Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: "The Best Kind of Trouble" by Courtney B. Jones

A few months ago, I participated in a book tour hosted by Itching For Books, for the first book in the "Trouble" series, by author Courtney B. Jones.  From the synopsis and cover, I figured it would be a book I'd really enjoy.  Since it ended up being a not-so-good rating and review, I waited to post my review until the tour ended.  As the tour ended several months ago, I'm going to post my review for it today. 

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~ About the Author ~

I grew up in Texas where I still live with my husband, our two kids, and two dogs. I'm a recent college grad and an elementary school teacher.

I love to read and write love stories. I have an obsession with books. I own far far too many!

~ Connect with Courtney Online ~



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The Best Kind of Trouble
(Trouble, #1)

~By: Courtney B. Jones

~Published: January 17th, 2014

~Length: 191 Pages

~Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance



~ Synopsis:

Ashley Parker knows trouble. And Nathan Williams--star quarterback and charming ladies man—is trouble. She knows he'll only break her heart. But that doesn't stop her from jumping in feet first. When her whole world is flipped upside down, her guitar and her lyrics become her only solace. Along with sexy guitar player Caleb Mathews. 

Fueled by heartache, love, and lust, Ashley finds herself in the best kind of trouble. Boy trouble.

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~ My Rating: 2/5 Roses ~

~ My Review ~

I'm honestly quite conflicted about my opinion of this book.  Being a musician myself, I was really looking forward to reading a book featuring a girl who writes and makes music.  I adore the fact that music is a main aspect of this story, and enjoyed the lyrics that were included in the story.  That's the good - now for the not-so-good...

The main character is, unfortunately, infuriating.  The entire story is kind of odd, and throughout the whole thing, I kept thinking: “Ok, I guess technically that could happen, given the exact right circumstances and an insane amount of luck...or in a fantasy...but things don't really happen like that.”  It was very much a contemporary urban fantasy, with a classic “Two guys and a girl” kinda twist.

Mainly, I just didn't like all the drama.  I knew going in that it would be an emotionally driven story, but there was so much unnecessary melodrama, it made me want to stop reading.  Young college girls can be dramatic, but she wasn't a teenager, and the things she went through seemed very high school.  I couldn't help thinking “Where the hell was she during high school, because she's acting like she's 15 and just discovered wild hormones for the first time.”  I simply couldn't picture her as a 20 something college student in her 3rd year, I saw her as a high school student with a bunch of college friends.  This probably would have been a bit more believable had it been in a high school setting instead of a college.

Basically, that's my biggest gripe with this book: it's not believable!  On top of that, the copy I had was filled with far too many mistakes to be acceptable.  Misused words, incorrect forms of words, missing words, and mistakes that simple Google searches would have fixed, made reading this even more infuriating.  If these issues were corrected, I suppose this book would earn 3 stars from me.

Bottom line: this book needs to be re-edited (if it was ever edited at all); since some people like drama, and would enjoy this book, I wouldn't say “stay away” from it, but also would not be surprised if people don't like it.  While I don't think I'll ever read it again, I would be willing to read the sequel, because it did end on a cliffhanger, and one that made me go “wait, what??”  It is an interesting story overall, and for people who like a ton of drama and who aren't looking for realistic characters or situations, this book may appeal to them.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

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To see my UnPlugged review (with spoilers & more book info) please visit my UnPlugged post here!

Thanks for reading, and as always:

Keep Creating!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spotlight & Interview with Author Christine Amsden!!

A few days ago, I posted my review for the third book in the Cassie Scot series.  Today, I am going to be spotlighting this book, and sharing the awesome interview I had with author Christine Amsden!  Without further adieu, Mind Games, Cassie Scot #3!!

Mind Games
(Cassie Scot #3)

~Author: Christine Amsden

~Published: June 15th, 2014

~Length: 280 Pages

~Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy


~ Synopsis:


Beware your heart and soul…

Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him... irresistible

Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the nonmagical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze.

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~ Praise for the Cassie Scot Series ~

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“Amsden continues the story of the only mundane member of a supernaturally-gifted family in this middling sequel to Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Cassie, stubborn and proud, is bravely trying to live on her own after her family disowns her. Struggling to make ends meet, she accepts a case involving a pair of magical girls who disappeared from summer camp. With the aid of the handsome Evan Blackwood, to whom Cassie is attracted despite her family’s disapproval and her own better judgment, she follows the trail of the missing girls. What she finds is a dark side of the magical world, and the hidden depths of her family’s past force her to reconsider long-held assumptions. The growing complexity of Cassie’s world makes this an entertaining installment, focusing as much on the will-they, won’t-they romantic chemistry between Cassie and Evan as on the primary mystery. An inconclusive ending is clearly intended to feed into the next volume.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:

“When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”

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~ About the Author ~

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember.  She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories.  Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. 

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

~ Connect with Christine Online ~


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Read the First Chapter here!!

(Warning: Contains series spoilers. New readers to the series would be better off checking out my posts for Book 1 and Book 2.)

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~ Interview with Christine Amsden ~

~Rose: When you first started writing this story, did you have an idea of where it would go, and where it would end up in this third book, or did the story just kind of happen?

~Christine: I started writing before I knew exactly where it was going. In fact, I made a few decisions in the first book that demonstrate this – for example, making seven the most powerfully magical number. At the time, I thought there would be seven books in the series, but by the time I decided that the story's natural conclusion came in four books, I had made the power of seven too integral to remove. 

I started with a character and a concept for a mystery. The rest really spun out from there. But I will say that I had all four books finished before the first one came to print, so I was able to make adjustments to the first book to support my conclusion. 

~Rose: How did you originally come up with the idea for this series?

~Christine: Cassie came to me in a burst of inspiration. I was on a writing break after finishing The Immortality Virus. I didn't feel like I had defined myself as a writer yet, but I thought vaguely that I wanted to write about interesting characters. I thought of the USA tagline, “Characters Welcome!” 

I knew I wanted to write urban fantasy because that's what I was reading at the time (especially Jim Butcher and Karen Marie Moning), but what could I do with a character that hadn't already been done? Think of a new magical power? Give an old power some new twist that makes the hero even darker and more damaged than usual? But really, it was hard to see how I could bring something new to any of that. And that's when it hit me … No magic at all!

I went upstairs and immediately wrote the first paragraph of the book. And so Cassie was born, fully realized, precisely as you see her to--

Oh wait, no. My original first paragraph looked like this:

My parents think the longer the name, the more pwoerful the sorcerer. So they  named me Nicolas Merlin Apollonius Roger Scot. You can call me Nick.

I might have changed one or two little things in the following months. :)

Nicolas became the oldest of Cassie's six siblings. He's a fire started, and I don't recommend calling him Nick!

~Rose: Who designed the cover?

~Christine: Ural Akyutz, an artist originally from Ukraine. My publisher is in charge of cover artwork – she has hired this particular artist to do quite a few of her covers lately. The covers are hand painted, not computer generations or photographic manipulations. I love them, at least in part because I love the idea that my books were special enough to deserve hand-crafted art. 

~Rose: Is there a message you hope your readers get from this story?

~Christine: Anyone can be a hero – you don't need special powers, you just need to be yourself. 

~Rose: What does your family think of your writing, both as a profession, and the books themselves?

~Christine: They say they love the books, but who can tell with family? I think some of them really do, though. 

As a profession, I know my mom was wary of the idea at first. I think she still is, but she doesn't say so. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a much more supportive environment for writing – and that's a huge part of why I'm able to be successful!

~Rose: What do you do when you're not writing?

~Christine: I have two kids (6 and 8) who take up a lot of my time, especially now that school's out. In fact, I'm taking this summer off except for marketing obligations to spend more time with them. I also enjoy reading, playing games (board, card, roleplaying), and cooking. I tolerate exercise regularly, 2-4 times a week for 1-3 months at a time before giving it up for 1-3 months and then bracing myself to start all over again. :)

~Rose: What is the most comfortable environment for you to write in?

~Christine: I write in a study in my home. I'm starting to think that's a mistake, because this is where I do a lot of business, social media, and my coaching/editing work. Once the summer is over and I pick writing up again, I'm thinking of finding a dedicated spot where I do nothing but write – maybe in a corner of the family room where I don't normally do anything else. I'm not really an outdoorsy person, so it will have to be inside, in a safe, familiar environment. 

~Rose: Do you prefer writing by hand, or typing on a computer?

~Christine: What is this … writing by hand … of which you speak? Do people still do that? 

Actually, I did start writing by hand when I was in elementary school, but I switched to a computer in eighth grade, when my aunt and uncle upgraded theirs and gave my family their old one. It was so completely superior in every possible way that I never looked back. 

~Rose: Do you plan on writing other books after this series is finished?

~Christine: Yes, but I'm not sure what yet. I do still have to finish the two spin-offs. Madison's Song is in the editorial phase (and should be out in early 2015) but Kaitlin's Tale is in early rough draft form. When I'm done with that I think I'll do what I did for Cassie … take a writing hiatus and wait for inspiration to strike. When I force the issue, things seem to go badly. If it takes a while for inspiration to strike, I may try a writing how-to book. I've got some extensive notes for one already. 

But there will be more stories. I'm only 37 and have a lot of years ahead of me to create! 

~Rose: Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know?

~Christine: I love to answer questions from readers! That's why I put my e-mail address right on my website. Thank you so much for supporting me and this series. You're what makes it worth it!

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Isn't she awesome??  :D

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~ Giveaway!! ~

Enter for your chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!!

*Giveaway ends on July 16, 2014 at midnight.


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Thanks for reading, and as always: 

Keep Creating!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review & Giveaway: "Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)" by Christine Amsden!


Mind Games
(Cassie Scot #3)

~Author: Christine Amsden

~Published: June 15th, 2014

~Length: 280 Pages

~Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy


~ Synopsis:

Beware your heart and soul…

Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him... irresistible

Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the nonmagical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze.

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~ About the Author ~

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember.  She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories.  Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. 

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

~ Connect with Christine Online ~


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Read the First Chapter here!!

(Warning: Contains series spoilers. New readers to the series would be better off checking out the first two books in the series by visiting my post here!)

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~ My Rating:  4/5 Roses ~

~ My Review ~

After the intensely emotional roller coaster of Secrets and Lies, I had no idea what the third installment in this series would reveal about Cassie's life.  This book picked up right where the second one left off, and pulled me right back into the emotional turmoil between Cassie and Evan.  

With the addition of a few new characters, this dramatic story gets even more twisted and intense.  Matthew is a character I really wanted to like, but in the end, it just made me like Evan even more.  I felt so bad for Cassie, getting pulled in so many directions, and having to deal with so many different tricks and manipulations.  

The writing is just as good as the first two books, and easily drew me into the world Cassie lives in.  The ending left me even more hopeful for a reunion between Cassie and Evan, and I am looking forward to seeing how this drama ends.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who's read the first two in the series, but only if you're prepared to read the fourth book as well! 

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review. 

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~ Giveaway!! ~

Enter for your chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!!

*Giveaway ends on July 16, 2014 at midnight.


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Thanks for reading, and as always: 

Keep Creating!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spotlight & Giveaway: "Agent M4: Riordan" by Joni Hahn



Agent M4: Riordan
 (The D.I.R.E. Agency #4)

~By: Joni Hahn

~Published: June 4, 2014

~Length: 220 Pages

~Genres: Sci-fi, Romance, Supernatural



~ Synopsis:

Credentials:
• Former D.I.R.E. Enemy Agent
• Mongolian Prison Survivor
Enhancement:
• Magnetism

Sent to a Mongolian prison against his will, former enemy agent Riordan St. James is suddenly back in civilization. With his hands crushed, and littered with scars, he trusts no one. When he accepts D.I.R.E.’s prosthetic hands to operate a future, super power enhancement, Riordan knows their offer comes with a price - he just isn’t sure he wants to pay.

After an affair with a client turns deadly, psychologist and senator’s daughter Natalie Meeks, doesn’t trust her own judgment. When she’s hired to help Riordan adjust to civilization again, she finds herself in familiar, forbidden territory – battling a fiery attraction to her client.

One heated encounter with the elegant Dr. Meeks convinces Riordan to abide by D.I.R.E.’s bargain. However, when new evidence about his disappearance uncovers shocking secrets, he questions not only his decision, but the people around him – including his sexy-as-hell doctor.

While their lives become more entangled, yet pulled apart, a madman turns up the heat on his plans for Natalie. And the only person she can trust is the one man that doesn’t trust her…

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~ About the Author ~

By day, Joni Hahn keeps her secret decoder ring hidden while she works as a mild-mannered HR manager and accounting generalist.   She believes the world can never have too many superheroes, and anxiously waits for the call when one will need help saving the world… or getting into his costume.  Joni was born with a hopelessly tender heart and believes there is nothing more exhilarating than falling in love (other than the rear shot of Chris Evans hitting the punching bag in The Avengers – that was pretty darn exhilarating).  A native Texan, she thinks cowboys are the epitome of masculinity, and country music is the other soul music.

~ Connect with Joni Online ~


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~ Excerpt from Agent M4: Riordan ~

       If men were like ice cream, Riordan St. James would be rocky road.

       Tilting her head, Natalie Meeks studied the new D.I.R.E. agent through the one-way glass. He was one major hottie and, like ice cream, the last thing she needed on her hips.

       But, a girl could dream.

       Golden, sun-streaked hair lay in sweat-soaked tufts against the wide horizon of his shoulders. His pale blue eyes were barricaded and hard, a narrow beard lining his tight jaw. Glistening, tanned skin, mapped with scars, covered a torso of concrete-like muscle, his back a crossroads of whip marks.

       Hanging on a pull-up bar several yards from the other agents, Riordan appeared to be a loner, on the opposite side of a bridge from human contact and relationships. His perpetual scowl screamed back off, his tense shoulders poised for attack. All he needed was a do not enter sign stamped on his forehead to make it official.

       It must be her lucky day. She had to figure out how to get past the human obstacle course and get inside.

       “So, are you ready to meet him, Doctor?”

       Natalie glanced at Mitchell Jacobs next to her, his attention trained on the man in the D.I.R.E. fitness room. He had a smile in his eyes she hadn’t seen before. Of course, she’d only spoken to him briefly at a couple of her father’s fundraising galas. As a former SEAL C.O., and now head of a private security agency, he was in high demand at political functions.

       No, she wasn’t ready to meet Riordan St. James. As a matter of fact, she really wanted to leave. Once upon a time, she’d considered herself qualified to diagnose and treat people with emotional conditions. Now, she didn’t trust her own judgment on what deodorant to use.

       “As I told you on the phone, Mitchell, I really don’t feel skilled–“

       “Save it.” Mitchell sliced a hand through the air, his brows furrowed. “What happened with Paul Warner was one hundred percent his fault, Natalie. He knew what he was doing.”

       That made it even worse. As his psychologist, she should’ve seen it coming. She could’ve prevented it.

       Mitchell Jacobs wouldn’t understand that. Paul would’ve been just another casualty in his book. In hers, a possible love turned tragic regret.

       Crossing her arms over her middle, she sighed. “He won’t be pleased to meet me.”

       Mitchell chuckled with a shake of his head. “No, he won’t. I’ll bet a bottle of Glenfiddich 1937 Scotch he’ll be royally pissed.” 

       Oh… yay.

       Riordan climbed onto a treadmill farther across the room. He pressed a couple of buttons and started to jog.

       “So, what do you want from me, Mitchell? A clinical diagnosis?” “I want you to get him ready for the field. I think he lacks confidence. Right now, he thinks he’s ready – I say, he’s not.” 

       Natalie frowned as she played with her pearl earring. That meant working with him beyond today. What did she have to do to make Mitchell realize her qualifications disqualified her for the job? 

       Riordan St. James was different from any patient she’d ever counseled. He had a raw, barbaric edge about him, reminding her of a street fighter. He played by his own rules, wore attitude like a badge and defense like a shield.

       She worked with the upper echelon of society. People that enjoyed telling her their troubles, people that looked for easy prescription drugs and found her unyielding. Many of her clients worked with her father in the Senate, or lived in upscale San Diego. 

       Her patients liked her. Listening rather than talking had been a trait from birth, her desire to help others deep and ingrained. 

       Riordan St. James didn’t strike her as a talker or someone that wanted help.

       He pushed himself harder and faster than any of the other agents in the room. Sweat ran from his brow, the waistband of his shorts soaked through.

       “When do you need him?”

       “Yesterday.” Mitchell sighed as he turned to face her. “I took a gamble with St. James, Natalie. When he came in, he was in bad shape. Among his injuries, his hands had been broken and crushed. Deformed, for lack of a better word.”

       Her gaze shot to the man on the treadmill. Though several feet away, he appeared exceptionally… fit, his hands normal. However, the scars littering his body backed up Mitchell’s story.

       “Using a device similar to a 3D printer, we mapped out the previous bone structure of his hands and created replicas made with neodymium, iron and boron.”

        Stilling, she held out a hand to halt his speech. “Wait. Are you telling me he has magnetic bones in his hands?”

       Nodding, Mitchell said, “Yes, but the attraction is minor at this point.” 

       Slack-jawed, she could do nothing but stare. Had she just stepped into Frankenstein’s laboratory? “Why? Why not give him normal prosthetics?”

       Leaning a shoulder against the wall, Mitchell shoved his hands in his pockets. “Have you heard of Robert Naylor?”

       The infamous crime boss. Natalie doubted there were many people that hadn’t heard of him. “Yes.”

       “St. James was one of Naylor’s best agents. The man has talents I can use. My plan is to give Riordan the ability to attract and repel objects with his magnetic hands. He has the groundwork now. Once I know I can depend on him, I’ll install the rest of his system.” 

       Shaking her head, Natalie couldn’t believe what she’d heard. “You’re going to make him some kind of… superhero?”

       Mitchell gave a lopsided grin. “You could call him that.”

       Logic warred with astonishment in her head. “That kind of thing is impossible… isn’t it?”

       His arrogant smirk almost seemed patronizing. “I assure you, it’s quite possible. I already have a team of agents with super powers. My son, Tristan, among them.”

       What had she gotten herself into? D.I.R.E. made scientific enhancements to human beings. Her father had used D.I.R.E. in the past. Did he know about this?

       She pointed at Riordan through the glass. “He agreed to this… enhancement?”

        Mitchell nodded before glancing at Riordan. “Make no mistake, Natalie. He trusts no one. And, he has good reason for feeling that way, too. St. James knew if he didn’t take my offer of new hands, he’d live handicapped the rest of his life. The magnetic bones were a quick, permanent fix - for him and our team.” His voice lowered. “He needs to trust again. He can trust D.I.R.E.”

       The sun-god dropped to the floor and did push-ups. This was just so wrong. Wasn’t it? Messing with the human body? Playing God?

       Then again, the idea of following someone going through the process, and tracking his subsequent work, fascinated her. It would take her work to a level she’d never imagined.

       You can’t even diagnose normal humans. You want to diagnose superheroes? 

       “He’s been working his ass off, trying to get back in shape,” Mitchell said. “He’s made remarkable progress. If anything, he’s determined to defeat not only bad guys but his own demons.” 

       Riordan switched to one-handed push-ups without skipping a beat. He had demons, no question. They stood on the opposite side of that bridge he’d erected. She just wasn’t sure if the bridge was intended to keep them at bay or to rush them head on when he felt ready.

       Then again, she had her own demons to slay. Helping Mitchell and Riordan St. James would keep them front and center. What if she failed them both?

       Mitchell said, “I need good agents, stat. And, when I get St. James up and running, my gut tells me he’s going to be one bad ass superhero.”


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~ Giveaway!! ~



Monday, June 23, 2014

Spotlight & Giveaway: "Infinitude" by Ruchi Banerjee


Infinitude

~By: Ruchi Banerjee

~Published: May 5th, 2014

~Publisher: Hachette

~Length: 224 Pages

~Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Romance




~ Synopsis:

The year is 2173. Humans are a near-extinct group herded together in protected sectors. Mira, a regular, self-absorbed, 16-year-old pimple buster, resident of Sector 51, has no clue how drastically her life is about to change when she accompanies her mother on a research project to a distant tropical jungle. There, Mira discovers a tall, super-intelligent and rather good-looking boy called Neel, who introduces her to a whole new world of mysterious possibilities. But before she can even begin to understand her feelings for him, things take a nightmarish turn . . . Carnivorous mutants are on the prowl. A deadly new breed of the forest, they have Mira trapped. Rescued by unlikely saviours, she finally learns the ugly truth of her world. Now, Mira must fight not only for her own life but also for humanity itself as she is pitted against a far stronger, smarter and more evolved enemy. Her only hope lies in Neel. But will he be able to overcome the overwhelming odds against them? Will this be the end of the human race? With electrifying action and forbidden love, Infinitude is the riveting story of two young lives caught in a deadly clash of civilizations.

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~ Book Trailer ~


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~ Excerpt ~

“My body stilled as my eyes tagged the dark silhouette covering the doorway. The stranger was a few feet taller than me. His shaved head sloping into distinct ear lobes, a thick neck and broad masculine shoulders. I tilted my head up, to catch a glimpse of his face but it was completely shrouded in the dark. Maybe he realized my predicament because right then he stepped closer.

I instinctively stepped back. My heart skipped a beat as I stared at the face now swathed in moonlight. Massive brow, sparse eyebrows, deep-seated eyes, a broken aquiline nose and a ruddy jaw. Everything was a bit disproportionate. It was not a handsome or even a cute face. It was...menacing. A face you would run away from in a dark alley. But then, there was something there that would make you look back. Just once. Just to be sure.”

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~ About the Author ~


Ruchi Banerjee was born in 1978 and still continues to thrive. Ever since she first met Francine (the protagonist of her favourite novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), Ruchi fell in love with the written word. At present, Ruchi lives in Brazil, speaks decent, if not quite fluent, Portuguese and really hates talking about herself in third person. This is her first novel.

~ Connect with Ruchi Online ~


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~ Giveaway!! ~

Ruchi is giving away $80 in PayPal credit!!
Open internationally! 
Enter to win!



Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: "Taken By Choice" by Jessica Frances


Taken By Choice
(Taken Trilogy, #3)

~Author: Jessica Frances

~Published: March 3rd, 2014

~Length: 364

~Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary, Romance, Action, Adventure, Supernatural


~ Synopsis from Goodreads:

They failed. They have been taken by P.A.G.E. again and this time Stan and Martha are prepared for them. They’ve made it impossible to escape. They have no choice but to stay in line and behave.

New friendships are made, relationships are put to the test and answers about their abilities are revealed.

Is it possible that they can still take down P.A.G.E. but this time trying from within?

Or will the choices they make endanger the future they were tasked with protecting?

Only time will tell. Unfortunately, it might mean having to give up everything for the chance of ending this once and for all.

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~ About the Author ~



~ Connect with Jessica Online:

Email: jessicafrances_author@yahoo.com.au



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~ My Rating: 5/5 Roses ~

~ My Review ~

Every once in a while, I find a series that completely captures me, heart and soul. This trilogy is one of those, and even then, is in a category all its own. To say it is an incredible story would be an understatement. Uniquely brilliant, this book brings a remarkable end to a fantastic adventure.

Jessica Frances introduced some incredible characters in Taken by Surprise, and with each book, they each grew deeper and more complex. As sad as I am that this series has ended, this book delivered an epic conclusion to an already epic story, and I adore how Ms. Frances crafted the climax and ending. I cried more from this book than I have in several years, and I am sure this is a trilogy I will read again.

The Taken Trilogy is certainly one I would recommend, and Taken by Choice is a book that will knock your socks off. It is intense, emotional, deep, and completely, devastatingly amazing. It left me a total wreck, in the best possible way, and I would recommend it to anyone. I look forward to reading future books from this author, and adamantly hope this story is made into a set of films.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

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To find out about the first two books in this series, please visit my posts:

Thanks for reading, and as always:

Keep Creating!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: "Open Minds" by Susan Kaye Quinn

Open Minds 
(Mindjack Trilogy, Book 1)

~Author: Susan Kaye Quinn

~Published: November 1st 2011

~Length: 326 Pages

~Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Paranormal

Kindle (FREE!!)


~ Synopsis from Goodreads:

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

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~ My Rating: 4/5 Roses ~


~ My Review ~

In a world where everyone can read minds, it's an oddity to be disconnected from everyone, and have to actually talk to someone to communicate.  For Kira Moore, that's exactly what she's dealing with.  She's been labeled a Zero, as if being different wasn't bad enough.  She's holding out hope for just being a late bloomer though, and changing this year.  Being disconnected from everyone seems like the biggest thing going wrong in her life...til she falls into Simon's lap...literally.

Simon's a mind-jacker...someone completely different than everyone else, but much more powerful...and dangerous.  Kira quickly finds herself on the government's wanted list for being a mind-jacker herself, and almost over night, her world is torn apart.

Fighting between the need to do what she feels is right, and the need to survive, she goes up against seemingly unbeatable opponents to reveal the truth about the world, and the mistreatment of so many people.

The writing in this book flows fairly well, and with a highly entertaining story, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

I took off a rose, because the beginning of the book starts out confusing, throwing the reader into a world with new words that aren't explained, and I had to go back and re-read parts several times to be sure what the author meant, which was frustrating.  After giving educated guesses to the words that were made up/changed, the book flowed better, but the changing of important words, to made-up words that didn't make sense, and weren't explained, made the first few chapters frustrating, and I almost didn't keep reading after chapter 3.

I'm glad I did though, because it is a good book.  This story is gripping and new, and had me both laughing and crying.  I certainly recommend this book to any YA fan.

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~ About the Author ~

Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she’s met along the way.

She doesn’t have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as she can handle.


~ Connect with Susan Online: