Thursday, March 26, 2015

ARC Review: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn @susankayequinn

24925056.jpgWhen transcending humanity is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in a new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.


Title: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Publication Date: March 2, 2015

Brooke's Review:
I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I'm a huge fan of Quinn and love everything she writes. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

I'm always up for some sci-fi. and Quinn writes really great sci-fi. So when offered this book, I jumped right in. and of course I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Eli is an artist. But he's only human. And he wants badly to become an ascender because that would mean he could get the medical care his mother so badly needs. So when given the chance to compete in the olympics, he jumps at it, despite others who think he should hold back. But Eli is more than he appears to be, and those who want to win will stop at nothing to try and get him disqualified.

Of course, Quinn builds her story around Eli, but we also meet several other characters who play key roles in the story. I really loved how Quinn shaped them and made them all so very different, each personality coming out off the page. Cyrus is the tough best friend, who will ultimately do anything for Eli. Kamali and Basha lend the girl side to the story, and just a bit of romance. But for me, the secondary character who stole the show was Delphina. Such great sass in that character, and I truly love some sass!

I really like Eli. He's got this vulnerability about him that drew me right to him. But he's also not afraid to do what needs to be done. And the love he has for his mother is beyond anything that you can imagine. He would do anything for her.

I love the world Quinn builds for us with this book. A world where humans are no longer the dominant species. Where something other has come to be of higher intelligence and being and the humans are treated as mere slaves or worse. I will say that I had some trouble picturing the world outside of the buildings the characters were in. I wanted badly to know what it looked like. But I also understood where most of the plot too place, kind of an indoor city of it's own.

And there's nothing rushed about this plot. Quinn gives us a slow rise to the epiphany, building on what we know from the chapters before. But the book is by no means slow. The plot moves along at a good pace, keeping you interested from beginning to end. And of course Quinn throws in some great plot twists, keeping you on your toes, as well. Never really knowing who you can trust and who could be the enemy. I especially love that part of the book!

And I truly love how Quinn builds her book, insinuating some slight romance, but not relying on it to keep people intrigued and wanting more. Sure, you want for there to be something to happen, but you're also good with how the plot is interesting and can stand all on it's own with all the kissing and such you see in so many YA books these days. This is not to say that I don't want more, or want to see the characters take this on in the future (hint hint Susan).

Overall I was in no way disappointed with the first book in this series. It left me wanting more. Left me with questions I know will be answered in the future while still completing the arc of the storyline. Anyone who is a fan of Quinn's previous Mindjack series will be pulled into this and won't want to turn back. A true sci-fi tale that keeps you hooked from beginning to end!


4094557.jpgSusan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she’s met along the way.

She doesn’t have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as she can handle.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blog Tour: Never Gonna Tell by Sarah M. Ross @InkSlingerPR @SarahtheAuthor

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NGT%20front.jpgMy name is Reagan Wilcox: high school senior by day, kick-ass investigative journalist by night. I’ve always loved observing people—especially when they think no one is paying attention.
I thought I was ready to cover any story. Work any angle.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened that night. I wasn’t ready for what I saw. And I certainly wasn’t ready for him.
I always knew I’d write the headlines. Now, I just might become one.


Excerpt:

I roll my eyes and let out a snort, catching the group’s attention.
“Are you eavesdropping?” Riley steps forward, crossing her arms as Tammy does the same right behind her. Their veil of grief is gone, and now they’re back to sharks at the top of the food chain, irritated that a guppy dared to invade their space. “Who the hell are you?”
“Me? Oh, no one you’d know. Carry on.” I put two quarters in the machine and press the button for some trail mix, ignoring the daggers the three of them are staring at me. Riley is not one to let anything go and thrives on making sure everyone knows that she’s Queen Bee, so I only hope that she’s not in the mood to create a scene.
I’m not that lucky.
“Do you really think you can eavesdrop on my conversation like you belong here? And then have the nerve to try to brush me off? I don’t think so, bitch.”
I have seen her do this too many times to too many girls who she thinks have “slighted” her. I know my best move is to apologize quickly and get out of her way, but I’ve never been one to back down to a bully. They don’t deserve the power and, nine times out of ten, their bark is worse than their bite.
“I’m not apologizing for standing near you. And I can’t help it if your shrill voice is so loud I overheard what you were saying.”
Riley takes two more steps closer to me, jaw set and eyes full of hatred. She’s not used to hearing no. Andrew is right behind her, ready to intercede if need be. “You need to go back to whatever trailer park you crawled out of and pray I never learn your name. Because if I ever even think I see your hideous face near me again, I will end you.”
A crowd begins to form a circle around us, anticipating a fight. And once again my mouth runs amuck before my brain can stop it. I have no interest in fighting her, but I can’t just back down. All the pent-up anxiety and tension of the last forty-eight hours spill over, and my temper flares.
“It’s a good thing you’re enjoying high school. It’ll make the disappointment of the rest of your life a little less sad.”
“What did you say to my girl?” Andrew is pissed, steam practically coming from his ears.
“Andrew, I got this,” she seethes. “You’re done, you ugly little mole. And by the time I’m through with you, even a plastic surgeon won’t be able to fix you.”
“Can you recommend one, then? Maybe the guy who did your boob job? It’s no secret that those are fake, ya know.”
Riley’s jaw drops for a half a second before she pulls back to take a swing. I begin to duck, but strong arms circle my waist, pulling me away from her.
Andrew quickly steps in front of Riley, and Tammy squeals and ducks behind the both of them. I turn my head to see who just interceded and am shocked to see Marco. Andrew squares his shoulders and takes another step toward me. Marco doesn’t even hesitate. His fist collides into Andrew’s jaw—hard. He pulls back and punches again, knocking Andrew to the ground. I have no doubt he’s seeing stars. My hands fly to my mouth in shock, and Riley is screaming. Marco pulls me behind him, keeping a hand at my waist.
“It’s over. Leave,” he orders the others. “And don’t let me find out you’ve threatened Reagan again.”
“Who’s Reagan?” I hear someone behind me whisper.
Andrew quickly stands up, stiffening and squaring his shoulders. “She’s the dumb bitch who started it.” Andrew apparently is very stupid.
Marco growls behind me. “Watch your mouth, or next time I’ll make sure your jaw won’t be able to utter another syllable for the next six months.”

Author-Pic.jpgSarah started her obsession with reading at an early age, often sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class. She would read any book she could get her hands on. Her love of reading quickly evolved into a love of writing and stories began to pour out of her. 

She grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. Sarah will always be a proud member of the Steelers' Nation, but couldn't take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her family and two cats. You will find her now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Sarah's debut novel, AWAKEN, released in January, 2012. Other novels include AVENGE, ATONE, ECHO OF AN EARTH ANGEL, and INHALE EXHALE. 

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Waiting on Wednesday #53: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Anne Aquirre

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting!


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Title: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author: Ann Aquirre
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Expected Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Blurb:
Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…


835348.jpgAnn Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes all kinds of books, emo music, action movies and Doctor Who. She writes all kind of fiction in multiple genres, both YA and for adults.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Trailer Reveal: Ignite and Shadows by Ingrid Seymour @Ingrid_Seymour

We are so excited to help reveal the trailer for Ingrid Seymour's Ignite and Shadows!

ItS.jpgIgnite The Shadows by Ingrid Seymour 
(Ignite The Shadows #1)
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: April 23rd 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.
Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.
Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.
She’s infected.




Ingrid.jpgIngrid Seymour is the author of IGNITE THE SHADOWS (Harper Voyager, April 23rd, 2015). When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal and horror.

Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.

She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two kids and a cat named Mimi.

Author links:

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #64

 photo STSmall_thumb2_zps82241b59.pngStacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Here's what I got this week!

Free from Amazon:

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For review! Thanks to Random House, St. Martin's Press, Feiwel and Friends, Spencer Hill Press, Kensington and Delacorte Press.
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Catalyst (Control #2) by Lydia Kang
Play On by Michelle Smith
Both Sides by Paul E. Stawki
Takings Sides by Paul E. Stawski
The Wonderous and the Wicked (The Dispossessed #3) by Page Morgan

And hubby bought me this huge bread machine recipe book! I've already made one recipe and it came out great!

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What did you get this week!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Blog Tour: Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory @darylwriterguy

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Harrison%20Squared.jpgTitle: HARRISON SQUARED

Author: Daryl Gregory
Pub. Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters.

Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school. 

On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knife­wielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish­-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.

Hi Daryl! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. We can't wait to hear what you have to say to our questions! Let's get started, shall we?
1)     If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing as a teenager, what would it be?
Don’t trust time travelers, even if they claim to be you. Those guys always have a hidden agenda, and it usually involves preserving THEIR timeline at the expense of yours. So trust your own instincts. Of course, by telling Yester-Daryl this information, I’ve created a sort of paradox. But hey, paradoxes come with the territory when you’re dealing with time travelers.
But on the topic of trusting your own instincts, one reason I wrote Harrison Squared was to get back to the kinds of stories I loved as a kid, where a brilliant teenager solves the mysteries that adults have given up on. My first heroes were Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys. It’s just that my hero not only solves mysteries, he battles tentacled gods from other dimensions. Like ya do.
I also loved those choose-your-own-adventure games, where I got to call the shots. So after I wrote Harrison Squared the novel, I worked with visual artist David Hinnergardt to create a text-with-illustrations adventure game that’s a companion to the book. It’s called Harrison Squared Dies Early, and it’s available for free at darylgregory.com/harrisonsquared.

2) Do you have a fear that you'd like to overcome?
Wait, you’re asking me to pick just one? We can start with giant squids (see below). But a more daily fear is also related to suckers: fear of sucking. I write every day, and every day I think, you’d better make this good, Daryl, or you’ll be fired from literature for all time. It’s a ridiculous fear. Who is it, exactly, that’s going to read the day’s pages, call the Boss of All Books, and send me my pink slip?
So I try to manage that fear. But I think kids today are under a lot more pressure than I was in high school. The rates of depression among high school seniors is higher than it’s ever been. So, if I could time-travel back to answer question #1 again, it would be to tell teenage Daryl not to let that voice get to him.

3) Who was your inspiration to start writing?
The people who most inspired me were fictional. I would read a book about Doc Savage, or Sherlock Holmes, and I immediately wanted to write my own Doc Savage / Sherlock Holmes team-up novel. (I did that in fifth grade. It was terrible.) 
I didn’t know any real person who was a writer. I just wanted to get INSIDE the book, and the only way I could figure out how to do that was write my own.

4) Your book is about a boy who fears the water, and yet he has to face it in order to solve the mystery. His fear stems from a giant sea creature he encountered as a boy. Do you believe such creatures exist?

I’ve always been a little freaked out by large things moving underwater. Maybe I saw Jaws at too early an age. But I certainly believe giant sea creatures exist -- because we keep finding them! The ultra-large squids are especially scary. I was in the St. Louis zoo a few months ago, and hanging from the ceiling of the visitors center was a life-size model of a giant squid -- and up close it’s terrifying!  http://photos.zoochat.com/large/img_08672-117289.jpg
I based the sea monster in Harrison Squared on a mix between a whale shark and a colossal squid, also known as the giant cranch squid. It can grow to be 45 feet long, and its suckers are lined with swiveling hooks. That’s my kind of monster.  As to whether the colossal squid is a tentacled god from another dimension... well, science is silent on the matter. (Oh, but they are. They are.)

5) Have you ever found yourself allied with someone unexpected? Who was it and what was the circumstance?
When I was a kid, my dog Princess was a maniac for chasing rabbits. Princess would escape from our fenced yard on a regular basis, and it was my job to run her down and bring her home, no matter how long it took and how many miles we covered. One day after an escape, I’d finally caught up with her-- and I saw the rabbit she was after. It ran inside a big ceramic pipe in the behind a neighbor’s garage, but Princess had lost the scent. I had my hand on Princess’s collar, and I could have done my duty and brought her home -- but suddenly I wanted to join in the hunt. I banged on the pipe until the rabbit jumped out the other side, and then we were off and running again. For all you rabbit lovers out there, I’m happy to report that Princess and I failed that day. But I think my dog respected me for breaking the rules.

6) If you could choose one famous person to meet (dead or alive) who would it be and what is the most important question you'd ask them?
I think I’d find the ghost of Carl Sagan and ask him, NOW do you believe in the supernatural?

Fast Five:
Tea or coffee? Coffee. By the vat.
Favorite color? Flange. (Read “The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles” for a definition of flange.)
You can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what do you choose? The peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It has everything: protein, fruit, carbohydrates, and your recommended daily serving of nostalgia.
The one place you must visit before you die? Space Station Clarke, in orbit around Jupiter. I’m not allowed to die before they build it.


Thanks so much for being with us today it was great having you on the blog!

Daryl.jpgDaryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His most recent work is the novel is Afterparty (Tor, April 2014) and the novella We Are All Completely Fine (Tachyon, August 2014). His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His other novels include the Philip K. Dick award finalist The Devil’s Alphabet and Raising Stony Mayhall, which was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal.

Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. His comics work includes the Planet of the Apes series, and Dracula: The Company of Monsters series (co-written with Kurt Busiek). He lives in State College, PA, where he writes programming code in the morning, prose in the afternoons, and comics at night.

Where you can find Daryl:

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Tour Schedule:
Week One:
3/16/2015- Bibliophilia, PleaseInterview
3/17/2015- NerdophilesReview
3/18/2015- Mythical BooksGuest Post
3/19/2015- Spiced Latte ReadsReview
3/20/2015- The Cover Contessa- Interview

Week Two:
3/23/2015- Eli to the nthReview
3/24/2015- Word to DreamsGuest Post
3/25/2015- Passion ObsessionReview
3/26/2015- Bookhounds yaInterview
3/27/2015- Such a Novel IdeaReview

Week Three:

3/30/2015- Working for the MandroidGuest Post

ARC Review: Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson @MeganErickson_

22663603.jpgWith his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.

As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.

But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.

Title: Trust the Focus (In Focus #1)
Author: Megan Erickson
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: February 17, 2015

Brooke's Review:
I want to thank Intermix for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

So, I'm a huge fan of Ericsson's Bowler University series. It's cute and quirky and just plain old fun. When I heard she was publishing another book, I immediately added it to my list. And then when I found out it was a male romance, I got really excited. I haven't ever read a male/male before and I knew Megan would do it right. It didn't disappoint.

I think my favorite thing about a romance, my favorite way to read one, is friends to lovers. And this book does just that. Meet Justin. He's in the closet. And he's in love with his best friend. And he has NO idea how to go about coming our or telling Landry. His life is on a course, which does not include him being gay or him not doing exactly what his mother wants him to do.

I love that Justin has other plans. That he takes the opportunity of one last summer to explore not only his feelings, but what makes him, well, him. We get him from two perspectives, which is also nice. First there's the boy/man who is missing his father. The one who wants to honor him by traveling around the country and visiting the places they were to visit together. Throughout the book I feel Justin's pain at the loss of his father. But I also feel how he comes to some closure, some form of peace by doing these things.

Then there's the Justin that needs to man up and face the fact that he's in love, with his best friend, who has no idea that Justin is gay. And to top it off, he's been holding it in so long, he's scared to tell Landry. But when it finally comes out, sparks fly and the chemistry between the does not disappoint.

I like how Erickson really makes this book about exploration. There are parts that are sad, parts that make you made, but above all parts that show you how finding who you are brings you peace. Her writing is easy and paced well, though I do wish she would have had a bit more build up between the two men. I feel like they kind of crashed together too early and I needed more of the pining. And I never say that!

I will say that Justin stewed a bit too much for my liking. I felt like he was on a bit of a pity me trip. But, at the same time, I totally understood how his dilemma. How his mind was torn in two between being the person he has been put on a path to be and being true to himself.

In the end, he's certainly true to himself. And he's able to even work things out with his mom, which definitely gives the warm and fuzzy feels I am looking for.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first venture into a book about two gay young men who find each other and at the same time find themselves. I'm looking forward to see what Erickson does with her second book in this series.



Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. 

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.

For more, visit meganerickson.org



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Looking for Love by Ashlyn Drake @InkSlingerPR @AshelynDrake

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Mike Hannigan is looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe that’s because having his heart torn to shreds by who he thought was the perfect girl left some emotional scarring. But that’s about to change. 

Summer Patterson isn’t like anyone Mike’s dated before, and he can’t help but be intrigued by her. Now if only he could keep his foot out of his mouth long enough to win her over. But when a secret involving Summer brings Mike’s past crashing back to the present, he’ll need some backup from his best friend and wingwoman, Mindy, to sort out the mess.

Will Mike find love before he leaves Timberland College for good?



Buy Links:

Here’s an excerpt from Mike and Summer’s official first outing:

She reaches forward, and for a split second I’m convinced she’s going to do something bold, like grab my cock. But then her hand grasps mine. “Come on. This next part is a little tricky.”
She pulls me up and over the top of the mountain where a stream runs in front of us. “You have to jump it. Or get wet. Your call.”
I’d like to see her wet. Of course I wouldn’t be able to control myself then, and if she really does stick to her rule of not hooking up on a first date, I’d ruin everything.
“What’s it going to be, Hannigan?” She lets go of my hand and leaps over the narrow stream. “I can hold your hand if you’d like,” she teases.
I’ve got something she can hold, but it’s not my hand. “Guys don’t leap.”
“Okay, Mr. Manly, go ahead and get wet then, but I can’t promise there aren’t any leeches in there. Maybe a water moccasin or two.” She waves the comment away. “But you’re a tough guy, so you can handle it.”
“You’re good for the ego, you know that?” I walk to the edge and do the equivalent of the standing broad jump over the stream. “Happy?”
“Eh, your performance was marginal.”
I step closer so our chests are pressed together. “Believe me, you wouldn’t think so.”
She inhales sharply. Finally, I’ve stunned her.
“Shall we?” I ask.
“Shall we what?” She steps back.
“Go see these falls. Why? What was your dirty mind thinking?” I smirk and start walking again.
“You did that on purpose,” she says, falling into step with me.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, now you’re going to feign innocence. Okay, be that way.”
I turn toward her and pin her to a tree. “Would you rather I admit it and act more like this?”
Her eyes widen, but I can’t help noticing her hips pressing against mine. “Which one of these two guys are you?”

“Which one of the two girls you’ve shown me are you?” I challenge right back. I release her from my grip. “I think you know exactly what you’re doing, Summer. I think you’re testing me to see if I really am over whoring around campus like Mindy said I was. The question is, do you actually like these sexual innuendos.”
4528793.jpgAshelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She also writes speculative fiction under the name Kelly Hashway. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


Links:
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ARC Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

22536448-1.jpgI am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...

Title: The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater's Daughter #1)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Brooke's Review:
I want to thank Scholastic Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

The first thing that drew me to this book is that cover! I mean, look at it. It's totally gorgeous. And then the blurb just made it sound like a must read for me.

Unfortunately, that was about as far as it went for me with this book. Once I got started, I just could not get into it and I really felt like nothing was happening for me.

Twylla kills with just her touch. Sounds great, right? I thought so. I loved Shatter Me. And now here's a book that sounds like Shatter Me but it's fantasy. And I've been on a fantasy kick as of late. So boo yah! But things are not what they seem, of course. I won't get into why, but suffice it to say, it wasn't hard for me to pretty much figure it out within the first few chapters, the twist didn't leave me flabbergasted when it actually happened because it really was no surprise.

I honestly had no connection with the characters in this book. I wanted to feel empathy for Twylla, I really did. But I just didn't. I wanted her to be so much stronger and full of hutzpah, instead she came across to me as weak and needing the assistance of any male she could find: her friend, the prince, her guards. Of course, she gets stuck in a love triangle, which I don't always love, but can appreciate. But I just didn't feel her pull to either guy, and she pretty much made her choice early on so there wasn't much of a competition.

And then there was the Prince. I didn't like him, nor did I trust him. I didn't understand how he could be betrothed to Twylla for so many years and yet not have a bit of correspondence with her. Then when he returns, BOOM, he expects her to be head over heels in love with him. Why?

And I didn't like Lief. He was so lifeless and boring. I wanted to like him. I wanted to see the true love and watch it grow, but it just didn't blossom the way I thought it would. He was truly one-dimensional, no substance at all. Like if you scratched his surface, you'd just find a robot or maybe some clay.

The evilness of this story is really what kept me going. The Queen is just pure evil. Everything and anything she wants to do, everything she touches, it's just sinful and downright evil. I wanted to strangle her on every occasion I saw her. She was only out for herself no matter what. She craved power. I wanted to read to the end to see just what would happen. Would she get it? or would good win out in the end.

As for Twylla being a weapon, meh, I didn't see it. I mean, I understand what they are using her for, but it's not as it seems in the blurb. I felt like she could have been so much more, done so much more, and had a much bigger impact in the story if she was actually used as the weapon she's proclaimed to be.

I was also taken aback by the incest references and the sin eating. It just all seemed so very wrong. I felt like there needed to be  more background to all of this, not just the simple explanation that was given.

The start of the book is strong. Lots of background to show you why Twylla came to the castle and why she has to stay. Plus we get some good background on her family. However, there are some areas of info-dump which did take me out of the story. I still read on. I was sure there would be action and fight scenes and I wanted to know it all.

But then there wasn't any of that. There was a lot of pining and a lot of worrying and a lot of "omgosh what could I possibly do now?" for the rest of the book. I was a little bored but I kept reading because I thought it could only get better. And I know that sometimes in first books, it's not until the final quarter of a book that you  really get into the nitty gritty, the down and dirty. But it just didn't happen for me

The writing is good. There's so much potential for this to be a great book. Unfortunately, I didn't find it great for me. I know there are a mix of reviews, so I really can't say if I would recommend it. I think people need to really read it and find out for themselves if it's for them. For me, as a lover of authors like Sarah J. Maas, it just didn't live up to my expectations.

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