Category Archives: Young Adult

New Release: Consent by Nancy Ohlin *Review*

Consent Book Cover Consent
Nancy Ohlin
Young Adult
Simon Pulse
November 10th 2015
eGalley
288 pages
Edelweiss

 

In this sexy and intriguing novel, an intense—and passionate—bond between a high school senior and her music teacher becomes a public scandal that threatens the reputation of both.

Bea has a secret.

Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.

And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.

He’s also Bea’s teacher.

When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced in this absorbing novel from Nancy Ohlin, the author of Beauty.

 

 

 

Review

I’ve pondered this review for a while, but I always come to the same result–It was OK.

When I first read the blurb, I was immediately anticipating reading this ‘sexy and intriguing’ story. However, I found nothing sexy nor intriguing about it as a whole.

First, there was Bea. Try as I might I could not connect with her in any way. I came to understand where she was coming from but ultimately, I couldn’t get over her immaturity and inclination to lie.

Then there was all the music references. Honestly, it was too much for me to swallow. In truth, it just took me away from the story.

I liked Dane well enough, but I would have appreciated reading his side of the story mainly because I was curious to know what drove him to act on his feelings towards Bea. I think having his POV would have added a lot more to this story.

Like the title states, this story mainly revolves around the issue of consent. In my opinion, Bea was not fit to engage in any type of romantic relationship–with her teacher or otherwise. I think she already had many issues she should have been dealing with before becoming romantically involved with anyone.

Consent was an okay read for me. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

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Tour: Uncross the Stars by Janell Rhiannon *Review and Giveaway*

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Uncross the Stars
by Janell Rhiannon

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Released December 15th, 2014

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Fiona Lavender is the new girl at school. She has a chip on her shoulder and a pension for poetry. Dario Martinez is the star quarterback, and the most unattainable guy on campus. Their stars cross when they are paired to study Romeo and Juliet for a senior English project. Their connection is fragile and undeniable. But, Dario is afraid of what love will do; and Fiona is waiting for love to claim her. Will they uncross the stars and find the love they both need to heal their pasts?

 

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Review

3-5 stars

This was short and sweet but with quite a bit of drama and intense emotions thrown into the mix to keep me interested throughout.

Fiona has returned to the town she once called home. She’s a loner and plans to keep it that way when she starts her new school year, but of course she’s paired off with the star football player for a rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

Dario is not your typical high school star athlete. Every one loves him but nobody truly knows him. He’s smart, caring and troubled–and unequivocally attracted to Fiona. But he has demons in his past he has to deal with and an enemy that will do his best to ruin him.

I loved Dario. He was so conflicted over his past and his attraction to Fiona. He doesn’t usually let anyone in, but Fiona had a way of making him open up about his troubled past. And my sympathy for him after learning his story only served to endear him to me more.

In Fiona’s case it was a bit more challenging for me to connect to her. I understood where she was coming from but she made it difficult for me to like her. Ultimately, she won me over. Mostly because she seemed to bring out the best out of Dario. I soon found myself cheering them on and wanting to see them together.

I do have to say that the romance felt a bit rushed to me. But I guess the length of the story made it work that way. Thankfully the author made an effort to develop the connection between Fiona and Dario. This helped to convince me that the relationship was a viable thing and that their emotions were true. The use of honest dialogue and tender, stolen moments while they were ‘studying’ helped a lot in that regards.

Now, Meghan and Ryan. I understand that they played an important part in the story, but I could have done without being in their heads. It only served to annoy me. Ryan because his reasons for revenge were childish and his actions a bit over the top. And Meghan because really, how can she be so naive? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it and I could have done without having to read their POVs. Yep, they were that annoying.

In any case, the conflict and its resolution was well written and paced accordingly. I enjoyed the emotions that were portrayed by the main characters. Of course, there was a bit of teenage angst which was expected. But otherwise I found the main characters to be interesting, showing their maturity and acting according to their age.

All in all, a sweet yet emotion-driven story.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

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About the Author

Janell
Janell has been writing since she was in grade school. In high school, her 9th grade English teacher suggested she consider a career in writing. After a decade in college and a Master’s degree in history, she settled into teaching.

Writing never stopped. Stories never stopped. READING fiction never stopped. Now, she writes and publishes on-line. Invisible Wings is her first YA novel, a compilation of short stories centered on teenage life triumphs and tragedies. She believes being a teenager is difficult and wrote Invisible Wings to let teens know they aren’t alone. That they matter. That even though life is rough, they can still find beauty and love.

Beside the YA stories close to her heart, she adores Mythology and Fairy tales. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles.

She currently lives in CA.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Spotlight: The Charm by Jojo Debrazza *Giveaway*

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The Charm
by Jojo Debrazza

A YA Dystopian Novella
From Musa Publishing
Released December 25th 2014

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Extraordinary powers come with a price.

Fifteen year old Luca has the charm, a gift he inherited from his mum. Charmers can control minds, but they abide by a code—to only use the power for good, and only with the person’s permission. Luca knows breaking the code is wrong, and his mum would kill him if he tried!

But when a rogue charmer uses the power for criminal means, the Restorative government jumps in. Luca’s mum is imprisoned and the Register for Charmers is announced. The media creates a frenzy of fear and suspicion against charmers.

Believing the family is in peril, and wishing to keep Luca’s gift a secret, Luca’s dad takes them to stay with a friend in the country. Here, Luca meets Fee, a computer genius who can hack into anything. Fee introduces Luca to an underground rebellion group of internet hackers who have their own issues with the Restoratives and their own way of protesting.

Fearful of how the Restoratives are treating his mum in prison and concerned about their motives for creating the Register of Charmers, Luca must make an impossible choice—break the rules and use his gift or stand by and watch as the power is abused.

 

Musa | Amazon

 

About the Author

Jojo Debrazza

Jojo Debrazza is a writer of young adult and children’s fiction. The Charm is her debut YA novella.

Jojo has a vivid imagination and likes to make up stories. Her friends call it lying but she calls it writing. She lives mainly in a dream world with her partner and a house full of small furry animals. It’s a carefree happy place where everything is bright and fluffy.

Jojo’s other passion is football (soccer). As well as playing and helping to run a club, she works as a football development officer in Cambridgeshire, England.

Find Jojo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jojodebrazza

 

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Tour: Disenchanted by Leigh Goff *Guest Post*

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Disenchanted
by Leigh Goff

A Young Adult Fantasy Romance
From Musa Publishing
Released December 19th 2014

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Orphaned sixteen-year-old Sophie Greensmith is an outcast among the ordinaries and her coven, but not because she’s untalented. Descended from a powerful Wethersfield witch, her spellcasting gift is awkwardly emerging, but that’s the least of her worries. The boy she’s forbidden to fall for, a descendant of the man who condemned her witch ancestor to hang, carries a dark secret that could destroy them both unless Sophie learns how to tap into the mysterious power of her diamond bloodcharm.

 

Musa | Amazon

 

Guest Post

‘Disenchanted: The Power of White Magic

In Disenchanted, sixteen-year-old Sophie Goodchild, a white witch, must learn her aunt’s plant magic so she can keep her powerful magic a secret from her coven. The eldress of her coven would love nothing more than to utilize her magic in a war against the ordinaries, especially Judge Mather who is locking up young witches for magical slip-ups.

Sophie enjoys learning about her quirky aunt’s enchanted garden and finds many useful applications for some of the magical plants. Below are a few that appear in the book.

Devil’s Bit. A small purple meadow flower and a good source of nectar, which Sophie applies to her lips everyday to help her lie (this only works for Wethersfield witches), because when you are a witch in a small town with Puritanical roots, you need a little help blending in with the ordinaries and keeping secrets from your witch sisters.

White Willow Bark. A natural anti-inflammatory and hemorrhoid reliever. When Sophie meets Alexavier’s taunting older brother, Zeke, she wonders if applying the bark powder all over Zeke would improve his disposition.

Munstead Lavender. Sophie’s pillow is filled with the summery scent to help her sleep through her haunted dreams, but lavender cannot compete with the tenacity of a four hundred-year-old witch’s spirit. Fortunately, this witch is helpful and guides Sophie in her quest to break the True Love Curse her ancestor, Rebecca Greensmith, cast on the Mather bloodline.

Calendula/Chickweed. Combined in a teabag, cooled, and applied to Sophie’s eyes, this powerful anti-inflammatory reduces puffiness from her sleepless nights where strange dreams of the past blend with her present as a warning.

Annatto. Wards off evil and eases stomach distress, but this natural pigment from achiote seed pods also tints Sophie’s teeth orange, which does little to impress the Glitterati who already think she’s an odd half-witch. Little do they know, she is destined to be the most powerful witch Wethersfield has seen in four hundred years.

Lemon verbena, valerian, and rose petals. The fragrant combination brings lovers together and, as Sophie inhales the perfumed scent, her bad boy love interest, Alexavier Mather, who happens to be her family’s enemy and is devastatingly handsome with a to-die-for British accent, enters the scene.

About the Author

Leigh Goff
After taking several writing courses in college and attending professional writing workshops after I graduated from the University of Maryland, University College, I began writing young adult fiction with purpose. I joined the Maryland Writers’ Association and Romance Writers of America and became an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council.

My debut novel, Disenchanted, is now available, and I am working on my next, The Witch’s Ring, which will be set in Annapolis.

 

 

New Release: Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5) by Katie McGarry *Excerpt*

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Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
by Katie McGarry

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
From Harlequin Teen
Released December 8th 2014

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A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so . . . different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything–except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants–even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn . . . seriously epic.

 

BTR available now

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Excerpt

Echo

There’s nothing like the rush of being chased by the great Noah Hutchins…

I hold my breath and strain to listen past the late-day birds singing in the branches above. The fine hair on the back of my neck rises as if Noah has appeared behind me and deliciously blown over my skin. I close my eyes. He’s so near I can imagine his body wrapped around mine.

Noah is wily and good at seeking, but I’m crafty and better at hiding. I edge to the side again and in painfully slow movements look behind me and…

“Gotcha.”

I scream. Loudly. My heart ramming through my chest. Birds’ wings beat together as dozens of them take to the sky. The moment I spot the laughter in Noah’s chocolate-brown eyes, my scream quickly morphs into a fit of giggles. He reaches for me, but I stumble back from the solid arm attempting to sneak around my back.

“You’re not getting away this time.” Noah’s deep voice vibrates down to my soul.

Noah’s arm slides one way and in a maneuver so slick it seems choreographed, I slip to the side, once again barely dodging his grasp.

“You’re too slow,” I taunt as I gain traction and sprint for the field of untamed wildflowers. The white-and-yellow daisies brush against my legs as I push forward. My skirt swishes against my thighs, and I love how the smooth material grazes my skin. Clean air fills my lungs, and my blood beats manically in my veins. Never in my life have I felt so alive. So high that I’m soaring.

“I’m letting you win,” he calls out.

“You are not.” I slow and pivot to watch as he struts behind me. The tall grass and flowers reach his jean-covered legs. For once, his dark hair doesn’t hide his eyes, and I love the spark of naughtiness in them. “You’re sore that you’re losing.”

He flashes the type of grin that encourages tingles. “You’re becoming cocky, Echo.”

I laugh, and the sound causes his smile to widen. Even though he’s slow in his approach, his wide gait closes the distance between us faster than I’d like. I steadily walk backward, unable to tear my eyes off the fluid way he moves. “Now, now. Out of the two of us, we both know you own that title.”

“Own it, wear it, I am it. I’ve never claimed differently.”

Nope, he never has. Noah is exactly who I see. A few months away from Kentucky, away from home, the rough foster kid is evolving into a man.

“Hey, Echo.” Noah gestures with his chin that he has something important to say, and I stall, watching as his gaze falls to my midriff. “Your tank rode up.”

I peer down and in a heartbeat realize my mistake when grass rustles and Noah grabs my waist. In a dizzying circle, my arms wrap around his neck and somehow we both end up on the ground. Me on top. Noah on the bottom. As always, Noah becomes my safe place to land.

With a wink, Noah rolls us, reversing our positions, but I don’t complain. I dream of his body over me. The heavy sensation is familiar and addictive. Noah skims his nose along the side of my neck, and the pleasing tickle causes me to suck in air.

“I won,” he whispers against my skin.

I find myself in a waking dream as I savor his caresses. “Did not.”

Noah presses a kiss to that sensitive spot behind my ear. A stream of warmth floods my body. Longing for more, I twist to expose my neck.

“Did, too.” His hands roam, sliding to my side. I melt and tense at the same time. We’re in the wide open, but I can’t stop the way my body molds to his. My fingers bunch the material of his shirt as I play with the idea of removing it. We’re far from the walking trail, far from the campsite. How many people, besides Noah and me, allow themselves to wander to the point of being lost?

“You said you could find me in five minutes,” I say softly. “That was longer than five minutes.”

“Echo,” he says as he raises his head. His fingers begin this little dance. Moving up then slowly down. Each down is slightly lower and promises very wicked things.

“Yes?”

“I’ve got you beneath me and not a person in sight. That’s winning.”

A peacefulness unfurls within me. I have to agree. That is winning.

Beauty Girl Outdoor. Teenage Model Girl Posing in Sun Light

 

And don’t forget to read the first books in the Pushing the Limits Series…

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, #1.1)

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)

 

About Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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Tour: A Scout is Brave by Jay Jordan Hawke *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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A Scout is Brave
by Jay Jordan Hawke

A Young Adult Novel
From Harmony Ink an Imprint of Dreamspinner Press
Available December 18, 2014 (2nd ed)

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In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.

Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.

 

Dreamspinner | Amazon

 

Excerpt

  “The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard continues to captivate the nation. More after this quick announcement.”

Joshua had no idea who Matthew Shepard was, but the murder must have been pretty brutal, he realized, to be making the national news. But he didn’t have time for the news. He had to find his uniform and finish packing.

“There you are,” Joshua mumbled as he spotted his uniform hanging over the bathroom door. It looked clean and pressed, unlike when they bought it from a secondhand store. His mother had obviously hung it there for him. Joshua grabbed his uniform and shoved it carelessly into his backpack. He had camped out many times before, but he wasn’t used to packing anything so formal.

The news story came back on. “Matthew Shepard, the young gay teen who was brutally murdered back in October—”

“Joshua, are you up?” his mother interrupted from outside his room.

Joshua zipped up his backpack.

“Joshua!” she yelled again, this time knocking on his door.

“Yes, Mom, I’m getting ready!” Joshua responded, frustrated by the intrusion. He slammed the off button on his radio and forcefully opened the door.

“Oh, there you are,” she said, stating the obvious. “I have breakfast ready.”

To Joshua it sounded more like a command than an offer, but it was hard to tell with his mother. He picked up his backpack, threw it over his shoulder, and headed off toward breakfast. It would be his only real food for at least a week, so he was determined to enjoy his “last meal.” As he ate, the words he had just heard on the radio emerged from his mental buffer. Young gay teen? Joshua mused, wondering if he had heard that right.

 

About the Author

Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master’s in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek, and hopes to be on the first starship out of here. In the meantime, he teaches at a college prep school and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time. In addition to all things sci-fi, his hobbies include camping, reading, running, and writing. He has lived in several Midwestern states and currently resides in Indiana. Ugh – get me out of here!

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Blitz: No Such Thing as Perfect by Sarah Daltry *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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No Such Thing as Perfect
by Sarah Daltry

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Released December 11th 2014

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College was supposed to be perfect. She was supposed to be perfect.

For Lily Drummond, life is about following the rules. To be specific, her mother’s rules. College fit into the plan – maintain perfect grades, date the perfect guy, and live the perfect life. On her own, though, Lily realizes that she doesn’t actually have a plan. Without being told what to think and do, she keeps making mistakes.

Away from home, the perfect facade is beginning to shatter. When Lily herself starts to break, it’s the support of an unlikely friend that teaches her how much of a lie perfect really is – and how to be whole on her own terms.

Note: No Such Thing as Perfect was inspired by Sarah’s Flowering series, but it stands completely alone as its own title. The same characters appear and some situations are similar, but this was written with a different goal in mind. There is NO on-camera sex in this novel and it is not a “romance” novel by most standards, but a story of growing up and being okay with who you are.

 

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Excerpt

The glow-in-the-dark stars look pathetic in the darkness. There are only about twelve and they don’t look like the night sky; instead they look like they got lost in the black and can’t find their way back to light.

Derek’s snoring, having fallen asleep quickly, but I can’t stop thinking. My mind is doing that thing it does when I overanalyze and make problems where there aren’t any and I want to turn it off. I want to be happy with my boyfriend’s arm draped over my body. I want the closeness to feel like it should.

Maybe I read too many books. I guess I always thought being in love would feel comfortable. It’s not that Derek doesn’t try, but sometimes I’m so afraid. If he pauses too long when I ask him if something looks okay or if his upper lip twitches like it does sometimes when I do something wrong, I can’t escape the doubt. Worry is like an endless ocean and my arms are just too tired to keep swimming.

I slip out from under his arm and head to the bathroom. I don’t really have to go, but lying in the dark room isn’t putting my mind at ease and so I pace the hall. The lights flicker, poor illumination because they’re an afterthought; dorm halls aren’t somewhere people spend their time. I consider going to find Kristen, or texting Abby even though I know she’s in some foreign city and it will cost too much and she’s probably doing amazing things. I even consider calling my parents to admit something is broken in me. But I can already hear the arguments. I’m fine. Everything is fine.

“Scottie dogs? What a fashion statement.”

Jack’s coming out of the elevator, carrying a guitar case. I almost start to cry knowing someone is seeing me like this.

“Sorry. I was just…” I look around. I wasn’t just anything. I’m standing in the dim hallway by the elevator in the middle of the night wearing my pajamas.

“Yeah, I was just…, too,” he says. “Want some coffee? I hear the lounge is lovely at this hour. There’s all the Styrofoam a lady could desire.”

“I-” I’m about to tell him I have a boyfriend, that I can’t just drink coffee with him, but that’s dumb. What’s wrong with coffee? Derek’s asleep, I’m restless, and it’s just coffee. It certainly beats standing around by the elevator trying not to cry. “Sure. Coffee sounds good.”

“Awesome. Let me just drop this off and grab some, okay?” He gestures to his guitar case and I follow him. He’s just down the hall – in the guys’ wing – and I make mental note of his room number. I don’t know why I do, but it’s etched on my brain before I realize what I’m doing. 401. Jack in 401.

“Did your roommate go home for the weekend?” I ask. He opens the door, tosses his case into a dark room, rummages loudly and knocks something over, and closes it again, coffee in hand.

“I don’t have a roommate.”

“Oh. I didn’t know there were singles here.”

He stops and looks at his door, then down at his shoes. “It’s… a long story. Anyway, coffee?” When he looks up, there’s a distinct change in his expression. It’s pain wrapped in fear of acknowledging it; I know the look well.

In the lounge, he makes coffee, but the machine is old and the water is from the fountain in the hall, so the coffee just tastes like heat. There is no flavor or pleasure in drinking it, except it’s warm and it’s quiet in the lounge. Jack is picking the Styrofoam cup apart as he drains it. I don’t know why it feels like normal. I thought I knew normal, but suddenly this feels like what it should have been all along.

“So you’re not a freshman?” I ask.

“Junior.”

“Your major?”

“Game Design. And you’re English.”

“How’d you know?”

He’s finished turning the cup into pieces and he swaps the pile between his palms, looking at me the entire time. His eyes have danced through every human emotion in the few short interactions we’ve had. I didn’t know anyone had the kind of depth I see in them.

“Lucky guess. Plus you’ve read Sense and Sensibility several times, which seems like an English major thing to do,” he says.

“Yet you know the character names,” I point out.

“Yeah, but I’m not…” He shakes his head. I don’t know what the sentence was supposed to end with, but he’s not continuing. “Besides, you came out of Joliet Hall, which is Humanities. I suppose you could just be taking a lit class, but it seemed a decent guess.”

“Well, you’re right. I’m predictable,” I say.

 

About the Author

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Sarah Daltry is a varied author, known best for the contemporary New Adult series, ‘Flowering’, a six-title series that explores the complexities of relationships, including how we survive the damage from our pasts with the support of those who love us. Although the books are no longer in print, they are being rewritten and redeveloped for future publication. Please visit Sarah’s website for more details.
As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved Young Adult literature and ‘Dust’, an epic fantasy novel where romance blends with the blood and grit of war, is her second official foray into YA, following the gamer geek romantic comedy, ‘Backward Compatible’. Most of Sarah’s work is about teens and college students, as it’s what she knows well.

Sarah’s passion in life is writing – weaving tales of magic and beauty. The modern and vast social networking world is an alternative universe that she makes infrequent trips to, but when she does, readers will find her attentive, friendly and happy to discuss the magic of stories and reading. Please stop by and say hello anywhere Sarah is online! You can find these places at http://sarahdaltry.com

Sarah has moved back and forth between independent and traditional publishing. Her first novel, ‘Bitter Fruits’, is with Escape, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, and she signed with Little Bird Publishing in the spring of 2014.

Sarah has also written ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ a reimagining of one of her favorite poems in a contemporary setting.

She is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer and sarcastic nerd.

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Tour: Street Food and Love by H.A. Enri *Review*

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Street Food and Love
by H.A. Enri

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
From Martin Sisters Publishing
Released June 2014

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Sole Eaby, seventeen, has a few complaints he’d like to lodge against life, the main one being that his dad, Cedro, has recently quit his job and withdrawn his entire life savings, which included Sole’s college fund. Why? To launch a food truck business he knows nothing about.

To cope, Sole uses his knifelike wit to moonlight as a stand-up comedian, and so far, it’s paying off. He’s not only replenishing his college treasury, he’s making people laugh; but it’s one person in particular he performs for. Her name is Ava. When the fated bond of humor joins the two, and they begin a sort of quasi-romance, things begin to seem somewhat bearable. Of course, that’s when an ill-timed event decides to put another spin on things. Just when Sole is ready to move on with his own life and disconnect himself from his father and the family business, he suddenly finds himself in charge of the food truck he desperately loathes. Here is where Sole must realize that the answers to love and life are not to be found apart but, rather, are more like a savory recipe: only by combining the ingredients will the wonderful flavors reveal themselves. When comedy isn’t enough, the future seems ever bleak, and a fledgling love has barely had a chance to bloom, where will Sole turn?

 

StreetFood

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Review

4 stars

I always love it when a character’s voice draws me in and keeps me entertained and interested in the outcome of his story. Sole’s voice had that engaging appeal that kept me riveted throughout. He was funny and sweet, sarcastic and witty. I liked how his mind worked, his sense of humor and his caring heart.

There were additional elements that appealed to me too. The food aspect of the story was interesting and some of those dishes had my mouth watering while Sole’s sense of humor and comedy routine had me laughing out loud. The bit of drama thrown into the mix was subtle but touching as was the romance.

My heart went out for Sole. I admired his determination to get over his family situation and his growth throughout the story was a treat to read, especially since he had a great head over his shoulder from the very beginning. His journey wasn’t easy for him to get through but he kept his head on straight and made the most out of it until he found his way. I was glad that the author didn’t overburden the story for the reader emotion-wise. Sole’s emotions were still present and could be felt throughout, however they weren’t overly angsty, which I appreciated.

Sole’s love interest was not who I would have picked for him, but the pairing was sweet and endearing overall.

Kudos to H.A. Enri for doing a wonderful job in mixing the comedy, the romance, the drama and the food without making it overwhelming for the reader to follow along. All in all, an engaging sweet read!

 

About the Author

HAAuthor

H.A.’s love for all things caffeinated is what keeps him awake and alert so he can pursue that glorious tyrant called Nostalgia. And after all, isn’t that what provokes most adult authors to write stories about the teenage years they long ago left behind (referring to Nostalgia, not the caffeine…he hopes)? When he isn’t writing, H.A. can be found quaffing coffee (Yes, he might be addicted–don’t judge) reading, riding his bike, snapping photos, making music, working on his theory of everything, and, on rare occasions, attempting to discover the elusive, and maybe impossible, secret to time travel. H.A. lives in So Cal. Street Food and Love is H.A.’s first novel.

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New Release Spotlight: Night Sky (Night Sky #1) by Suzanne Brockmann, Melanie Brockmann *Review and Giveaway*

NightSky

Night Sky (Night Sky #1)
by Suzanne Brockmann, Melanie Brockmann

A Young Adult Paranormal Story
From Sourcebooks Fire
Released October 7th 2014

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SHE’S THE ULTIMATE WEAPON IN FIGHTING DESTINY.

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers. After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s. With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Skystarts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

 

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Review

4 stars

Night Sky picks up right where Dangerous Destiny left off. The little girl Skylar used to babysit, Shasha, has been kidnapped and Skylar and Calvin go in search for answers. In comes Dana, a kicka$$ girl with powers that seem to resemble Skylar’s. She soon becomes a mentor of sorts for Skylar who comes to learn about her destiny, the world around her and the powers she has.

Calvin continues to be her loyal side-kick. I love him. His humor kept the story from becoming overwhelming and his rapport with Skylar shines with their every interaction.

There is also Milo. *sigh* Milo, Milo, Milo. I loved him too, but in a completely different way. He was sweet and funny and perfect for Skylar. I came to enjoyed their interactions and what little glimpses I got into his life. Yep, he’s a keeper and I couldn’t get enough of him! Although this was not a romance in the whole I did enjoy those little moments between them. I can’t wait for more.

As for the story, I did find it to be a mix of the paranormal and the horror since some of the events that took place were a bit more gruesome than I expected. However, the authors made sure to keep it subtle while still being detailed enough for the reader to grasp the urgency of the events. I liked that the paranormal elements introduced in the story and the way the authora went about in setting up the world Skylar suddenly finds herself being a part of.

The writing was superb with the pace moving at times slow but picking up pace as the story progressed and the teens started their ‘mission’. Like I said before, I liked having the action-packed moments mixed with lighter ones where Calvin and Skylar’s sarcasm came to the surface. I also enjoyed how the teens pulled together to save the addicts. The tension between them was there in the beginning but soon they started to rely on each other to make a formidable team.

All in all, a fantastic first book in the series that establishes the world Skylar finds herself center stage in with a bit of humor, a sweet lovely romance and some gruesome moments to make it all worthwhile.

*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“Look what I can do look what I can do,” the woman, who I nicknamed Little Miss Sunshine because of her fancy clothes, yanked a massive-looking gun out of her bag.

Everyone in the store hit the deck at the sight of the gun—everyone except Calvin and me.

She pointed the barrel at my face.

A wave of deja vu washed over me. It was mixed with a hefty dose of panic and combined with at least a small degree of consolation that Calvin, as always, had my back.

“Oh, hell no!” he barked. All the fear had vanished from his tone, and now he just sounded pissed. “You wanna mess with someone? You wanna put your gun in her face? You’re gonna have to shoot me first!”

And then, things got really weird.

“Hey!” someone called form behind Little Miss Sunshine. It was a girl, older than me but probably only by a year or two. She’d appeared as if out of nowhere, but she must’ve come in through the front doors while my attention was on that gun. Dressed in full motorcycle garb—a red leather jacket and black steel-toed boots—she hollered again. “Hey, you!”

Little Miss Sunshine whirled around.

Motorcycle Girl charged froward and flicked the pistol out of crazy lady’s hands as easily as if she was removing a piece of lint from a buddy’s jacket.

The gun spun a couple times before landing on the floor. Motorcycle Girl kicked it back into the air with her foot and caught it with one hand. She tucked it deftly into the back waistband of her pants and then slammed the crazy woman down onto the ground using the palm of one hand. I could have sworn Little Miss Sunshine took a nosedive before Motorcycle Chick even touched her, but then again, I’d been seeing all kinds of crazy things this week.

“Whoa,” Calvin said, while the crowd gasped again.

Little Miss Sunshine landed, hard, and made a gurgling sound. She looked up once at me and pointed, still smiling that awful smile, before her face dropped to the ground.

The room once again was silent.

Motorcycle Chick turned, running a hand gruffly through her platinum-blond pixie cut as she looked at me and frowned, her eyes the color of icicles.

Around us, the crowd began to move almost as one, with everyone rushing for the door.

I was about to turn too—getting out of there seemed like a brilliant idea—when Motorcycle Girl spoke again. Her words stopped me. “Way to protect everyone here, Sky. What were you waiting for? A sign from God?”

I looked at Cal—Cal looked at me. And I knew we were both thinking the same thing.

How the hell does this girl know my name?

 

Night Sky series

DangerousDestinyDangerous Destiny (Night Sky 0.5)

See how it all begins…

In this pulse-pounding prequel to the Night Sky series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann and her daughter Melanie Brockmann, Skylar has her first brush with Destiny. She’s about to meet a boy who will change her life—and a girl who wants to end it.

I know her.
Know her from inside the dreams. Inside those terrible, murderous, bloody dreams. I’ve heard her-screaming, her voice mixing in an awful chorus with all those other girls. Little girls.

Please, God.
That’s what one of the little girls keeps saying, in the dream that is not just a dream. Please, God.
But I know better. There’s no escaping this fate. This is destiny.
I must kill Skylar.

Skylar Reid is the new girl at school. Her mom just moved them to Florida—aka The Land of the Living Dead where the average age of her new neighbors was seventy-five—to start over. Skylar is not a fan of the change or her total lack of friends. Until she meets Calvin, a funny, sarcastic boy who doesn’t let being in a wheelchair stop him from verbally shredding their preppy classmates. Skylar’s just about to decide her new school’s not a total loss when an odd girl wearing an oversized trench coat in the murderous Southern heat declares, “You’re one of us.” And then tries to kill her.

 

Available at all online retailers for FREE!

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Review

Skylar has just moved to Florida in the middle of the school year. The move has not gone flawlessly for her–the weather sucks, her neighbors are senior citizens and she hasn’t made any friends at school. Until one day at lunch period she meets Calvin.

Calvin is a local and a loner. Bound to a wheelchair because of a tragic accident, Calvin welcomes Skylar to sit with him when she asks. Soon they are exchanging quips and talking as if they’ve known each other all their lives. That is until a Skylar is attacked by a student, which sets in motion a series of events that will forever change Skylar’s life.

I enjoyed this story very much! I found Skylar’s voice fresh and enjoyed being in her head and seeing the world through her eyes. I admit that her sarcastic remarks had me laughing out loud while her conflicted emotions over the move and her over baring mother endeared her to me. I also enjoyed watching her trying adapt to her surroundings and her reactions to the situation she was facing. Her mix of brave girl and scared teenager made her an interesting character to get to know.

All in all, an intriguing prequel that served to increase my curiosity over what awaits Skylar in the next book, Night Sky.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

About the Author

SuzanneMelanieBrockmann

Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

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New Release: Home is Where You Are by Tessa Marie *Review and Giveaway*

HOME IS WHERE YOU ARETESSA MARIERELEASE

Home is Where You Are
by Tessa Marie

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Released September 30th 2014

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Anna’s life reads like a check list.
Straight A’s (Check)
Editor of the school paper (Check)
Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)
Ivy League (So close she can taste it)
Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.

Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.

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Review

5-stars

WOW! It’s been a long time that I’ve read a YA novel that I’ve loved from beginning to end.

From the moment the story began, I was captivated. I loved Dean’s voice and as soon as I learned his story my heart went out to win. He was a fighter, determined to make it on his own with a great head on his shoulders and an even bigger heart.

Anna was a great character also. She was smart, motivated to make into an Ivy league college and so very lonely. After her father’s death, her mother and brother have become strangers and she finds herself immerse in her volunteer job–striving for a goal her father once told her she could reach.

I loved this story so much!

It was an emotional story about struggles, broken families and all that struggle entails. I loved how it showed how similar Anna and Dean are regardless of their social status. They yearned to belong, to be loved and to lead a normal life.

Tessa Marie did an amazing job in bringing forth the different aspects that these two teenagers struggled with. Be it family relations, surviving on the streets or making amends with their pasts–every little moment was brought to the page to impart the most impact unto the reader. I laughed with Dean, cried with Anna and rejoiced when they finally made it through.

I don’t think I can say enough about this story without giving too much away. So all I will say is that it was worth every minute I spent reading it. I hope you give it a chance too!

All in all, a heartwarming story about overcoming obstacles in life and finding that one person who makes all the heartache life throws at you easier to bear.

*I received a copy of this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion.
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About the Author

Tessa

Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Under her real name, Theresa Paolo, she released her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

 

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