Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre


Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...

Agh, this was a tough one to review. I went back and forth, unable to decide if I wanted to rate it with 3 or 4 stars. In the end I went with 3, because even though I had a hard time putting it down, I felt the story had its flaws.

The beginning definitely hooked me with Edith being so depressed from bullying that she was prepared to jump to her death. As a huge advocate of anti-bullying, I really wanted to see her life turn around.
Still, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the idea of her being granted “wishes”, and changing her physical appearance to become happier. While I get the concept, because who wouldn’t want to wish for something like that, I wanted to see her overcome her issues in a different way. Because even though this is paranormal fiction, we’re seeing a real problem solved with an unrealistic solution, and I hate to see any teenage girls struggling with their identity think there isn’t any hope.

I liked the cast of friends Edith hung out with, though I’m still on the fence about “cat-like” Kian ever since the author described his eyes as having a feline slant. I kept picturing him as the guy from Sleepwalkers. Plus his intent wasn’t clear throughout the story, as we were reminded by Edith. Numerous times.


Without giving too much away, the stories with the Teflon crew (one of many Mean Girls references) were what kept me the most interested, making a person think twice about revenge. The sub-plot towards the end dealing with Edith and her father felt a little forced, and I felt Edith’s “wishes” really weren’t well thought out from beginning to end considering how smart she is pimped out as being. I loved the occasional glimpses of horror and wish there had been more of that instead of an occasional scattering.

This was mostly a fun read, but I don’t know that I’ll read the sequel.

*I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, April 11, 2014

COVER REVEAL: REGRET ME NOT

Check out the brand-spanking new cover for Danielle Sibarium's upcoming release!

For Mackenzie Green life is full of regrets; regrets from choices she made in the past, regrets for the things she’ll never see in her future. She regrets letting her grades slip while her sister was in rehab, ensuring she’ll never break away from the rumor-run, small town she lives in. She regrets breaking up with her future All American football playing boyfriend, Brayden Turner out of fear of getting hurt. Most of all she regrets every decision she made leading up to the night that changed her life forever. 

It’s only after Brayden cuts her off completely that Mackenzie realizes how much she wants him in her life. 


Can Mackenzie find the courage to learn from her mistakes and move forward or will she spend her days consumed with regrets? Is it too late to convince Brayden she wants him in her life and that she’s in it for the long haul? Most of all, can she accept that sometimes bad things happen no matter how hard you try to protect yourself from them? Can she put it all behind her or will she live an unfulfilled life full of regrets?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NOW AVAILABLE: A Different Kind

If you haven't ever given an alien novel a chance before, this book is a must read!

The lovely and talented Lauryn April just released A Different Kind, a young adult paranormal romance/sci-fi thriller about a girl who is abducted by aliens and is desperate to find a way to keep them from taking her away. One of the most refreshing aspects of this book is that it's told by a queen cheerleading bee who is borderline bitchy (don't worry, she evolves with the story) rather than the stereotyped quiet, awkward girl (**cough** Bella Swan **cough**).

The further I dove into this story, the more I wondered just how many abductions have been reported, and if anything like this has ever happened. April's book has a tremendous amount of credibility as well as heart. Check out the official blurb below, and watch the awesome trailer at the end.

Payton Carlson’s life is perfect – until the night she’s abducted by aliens. Now she’s plagued by pieces of memories from a night that feels as hazy as a dream, and that’s not the only strange thing that’s been happening. When Payton’s neighbor, Logan Reed, who spends every night sitting on his roof staring at the stars, starts to pay extra attention to her, Payton starts to wonder if he knows more about the night she can’t remember than she does. Suddenly finding a date to the Homecoming dance and cheering at the football games aren’t as important as they used to be - especially when the aliens return for a second time.

Grab your copy of A Different Kind!

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Add on Goodreads



Lauryn April is an indie writer in the young adult / adult paranormal romance genre. She lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and is currently seeking a degree in Psychology. Her debut novel "Into the Deep" explores the intricacies of the adolescent mind and what it means to feel alone. 

Follow Lauryn: Twitter | Blog | Facebook 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Wreck Me by Maria Monteiro

I'm so excited to bring you the cover for my friend Maria Monteiro's upcoming release, Wreck Me! Maria writes compelling YA and NA contemporary romance. The photo shoot was done exclusively for her and totally reminds me of The Notebook, so I'm already swooning. Check out the summary below, and be sure to add this one to your Goodreads list!


All Piper Walker wants is to feel normal again, and for the pain of losing the one person she truly loved to go away. But no matter what she does she feels like she keeps hitting a wall of hurt. 

Chase Whitman has finally moved back to town after running away from his troubled home life. He’s trying to fill the emptiness in his heart with all the wrong women, making sure he doesn’t fall in love with any of them. 

Now in her sophomore year of college, Piper is trying all she can to right all the wrongs she has done the past year. Which includes almost getting thrown out of school, distaining herself from her best friend, and moving way too quickly with her boyfriend. 

After a night of heavy drinking Piper wakes up to find Chase in bed with her. She panics and runs off hoping never to see him again. Little does she know Chase will invade her life in every way possible and become the person she needs the most.

Will they be able to fill the void in each other? Or will their past wreck everything?

Add Wreck Me on Goodreads

Maria E Monteiro was born in Chile, but grew up in Sleepy Hollow NY. The Catskills is now the place she calls home, alongside her husband. She has been writing since she was a little girl. Her love for reading and writing led her to obtain a BA in English and a Masters in Literacy. Maria loves to write about the small moments that become huge when falling in love. Hold on Tight is Maria E. Monteiro's debut YA novel. Her love of writing accompanies her love for music. When she is not writing, Maria can be found at a rock concert or dancing around her house.


Find Maria on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Paranormal Keepers" is finally here! (Sort of)

Sadly, releasing a book has become less of a "thing", and more of just a part of life. With the first few, I would insist my family go out to celebrate, or make my husband take me to the bar for a couple drinks. Now, as our lives have become crazy with two kids in middle school, I've been forced to celebrate the release of book #7 during working hours, alone. Kind of sounds pathetic, like throwing yourself a birthday party, but ask any indie author how much work goes into writing and publishing a book, and you'll understand.

So today I'm getting my hair cut/colored, and indulging in a facial (that I won in a drawing). May not seem a very glamorous thing for an author to do, but as big as my hair is, this will be an all-afternoon event. I'm hoping, at the very least, to relax my mind enough to come up with more ideas for the sequel to Shymers that I'm working on.

While today marks the official release day for my newest YA paranormal romance, Paranormal Keepers, you may notice it has yet to post on Barnes & Noble, and the paperback version is not quite up on Amazon. You can expect them to appear (hopefully) soon, as they were submitted yesterday, but unfortunately I don't know exactly when. Such is life when you're an indie author. In the meantime, you can purchase the Kindle version HERE, and remember you don't have to own a Kindle to read this version (find info on how to use the Kindle app on your phone, digital tablet, or computer HERE). You can also purchase the paperback copy through Createspace. Happy reading! (Now where did I set my mimosa?)

**Update: Paranormal Keeper is now on available on Nook and the paperback is on Amazon! It's all good!
because Leo makes everything better

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cover Reveal: Kendare Blake's MORTAL GODS

Here it is!

Awesome, right?

If you follow my blog, you already know I'm a pretty big fan of Kendare Blake's work (it doesn't hurt that she's originally from Minnesota but was smart enough to move somewhere warmer). I recently reviewed her newest release Antigoddess, and just received word that she's revealing the cover for the second book in the series, Mortal Gods. Of course when she offered the chance to win an ARC of this book to any bloggers who helped with the reveal, I jumped on the wagon of terror. Because I not only love her work (young adult paranormal), but she's a pretty amazing person with a very healthy sense of humor. My kind of peeps.

At first I was bummed when she told me the first cover was getting a makeover as well, because I thought the original was striking. Then she sent me the redo, and I got over it. Because I love the beautiful silhouette of the woman with owl feathers floating through the air. It fits perfectly with the story.
Kendare promised to add something to the cover reveal if we so requested, so I asked her for a little insight to the book. Here was her response:


Some insight into the story...hmm....the entire Goddess War series deals a lot with adversarial relationships. Athena has one with practically everyone she knows. I don't even think she knows how to have the other kind. But to me the interesting thing about those relationships is the way they can change. The way people who hate each other can slowly learn to understand each other, and maybe even make peace. In Antigoddess, the wickedness of Hera and Aphrodite was apparent to Athena. She never considered anything else. But as Athena comes to understand them, who knows?

How's that?

That's awesome, Kendare. And so are you.

I tire of writing these things in the third person. So. I write fiction, apparently mostly YA. I didn't know this, but like Stephen King says, writers are the last ones to know what it is they've written. My first novel, Sleepwalk Society is a college story. I guess it falls into that no man's land they call, "New Adult".  Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are teen horror. My short fiction can be found online in numerous places.

But enough about that. When I am not writing or reading, you can generally find me sitting around wondering what the hell I'm going to do with my life. That, or being a gastronome, plotting a new recipe. Perhaps on a run or hike, playing tennis or watching Big Cat Diaries with my feline. This summer I have saved a total of three turtles during attempted road crossings.

Find Kendare on

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Treat from Danielle Sibarium

Happy Valentine's Day!

As a special treat, I'm excited to bring you an announcement from my good friend Danielle Sibarium. I've become a big fan of Danielle's YA romance novels, so I was so pumped when I got her message below. Be sure to enter the giveaway posted below for her new release!

First, I would like to thank you for allowing me to announce my special message on your blog. I am so honored to be here today. I understand your blog is a reflection of you and so I thank you for giving me this opportunity. Next, I’d like to thank every reader that has ever picked up one of my books and given them a chance. And finally I’d like to thank all of my fans that have felt compelled to reach out to me. I have appreciated all of your letters, messages, and support, whether it came in an email, or just a short and sweet tweet. 

When I began this journey, I had no expectations. I had dreams and hopes and wishes, but to say I expected For Always to take on a life of its own would not be true. Since its release in October of 2011, many people have contacted me asking me if I planned to write a sequel. I thought Stephanie and Jordan’s story had been completed, but for many of you, it wasn’t enough. So because you asked, because you told me in no uncertain terms you wanted it, I am working on And Forever, the sequel to For Always. And Forever picks up where For Always ended. While Stephanie and Jordan are finally a couple, they still carry the same baggage they had before. Can their love survive the ghosts of their past and the challenges of the future?

I hope you are excited about this as I am. I expect And Forever to be released in July 2014. Until then, look for teasers on Facebook and Twitter. And before I go, I leave you with this, the prologue of And Forever.  Once again thank you for being so amazing. Happy Reading! 

Prologue  

     The scent of death lingered nearby. Always. Only I didn't attract it, I repelled it, like a deflector shield. This was my lot in life, to extend the days of those I loved. That theory came from Jordan; the keeper of my heart, and the love of my life!
I sighed. I didn't realize I did it until Jordan apologized. Again.
"I'm sorry Steph, I don't want to be distracted."
"I know. I understand. Promise."
He misunderstood. It was a contented sigh. One that said I was thrilled my boyfriend was driving me to school. The sigh was a sign of how surreal sitting next to Jordan and knowing that he loved me was. How I couldn't believe in a matter of hours he'd be leaving me alone on the college campus, and I intended to savor each minute with him. The sigh was the only chance I had of getting any of those sentiments across because he didn't want me to talk while he was driving. I knew just being in the car together was challenging for him.
Jordan still suffered the after effects of a terrible car accident that left his ex-girlfriend dead. Of course he was breaking up with her at the time because he loved me, and I pushed him into making a choice between us. When he served as my unexpected prom date, I made him admit his feelings. That's what led to his break-up with Madison, leaving him in a swamp of guilt induced quick sand when she died. But we worked through all that.
I hoped.
I didn't bother saying anything further to try and reassure him I wasn't upset. I'd already been warned he couldn't concentrate on the road and to keep the radio down. The problem was he wanted it down so low I couldn't hear the music. I glanced at his hands on the steering wheel, his knuckles were white. He held on so tight I expected his fingers to cramp up. I hated that this was so hard for him. I wished I knew how to make it better, but the only thing I could do was stand beside him and hope in time he'd heal.
I turned to my window, watching the never ending expanse of trees zoom by. I wished for a brief moment I'd gone in the other car with my mother and her new, at least new to me, boyfriend Eddie. I'd been clueless about Eddie, but after her health scare last week, she came clean. She wanted to see him and had been ordered to take a few days off of work. Work is where they'd rendezvous during lunch. She'd been frightened when they first told her it looked like a heart attack and realized it was silly to keep him hidden away. No way I wanted to hear what cheesy, weird things they might be talking about. I mean it was my mom, gross. Still, I was happy for her. My father died a decade ago and as far as I knew she'd never dated before.
I chose to ride with Jordan, because even in the deafening silence, and the tension he carried on his shoulders every time we got in a car together, there was nowhere else I'd rather be. From the first moment he spoke to me, he owned my heart. It was branded with his name. I'd tried for four years to move on, to forget him, but that wasn't an option for me. No one could hold a candle to him.
"Hey," He pulled my attention back to the here and now. "You know I love you right?"
I smiled. Of course he knew that would make me smile, that's why he said it. It felt like that's all I'd done over the last week since he found me crying on the beach. I'll never forget the wave of relief that washed over me when I found out he'd been spared from a terrible plane crash. He never made it on the plane because I called him at the last minute in an attempt to get him to stay. Thank goodness I did. I didn't know where he was going or why, but Maria warned me that he was leaving, and it might be forever.
I always believed myself to be the root cause of the bad things that happen to people around me, Jordan thought I was what kept them hanging on. I didn't believe him, at least not yet. But having him try to convince me otherwise promised to be amazing.


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