Monday, 16 July 2018

Book Blitz: The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski!

The Boyfriend Whisperer
by Linda Budzinski
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
As President and CEO of Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises, Lexi Malloy is Grand View High School’s undercover Cupid. One problem: She’s stuck in the friend zone when it comes to her own crush, Chris Broder. She and Chris have been best friends since the third grade, and he doesn’t even seem to realize she’s is a member of the opposite sex.
When pretty and popular cheerleader Lindsay LaRouche hires Lexi to whisper Chris, she has to decide whether to place her commitment to her company—and Chris’s happiness—before herself.
EXCERPT:
I crank up Mumford & Sons on my iPod and pull up the Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises files on my tablet. With Valentine’s ten days away, I need to plot out some big moves for my clients.
I start with Jolene. I watched Brendon staring at her this afternoon during the pep rally. He’s falling hard. No need to play it subtle. He likes spicy food, so Red Hots are an obvious choice, in a heart-shaped tin. What should the card say? Something super flirty. “Let’s heat it up on Valentine’s.” No … “spice it up.” I jot that down and move on to my next client.
Just as I’m picking out a sweet YouTube link I want her to send her BF-to-be, Coach Reilly pulls my earbud out and scares me half to death.
“Malloy! I’m talking to you. What are you working on?”
I slam my tablet shut. “What? Homework. Sorry. What do you need?”
She shoves my backpack to the floor and plops down beside me. “Let’s talk about tomorrow. We’re expecting scouts from all over. Rumor has it someone from U Conn might even turn up.”
She pauses as if to gauge my reaction, so I force a smile. “U Conn? Wow. That’s great.”
She leans in. “There’ll be a lot of buzz in that arena. Parents, coaches, other players. They’ll all be talking about the scouts and about you and your future. Here’s the thing: You need to ignore them.”
“Ignore them.”
“Exactly. You have one job tomorrow, and that’s to play the best game Alexis Malloy knows how to play. Run, pass, shoot, rebound. That’s it. The rest is static. Ignore the static.”
“Got it. Static.”
Coach furrows her brow. “You nervous?”
“Maybe a little.”
She pats my arm as she stands. “A little nervousness is good. You’ve got this, Malloy. You can do it.”
I smile and slump back into my seat. The fact is, I’m not at all nervous. I only said that so she wouldn’t launch into a lecture about being too cocky. She’s forever vacillating between warning me not to be too nervous and not to be too cocky, when in reality, I’m neither. The truth is, when it comes to college scouts, I just wish they’d leave me alone.

Author Bio:
My young adult novels, EM & EM (2015) and THE FUNERAL SINGER (2013), were both published by Swoon Romance YA. My upcoming novel, THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, scheduled for publication in fall of 2016 by Swoon, received the Romance Writers of America Young Adult Chapter’s 2015 Rosemary Award and the Virginia Chapter’s 2015 Fool for Love Award.
I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer). I’m a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone’s ringer when watching “The Bachelor.”
My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is “Amazing Grace.”
When I’m not writing, I work in nonprofit management. I’m represented by the amazing Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.

XBTBanner1

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Pérez (Review)

      In a medieval magical world, the story of Tristan and Iseult is retold through new eyes; they eyes of the lady's maid and cousin of the princess, Branwen. Branwen loves her cousin deeply, and will do anything for her and her kingdom. One day, a man washes up in the waves and Branwen saves him. This act could change her life forever, since this man is from the enemy kingdom. Will she turn this man over, or betray her kingdom? Once the Otherworld get their hands in it, the problem becomes even more dramatic and complex.
        Heed the warning I did not have going into this book. I have since researched the tale of Tristan and Iseult and IT IS A TRAGEDY! I am fully responsible for thinking it would be anything else. It killed me. Do yourself a favour and research the tale of Tristan and Iseult before reading Sweet Black Waves so you go in with proper expectations. This is an ACCURATE story. That aside, I will have to admit that this book was well written, and was written by an author with a P.H.D in the subject, which is highly admirable. If you enjoy classics, I recommend this book, but if you want a happy romance, PLEASE do yourself a favour and stay away. Overall, as a story, Sweet Black Waves was very good and I give it the rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Monday, 9 July 2018

Book Blitz: Never Fear the Reaper by Ashley Pagano!

Never Fear the Reaper
by Ashley Pagano
(Never Fear the Reaper, #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: April 23rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
In a world filled with darkness…
can true love spark just enough light to save it?
When Chase hires the mysterious ghost exterminator, Ryder, to cleanse his house from a pesky poltergeist he gets way more than he’s paying her for…
There’s just something about Ryder that has him mesmerized.
Is it the fact that he’s witnessed her do the unexplainable? Or the fact that she’s absolutely breathtaking? Or perhaps it’s that eerie familiar feeling that they’ve met before, perhaps in another lifetime.
Chase desperately tags along with Ryder on a whirlwind of life threatening adventures in exchange for a few precious moments of alone time with her. With the Grimm Reaper’s Scythe as their defense, Chase developing some supernatural gifts of his own and an intense crush developing between the both of them what crazy supernatural force will target them next?
EXCERPT:
Suddenly, from behind me, a calm, raspy voice breaks the silence. “Are you Chase? I’m Ryder,” she asks rather firmly, extending her long fingers for a professional handshake.
Oh God, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, I repeat over and over again to myself. This girl is too young and far too beautiful to be a ghost hunter. Inconveniently, she is literally my definition of perfection, dressed all in black. Long, dark brown hair, perfect bronze skin, bright green eyes that are surrounded by the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen, a gorgeous pearl-white smile, and a slim yet slightly muscular build. I can’t help but let her catch me looking her up and down. Her appearance makes me even more uncomfortable with my situation. I even notice a colorful, feathery angel-wing tattoo that creeps down her left arm, which is ironic, given her profession. Come on, this girl cannot be doing a job like this.
She smirks in response before I can conjure up an excuse for my gawking.
“Not at all what you expected, huh,” she says, while gesturing to the hostess with two of her fingers.
“Honestly, no you’re not…not really.” I figure it’s better to be honest with her right now. Finally, I build up enough courage to return her handshake. I’m embarrassed when my clammy palm touches her soft, cool skin.
As we follow the hostess to a booth at the far end of the dining area, she responds, “Don’t worry, no one ever does. They expect some older, more spiritual looking woman who’s all decked out in crucifixes.”

Author Bio:
Ashley Pagano has always dreamed of being an artist both figuratively and literally. Her love of art was instilled by her mother who always inspired her to be creative either with a paintbrush or with a pen and paper. As far back as she can remember her life was always centered around introspection, storytelling, and imagination. Because she is so artistic, she took to the idea of creative writing very passionately. Her ability to describe a scene, person, or place, she compares to painting a picture, where she can describe every detail vividly in order to make the reader feel like they’re truly living in the story. Her works of writing usually center around a powerhouse female protagonist (which reflect her own personality), who progresses through many wild and extreme obstacles. Ashley loves to write stories that end with a cliffhanger, that leave the reader begging for more and questioning what happens next. Her most recent novel sets the stage for the paranormal romance of the century and includes ghosts, poltergeists, and demons who just love to get in the way of true love. Ashley has won awards for her design, art, and writing.
Ashley doesn’t believe in down time whatsoever and actually loves having a full “To-Do”list. Ashley is a wife to her wonderful husband, Eric and a mother to a beautiful little baby girl named Dakota. She is also a Graphic Designer and a health and fitness coach. Her husband and daughter inspire her to be the best person she can be and encourage her to pursue any of her dreams (no matter how extravagant they may be).

XBTBanner1

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #1) by Mary E. Pearson (Review)

      Taking place not many years after the events of the Remnant Chronicles final book, The Beauty of Darkness. The war is done, but evil men ate still out there, and its up to Kazi and her team to recapture it and bring these monsters to justice. To do so, she must infiltrate the kingdom of the mafioso-like-leader, Jase, and his mafia family known as the Ballengers. The queen suspects this family to be housing and harbouring these traitors and if they are, they are in violation of the treaty of kingdoms, meaning Kazi, a master thief, must take them to the queen for justice. As Jase and Kazi clash, sparks fly and the tensions rise. Who will win, who will lose, and what will it cost them, you'll have to read to find out.
       I really enjoyed Dance of Thieves, but I do have one complaint; the beginning of the story was very slow and boring. For the first two chapters, I was grinding my teeth in disinterest, but once I got past that hump, I became fascinated by the story. Kazi is a master thief and Jase is the fantasy version of a mafioso, and together they make an awesome team when they both get thrown into mutual danger. Kazi fights for the queen, and Jase fights for his family and their power, and united they fight to survive and return home. Romance wise, the novel was a little confused by fairly solid. I really liked the Mafia-like-feel that the Ballengers had. It was creative and exciting to see a modern story trope recreated in a historical fantasy setting. All in all, I really liked Dance of Thieves, as I did the Remanent Chronicles, and I give it the rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Monday, 2 July 2018

Book Blitz: Rival by Arwen Paris!

Rival
by Arwen Paris
(Fate of the Stars, #2)
Publication date: November 1st 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
It’s a role she didn’t want…
One deadly week has passed since seventeen year old Allison Delaney realized she must save Earth from the parasitic race of Ma’tiok. But the task is even more complicated than Allison feared, and she’s being set up to fail. Blamed for a fatal blow to the Alliance fleet that killed dozens of soldiers, Allison must face judgment for their deaths. The High Priestess Kiobaan is Allison’s only hope. Kiobaan sees the warrior spirit in Allison, along with her potential both politically and physically and agrees to train her.
And a game she can’t afford to lose.
Meanwhile, though Allison is the human host of Eenoki, protector of life, she’s not yet ready to harness their combined energy. Their bond is unpredictable at best—volatile at worst. Time is running out for Eenoki and Allison to trust each other—all or nothing—or she’ll never gain the power she needs to defeat the Ma’tiok and save Earth. When Allison is marked for death by an unknown enemy, the High Priestess Kiobaan must step-up and fight. But in return Kiobaan extracts a pledge from Allison, one that will compromise her new status and make her a target.
EXCERPT:
Staring out of the tinted bulletproof windows of the limo, I can’t tell for sure how gray the clouds are that gather above us. I hope it doesn’t rain again. It’s unsettling to come back here. To see the complete destruction of the California ocean side town that I once called home—Avilene Beach. It’s a ghost-like cemetery of charred, crumbling homes and palm trees turned askew and broken apart. Just like me.
This is the direct result of my decisions.
Wind skitters across the surface of black puddles racing by, reminding me of the oily blood of the Ma’tiok. It’s been just one week since my old life, my human life, ended and this new one exploded into existence. Acid rises in the back of my throat, burning hot, and I crush my jaw together hard until my lips press into a thin line. Why did Eenoki pick me?
“Priestess, do you understand what I said?”
Katok’s sharp telepathic tone startles me out of my immersive guilt. “Stick to the speech the High Priestess provided. Yes. I got it.” I swallow hard against the rising bile being pressed there by the trembling in my gut. What if this press conference makes things worse?
“Allison, don’t worry so much. You’ll be safe.” Stephen reaches out to me and Katok snatches his hand midair, crushing it in his huge taloned palm.
“Ow! Dammit, Katok!” Stephen clutches his wounded limb.
I swear, that’s almost a smirk on the massive Vongjar commander’s leopard-like face. Katok’s lips curl back menacingly to reveal his white fangs and piercing resolve. Stephen knows better than to try and touch me.
I sigh, and can’t help but glare at Stephen who sits across from me. His dark muscular arms are crossed hard against his white Navy button up shirt. Even with the blotchy purple and yellow bruises healing across his tense neck and face, he’s still handsome. But his haircut, shaved in military style, makes me miss his longer tawny surfer hair.
“Stephen, if I can’t be the bridge between the Alliance and Earth, our world won’t survive the Ma’tiok. You understand that, right?”
His angry blue eyes lock on me, softening, and he smiles.
I look away and clench my fists on the cold, empty, black leather seats beside me. We can never make it work. He’ll never understand what I am, or what I have to do. I have to serve the Alliance to have any chance of getting them to fight the Ma’tiok on the ground, instead of glassing the Earth like they have so many other infected worlds.
The blue tint to the air thickens as we get closer to our destination. What if I had just gone with Z’iram and left Earth behind? Maybe he would have spared those who died here.
No. If we left, there would be no hope of the Alliance helping this world fight back. Any other choice would have meant the total destruction of Earth without any chance of survival.
I know Eenoki is right, but the truth still hurts.
The High Priestess will arrive soon, aboard the planet killer Star Fire, to judge and test me. This speech is another test, one that I can’t afford to mess up. If Kiobaan doesn’t publicly declare me a Priestess, of Earth, then there will be no ambassador to the Alliance or protection for our world.
I take a deep breath and straighten the pale gown Tarem made me wear, irritated at how ridiculous I look. Not that I own any clothes besides what the Alliance has provided me. Before we left, my reflection shocked me. The way they pinned up my long auburn waves under a small crystalline hairpiece that stands a few inches high, reminded me of my vision of Aakina. The memory Eenoki shared with me from her last day alive, before she and her world were wiped out by the Ma’tiok.
“How much longer Katok, until there are too many Ma’tiok for your troops to handle”
His golden eyes widen. “They multiply too quick. The ground troops struggle to do more than contain them. Our current calculations project ten Earth days at most. We need Alliance support to do any more.” Katok shakes his head.
Ten days left? It’s only been twenty one since the Ma’tiok arrived!
Stephen leans closer. “He’s not telling you the whole story. Admiral Hurst says that there are over ten thousand Ma’tiok and infected humans on the ground, and that combined kills between Katok’s troops and the US military don’t even equal the rate that they’re multiplying at. We are losing every day.”

Author Bio:
Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she's not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless - #F3Fanatic


XBTBanner1

Monday, 25 June 2018

Book Blitz: Alpha by Jus Accardo!

Alpha
by Jus Accardo
(The Infinity Division #3)
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: July 3rd 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
“A fun YA sci-fi story with a compelling cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews on Infinity
Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost. G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.
Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.
In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.
EXCERPT:
The rain stopped, and the wind outside had settled, leaving an uncomfortable silence in its wake. I didn’t have a problem with the quiet. I liked it, in fact. But this was something a little different. This was uncomfortable. The kind of stillness that came from forced proximity to someone or something that made your skin itch and your stomach roil. The kind of hush that usually set in right before a devastating storm or a natural disaster.
He did this sometimes. Just sat across from me and stared. He usually wouldn’t even say anything. I didn’t think he expected me to say anything, either. He just looked. Sometimes it lasted a few minutes, just long enough to send that chill skittering up and down my spine. Other times it would go on for hours. He’d blink and breathe and fidget, but his eyes…those remained locked on me, his unhealthy mix of sadness and lust and greed and anger crushing me to the point of breathlessness.
We were at it again, and I was just about out of patience. It was one thing to have been ripped away from my home, from my life, by that madwoman, Cora Anderson. It was another to have her poke and prod and use me as a science experiment. She’d altered my mind. Made me forget most of my life before the day I woke up a prisoner on the floor of her cold, dank cell. Those things were all bad, but having been “rescued” by this bastard and forced to stay by his side at all times? That was an entirely new level of torture.
“You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?” His tone was acidic and his jaw tight. He had a temper, this guy. I’d seen it multiple times. He’d never done anything more than scream at me, but it was only a matter of time with people like this. I wasn’t sure how I knew that, but I felt it in my bones. Maybe I’d known someone like him at home. Maybe it was just intuition.
“Yes,” was all I replied. I found that simple, one-word responses went over the best. Or, more accurately, the worst. When I said too little, he grew agitated. He wanted me to talk to him, yet the things that came out of my mouth weren’t ever what he wanted to hear. I didn’t act like he’d hoped I would, didn’t say the things he longed to hear. Some days he was determined to change me. Others, he was rabid, blaming me for not behaving like myself and demanding that I wake up.
Forget that I had no idea who I was.
“While it’s not okay, I understand.” He offered me a smile—a small, tentative twitch of his lips and gentle shrug of his shoulders. He was making an effort to be kinder today, going out of his way to speak softer and move slower.
That made me even angrier.
“You understand? Then my life is complete. All I’ve ever wanted was the understanding of a serial killer.” Even if I hadn’t been thinking about…someone else, I would have lied. The fact that I wasn’t focused on him, and him alone, drove Dylan—my savior, my captor—crazy. But the truth was, I was thinking of him. That other him. How could I not? Even if I didn’t find myself missing him every moment of every day in an almost physical way, I wouldn’t be able to put him out of my mind because he was technically sitting here across from me.

Author Bio:
JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food.
Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

XBTBanner1

Friday, 22 June 2018

The Brink of Darkness (The Edge of Everything #2) by Jeff Giles (Review)

      The second instalment in the Edge of Everything series, The Brink of Darkness takes off where book one left off. Reeling from finding out about her fathers betrayal, almost losing her mother, brother and dogs, and actually losing X; Zoe is faced with the massive challenge of trying to pretend to live a normal life. She goes to school, keeps secrets from her friends and attends the funerals of her murdered and much missed neighbours. All the while, X is trapped in hell. Well, not really heal, but the Lowlands are essentially hell: fire, violence, evil and all that. While trapped, X seeks to escape, but only after he finds his long lost mother and rescues her. Divided by their worlds and circumstances, Zoe and X face  hell and back to be together and reunite.
       It was okay. The writing and narration by Jeff Giles is fairly consistent and good. Plot wise, the story was pretty good, but I had one huge complaint that docked this book an entire star rating. The ending was improperly wrapped up. When I got to the end, there were at least 6 plot threads that were not addressed or wrapped up. For example (avoiding spoilers) where is her Dad? He is never mentioned again in book two, which is kind of a big deal when most of book one involved him and was based around Zoe's loss of him. The ending aside, The Brink of Darkness was fairly good and I give it the rating of FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*