Saturday, November 30, 2013

JEWEL of the month is "You are Mine" by Janeal Falor

Good morning my wonderful Thanksgivers! I hope you're stuffed and satisfied and ready to move on!

I've decided to start this monthly 'ritual' shall I say, of choosing the ONE book that impressed me the most out of all books I've read in that month. I think it's a pretty good idea, given all the bads, okays, goods, and brilliants out there. ONE book worth my time. ONE book worth my emotions. You can join in if you want to, or not. Leave a comment to warm my heart :)
 

This month's winner is Janeal Falor's YOU ARE MINE. It's the first one of her Mine series, and it's developed in a world full of magic, where women are used for nothing more than to enhance the magical abilities of their husband and to pass magic to the following generation. There's abuse going on, punishments and such if the father figure or the husband is disobeyed. Sick, if you ask me. We're so used to being independent, that if we suddenly get constraint like this... I dunno, I think we may just die of heart attack. Which is why the journey to independence may open up your eyes to a new look on our taken-for-granted freedom.

Anyway, I personally gave You Are Mine 5 stars. I still haven't written my review, but I was thrilled to read this phenomenal work of fiction. I won't say more, so I can leave my wonderful thoughts for my review, but it's definitely worth reading.



Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17888912-you-are-mine" there's a 43 page excerpt available to read!!
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989743209?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0989743209&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2"


Here's the summary:

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Extravaganza!!!!!

 
Good Friday morning/afternoon everyone!

It's that time of the year again.
"Which time?" - someone from the audience asks.

I roll my eyes. "Thanksgiving.. Black Friday... lots of sales and GIVEAWAYS!!!"

Yes, giveaways, y'all!!

So, what am I talking about? 50 of the biggest names in FICTION are coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving with you (and me!) ! There's going to be a Facebook party you can join for the chance to win lots of awesome prizes!!!

Enter your name in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope y'all join in the fun tonight because 50 books will be given away!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

YA Story Teller on Facebook!!!

I just wanted to let you all know, that YA Story Teller has an official FB page! I was so excited to make it, but had procrastinated for so long, I was unsure whether I should. But then I thought 'Why not?' and so here we go!

Stop by YA Story Teller on FB and like! It would mean a lot to me!

Thank you!!

Book Review: A Wicked Kind of Dark by Jonathan K. Benton


A Wicked Kind of Dark

NOTE: I received this title via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's official - this book barely took me to the end. It was unrealistic, it was shallow, it was unbelievable. Perhaps it was written for middle grade audience, but then again, if that were the case why would the characters be 17+ years old?

I just feel a bit sorry I wasted my time on it. Honestly, there are only a handful of books that have made me write something like that, but I can't bend my opinion to suit anyone. That's why it's called an honest review, I gather.

The writing style was laughable. I was more often rolling my eyes and tsk-ing than doing any valuable reading. I was eager to turn the pages so I would finally, FINALLY get to the end and be done with it. Why didn't I leave it unfinished? Gosh, I don't really know. I think it's because I was willing to give it a chance to improve, although it should've been obvious by the middle of it that it wasn't going to happen. *sigh* What's a reader willing to do just to give a higher rating...

Anyway, the story was okay. Mediocre. Unremarkable. It had potential to turn into one of those novels that people start reading after finishing Harry Potter. But having potential is quite different from using that potential and turning it into a masterpiece. I felt cheated, to be honest, that my expectations were not met.

I'd hoped for a fairy world, great tribulations in the 'wicked dark' as the title put it so well... but got nothing. I was told lots of things, but experienced nothing. I felt no compassion for the characters, I felt no desire to relief them from their troubles. Nothing at all stirred me up. I was simply an observer who wasn't taken at all by any part of this novel. None at all.

The characters didn't impress me in the slightest. I can't name even one of them without really thinking about it. The lead male, a 17 year old boy who suffers from amnesia, did not develop or grow at all. His female counterpart was there for only about 30-50 pages of the novel, so I can't really say anything about her either.

I guess the people who actually had some backbone and a slight bit of character were the artist and the Soho Soup place owner, and perhaps I do know their names, but I'm not all that sure. They were the ones who urged our male lead to believe.

Uh-huh. The boy was a coward through and through. And believing was supposed to save the world? Well, from what I saw, just believing means nothing. If the guy was less tense and more perceiving of the things surrounding him, he might've had the chance to survive in a less constraint manner.

In conclusion I can only say that A Wicked Kind of Dark did not meet my expectations. It didn't even meet half of them.

My rating is 2/5 stars

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #62

Photobucket
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week is:




Title: Enders
Series: Starters, #2
Genre: distopian
Audience:  YA
Author: Lissa Price
Release date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Summary:

Enders, the sequel to Lissa Price's thriller, Starters, is fast-paced dystopian fiction at its best.
     Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael—teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations—Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save her life—but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too . . . and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?

     No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for her and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth. Even if it kills her.

 Why I want to read it:

Starters was one of the several distopians I ended up liking. The cover is the exact opposite of Starters, which was all white and cold. This one's burning hot. I just can't wait to see what's happened with Callie and the rest of the characters!


So how about you? What amazing book are you waiting on this week?  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: The Commodore's Daughter by Jamie Brazil


The Commodore's Daughter

NOTE: I received this book from the publisher. Thank you!

The Commodore's Daughter is a really good novel about adventure, courage and honor. It's about loyalty, obedience and following our heart. It's also about women's rights and the right way to acquire them.

The voice of the POV was really alluring, making me want to turn the pages without taking time to stop. The story was unique and to be honest, I had no idea it was partially based on a true story. I do know however, that it was an original plot centered around the adventures of a 15 year old girl in the land of Japan.

The Japanese culture from all those centuries ago is very well described, and I was fully able to immerse myself into that unknown to me world. I could 'see' everything through my mind in detail as if I'd been there myself. Also, the characters were lively, making me experience their emotions as if they were my own. I could understand their way of thinking and I was really grateful that all the Japanese words were written in context of the events - if the main character was meant to understand them then I did alongside her.

Now, onto the characters:

Jennifer was a unique girl for the century she lived in. She was supposed to marry a man her had found to be 'good' for her, but she utterly refused and ran away. Ultimately, she ended holed up in her father's ship and that's how her voyage to the distant and terrifying land of Japan began.

I liked Jennifer for her spirit of independence. In the age where women had no rights, marriages were arranged for the social classes and obedience to the father figure was almost absolute, Jennifer stood out as a rebel. I'm not sure what would've happened to her had she not overslept in her father's closet, but I do know that there wasn't a better place for her than Japan. She basically flowered there. She became her true self - a brave girl, honorable and respectful.

She took up the Bushido code way more seriously than I expected, and that may have just saved the lives of thousands.

I was honestly impressed by her - I mean, she was stranded all alone among the Japanese whose law demands that no foreigner is to be left alive; she only spoke English, and the Japs only spoke Japanese... and Jennifer not only survived to tell the tale, but she actually made friends, learned the Japanese language and customs and even some martial arts! In my opinion, that's quite a lot to expect from a young girl. Yet, perhaps because of her age she was quick to think, agile to learn and innocent enough to be able to befriend some kindhearted people.

Keiko, was the daughter of a samurai. The samurai who saved Jennifer and took her in his home. I think Keiko was just the type of friend Jennifer needed. She was kind, loving, driven, honest and honorable. She was also keen to learn and teach, and had strategically placed friends of her own. Together, the two girls turned into young women driven by the purpose to save the relations between two great nations.

Ruy (I think) was this farmer boy, who came into Jennifer's life with a flash. He did not stop surprising me till the end of the story. He was not who he pretended to be (most of the time) - or rather, he was too many things at once to even begin to understand his many layers. He was brave though and there was honor in him and loyalty to the right person.

The last character I want to mention is Jennifer's father. The guy was a sea wolf. The majority of his life was spent on a ship, away from his family and close to roughened up men. Which is why his love and kindness toward Jennifer felt special to me. Sure, he did pretend to act as if he was so superior and nothing could unearth him, but seriously? He was a girl's daddy - soft and meek on the inside. I really think he appreciated Jennifer even more for becoming the independent young woman she was in the end. He was truly an impressive man.


In conclusion, I'd like to say that The Commodore's Daughter was an enjoyable read that introduces the lively world of Japan from a couple of centuries back as it clashes with the newly found freedom of a teenage girl.



My rating is 4/5 stars

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cover reveal + excerpt! LEGEND of ME & THE WINTER PEOPLE by Rebekah Purdy

Today Rebekah Purdy and Entangled Teen are revealing the covers for LEGEND OF ME, releasing in early 2014. And THE WINTER PEOPLE, releasing July 1, 2014! Check out the gorgeous covers, exclusive excerpts, and enter to win an eARC of each!


On to the reveals!


About the Book
LEGEND OF ME
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: Early 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location.

But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her…

Exclusive Excerpt!

Brambles scratched my legs, snagging my skirt. Gnarled trees bent in gruesome forms, while thick shadows splayed out beneath them. A heavy gloom settled over the woodland as wisps of fog slithered like snakes against the ground. I shivered.

Don’t think. I picked an animal trail to follow, stepping over dead branches and forest debris. Blood pounded in my ears and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I twisted around to glance behind me.

Nothing there. Only the trees. Urgency gripped hold of me and I picked up my pace once more. As I scrambled through the thicket, an overwhelming scent of rotten meat made me gag. I covered my mouth with my hand and stopped running when a bright red piece of fabric caught my eye. With hesitant steps, I moved toward it.

“Oh God.” I stumbled. There, sticking out from beneath a barberry bush was a severed arm, its finger pointed at me in accusation. My breath came in gasps as I scanned the rest of the clearing.

My foot nudged against something and I looked down in horror to find the head of Liam Gatekeeper staring up at me.

I screamed, backing away as fast as I could. All around me were pieces of his body scattered like breadcrumbs. I shielded my eyes with my hands, until I bumped into something else.

With another scream, I whipped around only to find myself faced with an oak tree covered in dried blood and deep claw marks. My vision darkened and I prayed I wouldn’t faint, that I wouldn’t be stuck in the woods. Because somewhere out here, a monster lurked. If I didn’t believe it before, I did now. The beast was real.


About the Book
THE WINTER PEOPLE
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622663682

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.
Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

Exclusive Excerpt!

The sky darkened with ominous storm clouds. Giant flakes fell onto my face, sticking to my eyelashes and cheeks. Snow blew unhindered across the yard into what looked like small tornadoes.

Oh God. It’s happening again. The frigid air. The creaking of the treetops beneath the wind. Even the way the snow blew across the yard.

I only had one more feeder. Just needed to toss the seeds in then I could leave. Be safe.

The pond water rippled, while the trees bent beneath the strong gusts. Soon, everything became so white I couldn’t see the house. In the distance a strange tinkling sounded, like dozens of wind chimes.

What had the shrink told me to do?

Ten, nine, eight. Breathe. Seven, six, five. Shit!

Panic stole my thoughts. I backed away from the pond as the flurries swirled toward me. Chasing me.

Then, I bumped into something—something that felt quite human. A firm chest, arms, hands. Not something, someone. A shriek tumbled from my lips and I spun around to face my captor.

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” a soft masculine voice said, pale hands clinging to my arms as he kept me from falling.

My gaze followed those long fingers, up black leather sleeves, to the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen. My breath caught in my throat. I’m gawking. But I couldn’t help it. His raven hair shot with strands of blue, his face pale and perfect, like an ice sculptor had chiseled it into existence. His eyes—oh God, his eyes. They were the palest blue I’d ever seen. Glacial. He had to be over six feet tall, muscles evident through the tight shirt he wore beneath an unzipped jacket.

His mouth turned up at the corners as if enjoying my scrutiny. A cocky grin that made my cheeks warm.

“You’re trespassing.” I tried to keep the tremble from my voice. “This is private property, or can’t you read the signs?” Bravo, that’s right, scare him off with your bitchiness.

He chuckled. And it sounded like the low song of the chimes. “Doris doesn’t mind me coming around. In fact, I’ve met you before, Salome.”

My name on his lips made my knees go buttery. I groaned inwardly.

“You know my grandma?” I fidgeted with the bucket still in hand.

He gave a nod. “Yeah, I’ve known her for years. But I haven’t seen you since you were a child.”

Warning bells went off in my mind, but I pushed them aside. If he knew my grandma, then he must be okay. “Funny, I don’t remember you at all.”

“Don’t you, Salome?” Strands of my hair blew about my face. He reached a hand out as if to touch them then stopped, dropping his arms back to his side.

“No. Grandma’s never mentioned you.”

He gave me another cocky grin. “Well then, maybe we should be reacquainted.”

“Or maybe not.” I snorted. “I’m not sure how you got on the property, Grandma keeps all the gates locked.”

He produced an antique-looking skeleton key. “She gave me this. Like I said, Doris has known me for a long time.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, it’s just my grandma never mentioned I’d have visitors.” In fact, I wondered why she didn’t ask this guy to watch her house instead of me.

The arrogance left his face and he stared at me. “Perhaps, we can try this again.” He held his hand out to me. “I’m Nevin.”



 About Rebekah: 


Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). She’s lived there most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army.  At which time she got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.
She works full time for the court system and in her free time she writes YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for her, but her favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.
She also has a big family–she like to considers them the modern day Brady Bunch. When her hubby and her met and got married, he had 3 children from a previous marriage, she had 2 and  have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.
And she can’t forget her other family members–yep, they’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats,  and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…she won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked her into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s her dog’s name), Callie, Shadow, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of her other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with her kids, and traveling.
She belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it they all write YA!
REPPED by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.
And that’s her in a big ‘ol nutshell.


Giveaway Details:
1 eARC of LEGEND OF ME International
1 eARC of THE WINTER PEOPLE International
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Book Blitz: Afterparty by Ann Stampler

Good Sunday morning to everyone!

Here's some awesome news I've got to share with y'all. Afterparty by Ann Stampler, published by Simon and Schuster is moving towards publication! It's coming out on December 31st of this year, so that's a little over a month away!

For this reason, Ann and her publisher are revealing three awesome chapters, available to read through SCRIBD.

And, they are also doing a giveaway with a copy of Afterparty! To participate, follow the Rafflecopter widget below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, here's what the fuss is all about:

A toxic friendship takes a dangerous turn in this riveting novel from the author of Where It Began.

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother—whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her…and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma isn’t.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, a bash where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

Buy Links:


A little about the author:

Ann Stampler was the mild mannered author of literary picture books when she broke out, tore off her tasteful string of pearls, and started writing edgy, contemporary young adult novels set in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and writer’s-helper rescue dog – without whose compelling distraction she would have no doubt penned dozens of novels by now.

Social media links:
Twitter: @annstampler
The writing life blog: www.annstampler.com/ya
Novel in the Oven: Really Bad Writing Advice (among other things): www.annstampler.blogspot.com

Tumblr/Pinterest/Etc:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Blitz: PSS Chronicles by Ripley Patton

PSS Chronicles book blitz banner2

Today is my post during the book blitz for the PSS Chronicles series by Ripley Patton.This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours .

The PSS Chronicles consist of 2 books so far: Ghost Hand (PSS Chronicles #1) and Ghost Hold (PSS Chronicles #2). To celebrate the one year anniversary of Ghost Hand, Ghost Hand will be free during this book blitz and Ghost Hold will be for sale for $0.99. Also don't forget to stop by the Facebook anniversary event

ghost handGhost Hand (PSS Chronicles #1)  
by Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age Category: Young Adult
Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
You can find Ghost Hand on Goodreads

You can download Ghost Hand for free here:
- Amazon
- Kobo
 
ghost holdGhost Hold (PSS Chronicles #2) 
by Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age Category: Young Adult

Blurb:Olivia Black is back.

Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.

Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.

Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.

You can find Ghost Hold on Goodreads

You can buy Ghost Hold here:
- Amazon
 
About the Author:Ripley
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.

Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.

You can find Ripley here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Google+

And here are a couple of excerpts that got me wanting to read these books. :)

Ghost Hand Excerpt:

Five minutes into my Calc test, I glanced up and caught the new guy staring.

I looked down, following his gaze, and saw that my fingers were shimmering around the edges.
I yanked my hand into my lap and my pencil flew out of it, clattering to the floor.

It landed in the aisle and rolled toward New Guy’s desk. He put out a foot, trapping it, and kicked it back my direction, his glance following its progress as it came back to me, bumping up against the thick sole of my boot. His eyes rose up my multi-buckled calf to my thigh, then to my lap, stopping at the spot where I was doing my best to hide my hand under my desk.

But we could both see the pool of blue PSS energy, shapeless and pulsing, writhing at the end of my wrist stump.

I looked up again, locking eyes with him.

His expression was unreadable. He didn’t look surprised, or afraid, or alarmed. He just looked, his eyes fixed on my wacked-out hand, as if curious to see what it would do next.

I gritted my teeth and tried to focus my PSS back into shape. I was not going to be this guy’s personal freak show. I could fix this. It was just mind over matter.

But it didn’t work. If anything, the more I tried, the worse it got, expanding and losing even more definition. The burning sensation grew so intense I squeezed my eyes shut against it. All around me, I could hear the scrape and shuffle of students getting up and handing in their tests. I bent over my desk, trying to block my hand from view. For a moment, I thought about getting up and running out of class, but someone would see my hand for sure if I did that. Maybe if I took a deep breath, and calmed down, it would go back to normal on its own.

As if in response to that thought, the pain suddenly eased off.

I opened my eyes.

New Guy was leaning over the edge of his desk, and there seemed to be something wrong with his neck. He kept jerking his head toward Passion Wainwright, the girl who sat in front of me. What did he want? An introduction? If so, his timing was utter crap.

Leave me alone,” I mouthed past clenched lips.

He shook his head and gave an exaggerated nod toward Passion again, rolling his eyes in her direction.

This time, I turned and looked.

Something was crawling up Passion’s back.

Not just one something. Five somethings. Five elongated, wisp-thin tendrils, winding their way up Passion’s chair, climbing her back, fluttering at the strands of hair that had escaped from her ponytail, making a moving, barely-perceptible pattern of bluish light on the back of her white turtleneck so faint I could almost convince myself it was an optical illusion.

Except it wasn’t.

It was my hand, my five fingers stretching impossibly and rising from under the front of my desk, groping the back of Passion Wainwright.

I yanked my wrist in toward my body, but it made no difference. I couldn’t feel my hand, couldn’t control those fingers or call them back.

Passion shivered, as if she felt a draft, and absently brushed an undulating tendril away from her neck.

The thickest finger, the one in the middle, rose up along her spine, stopping at a spot right between her shoulder blades. It held level for a moment, weaving back and forth like some ghostly snake dancing to the tune of an invisible flute. Then it dipped forward, slipping silently through the thin cotton fabric of Passion’s shirt and straight into her back.

She didn’t make a sound as she went limp, her torso gently slanting toward her desk; the tendril of PSS embedded in her back the only thing holding her up.

I didn’t make a sound either, didn’t move, didn’t dare. What if moving made it worse? Oh my God, a voice yammered in my head, you think this could get worse?

I could feel New Guy’s eyes boring into the side of my head. Obviously, he could see my PSS skewering Passion. Why didn’t he jump up and scream and point? How could he just be sitting there so calmly?

I had to get away. From Passion. From everyone. But if I bolted, would my PSS come with me or stretch between my wrist and Passion like some horrible, incriminating rubber band? What would that do to my hand? What would it do to Passion?

I had no idea.

And before I could figure it out, the bell rang.


Ghost Hold Steamy Excerpt:
 
Marcus crossed back to the faucet of the now-full tub and turned it off. He bent over and turned on the jets, which kicked up a lot more steam and a lot more noise. I was starting to melt inside my own clothes, and he must have been too, because when he turned back to me he was slipping his t-shirt over his head.
 
"What are you doing?" I asked, my voice coming out a little strangled.
 
"You and I need to talk," he said, letting the shirt drop to the floor.
 
"Yes," I said, trying not to gawk at his chest and the way the steam swirled into it, his PSS shining back and coloring the mist a soft blue hue. "But can't we do that with our clothes on?"
 
"We need to talk where I'm sure no one can hear us," he said, his hands going to the snap of his jeans. The zipper was next. He had on red tartan boxers. He slid the jeans down his legs, turned, slipped off the boxers, and stepped into the tub, sinking down into it with an audible moan.
 
I stood there stunned. I had just seen Marcus naked. He'd just stripped to his beautiful bare ass right in front of me as if it were nothing. Yes, we'd been sleeping in a tent together for weeks, and making out, but when one of us changed clothes, the other still looked away. Marcus and I had not gotten naked together. We hadn't even come close, because I always held back. I couldn’t even bring myself to reach my hands inside his shirt. What if my flesh hand accidentally went into his chest and disrupted his PSS? Even worse, what if my ghost hand reached into him and pulled something horrible out? I was pretty sure either of those scenarios would be a serious buzz kill to our intimacy.
 
"Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had a bath?" he said, almost a purr, laying his head back on the edge of the tub and closing his eyes.
 
"I—no—I haven't had one for like a month," I stammered, looking down at the tile floor, completely flustered.
 
"Olivia," he said softly, and I looked up to find his eyes boring into me, dewy drops captured on those thick dark lashes. "Come here."
 
I crossed obediently to the side of the bath, both relieved and a bit disappointed to find that the burbling of the jets obscured most of what was in it. Except his PSS chest. It glowed and pulsed like some half-submerged, cerulean, underwater treasure.
 
Marcus put his hand out for mine. The invitation was obvious.
 
This was crazy. There was no way we were going to be able to talk, coherently, in a bathtub together.
 
"It's a big tub," he said, nodding at the other end, "and I promise to be good."
 
Yeah, but it wasn't just him I was worried about. If I got in the tub with Marcus, I would be in the tub with Marcus. "But I—" I looked down at myself. I had on my sleeping tank with no bra underneath, my sweatpants, and underwear.
 
"You have no idea how relaxing this is," he said, slipping his hand back into the water and closing his eyes. Either he was taunting me, or giving me a chance to undress without him watching. Probably both.
 
"You bastard," I muttered under my breath. I slipped off my shoes and sweatpants and padding barefoot to the far end of the tub. I was not going in completely naked. I wasn’t that much of a fool. I kept my tank and underwear on and stepped into the hot swirling water. As I slid down into it, jets pounding my butt and back, the wet heat rising up and swallowing all my aches and pains in its pure liquid magic, I couldn't keep the moan from escaping my lips either. 
 
And I didn't miss the effect that sound had on my bath mate.
 
One of his lean, muscular legs brushed mine, trembling. And his eyes widened. And his breath came a little faster across the water, far less relaxed then it had been only a moment before. 

Well, that got me curious. I suggest you check it out, I'm sure you're gonna like both books!

Friday, November 22, 2013

I just finished reading Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding




I was given this book by Entangled Teen and am on the blog tour for it!!! I'm so glad I was chosen to participate, because it was a unique read.

Not that I've expected anything less from Amy Spalding. I mean, her first published book, The Reece Malcolm List was also very good.

Now people, this is only a short post, since I'm doing a full review for my tour stop, which will be on December 12th. Mark your calendars y'all!!!

Amy Spalding is a really talented writer. Ink was amazing in every sense of the word. And it definitely had a teen voice. Not a dumb one, where you wonder what on earth the person is thinking doing this or that. But a really true one. And I liked it.

Here's the summary if you haven't already checked it out:

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Memory's Door by James L. Rubart


Memory's Door

NOTE: I received the book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

I was a bit disappointed by Memory's Door. I guess the reason is the high bar that Soul's Gate put up at the start line. Truth is, I was expecting way more from this book. I mean, I got A LOT out of Soul's Gate - chills, moved spirit, lots and lots of love and mystery and such. But here? None of the above, which is a tragedy because I really wanted it to be more than just another average read.

I guess the storyline was good enough. Nothing special that grabbed my attention as, you know, amazing. Rubart took us on a tour through all four of the Warriors Riding like he did in Soul's Gate. We saw things in Marcus's soul that we hadn't known were there. We saw the disappointment and frustration in Reece, the uncertainty in Dana and the unfortunate coming down of Brandon. That was all good.

But that's just it. Good. Not great and surely, it could've been. Right? I mean, it had the potential and everything. Especially with the rise of the Evil One and the spirit of the Wolf and such...

And that Wolf? I was expecting so much more of it. I won't say what it turned out to be, but I was disappointed. I don't know what I'd envisioned, but definitely not what it was. What the Wolf came out to be was something a bit lame. Something too common for our world to really peak my attention. I guess that could be taken as the Wolf's way to wiggle into our society and all, but it just didn't give me the chills. Actually, it didn't make me feel anything at all. It's like Rubart tried to make this huge thing out of it, but it just didn't work for me.

I did like the final battle (although it felt sort of rushed/forced/unanticipated). Sure, it wasn't final final, but it was final for the book.

Something else that lowered my rating was the writing style. It did bother me a little in Soul's Gate, but there everything else sort of took my mind off of it. Here? I was really irritated at how Rubart was explaining everything. As if the reader is a five year old. I can't give any quotes or examples (because it's been several weeks since I read it and it obviously didn't stick in my mind all that much), for which I am sorry. Proof would've been nice.

What I did like though was the growth of the characters. In Soul's Gate we met one quartet, in Memory's Door they're still the same people, but quite different too. They've grown. Sure, they still struggle with a lot, but they do find it in them to wage battle.

Most of all I liked Dana. She's grown to be a true leader. Both to the Warriors Riding, and also at her job. And the change in her heart toward Brandon made me giddy (What can I say? I love romance!). I really liked her ability to seek and see the truth that the Spirit provides, not the truth of the world. She was quite amazing that way.

Reece disappointed me quite a bit with his frustration with the Lord not healing him when he wanted to be healed. Sorry, but that was just silly. A true believer KNOWS that the Lord never does anything when and how a person wishes it. Because obviously the Lord has bigger and greater plans for us than what our minds could possibly imagine. So, if we're to take for real the fact that Reece is a strong believer, then we're at least to be given a reason to trust that fact. Instead, we're met with a Reece who's more enveloped in his own self-wallowing than the importance of the Warriors' mission. He's grown lazy, procrastinating and incredibly irritating.

Brandon still acts like a hippie whose brain capacity isn't all that big. I'm sorry for saying this, but it rings true to my ears. Sure, he's a singer, but do singers have limited thought processes? No education? Immature vocabulary? And I'm not talking current show-your-naked-self-in-front-the-whole-world kind of singers, because in their case the answer is obvious. I'm talking believer artists with higher agendas, who should be setting higher standards.

Marcus was his usual self. Too brought down by guilt and the false weight of something he didn't do, but still Marcus through and through. I couldn't believe how long it took him to fess up to his wife about all the guilt he was feeling. And I also couldn't believe that he was taking for granted the words of a demon! *sigh* Nobody's perfect, I know, but seriously? In our everyday lives, we're discouraged and deceived by unknown sources. Marcus knew the source of deception and still thought it a good idea to trust it. Good thing some sense was knocked into him in the end, or I could've just ended up hating him or something.

In conclusion there's nothing much to say. Just that I'd expected more, but gotten less. Don't get me wrong, it was still a good read, just not the superb one I was hoping for.

My rating is 3.5/5 stars

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #61

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week is:




Title: Have No Mercy
Series: Cambion, #4
Genre: paranormal/urban fantasy
Audience:  YA
Author: Shannon Dermott
Release date: December 31st, 2013
Publisher:  Wicked Truth Publishing

Summary:

With determination that has no bounds, Mercy has set on a quest to make things right. Life is a journey and hers has been a bumpy road. None of that matters. She will have no mercy for anyone that gets in her way. No matter the price or at the cost of her own life, she will persevere.

Her actions may have caught up with her. Their consequences may be dire. However, thrust into another realm on a promise that seems meaningless now, she will find her heart in an unexpected place. Love will conquer all and the two will become one if they are all to survive.

Above the rest, one consequence however may derail her plans. The demon she freed with her dagger may prove to be more dangerous dead than alive.

 Why I want to read it:

The Cambions series is pretty good. Lots of drama and entangled characters.


So how about you? What amazing book are you waiting on this week?