Mini-Reviews: Missing Pieces, The Visitor, The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Missing Pieces

Tite: Missing Pieces

Author: Heather Gudenkauf

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Review: The plot was decent, but I didn’t care that much about the characters. Not all of the characters were as developed as they could’ve been, the relationship between Sarah and Jack was weird, they didn’t act like a married couple at all, and Sarah’s behavior was often unrealistic. The ending was worth it, though, and it was a pleasant read nonetheless.

The Visitor (Gaveyard Queen #4)

Title: The Visitor

Author: Amanda Stevens

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Ghosts

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I’m starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.

Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll’s disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I’m being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.

Review: I absolutely adore the Graveyard Queen series, so I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw the fourth installment on Netgalley, and I knew I had to read this. The author did an amazing job of describing Charleston, in particular the cemeteries Amelia worked on restoring. I also really enjoyed the riddles, and the romance between Amelia and John Devlin in this book.

The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

Title: The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

Author: David John Griffin

Genre: Horror, Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The turn of the last century and Theodore Stubb’s manor house resides in the quirky village of Muchmarsh. A renowned entomologist, he is often within the attic adding another exotic specimen to his extensive collection of insects. But Theodore is also a master hypnotist, holding the household in thrall to his every whim. Theodore’s daughter-in-law Eleanor – returned from the sanatorium two months before – is a haunted figure, believing that her stillborn child Alastair lives and hides in the shadows. Then she falls pregnant again, but this time by the hypnotic coercion and wicked ravishment of Theodore. A dreadful act begets terrible secrets, and thirteen years later the boy Alastair Stubb begins to lose his identity – it is not long before mystery, intrigue and murder follow gleefully in his wake. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb is a gothic terror of the highest order, delivering a dream-like and hallucinatory reading experience that promises to reveal secrets both disturbing and astonishing. Do you dare meet the Stubbs?
Review: A gripping gothic horror centered around the Stubb family, who reminded me of the Adams family. The writing is reminiscent of turn-of-the-century writing, and provides an atmospheric, eerie vibe to the book. The story was very intriguing and I loved the weirdness.

Book Review: Building Your Author Platform by Tiffany Shand

Building Your Author Platform CoverTitle: Building Your Author Platform
Author: Tiffany Shand
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Becoming an author in today’s world has never been easier with the self-publishing revolution. But how does an author stand out in a crowded market?

Setting up and building your author platform before you even publish your first book is the best way for building a solid platform that will last and help you grow your tribe of fans. This book contains all the fundamentals from creating your author website, to choosing your route of publishing and much more!

In Building Your Author Platform, author Tiffany Shand talks about her journey as an author, and the importance of having an author platform to sell your books, even as a fiction author. The book is a short read, only 28 pages, but it offers valuable information, and some helpful tips.

I would recommend this book to all authors, the ones who already have an author platform but want to expand it, and author who are just starting out.

Author Interview with Lisa Beth Darling

3c2printcoversmallHow long have you been writing?

Nearly 46 years, I started writing when I was in the 4th grade.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I don’t really have one, all of my stories center on a close relationship of some kind be it in a contemporary romance or a paranormal/mythological based book, there’s even a family drama, which we’ll discuss here in a moment. I like writing about people more than places or things.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’d probably like to try my hand at something historical from the Victorian Era a romantic mystery.

Please tell us about your book.

My latest novel, “Prodigal Son” is the fourth and final installment in the Sister Christian series. Here, Hannah Rice is well on her way to having her guardianship lifted and of course, her brother, Richard Mason, isn’t all that keen on the idea as he’s come to respect and love his sister and doesn’t want to let her go. However, letting her fly free into the arms of Nick Jackson is inevitable and Mason eventually comes around to that fact. If it weren’t for the shadowy figure stalking Hannah all would be well.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Within the Sister Christian series, my favorite character is Hannah Rice. She’s had a very hard life, but she’s sweet and vulnerable and nothing ever gets her down for too long. My least favorite is a character that hardly has any lines or makes much of an appearance at all because he’s dead at the start of the series, his name is James Rice, he’s the father of Hannah and Richard Mason. He was a very dastardly fellow with no redeeming qualities at all.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Although this is not a “Christian” or “religious” series, Hannah, despite all of her trials and tribulations, is still a devout Christian and her brother is a staunch atheist. I did my best to keep the focus on the characters in hopes that it wouldn’t come out preachy or cliché in some manner. It was a fine line to walk through four books.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I used to have a strict writing routine but then my husband moved away for work and only comes home in the weekends. I’m still getting used to this change. When I do write, I have to have my iTunes, a hot drink, a cold drink (potent, please), my cigs and my candles burning.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?
“Prodigal Son” took about a year as do most of my novels.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

Once upon a time, I wrote with pen and paper and just flew through whatever story I was writing. Then I moved to a typewriter and did the same thing. Then the computer came along and brought me all these green and red squiggly lines. They’re maddening! I find myself adjusting/editing everything as I write rather than just forgetting about that and concentrating on the story itself. Editing is for when the story is done it’s not an as you go process. Yet, I can’t help it and it often gets me stuck in Editing Mode when I should be in Writing Mode. Once I do get to The End, I go back and read it, edit it, and then send it off to my lovely beta readers who will edit it more. They send it back, I drop in their edits and finally the book is done.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up on yourself, don’t let fear and self-doubt get in the way of telling your story. Once it’s done, rewrite, edit, submit, and don’t let the rejection slips get you down. It’s not a reflection on you or your story.

Why should everyone read your book?

Unlike most of my other novels, which are dark and full of sex and violence, the Sister Christian series is rather heartwarming and inspirational. It has its twists, turns, and dark family secrets, but in the end, with any luck at all, the reader will walk away from each installment feeling as though there’s some hope left in the world.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and VC Andrews.

What inspired you to write your book?

The Muse, all stories come from the Cosmos to pick their writers.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Not yet, although I’ve been working off-and-on and several stories none of them have stuck just yet, I’m not the kind of person who can write more than one story at a time. After “Prodigal Son” is out in the world I believe we’ll be getting back to one of my favorite characters, Ares God of War, but with something outside of my OF WAR series.

Author Bio

Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of 30 years, Roy and is mother to their two daughters.  She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books. When she’s not writing she likes to garden and is an avid movie buff.

Author links:

Website: http://www.lisabethdarling.com

Blog: http://lbdarling.wordpress.com

Twitter: @lb_darling

Facebook: http://facebook.com/lbdarling

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1577311.Lisa_Beth_Darling

Purchase Links:

Amazon/Kindle: http://amazon.com/author/lisadarling

Nook: http://barnesandnoble.com/c/lisa-beth-darling

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lisa-beth-darling/id411650358?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lisadarling

Prodigal Son-Sister Christian Finale

About the Book

When the Hour is Darkest Love and Faith Can Conquer All.

In the final installment of the Sister Christian Series, the Court has demanded a hearing regarding Hannah’s capacity. Hannah and Nick are falling deeper and deeper in love. Looking forward to a bright future together they begin planning their life together. A shadowy stranger from the past has set his sights on Hannah and her 3.5 million dollar trust fund. Is he really Rick MacNeill, the son Hannah thought died in the terrible fire at Saint Anne’s? Is he someone sinister? The last of the family secrets come to light in this roller coaster ride of suspense, love, betrayal, and faith.

Short Excerpt:
“Oh, what am I doing?” She asked her reflection but it had no answers. “He’s so much better than I am. Just like Rick.”

The woman in the mirror just stared at her with a mixture of fear and bewilderment.

“This is crazy!”

Still her reflection only mimicked her.

Somewhere she heard a voice so real that it made her turn around then throw open the bathroom door to peer into the bedroom and the hallway to the living room.

Love is Crazy, it’s not sane, Hannah, it’s not logical. But it is real.

“Mama?” Hannah whimpered as she gazed into the empty living room, “Mama?” Holding tight to the gold locket around her neck she hurriedly ran her thumb over it. A week before her tenth birthday, she’d been sewing a quilt with her mother and asked her how she’d know when she was in love. Mama had said that love was crazy, it wasn’t sane, it wasn’t logical, but it was real and

You’ll know it when your heart beats faster than a hummingbird’s wings.

Every time she saw Nick or talked to him on the phone, even when she sent him emails on her vacation and then waited for his reply, her heart beat so rapidly she thought it would burst in her chest. That was at least as fast as hummingbird’s wings. “I think I love him, Mama,” she whispered to no one, “how do I know if he loves me?”

To that, there was no ghostly answer as it wasn’t a topic they’d discussed that day as they sat quilting outside, under the big oak tree, in the bright sunshine.

Book Tours: Consumed

CONSUMED eBookStacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.

But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional  instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.

Author Bio

Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

Links

Buy the book on Amazon.

Book Excerpt

 “Your nose is bleeding.”

       I brought my hand to my nose and nodded.

       Ugh. I snorted coke last night.

       My whole body contorted and I ran to Derek’s bathroom as quickly as I could. I made it just in time. Blood and acid trickled from my nostrils, vomit spewed violently from my mouth, and tears poured from my ducts.

        Eli caught up with me, closed the door, and pulled my hair back into a neat bun. His soft hands rubbed my back gently until finally, after what seemed like years, my body stopped betraying me and calmed. The stress Eli felt was written all over his face; he couldn’t imagine the idea of me being hurt, sick, under his watch. He handed me some tissues for my nose and held me to his chest on the tile floor. He didn’t say a word but I knew that he was worried; he felt betrayed by my choices. I hated that I had let him down again. I cried so hard I threw up again.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Twain’s End

twainsendbanner

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for historical fiction “Twain’s End”. The tour runs from August 29 to September 29.

Enjoy the tour!

Tour Schedule

August 29th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 29th: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

August 31st: Promo Post @ Rising Indies United

September 3rd: Author Interview @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

September 5th: Promo Post @ Bedazzled Reading

September 7th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

September 10th: Promo Post @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

September 12th: Promo Post @ The Single Librarian

September 14th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

September 16th: Promo Post @ Bookish Madness

September 18th: Book Review @ The Broke Book Bank

September 20th: Book Review @ History from a Woman’s Perspective

September 22nd: Book Review @ Laura’s Interests

September 23rd: Promo Post @ Books are Forever

September 24th: Book Review @ 100 Pages A Day

September 25th: Book Review @ Maari Loves Her Indies

September 27th: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

September 29th: Book Review @ The Book Tree

About the Book

TwainsEndPBTitle: Twain’s End

Author: Lynn Cullen

Genre: Historical

Now in paperback for the first time from the national bestselling author of Mrs. Poe, Lynn Cullen, comes TWAIN’S END (Gallery Books; June 7, 2016; Trade Paperback; $16.00), a fictional imagining of America’s iconic writer Mark Twain and the woman who knew him too well.

In March of 1909, Mark Twain cheerfully blessed the wedding of his private secretary, Isabel V. Lyon, and his business manager, Ralph Ashcroft. One month later, he fired both, wrote a ferocious 429-page rant about the pair, and then—with his daughter, Clara Clemens—slandered Isabel in the newspapers, erasing her nearly seven years of devoted service to their family.

In TWAIN’S END, Lynn Cullen “cleverly spins a mysterious, dark, tale” (Booklist) about the tangled relationship between Twain and Lyon. A silenced woman, Isabel’s loyal service and innocence were not enough to combat the slander, and she has gone down in history as the villainess who swindled Twain in his final years. She never rebutted Twain’s claims, never spoke badly of the man she called “The King,” and kept her silence until she died in 1958. How did Lyon go from being the beloved secretary who ran Twain’s life to a woman he was determined to destroy? TWAIN’S END explains.

Author Bio

Lynn Cullen lives in Atlanta surrounded by her large family, and like Mark Twain, enjoys being bossed around by cats. Follow Lynn Cullen on Facebook or visit www.lynncullen.com.  

Links

Buy the book on Simon & Schuster

Book Tours: Starter Day Party The Earl’s Return

earlsreturnbanner

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for regency romance “The Earl’s Return”. The tour runs from August 29 to September 9.

Tour Schedule

August 29th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 30th: Book Excerpt @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

August 31st: Promo Post @ Tome Tender

September 1st: Book Review @ Books, Books & More Books

September 3rd: Character Interview @ Spunk and Hunks

September 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

September 4th: Book Excerpt @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

September 5th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

September 5th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

September 7th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

September 9th: Book Review @ Bayou Book Junkie

About the Book

unnamedTitle: The Earl’s Return

Author: Callie Hutton

Genre: Regency Romance

London, 1819. Four years ago, Darius, the Earl of Redgrave fled London two weeks before his wedding to Lady Mary’s sister and married another woman. Now a widower, he has returned to seek a new wife.

 One woman catches his eye  . . .

At first, Lady Mary doesn’t recognize the handsome lord as the cad who ran out on her sister. After giving him the cut direct in a London ballroom, she finds herself running into him everywhere she goes, and fighting a forbidden attraction. Not only has Mary sworn off men, Redgrave is so very wrong for her. But she cannot stop thinking of his kisses. Redgrave means to stay away from Mary but it is impossible. Passion between two people who can never be together is a dangerous game.

Author Bio

The USA Today best selling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two. Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, and daughter-in-law (thankfully all not in the same house), and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-eight years. She recently welcomed twin grandsons and loves being a grandma. Callie loves to hear from readers, and would welcome you as a “friend” on Facebook. You can contact her through her website: www.calliehutton.com, or write her directly at calliehutton11@gmail.com

She is past president of the Oklahoma chapter of The Romance Writers of America and PAN Liaison for Hearts Through History Romance Writers chapter of RWA.

Website: http://calliehutton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCallieHutton/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Calliehutton
Newsletter: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/p1n5h1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5349775.Callie_Hutton

 

Links

Amazon.com

B&N

Kobo

Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Building Your Author Platform

buildingplatformbanner

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for nonfiction “Building Your Author Platform”. Enjoy the tour!

Tour Schedule

August 28th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 28th: Promo Post @ It’s a Book Thing

August 28th: Promo Post @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

August 30th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

September 2nd: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

September 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

September 4th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

About the Book

Building Your Author Platform CoverTitle: Building Your Author Platform

Author: Tiffany Shand

Genre: Nonfiction

Becoming an author in today’s world has never been easier with the self-publishing revolution. But how does an author stand out in a crowded market?

Setting up and building your author platform before you even publish your first book is the best way for building a solid platform that will last and help you grow your tribe of fans. This book contains all the fundamentals from creating your author website, to choosing your route of publishing and much more!

Author Bio

Photo of Tiffany ShandTiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. After doing a creative writing course in her teens, she discovered her love of nonfiction writing and is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and is the author of the urban fantasy Excalibar Investigations Series. When she’s not writing, you’ll usually find her reading.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her family, two very spoiled cats and a hamster.

Links

Amazon buy link

Tiffany’s Blog

Tiffany’s Author Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

Book Review: Vile by Benjamin S. Jeffries

27507455Title: Vile: Peeking Under the Skin of Murderers
Author: Benjamin S. Jeffries
Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Experience 42 horrific stories about the world’s more extreme killers in this comprehensive tome of grisly lusts and depraved pleasures of people who started out human and became something else. Read not only what they did, but why they did it often from the killer’s own words. Meet legendary murderers Jack The Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Henry Lee Lucas, and Ed Gein. Become intimate with lesser knowns, such as Edmund Kemper, Louis Wagner, and Carl Panzram. Bear witness to depraved sexual sadists Albert Fish, Gary Heidnik, and Richard Ramirez. Discover the insanity of Joseph Kallinger, The Shoemaker, Tsutomu Miyazaki, Japan’s demented child killer, and Gordon Stewart Northcott, twisted ax murderer and pedophile. Take a sinister trip to where violence is the beginning and death is a welcome release.”

In Vile: Peeking Under the Skin of Murderers, author Benjamin S. Jeffries investigates 21 serial murderers throughout history, from Jack the Ripper to Albert Fish. There seems to be no real reason why some murderers get included and others are left out, except perhaps the gruesome nature of their crimes – only the most vile killers get their case featured in this book.

Each chapter focuses on a different murder. Despite only being a few pages long, the chapters do pack the most interesting info about the case, and quickly dives into the murderer’s past, their psychology, the people they targeted, and how they eventually got caught and were tried. Most of the cases were familiar to me, but I did learn some new facts, and for the ones I already knew, the book refreshened my memory.

Some chapters were stronger than others. I wasn’t particularly fond of the Jack the Ripper chapter – the author did a far better job describing the crimes in which the murderer was actually caught than he did with this unsolved case.

The quick one-paragraph profiles of murders of the past at the end of the chapter were a nice addition, but I didn’t always see the link between that murderer and the case presented, and some paragraphs didn’t really say much while others summed up events nicely. Overall, a good read if you want to know more about these horrible serial murderers, and it inspired me to look up more about some of the cases I wasn’t familiar with.

Mini-Reviews: The Inn Between, Love Me Never, The Girl I Used to Be

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Inn Between

Tite: The Inn Between

Author: Marina Cohen

Genre: Middle Grade, Horror

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The Shining meets “Hotel California” in this supremely creepy middle grade novel about the bizarre things that happen to two girls stranded at a desert inn.

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned

When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?

Review: Spooky rather than downright scary, but since it’s for middle graders, that works fine. A lot of mystery, excellent characters, definite chills, and so many amazing twists. Very unpredictable, and one of my favorite reads this year.

Love Me Never

Title: Love Me Never

Author: Sara Wolf

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Read the book that Kirkus Reviews called: “A complex, witty page-turner, ideal for YA fans of scandal and romance.”

Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.

Review: A traumatized girl with a dark past. A traumatized guy with a dark past, which made him cold and distant (yet he’s also incredibly hot). Roamnce happens, but there’s also a love triangle of sorts, and while the plot is okay but not that original, the writing was annoying. The story was filled with so many awkward situations, immature humour, and things that were so over the top they were impossible. Most of the characters were idiots.

The Girl I Used to Be

Title: The Girl I Used to Be

Author: April Henry

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Olivia’s mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there’s a killer still at large. It’s up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?
Review: An original, fast-paced novel about the past, the secrets of the past, and how they can come back to destroy everything else. Olivia is searching for answers, but those answers might put her life in danger. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re looking for a spine-chilling thriller, then I recommend this book.

Book Review and Giveaway Running to Stand Still

Cover copyTitle: Running to Stand Still
Author: Lauran Rosolino
Genre: NA Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Collin was who he was: simple and easy.

                Me? I was jagged and complex. I wanted everything.

                And despite how he made me feel—safe—it was clear to me that we’d never work out in the end.

                That divide between us would always be there.

                Because I’d never ask him to give up on the things he wanted.

                And, while I sometimes wished I could be that person, I wasn’t.

Just seven more months. Then Jamie Benson can leave this goodbye town behind her and start her new life in Chicago. She can leave this place of broken glass and cracked sidewalks and rusted fences. This place that holds nothing good. She can leave the ghosts and spinning rooms and shattered promises in her rearview mirror and never look back.

But all the stories she’s been telling herself are threatened when, one night, while tending bar at her father’s hole-in-the-wall dive, she meets Collin—a boy who is good and honest and sincere in a world where everything is harsh and cold and detached. A boy who makes her feel safe.  A boy worth staying for.

Will Jamie be able to untangle the truths from the lies? Or will the sins of the past swallow her whole?

In Running to Stand Still, Jamie Benson is eager to leave town and start a new life in Chicago. In seven months, that’s a plausible reality. But while working at her father’s bar, she meets Collin, a boy who is honest, sincere, and all the things she’s longed for and never knew. He makes her feel safe. He gives her a reason to stay. But with all the sins of the past still haunting her, can she get past what happened, and move on?

Collin and Jamie both tell the story. The POV switches every chapter, but it works well that way, and allows the reader to connect to both of them. Jamie certainly had a tough life, and I felt for her. She was easy to relate to, despite the hardships, and despite often distancing herself from others. Their romance was very sweet and heart-warming, and I was cheering for both of them.

A book about second chances, about love blossoming against all hope, about believing in yourself and others, and about the past, and how it can haunt people, and how hard it is to let go of the past. An amazing book, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.

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