Friday, May 19, 2017

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)Red Sister by Mark  Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I said it from the first pages of the book and I am still saying it as I get to the end. Red Sister is this magnificent fantasy with seriously kick-butt fight scenes and awesome displays of magic that I was lucky enough to receive a copy of from the publisher via NetGalley. Mark Lawrence has outdone himself. I have his other books on my to be read pile but something struck me about this book that I could not wait. As soon as I had a gap in my calendar for reviews owed by specific dates I jumped into this book, feet, mind and heart first. No mistake, this book can be heart-wrenching. From the beginning of the book when the reader is introduced to Nona Grey the reader is heart sick at how she is taken from her village and moved to what must be nothing but slavery where children are trained from a very young age to fight in pits after having been bought and dragged across lands to be sold to different men who house children to make them fight.
Nona is one inch from death when she is moved to the convent of the Sweet Mercy. What is different about Sweet Mercy is that each of the novices are taught not only about the religion that is prevalent in this world, but, also the craft of being an assassin which comes in many forms. What draws the reader to the convent’s world is a cast of amazing characters, from the diverse personality and gifts of the sisters that are training the girls to each of the novices. In the middle of all the training is the promise that there is a “chosen one” in which rumors have floated across the land and it looks like she may have come to Sweet Mercy. This creates an additional rivalry as the students start vying for their roles not only in the school, but also in the world. Ara is brought to the convent under heavy guard to be protected because the emperor’s sister is known to have tried to have her taken from her family.
The convent is the one place where, like Nona, she can be safe. Nona comes to the convent under a cloud of suspicion and known to be from “peasants”. She is the youngest and smallest when she arrives and initially does not seem to take well to the others, especially after being abandoned by her village. Clera is the first person to take Nona under wing and the second person she calls friend which is of the utmost importance to Clera, so much so it resonates throughout their relationship and especially at the end of this first part of the story and leads me to my most favorite line in the book: “You choose your friends. If you’re going to worship dead people you didn’t choose, then perhaps the bonds of friendship shouldn’t be so easily broken. No?’ At the end of the day, most of us can say we didn’t choose our families, but, we did choose our friends which makes that choice of the utmost importance and something worth protecting. We have to wait until the next book to see how Clera chooses as she seems to always choose economic gain.

Friday, May 12, 2017




A countess flees home—and the family curse requiring her to marry a prince—to hide out in the South Carolina low country. There, she meets a man who’s not quite a prince…but who steals her heart all the same. 

Find out what happens in the fifth installment in Jennifer Chance’s Crowns and Gowns series, CURSED!
Rafflecopter Code:  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Direct link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29361/?

Synopsis:

When the prince she was supposed to marry falls for someone else, Edeena Saleri is done with Garronia's courts, crowns, and family curses. She grabs her sisters and escapes to the nobility-free coast of South Carolina, USA.

Refuge isn't anything like it's supposed to be, however. The family's island vacation home now borders a singles' retreat, which Edeena's sisters embrace all too eagerly. Worse, the private protection firm Edeena hires is run by the most infuriating man she's ever met--a rough-hewn, dark-eyed, charismatic charmer named, of course, Prince. He's not a royal and he's nowhere near noble, so there's no way he can break the family curse. And yet...

Vincent "Prince" Rallis has spent his whole life justifying his name. The son of hardworking immigrant parents, he's hustled for every dime, finally building a personal security firm with the muscle and grit to live up to its promises. He's used to keeping his cool, but when the high-strung, high-class Edeena shuts him down despite her obvious interest, pride demands he fight for her--even if he has to track her back to her glittering court to prove his point. Only once Prince arrives in the seaside kingdom of Garronia, he finds his troubles are just beginning.

Sometimes love in Garronia can be magic. And sometimes you're just
 Cursed.


Available at:  Amazon

Add Cursed  to your GOODREADS TBR stack!




About Jennifer Chance:

Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the new adult Rule Breakers series as well as the contemporary romance modern royals Gowns & Crowns series. A lover of books, romance, and happily-ever-afters, she lives and writes in Ohio. In addition to her work in romance, she is also Jenn Stark, urban fantasy author of the Immortal Vegas series, and Jennifer McGowan, YA author of the Elizabethan spy series The Maids of Honor. She is truly NOT trying to become 27 Jennifers, but it's getting a little dicey. 

Connect with Jennifer: Website | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


Cursed (Gowns & Crowns, #5)Cursed by Jennifer Chance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a huge fan of this series, but, admittedly missed reading the two previous books. I received a copy from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review. Although there were a couple of references to things I missed, the story still flowed well and was still engaging. Countess Edeena and her two slightly younger sisters have taken a vacation from the home in Garonnia to visit a family property in South Carolina. It was a property that her mother loved and their father insists be sold. I found this interesting given Edeena is in charge of her mother's holdings and the home was part of her mother's properties and not a property from her father, Silas' side of things. I did not get a good feel for why the property was being sold given they did not need the money, and the daughters and the cousin currently living there, love the property.

Silas, and apparently the entire kingdom of Garonnia are an extremely superstitious lot and apparently the Saleri side of the family has been cursed for over 100 years and Silas has specifically groomed Edeena to be the one to break the curse. Where the curse came from was a bit foggy and maybe to come in a future book or when I get a chance to re-read it and all of its predecessors (I love to re-read great books) I will pick up on where the curse came from. The Saleri's, though they are nobility, could have been the ruling family of Garonnia and Silas firmly believes it is the curse that has kept the cousins in charge of the land and the Saleri's at their feet and never ruling. Edeena has everything planned and knows her duty and plans to do it so that he sisters are not forced into trying to break the curse. There are bunch of rules that must be followed, one of which is that the person has to marry royalty or nobility. Another is that the person must bring the Saleris back together as a family. What is clear is that this particular rule was interpreted incorrectly and the person can marry someone who carries themselves with noble deportment and they have to bring the family back together.

Prince is really not a prince, but, happens to carry himself as a noble would so he picked up the nickname Prince as a child. He comes from a huge Greek family that loves hanging out together and a mom that loves being involved in her adult children's lives. Vince owns a security company and has taken on the security of Edeema and her sisters while they are in the U.S., a job that carries him back to Garonnia to see to her safety and as it should be, her happiness. If he can, he would like to protect her from herself as she digs in to break the curse even if it is to her own detriment. I have to admit that I fell for the trap laid by the author where I waited for a miraculous announcement that Vince really was a prince, because, hello, I love contemporary royal love stories. You will just have to read the story to know if this is what happens. I have never visited South Carolina, but, Jennifer Chance writes a story that describes its beauty and things that makes the reader want to go and check it out for themselves. Cursed not only does a great job with scenery but also with character development and a bit of family mystery. I loved the ending, and you will too.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2)A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 A Twist in Time is proof that the second book in a series can be sometimes just as good, if not better than the first book. I received a copy in exchange for review from NetGalley and also thank Pegasus for allowing me the chance to peak at the latest in the series. Julie McElwain is a gifted writer, and, dare I say, researcher also with an imagination that keeps the reader turning the pages. When I was working on my Bachelor’s degree I had trouble choosing a major and as these things go I was forced into the Liberal Arts program with three focus areas, of which, history was one of mine. I developed a particular interest in Chinese history with all of its dynasties. Part of that was driven by the fabulous textbook the professor chose for the course. A Twist in Time gives you that feeling. Since I am a very visual reader and literally picture most things I read in books in my head, this book was like watching a historical, murder mystery in my head.
Kendra is still in the wrong time. The plans for how she thought she might be able to return home did not go as planned and Duke Aldritch thinks there is a reason. She is meant to be there, especially given the mystery that needs to be solved in A Twist in Time. One of the terribly negative ladies she met in A Murder in Time. Lady Dover also happens to be a woman Alec was seeing until he broke things off, has been murdered. She was murdered in a hideous fashion also so not only is Alec thought to be the killer, the Ton are looking at him a bit differently now. His life is on the line not only from possibly being arrested for the murder but, some surprises have surfaced about Lady Dover’s past that put Alec’s life in danger. Kendra has a very short period of time to get to the truth. She also has to work without the technology and other gains that the passing of time has provided for law enforcement. She also has to remain cognizant of the fact that women do not usually perform law enforcement duties. Also, outside of the Bow Street Runners there really is no form of law enforcement in a time when duals are still legally fought. The reader still gets to see Kendra work her magic, even as she struggles to work around the prejudices that both men and women have against a woman’s ability to do law enforcement work, heck even against merely running across a street. But, the reader is also given the treat of watching Kendra struggle with the possibility that she just might be stuck in this time warp of hers. Either way, I look forward to seeing what Julie McElwain has in store for Kendra in the next book.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Finding EliFinding Eli by Jake Irons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finding Eli was literally "hot". I received an eArc in exchange for an honest review. I have to admit I am quite curious to know if the author is male or female because part of the fun with this one was guessing. I even had to double back and see if there were any hints. I did not want to assume male because sometimes females can have nicknames like Jessie for Jessica so Jake could be short for some female name also though if it is a male it is my first experience with sexual situations written this well, thoroughly.

Tara is about to be let go from her job at an online news site but she has an idea. She can take the clues her work buddy has provided to find Eli, the owner of the news site that wrote a wicked tell all book then disappeared. If Tara can find him and get a story that tells where he has been since he disappeared and hopefully why he disappeared it might save her job. Tara is desperate and uses the last of her funds to give it a shot. What she finds is not what she expects. Eli is as good looking as he appears in pictures but, she didn't expect the instant sexual awareness she felt when she met him, even after the way they met.

Both characters are very likable and it is always great when a reader can get a plot with their sexual scenes. I will admit to listening to this on my Kindle on the 1 hour commute home and looking around as if people could hear it and imaging that my face was some sort of crazy pink. Wow! It did not take over the book and sexual tension was appropriate in places so the reader could still see the mystery/bit of thriller that was developing. My only problem was not knowing what the heck happens. I have to wait for the next book.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Alone in Paris

Publisher: CreatSpace
Release Date: April 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Synopsis:

Breathe, Taylor. 

 Taylor Clay's family isn't exactly perfect. They may look the part with the nice, big house and her dad's fancy job, but that's what's tearing them apart. That, and her dad's sudden recurring drinking problem. Though her family is close to falling apart, she never wished for something like this to happen. She never wished for her father to drive off a bridge. Especially not while they were on vacation; especially not when her and her mom were in the car with him at the time.

Breathe. 

 She's devastated after the fact. And it isn't helping that the papers are gossiping about how the pristine lawyer could have driven off the bridge on purpose. And just when she thinks nothing could possibly make things worse, she realizes she's left alone with no relatives to care for her. So she's alone. Her parents are dead. And she's stuck in the country her family was visiting for their vacation. She's alone in Paris.

Just breathe. 

 Then Nathan walks into the picture. Funny, snarky, persistent, and sometimes, just flat out rude, he annoys Taylor to no end. He won't leave her alone, but Taylor doesn't know whether or not she should push him away.

Alone in ParisAlone in Paris by Ashley Earley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would be insincere if I said this was an easy book to read. It is a great book, but, it is not an easy one to read. I received a free copy as part of the Blog Tour for Alone in Paris by Ashley Early via Fantastic Fiction Book Club. Alone in Paris gives the reader a nice trip through the streets of Paris near the Eiffel Tower and though I only recall a specific hotel that I sat at the day after the attack on the nightclub a couple of years ago, I remember the feeling of being on the streets of Paris in the early morning when there was hardly anyone out and in the late evening when there was not as much traffic. These are all things Taylor, the protagonist in the story cherished when she left the place she was staying. Taylor is a 17 year old girl who is alone on the streets of Paris and the reader does not know why (outside of the blurb on the back of the book) for quite some time. We are slowly told the story through flashbacks, nightmares, memories and finally when Taylor trusts someone, Nathan, to tell him.

The story of how Taylor and Nathan met is something that should be experienced through reading the book so I will not spoil that for anyone, but, I will say that it is told through a series of meetings that develop into a friendship and eventually a sweet loving relationship. Taylor is alone on the streets of Paris and there is a phrase that keeps rolling through her mind that strikes me "I am alone". She felt so alone even when she was with Nathan. She did not seem to realize when she was no longer alone. One of the things that drives the reader to keep reading is to see when Taylor realizes she is no longer alone, to witness that maybe she is alone because she has withdrawn from society. I have to wonder if that is how a lot of people end up alone. They feel alone so they continue to pull back until they literally are alone where no one can reach them emotionally and physically. Alone in Paris also gives a glimpse into how some teens might end up on the street, maybe not necessarily in Paris, but, nonetheless, living in the streets. Taylor did manage to make a semblance of a life where she was safer than a lot of people, especially teens, living on the streets. In a sense she had a home and managed to keep it to herself. This part of the story, along with Taylor's vivid pain and loss is something that the reader feels deeply. Once Taylor finds Nathan, or the other way around really, the reader hopes for something to happen for them that actually is not very feasible given their age. But, one can still hope and Alone in Paris finds a realistic way of giving that to the reader. I have a few favorite quotes, some of which may not mean much to a reader if they have not read the surrounding scene to get the context, but, they still can glean some meaning.

"I'm not drowning. I have to remind myself that I'm still alive; that I survived. I have to remind myself that it happened, but, that it is isn't happening."

"I'm here. I'm okay."

Both quotes are reminders that once you come through something even if the memories are there you came through it and can move forward. Definitely something to remember when in the midst of a storm.






     


Ashley Earley is a 20-year-old author that is working toward her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. When she’s not writing, she’s posting on her blog, reading, obsessing over a book character, or spending time with friends. Her obsession with books started at the age of twelve, before developing into a love for writing at the age of fourteen, when she wrote her first novel.

Her Thriller/Suspense short story, Chasing Hair of Gold, won first place in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards.

You can visit her at www.ashleyearley.com.





  • 1 SIGNED COPY OF ALONE IN PARIS
  • RUNS THROUGH APRIL 20TH
  • US ONLY


https://www.instagram.com/p/BSW78FEFslG/



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Interview with Victoria Scott author of Violet Grenade

Interview with Victoria Scott on Violet Grenade



1. We meet Domino when she is already sharing a house with Dizzy. How did Domino and Dizzy meet?
They met at an arcade. Domino sees Dizzy stealing a can of Coke, and she follows him out the door. As Domino says, “I followed him then, and I follow him now. He is my person. Not that I need one.”


2. There were times in the book that I thought that Wilson was a demon who was riding shotgun with Domino and other times I thought she was a true multi-personality. Is that what was intended or can we know if Wilson is a personality?
Interesting! Wilson is indeed a personality inside Domino’s head. He was created after something tragic happened to her.


3. With people who live on the streets that are without homes, they are used to people disappearing all of the time, but, Domino formed an attachment with Dizzy that seemed a bit more one-sided. Was this because it was Domino's first experience living in the streets and maybe not Dizzy's? Or, is this because it is just because Dizzy has a form of attachment disorder or the inability to form attachment?
I think it was simply two different people coming into a relationship. Everyone is looking for something when they enter a partnership—whether that’s companionship or sex or security or fun—and in this scenario, Domino simply needed Dizzy more than he needed her.


4. Where is Domino's mother?
In my mind, she is still out there. Searching for Domino, most likely. Or maybe she got what was coming to her. ;)




5. What is your favorite scene in Violet Grenade?
It’s definitely when Wilson has his moment to shine. I was dying to write that scene, and when it finally arrived, I felt like a kid in a candy store.

Important Links



Violet Grenade Info:
DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind.

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.



Victoria Scott Links:


AUTHOR BIO - VICTORIA SCOTT







Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her most recent release, Titans, received two starred reviews, and Fire & Flood is a 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program book. Victoria’s novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving reader emails from across the world. You can find her online at VictoriaScott.com.  

Red Sister by Mark  Lawrence My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow! I said it from the first pages of the book and I am still saying it as I get to...