Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: The Clique by Valerie Thomas

23306759Release date: October 31st 2014
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
The Clique is the story of Audrey Hughes, and the attempt of a boy to win her over by bringing her down. Manipulating her friends, poisoning her relationships, and tearing at her family; Devon will stop at nothing to get what he wants. But Audrey isn’t so easily ruined. She fights for her friends, pulling closer even when they would push her away.

*Approved via Netgalley






The Clique was an okay read. The story depicts how friends cope with alleged betrayal among other things. But while it had great potential, I wasn't all the way there for me. 

Character-wise, I didn't really connect with anyone, and there were some things that kind of bugged me. For instance, I feel like their friendship wasn't all that great to begin with because of the stuff they'd think or say behind each other's backs. Audrey came off as the goody-goody but I honestly liked her character more. As for Katie, she was always trying to do what Audrey would do, or think like her friend. She was so quick to believe the lies and turn her back on her best friend. And I feel as if the animosity and jealousy was always there, so I wasn't all that surprised by her reaction.

In regards to Maggie, she was just the same. So easily manipulated, and her reasons for working with the enemy were just shallow and selfish. I couldn't sympathize with her at all. 

Overall, it was a good read with easy and fast-paced writing. However, I felt that the blurb shouldn't have made the story seem like it was all about Audrey and the guy that liked her, because the majority of the first half was about her friends and their individual issues. Regardless, I liked it for the most part. 


About the Author
Valerie Thomas is a twenty-one-year-old author of Young Adult fiction. She started writing immediately after high school, setting novels in the culture she was already familiar with. The Clique is her first novel, set in a fictionalized version of the city where she grew up.


Monday, November 24, 2014

BOOK BLITZ~Bad Boy Rock Star by Candy J. Starr


IFB is delighted to be hosting the Candy J. Starr promo event for the Bad Boy Rock Star series. Check out the excerpt and giveaway below. 

23390432Release date: November 30th 2014
Purchase: Amazon

SYNOPSIS VIA GOODREADS:
Hannah Sorrento never planned to be a band manager. She’s a princess and the toughest obstacle she's had in life is finding shoes to match her outfit. 

Then her father disappears leaves her with only the money in her purse and a management contract for hot, indie band, STORM. She plans to sell the contract, one way or another, then pack up her designer wardrobe and head back to law school. 

But lead singer, Jack Colt, has other ideas. She's never met a man like him before. His raw sexuality messes with her head and her heart... and a lot of other body parts too. 

With the help of crazy rock chick, Angie, Hannah sets the band on their first steps to the big time and learns to survive on her own. 

But this isn't some game - soon the threat that Hannah fears most becomes reality. 

Jack Colt - he’s arrogant and infuriating but he’s the one that’s there for Hannah when her world comes crashing down. With secrets of his own, will Jack Colt save Hannah or destroy her? 

Bad Boy Rock Star: The Complete Collection contains: 

#1 Bad Boy Rock Star 
#2 Bad Boy vs Millionaire 
#3 Bad Boy Redemption

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.



EXCERPT
========================

This was totally embarrassing. What did I know about playing a tambourine? I'd only make a fool of myself. The couch was plenty good enough for me. But Jack and Eric grabbed my arms and pulled me up.
"Okay, okay. I'll do it and prove to you I'm crap."
I started shaking the tambourine around. Jack grabbed me from behind and guided my movements. It didn't seem that hard but I wasn't in any hurry to let on. Maybe it was my imagination but he did seem to get himself into situations that involved putting his arms around me quite a lot.
The heat of his body warmed my back and I felt as if I could almost feel his heartbeat. His hand covered mine, prompting me when to tap the tambourine and when to shake it. His other hand rested on my waist. His breath tickled my neck and my heart felt lighter. I tried not to grin too much but to focus on his movements.
As Spud began tapping the drums, we followed his beat – shake, shake, tap. That was easy but, as the beat became faster, we both moved, our hips swaying in time. Shake, shake, tap. And a hip thrust on the tap.
I leaned back against him and maybe my thrusts became a bit more of a grind. He responded by grinding himself into me and pulling me a bit tighter into him.  Then suddenly he pulled away from me.
"Right, let's do Party Dress, from the top."
Spud started with the drums, a simple beat leading in. I followed what he was doing. Soon, I got the hang of it and was playing along with them. I shook my hips and tapped the tambourine against them. I looked at Jack and he grinned back at me. A thrill went through me. I was really doing this.
I felt at one, not just with Jack but the entire band.  I’d worked with them to create this.  I bit my bottom lip to control my smile but it was something awesome, this teamwork thing.
I didn’t even need to concentrate, I began moving around, doing some sexy little dance moves, shaking my hips and running my free hand down my body.
Then I thought I'd do some backup vocals, singing along with the melody.
"Stop! Stop!" Jack seemed distressed.  Had his amp blown a fuse?  He’d stopped playing.
All three of them stared at me.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Your singing…"
Was I really that good? They did seem awestruck. Maybe I could do this, maybe I could have my own singing career. I'd always thought I'd look great up on stage.
"Yeah, sorry Hannah, but that's really putting me off." Eric smiled at me apologetically.
"I've heard strangled cats sound better," added Spud.
"You are joking, right?" I could sing. I could sing really well. People had always said so. They were just having a joke.
"NO!" all three of them cried.
"It's terrible." Jack shook his head as though he couldn't believe what he'd just heard.
I picked up a cushion from the couch and threw it at Jack. Then I picked up another and threw it at Eric.
Jack and Eric looked at each other then rushed at me with the cushions, raining blows down on me. I covered my head to block them.  They knocked me back onto the couch as I tried to wrench the cushions from their hands.
"Stop, stop." I tried to sound serious but I couldn’t stop laughing.
Instead of stopping, Jack went for my ribs, tickling me until I screamed. I tried to squirm away from him but rolled onto the floor. He kept at it, pinning me down so I had no control. His fingers dug into my ribs again and I squirmed and screamed until I fell on the floor in exquisite agony. Even that didn't stop him though. If anything, it seemed to encourage him. He straddled me and kept tickling. I kicked out with my legs and punched at him, trying to get him off me, feeling as if I'd pee my pants.
Then he stopped and looked down at me. His hair flopped in his eyes and his face was flushed. He relaxed his grip on my wrists and I could've easily rolled out from under him while his guard was down but I no longer wanted to.
Everything else stopped until it became just the two of us in the entire world. Every part of me became aware of him, moving closer to me as though in slow motion. I bucked my hips, not wanting to get away, but wanting to feel his body against mine.
His gaze went from my face to my nipples, hard and straining against the thin fabric of my dress. So hard that they almost caused me pain. I wanted to feel his full lips pressed around them, sucking and licking.
"Hey, settle down you two. Get a room."
Well, that sure broke the spell. I'd forgotten about the other two in the studio but became fully aware of my surroundings and the floor beneath me, and the hard cock of Jack Colt pressing into my leg.









Sunday, November 23, 2014

BLOG TOUR~Cheating Time by T.R. Graves


IFB will host the blog tour for the first book in T.R. Graves upcoming Sci-Fi series. See details below:

22387282Series: Longevity #1
Release date: December 1st 2014

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Carles "Carlie" Enoche's world is one that can barely be imagined. In it, babies have micropharmeceutical devices inserted in their hearts within hours of birth. The MicroPharm implant holds code that secretly counts down until the date of that baby's death (as determined by its genetic analysis) and contains drugs that are released in such a way that chemicals and hormones are in perfect balance at all times, making illness almost unheard of.

Theoretically, the known but unexposed date of the babies' deaths and the maintenance drugs geared toward giving the baby a long life have benign consequences. It is the unknown and unbelievable and unexpected way President John Barone gathers data about every child and the way he releases contraceptives from the device in order to control the population and terminate pregnancies when embryos are identified as weak or mutated that makes the device and its technology as dangerous as any malignancy.

For President Barone, seventeen-year-old Carlie isn’t just a MicroPharm first generation; she is the great-granddaughter of the man who discovered the ability to determine life expectancy down to the day and the daughter of the woman who invented the MicroPharm chip. Carlie and her family are important to President Barone's political career and the plans he has of creating a nation of strong, healthy, and superior people, who give more to their country than they take.

Jayden St. Romaine, one of the Facet's most loyal Surrogate Soldiers, is ordered by President Barone himself to find the Enoche family and kidnap Carlie. Through blackmail, he plans to leverage control over the Enoche's scientific research and the ability to develop even more tools that can be used to genetically engineer a superior race. 

When President Barone sends Jayden on his mission, he never expected his perfect soldier to develop a conscience… betray his trust… fall in love with Carlie, but he's dispatched a backup Surrogate Soldier just in case. With the ticking of the clock and the second Surrogate chasing them, Jayden's chances at redemption and Carlie's chances of living a life where she is free to make choices about her life and her body are in jeopardy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
T. R. Graves is the author of several new adult series. She lives in Texas with her husband and two children. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, T.R. counts her career as an administrator and registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals among her most fulfilling accomplishments.





December 1st -

December 2nd -
Book Groupies *Guest Post
Sizzling Book Blog *Guest Post

December 3rd -
Reading Addict *Guest Post
Deal Sharing Aunt *Spotlight
Word to dreams *Review & Excerpt (blogger picks)
Mom With A Kindle *Guest Post

December 4th -
vivacious hobo *Guest Post

December 5th -





Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: This Side of Home by Renée Watson

Release date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Identical twins Nikki and Maya have been on the same page for everything—friends, school, boys and starting off their adult lives at a historically African-American college. But as their neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, suddenly filled with pretty coffee shops and boutiques, Nikki is thrilled while Maya feels like their home is slipping away. Suddenly, the sisters who had always shared everything must confront their dissenting feelings on the importance of their ethnic and cultural identities and, in the process, learn to separate themselves from the long shadow of their identity as twins.

In her inspired YA debut, Renée Watson explores the experience of young African-American women navigating the traditions and expectations of their culture.

*Publisher approved me via Netgalley




It's been a while since I've read a book so peppered in culture and the highs and lows of racial differences, but I must say I truly liked this story for all it stood for and the way in which it was written. 

This Side of Home tells the story of Maya, and the tight bond she has with her twin sister, Nikki, and her best friend Essence. It's also about coping with changes, to oneself and to everything around you. Her whole life, Maya had everything mapped out, so it was understandable that she'd feel frustrated a bit by the fact that sometimes things don't always work out the way you planned. Aside from what was happening with her and her heart, Maya was also apprehensive about the changes taking place around her neighborhood. Her community was becoming more and more diverse but she felt it wasn't for the better, because there were still issues not being looked on. 

At first, Maya's character comes off a tad close-minded, and one might not warm up to her beliefs or some of the things she'd say. But then I remembered that there are plenty of people like Maya, including me, that want to celebrate culture and fight for it as much as we can. The only thing was, she wasn't all the way right at times. And I'm happy that Tony came into her life and made her see that change was okay. That it's alright to step out of the box and look at things in a new light. 

Once again, the writing was good--Easy and fast-paced. The descriptions were great too. I envisioned myself in the urban feel of the community and could experience the emotions of each character. My only issue was that I wanted to know who was the culprit behind the defacing of posters, and I wished that the principal would have somehow changed his views. But, you can't always get what you want. Regardless, it was a really good story and I recommend giving it a try if you'd like something more realistic and multicultural. 




About the Author
Renée Watson is the author of the children’s picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen (Random House, June 2010), which was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association.

When Renée isn't writing and performing, she is teaching. She has worked in public schools and community organizations as an artist in residence for several years, teaching poetry, fiction, and theater in Oregon, Louisiana, and New York City. She also facilitates professional development workshops for teachers and artists.

One of Renée’s passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma. She has facilitated poetry and theatre workshops with young girls coping with sexual and physical abuse, children who have witnessed violence, children coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and children who relocated to New York City after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Renée graduated from The New School, where she studied Creative Writing and earned a certificate in Drama Therapy.

Renée currently lives in New York City.

www.reneewatson.net | twitter.com/reneewauthor

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Spotlight: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

23309563Release date: June 9th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Is there anything that electric chemistry can't overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends, until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decide to move away, she can't wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David's not quite ready to be left.

Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Gina CioccaAbout the Author
Gina Ciocca graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English. She lives in Georgia with her family. 
Gina is a member of the writing and blogging group YA Misfits and you can find her online at WritersBlog-Gina.blogspot.com. Last Year’s Mistake is her first novel. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: Silence by Natasha Preston

22221297Series: Silence #1
Release date: December 22nd 2013
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
For eleven years, Oakley Farrell has been silent. At the age of five, she stopped talking, and no one seems to know why. Refusing to communicate beyond a few physical actions, Oakley remains in her own little world. 

Bullied at school, she has just one friend, Cole Benson. Cole stands by her, refusing to believe that she is not perfect the way she is. Over the years, they have developed their own version of a normal friendship. However, will it still work as they start to grow even closer? 

When Oakley is forced to face someone from her past, can she hold her secret in any longer?


*Downloaded the kindle free on Amazon.




Silence is a bittersweet story depicting how a young girl tries hard to conceal a life-changing secret in order to keep her family together, while giving up something everyone wants so badly to hear again: her voice. 

I went into this story completely open minded. From the title, you could tell that something terrible happened to Oakley and she'd stopped speaking because of it. I had no idea she was "ordered" not to speak by someone in her life, someone she trusted. But when that started to come out as I read, I wanted to rip the guy apart for her. I was so sad for her and really wanted her to tell someone, especially Cole. 

Honestly, I think Oakley was really strong. I mean, she went through bullying and constantly having her mother try to fix her instead of just coming out and say what happened. It takes a lot of strength for someone to hang on as long as she did. But I think that was partly due to the love and support of the charming Cole. 

Cole was so sweet and protective. When he heard Oakley's voice for the first time, I believed his emotions in that moment. And even more when she confessed to him about what had happened to her. Like, the way he reacted, it was utterly real. The words, the description, everything felt real. 

I guess by now you've realized that I liked the story. It's not the average sweet and fluffy YA read, it conveys a heavy topic. And I think more people should read this book because this stuff happens in society, more often than we'd like to hear. It's very much a realistic fiction. I think the author did a good job writing it. The only reason that kept it from getting five stars is the ending. I felt like the entire story was written well and on a nice, steady pace, but when it got to the ending, it was so abrupt. That's my only issue with Silence. Otherwise, it's a good story depicting a sweet young love in spite of the pain. And that goes to show that no matter what you're going through, love will always prevail.





About the Author
My name is Natasha Preston, but most people call me Tash or Tasha. I don't mind either. I was born in England and have lived in small towns and villages out in the countryside ever since.
My husband, Joseph, is the most supportive person in my life. Without his love, help and patience I wouldn't be where I am today. And this website wouldn't exist! I'm a proud mummy to an amazing little boy who is my whole world.
At school I drifted through, achieving average grades. I fell into administration and receptionist jobs, thinking that I couldn't really do anything else.
In 2010 I stumbled into writing completely by accident. I was searching the 'app store' and came across Wattpad, an amateur writing site. For the first few months, I just read, but then decided to type up some of the ideas I had floating around in my head. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely love writing. 
Writing gave me an escape, and Wattpad gave me the self-confidence I lacked.



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