New Release: West by Michele G Miller

West cover

West (a From The Wreckage novel)
By:
 Michele G. Miller

Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary

Summary:

“Jules’ parents thanked me for saving their daughter that night. Little do they know, their daughter is saving me with every word, every touch, every moment. Sometimes the things you thought you knew are completely wrong. For so long I thought I didn’t want anything to do with the West I was, then Friday night happened and now all I want is what I once had.”

For high school senior West Rutledge, surviving the storm is only the beginning. Four years ago, he closed himself off from his friends and his dreams, but in one night one girl makes him reconsider everything.

People say West saved Jules Blacklin’s life the night of the storm. West says Jules saved his.

This is his side of their story.

**WEST may be read as a stand alone novel. You do not have to read From The Wreckage first to enjoy his story.**

My Thoughts:

As Michele’s editor, I have had the opportunity to watch the process of West come to life. West DedicationIn the couple of years that I’ve known her, I’ve learned that Michele is a passionate author, with a desire to put her best work on paper. West is no different, though I have to say this may be her best work yet. She completely nailed writing from the male point of view, making West relatable, honest, and real. West is a great mix of humor, reality, romance, and vulnerability. Michele celebrates the family unit, regardless of how broken they are. 

West is the perfect partner to the rest of the From The Wreckage series and I recommend it to anyone who wants to feel inspired. The difficulties in the world are a little easier when you have someone there to hold your hand through the tough times.

Buy Links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
iBooks – To Be Added
Barnes & Noble – To Be Added

-The cracking of pads as hits are made, the feel of my cleats tearing through the turf as I move, the smell of sweat, and a pigskin ball in my hands - this is my heaven, my home.Then it became my hell.-

 

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Blog Tour | Review | #Hater by Cambria Hebert

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#Hater (The Hashtag Series #2)
By: Cambria Hebert
Publication Date: January 12, 2015
Genres: New Adult Contemporary, College Romance

*I received a free ARC of #Hater in exchange of an honest review.

Goodreads Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23561961-hater

Blurb

It started with unspoken animosity. The bitter bite of jealousy. And now its full blown hate.

It was during my first football game that I first felt the first chill of hate. I looked it right in the eyes and felt its sticky tentacles reach out for me. I’d never experienced something so cold and empty before.

The effect of that look lingered, like an unspoken promise, long after it was gone.

Becoming a couple – becoming the other half of a campus celebrity wasn’t easy. I let down walls guarding my heart and he looked past my glasses and accident prone tendencies. Romeo and I are an unlikely match, a #nerd and a jock. But we made it.

And we’re happy.

Zach doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants Romeo to pay for getting him kicked out of Omega and for the night he spent in jail. He’s going to use anything and everything he can to get his revenge. Including me.

As the weather on campus grows cold and the days become dark, revenge becomes the center of someone’s life and the happiness Romeo and I worked so hard for is threatened.

I can’t help but worry that our love is going to be overshadowed by hate.

*~*
Follow this link to see my review of book #1 in The Hashtag Series.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
As expressed in my review of the first book, the characters in #Hater are developed well and there is a bit more depth to them. Rimmel Hudson has grown quite a bit since the first book in the series and it’s nice to see her growing confidence in herself. She’s battling some demons and has some rough things going on, but she’s got a great sense of self that is fun to read. Roman “Romeo” Anderson is still his jock-self and I hate to admit because I know he has a huge following – but I just don’t like him. He’s just not the type of person I enjoy reading because his personality is such a stark contract to what I like in a guy. And then there’s Braeden – he’s pretty great. He’s a fantastic character and I can’t wait to read his spinoff.

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
The dialogue fit the story well and was very straight forward.  I wish there were more Alpha Buzz alerts. They were really funny in the first book.

Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
The plot was constructed well, though there wasn’t anything unique about it. That’s not a problem, so don’t mistake it for one. The story is a fun read and I found myself laughing throughout it. The pace kept well and it was a fast read for me.

Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
There was enough description to push through the story, but the wordplay was what stands out the most. I enjoyed reading about the various outfits that Rim was dressed in throughout that were a bit further out of character for her. The moments when they were outside of Romeo’s home by the pool were also described well.

Ending 4/5 Stars
The ending for this book was really good. There was enough to keep you wondering what happens next, but it wasn’t one of those crazy cliffhanger endings that makes you angry. I really look forward to seeing what comes in the third book!

Total: 17.5/25 Stars

*~*

Buy links: 

#Hater (Hashtag #2) Buy Links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/oeze38l
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/mhgusab
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/n9scdhx
Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/k5t7d2q
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/n4zwxg9
Kobo:  http://tinyurl.com/kk9u8c3

#Nerd (Hashtag, #1) buy links:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/orco23a
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/njn3x8q
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/opfgr6l
Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/ms2kx2s
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/qch9b9z
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/ou6lgod

Youtube Video for Chapter 1 Read from Cambria:

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzBqwJPk_Ms&feature=youtu.be

Author Bio:

Cambria HebertCambria 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.

 

Social media Links:

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website: http://www.cambriahebert.com.
Email: cambriahebert@rocketmail.com
Facebook: http://smarturl.co/CambriaHebertFanpage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cambriahebert
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/cambriahebert/pins/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298677.Cambria_Hebert
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cambria-Hebert/e/B00CYQ2ROK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1420126269&sr=8-1

*~*
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Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway – Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland

Beneath the Scars
By: Melanie Moreland
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format of Book: E-Book
Steam: Lots of it.

*I received free ARCs of Beneath the Scars from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.

The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.

Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.

Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.

All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.

Until she enters his life.

She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.

A story he keeps buried below the surface.

Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?

Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.

Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?

Welcome to my stop on the Beneath the Scars Blog Tour! Below is my review AND a pretty awesome 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
I appreciated Megan‘s character; she was working through things, but continued to strive for interaction. She is compassionate, understanding, and (at times) a bit too forgiving. I applaud her persistence, but if anyone ever treated me the way Zachary treats her… well, heck no! Zachary is hiding from his demons, a story that’s interesting from the get-go. I found the characters in this story to be well developed, but I’d loved to have seen more of Megan’s backstory. We get a little bit, but more would have been even better.

I also liked that each of the smaller characters played an integral role in the story – they may not be around as often, but they are each important. And the dogs… Elliot‘s breed was captured perfectly!

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
I really liked the dialogue in this story. It was very in depth and true to each of the characters. Of course, a lot of it was angsty, but that drove the story quite a bit more than simple, emotionless words would have been fruitless.

Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
The idea of this story reminded me of a certain Disney movie. I’d hate to say it here for fear of giving any small plot details away, but from very early on as I was taking notes while reading I have “reminds me of [movie]”.

The plot was done well, but there were a lot if time jumps that woul have been nice with more detailed story – some of the jumps were perfectly placed, though. I also wish there wasn’t so much of an emphasis on the steamy content – I appreciated that it wasn’t sordid detailed, but wanted even more story to drive the plot.

Regardless, the plot of this story was done well and developed. I like that Boston was a part of this, as well. We don’t really make our way into many newer books anymore. 🙂

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
I loved how vivid the paintings in this story were; I felt I could see them, especially Tempest. There are wonderful little moments of description, such as the little specks of color in someone’s eyes or the defining physical characteristics of different characters, that were a well done plot device. I always appreciate being able to read a story and see it.

Ending 3/5 Stars
Without giving anything away, the ending was done well. A great close to this stand alone novel.

Total: 17/25 Stars

Goodreads: Follow This Link
Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
*~*
AUTHOR BIO
Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines, to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.

*~*
Author links:
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Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway
  • 4 ebooks of Beneath the Scars (INTL)
  • 2 signed Paperbacks of Beneath the Scars (US/Canada only) with book marks
  • 1 package of Into the Storm/Beneath the Scars Paperbacks with bookmarks – both signed (US/Canada only)

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Book Review: From The Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

From The Wreckage Cover

From The Wreckage
By: Michele G. Miller
Copyright: 2014
Format of Book: E-Book, One day I will own her paperbacks, too. She’s just that good.

I will start by saying I read this book in one day.. I really couldn’t put it down. From The Wreckage is a beautifully written novel that will draw you in from the very first chapter. When you start reading, you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into and then suddenly you are thrown onto a rollercoaster ride. From The Wreckage is a haunting story about Jules Blacklin, a high school senior, who has survived a devastating storm in her town. She is forced to keep moving forward and find a way to continue surviving, despite the horror that she has experienced firsthand.

“In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.  Minutes – that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?”

Have you ever read one of those books where you feel like you are right in the middle of all the action? I was terrified, anxious, attached, frantic, desperate, hesitant, and filled with hope at multiple points while reading this novel, many at the same time. If you are like me and have never lived through a natural disaster to this magnitude, it’s hard to know what it’d be like. Sure, you can imagine it to some degree, but you really don’t know. From the moment the tornado lands, I was right there with/as Jules. My heart was racing and I felt her desperation.

The Final Countdown
Characterization  –  5/5 Stars
Miller does a great job delving into the psyche of a victim, finding the different facets of what makes her characters tick and then taking them through various stages of disarray. Each character experiences the same horrific and traumatizing event, but they all come out with a different scar. The sad beauty is that not all of these scars are physical. I immediately felt drawn to Jules. She’s that girl who has it all and then… doesn’t. Her decisions are many of the same ones I’d make. She’s one of the most real characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time.

One heartbreaking character within this story is Jules’ younger brother, Jase. Children see the world with open, excited eyes; they are ready to explore and learn. What happens to children when their world gets turned upside down, literally and figuratively?

West Rutledge.. don’t even get me started. A hero with something else seeding inside. I found his mystery to be magnetic and wanted to know more about him. (Ah, the beauty of series novels.) 🙂

Perhaps the biggest character of all is the storm itself. It becomes more than an event, it becomes personified – a villain that came to town and changed everything, leaving dust, damage and loss in its wake.

Overall, Miller’s cast of characters is seamlessly produced. I’d love to see what would happen if this had the chance to go to the big screen. (I call dibs on being cast as Jules, though…)

Dialogue  –  4/5 Stars
The execution of dialogue throughout this novel is done very well. Like everything else in this book, the dialogue is refreshing and honest. My favorite bits are the conversations that take place in the basement while Jules and West are trapped; these are the ones that pull at your heartstrings and make you breathe a little faster out of well-placed anxiety. One of the lines that West says to Jules while trapped struck a chord with me – “We’re not gonna die tonight, Buffy. I’ll be damned if I finally get the nerve to speak to you again, only to die in this place.”

Plot  –  5/5 Stars
There’s perfection in this plot. The best part? It’s not overdone. Miller has found something unique, but instead of banking on just the simple idea of a storm changing everything and how it resolves for a single character, she has created a web of cause and effect for multiple characters. To quote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical Once More With Feeling (which I feel is very fitting, seeing as FTW has multiple references to the cult classic) “Where do we go from here?”

Visual Imagery  –  5/5 Stars
Storms like the one in FTW happen all the time around the world. You watch the news, see photos and videos, feel sad and slightly scared, but it’s still not typically on your doorstep. Unless you’ve lived through it firsthand, there’s no way to actually get it. Reading From The Wreckage made me feel like I was inside the storm instead of just seeing archived footage. Recovering from those early scenes was like finishing a race… you need time to let everything settle and go back to normal.

When I’m reading a really good book, I find myself seeing through the eyes of a character I am drawn toward. For this one – it was Jules. The tornado touched down right behind her and my world went hazy as I ran for my life. When you find yourself right there, in the midst of it all, that’s when you know the author did something right.

Ending  4.5/5 Stars
Without giving anything away, the ending was satisfying enough, but I wanted even more. Not in a bad way, but in the when’s-the-next-in-the-series-coming-out kind of way. But that’s how it goes with books I am drawn into.  Looking forward to the next one!!

Total: 23.5/25 Stars

Why read this book?

Beauty and tragedy don’t tend to go hand-in-hand… but here they do. So much loss, love, growth, and coming of age in this complex YA novel. It’s a great start to what is sure to be an amazing series. I am an avid Michele G. Miller fan, but this is by far her best yet.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?