Monday, July 21, 2014

[Review] Fire In Her Eyes

Fire in Her Eyes (Young Love, #2)

Spencer and I have been enemies for as long as I can remember. Though it wasn't hard to fall into lust with him. And things seemed to be headed to love before unspeakable things happened to me...

Spencer was supposed to be my rock. My angel. He turned out to be none of those things. What he did hurt more then the tragedy. I don't think I will ever be able to forgive him...

Not that he hasn't tried to win me back over. His new actions leave me wondering if love can really forgive anything?

My name is Harley Maxton and this is my story


I want to start out with this was a great story, even though I did have some issues with it. Well, more like one major issue. The book was too short.  That’s my main complaint. Other than that I was mildly surprised at the goings on of this novel. I mean you see the whole love interest thing coming, ‘cause you can only hate someone so beautiful for so long while ignoring the obvious sexual tension that is there.  Well, well, this book was filled to the brim with sexual tension, complete tragedy, and honest to goddess surprise. It takes a lot to shock me, and let me tell you… there were a few minutes that I was like “Oh god, No…. WHAT!? No way. I can’t…” 

First off, I absolutely loved the characters of Spencer and Harley. I also love the fact that both of those names could totally be used regardless whether you’re a male or female, just saying. From the beginning you get smacked in the face with some shocking news, then Ms. Heath just keeps it right on coming. The whole idea of the character behind Harley was absurdly adorable, as well as Spencer. While both characters have both lost a parent due to unforeseen circumstances to which has mentally scarred them for life, they’ve moved on… cautiously. As they both come home from college on summer break, they get a whopping surprise from their parents. Not only were they neighbors before, but now they’re going to be room-mates. I know right! Whaaat!? The only word I can picture coming out of either one of their mouths is “BALLS.” Although I’m pretty sure that wasn’t said. ;)

So I’m pretty sure I’ve always been partial to red heads, being a semi-red head myself.  I’ve always associated fierceness, carefree, and braveness with red heads, along with some serious sass and just pure awesomeness. Some people say blondes have more fun, I say red heads do. Just be warned, we bite, and we bite hard. That being said, I’m gonna move along to Spencer, after gushing about how much I just adore Harley’s character. Spencer is the epitome of sex. He’s broody, yet completely thoughtful, protective, a total playboy, funny, and just oozes pure testosterone. Yum.  At this point, my book boyfriend list is so long that I’m gonna have to compile them all into one man, that no one could possibly ever live up to the expectations set by myself. If somehow, I met a man that could… well babe – I’d rock his socks off! 

I don’t want to tell you much about the story because I feel like you should read this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and must say that I’m definitely a new fan of Amanda Heath. Even though the book was shorter than I would have liked, it still packs punches like you wouldn’t believe. It’s one of those books that you chastise yourself for letting sit on your shelf for so long not reading it. I actually have another novel by Amanda Heath that a good book friend of mine Tess recommended, (This Beautiful Thing) and now I can’t wait to read it. It’s definitely been moved up on my list. Sadly enough I have looked at it so many times and just picked another book instead. Well, not anymore! I read this book in one sitting, unable to put it down. The tragedy and the love story that goes along with it were simply astonishing and I loved it. To say this is a definite page turner isn’t enough. I HAD to keep reading, because I just had to know what was going to happen next. I was gasping and shocked at so many points in this story that I’m still kind of pissed off at some of the characters. 

Honestly, read this book. You’ll fly right through it and by the end you’re just going to say “Wow. That was truly an amazing read.” I was most certainly left with a book hangover and I’m still thinking about all the horrible things that happened, along with the epic love story that goes along with them. Kudos to Amanda Heath for writing this amazing novel, and I can’t wait to read more from her.  
Amazon  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  | B&N

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

[ARC Review] Ugly Love

Ugly Love
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

 “He tightens his grip on my neck … and then he kills me. Or he kisses me. I can’t tell which since I’m pretty sure they would feel the same. His lips against mine feel like everything. Live living and dying and being reborn, all at the same time.”

I can’t even comprehend the feelings that I have for this book, or even for Colleen Hoover for that matter. I love her, but I hate what she does to my emotions… but at the same time I completely love everything she does to my emotions.  I won’t lie, I’ve been a #Cohort for quite some time now. Colleen writes it, I read it. Point blank.  Ugly love is, well Ugly love is something to leave you speechless. I mean how can you really describe how much something made you feel when you’ve got so many different emotions running through you at the same time. I flew in love, I fell in hate. I laughed, I cried. I cried a lot, and I mean Ugly Love means Ugly cry. At times I felt my heart just couldn’t take it anymore, that I would explode with pain, anguish, and utter shock. Maybe it should be Ugly Love, Ugly Cry, Ugly pain. 

“Ugly love becomes you. Consumes you. Makes you hate it all. Makes you realize that all the beatufiul parts aren’t even worth it. Without the beautiful, you’ll never risk feeling this. You’ll never risk feeling the ugly. So you give it up. You give it all up. You never want love again, no matter what kind it is, because no type of love will ever be worth living through the ugly love again.”

Every chapter further I got into this book the more I flew in love. I kept looking down at the percentage of where I was in the book and cringing. Every thought I had was No! I don’t want to be closer to the end. Maybe if I read a little slower… it won’t end. Ha! The false hope there, grand surprise. I just can’t tell you enough of about the revelations, (OH the revelations!) and the moments of bliss that you’re going to incur while reading this. You’ll have your suspicions, some of them will be right, some will be wrong. I do know one thing, Ugly Love will blow your mind, and rock your socks off at the same time. I won’t tell you about the story, since that’s what the synopsis is for. I would never want to ruin a book for someone, and if I were to tell you any of the goings on of this novel, I wouldn’t stop. So you’re just gonna have to deal with my gushy feels.

“Love isn’t always pretty, Tate. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”

Throughout this entire story I wanted to love Miles. I wanted to hate Miles. Talk about conflicting emotions, I can’t even imagine what Tate must have felt for him. Oh wait, maybe I can…  Miles has had some serious, unbearable, never come back from again type heart break. The type of hurt that will ruin and change a person forever.  He’s brooding, dark, stoic, beautiful and intoxicating. I love how his hair can’t decide whether it wants to be brown or blonde. How his eyes are so piercing crystal blue that you can’t take help but imagine getting yourself lost in them. I hate how secretive he is, but I now understand why.  There’s a poem from one of my favorite movies of all time, 10 Things I hate about you – which is how I see the connection between Miles and Tate, from Tate’s point of view. I know they don’t exactly match up entirely, but I don’t want to change the poem.

“We’re both smiling. The relaxed look on his face fills me with so many emotions I can’t even begin to classify them. I’m happy, because we’re having fun together. I’m sad, because we’re having fun together. I’m angry, because we’re having fun together and it makes me want so much more of this. So much more of him.”

“I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car, 

I hate it when you stare. 
I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind. 
I hate you so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme. 
I hate the way you’re always right, 
I hate it when you lie. 
I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. 
I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. 
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, 
not even close…
not even a little bit… 
not even at all.

“I didn’t fall in love with you, Tate. I flew.”

Tate is just adorable. She’s the type of person you can’t help but love. I know I always say I aspire to be the leading ladies in books, but in this case… I really do. Even with the Ugly.  I admire so many things about this character, and I can honestly relate to her issues with Miles. I mean why do we do it to ourselves? We put ourselves in these positions of masochism and deal with it just because sometimes the best parts of life come along with the worst. Tate’s a nurse, with an overbearing brother that she loves even though he’s a pain. While trying to get her life straightened out she’s also going to school to get a higher degree of her nursing. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, and I’m hoping that soon enough I’ll have enough money saved to go back to school, and get out the constant rut that has become my life.
“After You Tate”. He says, pushing open his door. No, Miles. I follow. That’s how it is with us. You’re solid, I’m liquid. You part the waters, I’m your wake.”

Oh my god, did I absolutely love the support characters of this book. Cap. Oh Cap. You’re my new best friend. The relationship and rapport that he has with everyone is just beautiful. The advice from an older generation is always so simple yet truthful. Always listen. Then there is Ian and Corbin. They’re just there for you. A constant shoulder, just like Cap is. The protectiveness of both Ian as Miles’ best friend, and Corbin being the best big brother Tate could ever have, seriously how could you not love these men? Exactly. You have to.

“My skin feels better with her touching it. My hair feels better with her hands in it. My mouth feels better with her tongue inside of it. I wish we could breathe like this. Live like this. Life would feel better with her like this.”

I can’t tell you enough amazing things about this novel, or about Colleen Hoover. Read it. Read it right now. You’ll never forget the undeniable feels you will get. This is one of those books that if you don’t read it RIGHT NOW, you WILL regret it. I’ve been left with a serious book hangover and a heavy but filled heart. I’m happy and I’m sad. Colleen really makes you feel as if you’re the one that’s experiencing the events filled on the pages. Ugly Love is a story you’ll never forget. A story you’ll re-read, that will change you. Every. Time. You. Read. It. THANK you Colleen Hoover for your undying devotion to writing these stories that really do invoke your deepest seeded emotions. Again, I can’t give Ugly Love or Colleen enough praise besides my undying gratitude.

“I know the thought of confronting your past terrifies you. It terrifies every man. But sometimes we don’t do it for ourselves. We do it for the people we love more than ourselves.”

 “It may be a small piece at a time, but my past is yours now. All of it. Anything you want to know, I want to tell you. But only if you promise me I can also have your future.”

Pre-Order links
Title available August 5th, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

[Review] Until I break

Until I Break
"I’m intrigued. Tempted beyond what I’ve ever been before. To know her, to open her up. To break her."

In love, sometimes what you fear most is exactly what you need.

Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control. 

And she doesn’t exist.

Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with.

Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare. 

When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.

Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.

The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both. 

"Every broken person’s worst fear - that no one will be able to love us in spite of our scars."

As you may know, this book was pulled from publication. Why? I’m not 100% sure, but I respect the decision of M. Leighton, and her reasoning behind them. If for any reason at all, I think that if it were book bullying, this needs to stop. If you don’t like a book, why can’t you just state the things you DID like, or to simply say this book just didn’t do it for me. To put an author down, or one of their novels is just wrong. I get it, we all have books we don’t like, or we hated. It happens! I say shame on those who have the need to dishearten and berate others for the sake of their own pettiness, cruelty, and self -indulgence. Get over yourselves, and grow up. Words hurt,  and can never be taken back. 

I absolutely love M. Leighton’s works. This book was so astonishingly amazing, and the concept was completely raw and beautiful. The idea of writing a book about being an author is brilliant. While shedding some light on the intricate workings of the mind of an author, it always plays into the fact that they’re people too. Authors aren’t what they write. Sometimes an author is just a persona, and the person behind the writing is completely different. I seriously loved the idea behind this story.  I mean honestly, I never thought about it. I get that authors are real people too, and that they have their own lives outside of writing. As a reader, we compare people we see to those of the characters that we read in our books. I’m pretty sure we’ve all said at one point, I’m in love with a fictional character. Being an author it must be that much harder to differentiate the similarities between the characters in your head, and the people you deal with in your everyday life. Well, if you get what I mean. I’m not trying to say that authors are living in a fantasy realm and can’t distinguish fiction from non-fiction. 

“It’s my greatest passion” “…the education of girls like you. Watching desire darken your eyes, tasting sweat as it beads on your skin, feeling your body squeeze mine like a tight fist.”

Until I break is about a woman named Samantha Jansen who writes novels under the pseudo name Laura Drake. While Laura Drake has the persona of the beautiful, confident, sassy, best-selling paranormal erotica author, Samantha is the complete opposite.  Samantha goes to extreme measures to conceal her true identity to not be tied to Laura Drake.  Being broken does that to people, but not only that, why wouldn’t you want to hide your identity so you can basically live your own life without being bombarded by fans. Personally, I totally respect the decision this character made to do that. I’m guessing it must be completely taxing and stressful trying to keep the two separate, but in the end, I totally get it. 

“I feel lost in his eyes, hypnotized by his words. I know I should run, but I can’t. As crazy and stupid as it sounds, I have to see things through.”

At one of Laura Drakes book signings, she sets her eyes on a Mr. Alec Brand. Alec is the epitome of her main character in her series, the vampire Mason Strait.  With his stunning likeness to Mason, Samantha becomes infatuated with the idea of Mason Strait being real, with his black hair, pale green eyes that ooze mystery, danger, sex, and the illustrious temptation… She feels the need to know more about this dark brooding stranger.

“Although he’s nothing more than a product of my imagination, he’s both my wildest fantasy and my most terrifying nightmare.” 

Alec Brand is a mystery. Fascinated by Laura Drake, he seeks her out to see what she’s really all about. However, Alec has some serious secrets and a sketchy past that makes him take on his on pseudonym. As much as I liked his character, I hated his character at the same time.  When secrets between both parties start to unravel and pasts start to collide it’s just an epic cluster-fuck you can’t take your eyes away from.  

"I’m intrigued. Tempted beyond what I’ve ever been before. To know her, to open her up, to break her." 

I’d say that because this book is written in a dual POV, you definitely get to see the inner workings on both characters accounts, and their characters too.  There’s one thing I have to say about M. Leighton is she has such a brilliant ability to completely catch you off guard, and leave you saying WHAT the fuck just happened!? I mean, the plot twists that she comes up with… you just don’t see it coming. M. gets me Every. Damn. Time. So much so that you have to put the book down and take a minute to comprehend what really just happened. I seriously commend her for that, which is why I LOVE reading her books.  I mean don’t get me wrong, you know something is coming… but you just don’t know what it is. M. leaves you with so many mind-reeling possibilities as to what could happen, until you get smacked in the face with it and you’re left saying OH.MY.GOD. Yep,  jaw left unhinged, you might want to grab it and put it back into place! 

“I think I might’ve fallen in love with you that very day. And a little bit more every day after. I tried to let you go. I thought I could live without you, that I could move on. But I couldn’t. I could hardly last a day.”

I really want to tell you how simply amazing this book is and that you should read it. I do hope that if you did get the chance to get this book, that you WILL read it, because it’s probably one of the best and most intricate dark romance’s I’ve ever read. You’re never confused on who is who, the supporting characters are flawless and it really is just an utterly amazing book.  I’m saddened that more people won’t get the chance to appreciate this fabulous work of art. 

“I was dead before I met you and I’ll be dead again if you ever leave me.”

M. Leighton – if you ever change your mind and want to continue on with Samantha and Alec’s story,  let me tell you I’ll be first in line to grab a copy. I’m willing to bet that quite a few others would say the same. ;) Please continue writing and don’t let this hindrance affect you in anyway.  We love you, and the brilliant beautiful WORDS OF ART that you make!  
Remember people books ARE works of art. Is Picasso for everyone? Don’t think so.  Does that make him less of an artist? Nope! The time and effort that goes into novels, paintings, music, theater, and etcetera isn’t meant for you to simply judge… it’s meant for you to APPRECIATE. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

[Book Blitz] Spartanica (The Survivors of Sapertys)




Heart-pounding action. Fantastical creatures. Epic battles for survival. Staggering betrayal. Spartanica, the first book in The Survivors of Sapertys Series, is an engaging young-adult/teen science fiction adventure novel that traces the fates of middle-school brothers Ty and Marcus Mitchell after they find themselves abandoned among the apocalyptic ruins of a decimated metropolis on a parallel world. Wanting nothing more than to survive long enough to get home, the boys soon learn they only have seven days to escape as they find themselves suddenly embroiled in a contentious battle for planet-wide domination against ruthless, animalistic desert warriors called the Desrata. The brothers soon find they aren't completely alone in their quest as they befriend young survivors of Spartanica's "last day" and come together to forge a unified front against their common foe. But are these kids truly fugitives from the Desrata death camps, or are they hiding something deadly? Never quite sure exactly who to trust, Ty and Marcus stumble upon ominous realities about Spartanica that they never could have suspected. How could it all be true? How could this have happened? Will they ever get home? Hold on tight. The truths hidden in and around Spartanica are sinister and shocking. Enjoy the ride!


  “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Nekitys yelled, reaching over to push Yra’s and Kinnard’s rifles down. “It can’t get to us in here. Your blasts will ricochet off the security field and kill us all!” The ’rat stood motionless, inches away on the other side of the field, staring down at all of us. “Huuummmaaaaaans,” it said, “I come alone. Nooooo weapon. I escape settlement to help you.” Needless to say, that wasn’t what we expected to hear. “Everybody get ready,” Kinnard said. “Nekitys, prepare to drop the field. We’re going to put as many holes as we can through this thing.” The Atlantean kids all put our uninvited visitor squarely in the cross-hairs. “Waaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiit,” it said, stepping back with its paw in front of it. “Desrata Kingdom has your female. They kiiiiillllllllll if she not escape soon. I help you get her back. If I die, you fail, she die.” “No!” Naetth yelled. “You’re a stinkin’ ’rat! You’re a liar! You’re a killer! You would never help us!” The ’rat backed up several more steps and eased itself down to the ground. Even sitting, it was almost at eye level with me. “Desrata Kingdom has lost way, become evil,” it said. “Not always so. Our leaders listen to evil humans now. Evil humans promise eternal Elisii if we help take your city. They make us work. They make us slaves. They make us take slaves. These not Desrata ways. These not my ways.”  

Purchase Links

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About the Author

Powers Molinar writes most excellent young adult science fiction stories because he desperately wants kids to read more. He’s seen, first-hand, how a healthy appetite for reading has helped his kids succeed in school and hopes to help spread the same to kids worldwide through his literary works. Powers and his family live under the cupola near Chicago where Powers works as an IT Project Manager until he can write full-time. Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Monday, July 7, 2014

[Book Blitz] XY

Displaying xy book blitz banner.jpg

Displaying xy.jpg
 Publication date: 5 June 2014
Genre: Young adult (Dystopia)
Publisher: Bridge House (Red Telephone Books)
Formats: Paperback and e-book (Mobi only)

Would it possible to live without gender?

Fifteen year old Jesse lives in a world where babies are born neither male nor female – Compulsory Gender Assignment is carried out at birth. Will the secret she closely guards be found out? Boyfriend Zeus, mother Ana’s Natural Souls, and new friend Ork, leader of We Are One, pull Jesse in different directions, forcing her to make her own mind up about who she really is.

 Jesse watches through the smeared kitchen window as Randy plays football in the back garden with Zeus. Her brother's face is red and shining with perspiration and concentration as he tackles Zeus, before skidding on a muddy patch and ending up sprawled across the grass.
“Yes! Yes! Come on!!!” shouts Zeus, grinning as he punches the air, shaking droplets of sweat everywhere. He bends over laughing and then he looks up at the window, catching Jesse's eye before she looks away into the washing up bowl full of suds, feeling heat creeping across her chest.
“He's a proper teenage boy your brother, isn't he?” says Jesse's mother, Ana, smiling to herself as she hands Jesse a tea towel. “All rough and tumble. I'm so pleased for him that he has finally become himself.”
Jesse feels her shoulders tense up as she fingers the green checked cloth.
“Thanks for dinner, Mum,” she says, not meeting her mother's gaze as she starts drying the dishes. “The lasagne was lovely. I should go upstairs and do some revision once I've finished this.”
“I can teach you how to make it if you'd like?” says Ana, beaming at her daughter. “Maybe at the weekend, when you've not got so much school work to do?”
Jesse doesn't want to learn how to make lasagne. Or shepherd's pie or pasta bake. She doesn't want to learn to cook or study needlecraft or budgeting skills or any of the Female Life Skills on the syllabus. She doesn't want to play football either. She doesn't know what she wants. It was so much easier before. When she wore white and yellow and green and grey and played with trains and dolls at home, when Randy and Jesse shared everything. When they were the same. Before Ana took them to see Maya and they moved into their first flat, next door to the old man who smelled of urine. When she didn't have to pretend she'd made a decision. She feels the corners of her mouth quivering as her mother stares into her face.
“Oh Jesse, don't worry,” says her mother, rubbing her shoulders. “Your turn will come when you are ready. How are you feeling about things now, darling?”
Jesse shrugs her shoulders and tries hard to smile but somehow she can't quite manage it. Her mother takes the plate Jesse is busy drying out of her hands and places it on the scratched wooden work top.
“Don't worry, darling. I only ever want you to be happy. You've got to be ready, Jesse. Remember what happened to George.”
Jesse nods. She has heard the story of Uncle George so many times, it is etched on her brain, like a recurring nightmare.

“I think Zeus might have a crush on you,” says Randy over breakfast the next morning.
The family are in the kitchen, sitting around the big, old, oak dining table, a hand-me-down from one of Ana's friends. Most of their belongings are cast-offs. They are used to relying on the charity of others connected to Natural Souls. Ana has set the table with cereal, orange juice, toast and home-made preserves.
“Shut up,” says Jesse, spooning muesli into her mouth.
“Seriously. Didn't you notice the way he kept watching you yesterday when you came out into the garden with your tight top on? I don't think it was just your lemon ice lollies he was drooling at!”
Jesse feels her heart beating a little faster. Zeus is nice, she thinks, but nothing can happen. Zeus is one of the Nine Per Cent. He wouldn’t want her. At least not until afterwards. If she goes through with it.
“I know you like him!” continues Randy in a sing-song voice. “Don't worry, I won't tell him your secret!”
“Randy,” says Ana sharply, pouring milk into her bowl. “Don't wind your sister up before school.”
“I'm not!” protests Randy, rocking his chair backwards and stuffing toast into his mouth. “I'm just saying!”
Jesse carries on eating, feeling her cheeks burn.
Randy gets up from the table and whispers to Jesse on his way out of the kitchen, “He likes you, he likes you!”
Once her brother is out of earshot, Jesse turns to her mother.
“Mum, can I ask you a question?” she says, playing with her spoon, turning it over and over and watching her reflection morph into something grotesque.
“Anything,” says Ana.
“How old were you when you had your first boyfriend? I know it was different for you. You weren't born like us but...”
“I was fifteen,” replies Ana without hesitating. “The same age you are now. His name was Jack. He was a friend of my brother's too. He was born like you but he was a boy by the time I met him. It didn't last, of course.”
“What happened?”
“You mean why didn't it last?” asks Ana, absent-mindedly picking crumbs up off the table. “We were just kids. First love. It wasn't even love. When George died, well...  Jack's family moved away. It's just as well or I wouldn't have met your father and there would have been no Randy or Jesse.”
She looks up at Jesse with a bright smile. Sometimes Jesse wonders what lies beneath her mother's happy face.
“I wish Dad was here,” says Jesse. “I wish he hadn't left us.”
“I know, darling, but we have to be strong for one another. Think about what I said about seeing Maya again soon. Now, you don't want to be late for school, do you?”
Jesse gets up and takes her plates to the sink before grabbing her school bag and heading over to school. Today she has history, biology, religious education and sex education. It will not be a good day. Her bag weighs heavily on her shoulder. She thinks about the text books it contains and what they are teaching her.

“Ah, Jesse, so glad you could join us,” says Mr Hope as she slips into her biology class five minutes late, after a last minute visit to the toilets to make sure she looks right.
“Sorry, sir,” comes her feeble reply. She feels her school dress stick to her back as she finally removes the heavy bag and sits down at her desk.
Jesse looks around the classroom at the other girls. Debra Simmonds is painting her fingernails under the desk. But she isn't like Debra, is she? All the boys want Debra because everyone knows that Debra was born pure. She is one of the Nine Per Cent like Zeus. Jesse isn’t like Debra. She isn’t like the other girls, either. The assigned girls. What if they find out what she is? She wonders how Randy is getting on over at the boys' school. It is all right for him, now he's had the operation. But Jesse is scared. She doesn't know if she can go through with it.
Artemis smiles at her, through her spidery black fringe. They weren't friends before. But since Randy started going out with her it seems that Artemis wants to hang around with Jesse all day.
“Everybody turn to page one hundred, please,” instructs Mr Hope.
Jesse knows what is on that page and she doesn't want to look at it. The human reproductive system. But she has to. It is the same in the other classes; lessons all tell her she is wrong. Her mother is wrong. She wishes it had been done to her when she was born, like everyone else. Why did her mother make her have to choose when?
“Hi,” says Artemis, as they walk to the lunch hall.
Chairs scrape along the floor and the cutlery clatters. The air thick with the smell of over cooked food and teenage hormones. Jesse isn't hungry, not after looking at those diagrams all morning.
“Randy says Zeus likes you,” says Artemis, flicking back her long, black hair as they queue up for their food.
Jesse can see four tiny holes in Artemis's earlobe, where she has taken her studs out for school.
“I dunno about that,” mumbles Jesse, wishing she could be on her own again, as usual. She normally avoids conversation whenever she can, sits in the corner gulping down her lunch, pretending to read a magazine, flicking idly over the fashion pages full of celebrities that all look the same and scanning the problem pages to see if there is ever a question from anyone like her. But there never is.
“No, he really does, he told Randy and everything. He wants to go out with you. I know he looks confident and everything but he's really quite shy. So, he's sort of asked Randy to ask me to ask you out for him!”
Jesse freezes as the dinner lady with luminous blue eye shadow spoons vegetable curry onto her plate.
“Don't you like him?” persists Artemis, grabbing an orange juice and passing one to Jesse.
Jesse shrugs and picks up her cutlery.
“He's gorgeous and really clever. What's not to like?”
“Maybe I'm just not ready for a boyfriend,” says Jesse, as Artemis follows her to her usual table in the corner and sits down.
“Oh, I get it,” says Artemis, waving her hands about. “You're scared! You're scared about having your first boyfriend. What, have you never kissed a boy before or something?”
Jesse bites her lip and slowly shakes her head.
“What, never?” asks Artemis, holding her spoon mid-air. “Not even with mouths closed? What about at the youth club disco? Come to think of it, I never saw you dance with anyone. Gosh, girl, I've got some work to do with you! Stick with Auntie Artemis and I'll soon have you coming out of your shell. I like a challenge.”
Artemis beams at Jesse as she tucks into a piece of naan bread. Jesse smiles and picks at hers. It would be good to have someone to talk to. She can see why Randy likes being around Artemis. She's bubbly and warm and seems to know what to do. Randy was inexperienced like her before Artemis but now look at him.
“You're right,” says Jesse. “I am scared.”
But not for the reasons Artemis thinks. She must never find out the truth.

Displaying Shanta.jpgShanta Everington is the author of seven books, including three young adult novels – Give Me a Sign, Boy Red and latest release XY (joint winner of the Red Telephone Books YA Novel Competition). She has had all sorts of jobs in the past, from baking vegan muffins and working as a private tutor to appearing as a guest agony aunt and running a teen sexual health helpline. With an MA in Creative Writing with distinction, Shanta currently teaches Creative Writing with The Open University. She lives in London, UK, with her husband and two children.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

[Review] Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase (Chalcedony Chronicles, #2)
Mari had her time in the past and is finally home. Unfortunately, she didn’t understand the goddess’ warning that traveling to the past would have consequences. She could never have imagined what they would be, but she quickly finds out that not everything is the way she left it. Now Mari must learn how to time travel if she wants to put her life back into the order it was before she went into the past to be with Seth. Mari soon discovers that time traveling isn’t as easy as she thought it, and the goddess refuses to help her learn. Mari must turn to an old friend, someone she never planned to see again, and get his help if she wants to right what she has changed. But even that might come with a price. 

Mari travels into the past again to find loved ones. Her journey brings more questions, and a few answers, to the puzzle that is her life. Mari can quickly see why her mother went to the future, and Mari needs to do the same as soon as she can to bring her loved ones back. The past is far more complicated, and dangerous than she ever imagined—particularly for Mari. She might just be the piece everyone is seeking in their own puzzles to control not only the past but the future, too.

 As you all may know, I love love love B. Kristin McMichael. I believe that she is a brilliant writer, thinker, story teller, and just an astonishing human being. I mean jeez… not only does she write but she’s got a PhD in biology, not to mention young ones and a hubby to take care of. Sometimes I feel like I’m juggling the world and can’t handle it, so I can’t even fathom how she finds the time to write such beautiful, intelligent, swoonworthy books. I think that you should also know that I devour her books, every time. B.Kristin is one of my no-holes barred trustworthy one-click authors. No joke, I don’t need a synopsis or even a cover photo. Just put that word baby in my hands and I’m in my reader’s heaven.

“Trust your heart, trust your friends, and remember to love”

Chrysoprase is the 2nd installment in the Chalcedony Chronicles. This book is such an amazing follow up to the first book [Carnelian]. Not only does B.K. leave you stunned by her talented writing but she dazzles you with new and interesting facts, thrilling history, twists and turns, angst, suspense, love, laughter, and moments of absolute shock. I definitely had some suspicions throughout the book, but when it came down to it they were just suspicions. However, some of them came to fruition, but not exactly in the way that I anticipated – which I adore. 

I also love the fact that B.K. can give you just enough sexual tension to be completely satisfied, even if you’re into reading more of the erotic type novels. Sometimes I feel like books get sickening with the loss of plots because of the “need” to have sexual scenes in the book. I mean I get it, sex sells… but what happened to the rest of the story!? Sometimes you just want MORE than that, and B.K. delivers a fantastic storyline that will leave you with the ultimate book hangover.

“Marcella Navina, I swear before the gods that you are the only girl for me. I love you with every bit of my body and soul, and will never love another in life or death.” “… You are already bound to my heart tighter than any marriage could ever be” -Seth 

In Chrysoprase the story revolves more around Mari’s prophecy more than her relationship. With everything that happened in the first novel, Mari is searching for answers and will do whatever it takes to get them. I don’t want to indulge you with too much information, especially if you haven’t read the first book. Of Which by the way I totally recommend you doing so. Mari unfortunately has to rely on the last person in the world she ever wanted to see again. Logan, her ex-boyfriend from high school leaves a bad taste in her mouth. The last thing she wants to do is work with him on her prophecy. Needless to say, secrets are being kept on both sides of the unlikely coupling. Mari is incredibly wary of Logan’s intentions with just cause. 

“I will never hurt you again” Logan said.“I promise you that, Mari. If you let me be the one, I will give you anything you want. I can make you happy. Seth will only bring you sadness. He isn’t from our time. I love you, Mari, and I know you can love me, too, if you tried. The spark between us isn’t gone. It can never be gone.”

I mean when I first started reading about Logan I was like oh no, not this jerk. Definitely didn’t like him. After a little while he grew on me, but let me tell you I have such a love/hate relationship with his character it isn’t even funny. Logan is a charmer, I’ll give him that. I just can’t get over the heartbreak he caused my favorite sassy little red head Mari. Throughout the entire book I just kept thinking to myself that he has an ulterior motive. I’m not gonna tell you if he actually had one, or if he didn’t… cause obviously I REALLY want you to read this series. 

As much as I missed a few of the supporting characters from the first novel in the series, like Mari’s best friend Sim, I was still appeased. You definitely still get some Sim time, but the depths of this novel are so much more intense that you don’t even realize she’s not entirely present. Then there is Ty. I love me some Ty, he’s such an adorable best friend. Ty is the absolute meaning of loyalty. Haha, see what I did there? ;) I’m a dork, I know. 

Before I keep babbling on and on about how much I loved this installment in the chronicles, and give away top secret information that needs to be discovered by the reader themselves, I’ll leave you with this… I NEED BOOK 3!!!! I can NOT wait for the next installment in this series. It’s such a good thing I have one more B. Kristin novel (The Day Human Prince) to read while I’m anxiously awaiting the next book. Although I’m gonna have to pace myself, so I’m not craving too much B.K. at once! Hehe. I never have any disappointments when I read her works, and I guarantee you won’t either. I seriously wish this author the best luck in the world of authors, she deserves the very best. B. Kristin McMichael is one of those authors who can take you out of your worst book slump and bring you back to the reason that you love reading.
[photo's are linked to Goodreads]

You may also purchase most of B. Kristin McMichael's works on Smashwords.

The Chalcedony Chronicles
     Book 1                       Book 2       
Carnelian (Chalcedony Chronicles, #1)  Chrysoprase (Chalcedony Chronicles, #2)
Amazon                    Amazon  
       Beth's Review          Review above ;)  

The Blue Eyes Trilogy
Book 1                     Book 2                        Book 3
The Legend of the Blue Eyes (Blue Eyes Trilogy, #1)  Becoming a Legend (Blue Eyes Trilogy, #2)  Winning the Legend (Blue Eyes, #3)
Amazon                         Amazon                        Amazon   
       Beth's Review                 Beth's Review                Beth's  Review        

The Day Human Trilogy
         Book 1                         Book 2         
The Day Human Prince     Blank-133x176
               Amazon                   [The Day Human King]
                        [To be Read]          **Cover Not yet Revealed**         

To Stand Beside Her [Standalone]
To Stand Beside Her
[Previously on YA Vixens]

B. Kristin McMichael
Originally from Wisconsin, B. Kristin currently resides in Ohio with her husband, two small children, and three cats. When not doing the mom thing of chasing kids, baking cookies, and playing outside, she is using her PhD in biology as a scientist. In her free time she is currently hard at work on multiple novels. Every day is a new writing adventure. She is a fan of all YA/NA fantasy and science fiction.

         Website  |  Twitter  | Facebook  
                                   Blog  |  Goodreads  | Amazon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[Review & Giveaway] Decker's Wood

Decker's Wood

Decker Steele had it made...Penthouse apartment, VIP parties, girls on tap. You see, Decker Steele is the Pornography Associations award winning, money making machine. But what does a self-confessed, pussy pounding warrior do when his prized package begins to fail? Freak the 'F' out, that's what!

Andi Jennings is the socially inept, geeky and awkward cousin of Decker's best friend. Only she's not so geeky and awkward anymore. Now she's a smokin' hot country bumpkin, with a smokey voice made for phone sex, and a pair of hot as hell cowboy boots. Everyone adores her, my porn star buddies, my mom and dad, my 'equipment'. 

So, the prized package isn't so failing anymore, the catch is, it will only perform for Andi...My friend WITHOUT benefits. 

What will the prince of porn do? The girl or the career?

** Reader Warning** - This novel is NOT a dark romance. There are absolutely no whips or floggers, no matter how much Andi wants to smack Decker over the head at times. There are no BDSM slavery themes, unless you can count that Decker is a slave to Andi’s hot cowboy boots and sexy Texan drawl. Decker’s Wood does however feature glitter rain, manscaping, vajazzle, tequila shots, roof-top dancing and one hell of a dick trick!

For Mature Audiences – sexual situations and language which some readers may find offensive.

Amazon  |  B & N  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

I’ll start by saying, (for what the 5th time now)I LOVE Kirsty. Love, love, love, love, love. Maybe I have a thing for Aussies? It’s possible. However this woman just strikes my fancy with her wordy ways and I just can’t get enough of her! Reading all of Kirsty’s other books I have to say this one was definitely out of the box. It’s so nice to see an author step out of the box and write something that isn’t their “normal” writing.  I’ve conversed via social media with Kirsty since before her first book came out, and she’s such a hoot. A book of this magnitude is completely her style. I fell in love from the first page and stayed in love until the very last. 

I have to say, I about died laughing about the vajazzling. I had literally just heard about it a week or two ago! Yeah, yeah… I know. I’m totally out of the loop when it comes to the whole new “it” things. That wasn’t the only thing that made me giggle and cackle though. Throughout the entire story, there are zingers and snarky comments galore. Can I say reading heaven? It was so nice to finally read something that wasn’t so traumatic for once. This is by far one of the best humorous and light reads that I’ve ever read. (For someone 17+) I do have to admit this, I was a little nervous about the whole porn star character thing though. Why – I don’t know. Maybe cause I was scared to think about how they are real people just like us. Or maybe it’s cause I’ve always been envious of the glorious bodies and the ability to be free with your body, seeing as how I’m super insecure about my body. 

“I had become so conditioned to unattached, unemotional sex, my body had actually begun to reject it. I collapsed under the weight of shock. I had literally screwed myself into insanity.”

The characters of this book are everlasting, just like my love for Kirsty’s words! Haha, I had to throw it in there again. The story is told from a dual POV, which drives me wild! I’m such a big fan of Dual POV’s. I think it’s much easier to associate with the characters, then when being told a story by a 3rd person narrative.  Anyways – Decker is the cat’s freaking meow. He is broody, handsome, sweet, cocky, and has the right amount of arseholey , along with the perfect charm. Andi, is a sassy pants Texan girl with big hopes, fears, and dreams. She’s lost a lot in life, and now she’s trying to be the fierce red headed beautiful woman that she knows she is. Stepping out of her comfort zone and trying life. This story has THE perfect support characters. Casey and Lionel were the most fabulous couple, period. They were loyal, not only to each other – but to Andi, making her transition from Texas to New York City easier. 

“You were everything I ever wanted and I didn’t even know it. You were the light I was missing from my days, you were the heart I was missing from my soul, and you are the fucking future missing from my dreams.”

The relationships throughout the book are simple yet exciting. The fact that Decker and Andi knew each other from childhood was endearing, even if they hadn’t seen one another for 13 years.  The two picked up with an easy friendship budding into a true romance. Every romance has its drawbacks and it’s flaws, and you get to see them unravel and get put back together piece by piece. Decker had been suffering from not being able to perform, which in his job is a big problem. So he became dependent on Viagra to help him perform his duties. That is, of course until he was re-united with sweet little Andi. The sparks were flying in more than one way. 

So I’m going to say it. This book is not all about sex. Yes, there is a porn star, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a journey of self-discovery and finding your “it”. Don’t get me wrong though, there are still sexy and steamy scenes and they are electrifying. The witty banter between all the characters and the solid friendships that were built were fascinating. I won’t lie, I still cried a little… because I’m an emotional train wreck of a person. The novel itself was pure and definitely a breath of fresh air, and I so needed that. The amount of laughter and smiles I had throughout the book definitely outweighed my one or two over-emotional moments. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adored this book.  I truly believe that Kirsty released this just at the right time, too. Can I just say PERFECT beach read!? Yup. There it is. I’m telling you – you’ll be able to sit on the beach, laugh and smile genuinely, get all hot and bothered (in more than one way) then take a dip in the water to cool yourself down! This book is a standalone (as far as I know) and is absolute perfection. I strongly recommend you put this on the TOP of your summer reading list, people are GOING to be talking about this. You do not want to be the one person who missed out on this read! Seriously – get on it. Decker’s Wood is totally worth your time. By the time you’ve started it, you won’t be able to put it down until it’s done. I completely devoured this. Again, Kirsty Dallas amazes me with her outstanding presentations and stories. Forever a fan girl I will be!!! I hope you take the time to read this novel, and then read all of her other novels. You’ll be an addict. I promise. 

Kirsty Dallas grew up on the beaches of North Queensland, Australia before migrating south to the iconic Gold Coast in 1995. She traded the surf and swimmers for pyjama's and a computer when she embarked on writing professionally in 2012. 

Kirsty has two rules when writing. Rule one, "forget about ratings and awards, write simply for the love of writing". And rule two, "be brave, don't be afraid to traverse the path less travelled and don't conform." With these rules in mind, Kirsty's books will draw you into the pages with stories full of emotion and passion.   

I hope my books spark a light inside your heart and leave you in a complete book frump! 

Other Works by Kirsty

Mercy's Angels Series
[books are linked to goodreads ;)]
Saving Ella (Mercy's Angels, #1)  Fighting Back (Mercy's Angels, #2)  Tortured Soul (Mercy's Angels, #3)  Blank-133x176
**Book 4, Mother's Love is coming soon! [Cover Not Yet Revealed]**

Breeze of Life

Kirsty is also featured in:
Wicked: A Naughty & Nice Collection
Purchase this anthology for only $1.99
That's NINE FULL LENGTH novels!!

100% of proceeds of this Anthology go to 

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