Blog Tour, Promo Post, & Review – “The Divine Heart” By Danielle R. Mani

Blog Tour, Promo Post, & Review – “The Divine Heart” By Danielle R. Mani

Crooked Cat new Divine Heart Bookcover

Author: Danielle R. Mani
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Release Date: September 27th, 2017
Available: Albris/Amazon/Goodreads

 

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The Divine Heart Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart—clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor—a young girl named, Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob—the guy who’s a testament that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.

My Review

Wow, what a ride! First of all, I’d like to thank author Danielle R. Mani for the honor of allowing me to read an ARC copy of her book! The YA Paranormal Community should prepare itself for a thrilling ride!

Transplants are a serious matter in our world today. Thousands of people are on waiting lists for organs that will ultimately saving their life. Some are on a list a mile long while others never have to wait long for their second chance at life. Elle Collins, is one of those who has been awaiting for her chance to live for a long time. She constantly has been under medical care and unable to live a normal, healthy seventeen-year-old’s life due to a heart defect she’s had since birth. Then finally she is given the chance to gain a life through a heart transplant from another girl we later find out named Cas.

Throughout the novel, the paranormal aspect kicks in through Elle experiencing basically messages from the heart’s former owner from beyond the grave. I enjoyed the pacing and how Mani was able to engage the reader with the mystery behind Cas’s messages to Elle. Completely did not see the twist at the end and I hope there will be a prequel in the works involving Cas!

 

Rating 9

 

A huge shoutout to Danielle R. Mani and YA Bound Book Tours for this opportunity! Grab yourself a copy, a cup of tea, and enjoy the tale of The Divine Heart!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “Lost In Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave B.1) By Nicky Peacock

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “Lost In Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave B.1) By Nicky Peacock

cover93717-mediumTitle: Lost In Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave B.1)
Author: Nicky Peacock
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Publishing Date: April 14, 2016
Available: Amazon

NetGalley Description: “Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.”

My Review

I have been a huge lover of the Alice In Wonderland tale since I was a little girl. It was one of my favorite Disney Film adaptions, both the cartoon and Tim Burton’s take, and I have watched almost all of the live action film adaptions separate from Disney. The story of a young girl chasing a white rabbit carrying a pocket watch, trips and falls down a rabbit hole into a world filled with mind boggling characters speaking in riddles and poems that send you into a quizzical frame of mind any time you read the story.

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In Lost In Wonderland, it’s a much different take on the story. It’s not a different adaption, but it takes elements of the classic and transforms it into a  darker, mystery narrative.

Kayla and Shilo witnessed the murder of their mother and their fathers suicide at a young age. Shilo is institutionalized, driven mad by memory of the murder and the idea that their mother was murdered by an ancient monster called the Kushtaka. Kayla, on the other hand, gets a completely different fate. She is adopted by two ex-government agents who now train and send out children to hunt down serial killers.

The Wonderland aspect comes into play with her new living situation. Her adoptive parents, along with her other two adopted siblings, are re-named after Alice In Wonderland characters and they frequently quote lines from the story. Even her adoptive parent’s daughter who had been murdered was named “Alice” and the man who started their operative is called “Hatter”.

Now, they receive a new case about women and girls disappearing up in Alaska. The main territory coincidently is where Kayla and Shilo used to live when they were children. This sparks events to begin unravelling that makes Kayla wonder if Shilo was telling the truth about the Kushtaka after all.

I enjoyed hearing the story from both Shilo and Kayla’s perspective. I will mention, though, that there were times I wanted to throttle Shilo. He began to annoy me at times. Yes, I understand he’s troubled because of the past but there are certain things he does continuously that make me wonder if he truly wanted to save his sister or not from the monster that killed their mother.

Other than that, enjoyed the book and recommend it to all of you Wonderlanders out there!

 

*Disclaimer* I received a free ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

 

My Rating: 7 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

To Be Read Tag

To Be Read Tag

It’s been a couple months since I’ve done a book tag of some sort. I’ve missed out on quite a bit, I’ve found. I started looking up different tags and I found this one on Knightreading’s blog and decided to take a chance.

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1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I think this picture sums it up all too well. It’s hard to keep track of it. I attempt (and I say attempts because come on, it’s nearly impossible) to keep track of it through my Pinterest board here and I also keep a notebook filled with book titles I add to whenever I’m out and about.

2. Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

It is mostly print only. I have been stocking up on my TBR pile for quite a few years. As soon as I believe I’ve made a small dent in it, I add more to it. It’s a never ending pile!

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Gosh, it depends on what I have in my personal library. I have many of my TBR books on my shelves that I need to read through. Whatever I have closest to my fingertips is how I go about it plus the library helps as well!

4. A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

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I must confess, after watching the movie It as a child, I always wished to read it. I’d actually consider it my first book on top of my TBR pile. I’m 23 now, so that’d make the book has been waiting for my attention for over 16 years. Yes, I know, I should have read it by now but seriously, I need to read a LOT of books. I promised myself to read this book before 2016 is over.

5. A book that you recently added to your TBR pile?

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I recently received it from NetGalley and planning on beginning to read it this week. I could not get enough of author Rin Chupeco’s previous books The Girl from the Well and it’s sequel The Suffering! When I saw this book, I had to request it. The moment I was approved, I squealed so loud that my cat jumped a couple feet!

6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

I actually don’t have one strictly because of that. Like people, I try not to judge the book by it’s cover.

7. A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.

Honestly can’t think of one at the moment. I may not read all of my books in the order I added them, but I will eventually read them.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

Has to be The Bone Witch, hands down!

9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.

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A Court of Thorn and Roses By Sarah J. Maas!!! I swear, everyone has read this and I feel left out! I’ve heard so many good things and I promise I’ll read it very soon!

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

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Too many recommendations NOT to try to read it. I’m on a waiting list for it from my local library. Hopefully, I’ll finally be able to get my hands on it soon!

11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read.

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12. The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

 I don’t have Goodreads anymore, sadly, if I did it would still be the same unorganized mess it had been.

What is on your TBR shelf? I challenge you, fair readers and bloggers, to take on this Tag and show us what you have! Also, don’t forget to tag me in your post so I can see your answers!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. Review & Interview of Seneca Rebel (The Seneca Society B.1) By Rayya Deeb

C.H.B. Review & Interview of Seneca Rebel (The Seneca Society B.1) By Rayya Deeb

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Title: Seneca Rebel
Author: Rayya Deeb
Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Available: Amazon

 

Amazon Description: “What if your one chance to change the world means you have to leave everything you love behind?

In the not-too-distant future, math genius Doro Campbell is introduced to the Seneca Society: a secretive, technologically-advanced subterranean utopia dedicated to inventing and perfecting the most effective ways to benefit our planet.

But there’s a hitch. Like all that have come before her, Doro is given the ultimatum: Stay in Seneca forever, or leave now with no memory of the place, its goals, and its inhabitants.

She stays.

Her ideals are shattered when, together with biotechnology whiz, Dominic Ambrosia, Doro uncovers profound deceptions beneath the surface of this all too-perfect community.

Will one teenage girl have what it takes to go up against swarms of drones, psychological manipulation and biological attacks, to uncover the truth and change the trajectory of the world?”

~

My Review

I can’t not get over Dorothy Campbell. Here is this this intelligent, adventurous teen who is always getting into trouble. It’s not that she’s doing it for attention, though. Instead, she is doing it because, in her own words, “everyone around me was so boring, that I needed to be proactive and inventive in order to have any fun.” Her personality is one you can’t help but admire in a young character. Throughout the story, she rises to take her place amongst the other current strong woman Dystopian characters. However, she adds her own spin to her world by using her intelligence in order to discover the problems instead of them being revealed openly like in other books.

She lost her father, only to be granted the ability to explore a new society. The Seneca Society grants her the chance to use her knowledge in order to create, invent, be who she was meant to be. As we know, in every secret society, there is always a catch and secrets. If she leaves, her mind is erased of the knowledge of Seneca. The secrets, you’ll have to discover on your own.

The whole story flows in such a way where it adds another layer to the genre. It was difficult to put down the more I read. The pacing is perfect, giving you enough to want to continue the series after the last page is finished. I honestly enjoyed it better than The Hunger Games series, it’s that good. I can’t wait to see what else will happen to Doro!

~

Interview with Author Rayya Deeb

C.C.: Where did you get your inspiration for the story?

R.D.: My main sources for writing The Seneca Society Series are my two little girls and a documentary film called Transendant Man. I love reading about emerging technologies and advances in science too, so I wanted to write this story that would explore the possible future of the world that they could live in.

C.C.: When did you discover you had a passion for writing? Where did it all begin?
 
R.D.: My 3rd grade teacher at Oakton Elementary, Mrs. Cooper, told me to “never stop writing.” At the time I had no idea why she said that, but in retrospect I totally get it and so appreciate it. I absolutely loved it every time we had story exercises in elementary school– it always felt like bonus time, not work.

C.C.: I heard you were working on a sequel to the novel, can you give us any possible hints on what may happen?

R.D.: I am working on the next two books now… there are super subtle hints in Seneca Rebel, but to answer your question, things will have to get a whole lot worse for Doro before they can get better. And she is headed to South America.

C.C.: Here at Charmed Haven Book Reviews, all books are given a rating in what I call book charms. Each charm represents a certain requirement books should have. As the author, out of these Ten Charms (i.e. Charm of Intelligence, Worthiness, Agility, Romance, Length, Imagery, Learning, Character, Believability, and Everlasting) which Book Charm would you give it overall?

R.D.: Hopefully, if I’ve done my job, all of them BUT…To me the most applicable would be worthiness. I want Seneca Rebel to be something that inspires people to be curious about the future, to ask questions, and make a difference.

C.C.: Do you have another author who is your writing role model? What is your favorite book they wrote and why?

R.D.: Judy Blume– Superfudge. I couldn’t believe how fun and cool a book could be. After I read Superfudge, I took some paper and staples, made a book, wrote it, illustrated it and sent it to Ms. Blume. A month or so later I got a letter back from her that she loved my book. That had a lifelong impression on me. I hope she’ll love this one too.

C.C.: How many books are you planning for your series?

R.D.: Right now three books are mapped out, but I want to keep going. And just a little FYI– there is more to the cover than meets the eye. The Seneca storyworld already expands beyond book one, for those that take the leap to discover it…

~

My Rating: 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews Children’s Book: “Meeting of the Mustangs” By Cathy Kennedy

C.H.B. Reviews Children’s Book: “Meeting of the Mustangs” By Cathy Kennedy

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It’s rare when I review children’s books. Perhaps I may need to do it more, especially my favorites from childhood. When I think of books from my childhood pertaining to horses, Black Beauty and Seabiscuit immediately come to mind. A couple months ago, I received an email from young writer Cathy Kennedy about her new novel Meeting the Mustangs for an honest review. I dare say, hands down, it is one of the most imagininative books I’ve ever read about horses to this day that is appropriate for both young middle school readers up to adults who adore horses and adventures. It is short, sweet, and is set in a realistic background where children will fall in love with the horses.

The story surrounds the tale of a black colt born into a heard of wild mustangs. At first, we experience the innocence of this young black colt thrust into of the world of the unknown. He is separated from his family, spurring the longing he has to reconnect with his family. His journey does not continue without a variety other challenges and dangers in his midst. One in particular deals with being captured by strangers who force him into captivity for future plans of selling for money.

I’m a huge animal lover hence the millions of pictures of my cat Josie on my Facebook, Instagram, etc.. My heart always breaks hearing the dangers that befall animals whether they are horses or other species. But this story shows that regardless of the trials that befall him, the colt always presses on in his growth both physically and also his personal story.

If you are looking for a new story for your child or even know someone who may enjoy this book, it is available via Amazon.

 

My Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

C.H.B. Reviews: The Night Huntress Series By Jeanine Frost

C.H.B. Reviews: The Night Huntress Series By Jeanine Frost

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As far as favorite series goes, The Night Huntress Series by Jeanine Frost is pretty high on my list. It hits all of the Charms my blog stands for. It has memorable characters some of which will make you fall in love with them the moment they speak; durability which has expand into a spin-off series, a few short stories, and two side books in between this series ; true #relationshipgoals any woman could want; and much more.

The series’s main character is a half-vampire, half-human hybrid named Catherine Crawfield. Raised on the notion that all vampires are evil due to her mother being impregnated by one fresh out of the grave, twenty-two year old Catherine puts her life on the line by going to bars in order to lure vampires to their impending second death aka dust. One night, while on her usual “hunting” route, she is cornered by a master vampire named Bones. He begins to teach her how to truly understand the monster’s she’s facing, including her own. This picture is my favorite quote from the first book and I have to share. This is how a half-vampire, half-fuman hybrid first learned how to kill vampires.

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Ah, the power of books. I first read these when I was eighteen and they immediately hooked me to the point where I’ve read these four times and now listening to the audiobook adaptions. No matter how many times I’ve gone through these books, they never get old.

The first book Halfway to the Grave is off the charts, it kidnaps you, drags you all the way to Cat’s family cherry farm, whisks you away on vampire killing missions, then in the best way possible-leaves you wondering what happened and endlessly searching for the next book in line.

 

The second book, One Foot In the Grave, I have repeatedly clutched the book, thinking “Be still my heart.” You’ll tear up in happiness following the events of the first book. You’ll laugh your head off from the quips thrown between Bones and Cat along with old characters from the previous novel. The sequel opens more doors leading to the spin-offs and future sequels. But I will say that you’ll need to read the spin-offs at the same time in order to keep track of what is going on in the whole universe and timeline.

Night Huntress Reading Order

HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE

ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE

AT GRAVE’S END

DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE

FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON

ETERNAL KISS OF DARKNESS

THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE

ONE GRAVE AT A TIME

ONCE BURNED

TWICE TEMPTED

UP FROM THE GRAVE

BOUND BY FLAMES

 

I will always recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a new paranormal romance series. It’ll give you everything you ever wanted and more!

 

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

May Book Haul/Exchange!

May Book Haul/Exchange!

This month was a long, trying month for me. It was hard to escape to my bookstore to search for goodies. Amongst work I drove long distances, went through a car accident and new car, and family miracles. You can only imagine how much I truly needed an escape. Thankfully it came within the last few days. I came home this last Friday to discover two packages awaiting my arrival.

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The first package was sent to me through my book exchange partner for #MissPhyreBookExchange. Now, I have not read neither of these books Bayou Brides or The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and wasn’t expecting them. I’m wondering what they may bring me. I’m not used to reading Bride compilation Romance novels anymore, to be honest. I went through this phase when I was 14-15 where I’d read them but not since. Either way, Thank you, Nadia, for them!

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The second package, though, had me excitedly jumping around like a mad woman. Josie, my cat, gave me the ruthful judgmental glare that only a fur child could give. About a month or so ago, I spoke to author Sarah Beard about her upcoming novel Beyond the Rising Tide. Just by her description alone hit me dead in the center and I anxiously waited for her pre-release copy. I’m almost finished and let me tell you it is worth the wait! Look for my review on it tomorrow!

 

Also this past weekend, Half Price Books ran a 20% off sale that I could not ignore! As I traveled between Indiana and Ohio, I stopped at two different ones and loaded up on quite a few goodies:
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Despite life throwing endless curveballs, there will always be books.

Have any of you read any of these?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.