(B) Books! Duh.

B

Books. It’s why I’m here. It may be why you’re here. This blog’s purpose. Books. (Sigh)

I don’t know about you, but I thrive on the turn of a page, the she reads booksanticipation of a great cliffhanger, the perfectly constructed cover, the long-awaited new release… Books. They’re the faithful friends who are there to bail you out of jail when you do something bad. They’re the ones to make you laugh in those times when glum is all you feel. They can put a smile on even the toughest of those with a horrible case of Resting B*tch Face. They can make you cry. Make you snicker. Make you think. They can influence your day. Illuminate a dark moment. Or darken the light.

Books can change your life.

Well Read WomanI’m a book lover. A collector of words. A turner of pages. I use napkins as bookmarks. Sometimes a Post-It Note. Occasionally an invitation or a picture. Never a dog ear. Some are a little bent in corners after late nights in bed, falling asleep with a book on my chest. Some pages are worn from plenty of rereads. Even a few have some crinkles due to being caught in
the rain or the path of a spilled drink.

My books are loved. They are family. Friends. Enemies. Mentors. An escape. A reminder. Inspiration.

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter B!

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Book Review – Smother by Lindy Zart

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Smother
By:
Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 5/12/2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Blurb:
You won’t like me.
I am not the nice girl.
I am not your friend.
I don’t care about you, but most of all, I don’t care about me.
Go ahead, hate me.
We all have secrets.
I have them as well—dark, terrible secrets.
The only time I can breathe is when I forget.
I need to be numb. You don’t want to know how.
But as long as I can breathe, the past cannot smother me.

*~*

I appreciate that I can always count on Lindy Zart to deliver a great story. I know that when she’s working on a project, one of her many WIPs, it’s going to be something good. And they’re all so different from one another, keeping her readers on their toes, that we don’t really know what to expect next.

I’ve been a little busy lately; between editing, school, my full time job, and growing a baby so I really haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like… but I made it a point to bump Smother to the top of my list. This was a “before bed” read – you know, the kind that you’re already tucked in tightly under Displaying smother14.jpg.pngthe covers, between the walls of your pregnancy pillow, and you tell yourself “Just one more page” and swipe your finger across your Kindle about 25 more times, repeating this mantra as your eyes droop closed? Ya, this was that kind of read.

I love Smother. Beyond love. There’s something about a darker novel that takes you to a different place. I don’t often opt for the darker stuff, but I’m so thankful I did with this one. Zart conveys the struggles of the effects of the past on a person with grace and realism. The past can haunt us in so many ways and how that manifests itself is different with each person. Zart does an excellent job building the characters in this story and really driving their flaws home. I went into this novel with preconceived expectations, “You’re going to hate the main character at first.” However – it was quite the opposite. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. And boy did Zart deliver! The details are all there, the darkness doesn’t have many flecks of light, and the dialogue is shifty and true to reality. Each character has their own speech patterns and pesky little habits that make them stand out, or blend in.

Another thing I found to be intriguing and wished there was more of was the use of art and pictures to depict what the mouth is unable to say. This story is truly a showstopper and is rough around the edges (in such an excellent way), just like the characters. The notion of only allowing ourselves the things we believe we deserve hits each of us in some way; most of us have been in a dark place because of one thing or another. Those dark places can remain dark for a day, a week, years, or even a lifetime. Good doesn’t always manifest itself from bad, we need to feel we deserve it and accept it. These are the challenges so many face, and Zart’s Smother makes you think so much deeper about these notions.

Great job, Lindy Zart! Can’t wait for the next one.

*~*

The Final Countdown

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

Total: 4.5 Stars

 

 

Book trailer link:

Goodreads TBR Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23657398-smother

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She 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. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, Bloody Marys, and pizza.

smother6You can connect with Lindy at:

Lindyzart@gmail.com

Twitter.com/lindyzart

Facebook.com/lindyzart

Lindyzart.com

Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com

Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com

#BookBlogWriMo Day 15/16 – My Favorite and Least Favorite Things about Blogging [and Thanks]

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 15 and 16!!

So, I was out of pocket all day yesterday, thus you have a two-in-one post!!

My Favorite Book Blogging Things

  • Getting to read – Well, I’d hope this was one of my favorite things about this process, otherwise doing it would be silly!!
  • Meeting new people – I’ve met so many great authors and bloggers through this process. Having the chance to become an editor for one of those authors was even greater and that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have this blog. They’re something great about being a part of this community; we all understand the addiction.
  • Discovering new favorite authors and books – Oh my. My Kindle has SO many great books on it. I’m always finding new great books on BookHub and through book tours and recommendations.
  • Free books – Ah, does this really need explanation? This is a wonderful perk.
  • The opportunity to do what I love – I went to school for English and Journalism, so I’m happy to be able to put that to good use. I enjoy doing this. It’s fun, productive, and educational.
  • Having the chance to read books before release – Another great perk! It’s what I’d imagine going to a movie premier would be like – just without the celebrities and photo ops!

My Least Favorite Book Blogging Things

  • It can get expensive – Oh yes. Once you get hooked on an author or book series, stopping the chain of purchase is very difficult.
  • Over booking – This is so easy when there are so many great opportunities to review so many great books. I’ve recently taken a look at my methods and cut back a bit so I can get my ducks in a row.
  • Not having enough time to read everything – The plight of all major book worms.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 15 and 16

I am thankful for great friends. It’s always wonderful to look forward to fun get togethers with friends [and family.] Friends are the family we get to choose for ourselves.

I am thankful for public transportation. Sure, driving is great – but public transit allows for decompression time!

#BookBlogWriMo Day 13 – My Review Process and Thanks

review process and thanks 13

#BookBlogWriMo Day 13 – My Review Process

Going into this whole book reviewing thing, I knew I needed to come up with some sort of process, but I didn’t know where to start. Instead of creating some step-by-step, I just let it flow. That’s important. Don’t let someone else tell you how to do it, just feel it out and do what comes naturally. This is my process… Continue reading

#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.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Memes I Plan To Meme and Thanks

memes i meme thanks 10

 

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Memes I Plan To Meme

Memes are pretty great, and I will admit that I love to take part in them. Personally, I love Teaser Tuesday, Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. I do plan on having more fun posts like these on my blog, Facebook page, and Twitter soon.

Memes I Want To Meme More

#TeaserTuesday

Authors get to share teasers of the covers, upcoming releases, and other works in progress. This is always fun.

#TakeoverTuesday

Authors or other bloggers get to take over my Facebook page or put up a blog post on my site.

#ThrowbackThursday

Sharing old posts, reviewing books that have been around for a while or were my favorites growing up, old pictures, anything that’s a throwback.

#FreebieFriday

Well, this is exactly as I’ve shared – books that are currently free on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. I’ve done this in the past and love it. If you belong to sites like BookBub, you can have information like this delivered right to your email!

What are some of your favorite memes?

30 Days of Thanks – Day 10

Today I am thankful for weekends. I love my weekends and I can always count on them at the end of a rough week. I enjoy being able to spend time with my family, my husband, my pets, my books, and even my homework. To move at my own pace is nice every so often. Besides, weekends are the perfect reboot time. Ah, weekends. Too bad they aren’t longer. 🙂

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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