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.
*~*

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

*~*
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

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.

Giveaway October Image

 

 

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

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

 

 

 

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.

Giveaway October Image

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.
*~*
Author links:
*~*
Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

50$ Amazon gift card

5x eBook copy of Inevitable detour

rafflecopter-giveaway-button

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

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:

rafflecopter-giveaway-button

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway: Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune

Coral & Bone
By: Tiffany Daune
Publication Date: July 7, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format of Book: E-Books

*I received free ARCs of Coral & Bone from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.
Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.
CB Teaser 4
Welcome to my stop on the Coral & Bone 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 – I may or may not give away a copy of this book in the next couple of weeks. 🙂

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
I really enjoyed meeting each of the characters in this story. Halen, the main character, was well-constructed and really an interesting read. She’s got some issues (don’t we all), but that’s what drives her. Tage is a really entertaining personality. She is a hard-edged, rough girl who has obviously been through a lot. And Dax… he’s pretty great. And Pepper and Catch… adorable.

Overall, Daune does a great job piecing together the personalities and little intricacies of each of her characters. Much like the world she has created, a lot of detail has gone in to add to this great story.

Dialogue  –  3.5/5 Stars
There were many times while reading this story that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the dialogue going on between characters. There were some wonderful comical moments, but the heavier ones were dealt with with realism. Each character’s personality shone through their words.

Plot  –  3.5/5 Stars
I think the thing I enjoyed most about this story is that this was a fairly new concept. Besides the whole “character realizes she’s been living a lie..” bit, which proves to be the plot driver, the rest is creative and fun. This plot hasn’t been done before, which gave Daune the freedom to just roam and let it happen. And she did.

Visual Imagery  –  4/5 Stars
So many great visuals – the world of Elosia has to be my favorite – bubble sphere rooms, beautiful colors, fun clothes. I enjoyed being able to live in this story for a little while because Daune creates wonderful setting(s) for the characters to be a part of.

Ending  3.5/5 Stars
The ending of this book was fantastic. I can’t give much of anything away, but I’ll be looking for the next book when that comes out.

Total: 18/25 Stars

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed how different this story is from others I have read. It was fun and exciting, and it really got my imaginative thought-strings running. I look forward to reading future installments in this series!

So… when does the next one come out?

Goodreads: Follow This Link
Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
AUTHOR BIO
“I write stories about magick, love and dark creatures lurking in the shadows. When I’m not lost in Edit Land you can find me reading a book from my towering TBR pile or at the movie theater nibbling licorice. I don’t have a lucky number, but my favorite time is 11:11. I completely believe that the fortunes found inside cookies will come true and that you must be careful when wishing on stars. I live on an island, so if you want to visit you’ll need a boat, and if you want to survive the passage, be sure to bring candy for the mermaids.”
Author links:

rafflecopter-giveaway-button

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

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.

ussoon.jpg

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?