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.”


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...


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 ;)


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

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Release Day - Lilliana!

Happy release day, Angels! It's here! It's finally here! If you haven't already snagged your copy, see below for links to purchase for $0.99. I could ramble on and on about how much you'll love this book and how deliciously dark and twisty it is, but I'll just get to the good stuff and give you the darn links already. ;)

(Public Service Announcement - Enter at your own risk! Lilliana is foul-mouthed, promiscuous, a little demented, and extremely PISSED... but we kind of already knew that. Especially if you've already read Iris and Fight for Me.)

Love to all xoxo


Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review - End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, Book Three) by Susan Ee

Publication Date: November 19th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Where to Buy:

Here's the Summary:

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

My Thoughts:

Since this is the sequel to World After, I'm not going to break this one down into my "the good, the bad and the ugly" categories. I'm reading this series because the first book caught my eye, and quite frankly, I fell hard. This series is everything. *pensive sigh*

So let's start with everything I loved about this third and final installment, and I'll try really hard not to give anything away. Raffe and Penryn's love is as angsty as ever in the beginning. After they're reunited, they spend a few days in hiding together and things start to get a little steamy... until Raffe has to pry himself away from her again and remind her (and himself) why their love can never be. He remembers what happened to his men all those years ago, how they'd been banished to the Pit to basically rot and become demons. Not to mention, he wants to be Messenger, and he can't very well be gallivanting around with a human if he wants the position. It just wasn't in the cards for them to be together. But don't lose hope, my lovelies, because the ending will more than satisfy. ;) And there are a few more sweet/ steamy/ tear-your-heart out moments in between.

Another great thing about this book is it gives you a little more background story on one of the nastiest characters - Beliel. And you start to find yourself almost feeling bad for him. That, to me, is the mark of a good writer: their characters aren't all good or all bad. Something (or a lot of somethings) happened to them in life to make them the way they are. And sometimes, the good ones started out bad, or the bad ones started out good. And some of them are equal parts of both.

Something else that I loved was the author's portrayal of Hell (the Pit) and the demon lords. And as a Public Service Announcement, her descriptions of the demon lords and their whips with human heads on the ends and what they do to fallen angels will make you lose sleep. These books are NOT for the squeamish, but they're also amazingly descriptive and original.

I'm not worthy!!!

Now for the ending - the most important part of a series! I've already mentioned that readers won't be disappointed with the way Raffe and Penryn's love story ends (and lets be honest, that's what the majority of us cared about), but we also want to know the fate of the world! What's going to happen to the rest of humanity? Without being too spoilery, we learn that there will be a contest where angels will kill as many humans as possible, so will the human race be gone for good now? Not while our feisty little Penryn is still breathing! But that's all I'll say, other than to be prepared to gasp, dig your nails into something, and have to take momentary mental breaks so you can cope with what's going on. Susan Ee gives us one heck of a fight scene at the end!

Now that I'm done with the things I LOVED, I'll dig into the things that took away half a star... though I'll still round it up to five because I'm so obsessed with the story and the characters. And let me preface this by saying that in the grand scheme of things, they aren't even that big of a deal and don't detract from the overall story; we're still given one hell of a ride. But there are a few things that made me go "huh?"


For instance, it's a tad silly to me how an angel can have his wings sliced off and reattached so many times (three times, if I counted right), and then he flies around on them like nothing happened. I get that they're angels and that they heal faster than humans, but when they get injured in other parts of the book, they need time to recover. And they're freaking slicing through his wing joints! Sometimes not even with the careful hand of a surgeon. Twice, his wings are brutally cut off with axes or a sword. I just couldn't reconcile that in my head.

Something else that didn't seem right to me was that Penryn would be off taking care of other things while TRUSTING the winged scorpions to look after her sister Paige. The same sister she fought so hard to find and protect in the other two novels. Granted, Paige had some involuntary... alterations done to her body, thanks to a surgeon, and could better fend for herself now, and these scorpions were like her pets, but they were also unpredictable and it felt out of place for Penryn to trust them with a member of her family.

In conclusion, while there were a few things that bugged me, overall this was a fantastic ending to one of the best series I've ever read. Susan Ee has a way of sucking you with her writing and characters, and it won't let go until the end. Be prepared to miss a lot of sleep! 

About the Author:

Susan Ee is a USA Today bestselling author of the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy, ANGELFALL, WORLD AFTER, and END OF DAYS. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages, and her short films have played at major festivals. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

Sign up to hear about her next book at www.susanee.com or follow her on Twitter @Susan_Ee.