22 August 2016

Cover Reveal: A Fabrication of the Truth by Katie Kaleski

A Fabrication of the Truth
Katie Kaleski
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
The last time Lexie Stein saw Dalton Reyes he lay in a pool of blood, hovering somewhere between life and death. Now, five years later, he’s the new guy in her high school.
What happened between then and now is a mystery Lexie is afraid to explore. Just one lie uncovered from her past can cause the house of cards she’s so carefully constructed to come crashing down around her. And Dalton is the key to that past.
She doesn’t need her grandmother’s warnings to convince her that Dalton means trouble. But the bond they shared as kids seems to have only gotten stronger, transforming into something wonderful and powerful.
When Dalton opens up about the intervening years and what they mean for his future, Lexie is determined not to let him get away a second time.

Author Bio:
Katie Kaleski is a young adult author that hails from the midwest. A Fabrication of the Truth is her debut novel, but she will have plenty more books coming very soon.
Her favorite food is cereal with milk, she holds cookies in high regard, and she loves all things cute and fuzzy.

19 August 2016

Review: Strike by Delilah S. Dawson

Strike by Delilah S. Dawson 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 12, 2016
# of Pages: 480
Synopsis: The hit list was just the beginning.

Time to strike back.

After faking her own death to escape her term as an indentured assassin for Valor Savings Bank, Patsy is on the run with her boyfriend, Wyatt. All she wants to do is go home, but that’s never going to happen—not as long as Valor’s out to get her and the people she loves.

Left with no good choices, Patsy’s only option is to meet with a mysterious group that calls itself the Citizens for Freedom.

Led by the charismatic Leon Crane, the CFF seem like just what Patsy has been looking for. Leon promises that if she joins, she’ll finally get revenge on Valor for everything they’ve done to her—and for everything they’ve made her do.

But Patsy knows the CFF has a few secrets of their own. One thing is certain: they’ll do absolutely anything to complete their mission, no matter who’s standing in their way. Even if it’s Patsy herself.

Delilah S. Dawson brings anarchy and high-octane drama to the next explosive level in this sequel to the “practically movie-ready” (Kirkus Reviews) novel, Hit.

My Review:
 I borrowed Strike by Delilah S. Dawson from work and this is my honest review.

To give a little recap the first book in this duo follows the main character Patsy while she is forced to either be an assassin for Valor Savings Bank or be killed by them for her mother's outstanding debt. Near the end of the book things prove to be hard, Patsy runs away from her duties with her last victim's brother and she has no idea where things are going to go from there.

Strike starts off on shaky ground, there is a lot of recap given to us by Patsy’s thoughts to herself. Readers do not really know where the book is headed for awhile. Patsy and Wyatt our main characters from book one do not even know where they are going to end up quite yet. But when they do end up somewhere with a group of people they met along the way each chapter starts to get more and more interesting.

I enjoyed the second book for so many reasons, Dawson did a great job giving readers recap from the first book. It was pretty creative most of the time using Patys thoughts. It was not just paragraphs or chapters of recap it was spread out evenly each time a memory was triggered for Patsy. I also liked the fact that many relationships, as well as characters developed during the pages of these books. We got to see the continuation of Wyatt and Patsy’s relationship which we did not get to see much of in book one. I also liked following along while Patsy’s character developed, it was very slow but she did end up opening up to the people I wanted her to open up to.

The end was full of surprises for me. Obviously I cannot disclose those surprises without spoilers. But I must say Dawson did a good job of giving us a good balance of good and bad surprises. I felt a lot of different emotions throughout the course of this book, which is great. I love when books make me feel things, and I also love when books are so beautifully written I can almost watch it play out in my head while reading! Definitely check out these books if you love dangerous assassin adventure books!


18 August 2016

Cover Reveal: Fear Me, Fear Me Not by Elodie Nowodazkij

Fear Me, Fear Me Not
Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication date: September 27th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Supernatural
SCREAM meets FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS in this new young adult romantic suspense novel by Elodie Nowodazkij.
Fear is power. They fear me. They don’t fear me enough. Every year a girl disappears in Gavert County, Texas. Their bodies are found days, sometimes months, later with an angel wing carved on their face. They call me “the Angel Killer” and I’m on the hunt again. But this time, it’s personal.
Seventeen-year-old cheerleader Erin Hortz has been warned about the Angel Killer all her life. She never walks alone in the dark. She doesn’t talk to strangers. She doesn’t accept drinks at parties. All she wants is to finish her senior year with a win at the Miss Junior Queen of Hearts pageant, capture the perfect light over the lake with her new camera, and finally catch the attention of her best friend Nadia’s brother—former football star Dimitri Kuklev. Since his injury, they’ve been spending a lot of time together. And getting to know the real Dimitri—not the one she put on a pedestal in her diary is better than she could ever have imagined. And she’s falling hard.
Nineteen-year-old Dimitri’s injury brought him from football superstar with universities from all around the country knocking at his door to not knowing what he wants to do with his life. Taking classes at the local community college is supposed to get him back on track, but all he wants is to be on the field again. The only person who seems to understand him is the one he swore to keep in the friend zone: Erin. His sister Nadia’s best friend and the reason why he can’t keep a girlfriend. Between their early morning jogs, their time spent at the lake laughing, and their late night conversations, he’s having a hard time remembering why it’s such a bad idea.
But when Nadia doesn’t come home after a party, Dimitri and Erin know they must find her before it’s too late—even if that means risking their own lives and everything Erin’s ever known.
Because the main suspect is Erin’s father.
teaser (2)

Author Bio:
Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she'd never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.
She's also a serial smiley user.


17 August 2016

Blog Tour: The Departed by Kristy Cooper

The Departed by Kristy Cooper
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: July 6th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:  What if someone tried to fake the rapture? When hundreds of thousands of people disappear in the middle of the night, including sixteen-year-old Gwen's best friend Lana, no one knows why. Some believe they were taken in the rapture, while others are convinced that it can't be true. Doomsday prophecies abound that involve horrifying tales of plague, famine, earthquakes, and more. At first, Gwen doesn't know what to think. While she is busy mourning Lana, many people around her are getting taken in by the cultish True Believers Temple, including Gwen's dad and her friend Mindy. Itis clear that more and more people are going tobe pressured to join this church, asit starts taking over the media and the government, gaining zealous followers all over the world. Then Gwen starts receiving emails from Lana. She claims to have been forced into hiding with
thousands of others inan underground compound. Gwen is convinced the emails are real and the only other person who also believes her is Isaiah, her moody crush. Together they resolve to find out where everyone is hiding and help set Lana free.

Book Links: 

Meet Kristy,
Kristy Cooper found herself often contemplating unusual what-if scenarios and knew it was time to start writing them down. She worked as a librarian for years and is now busy raising small children and writing YA novels. Stay up to date with her books atkristycooper.com.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Author Interview
1) What inspires you to write?

I've always had many random story ideas that I felt I needed to do something with. I had this idea, that someday, I would finally get around to sitting down and writing the stories that were growing in my head, but I just kept postponing that day. I think this is such a common problem for a lot of people who would like to write. I finally had a little time on my hands, so I began working on The Departed and as I began writing it, I realized it had so many more details and layers that it should be a series. I have a few other YA science fiction series ideas, that I hope I get a chance to work on after this one is done.

2) What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

I think the hardest thing about being a writer is wishing you could write faster. I keep reading about writers who regularly write 10,000 words a day and I am so jealous! Although I am slowly getting a little faster, I usually end up averaging about 500-2000 words a day.

Related to that issue, is the also wishing I could read faster problem. The more I write, the less time I have to read and vice versa!

3) What do you do when you get writers block?

Most of my experience with writers block has been about particular details in my stories. I haven't really experienced it yet in terms of larger story arc issues. I tend to deal with these blocks by just typing some gibberish and highlighting it in red, so there is no way I will not forget to go back and edit it later. If I am feeling stuck on a small part, I think it's better to just keep writing and go back to whatever the problem is at a later time, otherwise it will completely interrupt your flow.

Sometimes I just can't come up with character names when I am introducing them. I am working on The Sainted (Book 2 of The Departed Series) right now and, I currently have an Officer Butt and a Mrs. Whatever (really mature I know). They will get "real" names later when I go back and edit.

4) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Make yourself write everyday by setting a mini-habit. I made my goal to only write 50 words a day which I know isn't very much. But it's also a very attainable goal even if you have an otherwise busy and full day. When your WIP is in front of you, you will almost always write much more than just 50 words.

5) Do you have a street team or an email readers can subscribe to receive updates on upcoming releases, etc?
I do! You can sign-up to get an early review copy of my next book The Sainted at: kristycooper.com/blogger.


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10 August 2016

Review: The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
Publisher: Health Communications
Release Date: August 1, 1997
Book Format: Paperback
# of Pages: 331
Synopsis: "The Lost Boy" is the harrowing but ultimately uplifting true story of a boy's journey through the foster-care system in search of a family to love. This is Dave Pelzer's long-awaited sequel to "A Child Called 'It'." "The Lost Boy" is Pelzer's story -- a moving sequel and inspirational read for all.

My Review:
I bought this book with my own funds and this is my honest review.

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer is the sequel to A Child Called It. The first book was the story of a little boy who was abused verbally and physically by his mother. In the second book, readers follow little David on his journey of escaping his mother. After making it to school, and confessing to his teachers he is taken out of his mother's custody and placed into several foster homes throughout the book.

This book felt like a sigh of relief compared to the first book. I found myself feeling extremely happy that David finally got the nerve to tell someone and get himself out. I was excited for him when he entered the Catanze home I felt as though it was going to be a new start for him. While reading I felt every emotion David had while in each house right along with him. I became angry with his treatment by some of the foster kids, and there were times I was angry at Mr. Catanze’s treatment too. I felt like I understood on some level as to why he was so hard on David when he made mistakes but at the same time I thought he was a very misunderstood little boy and needed more than the adults in his life were giving him.

Even though I felt the adults could have given him some more support David seemed to take a little something from each home he was at, and that gave him the strength to push through even though he still had his crazy mother on his tail even after he left her house, and even though he got himself into trouble because he did not really have anyone who completely understood, in the end, he grew up and seemed to turn out to be a fine boy.

I enjoyed reading the second installment in Dave Pelzers story, and I look forward to reading the third book, A Man Named Dave. I am really interested in finding out how the rest of his life shaped out to be.


26 July 2016

Release Day Launch: Bearliest Catch by Bianca D'Arc

Bearliest Catch RDL
Today we have the great new paranormal romance, Bearliest Catch by Bianca D’Arc. Be sure to check it out and grab your copy, and enter her giveaway  

BearliestCatchFinal-72-200x300About Bearliest Catch:   Drew spends his days fishing in the Pacific, far from Grizzly Cove, seeking the peace of the ocean. Jetty lives in the ocean, part of a hunting party of mer folk, in near-constant danger now from the evil creature that roams the deep. When they meet, sparks fly and the ocean comes alive with danger. Can they get her people to safety?

Exclusive Excerpt: “I’d better go and tell the others what you’ve said.” She walked toward the stern of the boat slowly. “Is it safe to swim after a meal like that? I mean, most humans have to wait a bit before they go swimming after eating. How does that work for you?” He looked adorably confused and genuinely curious, so she humored his question. “Once I shift, the mer characteristics win out, so it won’t be a problem.” She sent him a smile as she walked farther away. It was hard to leave him, which surprised her, but she couldn’t stay. She had responsibilities to her people, much as she would have loved to spend the rest of the day with the sexy bear shifter. He followed her, and they both stood at the stern of the boat, his hooks picking up nothing during their meal and continuing to just drift with no action. “If you go a little northwest, you’ll find some big sturgeon and halibut. The fishing is much better in that direction right now,” she offered, hoping to help in some small way. “I might as well give you a solid tip on where to find dinner since you fed me part of your lunch.” She turned to him, laughing lightly. “The tip is appreciated, but you don’t owe me anything, sweetheart.” The breath caught in her throat at his use of the endearment. He also stepped right up to her, not a foot between their bodies as he looked down into her eyes. She almost forgot to breathe. “But…” She didn’t know what she was objecting to as his head drifted lower. Was he going to kiss her? “Ssh,” he soothed her, drawing her under his spell. “If you really want to repay me for the sandwich, all I ask of you is a single kiss.” What? Alarm bells sounded in her mind, but they were drowned out by the nearness of him. She could feel his warmth only inches away from her, and she wanted to snuggle up against him. She’d been so cold for so long… Which was an odd thought for a mer to have. Mer didn’t feel cold. The oceans were their home. So what had gotten into her now? And why was she suddenly so eager to snuggle up to a land dweller? Oh, he was a shifter—they had that in common—but he still lived on land, and she in the sea. Though she could survive very well on dry land too. In fact, she’d spent most of her youth on land, with her family, doing the normal things that humans and shifters did. She’d gone to school, had friends, drove a car, had a job, and even moved in with her boyfriend. But the situation with Dirk was what had driven her into the sea. She refused to go down that path again. Dirk had been human, a little voice inside reminded her. Andrew was a shifter. Maybe things would be different with a shifter. Did she dare try to find out? As his lips touched hers, all thoughts fled in the face of his passion. What started as a simple kiss turned into something much more profound within a single heartbeat. He took her into his embrace, and she did get a chance to snuggle up to his warmth, basking in the feel of his strong arms around her. He kissed her lightly, at first, then gradually deepened the kiss when she made no move to push him away. His tongue danced with hers, showing her new patterns of pleasure even as her knees threatened to give way. He was holding her up, his hands around her waist, supporting her, not imprisoning. And that was the key. He held her firmly, but lightly. She could break free any time she wanted…which was why she stayed.      

I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but in my latest book, Bearliest Catch, a wounded-warrior bear shifter gets mixed up with a mermaid. I didn’t intentionally set out to write a mermaid character when I started this series, but I guess the coastal setting and the situation in the fictional world, where there is a demon-like entity in the water, combined to make it reasonable to have at least one of my heroines be a mermaid.
She’s not your typical little mermaid though. I decided if I was going to write mer creatures, I was going to develop their society and roles in it more fully than I’ve seen done before. So my mer females are part of a hunting party. Essentially, they’re protectors of their larger community, and when they run afoul of the danger in the water, they begin to interact with the land-dwelling bear shifters who have just moved into town. Inevitably, sparks ignite between the two as they work together to fight the evil that has beset both the town and the surrounding ocean.
Sometimes, as a writer, stories take you in unexpected directions. I think it’s always exciting when your imagination is posed the big “what if” question and comes up with something that surprises you. And I think, for the most part, readers enjoy that kind of spontaneous leap into new directions too.
While a lot of people who don’t read the genre seem to complain that romance is too formulaic, I don’t agree. Romance goes where you want to take it. Sure, there are some tropes and more or less standard story lines, but we’re not all limited by those things. Many of us routinely bounce into new and exciting places with our stories.
In the Grizzly Cove series, I’ve mixed up the backgrounds of all the characters. The series starts off with three novellas in which the heroines are all human women who had no idea there were shifters in the world until they moved to Grizzly Cove. In the fourth book, which is novel-length, the heroine is a witch. (A good witch.) And then I started introducing mermaids. Where it goes from here, I’m not sure, but you can bet I’ll keep introducing unexpected elements and characters. That way, it keeps the work fresh for both me and, hopefully, for the reader.
The heroes in this series are all bear shifters with different challenges. Even though they’re all bear shifters, not all are grizzlies. I’ve been having fun with different types of bears from different parts of the world to make each hero a little unique. The men also have a military background. They were all part of the same Special Forces unit and are a true band of brothers. Retired from the military now, they were seeking a quiet place to live and maybe find mates, but they didn’t bargain on the evil that’s been hunting them from just off shore.
This paranormal romance series is a mix of adventure, excitement and sexy attraction between the heroes and their ladies. I like to make my books about equal parts romance and adventure and that holds true for this series. As we go along, the stakes get higher and the overall situation in the cove gets more complicated. I hope you enjoy the unexpected twists and turns as they happen when you’re reading, as much as I do when I’m writing them!

About Bianca D’Arc: Bianca D’Arc is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She has twice won EPPIE Awards for her work, along with the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Erotic Romance eBook of 2008 for her first werewolf romance, Lords of the Were. She is a native New Yorker who worked as an executive on Wall Street during the summer of 2001. She changed careers after the tragic attacks of 9/11 and started seriously pursuing publication in 2005. She has a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, a Masters in Library Science, and a Juris Doctor, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves her garden and plays the piano, ukulele and guitar.  

Connect with Bianca! Website: www.biancadarc.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BiancaDArcAuthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/biancadarc  

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14 July 2016

Blog Tour by Life After Juliet by Shannon Alexander

Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Contemporary YA
Synopsis: Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people...                  

Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.

As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed.

The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.

Meet Shannon,
Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. She spent most of her time in high school hiding out in the theater with the drammies and techies. Math still makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Author Links:
Author Twitter
Author Facebook
Author Goodreads

Author Interview:

1) What inspires you to write?

I write character-driven stories, so everything begins with a character for me. I joke around that I’ve always had voices in my head because for as long as I can remember, I’ve been watching stories like movies in my head. Daydreaming is my favorite thing to do!

Eventually, one voice will get louder than the others. If I listen, a story will start to unfold.

2) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Let yourself enjoy writing. I think aspiring writers (myself included) get too focused on the end result—the completed novel, the literary agent, the publishing deal, etc. But all of that is just chatter, and it takes away from what you need to be doing, which is enjoying developing your craft.

Be silly. Make mistakes. Throw away your outlines. Take wrong turns. Write scenes you have no intention of keeping. Create characters with deep, complex back stories—and then kill them off so you can create new characters. Play with your craft. Read. Copy your favorite authors. Write bad fanfiction. Write great fanfiction. Explore writing to its fullest.

Actually, this is good advice for me, too, because even though I have two novels published, I’m still aspiring to be the best writer I can be. (☺ Thankfully, I already excel at being the cheesiest writer I can be. ☺)

3) What do you do when you are faced with writers block?

Wallow in paralyzing self-doubt and pity. Usually large amounts of sugar consumption is required.

Then, when I’ve wallowed enough (and made myself sick from eating one too many Swedish Fish), I’ll refocus. I recently went to hear Rick Yancey, author of The Fifth Wave, speak, and he had some great advice that helped me. And since writers are all thieves, I’ll steal it and pass it on to you.

Rick Yancey says that when you find yourself blocked, it means that your mind is trying to do two things at once. It’s trying to be creative, and it’s being judgey. Now, here’s where you guys suffer from me retelling this, because I’m pretty sure Rick Yancey had a better way of saying it. I’m pretty sure “judgey” wasn’t a word that came out of his highly educated mouth. But you get what I’m saying, right?

When you’re stuck, it’s probably because in the middle of trying to create something from nothing, your brain has switched gears on you and is analyzing everything you’ve just written. And of course your judgey brain is being a total jerk and telling you that your beautiful creation is crap, so the creative part of your brain freezes and then you find yourself eating two bags of Swedish Fish, which, if you’re wondering is seventeen portions more than any human should ever eat in one sitting.

So, do like Rick Yancey says, and turn off the jerk side of your brain so you can keep creating.

Or just call me, and I’ll send you some Swedish Fish.

4) Do you have an email subscription or a street team for me and my followers to follow to keep up to date on your books?

I do! Right now, the street team is called The Backstage Crew because we’re working hard to make sure Becca and the LIFE AFTER JULIET gang get their chance to shine on stage. If you’re interested in joining the crew, fill out this form.

If you ever want to email me or follow me on any social media platform (Instagram is my new favorite playground!), then you can find links to all of those on my webpage.

And if you want to receive my newsletters (don’t worry, I’m terrible at news so there’s only maybe four that go out a year, but they are always worth the wait), then you can sign up here!

Thanks so much for hosting me! Happy reading!
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