Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Under the Burning Stars by Carrigan Richards

Before I post my review I just want to let y'all know I'm starting a new program this week over on the blog Facebook page https://facebook.com/ElectivelyPaige where I'm going to be featuring a different author each week. This week is the fabulous Carrigan Richards: an amazing author and a really good friend of mine who I actually first talked to because of how much I loved the first book in this series! I have to say, I loved this one even more so I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on the book! 

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
Visit the Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest

About Under the Burning Stars:
 Everyone said it was over. But Ava knew it was just the beginning.

After risking everything and beating the odds to be with the love of her life, Peter, life should be good for Ava. Far from it. An altercation with the humans has left him struggling with his new life as an Enchanter, and Ava can feel him slipping away. Nightmares of her mother's murder haunt her, and leave her grappling with the darkness inside herself. She will stop at nothing to uncover the truth about her mother, even if that truth is more dangerous than anything she's faced before.

After her search for knowledge lands her on the verge of banishment from her coven, Ava must seek forgiveness from everyone and forge her own destiny as the coven faces an onslaught of war.

My Thoughts: 
*Though I received a pre-release review copy of this book for review, I purchased my own Kindle copy. Either way, this in no way affects my thoughts as expressed in this review.*
So, after reading the first book in this series I could not wait to read more! I just knew there was more to the story and was looking forward to seeing where Ava's journey would take us next. 

This book, I have to say, was even better than the first. I was pretty busy around the time I read this, or I would have definitely read this all in one sitting. The book just... flows so well that I honestly was on the edge of my seat just waiting for the next page before I even finished the one I was on. Carrigan Richards has one of those unique voices to her books that truly put you in the story. 

Ava, to me, is an extremely easy character to relate to. Though her actions are sometimes questionable to the other members of her coven, the voice Carrigan created for her just made me feel like in the situations she was in I would do the exact same thing. 

Then, there's the cliffhangers. Let's just say I may have gave my bookish best friend the silent treatment after reading this one. I cannot wait to read book three! If you've read Under A Blood Moon then I recommend you pick up this book right away, you won't regret it. If you haven't read UABM, well, what are you waiting for? Both books are some of the best paranormal books I've read in a while. So, if you are looking for your next great book to get lost in, give these a chance!



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Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Shameless by Nina Lemay


So happy to be one of the blogs hosting the cover reveal for Nina Lemay's NA Contemporary Romance! See it below and continue for the giveaway:



Release date: August 18th 2014

Synopsis via Goodreads:
~New Adult Contemporary Romance -- recommended for mature readers~

Girls like me don’t get happy endings.

I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?

But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.

He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.

The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.

This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.

Nina LemayAbout the Author
Nina Lemay is a YA writer by day and author of sinfully twisted New Adult…well, also by day. She loves all things dark and edgy and never tires of tormenting her characters. While Nina is a fan of all things scary, Gothic, and fantastic, she doesn’t shy away from a gritty contemporary romance when the muse strikes. She lives in Montreal, a city that never fails to inspire, with her partner and her dog.



EXCERPT
--------------------------


His hand slides, hesitant, across the edge of his seat as he leans closer. The black ink of the letters on his knuckles is stark against his skin.

“Show me,” I say.

And he kisses me. Our lips don’t meet smooth and choreographed like in movies. The stubble on his cheek grazes the corner of my mouth, leaving behind a burning trail, and then his lips cover mine. Nothing hesitant about them. Assertive, self-assured like I thought his kiss would be, the promise of those strong hands and broad shoulders and arrogant posture made real. But he’s anything but arrogant. He gently nips on my lower lip and his hands caress my neck, my jaw, cup my face. He’s holding me like I’m something fragile and precious.

I’m afraid to close my eyes.

He has that lavender scent, sharp and clean, with a note of wild muskiness lurking underneath when you get close enough—that note that’s just him. I don’t know what to do with my hands so I slip them under his jacket and put them on his waist, right above his belt. I finally start to sketch out what his body looks like under his shirt: sinewy and fit and hard.

His hands finally move on, mirroring mine, down to my bare belly exposed by my cropped top. The little hairs along my spine stand on end. An involuntary shudder courses through me, making my abs tighten and quiver. His hand finds the small of my back and settles there, guiding me forward with smooth confidence, pulling me toward him. The heat of his palm melts through my skin into my bones and up my spine, softening my muscles until my entire body feels like hot wax held together by a membrane of skin. I tuck my hand under his belt, just the fingertips—past the hem of his shirt where the pads of my fingers find hot, smooth skin over taut muscle.

He groans softly into my mouth. I lean in and slide onto his lap, barely aware that I’m clambering over a car seat. It’s just so smooth and natural, the grooves of our bodies clicking together like a jigsaw puzzle. His hands on my waist, spreading goosebumps all over my belly, up my back and down my arms; then they move up, up, under my top, stopping when they find my bra. Pausing, hesitant.

I kiss my way along his jaw and his neck, peel away the collar of his shirt to continue down his clavicle. His hand settles over my bra and I can feel its heat through the fabric, a tiny little jolt of sensation that lights up my nerve endings like a Christmas tree.

My mind floats up, under the closed sunroof of the Audi, and watches me from there, impassive. I’m aware of everything I’m doing, too aware, but I don’t stop. My body continues like an automaton, the lips, the hands, performing the motions. Like I’m a car on cruise control, easing into the familiar mode. I know what happens next.

A part of me, very deep down, hopes I don’t.

Only one way to find out.

I go for his belt buckle, find it, tug on it. It yields with a soft clink.

And just as I’m about to stick my hand down his pants, he pulls away.

“’Annah,” he pants. His hand slips out from under my shirt and dives down to catch my wrist. His fingers wrap around my wrist bone, strong and firm.

Maybe it’s the touch that zaps me back into my body, disrupts my functioning. The false step that throws off the whole routine, the bad note that ruins the aria.

“What?” I whisper. My body’s nerves settle into normal mode one by one.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“This isn’t right. This is… overstepping.”

I sit back. I’m still balancing with my shins on his legs—kind of like at work when I lean in, my hair brushing over a customer’s face, and ask in a seductive whisper if he wants another dance.

I blink at him in utter dismay. Thrown off. Tossed overboard into unfamiliar territory and I don’t know what to do.

But I want to be doing this, I start to say. We aren’t doing anything wrong. “I’m attracted to you,” he says. His voice still holds a hint of breathlessness. “But then again, you already knew that.”

“But I’m—” I’m attracted to you too. This much should be obvious.
“I know,” he says softly. He lets go of my wrist and instead takes my hand between his hot, hot palms. He brings it to his lips. “But this isn’t right.”







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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Interview With Jason Gallaway!

Hey Jason! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, I really loved your book, The Blessed Blade. Before I start in with the questions, would you like to introduce yourself to the readers?
Absolutely! I live in Indiana with my wife and two children. I love watching and playing football. I like Mt. Dew Voltage; the Indianapolis Colts; and Macaroni and cheese. I love sports, movies (except horror; sorry its just too absurd), and music (except country; sorry its just too sappy). My fav T.V. shows are Supernatural, Orphan Black, Dr. Who, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory  and The Following. I also love watching documentaries on The History Channel, much to my wife's chagrin.

1.) So Jason, can you tell us a little bit about your book? What is something you feel is unique that might make readers want to snatch it up?
The term I like to use is "Faith-based / Action-oriented". I try to weave a good story with as many fist-clenching moments as possible, while passing along the gospel in a way that doesn’t feel abrasive, cause lets be honest, nobody likes to be force-fed anything. I believe a good book should be one that you get so into reading it and you're so pumped that before you know it, it's 3 a.m. and you have to force yourself to put it down to get some sleep.

2.) I love your use of faith in The Blessed Blade, can you tell us about the impact your faith has on your writing? 
My Faith has the same impact on my writing as it does in my everyday life - it keeps me in check. In life, it keeps me from overreacting harshly or judging prematurely. In my writing it helps me "tone down" some scenes or sequences that might be too harsh for the average reader. I tell myself, "Would a person of Faith be upset at reading this?" and I use it as a measure to curtail myself from being too violent or graphic in my writing. . . mostly anyway.

3.) How do you schedule your writing time, is it more go with the flow, or do you have a set schedule you adhere to?
 Definitely go with the flow. Since I am a self-publishing author, I can afford the luxury of taking my time. I consider my family my first priority, and even though I love to write, my wife and kids come first.

4.) I'd love to hear more about what's in store for us next. What plans do you have for the follow-up book?
 I am currently writing the next installment in the Wielders Saga. The book is called The Demon's Dagger, and I expect it will be just as exhilarating as The Blessed Blade was. I also have the "sequence of events" planned out for book 3, but its still a work in progress. I also have plans for a graphic novel, I think there would be a good market for it as there are literally ZERO faith based graphic novels out there.

5.) Back to writing, have you always wanted to write a book, or is it something that surprised even you?
 I had no idea this would ever have happened. Up until my sophomore year in high school I HATED to read. It was simply that I couldn’t find anything I liked to read you know? I hadn't yet read that one novel that sparked my imagination and lit a fire under me. Once I did open up though, I read everything I could find and knew that someday I would want to pen my own novel. Writing is an absolutely grueling process, but like everything else that you have to work hard for, when its done there is an amazing sense of accomplishment.

6.) I always like to throw some fun questions into the mix, so I have to ask, what is the best movie you've seen in the past year?
 I love, love, love movies! I can say though that I have been disappointed lately, because a lot of movies appear to be good and then really suck an egg. My son is a comic book superhero junkie and so I've pretty much seen every one of those to come out recently, but I really enjoyed The Lego Movie. I am also excited about the prospect of more Star Wars films, but I'll wait and see if Abrams dorks up the Star Wars universe the way he shredded the Star Trek one. (clears throat, steps off soapbox).

7.) What about music, what songs do you listen to(if any) while writing? 
When writing, music plays a very important role for me, like a soundtrack does for a movie. When I'm writing action scenes, I listen to bands like Disciple, Demon Hunter, Thousand Foot Krutch, Kutless and Decyfer Down. When I am writing more personal or dramatic scenes, I listen to Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp and artists like that. I am also a really big fan of Dubstep, even though most people I know don't really like it.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Chasers by H.W. Vivian

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Buy the Book: Amazon|B&N|Lulu

About the Book:
In the small town of Winston, Colorado, Shelby, Gary, and May are born with a "condition" that prevents them from walking on the bare earth. Many years later, May runs away from home, and it is up to Shelby and Gary to find her. They encounter many horrors along the way, and must find a way to cure themselves of the "condition" before it's too late. 

My Thoughts:
*I received this book for review from the author, but this in no way affected my thoughts expressed in this review*
I had been looking forward to reading this book long before I did. Sometimes, that's not always a good thing. The book can sound so promising and your hopes get all built up and it be for naught. As far as Chasers is concerned, this is not the case. It more than lived up to expectations! 
This story has multiple view points, but I think the author knew what she was doing with it, which made all the difference in how the book read. Yes, perhaps the information could have all been provided by one character, but I liked being able to see inside the different characters' heads the way she did it. The author really shows you what's happening, instead of telling--which I love! I felt like the description she used made it so easy to picture what was happening without having to be given every little detail, if that makes sense. 
 I have to say, I am so happy I was able to read this book. This is a start to what promises to be a great series, and not only that: I can't wait to see what other ideas Miss Vivian has brewing in that creative head of hers as this is by the far one of the most unique YA books I've read! 

Excerpt:
Back then, I didn't know him very well. We were hardly even acquaintances. But people constantly talked about our similarities. Everyone said that we were practically the same: born in the same hospital on the same night at the same time. Apparently, only those with our particular "condition" were born at all that year. 

When he was born, Gary had a large lump on the bottom of his spine, like a tumor. But after the doctors took a bunch of X-rays, they found that there was no tumor after all. So they did what they thought was logical and cut it off. What dropped out, underneath all the blood and pus, was a beautiful grape-sized green rock. Its edges were sharp and jagged, as if it were plucked directly from the earth.

Thus, an emerald was born. 

As for me, they extracted a small red ruby from my spine. Understandably, I don't remember that day very well, but I'm pretty sure that it meant we were somehow meant to be together.

I also knew that we were mistakes - not from our parents, but from nature. Somehow.

Afterward, life went on normally for both Gary and me in the little industrial town called Winston, Colorado.
 
About the Author:
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HWVivian7
Twitter: @vhwang7
  H. W. Vivian (1988-Present) was born Vivian Hwang in Flushing, New York, to a Taiwanese immigrant family, and grew up in her hometown. At a young age, she showed great interest toward the arts, studying piano, violin, and percussions, while drawing and painting on her own time. Her parents' divorce when she was eight years old took a big toll on her personal life, but she soldiered on by burying herself in her artistic endeavors. She joined the Bayside High School music program when she was fourteen. Afterward, she enrolled in the Art Institute of New York City's culinary arts and restaurant management program. After graduation, she returned to traditional college schooling, enrolling in Baruch College-CUNY's Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Finance and Investments, and minoring in Theater. During this time, H. W. Vivian conceived the idea for her first novel, Chasers, but wouldn't publish it until many years afterward. She is currently writing her second novel, Days of Amber, and expects to release it in early 2015.
 

 


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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog Tour: The Donor by Nikki Rae!

So, y'all know from a past blog post or two that I'm definitely a Nikki Rae fan, and recently I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for this excited new novella series. Of course I had to say yes -- So happy to share with you all more about it and my review!

About the Book:
[Disclaimer: This is a serial novella that will be told in parts about the length of a short story (20-30 pages)]
Casey Williams and her family are poor. Her parents work non-stop and so does she, just so they can keep the trailer roof from leaking.
They’re getting by fine enough when the headaches start. Then there’s the nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor’s bills.
Fortunately for Casey, there’s MyTrueMatch.com: an exclusive, quick, and almost easy way to pay it all back before her parents even have to know.
All she has to do is give a man she’s never met whatever he wants from her body.
 

My Thoughts:
*I received this book for review from the author as part of this tour, this in no way affects my thoughts as expressed in this review*
4 of 5 Stars
Nikki Rae has done it again! I loved her Sunshine series and this new novella series is sure to be just as good. I love how, even though the author created a whole new characters unique from her previous series, she still kept to that written voice that I absolutely fell in love with before. This story is definitely a concept you don't see in the Kindle store everyday, and one that I cannot wait to see continue. 

I don't really want to give a whole lot of description here because this is, of course, a novella and I for one am not a fan of spoilers in reviews. I will say this: There is a lot in this tiny package and I know that I anxiously await the next installment. I read this in less than an hour, but the idea drew me in enough that it has me still thinking about it now. Yes, this author's first awesome series was no fluke at all, she has definite talent. I can't wait to see what Nikki Rae cooks up for us next!

Giveaway Time!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
Nikki Rae is a writer who lives in New Jersey. As an independent author, she has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists and she concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. Nikki writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.  



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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cover Reveal: Spirits by RS McCoy

So, um, yeah: IT'S HERE!(!!!) *Happy dance* Y'all have no idea how much I loved the first book in this series, and I cannot wait to share my thoughts on this one too. RS McCoy is an amazing author and I expect great things from her and this series. She's one of my faves! So, you're probably done with my blabbing, so here's the cover in
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3
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2
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Lark Davies sleeps in a gilded palace and eats the finest foods, but he would trade it all to change that one night. Haunted by the trauma of murders he couldn’t stop, Lark’s dreams become ravaged by images of the darkness he can’t escape. Robbed of sleep and slowly losing his sanity, the talented mind-reader knows he won’t last much longer.

As he strives to keep it together, his life only spirals out of control. Khea, the new queen of Nakbe–and his only light in the nightdeclares sacrifice to be a necessary component of the island culture, forcing Lark to assert his disapproval. For the first time, the unifying bond he shares with her isn’t enough to keep them together. Lark leaves the capital to defend his position against the crimes and earn the strength to prevent them.
              
With Avis at his side, Lark’s only hope to stand against the queen and avert a future of death lies in his unexplored ability to manipulate physical elements of the world. The two men search out the spirits that control water, fire, and wind, finding help in the unlikeliest places.



What reviewers are saying about Sparks:

I'm pretty much always on the lookout for a book that will take me into a new world, and finding a world that is as spellbinding as this one rarely happens. ~Paige, Book Blogger(That's me!)

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it. I read it in pretty much 24 hours!!! I can't wait for her next one. ~Brandi, Goodreads Reviewer

A brilliant new fantasy concept, intelligent writing, and the author's innate story-telling ability combined to produce a tale that I could not get enough of. ~Kelly, Amazon Reviewer

Wow. And this is a debut novel? I am blown away at this book. I don't like fantasy books. I like contemporary much better, but this book was amazing. ~Alex, Book Blogger

McCoy draws from many different cultures to build her world and does a terrific job at it. Very clever indeed. Highly recommended. ~Fred, Amazon Reviewer



About RS McCoy

RS McCoy didn’t ever plan on being a writer. With a career teaching high school science, writing is the last thing she expected. But life never goes the way you think it will. While battling cancer, she picked up her laptop and let the words flow out. One year later, her first published fantasy novel has been released on Amazon and her second novel is in the works. She is a wife, mother of two, a scientist, baker, gardener, and life-long science fiction and fantasy addict.






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Monday, July 7, 2014

The Top 5 Lists of All Things Travel by Toni Takeno and Kristine Castagnaro


My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

About the Book:
 Whether you are a travel newbie or a seasoned explorer, there is always something new to learn.

Kristine and Toni, co-founders of travel company, Journey Soulo, have visited 19 countries around the world and have collected tips, tricks and stories on each trip. The result? The Top 5 Things of All Things Travel -- a book full of simple (and sometimes silly) lists that will help you plan and embark on your next trip.

Through this quick read you will:

• Discover fun places to stay that you may never have considered.
• Learn new ways to save for your next trip.
• Learn to avoid the pigeon **** pickpocket.
• Discover what this means: Wo kann ich Lederhosen in meiner Größe?
• Be inspired to plan your next trip now!

The Top 5 Things of All Things Travel also includes stories from fellow travelers, links to helpful websites and apps, and space for you to add your own lists (in the paperback version).

The Top 5 Things of All Things Travel provides you with a planning template to use whether you’re preparing for a trip to a neighboring state or a foreign country, traveling with a group or making a go of it solo. By the end of the book you’ll be ready to book the trip of your dreams!
My Thoughts:
This book was...actually pretty fun to read. I love to travel, though I don't get to as often as I would like(plus, I don't want to leave my furbabies for long!). So, I was more than happy to pick up some tips. Maybe you want to know how to save some space in your suitcase, or maybe you want to know how to avoid being taken advantage of by the occasional local with bad intentions. This guide helps with that and more and is a truly comprehensive book for people who love to travel but aren't quite an expert at it...yet. This book I see as becoming a sort of guidebook for me, one I will pick up over and over as I prepare for and embark on whatever travels life takes me on. It's sometimes funny, always informative, I recommend this book for anyone preparing for their next trip!  
Giveaway:
Would you like to read this book? One randomly drawn commenter on this post will win an e-copy! Just comment below and let me know your favorite places to travel and maybe some of your tips!

I received  the book mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

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