Month: January 2017

Strays – Book Review

STRAYS 
By Sadie Munroe

Darkchild Trilogy#1

Publication date: 17/01/2017
Publisher: Weapenry Co-Op
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Teens

SYNOPSIS

THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

Lindsey Cane is an outcast, always has been. Even her own parents didn’t want her. But after a year on her own, she’s finally ready to put her hated hometown behind her for good and track down her wayward mother. She has questions that need answering. But Lindsey isn’t the only one with mysteries in her past and when Tyler Stratton, a former classmate who has been gracing milk cartons and missing posters for the past year shows up begging for her help, she does what he asks. She keeps him hidden.

Bruised, beaten and covered in strange swirling tattoos that weren’t there before he went missing, Tyler is an enigma and a threat to Lindsey’s carefully built facade of normalcy that has kept her safe. But Tyler has secrets of his own, and there are people looking for him. Dangerous people.

Now Lindsey is trapped. Captured and strapped to a gurney. Frog-marched down sterile white hallways. Locked in a ten-by-ten glass cell. Forced to watch, helpless, as one by one the other prisoners are dragged off for testing. Most come back broken. 

Some don’t come back at all. 

Desperate and scared, Lindsey plots her escape. But there are guards with guns and mysterious men in white lab-coats standing in her way. 

And her fellow prisoners are not what they seem.

REVIEW

This was my first book from Netgalley, so I was pretty excited to read this. After reading like a dozen of romance novels I was definitely looking forward to read a book from a different genre, then description of this book caught my eye and I requested it. And I am quite happy that I did.

The narrative of the novel shifts between Then and Now, and that is a different kind of narrative giving the fact that most of the novels that I have read, are generally separated into point of views of two different people.  So this was a nice plus point for me. This kind of narrative definitely helped to build up suspense, because some facts were given through Now and then the narrative shifts to Then, 

The first part of the novel very beautifully describes the emotions of Lindsey, who has always been considered a outcast, who no one loves in this town because they believe that her mother betrayed her father, the golden child of the town. The pain of living a life without her parents, the fact that she can’t even live with the only man who made her feel alive, was expressed really well. The first part was quite emotionally, but not overly so.

“She’d been messed up back then. There’d been something wrong with her. It was why her mother had left and why her father had hated her. It was the reason why he was gone.”

Right from the beginning of the novel the suspense is well created and the want to know more was build up. But I felt that the last 80 or so pages were the most riveting and engaging part of the novel, because I was not  just able to keep down the book. Last part had some really unpredictable and thrilling twist. Last part definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. 

“Lindsey found herself panting, her heart a jackrabbit in her chest.”

The end disappointed me a bit because there were quite a few unanswered questions. Mostly I made assumptions to answer these unanswered questions. But there was no way of knowing if these assumptions were correct or not. So that kind of annoyed me a bit because, I was quite enjoying the novel and then suddenly an abrupt ending. But like I said that if you read this novel you would be able to make plausible assumptions. So the end might not feel bad.

Overall I would say that I quite liked this novel, it was thrilling and engaging, and unpredictable. So I definitely recommend it.

LIFE AT 17 RATING

🎐🎐🎐🎐

(4 stars)

*I got this book from the publisher via Netgalley.*

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Devil at Work

This Tanka Poem is in response to:

https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/01/24/colleens-weekly-tanka-poetry-challenge-18-charm-touch/

The Venus flytrap (also referred to as Venus’s flytrap or Venus’ flytrap), Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States in North Carolina and South Carolina.It catches its prey—chiefly insects and arachnids—with a trapping structure formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant’s leaves, which is triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves contacts a hair, the trap prepares to close, snapping shut only if another contact occurs within approximately twenty seconds of the first strike. 

Pop Rock-Book Review

Pop Rock
by Charity Ferrell


Publication date:
October 17th 2016

Genres: 
New Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

You’ve seen the headlines about him.
Knox Rivers is music’s out of control, all over TMZ, and under the impression that he’s God’s gift to the female population bad boy.

He steals hearts with his music and breaks them in the same night.
And I’m his new personal assistant.

I didn’t want to take the job, but my dad lost everything we had for not paying taxes, and I’m desperate. I have this under control, right? I’m the daughter of a rock legend and have been around these types of men my entire life – but with every passing mile I’ve finding myself more drawn to him.

I’m fighting to keep our relationship professional while he’s pushing to show me there’s more to him than what’s plastered all over the tabloids.

Desire starts triumphing my rationality.
I’m throwing all of my rules out the window.
I’ll deal with the repercussions when the gas tank runs dry.

REVIEW:

Libby is appointmend as the secretary of pop star, Knox Rivers. She is quite determined to not change their professional relationship into something else. But after Libby shoots a video with Knox and then a world tour together, Libby and Knox fall in love with each other. However a relationship between them is difficult owing to Knox’s travelling job along with a whole lot of female attention and Libby’s ever haunting past and her fears.

This novel gives a sneak peek into the life of a pop star, how the constant presence of paparazzi wherever they go create a havoc in their life. Pop stars are not allowed to live a normal life. Everyone is interested in their personal lives and magazines and tabloids earn a lot by printing stories about them that are far from the truth. How these cause a problem in their personal lives and how these people can be a total different person than that is said through these magazines is beautifully expressed through this story.

“You don’t always see the real person behind all of the headlines. Why don’t they write about this amazing man who visits children fighting terminal cancer, who helps pay medical bills for those who can’t afford treatment, or who agrees to every Make-A-Wish?”

Both Knox and Libby have strong characters, with an unfortunate past, failed relationships and bad parent. 

Libby shrugged away from having relationships because she feared that she might end up heartbroken again. Knox tried hard to prove that he won’t break her heart. The way they finally end up together was nice to know.

I laughed through their playful sex talk and Knox’s flirting. I also felt heartbreaken at moments when Libby’s dilemma and fear of having her heart broken created strong hard hitting emotions. But these moments, I felt were a bit scanty. Mostly those emotionally hard hitting parts were in the latter half of the novel. I felt both Libby’s and Knox’s emotions were a little left out and paid a little less attention to. So that is what I didn’t like about the novel. 

“I love you, Knox. You own me – mind, body, and soul, and I will give you my all. Be patient with me, but know that I’ll be here.”

This novel was kind of a jumble of few novels that I had read recently, and the many themes of this book were treated in those books in a much more alluring way. So eventually that made me lose interest in few parts. But that may not be the case with readers out their who have not read those books.

P.s, I would like to add that  I really liked Mia, Libby’s friend’s character, her funny and helping nature.

Overall I would say that the concept of the novel was nice and the love story was beautiful. I would recommend this novel to romance lovers.

LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🔸

(3.5 stars)

*I got this book from Xpresso Book Tours through the Review Opportunity.*


Easy – Book Review

EASY
Labeled: Book Two

By Jordan S Gray

Genre: New Adult Romantic Comedy

Release: January 26, 2017

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

SYNOPSIS:

It’s been an entire month since Shayler Thompson has orgasmed from something not made out of silicone. If her sour mood is any indication, she needs to get laid like yesterday. So when she walks up to a sexy nerd at the bar and propositions him, it seems like a great idea. Until he rejects her and calls her easy.

Still reeling from his hurtful words, Shayler is surprised to find that the nerd, David, is a Teacher Assistant for the one college class she’s totally embarrassing herself in. When he offers to help her study, she accepts, thinking that maybe she’ll get laid after all. But David isn’t into casual sex, and Shayler refuses any sort of commitment. With enough chemistry to light his dumb Prius on fire, she’s sure one of them will eventually give in… She just really hopes it won’t be her.

Even though Easy is a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone novel. 

REVIEW:

So I would start off by saying that I was literally on cloud nine when the author offered me to read and review this book, firstly because I totally loved the Labeled book 1 Prude and secondly because I adored Shayler’s character there and wanted to know more about her. So all in all I had pretty high expectations from this book. And I should accept that this novel did meet all my expectations.

                                                                   —

Nothing is going right for Shayler after a hot nerd, David rejects . She is getting rejected by more men, and her desperation to get laid is increasing day by day. And to top it all she is informed that she needs to declare a major, or else she would run out of her scholarship but she has not yet decided what she wants to do. Then one day, David offers to help her study and soon her world turns upside down.

David is a very organised, sorted out man, he knows what he wants, and does work towards it. For Shayler he was a path shower, when she couldn’t decide what to do with her major. He was always there to give her sound advice and a helping hand. He made her fall in love, even when Shayler was determined that she didn’t want a relationship. If you read this book you would definitely agree with me that he is undeniably a charming and lovable character. 

Shayler, is funny, witty, unorganised and carefree. In one word she is the ‘free spirit’ as quoted by Rebecca in Prude. Relationships? Marriage? Children? No that’s not Shayler’s cup of tea. l was able to connect to her character instantly and feel her every emotion. She is definitely gonna make a permanent place in that well built character list of mine.

The contrast between the beliefs of Shayler and David is well shown and adds beauty to their love story.

Throughout the story, sometimes I laughed aloud, sometimes I just read with a smile on my face, basking in the warmth of highly intense and passionate moment. And sometimes I wished to cry during those instances when Shayler’s fear of commitment created havoc in her life. All through the novel the one thing that I felt was that how well the author expressed the emotions of Shayler. Her dilemma to choose between her description of freedom and David who loved her, her fear of commitment, her terror of getting changed and getting bonded into a family life with no fun. Her every emotions is so well communicated that you would feel you’re inside the novel, within Shayler’s heart, mind and soul, feeling each of her feelings.

“If he left now, it’d be too much. She’d never live again, not really, anyway. Her life would be like one of those dull black and white movies, unfulfilling and boring and empty.”

The love story of David and Shayler is so beautiful, that if you are single then this novel is definitely going to make you crave for a partner.

“Whatever was happening wasn’t sex, wasn’t what she’d done dozens of times before. Shayler was used to hunger and haste, not this. This was like he was worshipping her, like she was a treasure he’d spent years searching for and was going to take his time examining”

Overall I would say that the book is well written, the love story is very beautiful and the characters are pretty amazing. So grab this novel in the first chance you get to fall in love with David, Shayler and their love story. I would highly recommend Easy to all romance lovers.


LIFE AT 17 RATING:

🎐🎐🎐🎐🎐

(5 stars)

*I got this book from the author in return for an honest review*

Juliet & The Initiation_Blog Tour – Guest Post



Juliet
Kailee Reese Samuels
Publication date: December 20th 2016
Genres: Erotica, Romance

To have and hold, love and cherish, til death do us part…

When an unexpected twist of fate hands Iris her worst nightmare, the world spins out of control. As she falls apart, Iris finds comfort in her unpredictable behavior. With mysterious clues hidden by her husband, Iris drives away from her life to uncover the world he kept hidden for years.

Small town Sugargrove, Texas is unlike anything Iris has ever experienced. Foreboding, dark, and sensual, the enchanting Juliet academy lures Iris with hopes of discovering who she really is. Making friends and meeting people, she delves into the treacherous world of her surrender. But when she encounters Salvatore Raniero, the sexy alpha male ignites her in unimaginable ways, haunting her every thought and showing her a new kind of high.

As she learns Sal is more than the mischievous sexual provocateur of Juliet, revealing a composed and thoughtful side, Iris wonders what else is hiding behind his mesmerizing ebony, emerald eyes. Pushing her into an even deeper erotic journey, Iris soars with her newfound freedom in the collar.

The secrets unfurl as the web of lies continues to grow, and Iris realizes she is not the girl she once was. Trapped between a lonely past and an unknown future, she is left with the daunting task of deciding what she truly desires and who she wants to obey.

A love story doesn’t always go the way it should, sometimes the path to forever is a twisting, spiraling, and flying ride.

JULIET is Kailee Reese Samuels full-length debut novel.

THE INITIATION book 1 is set within the Juliet world and provides further glimpses into Salvatore Raniero’s character and history.

Kailee Reese Samuels writes contemporary, romantic, and suspense, with an erotic flair. Let her words whisk you away, escaping with delicious guys, toe-curling kisses, and addictive stories.

WARNING: This book contains graphic BDSM, strong sexual situations, and explicit language. Contents intended for MATURE readers 18+ ONLY.

Add to:

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Purchase at:

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The Initiation
Kailee Reese Samuels
Publication date: April 20th 2015
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Five years ago, Sal Raniero was a loyal son and responsible friend. Giving everything he had to his family and friends, he was on his way to becoming the man everyone expected. But he harbored a dark secret.

He needed pain…a lot of pain.

With his masochism searing through his veins when the offer is put before him to push his servitude further, he cannot resist. Between praying and playing on his knees, he is confronted with the last thing he expects.

His heart.

Torn between becoming the golden boy of Juliet and just another guy with a fetish streak, he makes a decision that will chart the course for the rest of his life.

Take the journey with him and discover what made the boy into the man.

THE INITIATION is part of Kailee Reese Samuels’ series of novellas. Scenes from Juliet are all new companion books to Juliet. These are not excerpts from Juliet, but further glimpses into the characters, backstory, and behind-the-scenes. While they can standalone, they would be better enjoyed with the preliminary reading of Juliet.

Add to:

Goodreads

Purchase at:

  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Smashwords

GUEST POST


TO SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE: How Spreading Others Work can Work for You, or Against You?

In 2017 social media is an absolute necessity for creative artists of all kinds – musicians, graphic designers, and writers. Even woodworkers can macro-target their specific clientele through means of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and others. But how do authors find their niche in the oversaturated online world? And does this age of sharing and liking really work?

There are many authors who chose specific platforms, submersing themselves in only one social media venue. Early on when I decided to write and publish, I ran my brand – Kailee Reese Samuels – through the proverbial garden of platforms. Over time, I discovered the ones I enjoyed and the ones which catered more to romance genre. There is no mistaking the epic value that Facebook could potentially have for the independent author.

The vast amount of indies trying to succeed in the writing market really poses the question – how much do I share before I give my potential customer to another author? For me, the answer has always resided in my honesty. If I believe in the writer, I will give them the space, but I do not tout or share just for the sake of connection.

Perhaps I view sharing differently than the mainstream, but the truth is if I cannot endorse it personally, I won’t share it. And I don’t think I am alone in that notion. My name is my reputation, and I refuse to get caught in the endless sharing loop just because it’s the in thing to do. If I don’t do my own research into what I am advertising, I could get caught in selling heaven knows what in this genre. And I don’t want my name attached with anything which could be construed as questionable. If I am going to talk about a book or an author, then I have either read it or am in the process of reading it.

With all that in mind, I try to find new and intriguing authors which I can fully support their books and brand. Maybe I sit alone on the sharing ship, maybe I am alone in admitting the scrutinizing assessment, but in the end there is more than the bottom dollar. Having self-respect and showing respect to my fellow authors who are legitimately giving due diligence to their craft insures I can sleep at night.

Author Bio:

Embracing diversity. Coffee addict. Mango lover. Blueberry fetishist. Sweet peach tea crazy. Red wine devout. Whiskey deviant. Tattooed & pierced. Loves shoes. Collects rosaries. Fanatical organizer/cleaner/list-maker. Never sleeps. Hermit and recluse.

Storyteller.

KAILEE REESE SAMUELS has been spinning tales since she can remember. Her books are contemporary fiction with a no-holds-barred attitude. She adores listening to her characters ramble and putting them into situations that push the boundaries.

Creativity is the way to change.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Find the Tour Schedule at: http://xpressobooktours.com/2016/10/27/tour-sign-up-juliet-the-initiation-by-kailee-reese-samuels/

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In a Gilded Cage_Blog Tour – Guest Post



In a Gilded Cage
Mia Kerick
(Evernight Publishing)
Publication date: October 21st 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance

Lucci Grimley is indeed alluring—crowned with a mane of long blond hair, and blessed with an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest.

However, this modern-day Rapunzel is a young man, sold as a child to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is William “Prin” Prinzing, a handsome college student and star soccer player, hired to care for the grounds of the lavish Tower Estate. Prin climbs an extension ladder rather than a long golden braid to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window, ultimately penetrating the secrecy surrounding the cloistered young man.

Friendship, and soon romance, blooms. The tower captive eagerly gives his loving innocence to his brave rescuer, which sends the strict and reclusive Gotham into a frenzy of jealous rage. With Prin, Lucci gets a taste of real life, and he wants more. Together, the young men must face Gotham’s ruthlessness and pay the price of liberating Lucci.

Add to

Goodreads 

Purchase at:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

GUEST POST

My Secret Recipe

Hello, and thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog today to promote the release a New Adult LGBTQ fairy tale retelling called In A Gilded Cage. In A Gilded Cage is a dark and sexy M/M retelling of the story Rapunzel, as told by The Brothers Grimm. This is edgy NA contemporary fiction illustrating how one young man rescues another, and in many ways, is saved, himself.

Fitting in is very important to most young adults, and in In A Gilded Cage, Prin struggles to fit in with his crowd at the university he attends. Here is a light story from my life of how a girl who lived down the street from me used cookies to fit in.

This is the story of my secret recipe. Okay, I’m lying. This is the Brown Family’s secret recipe. And I stole it.

Ruth Brown moved into the house up the street in junior high. She was not a popular sort of girl, in that she was rather ordinary looking, not the typical popular-girl-beautiful, she was extremely outspoken, not the popular-girl-quiet- and-coy, and she just had a certain way about her that made people want to run away and bury their heads in the sand. But Cookie Brittle changed all of that for her.

Ruth often showed up at all sorts of important high school events—play practices, football games, colorguard practice, Homecoming Parade Float meetings—carrying one lunch size brown paper bag in each hand. The bags were full of something warm… and judging by the fresh-from-the-oven scent emanating from the bag and the emerging grease spots, something buttery and chocolaty. The bags were filled to the brim with fresh from the oven Cookie Brittle.

No matter where she went, teenagers flocked to Ruth Brown when she arrived, armed with these goodies. Hungry athletes, cheerleaders with chocolate cravings, the loud and obnoxious… the shy and detached… the studious… the total slackers—nobody could resist the smell. And then there was the taste.

THE TASTE WAS MAGICAL!!! It was the stuff of sweet dreams…
Ruth Brown became the most popular girl in the high school.

She guarded the secret Cookie Brittle recipe with her very life. But one day, her absentminded mother left the recipe, written in neat script on a well-worn notecard, unprotected from (my) prying eyes, face up on the countertop. I read the card, and like a secret recipe-swiping sleuth, committed it to memory. It remains firmly implanted in my memory bank today.

I kept this secret under my hat until after high school graduation. I started attracting people to me with this secret recipe in college. In addition, my children have attended many parties, athletic events, and meetings armed with the stuff.

We have no shortage of friends.

Cookie Brittle

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
pinch salt
tiny bit of vanilla extract
1 bag or Nestlé’s Semi-sweet Chocolate chips

Mix together in a bowl. Should make a crumbly dough. Press onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until just a tiny bit brown on top. Cool on cookie sheet. Break into pieces like peanut brittle.

You will have to fights off the crowds. You have been warned.

I hope you check out In A Gilded Cage by Mia Kerick.


AUTHOR BIO:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Find the In a Gilded Cage tour schedule athttp://xpressobooktours.com/2016/11/01/tour-sign-up-in-a-gilded-cage-by-mia-kerick/

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