The Charmed Life of Taryn by Lindy Zart

CLOTaryn Cover.jpgThe Charmed Life of Taryn
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: 2016

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

I received an ARC from Lindy Zart in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

On the day Taryn Smith turns eighteen, her life changes-and not just because she can now legally vote. A black-eyed man with a chilly aura accosts her, and a stilted breath later, she’s abducted by a man who claims he’s a Manang; a half-man, half-angel being who lives in a world called Urian. Side note: he may or may not be sane.

Sent to a mansion in the middle of a grassy field surrounded by forest, and partnered with a black-haired, blue-eyed man with a surly nature who makes her heart spin, Taryn trains. For what, she doesn’t know. She’s told she’s someone special; a Charmed, and the key to winning in a battle of worlds about to collide. Only problem is, she can be a weapon of good, or a weapon of bad.

 

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My Thoughts

Another one on here from Lindy Zart! I was very excited to read The Charmed Life of Taryn, and Lindy did not disappoint! Between Taryn’s feisty personality, Creed’s cockiness, Luke’s mysterious manner, and the hodgepodge of other characters, this whole story plays out like a great television show. I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this novel the most, as it’s been a while since I’ve read something in this realm by Lindy. There are well-thought out twists and turns in this story, some romance and flirting, strong females, and an intriguing storyline. 

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4 Stars

Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eXdTMo
Amazon CA: amzn.to/2eZ0qCQ
Amazon UK: amzn.to/2dTbalh
Amazon AU: amzn.to/2eXf1j5
Kobo: bit.ly/2eD3Xd1
BN: bit.ly/2eiud9r
iBooks: apple.co/2eXcXYE

 

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Review/Tour: There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane

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Stars

There Once Were Stars
By:
 Melanie McFarlane
Published by: Month9Books

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

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I really enjoyed There Once Were Stars! I’ve been on a dystopian kick lately, and this one did not disappoint. McFarlane takes her readers on this journey into a world that we can only imagine today. We take for granted all of the luxuries we currently have, like an apple or shoes that match our outfits, and don’t really think too far into the future. Well, many people dont; I’m one of those people who tend to dwell on that. There Once Were Stars  brought me into this crazy world, very much like The Hunger Games, where everything was being run by a higher party. Secrets, betrayal, growing up — TOWS has it all! 

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The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.16 Stars

Links
Amazon Buy Link
B&N Buy Link
Kobo Buy Link
iBooks Buy Link
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Melanie

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Author links:

GIVEAWAY
e-book copy of There Once Were Stars
CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Blog Tour/Review: Shadow of Deception by Sophia L. Johnson

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SoDShadow of Deception (The Kazumi Chronicles, #1)
By: Sophia L. Johnson
Publication Date: April 9, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

*I received a free ARC of Shadow of Deception from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

2153, Toronto, United Nation of North America (UNNA)

A horrific plane crash kills all five hundred and forty-two passengers except one. Kazumi emerges from the wreckage physically unscathed but has lost all her memories. Her miraculous survival has the whole city buzzing but all she wants is to go home, wherever home is.

After waiting a month in the hospital with no one to claim her, Kazumi is deemed homeless. She is about to be sent to a nearby teenage shelter when the nurse she grew to trust ushers her down a mysterious path, one that promises safety and maybe even the chance to recover her memories. With no better options available, Kazumi takes her chance and finds herself in the headquarters of the Sarcomeres, a secret society of genetically advanced humans hidden deep inside the Rocky Mountains. The Sarc’s heightened physical abilities and high-tech gadgets are not the only things that fascinate Kazumi. Finnegan O’Riley, a fellow Sarc she meets along the way also gets her heart racing. When Kazumi discovers that she possesses the genetic potential of a Sarcomere, she jumps at the chance to train with them, not knowing the death defying tests that are involved.

Meanwhile, a centuries-old nemesis of the Sarcomeres begins to stir in the dark, setting their dark plans in motion. Just when Kazumi thinks she can help protect her new found home, past memories surface to threaten her new identity. She soon realizes that layers of deception run deep and everyone has a secret agenda, including herself.

Who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself? One wrong decision could bring forth consequences worse than death.

Shadow of Deception is the gold medal winner at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.

 

Welcome to my stop on the Shadow of Deception Blog Tour! Click the link to read my review, see the rating, find out more about the author, and enter a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card!

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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.-

 

Book Review: Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes

Kaleidoscope Hayes

Kaleidoscope (Faylinn Book 1)
By:
 Mindy Hayes
Publication Date: December 28, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Blurb:
“Was I still a human? Gosh, I still wanted to be human. Even just to keep a sliver of who I thought I was. But as I thought about being human, standing in the shade of the forest, I felt less human than ever. The trees fought for my allegiance.”

It starts in her chest. The change Calliope doesn’t see coming. It pulses like a second heartbeat, urging her to give in to the need to be in the depths of the forest. She’s compelled to fight the pull, but the more she denies it the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment.

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is, but with everything left unsaid, acceptance may be the least of their worries. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead.

Will Calliope be able to accept what Kai and Declan reveal or will her desire to be normal keep her from acknowledging her true destiny?

*~*

I have been a follower of Mindy Hayes for some time now. I was introduced to her by Michele and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one of her novels. Well, I got my hands on it and then let it sit in my To Be Read pile for a bit of time. What a silly decision!! I am a sucker for fantasy novels, especially well-written ones like Kaleidoscope. Hayes pulled me in with her prologue and I was reading with bated breath until the last page. Truth be told, it took me a day to finish this book; I just couldn’t put it down.

I enjoyed getting to know Calliope, the main character of this novel, and meeting her friends and family. Calliope is discovering herself and not all of these discoveries are easy for her. She’s well-developed and continues to grow through this novel, and surely into the next two. Cameron, Calliope’s best friend, is another character I loved. He’s the perfect best friend and I love the dynamic between him and Calliope. Now, Kai and Declan are fabulous. Their banter and honesty made me look forward to each time they appeared, wondering what would happen next.

Hayes writes with a lot of color and description, allowing the reader to easily visualize what is happening in the story. The use of nature to drive the plot enhanced the story and became almost a character in itself. Fantasy has always been a favorite genre of mine, getting lost in a world I wish could exist beyond what I know. Hayes helped make that vision come to life on the pages of Kaleidoscope.

The next two books were on my Wishlist even before I finished this one and I can’t wait to add them to my Hayes experience.

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The Final Countdown

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

Total: 4.5 Stars

Links
Amazon Kaleidoscope (Faylinn #1)
Amazon Ember (Faylinn #2)
Amazon Luminary (Faylinn #3)
Amazon Complete Faylinn Book Bundle
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Mindy is the author of the YA Fantasy Faylinn Novels, Kaleidoscope (Faylinn #1), Ember (Faylinn #2), and Luminary (Faylinn #3), as well as the Contemporary Romance Willowhaven Series, Me After You (Willowhaven #1) and Me Without You (Willowhaven #2). Currently, she’s working on the Coming of Age Romance, The Day That Saved Us.

She grew up in San Diego, California exploring her interest for singing and playing the piano. Mindy first discovered her passion for reading when she had to make her first flight alone to South Carolina to visit her, then, fiancé. Her love for writing followed shortly after. Mindy and her husband have now been married for eight years and live in Summerville, South Carolina.

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The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen – Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway

The Ark
By: Laura Liddell Nolen
Publication Date: March 26, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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

Synopsis

There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.

With her criminal record, sixteen-year-old Char is never going to get a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect Earth’s survivors. The Arks are reserved for the real goody-goodies, like Char’s mom, dad, and brother, all of whom have long since turned their backs on her.

With Earth on the brink of destruction, Char must use all her tricks of the trade to swindle her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of whether they want to see her or not.

Once she arrives on the North American Ark, Char discovers that the remnants of humanity haven’t achieved the egalitarian utopia they’d planned for. For starters, the “Officers of the Peace” are anything but peaceful, especially since stealing a spot on an Ark is a crime punishable by death….

Welcome to my stop on the The Ark Blog Tour! Click the link to read my review, see the rating, find out more about the author, and enter a giveaway for a copy of the book!

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Blog Tour and Review – Sleepless by Michael Omer

Sleepless (Narrowdale #1)
By: Michael Omer
Publication Date: January 12, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult

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

Synopsis

Don’t fall asleep. Don’t dream. Don’t get caught.

At the beginning of her freshman year of high school, Amy can think of nothing worse than moving to the boring, suburban town of Narrowdale. And that’s before she starts having the same nightmare over and over again, waking up every night to a creepy whistle outside her window and being haunted by a mysterious, menacing presence. Getting used to the new school becomes the least of her problems.

As she delves deeper to uncover the truth, she unknowingly edges closer to mortal danger. Terrible events that took place years ago threaten to happen again, but now Amy’s life is on the balance. Unfortunately, the one guy who is supposed to protect her, nineteen year old Peter, doesn’t believe her.

Some things seem to happen only in Narrowdale, where dark secrets hide beneath the surface…

As she confronts the mysteries of Narrowdale, Amy documents her experiences in her blog. The book contains live links to this blog.

Welcome to my stop on the Sleepless Blog Tour! Click the link to read my review and see the rating!

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Blog Tour: An Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston

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An Absence of Light
By: Meradeth Houston
Publication Date: October 31, 2014
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*I received a free ARC of An Absence of Light from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.

Welcome to my stop on the An Absence of Light Blog Tour! 

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Blog Tour and Giveaway – Deceived by L.A. Starkey

Deceived (Soul Keeper Series #1)
By: L.A. Starkey
Publication Date: August 28, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.

Excerpt

Julie finished picking up her room and quickly changed into her pajamas. She slid into bed, finding comfort in the darkness. Something was off, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it might be. She tossed and turned in her bed, sleep evading her, worry starting to consume her thoughts.

“Sister …”

Julie sat up, full of fright. She slid out of bed, tip-toed to the window and peered through the misty glass. A young man about her age, beautiful and enchanting, stood in the grass below, smiling up toward her as the night wind tousled his dark hair. She jumped back from the window with a soft yelp leaving her lips.

Brother. The thought came and went like a ghost in the night.

Brother? Who is he for real? Julie asked herself as she slipped on her slippers and rushed down the stairs, heading straight for the back door. Seriously? Am I seriously rushing out the back door toward some random person I think I know? And from where?  It was useless. Her feet were moving faster than her senses could keep up with, rushing to get to him before he disappeared.

Julie burst out the back door and ran across the yard, stopping a few feet from him. As she reached out, instead of touching him, her hand passed through his body, warmth teasing her fingers. Her widened eyes filled with tears. She knew this boy and loved him.

“Is it you, Brother? Am I asleep?” Julie’s voice was no more than a whisper.

“Yes, you’re asleep. I’ve missed you so much over the last few years. To see you here on Earth breaks my heart.” He ducked his head, but it was too late. She could see the tears rimming his deep jade gaze.

“I don’t understand. How am I breaking your heart?” Much to her discomfort, she took another step toward him. “Where have you been, I haven’t seen you in a lifetime. Why have you not visited me more often? What is this Earth you speak of?” Julie’s mind was overloaded, trying to catch up.

Where are these words coming from? This guy is my brother? As in, real brother? Because he is certainly not Brent.

What is Earth? Uh, how about Earth to Julie?

I’d better be dreaming. She shifted uncomfortably.

“The prophecy’s coming near. You being born to this plane tells me this much. My grief for you over the events to come is more than my soul can bear. I shouldn’t have come here …” He turned and began to pace, having a conversation half with himself and half with her.

“Why do I do this to myself?” He shook his head. “I wish I were here in the flesh so I could reach out and hug you. I’d implant in you the memory and strength of my love, but I can’t. It’s against the rules, Sister, and everything has to be fair. However, you know all of this as well as I do.”

He chuckled sarcastically. “These rules are supposedly ingrained in all of us at a cellular level. What a load of crap.” Nick paced back and forth with disgust drawn in the deep worry lines of his forehead.

“Fair, ha, as if,” he huffed. “Where is our even playing field? Where is fairness to us, you evil witches?” he loudly cursed the sky, as if daring someone in it to strike him dead where he stood.

Julie shivered in fear, overwhelmed by his tirade. Her brow wrinkled in confusion at who he was addressing.

“Why don’t you just end this battle of wills, this ridiculous prophecy, even before it begins?” he continued. “No, of course not. I’m not that lucky, am I, Sister?”

“Please, stop this madness,” Julie pleaded with him, reaching to take his hand into hers and finding nothing of tangible essence. “No matter what happens, I love you. Tell our brother I love him too. That his sister cries for his fate, as she cries for yours.” Julie shook her head, desperately trying to wake herself.

She was merely an onlooker, staring out of her own body, watching someone else pull the strings.

 *~*

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23109999-deceived
Purchase:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1500927872/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1500927872&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

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Author Bio:

Laurie Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Jacob and three beautiful kiddos.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.
Author links:

https://lauriestarkey.wordpress.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8504368.L_A_Starkey

https://www.facebook.com/L.A.StarkeyAuthor

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