Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review - Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll





Publication Date: April 2016
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars


Where to Buy:



Here's the Summary:


HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?


My Thoughts:

I have to admit, the book was hard for me to get into at first. Ani isn't a character you instantly warm to. She's materialistic, judgmental, and has a perpetual chip on her shoulder. There wasn't a single part of her personality I could relate to. HOWEVER, the deeper you delve into the story, the more you realize why she is the was she is. It was because of the tragedy and humiliation she had to overcome. She wanted to reinvent herself. And really, who could blame her!

What I WILL say about Mrs. Knoll's writing is that it's richly textured and razor-sharp. It's something to be admired! Her knack for descriptions and character development are what kept me hooked. And when you get to the scene that everything builds to (and believe me, you'll know what scene I'm talking about), you'll be glued to the pages until the end. Not to mention, even though the flashbacks in the book were set in the 90's, there are several relevant life lessons that every teenager needs to hear. Well done, Ms. Knoll!



Favorite quote: 

“Moving on doesn’t mean you don’t talk about it. Or hurt about it. It’s always going to hurt.”



About the Author:


Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Find her at: http://www.jessicaknoll.com

Monday, November 21, 2016

Music Crush Monday - Running From the Night by GAIT

Happy Monday, angels! It's the beginning of a new week (hooray!) and today I have a treat for all of your pretty little ears - the song I've officially dubbed as the theme song for Book Three of the Captivated Series. And yes, I'm still hard at work to bring you a killer conclusion to the series, but I had to take a break from my writing dungeon to share this with you.

Why is this song so perfect, you ask? Because it's about deciding not to run from the dark anymore and face it head on. How incredibly perfect, right???

So have a little listen below, and don't forget to hop on over to my Facebook page and check out the giveaway for it (you'll have to scroll down a bit)! GAIT is offering over a free download of the song! How amazing are they?

Love to all
xoxo

SJ

Running From the Night by GAIT

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review - Harley and Rose by Carmen Jenner




Publication Date: October 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Where to Buy:



Here's the Summary:

Ever since she was a little girl, thirty-year-old Rose dreamed of the day Harley would carry her across the threshold on their honeymoon. So what if this isn’t her actual wedding day, and that she’s only here because Harley was left at the altar just a few hours earlier?

Trading San Francisco for paradise and swapping her bridesmaid’s bouquet for a Blue Hawaii, Rose hopes she can finally escape the friend zone.

Once upon a time they had been more than friends, but life got in the way. She’s spent every day since wishing Harley would get a clue.

She’s always been his best friend.

He’s always been hers.

She’s in love with him.

He’s … not in love with her.

He’s … marrying someone else.

He’s … hiding something.

He’s … well—it’s complicated.



My Thoughts:

Okay so let me preface this review with saying that I didn't realize what I was getting myself into with this book. This is the very first story I've delved into from the author. I'd heard great things about her, saw great things about her work, and when the opportunity came up to review her recent novel, I took the plunge. And if you know me well, you know that I typically don't invest in stories that aren't paranormal or supernatural in nature (and certainly not to the point of committing time to review one) unless I feel like it's worth my precious time. I'd bore you with the details of my oh so busy life, but you all get it because we're all busy, and I'm knee deep in writing my last novel of my current series, so time. is. precious.

So what made me commit? I kept hearing how this story would tear my heart out, and how wonderfully strong and broken the heroine (Rose) is, so I knew immediately this story had the promise of depth. And that's something, whether paranormal or not, that can make anyone appreciate the ride, so I thought "why not? I'd love to see what this is about."

And I'm glad I never looked back.

There aren't many stories out there that make me cry, but holy cow, did this one achieve that. Again, Rose is so beautifully broken and strong (which someone could only be after being so broken), and she shares a relationship with "Lost Boy" Harley that most people long for their entire lives, but yet... they can't ever seem to quite get in sync (despite their sizzling chemistry),  and so the story spirals them into a roller coaster of hurt and desperation. I had an idea of what I thought this book was going to be and left it completely shattered. Despite how much I was rooting for them, this is not a happy, feel good romance. This is real. This is LIFE, people. But Carmen also knows how to weave a story with just enough humor to keep it balanced.

And because I don't want to give ANY part of this book away, I'll have to stop there, but I beg you... read this book!

PS - LOVE all the references to Peter Pan! It gives it that extra layer of magic that makes it so special.


Favorite quote: 

"It’s why I call him Pan. He’s the original lost boy, and he’s always been so damn good at getting me to follow behind him like a lovesick Wendy with Peter."


About the Author:


Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA TODAY and international bestselling author of the Sugartown, Savage Saints, and Taint series.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore MAC addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?

Find her here: http://www.carmenjenner.com/

Book Review and Giveaway - Edge of Wild by Danika Stone




Publication Date: May 2016
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Where to Buy:



Here's the Summary:

Transplanted from New York City to the tiny mountain town of Waterton, Alberta with the task of saving a floundering new hotel, Rich Evans is desperate to return to the city as soon as he can. The locals seem unusually hostile towards his efforts, or maybe even menacing, and was that a cougar on his door-step last night? As Rich begins to wonder whether his predecessor disappeared of his own accord, he finds himself strongly drawn to Louise Newman, the garage mechanic who is fixing his suddenly unreliable BMW, and the only person in Waterton who doesn’t seem desperate to run him out of town. As Rich works on the hotel, the town is torn apart by a series of gruesome, unsolved murders. With Louise as his only ally in a town that seems set against him, Rich can’t help but wonder: will he be the next victim?


My Thoughts:

Holy cow! Where do I start with this one? First, the author can write descriptions like nobody's business. Case in point:

"Unlike the marinas in larger communities, Waterton's waterfront had no life after the sun went down. The main walkway was bare, spectral shadows cast from the trees overhead dancing in the the golden circles of street lamps. The shoreline, with its slope-roofed buildings, was eerily abandoned; a circular parking lot, bustling during daylight hours was empty save for a single motorcycle."

Ms. Stone has some writing chops, and that always makes it easier to get into a story when your eyes aren't constantly fumbling over sentences. I also liked the richness of the setting and her characters. Her lead female, Lou, is an attractive auto mechanic with visions of past lives and is funny and caring and sweet. And Rich... a go-get-em business man who's just trying to keep it together while he cleans up the messes his predecessor made with the new hotel in town, all while he's being stalked and his cabin broken into... and oh, yeah - as he deals with the prickly townspeople who don't want anything to do with the changes he wants to make to their beloved small town. Throw in some murders, some determined cops, some sweet, steamy scenes between Lou and Rich, and you've got one heck of a Crime Thriller. But I'll stop there, because us authors work really hard to give you the best story possible, and I can't stand the thought of ruining anything. But what I will say is that the ending won't disappoint!

Well done, Danika! Can't wait to read the rest of the books in your catalog!


Favorite quote: 

“Sometimes you have to wait out the night,” she said quietly “Morning always comes.”


GIVEAWAY! 



About the Author:



Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series, Edge of Wild and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus, and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Find her here: http://www.danikastone.com/

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cover Reveal and Release Date - Shine with Me (Book Three of the Captivated Series)

It's here, my lovelies! Just LOOK at that cover and take a moment to revel in its glory. *swoons* And by all means, DON'T think about the fact that this is the last book in the series and that there will be no more Gabe and Kat after this, because you'll end up ugly crying like me.

Sorry not sorry.

What I will encourage you to do, however, is hop on over to Facebook and check out the giveaway I'm doing in celebration of the grand reveal. The winner will be announced on the 26th. Oh, and did I mention the OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE is May 1st? If not, it's MAY 1ST!

Love to all xoxo



Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spectacle is FREE on Instafreebie!

Happy Thursday, Angels! SO excited to announce that Instafreebie picked my book to be featured on their "Science-Fiction and Fantasy Wednesday" promo! I'm beyond honored to be promoted alongside these other fabulous authors. If you love a good Sci-fi or Fantasy, you should give one of these a try. And hey, they're FREE! ;) Just click on the banner below...

xoxo
SJ





Monday, October 3, 2016

Music Crush Monday - Deep End by Ruelle

Happy Monday, Angels! Okay... so there's this song I found on You Tube by Ruelle that I've officially dubbed as the theme song for Lilliana. Just LOOK at these lyrics:

Like lead in my veins,
Darkness is sinking
Darkness is sinking me
Commanding my soul
I am under the surface
Where the blackness burns beneath

WHAAAAT? How amazingly appropriate for Lilliana's journey. Now have a little listen below ;)

xoxo
SJ


Deep End by Ruelle
(Written by Jeff Bowman, Ruelle, and Josh Williams)