

 

hs- about the author

Olivia writes romantic suspense with a healthy dose of steam. She loves writing about beautiful characters in adventurous tales. Olivia lives with a sometimes nice teen, her awesome hubby, and the world’s coolest cat. Netflix is watched daily in the Rush household and coffee is run through an IV drip.

Want to try her work for free? Paste this link into your browser: BookHip.com/BHNGWP

Contact

Website/Facebook/Goodreads

 

hs- giveaway

Want a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Devil to Pay By Jackie May

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Devil to Pay By Jackie May

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Title: The Devil to Pay
Author: Jackie May
Series: Shayne Davies Bk. 1
Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

 

gb- about the book

When it comes to talented new recruits at the Federal Underworld Agency, Nora Jacobs is only half the story…

The Devil to Pay is the first book in Jackie May’s companion series to Nora Jacobs, set in the same urban fantasy Detroit, sharing several supporting characters (hello, Nick Gorgeous), but with a new main character, Shayne Davies. This series can be enjoyed on its own, but readers of the Nora Jacobs books will be more familiar with the world and its characters.

As a fox shifter, Shayne Davies gets no respect in an underworld run by the fearsome and powerful—werewolves and vampires, sorcerers, demons, and mythical faerie creatures. Even at home, Shayne is still treated like the brat of the pack. Her mom constantly nags; her intended (but unwanted) mate ensures plenty of awkward silences, and Shayne is even expected to act submissive to the pack’s future alpha…a six year old.

Yeah. Time for Plan B.

All Shayne wants is to prove that she’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs, which is why she is constantly hounding Nick Gorgeous to make her an agent at the “Double D”, the Detroit Division of the FUA. That’s an easy “No” for Gorgeous, who keeps a strict “No Shayne Davies” policy. Well, never say never. When mysterious underworld criminals steal a load of bomb materials, the FUA picks up a messy case nobody wants to touch. It’s bad enough that a demon horde is involved, but now the annoying FBI has sent out an agent to babysit the investigation. To make matters worse, the notoriously uncooperative master vampire Henry Stadther has control over what may be the only key to breaking the case: a handsome human detective.

The whole thing’s a hopeless disaster.

So guess what, Shayne? You’re hired!

gb- about the author
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Jackie Mayis a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)

Contact

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

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gb- giveaway

Want a Chance to win a Signed set of the Two Nora Jacobs (Don’t Rush Me & Don’t Cheat Me) books?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Luminata by Yvonne Carder

ARC Review: Luminata by Yvonne Carder

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Title: Luminata
Author: Yvonne Carder
Series: Meclauks Kingdom Series
Release Date: June 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

inn - about the book

A sunken curse. A hidden faerie realm. To save her kingdom, one girl must discover the magic within her heart.

Behind castle walls, Jessi Kleinfield dreams of adventure outside her quiet kingdom. But the once-peaceful realm falls into chaos when an evil sorceress stirs up ancient rivalries and banishes her palace home to an underwater prison. After narrowly escaping the rising tide, Jessi and her trusty dog can only watch helplessly as the waves swallow her family.

In her quest to lift the watery curse, she soon learns there’s more to her kingdom than meets the eye. Hidden in plain sight, she discovers the entrance to an enchanted faerie realm. As she learns that her canine companion is hiding secrets of his own, a surprising magic stirs deep within her. With help from her new faerie friend, Jessi must learn to harness her powers before the dark spell wears off and steals her loved ones’ last breath.

inn- about the author

Yvonne Carder

Yvonne Carder is a Young Adult Fantasy Author that has published ‘Luminata: Book 1 in the Meclauks Kingdom Series’ and ‘Star Flame: A Story from the Meclauks Kingdom’. She is currently working on book two in the series.

Yvonne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Kevin, and her 2 cats, Princess Pumpkin Doodle, and Nichademus. Yvonne has a love for animals that she strives to show in her work.

She has lived in California since 1982 when she and her parents emigrated from Germany. Most of her family is still in Germany with the exception of some of her Dad’s family in the Midwest. Her roots in Germany are something that she is very proud of and it influences her writing.

Yvonne is a proud member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, An Alliance of Young Adult Authors, California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Writers Club, and 20Booksto50k, where she continues to work on her craft and elevate Independent Publishers. A rising tide lifts all ships.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

inn- my review

First, this cover is absolutely stunning! If I ever am able to get the moon tattoo I’ve been trying to plan on getting for the last three years, the design would definitely based on the artwork on her shoulder! Beautiful!

Now to the review, we meet Jessi trying to recover from watching her friend drown in the river. Anytime she goes by water, she immediately has flashbacks and panic attacks. One day she finally is able to go into the water except it immediately seems to become alive and try to swallow her up. That is until she is saved by a mysterious dog who becomes her companion for the rest of the novel.

But how could a river suddenly seem alive like that? According to Jessi’s grandmother, the gods need to be appeased and so they choose their victims and suck them down to drown.  Jessi’s grandmother made a bargain with the gods in exchange to take her instead of Jessi into the water. But why does this have to happen? Enter in an evil sorceress who is bent on drowning the kingdom under the rising waters.

Jessi embarks on a long journey of discovery, magic, and secrets to which she never could imagine. This YA fantasy stands out to me from all of the ones I have read lately. It’s fresh, exciting, and left me hanging on till the last page. This is definitely one you should add to your fantasy collection!

 

Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Double Review: Some Girls Bite & Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires 1 & 2) By Chloe Neill

Double Review: Some Girls Bite & Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires 1 & 2) By Chloe Neill

In honor of the release of the spin-off series for the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill, I decided to binge read all thirteen books before diving into my ARC copy. I’m halfway through the series, but I want to touch base on the first two books then review the next two in the next couple days.

I already have a love-hate relationship with this series. I love Merit’s humor. Her and her sire Ethan’s banter and heated sexual tension (oh the tension). On top of the fact their constant disagreements cause me to want to pop a bag of popcorn and watch the shenanigans ensue.

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My hate comes in with the endless and I mean endless exposition of this world’s version of Chicago. Add on the drowning information about vampires, werewolves, fae, etc., I feel like my brain is about to explode and I am barely, barely halfway through the first book. Yeah, the FIRST book!

To me, when you build your world, you do it gradually and stick your information throughout the story. Not make your book 65% exposition, 20% dialogue, and the rest is action. The minimal action is what my poor reader heart grasps onto for dear life while I continue down this hole.

In this world, vampires have just “come out of the closet” and are trying to be recognized as harmless citizens despite being paranormal creatures with predatory tendencies. They have been grouped into three “Houses” or basically sorority houses based off of who sired the vampires or who the vampires swear their allegiances towards. Those who have not chosen to join a house are considered rogues and therefore dangerous.

The first book gives us Merit (her first name is also her last name, I don’t know why and it’s never fully explained so go with it) is attacked by a vampire on her way home from a college class. As a last minute decision and coincidental circumstances, her sire Ethan happens to be nearby and saves her life without asking her permission to do so. I swear she constantly holds over Ethan’s head and guilt trips him with on a regular basis over this. Believe me, there are times where I scream at the book for her to get over it, especially book two. It never ends.

Unfortunately, Merit is a victim aside from several other girls who have been recently attacked by vampires. Suspicion is quickly thrown upon her sire after a medal from his house, Cadogan House, is found at the scene of one of the murders. Long story short, Merit is assigned as “Sentinel” or protector of the house and we spend the rest of the first book getting down to why these murders are taking place. The ending was lackluster due to the fact the villain revealed at the end was barely there in the story. Serious, they are basically there for a few pages then poof, back to be the culprit. It involves vampire politics and unfair feeding restrictions – that is all I’m going to say.

The second book basically foreshadows the continuation of the possible vampire war that will soon take place. We all know it’s coming, people, we don’t need to hear about it all the time! There is blackmail, red herrings, and the ending leads back to the villain from the first book and *spoiler alert* it’s them behind this series of events.

If you cut out the majority of the exposition from both books, these two could be combined and you wouldn’t know the difference. The first book started off extremely strong until the exposition galore kicked in and the headache of the century followed.

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I wish I could tell you the exposition ceases by the third book, but I’m not going to get your hopes up.

Book 1:

Rating 6

Book 2:

Rating 5

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick ARC Review: Twice Dead By Caitlin Seal

Quick ARC Review: Twice Dead By Caitlin Seal

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Title: Twice Dead
Author: Caitlin Seal
Series: The Necromancer’s Song #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Charlesbridge Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

ag- about the book

Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.

ag- my review

Necromancy. Wraiths. I set my expectations pretty high for this book considering the blurb for it. It sounded complex and uniquely set apart from other YA Fantasy novels that are coming out in this genre. I could not wait to dive in and unravel the first part of this series.

Naya is traveling with her father to a foreign country, Ceramor, that houses a community that accepts necromancy which is forbidden in her country of Talmir. Upon reaching their destination, Naya is murdered and transformed into a creature she was raised to abhor in order to spy on her country.

Ok, I think this book is mainly a foundation for the sequels to come. Do I like that aspect? No, it needed more. More world building, more character development, more challenges – I could go on. If you were sitting with me right now, you’d see the obvious disappointment written on my face because I wanted more substance out of this novel.

Naya’s voice needs to grow stronger, powerful. She has the capability to being a strong character. Do not save your character’s development for future books. Plant the seeds in the first book and allow them to sprout! I waited and waited for sprouting. Nothing. Same goes for the world building. But, I digress….

The series has potential. It truly does, but if you don’t have growth or take the time to go deeper into a world’s history – then that potential goes right out the window. Try this book, but don’t set your allow your expectations to go through the roof.

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Rock Star’s Heart By Kella Campbell

ARC Review: Rock Star’s Heart By Kella Campbell

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Title: Rock Star’s Heart
Author: Kella Campbell
Release Date: February 28, 2018
Available: Amazon/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Tied Star Books in exchange for a honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

md- about the book

When a twist of fate throws university student Crys Murphy into an unexpected job on tour with a wildly successful rock band, her crush on the guitarist turns into powerful temptation. But there’s a dark side to the glamour and champagne: Blade has anger and addiction issues, a history of partying with groupies, and a tendency to get naked in public — and Crys is supposed to keep him out of trouble.

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As she gets to know the talented and lonely man behind the bad boy behavior, the chemistry between them wavers on the edge of something deeper. But he doesn’t do relationships, and she grew up expecting a white-picket-fence future. Can he reform and open his heart to love? Will she give up her straight-laced upbringing for her troubled rock star?

 

md- my review

The life of a musician is not an easy life, whether you are a signed band, local band, or indie artist. I immediately connected with this story on a personal level because I have friends who are musicians and I’m a singer as well. There is a certain mask you have to put on for the crowd and the person behind the scenes may be completely the opposite.

Crys Matthews gets, in her case, an opportunity of a lifetime by being hired to be her rockstar crush, Blade’s, fake girlfriend/keeper. She automatically beings to realize that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Drug addiction, anger management issues, and a dark past covers Blade like a dark blanket. It’s not unheard of and while reading this, I know several musician friends who were very similar once upon a time.

Crys tries to help as much as she can and pushes her standards aside in order to please everyone, including Blade. Some may see this as her being weak, but when you are put in that sort of a situation and you are not used to that world – that’s what you do. She develops into a strong woman and eventually controls the situation (get it, Girl!).

The chemistry between Blade and Crys is certainly there, like level 11 there (enter in Spinal Tap humor).

She’s definitely the support he needs. I adored both of them together and the chemistry they have. Aside from Blade’s issues, I have to say goals, Ladies and Gentlemen, Goals!

This is a quick, enticing read that’ll make you wish you had a rock star of your own.

Rating 10

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker By Kerry Wilkinson

ARC Review: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker By Kerry Wilkinson

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Title: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Release Date: July 26th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not effect my opinion whatsoever.**

ag- about the book

‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’

A village with something to hide.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She has no memory of how she got there. But she does know that another girl was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer…

A community torn apart.

Eleanor is a normal, every day teenager. She argues with her mum, spends her days with her best friend, and is looking forward to a carefree summer of sunshine and music. Who would want to hurt her?

A shocking secret.

Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her, Eleanor can’t escape the feeling that something awful links her to the previous summer’s murder. But will she find out the truth before it’s too late?

ag- my review

The premise of this book reminded me of the 2007 thriller The Invisible with Justin Chatwin. He wakes up around a body of water, does not really remember how he got there and has a set time in order to figure out what happened and find his body or else he passes on to the other side. Weird for me to compare a novel to a film, but it just felt too similar not to mention.

Eleanor, 17, wakes up abandoned in a river. She has no memory of the events leading up to this moment. The difference between this and Justin’s story – Eleanor is dead. Coincidently, in the same location as her brother’s former girlfriend the previous summer.

Throughout the novel, Eleanor goes over her current state as the undead. She does not allow this to take her off the path of finding out the truth behind her and the other girl’s murder. Then when another girl disappears, it’s go time in trying to get down to the bottom of everything.

It’s a quick, engaging read and definitely one to pick up and devour during the Fall season!

Rating 7

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Fresh Ink By Lamar Giles & Various Authors

ARC Review: Fresh Ink By Lamar Giles & Various Authors

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Title: Fresh Ink: An Anthology
Author(s): Schulyler Bailer, Melissa De La Cruz, Sara Farizan, Sharon G. Flake, Eric Gansworth, Malinda Lo, Walter Dean Meyers, Daniel Jose Older, Then Pham, Jason Reynolds, Aminah Mae Safi, Gene Luen Yang, Nicola Yoon
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Google Play/Book Depository/Indigo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC Copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

 

Synopsis:

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

My Review

Each of these stories are uniquely crafted to stand out from one another. Many of these are contemporary short stories with romance tied into it hand-in-hand. Other genres featured were sci-fi, historical fiction, and fantasy. But, I was kind of looking to having more of a mixture instead of them mainly being contemporary. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary stories but I pushed that aside to read most of these.

Eraser Tattoo By: Jason Reynolds

Childhood sweethearts Shay and Dante are about to be tested in a way they’ve never been before. Shay is moving to another city while Dante remains behind. The relationship between the two is beautifully painted through flashbacks, inside jokes, and finally an eraser tattoo on both of their arms to remind them of their love for one another. I wish to know if Shay and Dante meet again in the future and their end, but I guess that’s the hidden beauty of this anthology so far.

Meet Cute By: Malinda Lo

Now this one takes place at Denver Con, a convention in Colarado. I haven’t gone to a convention in a few years, but this story brought me back to the world of cosplay, union amongst fellow nerds, and fun. The main character, Nic connects with fellow cosplayer Tamia and we are supposed to witness their budding attraction. This short story was a bit longer than necessary and the chemistry needed a lot of work between the main characters.

Don’t Pass Me By: Eric Gansworth

This story surrounds a Native American boy who stands up for his race in not your average way. In our world, some schools and people still hold onto past beliefs about different cultures instead of embracing them with open arms. This short story is one of the few that stand out from all of the rest in this collection.

Be Cool For Once By: Aminah Mae Safi

All I’m going to say is music can bring people together, but that doesn’t mean you should have a complete freak out over seeing your crush there.

Tags By: Walter Dean Myers

Wow, ok, never before have I really seen a one-act play featured in an anthology story. Can we get a film or actual physical representation of this play, please? This story is about a group of boys who were murdered and their connection to one another through their personal events. Definitely one of my favorites out of this collection.

Why I Learned How to Cook By: Sara Farizan

Family is very important inspiring certain events or future talents in members. This one, though, is all about acceptance. A girl is nervous about bringing her new girlfriend around her grandmother. It’s one of the few LGBTQ stories and worth the read. Be sure to have a box of tissues in hand!

A Stranger at the Bochinche By: Daniel Jose Older

Ah, I was waiting for the sci-fi story to pop up and here it is. The concept was there, yes, but it needed more elaboration. If this was given the chance to have been given the full-fledged novel treatment, I believe it’s reception could have been better.

A Boy’s Duty By: Sharon G. Flake

Travel back to WWII where racism is at it’s highest. An African American boy has a goal of going into the Navy and other endeavors. However, it was still a dark time in both our history and abroad. It was ok, needed work, but give it a chance all the same.

One Voice By: Melissa De La Cruz

I have a love-hate relationship with Melissa De La Cruz. I grew up with her Van Alen Legacy series and some of her stand-alone novels. There are times where she wrote creative, indulging stories one moment and the next some where I struggled finishing. This is one of those stories where she made me fall in love with her writing once again. It touches upon modern day issues like misogyny and prejudice against other cultures. Another favorite!

Paladin/Samurai Written By: Gene Luen Yang; Illustrated By: Then Pham

This graphic novel is not the strongest I’ve read. The main character in this story engages his fantasy of becoming a Samurai in a D&D game. While I liked them utilizing one of my friend’s favorite games that I’m still trying to get into (I really am trying, guys), I wished this story was better. Pretty disappointed in it, not going to lie.

Catch, Pull, Drive By: Schuyler Bailar

This story features a local high school swimmer is going through the transition of coming out as trans to his swim team. The events following are heartbreaking. The character is brave and is goes through bullying as a result of him being himself. Wonderful read and tremendously realistic.

Super Human By: Nicola Yoon

Are humans worth saving if they are still filled with hate towards those who are different? This is a dilemma brought up and a great way to wrap up this series.

For this diverse collection, there were some positive stories while others needed work. Our world is vast, filled with unique individuals, but how can a society grow if they cannot learn to embrace everyone? This anthology brings up that question often throughout, making this stand out for readers everywhere.

Comment below if you have read this anthology series yet!

What did you think?

 

Rating 6

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Review: Magic Born By Rayane

Blog Tour & Review: Magic Born By Rayane

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Title: Magic Born
Author: Rayanne Haines
Series: The Guardian Series Bk. 2
Release Date: June 6th, 2018
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

 

inn - about the book

Maria Del Voscova is a powerful witch with a past. When she’s asked to become a member of the elite Guardians she knows she can’t risk sharing the truth about her messed-up family. But we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes, we don’t always know what we want.

Though Mar absolutely knows she doesn’t want Neeren, King of the Parthen. She alone sees the darkness in him and it reminds her too much of the past. She knows better than to fall for his stoic, tortured soul façade.

She’s training to be a Guardian, a shadow; tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil in the world. It’s what she wants—to be better than her family was.

But the past has a way of catching up to Mar and the future has a morbid sense of humor. On her first mission, she’s kidnapped by the enemy she’s been running from her entire life. Thankfully the guardians look after their own. As it turns out, so does Neeren.

As Mar finds herself caught between the past and the future; between blood and bond; between the light and the dark, she realizes her only chance at surviving may be in trusting a man who is the most dangerous of them all.

 

inn- about the author

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Rayanne Haines grew up on a small horse ranch in Alberta. She spent most of her youth re-enacting scenes from Anne of Green Gables to attentive audiences that included pygmy goats and roan stallions. The horses were thrilled. Her father could never figure out why it took her three hours to clean the barn.

Her mother is an avid reader and instilled a love of literature in her at a young age. She has always been fascinated with learning people’s stories.

She has a fondness for mountains and rivers and all the creatures that live within them. She believes in magic and the search for great love. She loves to write about strong women who will accept nothing less.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

 

inn- my review

This second installment in the Magic Born series is a step up from the first. It picks up where the original left off and takes you back to the world of paranormal Guardians, witches, and shifters. I need to point out, though, that there were some continuity issues, but it didn’t take much away from the initial story.

This story focuses on Dreamwalker and King of the Parthen Neeran, Alex’s brother, and sassy sorceress Mar. Mar is kidnapped while on a mission and Neeran is sent after her to rescue her. The chemistry between these two are pretty interesting to say the least. The foundation was built in the first book and carried over quite nicely to this next book and continued to flourish right before my eyes.

I’m very attached to these characters and much like the first one, the action kicks right in and never lets you go till the very end. I can’t wait to see what may happen in the next book!

 

Rating 7

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

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Book Tag: Not Just Another Book Tag

Book Tag: Not Just Another Book Tag

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Shout out to the wonderful Ashlee at My Bookish Life for creating this book tag and taking the time to come up it! Check out her blog and send her love!

I haven’t done one of these in a very long time…..Let’s do this!

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Are you the only reader in your family?

I come from a long line of readers. Three of my grandmothers were huge readers when I grew up. My Grandma B was the main one out of all three who got me started in the first place. She’d take me to the library to get the old Disney books on cassette to listen too. My Mamaw K. was the one who mainly read to me. One of the books I mainly remember asking her to read me was a condensed younger children’s book version of The Wizard of Oz. I didn’t meet my Grandma H. till I was almost eighteen. I still remember walking into her personal library for the first time and realized where my love of mysteries and the paranormal derived from.

My mom is a huge reader and I got my stepmother back into reading when I was in high school. While I may not have a lot of male readers in my family, I’m thankful for each person in my family who pushed me to read. It helped make me who I am today.

What is your favourite genre and why?

This is a difficult one because I have a blend of tastes. On one hand, I adore Paranormal romance novels while on the other, I’m a sucker for a juicy mystery. Fantasy has a soft spot in my heart, but it has to have an impactful story. All in all, I don’t have a specific favorite, much like my music, it is all blended together.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what’s one question you would ask them?

….Meep….well…um…this is tough. I have too many. The first one, above all, would be J.K. Rowling. Shocker because I adore R.L. Stine and grew up reading his Fear Street series and became borderline obsessed with collecting all of them. As much as I would like to meet him, J.K. is before him.

Question I would ask would probably be if she’d consider writing another spin-off series in the Harry Potter world aside from Fantastic Beasts.

Do you prefer to sit up or lay down when reading?

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I’m either laying down on my back or laying on my stomach. Lately, though, I’ve been finding myself laying on my stomach more than anything else these days.

How do you buy your books, online or instore?

I actually don’t have a preference. The books I purchase online are mainly ones you can’t easily find in stores. I’m in a bar book club by my place where we read the classics only they are not your average classics (i.e. On the RoadClockwork Orange, Rosemary’s Baby, etc.). I usually go online for these instead of the store because either their copies are expensive or they don’t have them.

Who is your favourite book villain and why?

Don’t kill me for this, but, Pennywise. Now, hear me out. If you haven’t read It by Stephen King or have seen the films, you need to ASAP. He is the perfect villain. Some people like certain villains because of attractiveness or back story. I personally like Pennywise because you never fully know what you are going to get. He can literally transform into anything anyone can imagine. That is terrifying more than anything due to the fact he knows whatever form you are afraid of. Try sleeping when you know he is in your world.

How did you become a part of the bookish community?

I’ve been reviewing books for at least four and a half years, but my blog has been around for three out of those years. I used to mainly review on Goodreads and Amazon at the time then decided to start my little book review haven on here. I watch BookTube every now and then to keep up with what’s going on in the bookish community aside from the book blog community. I have loved being a part of this beloved community nonetheless.

Have your book choices changed over the years as you’ve grown older?

Surprisingly, they haven’t changed 100%. I have always loved mysteries and the paranormal. The only thing that has changed are my expectations with a certain story and writing style.

Has being a reader ever made you think of writing your own book?

I am actually a writer. Book wise, I haven’t attempted to write a book since college, unfortunately. But, I do have plenty of ideas that I write down in various notebooks I have. I mainly write free style poems and lyrics these days. Can’t play an instrument, but write my heart out in lyrics. Then again, I am thinking about possibly trying to write a book again.

What part of a book do you enjoy the most, characters, plot or world building?

Has to be world building. If I don’t feel like I’m in the world an author is trying to create, why continue to be a part of the journey? The characters are merely players and the world is the stage like reality and Shakespeare’s famous words. Proper world building is a must for me to keep reading.

 

And there it is! I challenge/tag everyone who is reading to take this challenge! Don’t forget to mention Ashlee in your posts and also tag me in them so I can read your answers!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Romani Blood By Frances Trilone

ARC Review: Romani Blood By Frances Trilone

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Title: Romani Blood
Author: Frances Trilone
Series: Shifter Blood: Romani Curse Bk. 1
Release Date: July 28th, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

 

inn - about the book

WOLVES. WITCHES. A TOWN FULL OF SECRETS.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna doesn’t like her new home in Woodlake, Michigan. The moment she enters the small Romani community, she has to follow their strict rules – No boys. No school. No cell phones.

Forced to work at the cafe, Sienna meets Kaleb and her world changes forever. He’s unlike anyone she has ever met. He’s dangerous, forbidden, and a shapeshifter. She quickly realizes that falling in love with the wrong guy can be riskier than she’d ever imagined.

With a tourist missing and a killer on the loose, the Town Council and Romani Elders agree to join forces with the Norwood wolves. But when the evidence leads straight to Kaleb and more secrets are exposed, Sienna must choose…

Loyalty to her Romani blood?

Or love for the enemy, a Norwood wolf?

inn- about the author

Frances Trilone writes YA paranormal romance and fantasy. She was born in New Jersey, went to high school in Japan, graduated from college in New York City, and now lives in Texas. When she’s not writing, she likes to hike, read, watch movies, and spend time with family and friends. Some of her favorite things are: coffee, Thai food, animals, and Supernatural.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

inn- my review

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Never before have I read werewolves and Romani gypsies put together in one novel. I actually haven’t read many books with gypsies involved in the paranormal world, period. This book had Twilight vibes; however, this book gives itself it’s own name and place in the YA Paranormal Fantasy genre.

After losing her father and now her mother’s stage three cancer diagnosis, Sienna moves with her mother back to her mother’s childhood home in the small town of Woodlake. Her mother fled her small community after being married to her gaje or non-Romani father. Since Sienna wasn’t raised in the Romani customs, she quickly has to adjust to the strict rules of the Romani community: no cell phones (except for work), no boys, pitching in on her mother’s bills, ect..

She starts working in at a small cafe in town popularized by tourists and the locals. She meets these group of “attractive” individuals who take care of a wolf community on a small off the coast island called Norwood Isle. The werewolf key in this story is introduced innocently enough through these characters, but you assume who the werewolves are of the story right off the bat.

A tourist goes missing in the woods of Norwood Isle, sending the Romani community and the Norwood employees or “werewolves” into trying to get to the bottom of who or what is happening in the small town of Woodlake. The “forbidden romance” between Kaleb and Sienna is relatively cute to say the least despite the insta-love trope. The mystery definitely kept me guessing to the very end, but it was a very fulfilling end to say the least, leaving room for the sequel.

Sienna, as a character, starts off as the normal angsty teenage girl trying to adjust to her surroundings and people. It took me a bit to warm up to her due to the immaturity, but she grew up through the story and it was a huge relief. Character development and growth go hand in hand in YA novels and they have become high on list lately. I sought for it greatly with this book, in particular, and was not disappointed.

If you were missing or seeking a good YA paranormal romance featuring werewolves, be sure to add this to your list!

 

Rating 8

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Review: A Girl of White Winter By Barb Hendee

Blog Tour & Review: A Girl of White Winter By Barb Hendee

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Title: A Girl of White Winter
Author: Barb Hendee
Series: A Dark Glass #3
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

 

Click Here to Read my Review on the Previous Two Installments

 

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Kara, as a ward with no parentage and no future, has been raised knowing nothing outside her lady’s chambers. Until Royce Capello, a visiting nobleman, is struck by her ice-pale looks, and demands her as payment for the land the family needs.

With barely time to protest, Kara is sold and packed off for a life as a concubine—until a raiding party descends on Royce’s company and she’s kidnapped for the second time in as many days.

Whatever happens, Kara will be alone in the world, inexperienced and fearing even the vast unfamiliar sky. But one raider gives her a choice—and a magic mirror appears to show her where each path will lead…

~She can leave with her protector Raven and journey with his performing troupe, competing for his mercurial affections.

~She can flee the raiders’ settlement, and return to Royce’s manor, chattel among devious nobility.

~Or she can stay in the settlement, bound to firm, silent Caine, who is as gentle as he is staid and inscrutable.

Her fates twist and turn to affect far more than she could have guessed, tangling the bitter with the sweet—and Kara must choose which consequences she can live with…

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Barb Hendee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches series. She is the co-author (with husband J.C.) of the Noble Dead Saga. She holds a master’s degree in composition/rhetoric from the University of Idaho and currently teaches writing for Umpqua Community College. She and J.C. live in a quirky two-level townhouse just south of Portland, Oregon.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Amazon/Goodreads

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I can’t believe almost a year has flown by since I reviewed the previous two installments in this series. Each show the possible outcomes of choices these young women make and their affects on the kingdoms they reside. This one, however, is different from the previous two.

This new installment involves a girl who was born without a title due to her parentage of her father being a nobleman and her mother a servant out of wedlock. Her aunt, the nobleman’s sister and lady of the house, has kept young Kara under close watch and protection since birth. That is until her husband sells Kara to a Royce Capello as a mistress to his home.

Through a series of unfortunate yet kind of fortunate events, she is left with three possible choices provided by the magic mirror we’ve seen in the previous two books.  Unfortunately, for me, the outcomes of these choice could have been fleshed out more. The second choice of her going back should not have been an option! Who in their right mind would go back to the men you were sold to in the first place? No, there had to be a better option to insert instead of that one.

The biggest issue I had with this installment is that Kara needed more growth! She is met with many opportunities to grow in independence or learn how to open up to the world she is given. I understand coming from a sheltered background can leave you scared of the unknown, but this girl needed to embrace it. She had so much potential and I wish I could have read it.

I still recommend this series, but this is the weakest one compared to the other two.

Rating 5

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Mean Streaks By Kimberly G. Giarrantano

ARC Review: Mean Streaks By Kimberly G. Giarrantano

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Title: Mean Streaks: Three Short Mysteries
Author: Kimberly G. Giarrantano
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/Kobo/Google Play
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.**

Synopsis

Maxine’s high-school bully overdoses on heroin. Amber’s dream vacation to Mexico ends with a body on the beach. And Carrie is invited to a sweet sixteen party where the guest of honor is found strangled to death.

Three stories. Three girls. Three murders.

About the Author

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Kimberly G. Giarratano lives in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former ESL teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly loves politics, podcasts, and offbeat crime dramas. Her debut novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards, won the 2015 Silver Falchion Award for Best YA at Killer Nashville.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

My Review

There is nothing like a quick Thriller anthology to read by a bonfire in the middle of a warm summer night. Each of these three stories left me wanting more information, more depth, just…more.

Story 1: The Quickest Path

High school is never easy, regardless of how you paint it or believe it is. Maxine Goldfarb knows how it is, especially when you are being bullied by Brent, one of the school’s most popular football players. When she stumbles across his body in the middle of the woods, questions arise. What happened to him? Was it an accident or something more sinister?

This particular story is my favorite out of the three. The end result sneaks up on you pretty quickly. My mouth completely dropped discovering the truth behind Brent’s death. All I will say is, pay attention to the information you are given. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll figure it out.

Story 2: Welcome to Paradise

Vacation. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to escape the craziness of working, college, or need a break in general from life? Amber Fishman goes on vacation with her family in Mexico for Spring Break. While relaxing by the pool, she befriends Julienne and ends up partying with her on the beach later that night. The more time she spends with Julienne, though, she notices something is a little off about her. The next day a body is discovered where they were partying. The body of a boy Julienne was rumored to be involved with. Did she have something to do with it and is Amber in danger?

This story wasn’t as deep as the previous one. I understood why certain events occurred in the first story, but the second one felt rushed and it left me very confused. I re-read it just in case I missed something. It didn’t matter, it needed more descriptions, background, and explanation for what happened.

Story 3: Peach Party Dress

Rebecca Green is used to being the outsider in her school. When she received an invitation to Melissa Gunner’s Sweet Sixteenth birthday party, she wondered what is the true intentions after their falling out not long ago. Not long ago, there was a hit-and-run involving their classmate Teddy, leaving him unresponsive in a coma. Rebecca encounters Melissa during the party and gets in a slight altercation which leads to many accusing her of murder after Melissa’s body was discovered.

This story has various suspects as to who murdered Melissa. The possibilities are endless. Imagine Clue set with teenagers and Riverdale-style drama. And the ending? AHHHHHHHH *Positive Screaming*

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Definitely try this anthology out if you need something quick or aching to add to your Thriller collection!

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick ARC Review: Sky in the Deep By Adrienne Young

Quick ARC Review: Sky in the Deep By Adrienne Young

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Title: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

 

Synopsis

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

My Review

A Viking inspired tale, a simple yet complex plot, and opposing peoples brought up to hate one another through misconceptive means.  It’s taken me awhile to compile my thoughts over this, but in the end, it’s worth the wait. With an action-packed opening sure to capture the eyes of readers everywhere, it laid down the foundation of what the future events held.

The story follows an ancient blood feud between the Riki and the Aska leads to a full-blown war between the families. Eelyn, an Aska, fights for her people only to be captured by Reiki forces and kept as a slave. She quickly learns how similar the people are to her own and realizes how wrong the feud truly is. But will the families push their prejudices aside in order to fight the terror lurking in the dark.

Amazing debut for Adienne Young! I’m excited to see what else she may bring. If you ever have a chance to read this, do it!

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Pilgrimage to Death By Alexa Padgett

Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Pilgrimage to Death By Alexa Padgett

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Title: A Pilgrimage to Death
Author: Alexa Padgett
Seires: Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…

When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.

Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.

Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller.

About the Author

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With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Giveaway

Want to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick ARC Review: Ash Princess By: Laura Sebastian

Quick ARC Review: Ash Princess By: Laura Sebastian

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Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #1
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

Synopsis

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

 

My Review

It has taken me too long to review this release and there is a reason for it. I kept having a hard time picking it up and reading it. Each time I tried, the material reminded me of other YA Fantasy novels I previously read. YA Fantasies are beginning to become like Dystopian and Vampire mainstream novels before them. What is considered “fresh” and “new” one minute and popular, authors are told to repeat tropes to satisfy readers. This novel is heavily influenced by this.

Theodosia had promise, had. She could have used her bitterness and rage to her advantage, but sold out and “fell” for the Prinz. Her personality wavered greatly. It was almost like the fire within her was sucked out almost halfway through the novel.

I have read fantasy that are cookie cutters while others were genuinely unique to itself and stood out amongst the masses. This one, sadly, is not one of them to me.

Rating 3

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Guarded Desire By Christi Snow

ARC Review: Guarded Desire By Christi Snow

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Title: Guarded Desire
Author: Christi Snow
Series: NM Protectors #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Release Date: June 21, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

Synopsis

Kidnapped and terrorized, I refuse to let anyone break me. I can stand on my own, no matter what it costs…even if that cost is my life.

Elle…
I was living the life of an ordinary college coed, but that existence was blown wide open when I was kidnapped while visiting my very famous mother, rock-star, ViviAnna.

Now I’m back at college, pretending life is normal while dodging paparazzi and dealing with my face showing up regularly on the nightly news. Trying to find a new balance isn’t happening and the effort to not jump at every shadow or bump in the night is messing with my head more than I ever expected.

Jonah…
I’m a highly trained bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean I want to deal with some spoiled pop princess’s daughter, especially if she’s anything like her handsy mother.

But when I met Elle, she shocked the hell out of me. She’s nice and thoughtful with an incredible inner strength. Even more surprising…she doesn’t want me anywhere near her. But every once in a while I see a flash of fear and vulnerability that make all my protective instincts flare.

I have to protect her.

Because they never caught her kidnapper…

About the Author

Christi Snow

As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When her husband retired from the Air Force, Christi decided it was time to chase her dream and she started writing. She hasn’t stopped since. With twenty-two published books in various romance genres, she’s found her passion. Now she spends her days with her laptop writing about sexy, alpha heroes and the loves of their lives.

Writing both as Christi Snow and one-half of the writing duo, KB Jacobs, Christi has fulfilled her dream… filling the world with more romance and suspense.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She loves this adventure and has truly found her tribe!

Contact

Blog/Goodreads/Twitter/Website

 

My Review

Want to talk about the perfect model for a book cover? All I’m saying is if I needed a guard, I’d definitely pick him. Since he’s supposed to be the character Jonah in this book and after reading it, I can absolutely see him in that role.

The great thing about this series, I must say, is that each is a standalone despite it being a series. You can read any of them out of order, but you do not need the rest. Even though this is the first one in the series, it’s a pretty good start.

Jonah, a former soldier, is placed in charge of guarding a well-known artist’s daughter after being she is rescued from a hostage situation. Elle is still recovering after being held captive. Her nightmares frighten her while her captor’s voice haunts her throughout the day. He was never caught by the police, bringing her to constantly look over her shoulder.

Her mother, ViviAnna, hires Jonah despite Elle’s protests. As a result, Jonah takes the guise of Elle’s “boyfriend” in order to protect her as she tries to complete her college degree. However, what begins as a mere act slowly transforms into attraction between the bodyguard and his ward.

The story is short, sweet, and keeps your attention due to the mystery aspect of where the captor is. I enjoyed the budding romance between Elle and Jonah. I had a little trouble with the ending. It felt rushed and needed to be drawn out a little longer. Other than that, its was a delightful read.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Xpresso Blog Tour & ARC Review: Evading the Dark By E.M. Rinaldi

Xpresso Blog Tour & ARC Review: Evading the Dark By E.M. Rinaldi

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Title: Evading the Dark
Author: E.M. Rinaldi
Series: The Cross Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Available: Amazon/Goodreads

 

Synopsis

High school sucks. It doesn’t matter who you ask; jock, cheerleader, computer nerd, or band geek, they will all say the same thing: It’s a nightmare. But Casey is still wondering how she got the short end of the stick. Just a Sophomore at the prestigious Luthos Academy for Magical Beings, Casey already knows more about heartache and fear than any almost-sixteen-year-old should.

Orphaned and left to be raised by the Academy, she spends her days training to become a Guardian, but that dream is looking dimmer with every day that passes.Unlike the wand-waving heroines in all her favorite books, Witches in her world don’t cast spells, they are born wielding the power of nature: water, fire, earth, or air; powers Casey never developed. She’ll be lucky if they even allow her to take her final exams.

She is top of her training class, but that doesn’t keep her from being looked down upon by every other being at her school. All Casey wants is to be given a chance, instead she finds the only life she’s ever known targeted by an unfathomable evil. Thrust into the center of an age-old prophecy, a war is coming with Casey at the reins.

Will relying on her hard earned training be enough for her to make it out alive?

My Review

Evading the Dark takes us to a world where witches, vampires, fae, and shifters remain in secret. Their progeny are sent to hidden schools for the talented beings throughout the world. Casey, an orphaned child of notorious witch Carina, is taken into the Luthos Academy under the guise of her Guardian Eli in order to grow in her powers. The downside – Casey does not have any powers.

The witches at Luthos are held at an extremely high standard. Each one is drawn to one of the four elements (fire, water, air, & earth). Since Casey does not wield any of these powers, her fellow students (except her friends Cedric and Falon) go out of their way to torment her day after day for something she cannot control. I spent a good part of the book angry at her horrible treatment and the instructors turning a blind eye to it. How can you allow students harm an innocent one who cannot even fully defend herself? But, I digress. The turning point of the novel could not come at a better time when it did.

There are not many characters like Casey, period. Despite the torment, she still fights for herself even when others turn a blind eye and carries her addicting personality in tow. Even with a prophecy over her head, she doesn’t give up trying to discover her place and how she may succeed.

Wonderful story, well-thought out characters and enticing plot – one to keep an eye for sure!

Rating 8

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC C.B.H. Review: Meant To Be Broken By Brandy Woods Snow

ARC C.B.H. Review: Meant To Be Broken By Brandy Woods Snow

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Title: Meant To Be Broken
Author: Brandy Woods Snow
Series: Carolina Clay #1
Release Date: July 13, 2018
Available: Amazon/Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via Filles Vertes Publishing, LLC in exchange for a honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.**

Synopsis

Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

About the Author

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Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing has always been her first love, the media has been her home for more than 17 years, during which time she has built a strong platform that includes articles in Delta Sky, Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Home Design & Décor magazine (Charlotte, Raleigh). She has also worked in corporate communications, public relations and business development for international and regional companies.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

My Review

In the deep south where secrets are buried among the congregation of an old church, where patrons sing their hymns and hold their potlucks, where teenagers hold bonfires and steal kisses in the haylofts, and where hidden love abides behind whispers and avoids gossiper’s lips – Rayne and Gage try to figure out their place in it all.

We first meet Rayne, a hardworking girl whose mother battles what I perceived as a form of PTSD due to some past trauma of some kind. Rayne along with her father are constantly on edge with her mother’s breakdown and mistrust. I mean, the poor girl’s mom signs her up to sing church solos because she believes liars cannot sing about God. Not joking.

Anyway, Rayne gets close to the local high school QB Preston Howard. Preston is notorious from jumping from girl to girl until he meets Rayne. To him, the game completely changed. But, in the background, his brother Gage has his eyes on Rayne as well.

The chemistry between Gage and Rayne is hard to compare with Rayne and Preston. The banter, oh the banter! Bantering is high on my list of attractiveness between two characters. I believed in their forbidden romance. Yes, there is a love triangle and I’m not going to repeat my hatred, but Brandy writes it in a believable and understandable way.

Contemporary novels rarely move me, well, I rarely give them a chance at all. This one, though, I believed deserved to be read. I cried, I fell in love, and I bonded with these characters as if they were a part of my own family. Growing up with a Southern family, it can be a challenge living in a world where people’s rumors can destroy your reputation in an instant. Especially where the origins of certain family entanglements are concerned. This book will leave you in tears but it’s worth every one.

Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz: Splash By M.E. Rhines

Book Blitz: Splash By M.E. Rhines

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Title: Splash
Author: M.E. Rhines
Series: Mermaid Royalty #3
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

*Sink, Book 1, is currently FREE – Get your copy here!

Synopsis

Fawna is happy with the new life she has made for herself on land. She has her child and her youngest sister Pauline by her side—plus an amazing new human boyfriend named Randy. So when an old friend from Atargatis shows up, she immediately feels the weight of everything she stands to lose. But the news can’t be ignored – there’s been an attack on their kingdom; her aunt Myrtle is dead and her mother is missing. Angelique, their middle sister, is now ruling a kingdom to the north, leaving Fawna as the only royal left to help save Atargatis. Torn between responsibilities in two different worlds, the decision is made for her when the powerful sea witch who attacked the kingdom also takes Fawna’s son. Now she has no choice—to save her life on dry land, she’ll have to dive back into the ocean…

The final installment in the beloved Mermaid Royalty series, Splash is a heart-pounding fantasy romance that will have you feeling like you need to come up for air!

About the Author

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M.E. Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and nonsense is necessary.

Contact

Facebook/Twitter

Giveaway

Want a chance to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box?


Enter Giveaway Here!

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

3 Year Blog Anniversary – Hiatus is Over!

3 Year Blog Anniversary – Hiatus is Over!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CHARMED BOOK HAVEN REVIEWS!

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Wow, three years ago I never thought I’d be here, sitting at my desk writing this post. It’s been a wild ride for sure. I’ve met many bloggers, writers, readers, etc., since starting this journey in the beginning of the summer of 2015. Whether it’s bonding over our mutual love for Harry Potter or discussing the latest new releases – this community never ceases to make me feel at home both online or even in the outside world with the connections built.

I took a month and a half break from here to focus on reading. Well, that was the original plan until adulting officially took the wheel and my reading slump officially took hold. The month and a half passed rather quickly, but at the same time it felt like it dragged at an endless pace. The struggle to get back into reading after all that time was painfully real.

We all seem to go through reading slumps we can’t seem to break and when it comes to something you love the most – it’s even worse. I tried diving into genres out of my comfort zone (i.e. dystopian classics, contemporary lit), but nothing seemed to ignite my passion for it. It wasn’t until the last two weeks, though, when I picked up Three Dark Crowns By Kendare Blake from my local library that for the first time in quite awhile, I devoured a book in a mere couple of days. I recently downloaded the second book on my kindle and plan on begin reading it later this week.

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Since then, I haven’t been able to stop reading. At work, I’m currently drowning in these audiobooks:

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For those who have kept up since the beginning, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! I wouldn’t still be running my blog without your support. And also, shout out to all you writers out there. Keep writing! Never give up on your passion or your dreams. It’s your imaginations and your characters who bring us all together. Without you, there would be no joy in this world. No inspiration for future writers to pick up the torch and create new worlds. Thank you for your hard work and love you put into your stories!

What do you do to get over your reading slumps?

What are you currently reading?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage

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Title: Suitors and Sabotage
Author: Cindy Anstey
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: April 17th, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC via NetGalley, Xpresso Tours, and Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

dd- about the book

Two young people must hide their true feelings for each other while figuring out who means them harm in this cheeky Regency romance from the author of Love, Lies and Spies and Duels & Deception.

Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.

Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended.

But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .

In Suitors and Sabotage, author Cindy Anstey delivers another witty young adult historical fiction novel that is the perfect mix of sweetly romantic and action-packed.

dd- about the author

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Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

dd- my review

Back during the regency period, comes a novel where love and mystery entangle to prepare you for Suitors and Sabotage. The love triangle aspect is turned up to a level 11 and you know how I feel about those. However, this one isn’t a true love triangle since two of the characters are obviously falling for one another and not their “suited” counterparts.
We open to the year of 1817 where Imogene Chivey’s family estate is being visited by her match, Ernest Steeple and his brother Benjamin. Her father immediately is taken with Ernest and believes the match will be prosperous while looking down upon Ernest’s brother Benjamin. Benjamin has a high interest in architecture, though, and is hired by Imogene’s father in order to restore a castle on the estate property. Benjamin has a secret, though, he lacks the ability to draw. Imogene jumps in and offers her help to teach him and their relationship takes flight from there.
Despite Ernest’s efforts, Imogene slowly begins to turn her attention to his brother Benjamin. The chemistry between these two are subtle and not overpowering like many “insta-love” literary couples. The development in their relationship takes time and it’s the PERFECT time. On the other hand, Imogene’s best friend, Emily, is falling for Benjamin as well and Ernest with Imogene, respectively. It feels a bit complicated at times and I found myself having to pause for a few minutes in order to let the idea of it all sink in.
The mystery component of this novel is gradually added into the novel. Several incidents take place, causing problems to arise for Benjamin and capture Emily and Imogene’s attention. The incidents are small and inconsequential but then they begin to escalate to where they could possibly kill someone. The reveal of the culprit needed a bit of work. I was surprised at the identity, but how they were caught is a whole other ballgame completely. It needed to be revealed in a different way, in my opinion.
I enjoyed this book. I positively enjoyed the awkward conversations and the dynamics the characters brought to the table. If you are looking for your next Regency-era YA read, I highly recommend you pick this one up!
Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Dreamer By L.E. DeLano

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Dreamer By L.E. DeLano

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Title: Dreamer
Series: Traveler Series #2
Author: L.E. DeLano
Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

About the Book

You’re still you no matter where you go.

Jessa has learned the hard way that traveling to alternate dimensions isn’t all delicious, glittering desserts and fancy parties: it also means accidentally running into people she thought she’d never see again. Still mourning a devastating loss, Jessa isn’t really prepared for the arrival of a reckless version of someone she once loved who is now bent on revenge. Add an increasingly complicated relationship with her best friend Ben, the reappearance of an old enemy, and the threat of the multiverse collapsing, and Jessa’s got a lot on her plate. She may be destined to help save an infinite multitude of worlds… but in the end, all Jessa really wants to do is save her friends.

About the Author

L.E. DeLano is a YA novelist rep’d by Barry Goldblatt Literary agency, author of the upcoming “Traveler” (Swoon Reads/MacMillan 2017) and lifelong writer. Her work has been featured on various online outlets and she lives in Pennsylvania with two very adventurous kids and two very ridiculous cats. In her spare time, she writes (of course) and binge-watches way too much Netflix.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

My Review

“If you could jump to any dimension, where would you go?”

This duopoly, both Traveler (First book) and Dreamer, bring the mystery of multiple dimensions to life through the eyes of teenage writer Jessa. One morning as she is attending a school function, she meets a mysterious teenager named Finn with important news. Jessa is a traveler aka one who can travel into various dimensions and change the lives of those in that dimension.

Finn reveals all of her different dimensional forms are being murdered, sending them on the hunt for the Traveler responsible and the reasoning behind them. It is later revealed the culprits are attempting to collapse several dimensions, causing the deaths of millions of people. The ending of the first book left me in tears, but also frustrated in the progression of the story.

The fact Jessa had no other friends reminded me of other YA novels. I get she’s a writer, but she has the ability to make other friends. On another note if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you know how much I loath the love triangle cliche. It’s getting old and needs to end. The first book had the capability to be better.

Rating 6

The second book picks up where the first left off. Jessa is still faced with the reality of the possible collapse of various dimensions. As much as she wants to focus on saving the world, she is still recovering the loss of Finn. She loses the drive to write and seeks to change her life to where she doesn’t want to be a Traveler anymore. Ben begins to grow closer to Jessa and things begin to finally look up until another Finn from another dimension shows up to change all of it.

The second book is a step up from the previous installment. Jessa jumps into different dimensions again and brings over more elements that foreshadows future events. It is interesting to see more versions of herself and the differences. It also proves that no matter who you are, you and your actions are important no matter what dimension you are in.

Rating 7

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Book Tour, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Glass Blade By Ryan Wieser

Book Tour, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Glass Blade By Ryan Wieser

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Title: The Glass Blade
Author: Ryan Wieser
Series: Hunterse of Infinity Book 1
Genre: Science Fiction/Space Opera
Available: Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Google Play/Kobo
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The Hunters of Infinity have been protecting the Daharian galaxy for years, but there has never been a female Hunter—until now.

In a seedy bar in the shadowy corners of Daharia, Jessop comes to the rescue of young Hunter Kohl O’Hanlon. Impressed by her remarkable sword-wielding skills, the Hunters invite her to their training facility, the Glass Blade, though not all are pleased with the intrusion. But they soon discover that Jessop learned to fight from the rogue leader of the Shadow City of Aranthol—and escaped. Now they want to use her intimate knowledge of their enemy to destroy him. As Jessop grows closer to this elite brotherhood, their leader succumbs to a mysterious ailment, and Kohl learns that Jessop is hiding dark secrets, raising suspicions about the enigmatic woman who saved his life. Has the Hunters’ security been breached—or do they have a traitor in their ranks?

Allegiances will be questioned.

Loyalties will be betrayed.

Vengeance will be brutal.

 

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The tavern was dark and quiet, barring the muted voices that filled the corners with whispers of quiet corruption and deceit. Hushed sounds traveled on thick smoke to the ceiling and her eyes trailed over the dimly lit corners and over the musty cloaked patrons. Dirty exchanges took place everywhere, too-young girls being offered coins and despair by corrupt travelers, whose lies traveled like fire across the alcohol on their lips. This wasn’t a typical bar, this dark, underground dwelling in the heart of Azgul where there were more shadows than light, more smoke than air. It was a seedy, unsafe locale where illegal exchanges could occur. A place favored by those in the city’s most important positions, for in this underground dwelling they could act as they truly wished.

From where she sat, with her cloak draped low over her face, she could easily make out the group of Aren. They were more discreet than she had anticipated, but few could go unseen to her well-trained eyes. They were scattered about the bar, donning the civilian attire of common Azgul nomad passer-by. The Aren weren’t common travelers though; they were fatalistic believers who waited anxiously for a supposed impending end. A doom and darkness that would swallow the entire Daharian galaxy whole—their belief in some unimagined state of horror for the universe made her certain that not a man amongst them had ever laid eyes on Aranthol.

She scanned the room, counting twelve of the zealots. Without their robes they appeared as normal men, barring their brand, which could be seen on the base of several of their necks. The tender nape of the neck was where all in Azgul had their brands. She knew that their mark was not well-known though, not as well-known as they would have liked it to be. Thinking of the brandings nearly had Jessop reaching for her own neck, certain she could almost feel the hot iron against her still. The smell of burning, blistering flesh unnaturally recoiling from heated metal filled her nostrils. She shivered at the putrid memory and forced it back to the depths of her mind, where she kept all her locked-away thoughts and all her darkness.

Suddenly, the oddest sensation roused her, overcoming her senses. She could feel silk running across her skin, dragging her fine hairs on end, exciting her cells. The energy of the room had completely changed, thickening the air more than any smoke or liquor could do. She had only ever been around one other of her kind, and to feel the changing electromagnetic charge in the room without him present was as compelling to her as it was terrifying. The draw was a beast’s cry calling her in, feeding her need to find the one like her. It was a pull strong enough to grip her, strong enough to shoot adrenaline through her, to dilate her pupils and ready her muscles and tell her, without question, that Hunters were near.

She closed her eyes and narrowed in on their presence. She could smell the faintest scent of grease on one of them; it had an acidic air to it—like the oil slick found in the Western corner of the city. She could hear his voice though he did not speak. She could see the diminutive smudge of black slick over his boot though she did not open her eyes. Her senses—so refined—ensured she could see most of him without ever glancing his way.

And then she laid eyes on him.

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Ryan Wieser completed her B.A. in Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies before going on to complete her MSc. in Experimental Psychology. Having been raised in Africa and educated across multiple countries, Ryan has a passion for travel and an interest in diverse cultures. She currently resides in Wyoming with her husband, where she is writing her next book.

Contact

Website/Goodreads

 

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Want to Win a Ebook of The Glass Blade along with a $10 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: The Emperor’s Seal By Amanda Roberts

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: The Emperor’s Seal By Amanda Roberts

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Title: The Emperor’s Seal
Author: Amanda Roberts
Series: Touching Time Bk. 1
Release Date: March 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon
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Peking, 1902

The Emperor’s Seal – the divine symbol of the Emperor on earth – is missing. The Empress will do whatever it takes to get it back.

Jiayi has a gift – she can travel through time just by touching historical artifacts. More than anything, she wants to escape the clutches of the Empress and run away to a foreign land. Finding the Emperor’s Seal could be her only chance at freedom, but is she willing to risk the wrath of the Empress?

Historian and wannabe archaeologist Zhihao has no love for the Empress or the Qing Dynasty, but when the Empress orders him to find the Emperor’s Seal in exchange for funding China’s first history museum, he cannot refuse. It is only after he accepts the assignment that he realizes the key to finding the seal lies in the hands of a palace slave.

Civil unrest and encroaching foreign powers threaten Jiayi and Zhihao’s mission and lives as they hunt for The Emperor’s Seal.

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Amanda Roberts is a writer and editor who has been living in China since 2010. Amanda has an MA in English from the University of Central Missouri. She has been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies around the world and she regularly contributes to numerous blogs. Amanda can be found all over the Internet, but her home is TwoAmericansinChina.com.

Contact

Website/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Goodreads

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This Empress, oh this Empress, man, she is full of herself. Especially for the fact she has no right to hold the throne due to her losing the Emperor’s Seal and finally realizes her line could lose succession if it is not found. She sets Jiayi, a young woman in her care, along with the archaeologist, Zhihao, on a mission to find the Seal.

I felt for Jiayi and rooted for her from the beginning. She has the ability to relive the moment in time the object was moved or touch by the mere touch of an object in her possession.  Then she is paired up with Zhihao who doesn’t care about the Dynasty at all, but wants the funds in order to find his own Chinese Museum.

Of course, our heroines cannot have a pleasant journey. We discover that British excavators are also in search for artifacts around the area the Seal is rumored to be hidden. Question is, who will uncover it first?

I felt Indiana Jones vibes with this and I actually got a kick out of them. Only, we are in the Chinese Dynasty. Different time, different rules, and a different set of characters you enjoy tagging along with. From the first to the last page, I am proud to declare, “Please give me more!”

Rating 10

 

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Enter Giveaway Here!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & Review: Inn the Spirit of Legends By: Becki Willis

Blog Tour & Review: Inn the Spirit of Legends By: Becki Willis

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Title: Inn the Spirit of Legends
Author: Becki Willis
Series: Spirits of Texas – Cozy Mysteries
Release Date: March 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon
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From the author of The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, comes an intriguing new book series, the Spirits of Texas Cozy Mysteries. 

When the tiny hamlet of Hannah, Texas goes up for auction, Hannah Duncan’s fun-loving uncle sees it as the perfect gift for her thirtieth birthday. After all, what’s more fun than a town bearing your own name? 

Nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, the ‘town’ isn’t much — a dozen or less buildings in various stages of disrepair—but it comes with a dedicated pair of caretakers, a menagerie of farm animals, a surprisingly generous trust fund, enough stipulations to make her head spin, and a handsome but maddening attorney to oversee the handling of the estate.

Originally a stagecoach stop, Hannah, Texas resolves around the historic and rather charming Spirits of Texas Inn. The old inn comes with a colorful past, the mystique of hidden treasure, loyal guests who still book summer vacations there, and three surprise residents: true spirits of the past, who didn’t cross over as expected. 

Now Hannah has her hands full, coming to terms with her unexpected status as an innkeeper, adjusting to life in the country, fighting her attraction to attorney Walker Jacoby, plus dealing with ghosts! 

To top it off, two fortune hunters arrive to search for the hidden treasure, and they don’t care who stands in their way. They’ll stoop to any means—including murder—to get their hands on the legendary stash of gold.

Don’t miss out on the excitement, right from the beginning. Book your visit to Hannah, Texas today!

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Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality. Since that time, she has published eleven books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction and Best Audio Book, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world. 

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel, but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Amazon/Goodreads

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Hannah is given the birthday gift of a lifetime! But it may be more than she bargained for. Her uncle who is notorious for lavish gifts, purchases an entire town for his niece. As Hannah goes to claim her gift, she is met with a huge debacle. In order for her to receive her trust fund, she must remain in the town for a full month. No going to the store, no leaving the city, nothing. Talk about a tough gig, eh?

She is met with a list of chores she needs to tackle including taking care of the animals kept behind the Inn, coming up with a business plan for the inn, and putting up with the lawyer handling her case. The banter between these two is pretty hilarious at times. Although, I could have done with the “he’s married, but not married” trope.

Suddenly, mysterious figures begin showing up at the inn. Turns out a few friendly ghosts haunt the Inn while the other figures are on the hunt for a rumored treasure stored in the town. I hope more of this part of the story will be explored further in the sequel.

The story unfolds organically in a way you want to learn more about the “spirits” of the inn. Hannah is an enjoyable character and Walker is an absolute sweetheart. The villains, though, could have used some work. This felt like a Hallmark movie set to the page. If it is ever made into one, it is sure to become a hit with viewers.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Review: Clowders By Vanessa Morgan

Blog Tour & Review: Clowders By Vanessa Morgan

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Title: Clowders
Author: Vanessa Morgan
Release Date: March 1st, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” – to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they’ve arrived in paradise. It soon becomes evident, though, that the inhabitants’ adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Their move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

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Vanessa Morgan is known as the “female version of Stephen King.” Three of her works (The Strangers Outside, Next to Her, A Good Man) have been transferred into films. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.

Contact

Blog/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Google+

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I adore my fur child Josie with all my heart. But like almost every cat owner, you can’t help but wonder if your pet has notorious thoughts towards you….just me? Ok, but Author Vanessa Morgan takes our nine live furry friends and gives them a home where for each cat that dies, nine humans pay the price.

Husband and wife, Aidan and Jordan are ready to start a new life with their daughter Eleonore across the sea to a town called Clervaux in Luxembourg. They believe the place to be pleasant until Jess accidentally hits a cat on the road. Little by little, people begin to pass away at an alarming rate. Was it all worth the escape?

The whole storytelling aspect of this story seemed a bit awkward at times. It made me believe this story was perhaps translated from a different language due to how the characters were written. The idea behind the story is unique to itself, but it was hard to get past the way the author wrote. If you look beyond this, you will find this story will make you take extra care of your little furry companions.

 

Rating 6

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Want to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card?
Enter Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Book Tour & Reviews: A Dark Glass Series By Barb Hendee

Book Tour & Reviews: A Dark Glass Series By Barb Hendee

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Titles: Though a Dark Glass, A Choice of Crowns
Series: A Dark Glass Series
Author: Barb Hendee
Release Date:
Available: Amazon/B&N
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Olivia Geroux knew her king was reluctant to marry her, whatever the negotiations had arranged. But she never expected to find handsome, arrogant King Rowan obsessed with his stepsister instead. And before she can determine what course to take, she overhears her greatest ally plotting to murder the princess.

Olivia must act quickly—and live with whatever chaos results. As the assassin hunts his prey, a magic mirror appears to show Olivia the
three paths that open before her.

 

If she hesitates only a moment, the princess will die—and she will become queen.

If she calls for help, she will gain great power—but she must also thrust away her own happiness. If she runs to stop the murder herself, she will know love and contentment -but her whole country will suffer.

As she lives out each path, her wits and courage will be tested as she fights to protect her people, her friends, and her heart. And deciding which to follow will be far from easy . . .

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Barb Hendee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches series. She is the co-author (with husband J.C.) of the Noble Dead Saga. She holds a master’s degree in composition/rhetoric from the University of Idaho and currently teaches writing for Umpqua Community College. She and J.C. live in a quirky two-level townhouse just south of Portland, Oregon.

Contact

Website/Amazon/Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook

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Both of these books surround the lore of a mysterious mirror who is possessed by a witch who was murdered by a king whom she tricked. Since then, it is her duty to give to lay out three choices with different outcomes to their decisions.

In the first book, Megan must choose three suitors for whom would be best to be her husband. The mirror shows her three different perspectives with various results. In the end, she is given the choice: choose love, choose respect, or choose loneliness.

I absolutely adore this first part of the series and enjoyed the outcomes. My only complaint is the handling of the LGBQ character. I understand times were different in medieval times; however, it could have been handled more gently.

With the second tale, a young woman, Olivia, is sent to be the bride of the newly noble King Rowan who is fickle with whom becomes his bride. Olivia overhears a plot to murder her possible future sister in-law.

The mirror appears once again to give her the possible choices and outcomes of her choice. But which will she choose? She can become queen, cause her country to suffer, or gain power. This is a fantastic upgrade to the first book, for sure!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Review: Just One Look By Deb Julienne

C.H.B. ARC Review: Just One Look By Deb Julienne

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Title: Just One Look
Series: Launching Love #1
Author: Deb Julienne
Published: September 20th, 2017
Available: Amazon
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*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Kindred Ink Press LLC in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.*

Synopsis

On a secret mission for her entrepreneur father, Diana Tolliver (aka Diana Clay) finds herself unexpectedly alone on a singles cruise. She befriends another solo female passenger, and they play a game to make their would-be-boring cruise a bit more fun. Each woman must pick out a single male for the other to date for the duration of the cruise.

JJ Westbrook is working his final gig as band manager for his best friend, country singer Hunter Cross, leaving to pursue a new job. While on the deck of the cruise ship, JJ spots a blonde goddess and is captivated.

When mutual friends reconnect, Diana and JJ are set up and quickly become enamored with each other, but only have a few chances to sneak away together during their time on the ship. Will they be able go their separate ways after the cruise, or will romance—and careers—bring them together again?

My Review

Short, Sweet, and Oh so tantalizing! Despite being a little over ninety pages or so, this short story will leave you clambering for the sequel especially if you are into romances. It’s a hilarious yet loving romp about two unsuspecting people who have a limited amount of time to fall in love, but who will cave first?

Diana Tolliver is abandoned by her friend and assistant Liv on board a singles cruise. Originally, she was sent there on a mission by her father to scope out whether it was worth purchasing by her father. It was supposed to be an innocent business venture alongside Liv. That is, until Liv decided to skip out on her own rendezvous and leave Diana stranded to figure what she’ll do next.

Diana quickly rebounds and teams up with another solo girl on the ship and they both go on a mission. They both set up one another with a random male passenger. What could go wrong, right?

Loved the set up, execution, plus all of the characters in this story! Fell in love immediately and could not put it down. If you’re looking for a short romantic novel to dive into – pick this one!

Rating 9

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

C.B.H. Series Review: How to Hang a Witch Series By Adriana Mather

C.B.H. Series Review: How to Hang a Witch Series By Adriana Mather

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I’ve been holding off on reviewing this series for awhile now. I read How to Hang a Witch earlier last year and finished it’s sequel, Haunting the Deep, at the beginning of last month. They both follow the strange happenings surrounding a young Samantha Mather whose family has ties to both the Salem Witch Trials and the Titanic.

The first book sets the stage with Samantha and her step mother Vivian move to Salem, Massachusetts into Samantha’s grandmother’s former mansion. Right off the bat, Samantha notices a strange presence inside of the home. Turns out to be a ghost by the name of Elijah, who like most ghosts, dislikes the fact his home has been disturbed and wishes to be left alone.

Outside the house, the world doesn’t seem to treat Samantha any better. At her new school, a group of girls known as The Descendants, are out to get Samantha due to the fact she is related to Cotton Mather. The man who sent their ancestors to their deaths during the Salem Witch Trials. Then a curse springs upon The Descendants and those who are related to the Salem Witch Trials, leading Samantha and her recruiter Elijah, on the case to uncover the dark truth behind the curse before it’s too late.

This book has it’s ups and downs. One of the downs is the sort of love triangle among Samantha, her neighbor Jaxon, and Elijah. Samantha’s relationship with Elijah feels a cross between Casper and Thackery Binx and left me wondering whether how to properly imagine him in my head.

Jaxon has clearly been friend zoned in the first book, but there were moments where I wished Samantha would just be with him. I mean let’s face it, how can you have a proper relationship with a ghost? Never mind, don’t answer that or else I’ll be having Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in my head.

Anyway, aside from the awkwardness of the threesome, the curse was pretty clever. The execution of the plot went smoothly. I figured out the perpetrator easily, but watching the events unfold was entertaining enough.

Rating 8

Now, the sequel!

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Get ready to sail upon the Titanic! Or at least a strange, cursed form of it. We meet up with Adriana a few months after the events of the first book. The Descendants barely remember the events of almost being murdered nor the culprit who cursed them in the first place. *coughs* Sorry, everyone, no spoilers here!

Anyways, Adriana’s school decides to host a Titanic themed dance along with changing up the student’s coursework to revolves around the event. Then strange things begin taking place once a mysterious looking dress from the 1900s shows up on the Mather’s doorstep. Adriana opens it up and with one touch of the dress, she is whisked away and wakes up aboard the Titanic with new memories and an identity, surrounded by ghosts of the past. Both ghosts of individuals who survived the sinking and those who did not.

Throughout the book, her and the Descendants team up to uncover the secrets behind why Adriana continually ends up on the old ship, but that’s not the only problem. Jaxon begins acting strange toward Adriana, and the ghost Elijah returns to help the girls figure out why ghosts from the ship are disappearing.

Comparing the second book to the first, I actually like the sequel better than the first book. But Adriana needs to be more responsible in her actions. I get she’s a teenager, but she’s extremely immature about handling the whole Jaxon and Elijah situation. Elijah needs to move on and her continually freaking out and getting pissed anytime he’s either around or disappears got on my nerves.

If Jaxon hadn’t have transformed into a complete jerk aside from telling Adriana off, I’d say he was the mature one in telling her how it was. She shouldn’t be messing around with a ghost. I understand he is important to the plot and all, but ghosts need to move on…haven’t you seen Supernatural?

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Rating 8

 

Have you read this series?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review & Blog Tour: Wicked Soul By Nora Ash

C.B.H. ARC Review & Blog Tour: Wicked Soul By Nora Ash

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Title: Wicked Soul
Series: Ancient Blood, Book 1
Author: Nora Ash
Release Date: February 10th, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

About the Book

He saved me… And then he blood-bonded me. Now I’m his.

My first meeting with a Chicago vampire went better than expected.

Up until that night, all I knew about vampires was limited to a few c