Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: Ache (Punk #1) by P.J. Post

23519943Series: Punk #1
Release date: January 14th 2014
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

His only refuge is his music. His only solace is his rage.

Connor Clay abandoned any hope of escaping his troubled life long ago and has immersed himself in the hardcore punk scene, living every day as if it were his last. But in the scorching summer of 1982, he meets Shauna, an upper middle-class girl that seems to be everything he wants and needs. 

Unfortunately, she also represents everything that he hates. 

*Downloaded the ebook via Kindle

Ache was undoubtedly an interesting read. The story dealt with topics that are raw, gritty and relatable. But while I did see the potential, enjoyed the 80s time setting and liked the plot somewhat, it just didn't quite give me the fireworks that I was hoping for. 

In the opening chapter, Connor comes in contact with this intriguing girl that rattles his demeanor in a way. I was hooked and wanted to see where their relationship would go, if they would have one. Then going into the second chapter, we find Connor setting his eyes on someone else. I was a bit confused at first because I hadn't realized that years had passed. So throughout I kept asking, "Where is that other girl?" That's when I skipped back and realized it was a few years later. For some reason I missed that. Anyway, Connor likes Shauna (for the wrong reasons) and really wants to give a relationship with her a chance. It's tough trying to win her, but they eventually come together. 

Now at first I thought, okay maybe things didn't work out with the previous girl (Bethany) and Connor wants to move on to someone else. However, I started to remember that he was a tad intoxicated that night and couldn't remember exactly who she was. I feel like the impact that his mystery girl left on him that one night made him go looking to find that in Shauna. But the whole time he's crushing on her, I was more curious about his bandmate Tonya. She's described as having deep issues. I had my suspicion about her and felt excited when I received confirmation during that confrontation at the laundromat. My curiosity heightened and I wanted to know so much more than what was being teased about Tonya, but I'm guessing we'll get her full story in the second book. 

Back to Connor and Shauna. This is where my feelings toward the story started to go all over the place. Shauna seemed like a nice girl at first; someone cool enough to not judge Connor and understand what he was going through, because he certainly had some painful physical and emotional scars. But all of a sudden they were moving so fast. I mean, I know that Connor had been crushing on her for some time, but it got too intense only after three days and I kind of felt turned off with Shauna's sudden switch in behavior. There were other things that seemed a bit random too, but they didn't bother me as much as how rushed some parts were. 

Again, it was a good read with clear and fluid writing that pulls you into the 80s punk rock scene, but for this kind of plot, I wish things had slowed down so I could connect more. I'm still interested in the series though, and am very curious about Tonya's story. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

BOOK BLITZ~Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks

Check out the promo event for Rachel A. Marks' Amazon Bestseller Darkness Brutal. 
This is the first in her exciting YA fantasy series. 

Series: The Dark Cycle #1
Release date: July 1st 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.

In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.

With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?

About the Author
Rachel A. Marks is an award-winning author and professional artist, a cancer survivor, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. She was voted: Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.


One winner will get $25 Amazon Gift Card, and 2 winners will win any one of Rachel's 8x10 artwork. Click here to view the gallery

Cover Reveal: Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

Check out the vibrant cover art for Leah Raeder's upcoming release, Cam Girl.

Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.

Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.

Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…

Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Smash Into You by Sherry Soule

25690741Series: Sorority Row #1
Release date: June 8th 2015
Publisher: Disenchanted Publishing
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Bad-Boys and Dark Secrets Are Tough To Keep

Serena DuPont isn’t interested in falling in love again. Been there, donethat, and she has the pulverized heart to prove it. Leaving behind those sucky romantic choices, she transfers to a new college her sophomore year. All Serena wants to do is pledge a sorority, stay focused on her classes, and swear off sexy players.

Tell that to Cole Prescott, the incredibly gorgeous complication that threatens to crush her newfound resolve. Keeping him in the “friend zone” won’t be easy, especially when the sizzling chemistry between them is so damn combustible. But that’s not Serena’s biggest problem...

While pledging Zeta Beta, her life gets flipped horribly upside down by a series of ominous threats, nasty rumors, and even blackmail. And the only place she finds comfort is in the arms of the off-limits frat boy she should be avoiding.

Unless Serena can prove her innocence to the ultra-saucy sorority that’s accused her of being involved in a lewd sex scandal, Serena is at risk of losing the future she’s fought so hard to rebuild. Resigned to the fate of the Greek gods, Serena might not be able to lie her way out of this epic disaster.

*Received ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Smash Into You was a very...interesting story. Though I feel interesting is not quite the word for it. I definitely enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the setting. There was never a dull moment. And I'm really curious about the next book and the direction in which Sherry will take Cole and Serena. 

Lets talk characters. Serena isn't your fluffy, cute, innocent and perfect main character as portrayed in many books. She has secrets, and is without a doubt the definition of a liar. My gosh. I can't even begin to count the amount of times she fabricated stories to cover up what happened in her past. I found her quite hilarious though. She wasn't a blah main character, and her lies only made me more curious about her situation. There were times I'd cringed because I didn't see the big deal in wanting to pledge with that shady sorority, much less have any desire to be their friends, but once things started to unravel and I got to know her more, I understood why Serena was so determined on proving her worth. 

Cole's quite the hottie and the usual player with a sweet side. I liked how his relationship with Serena grew over time, and the fact that they started out as friends was really good. It convinced me more about their true feelings and once the intensity ignited, I was all in. I felt like their emotions were true and not just thrown in the book for filler. However, I didn't think that one particular scene where things got ugly was necessary. It turned me off a tad. But then I remembered it was college and these characters were new adults. Not perfect. Still learning. 

Aside from Serena's struggles to open up and feel like she belonged, there were other interesting aspects of the story. I didn't expect the addition of suspense and trying to figure out who was trying to sabotage Serena's college and love life. And even though as the story progressed I realized just who the culprit was, it still didn't bother me. The story was intriguing enough to keep going because I wanted to know what happened to Serena to make her the way she was now, and I liked her with Cole so much that I rooted for them, and hoped for a happy ending. 

Overall, Smash Into You is a great new adult contemporary read with an exciting college setting, fluid writing, laced with drama, some sweet moments, and an unexpected mystery I didn't see coming. I enjoyed this one and can't wait for the next. Good job, Sherry!

About the Author
Sherry SouleSherry Soule is an Amazon bestselling author and lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's always wanted to live in a world where sweatpants are sexy, cupcakes don't make you fat, and she could adopt every homeless animal.

Many of her books have spent time on the 100 Kindle bestseller lists and have been nominated as Top Picks in the "Best Paranormal Romance" categories.

When she's not writing thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a dash of the mystical and a splash of trendy fashion, you can find her watching Netflix, reading on her Kindle (often crushing on fictional characters), or hanging with her zany family.

Visit her online:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BOOK BLITZ~The Guardian, A Sword & Stilettos by Kristin D. Van Risseghem

The promo event for Kristin's Young Adult Fantasy debut has ended.

Series: The Enlighten Series #1
Release date: May 20th 2015
Publisher: Kasian Publishing
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic fairy. And now there’s a new werewolf in town. 

Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. Now Zoe is under constant attack from demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil. Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.

In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.


I stumbled into Kieran as a tremor moved through me, the hairs on my arms stood at attention like tiny lightning rods. 
“Do you feel that?” my voice sounded breathless, even to me. 
He glanced sideways. “Feel what?”
“Look.” I held out my arms to him, “I feel strange. Like someone…” I rubbed my slightly numb hands over my forearms and sucked in a breath, as he hooked his head around. I fell into step beside him. “Never mind. It’s probably nothing.”
This happens when lightning’s about to strike, right? 
The heat from the sun radiated off the few cars parked along Boutique Row, their owners engaged in mid-afternoon shopping. Store fronts displayed the new and trendy ‘must-have’ dresses, shorts, and shoes for the spring season. 
I paused to see my reflection. Not a hair was out of place. Thank God.The Coffee Grind’s signature cinnamon dessert scent wafted through the air, and my teeth hurt with the memory of sinking them into it time and again. What I wouldn’t give to be able to park my back end on one of their leather wing-back chairs and crack open a book, while the fire crackled next to me in the original stone hearth.
“Earth to Zoe,” Kieran’s gentle voice broke my trance. He poked my shoulder. “Are you going to order or what?”
My face flamed. “You could’ve ordered for me.” I rummaged through my purple backpack. “You know I get the same thing every time.”
Kieran watched me rub my arms, as he told the cashier, “She’ll also have an ice water.” He tilted his head toward the menu board. “Anything else?”
“Did you order me a chai?” I asked. He nodded. “Cause you know I can’t function without a good cup of—”
“You can’t function with it, either.” 
Then I turned my attention toward the clerk, unsure if I recognized him or not. I hope he doesn’t know me. “Nothing else. Thanks.” I handed him some bills. 
“How’s track going, Zoe?” the clerk asked. 
“Think you’ll make it to State?”
I realized he was a sophomore on the team. Our paths crossed during several meets. He looked thin in his black polo shirt, and I knew a mirror would reflect a similar physique in me, though my lavender sundress tried to disguise it.
I shrugged. “I have fast times, but we’ll see. If I don’t make it this year, there’s always senior year.” My fingertips skimmed the glass display of mammoth muffins and assorted pastries as we moved down the aisle to the ‘Pick-up Here’ sign. A heavy coffee aroma hung in the air. 
A figure in dark clothing with yellow-tipped, spiked hair stared at me from outside the glass entrance door. His eyes narrowed on contact with mine. Chills rushed through my body.

About the Author
Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small river town in Minnesota with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.

Currently, Kristin lives in Eagan with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.

In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women's Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

23309653Release date: June 2nd 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life. 

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

*Received a physical ARC in exchange of an honest review

Well-written and emotional. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids has the right mixture for a warm contemporary young adult novel, angst and all. The story had me hooked from the first page, and I never drifted, not even for a second, as I continued to the end. This is my first experience with Sarah Ockler's writing and I'm impressed. I'll definitely check out her other books.

Elyse was quite the character. I sympathized with what she was going through and could understand her emotions. The way some people would get awkward around her and how difficult it was at times for her to express herself was quite sad. I couldn't imagine going through that, much less what I'd do if I'd lost my voice. The big part of the story and what made it so interesting, is the way Elyse was coping with her "loss" and her ability to let go and live. I also liked how the reader never gets to know how that happened to her until just the right time. The opening of the book really set us up for two pivotal moments and I think that was a good idea. It kept somewhat of a mystery. 

Christian came off as the playboy they made him out to be. At first. But once Elyse got to know him, his little brother, and his family, Christian turned out to me so much more. His family had a lot of issues, and his father put a lot of pressure on him. I found the Kanes to be realistic and they portrayed what many families like them go through. It was great how the book had several other factors along with Elyse's. In my opinion, that helped to drive the interest level of the story and kept it from being draggy or boring by focusing on one aspect.

Aside from the interesting characters, Ockler did a great job at capturing the scenery in words. I could see clearly every description in every scene, and even had a sense of what Tobago was like for Elyse. Sarah definitely delivered nicely. If you're a fan of young adult stories about dealing with sorrow, blossoming romance, family drama, individual emotional struggles, then I recommend giving this one a read. Great book!

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