Blog Tour/Review: Rook by JC Andrijeski

Title: Rook (Brodge & Sword: Awakenings #1)
Author: J.C. Andrijeski
Publication date: April 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction

From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Thoughts

I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect with this story. It definitely sounded intriguing from the summary, though as I’ve been trying to push myself out of my typical reading wheelhouse, this fell into the category of something I’d maybe reach for. Science Fiction has always intrigued me.

Allie is an interesting character. With the struggling artist vibe and a bit of mystery, we’re thrown into her life right away. Her best friend, Cass, and her brother, Jon, are introduced right away and we’re sort of thrust in without too much description. The dialogue provides enough back story to get an idea of what the world is like from the beginning so we can jump into the action pretty quickly.

While I enjoyed this story, I wanted to know more. Being put right in the story meant we didn’t have as much to go on in terms of backstory. At times, the dialogue felt forced, as well. 

Overall, this was definitely an interesting story with some great direction. It’s great for someone who enjoys the post-apocalyptic, science fiction style. I don’t think I would read more in this series, but that shouldn’t keep another reader who is intrigued from reading. There’s a lot of thought-provoking plot in this story, and the characters are diverse and dynamic.

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 3/5 Stars
Dialogue– 3/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 2.5/5
Ending – 3/5 Stars

Total: 3/5 Stars

 

Author Bio:

JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.

To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.

If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter

JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Blog Tour/Review: The Longing and the Lack by C.M. Spivey

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Title: The Longing and the Lack (The Unliving #1)
Author: C.M. Spivey
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

“Gothic curses, deadly love affairs, and vengeful
ghosts combine to make this paranormal mystery a compelling page-turner.” — Tina Connolly, Nebula-nominated author of Ironskin

Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.

Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone’s imminent demise—except Lucinda’s friends and family are still breathing.

The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father’s hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.

It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the
death omens are for him.

They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son
every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit’s rage to rest.

A dark romance for fans of Diane Setterfield and the TV show Supernatural,
The Longing and the Lack is a Gothic story for the modern age.

My Thoughts

Spivey does an excellent job pulling the reader in with the first few pages. I found myself on the edge of my seat for the majority of this book, excited to get to the next page and see what was coming. Her use of dialogue and imagery to push the plot made me feel like I was across the pond experiencing this story. I think part of the reason I enjoyed the dialogue so much is because I typically throw in a little flare into my conversations – fun language, proper wording, some tongue-in-cheek statements.

Let’s talk about that cover for a minute – wow! If I hadn’t already been pulled in by the plot, the cover would have grabbed me for sure!

Lucinda is a fun and strong character from the get-go, and you can tell something is a bit off about her. Going with her on her journey to find out her history and sort out the world of Damien and what that is to her. I was gripped from the start and enjoyed the folklore of this tale. I enjoyed the twisty adventure of this novel, antsy about what was coming next, but not quite sure I wanted to truly know. Looking forward to reading more from Spivey.

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4/5 Stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

cmspivey2017BWbigAuthor Bio:

C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and the paranormal series, “The Unliving”. His enduring love of fantasy started young. Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own
works—and as a trans, panromantic asexual, he’s committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.

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Review: ReWired by S.R. Johannes

Title: ReWired 
Author: S.R. Johannes
Publication Date: August 27th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

YA cyber thriller, ReWIRED, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.

Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.

It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.

With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Thoughts

 

 

This is apparently a time when I’m delving into all kinds of books that haven’t been in my repertoire before. This tech-themed thriller was definitely out of my wheelhouse, but I’m not complaining! This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I found I couldn’t get to the next page fast enough. This YA-appropriate book was the perfect byte of intriguing and informative while not being so overly techy that I lost interest. As a self-proclaimed nerd, I was impressed by the level of detail and realism portrayed throughout this book regarding the hacking world. 

Ada is a fun character with understandable issues, as explained early on in the book. She was well-developed and kept me interested in her story.

It’s amazing how much technology has truly taken over our lives. The thought of being cut off from my phone, computer, and any other form of tech connection is a bit overwhelming for me, as I’m sure it is for quite a few people. 

The twists and turns in this book were deviously delicious. I look forward to reading others by this author!

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4.5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.4/5 Stars

S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.

Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with hEnglish-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Review: Trap and Tour by Megan Carney

Title: Trap and Trace
By: Megan Carney
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Adventure, Thriller

A sabotaged CIA operation makes Navy Trent a captive. But surviving the kidnapping is just the beginning of her ordeal. The CIA will kill her if she doesn’t stay quiet. The saboteurs will kill her if she does. Navy is forced into a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse where only her wits – and a little bit of luck – can keep her alive.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Thoughts

Welcome to my stop on the tour! I received an ARC of Trap and Trace in exchange for an honest review.

When I first signed up for this tour, I was intrigued because this is out of my typical genre to read, and I sure wasn’t disappointed. I devoured this book from e-cover to e-cover. Carney does a great job of making each character their own, ensuring their personalities don’t overlap and giving you something to remember about each on.

I was particularly drawn to Navy, our main character. She could have easily become a damsel in distress, but instead was represented as a strong female character. I love that she stepped out of the norm of what stereotypical literature paints females to be.

Through the many twists and turns of this novel, I was on the edge of my seat. I ate this book up in such a short period of time, my head was spinning after I finished it. I felt like I was in the story with them due to Carney’s descriptions – filled with just enough for me to see what she wanted, but then just enough left out to let my mind wander and feel the anxiety and roller coaster this novel creates.

This was my first Megan Carney book, but definitely won’t be my last!

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4.5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4.5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.3/5 Stars

Author Bio:

Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”

Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.

 

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I’m baaaack!

After a slightly unplanned hiatus where I spent the majority of my time editing for Michele G. Miller and Mindy Hayes AND attaining couple new clients, I was also working a more-than full time job, spending time with my family, and dealig with the lemons life brings.

I will post a more exciting update soon! But expect a stream of reviews, some marketing fun, author interviews, and some other intriguing changes. This blog will be evolving.

Get ready for the evolution!

Book Review: Bullies like Me by Lindy Zart

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By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 2016

Genre: Young Adult

I received an ARC from Lindy Zart in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

If you can make it out of Enid High School alive, you can make it through anything.

Alexis is the new girl at school, and she’s ruthlessly bullied. Hopeless, and drowning in her present reality, she takes pills—lots of pills. She’s sent to a mental health facility, where she meets a boy. Only the boy can’t save her, and no one can save her from herself.

Nick has secrets. He wants to open up to Alexis, but there’s the dead boy who haunts him. In his dreams. While he’s awake. He wants to be brave, but he can’t tell her about his past, and he can’t leave the facility.

Melanie rules over the school, until a nobody named Lexie tries to disrupt her reign. She won’t allow that. She also can’t stop it. She plummets into notoriety, but she’s determined to take them all with her. The girl, the boy, and their secrets.

*~*
My Thoughts

This is absolutely my favorite Lindy Zart book thus far. Her words are real, empowering, and fear-inducing at the same time. Lindy tells the truth, whether we want to hear or it not, voicing what needs to be said in a world battered and broken. This book is not just another for the shelf. It’s a confession, a confirmation, and a lesson. This book will stay with me for quite some time. As soon as I finished this book, I had to take a moment to breathe. From the very first page to the end of the author’s note and closing my Kindle app, my heart was jumping at a rapid rate; I’m certain my neighbors could hear the intense drum beating in my chest. Lindy slayed me with this book. I got it. I felt it. I believed it.

I don’t typically highlight in the books I read, but there were so many that struck me. Lindy’s word choices are deliberate, each one a note to a very somber song that loops in your head long after the radio shuts off.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, but quickly found myself buried in the pages, engrossed in each character’s story and point of view. I felt Alexis’ inner demons trying to claw their way out, Nick’s darkness twisting and pulling, and Melanie’s persistence and blindness. 

I’ve dealt with bullying. Not to anywhere near the extent of this book, but I remember taking on the role of the “bully to the bullies” in junior high. I didn’t actually bully anyone, I simply stood up for those who were being bullied. I distinctly remember two times this happened. I remember one of my friends walking down the hall between classes, a massive stack of books in her arms. This girl was someone often found at the butt of someone’s joke. I was across the hall from her, going to my next class, when I saw another kid, infamously known for being a jerk, walking up to her with intent written across his smug face. His hand went up into the air, and I remember hurrying across the hall to stand in front of him, a blockade, staring up at his six-foot-plus frame. “Don’t even think about it.” Standing over a foot shorter than this bully, I felt to height difference, not rank difference, no fear. And he backed away. I don’t know what happened after that. I just remember the books staying in her arms. The other time I remember is when I was walking through the school after hours, waiting to go to some activity, or perhaps just leaving one. Two of my male friends were about to fight each other, or maybe it was a friend of mine and someone else. Whatever the case, we were in a stairwell, just us, no one around for what felt like miles, and suddenly they were going at each other. Shoving this way, pushing that, fists flying, words and spit spewing. Without thinking, I jumped in the middle of it and split them up. Just me.

I don’t know why these moments stand out so much, especially after so many years. One thing I know is bullying is a problem. I’ve been bullied, harassed, abused, all at varying levels and at different points in my life. I’ve dealt with wondering about the meaning of my own life, the worth of existing. I’m still here. Not everyone is. Not everyone comes out stronger. We need to all take action, to stop bullying. Be there for each other. Love is so much more incredible than hate.

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 5/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5 Stars
Ending – 5/5 Stars

Total: 5 Stars

Links
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BookBlogWriMo – All the rest

Better late than never, right? ;P

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My favorite male character? This is an easy one: Ponyboy from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. He’s a noble and loving character who doesn’t match the rest of his group. Every time I read this book, I feel the same pull toward him that I have since my very first read in 5th grade.

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Favorite pairs are as follows:

  • Xander and Skye in Never Let You Fall/Never Let You Go by Michele G Miller (the third book is an upcoming edit! I’m so excited.)
  • Hunter and Morgan in the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan (this is only the first set of books in one book that I’ve linked. The whole series is a great one to check out!)

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I’ve committed very few book sins, most notable being dog-earing pages and skimming pages to finish a book I wasn’t terribly into.

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I am thankful for all of the authors who share their words with me. If I were to pick three today who have impacted me in some way, I’d have to go with:

  1. Michele G Miller – For those who have followed me for a while, took a peek at my other pages on this blog, or know me personally, then you know why Michele is someone I am thankful for. She took a chance on me a couple years ago and asked me to edit her books. Since then, at least seven books later, she’s become a great friend, an inspiration, and a great partner. Her books always bring me to a new place, and it’s been amazing watching her grow over the last few years.
  2. Lindy Zart – There is not a single Zart book that I don’t jump on to read before release. Her books have made their way onto my blog in one way or another. There’s a little something for everyone and every mood. I enjoy reading through all of her literary endeavors and being friends with her on Facebook. Zartian for life.
  3. J.K. Rowling – I grew up with the world of Harry Potter. I looked forward to every book release and then the movies. I still love to escape to Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, turning the pages like it’s my first time reading the books again.

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My favorite cover right now is that of Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost by Michele G Miller and Mindy Hayes.

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N/A. I haven’t really read anything with a forbidden love, at least nothing that stands out.

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I tend to just travel the internet and see what’s going on. I receive emails from various authors and book blogs, follow pages on Facebook, and generally try to keep an eye out on what may come across my path. It’s worth noting that I am fairly passive in my book news searching, though. If it falls into my lap, I’m aware, otherwise I’m too busy to keep up-to-date.

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See favorite authors response from above.

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Haha, I tried thinking of this for quite some time and in my sleepy haze all I could think about is Ginny Weasley through the Harry Potter series. Her transformation from first book to last is incredible, and she was always one of my favorite characters.

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I want to continue working on this blog, improving and enhancing what I have. I will be working toward a more scheduled approach at posting here. I also plan on launching more information regarding my editing services. In general, I want to read more and take more time away from life outside and go on more literary adventures.

This year’s BookBlogWriMo was hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 21 onward.

I am thankful for easy bedtimes, a lit tree, hot cocoa during cold weather, having a job, soft tissues, pictures, music, my husband and little one, shoe boxes filled with memories, and my family and friends.