#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – My Top Ten Posts and Thanks

#BookBlogWriMo Day 11 – #TopTuesday – My Most Popular Posts of All Time

I have actually never used this feature on my blog before, so it was really interesting to see what posts have accumulated a following and what ones aren’t as popular. Here are my top ten posts so far. My blog has only recently begun gaining more traffic as I’ve been posting more, but I’m excited to see what has been doing well.

#10 C: The Four C’s to a Great Book and a Successful Review From Me – 4/4/2014 – 22 views – This is actually one of my favorite posts on this blog. It pretty much spells it all out – what I review and what it takes to get a good rating from me. I have received some great feedback for this post and it’s a great reference for authors and other bloggers who are looking for ideas on a reviewing system.

#9 Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey – 10/10/2014 – 22 views – Blog tours are always great traffic drivers.

#8 Book Boyfriends and Lady Loves – Updated 2/6/2014 – 23 views – Ah, another one of my favorite posts on this blog. I haven’t updated this in a while, so I’m due for another few lovely fellers and ladies.

#7 #BookBlogWriMo Day 1 – The History of My Blog and Thanks – 11/1/2014 – 26 views – Self explanatory. From just a few days ago!

#6 Book Review: From the Wreckage by Michele G. Miller – 7/9/2014 – 29 views – For those who don’t know, I am Michele’s editor. This is awesome. Beyond awesome, really. I met Michele through my blogging, joined her street team, then the rest is history. I started editing for her on the third book in this series – All That Remains. This series is awesome and Michele is a phenomenal author.

#5 A Little Bit About Me and My Love For Books – 3/7/2014 – 32 views – This post has a whole lot of information about me in interview-ish form. Worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more.

#4 Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – 2/27/2014 – 37 views – My first ever book review! Not really a huge fan of the book, though. Ha!

#3 My First Rafflecopter Giveaway – 10/24/2014 – 50 views – Another milestone! Hoping to do a huge giveaway in January when my blog hits one year!

#2 Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert – 11/3/2014 – 51 views – Part of a blog tour, #Nerd was a fun read and I’m excited that the next book will be coming out soon. 🙂 If there’s a tour for that one, I will definitely be participating.

#1 Blog Tour – Review – Unlit Star by Lindy Zart – 10/10/2014 – 95 views! – This is one of the most incredible books I have read. When I go into the search stats for my blog (aka, how people found my blog and posts) many of them have been searches for “Unlit Star” and the various characters and plot points within. I’m always on board for Lindy Zart’s book tours, as she’s one of my favorite authors.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 11

I am thankful for all of those military men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line each day.

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – #Nerd by Cambria Hebert

#Nerd (The Hashtag Series)
By: Cambria Hebert
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Format of Book: E-Book
*~*
Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together…
In more ways than one.
She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn’t even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo’s relationship.
But that’s about to change.
It starts with a dare. An initiation. A challenge.
Quickly, it turns into more. But when you’re a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.
Stick to your circle.
And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.
*~*
Welcome to my stop on the #Nerd blog tour! *I received at free ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.
*~*

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
I found the characters here to be well-developed and interesting. Their personalities were stark contrast from one another, which was effective in keeping the story interesting. Rimmel Hudson is the main character. to start, her name is different than typical leading females. She’s a “nerd” with secrets. Rimmel secluded herself from others, but she is in no way a doormat. Her love of animals pulled me in, but I found that she very easily gets swept up in her emotions. Roman “Romeo” Anderson is a jock with his own set of problems. He has earned himself the nickname “Romeo” for obvious reasons. Our first impressions of this guy are pretty gross and, to be frank, I still don’t like him. Regardless of anything redeeming about him, unfortunately he left a sour taste in myself. But don’t mistake that for a dislike of this book – these characters fit together very well in the context of this story. Ivy is Rimmel’s roommate and they are polar opposites. I’d love to get the know Ivy a bit more. And then there’s Braeden – what Roman lacks, Braeden has. I like him a lot and want to know more about him, as well.

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
The dialogue is well-executed and realistic. I enjoyed the conversations between characters and the Alpha Buzz alerts.

Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
This story felt very familiar, but while it is not wholly original, I liked it. Perhaps it’s my own nerdiness, but I enjoyed the movement of the plot. They pace was realistic, especially where it takes place in college. There was a but of steam, but that’s also realistic to college.

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
There are definitely some very visual moments in this book – one of them early on being the reason I’m not a huge Roman fan, but this book has some great descriptors without going overboard. The use of Alpha Buzzfeed alerts was effective and started out new chapters in a fun way.

Ending 3/5 Stars
(Warning: potential sort of spoiler alert, but jot fully?) The story ended well, but wrapped things up in a far neater package than seemed realistic. This may just be me, haha. I would definitely read the next in the series. I’m curious and intrigued by what happens next. Winter 2015 will be interesting.

Total: 17/25 Stars

 

 

 

 

Teaser

 

MeetTheAuthor
Cambria Hebert is a bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: Text, Torch, Tryst, Masquerade, and Recalled.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.
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Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Inevitable Detour by S.R. Grey

Inevitable Detour (Inevitability #1)
By: S.R. Grey
Publication Date: September 7, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Format of Book: E-Book
Steam Factor: Open a window… lots of detailed steam.
Trigger Warning: This book does contain scenes that may be a trigger.

*I received free ARCs of Inevitable Detour from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

The day my life took an inevitable detour things got a little crazy.

My name is Essalin Brant, but everyone calls me Essa. I attend a small college in a tiny town, and in my twenty-two years of life I’ve never even traveled outside the state of Pennsylvania. You could say my life is pretty boring. I live by the rules. I’m a good girl and nothing exciting ever happens.

But that’s all about to change.

Enter Farren Shaw. Not only is he older and intimidating, but he’s more sure of himself than any 29-year-old man has a right to be. Did I mention that he’s drop-dead gorgeous? Well, he is. He also happens to be my best friend Haven’s brother. And I would be content with just fantasizing about Farren from afar, but when Haven suddenly goes missing, her gorgeous brother is the only one who believes me when I say she was abducted, even though all signs seem to suggest Haven left town willingly.

I know better, though. As does Farren. So when he asks me to accompany him to search for his sister, I accept.

That’s when the real adventure begins.

Our quest to find Haven takes us across the country. And throughout the time we spend together, I find myself falling for Farren . . . falling hard. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted. But is he really someone I should fear?

Because aside from making me feel things I’ve never felt before, Farren is hiding something. Something big. What could this stunning man be keeping from me? And why? Is Haven’s disappearance somehow connected to his mysterious job?

All I know is that things are about to get real.

Welcome to the Inevitable Detour that has become my life.

**mature themes**

Welcome to my stop on the Inevitable Detour Blog Tour! Below is my review AND a giveaway! Click on the image at the bottom of the screen for the rafflecopter! I have also included my Facebook page for this blog – go follow me there. 🙂
*~*

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
The characterization in this book was done pretty well, though there were moments throughout the story that I felt the reactions were unrealistic or that the characters bounced back a little quicker to certain scenarios that seemed likely. That being said – I thought that all of the characters had a great dynamic with one another. Essa is the average small town girl with overbearing parents and a dream for her future that she doesn’t see a way of accomplishing. She’s a “good” girl with little experience in the world. Haven is Essa’s best friend. There’s something wonderful between these two and, when Haven goes missing, I appreciate that Essa is willing to put her fears aside and try to find her. With Haven out of the picture, the story does seem to be missing something – but for the type of story this is, it works. Enter Farren, Haven’s brother and Essa’s crush of forever. He’s a very strong male character, but he is respectful of women – always a plus. These characters, along with others, intertwine well together.

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in this story was realistic, and at times uncomfortable due to subject matter. This discomfort was intentional and worked for the story, but I did need to look up every so often.

Plot – 3/5 Stars
This plot was pretty great. I love reading suspense, though I don’t get to often. I enjoyed that there was a mostly realistic issue that needed to be solved; watching it unravel was fun, as well. As mentioned above, there were points where I felt myself thinking “Really?” and having difficulty moving forward because it didn’t seem realistic. With such heavy subject matter, parts felt brushed over. Others were very well done. There’s a scene later in the book that had me cringing because of how perfectly it was written… I wish I could share, but you’ll just have to find it out for yourself.

Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
Of all the pieces, I’d have liked to have “seen” more of this story. There were moments where I found details to be abundant (steamier scenes) and then many others where I wanted to know more.

Ending 3/5 Stars
The ending was done well. I had my inklings as to what was going to happen, but it worked.

Total: 16/25 Stars

Goodreads: Follow This Link
Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
*~*
AUTHOR BIO
S.R. Grey is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble Top 100 Bestselling author. She is the author of the popular New Adult novels I Stand Before You (Judge Me Not #1) and Never Doubt Me (Judge Me Not #2). Her newest novel, Inevitable Detour (Inevitability #1), is a wild ride combining the New Adult genre with elements of Romantic Suspense. She is also the author of the Harbour Falls Mystery trilogy. Ms. Grey’s novels have appeared on Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists in multiple categories, including Amazon Top 30 and Barnes & Noble Top 5.New novels slated for 2015 release dates are Just Let Me Love You (Judge Me Not #3), Inevitable Circumstances (Inevitability #2), and a New Adult novelto be revealed in the future.Ms. Grey resides in Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, as well as an MBA. Her background is in business, but her true passion lies in writing. When not writing, Ms. Grey can be found reading, traveling, running, or cheering for her hometown sports teams.
*~*
Author links:
*~*
Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

50$ Amazon gift card

5x eBook copy of Inevitable detour

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Blog Tour: Excerpt – Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Stupid Girl
By: Cindy Miles
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis

Only fools fall in love…

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.

A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.

As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

Welcome to my stop on the Stupid Girl Blog Tour! Below is an excerpt from the book AND a giveaway! Click on the image at the bottom of the screen for the rafflecopter! I have also included my Facebook page for this blog – go follow me there. 🙂

Excerpt

Brax: Wake your ass up, Sunshine.

I grinned as I stared at his text. What a charmer.

Me: I’ve been up, Boston. I had celestial homework on the rooftop. What’s up?

Brax: I’m running late. Celestial you say? Sounds sexy. Meet u in class?

Me: Of course. Everything sounds sexy to you, weirdo. Last one there’s a rotten egg.

Brax: A dare? You’re on. But it’ll be worth more than eggs, sweetheart.

Me: We’ll see.

Brax: L8R beautiful.

Me: You’re crazy.

Brax: I know.

I set my phone down and glanced over at Tessa, still curled up in a ball on her side, buried in the covers. She’d come in late last night, long after Brax and I had said goodbye. “Tess? Are you okay?”

She turned her head and one eye cracked open as she peered through a mossy mass of tangled hair. She groaned. “I don’t feel so good, chica. I’m going to skip class.”

I stared and shook my head. “For shame. Can I get you anything?”

Tessa pulled the covers completely over her head. “Yeah. A hammer. Then you can bonk me on the head with it.”

I laughed lightly and continued getting ready for class. Steven had agreed to take my shift so I could go to Brax’s baseball game Saturday, and I’d taken his shift for tonight. Excitement coursed through me at watching Brax pitch. I could barely wait.

Pulling on a pair of jeans, a cami top and a three-quarter sleeved snap up shirt to wear over it, I hurriedly dressed, pulled on my All-Stars and grabbed my pack and bag. One final glance at Tessa’s huddled form beneath the covers, and I headed out. I hit the stairwell and jogged down to the first floor, but the second I entered the common room, I noticed quite a healthy amount of heads had turned my way. A little self-conscious, I wondered why they were all looking at me. Making my way to the front door, I stepped outside and noticed more students in the parking lot. As I walked, heads turned. What was going on?

“Hey, Olivia.” A hand reached for my arm, and I turned to find a girl named Becca from my astronomy class. In her expression I immediately saw pity. “Do you know who did it? Pretty lame.”

“Did what?”

She pointed. “Isn’t that your truck over there?”

I followed her gaze and pointed finger to where my truck was parked. Several people stood around it, holding their cell phones up. My feet started moving before my brain kicked in, and I started pushing my way through the gathered students toward it. With my heart in my throat, I finally got close enough to see what the fuss was all about. White letters slashed across the hood, fender. Pushing ahead of the people who stood gawking and taking pics, I could do nothing but stare, horrified at the vulgar words scrawled against the blue paint.

Gutter Fuck.

Embarrassment washed through my body, and anger, shock, almost paralyzed me. A few voices filtrated through my brain as I continued to stare. Oh shit, man, that’s harsh, and Oh. My. God. I didn’t look up. Didn’t look at anyone. I just turned, pushed through the crowd and headed back to the dorm to find something to wash it all off. Eyes followed me, of course, all the way back through the common room, and I eased up stairs and into mine and Tessa’s dorm. She lay sleeping, just as I’d left her. Quietly, I grabbed a few older towels I’d brought with me specifically for washing the truck, and just as I was slipping back out the door Tessa stirred.

“Something wrong?” she asked feebly.

“No, go back to sleep,” I said. “

 

Goodreads: Follow This Link
*
Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
*
*
AUTHOR BIO
National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her upcoming New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college.
Author links:

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Blog Tour- Review – “Unlit Star” by Lindy Zart

Unlit Star
By: Lindy Zart
Copyright: 2014
Format of Book: E-Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance

*I received a free ARC of Unlit Star in exchange for an honest review, however, once I began reading this story, I purchased my own copy. THAT’S how much I love it. I will hopefully have the paperback at some point, too (maybe signed?) Once I have money, that is. But, I digress…

Read on, fine literary friends.

 

Synopsis
Rivers Young was the popular guy untouchable by reality. He was like a star—bright, consuming, otherworldly. The thing about stars, though, is that they eventually fall, and Rivers Young was no different.

He fell far and he fell hard.

Delilah Bana was the outcast enshrouded in all of life’s ironies. Alone, in the dark, like dusk as it falls on the world. When Rivers fell from the sky, she was the night that caught him. In the darkness, they found one another. Together they melded into something beautiful that shone like the sun.

Only, the greater the star is, the shorter its lifespan.

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I am a HUGE fan of Lindy Zart. She’s one of the first authors that I started reading on my e-Reader. I love the Anthing But series and the Complete series. When I see there is a book coming out of hers, I hop right on the blog tour because I know I’m about to take an adventure into something amazing. There’s something very human in all of her work that is relatable and I am very drawn to that as a reader, reviewer, and writer. So here begins my journey with Unlit Star.

Now – those who know me know I am often quite wordy… verbose.. erratic, even, with the English language.. But this book had me speechless for quite some time. This is one of those books that I couldn’t put down. I was enveloped in Rivers and Delilah’s story, knowing full well what I was getting myself into. Once finished, I had to take that deep breath and release the tension I’d held from word one. So let me really start this by saying “Thank you” to Lindy Zart for another incredible read. Unlit Star is beautiful, lasting, and brutally honest.

Read on for my breakdown of this incredibly heart-wrenching and utterly human novel.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 5/5 Stars
This story has everything going for it, but the most well-thought parts are the characters. There isn’t a single person who enters this book that doesn’t have a beginning, middle, and end. Lindy Zart puts so much thought into each entity that comes and goes, regardless of how pivotal a role they play.

Delilah is filled with awe of the world and thinks far deeper than most of us dare to go. She’s trying to save the world, one little piece at a time. Her desire to fix things, even when they are beyond repair, is noble and endearing.

Rivers is struggling to pick himself back up after tragedy strikes. He’s not the same person he once was and he doesn’t know how to move forward from there.

These two imperfect characters lives irrevocably change because of fate and need for one another.

Dialogue – 4/5 Stars
Simply stated – I love the way each of these characters talk. They have their own patterns, habits, and personalities and all of this comes out well in their interactions with others. Zart also played with internal monologue for Delilah, which was a refreshing tactic to see. We don’t always need to see characters talking to each other – sometimes seeing what is going on in their head is dialogue enough for the moment.

Plot – 5/5 Stars
When two people who come from, what seem to be, two different worlds with their own challenges come together, the story is set up for success from the get-go. Once the idea is created, it is up to the author to let that story fester and grow into something bigger. Zart does just that; the worlds of Delilah and Rivers collide to create such a wonderful combustion of life and vitality, and love. I love everything about this story. I understand this world, while I can’t completely empathize. Sometimes you need someone to pull you out of the dark and to give you a reason or purpose. I knew what was going on in this story early on, but that didn’t change how it made me feel.

Visual Imagery – 5/5 Stars
Delilah sees the world in such a way that, after reading this novel, the reader is influenced to see things that way, as well. Though I already see the world through similar eyes, it was nice to have a reminder of the things that we often take for granted.

“Have you ever noticed how many different colors of green are in a single strand of grass? There are all these lighter greens that meld into the darker ones, even hints of yellow within them. It’s amazing. The most beautiful things in the world are right in front of us in the beautiful of the actual world.”

I love that there is such a wonderful picture painted on each page. There’s a new experience, something to see. I am one of those people who take a moment to look up at the night sky and take in the awe of the stars. I stop and look at flowers and appreciate their intricacies and fragilities. Life moves so quickly that, sometimes, it is nice to just stop and take it all in.

Ending 5/5 Stars
As said before, I knew what was going on through this story. I got it. I hated and loved it all at the same time. The ending was wonderful. It was perfect. After finishing the final pages (including the bonus!) I sat there for a little bit and decompressed. Sometimes you have to sit down and let the hangover wear off. Thanks, Lindy Zart, for such a welcome Book Hangover. I will surely read this again, as I do all of your books.

Total: 24/25 Stars

Final Thoughts:
Some of us enter this world, live in it, and see where the journey takes us. Others fear what is unknown and don’t truly live. And some of us live to leave a footprint and make a difference. I am one of those who don’t just want to live in this world to be here… I want to live in it to make an impact and help people. Sure, I’m afraid of what’s around the corner, but what is the point of fearing the future when we have the present? 

Story gold for Zart.

A+.

Kudos.

And maybe a movie deal? (I want to play Delilah, though.)

 

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Blog Review Tour: “Captivate Me” and “IRIS” by S.J. Pierce

 

 

IrisCaptivate Me       AND       IRIS
By: S.J. Pierce
Copyright: 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
Format of Book: E-Books

*I received free ARCs of Captivate Me and IRIS from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

 

Synopsis of Captivate Me

“My mom had always told me – when you meet “the one”, you’ll know; they’ll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom’s words of wisdom were finite – if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering.”Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted – a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it’s always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. But, unfortunately for her, the world can’t handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak – even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school – Levi. Everything feels normal again… or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she’s never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen – students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things fighting for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice – will she settle for ‘great’ Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across ‘amazing’?

From the author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles, comes a refreshingly different Young Adult series with plenty of love, suspense, and a new take on the Paranormal.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Synopsis of IRIS (#1.5)
by S.J. Pierce
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

***This book is meant to be read after Captivate Me***Set before the events in Book One of the Captivated Series, “Iris” explores the depths of family bonds, new bonds, and the lengths a person would go to save the life of a dying sibling. In this novella, get to know Iris and her two sisters more intimately, as well as Gabriel, the first angel-human hybrid who agrees to live under her protection.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Welcome to my stop on the Captivate Me/IRIS Blog Tour! Below is my review of the first book with a teaser about the next AND a giveaway! Click on the image at the bottom of the screen for the rafflecopter!

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
I really enjoyed reading the various characters in Captivate Me and then learning more about some of them in IRIS. Kat is a well-created character who has quite a bit of learning and growing up to do. This obviously sets the stage for some pretty interesting things to happen. Kat is just learning to be herself after hiding her Gift for so long. She’s quickly sought after by a very nice and popular guy named Levi. I also like Kat’s roommate Anna; she and Kat are a perfect pair. There is also a mess of other characters who I deeply enjoy, GabrielIris, and a few others.. but you’ll have to read to learn more. Pierce does a good job creating her characters and giving them enough backstory to move the story along, but leaving enough up in the air for the reader to want to learn more.

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
The dialogue in Captivate Me is realistic and fitting for the Young Adult reader. There is nothing overly stand-out, but it does help move the story along. I like the internal monologue, as well.

I found the dialogue in IRIS to be a lot more fun. Perhaps this is because of the characters and personalities of those involved in this particular novella.

Plot  –  3.5/5 Stars
This was a fresh take on the typical paranormal young adult books that are floating around. I haven’t seen this story before, which is part of the reason I found it so much more enjoyable. All of the characters have their own sub-story, which enables a novella like IRIS to work so well.

Visual Imagery  –  3/5 Stars
There are some really great visual moments, such as those in the woods, but I felt this story could have used more in the visuals. This would have helped drive the story farther. I wanted to “see” more colors and patterns. This is not a complaint, just a suggestion, however.

Ending  4/5 Stars
I definitely enjoyed the ending of this book. There was a lot to be said, but it was done in a wonderful way. Captivate Me ended wonderfully, opening the door to Book 2, and IRIS introduced what will be happening in 2, but should be read AFTER Captivate Me.

Total: 17/25 Stars

Why read this book?

I am a big fan of YA Paranormal books and this one was done very well. Definitely worth a shot.

Goodreads: Follow This Link
Purchase Captivate Me:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
Purchase IRIS:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
AUTHOR BIO
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare  time to writing Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi novels.Author Links:
http://sjpiercebooks.blogspot.ca/

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Review: The Lilith Scroll by B.L. Marsh

 The Lilith Scroll
By: B.L. Marsh
Copyright: 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy/New Adult
Format of Book: E-Book

*I received a free ARC of The Lilith Scroll from N K Author Services in exchange of an honest review.

Please see this post for the book spotlight and more information on where you can find it!

Synopsis
What if you discovered there was time before time began? What if everything you thought was true, was not? What if there was a beginning before, “In the beginning”? What if another story was unfolding within our time? A story steeped in loss, love, betrayal, and secrets?

On her twenty-third celebrated birthday, Lilith arrived in Scotland, following clues she had secretly collected about her past. Little did she know that her arrival at the Rosslyn Chapel would reignite one of the oldest wars of all time- The Fall. Sides will be chosen, lives will be lost, and the secret kept all this time by the Illuminati will be exposed.

Welcome to Eden. The place where magic was born, trees are gateways to other realms, and Angels aren’t what you think they are. Meet Lilith. A young woman with an incredible story; one she isn’t supposed to know, much less tell. Meet Sam. A man with an unknown past and powers that rival Lilith’s.

Go back in time. Back to the garden. Experience the magic of creation, the wonder of nature, and the betrayal that destroyed it all.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 4.5/5 Stars
I found the characters in The Lilith Scroll to be incredibly complex and well-developed. Marsh does an incredible job weaving character webs and she hooked me very quickly. Lilith St. Claire is our main focus and I found myself wanting to join her in her adventure to find out about her past. Oh, and Sam… I’ll just leave it at that. Part of what drew me in to each of the characters is that there was a reason they became how they did and Marsh placed motivation into each of their actions, regardless of how small.

Dialogue  –  3.5/5 Stars
There were moments in The Lilith Scroll where I fell completely in love with a character because of their various monologues and speech patterns. Marsh creates a beautiful dialogue, especially between Sam and Lilith. There’s a moment toward the end where I had to re-read just so I could live the moment again. The dialogue is realistic and appropriate for the time at which it takes place. The dialogue and the plot work hand-in-hand to create a wonderful story.

Plot  –  4.5/5 Stars
I was unsure, at first, how I would feel about this story. As a personal preference, I don’t usually gravitate to stories that appear to be about religion, but this was such a wonderfully different story than what I expected. It was a bit slow to start and slightly confusing as I adjusted to Marsh’s style, but once I did, I fell right in line and enjoyed the adventure. I loved that I understood the shorter Hebrew phrases. Marsh did a fantastic job weaving her educational studies into this impressive novel.

Visual Imagery  –  4/5 Stars
There were many times during The Lilith Scroll where I felt like I was right there, experiencing the sights, smells, and feelings. Moments in the Garden had me reliving my own studies when I was younger. Marsh describes everything as I pictured them, but so much better.

Ending  3/5 Stars
I wanted a little bit more, but considering the rest of the novel was at such great length with such hefty detail, the ending was a bit of a relief as it closed the loop. I look forward to seeing where Marsh takes this story and what is to come.

Total: 19.5/25 Stars

Why read this book?

There’s something different about this story from anything else I’ve read. If you enjoy reading Tolkien, this is a great option for you.

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Blog Tour and Review: Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman


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Crystal Magic CoverCrystal Magic (Clearwater Witches #1)
By: Madeline Freeman
Copyright: 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
Format of Book: E-Book

*I received a free ARC of Crystal Magic from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis
Nothing is safe around Kristyl Barnette. Windows break. Books rocket across the room. Lights flicker. Strange occurrences follow the sixteen-year-old everywhere.

When tragedy forces her to move to the small town of Clearwater, Michigan, with her estranged aunt Jodi, Kristyl tries to leave her past behind. But Clearwater has secrets of its own—a mystical history that intersects with Kristyl’s life and might shed light on the inexplicable events that plague her.

When a mysterious illness threatens her aunt’s life, Kristyl will do anything to cure her. Enlisting the help of witches could save Jodi, but is dealing in magic worth the consequences?

Welcome to my stop on the Crystal Magic Blog Tour! Below is my review of the book and a tour-wide giveaway (follow the link) for a signed copy of Crystal Magic. (This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers.)

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
The characters in Crystal Magic are very lovable. Kristyl (Krissa) is really genuine and I found myself wanting to reach through the pages to hug her at times and others I wanted to high-five her for just being awesome. She’s genuinely curious and resilient. She’s had a lot to adjust to, as we find out at the beginning of the book, but that’s only the beginning for her. I enjoyed following her through her journey and finding out how she adapted to each curveball thrown at her. Krissa’s aunt, Jodi, is endearing and caring; it’s apparent early on that there’s something about her we don’t know.

Another wonderful character is Owen – ugh, love him. I did find myself wanting to know more about him. Luckily, this is a series, so I may get my wish.

One character I couldn’t stand is Crystal. (Imagine having to share your name with someone who is just an all-around bully.) She is developed well and has a nice bite to her.

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
The dialogue in Crystal Magic is realistic and fits the Young Adult genre well. I enjoyed the back and forth between Owen and Krissa. There was something refreshing about finding dialogue that can read aloud and on the page easily. The arguments aren’t forced and the monologues aren’t heavy.

Plot  –  3.5/5 Stars
This is a fun story with some nice twists. Between finding out the backstory of our main character and sifting through the crazy in the town of Clearwater, I was pulled right into the story. I look forward to seeing where this all goes in future books.

Visual Imagery  –  3/5 Stars
There are some really good moments throughout the book. As this wasn’t a visual-heavy story, I found myself drawn to Jodi’s store, Hannah’s Herbs. I could see the stones and jewelry. Having been in places like this before, I could practically smell the incense burning. I also enjoyed “seeing” the town of Clearwater and adventuring through Krissa’s new home.

Ending  4/5 Stars
Well, as far as endings go, this one was pretty great. I sort of saw it coming (just a teeny bit, and only by a hunch) but not to the extent that it did. I have to say it was VERY well done. (Yay for cryptic reviews, huh?)

Total: 17/25 Stars

Why read this book?

If you enjoy Young Adult Paranormal books, Crystal Magic is a pretty great choice for you. This may be my powers of seeing the future kicking in, but I have a feeling that this is a series to keep an eye on. I look forward to finding out what happens next.

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Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link 
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MadelineAUTHOR BIO
Madeline Freeman lives in the metro-Detroit area with her husband, her daughter, and her cats. In the time she should spend doing housework, she rewatches Fringe. She also loves anything to do with astronomy, outer space, plate tectonics, and dinosaurs, and secretly hopes her daughter will become an astronomer or a paleontologist.
 
Author links:

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Complete by Lindy Zart – Blog Tour – Giveaway In Post

CompleteCoverKeep - CopyComplete (Incomplete Series, Book 2)
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance

Blurb

If the truth sets one free, why does Lily Jacobs feel so trapped?

She’s learned doing the right thing isn’t always best and now she is living the consequences of her greatest sacrifice. Every day since Grayson Lee left is one she wishes he hadn’t. Years have gone by since their friendship turned to more and then was eradicated by Lily alone; enough time for their young love to fade. Only it hasn’t, not for Lily.

Now he is back and seeing him is devastating to her at the same time it is rapture. She tries to accept that they cannot be together, but everything inside her shouts that they should be; that they only fit with each other. And so she has to accept the greatest truth of all: She loves him still. She loves him enough not to let him go this time.

Excerpt

He wordlessly holds out a hand to me. His chest is rising and lowering from jumping around and heat emanates from him as he holds my gaze. As I fit my hand in his, the song changes to ‘Everything Changes’ by Staind. The scent of home wraps around me as he pulls me into his strong arms. His palms span the width of my back as though each finger of his has to be in contact with me.

I vaguely hear Aidan say something about pancakes and then he leaves the room with a grin on his face. My attention is immediately back on Grayson. He is singing to me, bringing me tighter into his arms, his mouth close to my temple. Pinpricks of cold awareness trail up and down my back and arms. I close my eyes, clutching him to me; the front of me pressed to him. It isn’t enough. Overwhelming emotion washes over me like the hands of regret.

“Can I tell you something?” he whispers by my ear as the song ends.

I whisper back, “Do I want you to tell me something?”

His lips smile against my forehead. “Does that ever matter?”

Pulling back, I look into eyes that have loved me and haunted me. “Not usually.” I smile.

Grayson brings his mouth close to mine, never releasing my gaze, and tells me, “You weren’t my first love.” He pauses and my heart cracks at his declaration. “You were my only love.” And it is repaired and whole just as quickly.

My Review

Complete picks up a few years after Grayson and Lily’s story finished in Lindy Zart’s first book in the duo – Incomplete. If you haven’t read that one yet, I highly suggest it. New Adult Romance has quickly become one of my favorite genres, especially when you throw in a great author such as Lindy Zart.

In their first installment, Incomplete, Lily and Grayson were best friends growing up and discovered that maybe there was something bigger for them. [ Fun side bar – my husband and I were best friends in high school. 🙂 ] Complete takes place a few years after the previous story. Lily and Grayson have both graduated and moved on with their lives. It is a beautiful and witty story about two people who were best friends in love and what happens when life gets in the way.

    The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
All of the characters in this story are very well-developed. Of them all, Lily is the most dynamic. She has a beautiful soul and has grown up quite a bit since the last time we met her. Grayson and Lily are still battling their demons, though they’re more complex now.

Lindy Zart does a great job building the history of each of her characters. The struggle with an alcoholic family member continues to be an issue for one character, while another struggles with their identity. One unsung hero in the midst is Stone; he’s ultimately one of my favorites. I love that he loves his grandfather, is a tasteful flirt and isn’t pushy. I’d have loved to see more of him (spin-off, maybe?)

Each character in Complete has a purpose. I’d love to be a part of their circle.

Dialogue – 4.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in Complete is a wonderful mix of playful banter, tragic confession and beautiful romance. I love those books where I can be laughing at one minute and crying at the next – this is definitely one of them. Grayson and Lily may be older now, but they seem to pick up where they left off. Zart used the dialogue in this novel to drive the story; this is fitting, since communication is key in any relationship – romantic, family, friends.

Plot – 4.5/5 Stars
When a story makes me feel like my own life is written in it’s pieces, I can’t help but fall in head first. Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I am always going to root for best friends in love, even if something has pulled them apart. Complete has pretty much everything I want in a romance – friends, family, conflict, music, sex. There are moments here or there that pulled me away from the story, but for the majority I was completely enthralled.

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
I enjoy when as author gives me just enough detail to have a great foundation for what to see, but leaves space for me to come up with things on my own. Between Grayson’s bad boy style, Lily’s out-of-comfort outfits, a beautiful middle-of-nowhere feel, and everything in between, I had no trouble “seeing” the story. Visually, the story is just as beautiful as the dialogue. There are moments, such as Grayson and Lily’s stolen glances, that draw you in just a much as the conversation.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
All I will say is – you should read it yourself.

TOTAL: 21/25 Stars

Why read this book?

If you:

like romance
have ever been in love with your best friend
want to make it big in the world
have every settled for anything less than you deserve
or just love to read
You will find something to love about this book. The struggles are all realistic, the love story brings you pain and joy, and you find yourself rooting for someone. Who? Well, that’s for you to decide. Everyone deserves true love, it’s just harder for some to see that. I absolutely love this book.

*I received copy of book for honest review.

Links

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18461474-complete
Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Incomplete-Lindy-Zart-ebook/dp/B00IZRAPKK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395587260&sr=8-1&keywords=Lindy+Zart
Smashwords- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/418916
Nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/complete-lindy-zart/1118922206?ean=2940149221042

About the Author

Lindy Zart has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work.

Links-

Twitter- https://twitter.com/lindyzart
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/lindyzart
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/lindyzart
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/author/lindyzart
Blog- http://lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Smashwords Author Page-https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lindyzart

Giveaway Info

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