Review: Enlightened by A.L. Waddington and My Giveaway Link

Enlightened (The Eve Series #2)
By: A.L. Waddington
Publication Date: April 21, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
Format of Book: E-Book

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

Synopsis

Continuing where Essence, Book 1, EVE series ended, the barrier between Jocelyn Timmons consciousness continues to dissolve as she better understands the two lives she lives and enormity of her newly discovered inherited gift of EVE (Essence Voyager Era) which allows her to fall asleep on one plane of existence and awaken on another as her soul travels nightly.

In Enlightened, Book 2, present-day Jocelyn uncovers the vast wonderment of the Victorian era but soon learns that life then was not as grand for women as she has read in the classics. Still, she finds comfort in the support of family and friends; a bolstering contrast to her overly hectic, career-oriented family in the twenty-first century. Her love for Jackson Chandler strengthens across time and becomes the light she so desperately needs as the world she has always known no longer makes sense. Yet, the closer she is drawn to Jackson by their mutual ability, the more strain develops amongst those she loves in 2009.

On the other side of Jocelyn’s consciousness in 1878, she remains ignorant of EVE. Her life is crumbling around her, yet she finds herself anxiously awaiting the images that invade her dreams. Jocelyn longs to be the woman she portrays in that world yet her jealousy is unbearable. Miscommunication, betrayal and hidden agendas make trust near impossible. The clearer the visions become the more she questions motives of her closest confidants and forgoes revealing the images that plague her perception. As her life seems to unravel, Jocelyn’s two worlds collide, and she is enlightened as the pieces start to fall into place. But is she strong enough to survive the truth? Is Jackson really her destiny? And can their love transcend time?

I enjoyed Enlightened quite a bit and did not expect to become so intrigued in the story as I did. I enjoyed that the story remained true to the Young Adult genre and only lightly touched upon more mature subjects. I found this story to be appropriate and entertaining. Please note that this review may contain slight spoilers, especially if you have not read the first book.
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The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 4/5 Stars
Waddington does a great job creating her characters and developes them well. There are quite a few names to keep track of, but the reader very quickly gets to know both eras of Jocelyn’s existence as her worlds begin to collide. Jocelyn is a complex character who is eager to learn and is filled with love. She’s stubborn and often times immature, but this is part of her growth. Jackson is endearing, though something about him frustrated me. Haha. Perhaps that’s the Victorian side of him that pops out every so often. I really liked reading about Jocelyn’s brothers in both time frames, they’re caring and honest, and they help keep the story grounded.

Dialogue – 3.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in this story was fun, though the longer monologues were a bit heavy. I found everything to be realistic, at least as much as it could be with this type of storyline. I like the back and forth between Jocelyn and Ethan.

Plot – 3.5/5 Stars
This is a very intriguing concept, though very hard to keep straight. There were moments in the Victorian era set scenes that I felt they weren’t as authentic time-wise, but that’s alright because the story was great overall. Waddington does a great job keeping all of the characters in order. I thoroughly enjoyed the themes of love, family, and time throughout this story and the first.

Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
Some of my favorite moments in this book, as well as the first in the series Essence, were those that included descriptions of the Victorian era clothing. I definitely would have loved more description, though. A story like this could really thrive on the visuals, since there is so much going on. Where this story lacked visually, it definitely held the emotion.

Ending 2.5/5 Stars
The ending of this story was anti-climactic for me. I definitely want to read the next book, but was left feeling unfulfilled with the ending of this one.

 

Total: 16.5/25 Stars

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Book Blog Writing Month and Giveaway!!

In November, I will be participating in Book Blog Writing Month, hosted by Book Bumblings. The month of fun will consist of the following:

BookBlogWriMo-Schedule

I will also be throwing in some fun posts of my own in addition to these. Check back throughout the month or follow my blog on Facebook to see what the daily dish is.

Visit Book Bumblings to join the fun!

As a reminder, I also have a giveaway going on until Halloween, so go enter. The prizes are great and so are your chances. So many easy entries with just a click of the mouse.

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Also, don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!!

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Random Thoughts and My Giveaway

Random Thought of the Day: If I can help it, I don’t ever leave my house without a book. I always have my Kindle or a paperback with me. I guess I am a bit like Rory Gilmore in that sense. Those very rare times when I am bookless, those are the ones that I feel naked. Like legit left-the-house-with-nothin-on naked.

As a reminder, I have a giveaway going. Click on the image below to enter!! Super easy!! This will run until Midnight EST on October 30, 2014. Be sure to enter for some really great prizes. Thank you to Crossroad Reviews, author Lindy Zart, and author Nely Cab for your amazing donations.

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WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook are not responsible for this giveaway!

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.
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Author links:
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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 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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