Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

18635076Release date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

*Received a copy from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

The Secrets of Lily Graves had been sitting on my shelf for a few months now, so while looking for my next read I decided to find out what the story was all about. Besides, I really liked Sarah Strohmeyer's Smart Girls Get What They Want and was really interested in seeing how the author transitioned from light and funny contemporary to something dark and mysterious as a murder concept and a character whose family ran a funeral home. 

So, did I like the story? Yes, mostly. But there were some things that bugged me. For instance, I felt like Lily's character seemed to be trying too hard to appear Gothic, fascinated by the world of the dead, etc. It didn't come out as natural to me. And I was a bit annoyed at times with her feelings for Matt. I guess you can say I didn't warm up as much to her character, but that never threw me off a story before. Lily was tolerable, and I wanted to see how everything would wrap up.

My other issue is that the story seemed a tad stretchy throughout, and then by the last chapter it was being rushed as if the author grew tired of writing it. Also, it was a little obvious. I mean, I'd already suspected who was behind the murder from jump, so the reveal at the end wasn't very climatic on that person's part. However, I had no clue whatsoever about the other person so that made up for the ending somewhat.

credit: epicreads

As mentioned before, I liked the story for the most part. The writing was good. I liked Lily's mom and aunt. The funeral home setting was new to me so it was interesting reading about how they prepared the dead and the effort that went into it. That was intriguing and good to know that the Graves' respected the families enough to want to do their best. That was conveyed greatly in the story. 

This is a switch from Sarah's previous release but I don't mind it at all. It's great when an author can take on different genres, and while I wasn't in love with The Secrets of Lily Graves, it was still a good story that I liked reading. I recommend this book if you're into YA drama with a murder mystery.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trailer Reveal & Giveaway: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe

Check out the book trailer for Megan Crewe's upcoming release, Earth & Sky, the first in her YA Science Fiction trilogy. Be sure to enter the awesome giveaway!

Series: Earth & Sky #1
Release date: October 28th 2014
Publisher: Amazon Skyscape/Penguin CA
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

Megan CreweAbout the Author
Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son (and does on occasion say "eh"), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she's spent the last six years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer.
Her books have been published in translation in several countries around the world. She has also published short stories in magazines such as On Spec and Brutarian Quarterly.


Voice-over by Viviane Partridge
Music by D. Belichenko
Sound effects from www.freesfx.co.uk

Thursday, September 18, 2014

BOOK BLITZ~Phobic by Cortney Pearson

The promo event for Cortney Pearson's YA Horror release, Phobic is now running. Continue below for a teaser and giveaway.

22465896Series: The Forbidden Doors #1
Release date: September 8th 2014
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.

To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach.

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.

Cortney Pearson

About the Author
Cortney Pearson is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates books for young adults. She lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

22625225Release date: June 15th 2014
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
What started out as a joke-- seduce Coach Wilder--soon became a goal she had to score. With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He's a professional soccer player, America's favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper. * A face that makes girls weep - check. * Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) - check. * Enough confidence to shift the earth's gravitational pull - double check. Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits. Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. "Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you'll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.") But that just makes him all the more enticing...Besides, Kinsley's already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished. Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term "team bonding."

*Purchased the ebook on Amazon.

I enjoyed the story for the most part. The main character is funny, witty, and likeable. I love that the plot surrounded soccer and that Kinsley was so athletic. I haven't read many books with such a character so that was different for me. 
From start to finish she held my interest, and I was either laughing or swooning along with her. I liked how focused she was on her goals and how hard she worked to accomplish them. It sucks that she was screwed over by her past boyfriends but I'm glad it didn't impact her in such a way that she wallowed in self-pity and put her life on hold. It did affect her ability to trust though, so I could understand her being afraid of her intense feelings for Liam and constantly questioning his motives for her. Thankfully, it didn't throw a monkey wrench in their relationship and any doubts were quickly dealt with.

Her friends were interesting people as well, Becca in particular. She had a youthful nature and was really fun. Emily was more laidback and quiet (like me), but I wish she was part of the story more and not always described as being caught up with her long distance relationship. It almost seemed like she was left out and that kinda made me feel sad for her. I also didn't connect as much with Liam as I'd like to, and maybe it's because the story is told only from Kinsley's POV. Had it been dual narration, I probably would have loved Liam more. 

Another thing is that after a certain part the story went on for too long. I feel like it could have wrapped up sooner than it did and some things that happened towards the end seemed like filler and were too dramatic. I actually rolled my eyes at them, but fortunately I'd enjoyed the story up till that point so it didn't throw me off completely.

Overall, the writing was good--lucid and entertaining. The main character was also well developed. This is my first experience with R.S. and I must say that I'm impressed, motivated enough to want to read her other works. If you're looking for New Adult that's funny and sweaty be sure to pick this one up.

BLOG TOUR~Shameless by Nina Lemay

The blog tour for Nina Lemay's debut NA novel is now running. See details below:

22447460Release Date: August 18th 2014
Purchase: Amazon

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 Lemay
About 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.

ninalemay.com | twitter.com/NinaLemay | Facebook

NOTE: Please do not post any negative reviews that are hurtful to the author and affects the promotional purpose of the tour. Post the blurb and giveaway instead or send me an email if you'd like to back out. Thank you for understanding.

September 22nd -
Leeanna.me *Review
Sizzling Book Blog *Spotlight

September 23rd -
Spiced Latte Reads *Guest Post
Book Enthralled *Review & Playlist (blogger's choice)

September 24th -
deal sharing aunt *Spotlight
Pen and Muse *Review & Favorite Quotes

September 25th -
Karen Blue Reviews *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Books and Starlight *Interview & Review
Babbling Chatter Reads *Review & Favorite Quotes
Fiction Dreams *Interview

September 26th -
The YA's Nightstand *Guest Post
Refreshingly Riki *Interview & Review

Waiting on Wednesday #101

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spines. This is a cool way to spotlight a upcoming release that you're anxious about, as well as checking out what other book lovers are anticipating. Here's what I'm waiting for:

20588931The Fire Artist
by Daisy Whitney
Release date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads

A forbidden romance literally heats up in this new fantasy from acclaimed author Daisy Whitney.

Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.

In a world where the sport of elemental powers is the most popular form of entertainment, readers will be swept away by a romance with stakes higher than life and death.

Why I'm Waiting

I don't read much about characters who have such an ability so this one piques my interest. I'm also curious as to how she gets her power from lightning, and what's going to happen with the Granter because from the synopsis I perceive that they fall in love. Sounds like a tough situation. Can't wait to read the story.

What are you waiting for?

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