Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Recap, November News, and a Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween, my wonderful followers! 

Do you love celebrating Halloween? What kinds of traditions do you have for this spooky holiday?

I'm actually not a big fan of this holiday. *gasps* I've never liked dressing up. C'mon, I was the Statue of Liberty three years running. Haha. And I've also never cared for going around and begging for candy, although I do really, really love candy! I just eat the leftovers that we have after we get only about a dozen trick-or-treaters and the holiday is over. We always have plenty of extra. ;)

However, I loooooooove spooky movies and spooky books! My favorite Halloween movie ever is Hocus Pocus! <3
Amen, sista! 
Damn it, Max. You shouldn't have said that!
Haha. Sarah Jessica Parker was perfect for this role.
AWWWWW.

Okay, I'm done. I swear! :P

I watch a lot of other Halloween movies, but this one I watch every single year. Except, I haven't seen it yet this October. Ahhhh! (I'm slacking). 

Spooky Books:
I love spooky books! I love books that are suspenseful and scary; maybe even supernatural. Here are some spooky reads that I've either read and highly recommend or am impatiently waiting to read. 

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October Recap:
I've had a pretty exciting month. And, by that I mean, I signed my major!!!!!!!! I'm officially a Psychology major, and I'm so excited to finally have my life figured out (well, some of it). I have a few more things to think about, but other than that, I just need to get done as soon as I can! I really want to be out of school. 

So, this month I had five blog tours. They all included reviews:
  • Tease for the Take It Off series blog tour by Cambria Hebert. Also included in this post is an exclusive author interview!
  • Torn by Kim Karr. LOVE THIS SERIES! :)
  • Burn by Brooke Cumberland. Check out my 4 star review!
  • Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris. Huge, huge fan of hers! I also have an exclusive author interview in this post, as well as a sneak peek kissing scene between Cat and Lucas from her upcoming e-book, My Not So Super Sweet Life. :)
  • The Faerie War by Rachel Morgan. Love this series so much
I also reviewed one NetGalley book, Bound by Night and I wrote a blog post about my feelings on the ending of Allegiant. If you want to know my thoughts on the most highly anticipated 2013 read, then check out my post! However, steer clear if you haven't yet read Allegiant, because there are tons of spoilers.

Have you read Allegiant yet? If so, what did you think of it?! I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks! I've been reading a lot from other people on Goodreads, as well as Amazon. How about you, blogger friends?

It seems to me that there are TONS of different opinions, and that's GREAT! Books that can create this much stir are truly special. <3

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November News:
Again, this month I have FOUR blog tours! I do believe that four is a good number for hosting blog tours in a month. I know that in October I was scrambling to finish the books when I had three posts in three days. Gah! Okay, so here's what I'm signed up for:
  • November 2nd: Daughter of Isis by Kelsey Ketch. This is her debut novel! I'm actually currently reading it, and while I'm enjoying it, I'm waiting for more to happen. 
  • November 8th: A Graceful Mess by Nacole Stayton. I've never read any of her books, but this sounds amazing!
  • November 13th: Text by Cambria Hebert. Gosh, I'm a fan of this woman's writing.
  • November 23rd: Soar by Alyssa Rose Ivy. Ah, I LOVED her Crescent Chronicles series, so I'm super excited for this new Pteron series from her! I can't wait for more Jared. ;)
As you can see, I'm excited for all of these books. Check back on the day I'm supposed to be posting so you can read my reviews! :) Also, add me on Goodreads! I love chatting with fellow bookworms and doing buddy reads. 

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I don't have a monthly poll for y'all. Partly because I don't have a burning bookish question for fellow readers. And partly because I just wanna talk about ALLEGIANT! I still can't stop thinking about this book even though I finished it days ago. So, please, enlighten me on your opinions! I'd love to get more perspectives. :)

Uh, let's see. What else? Oh, Thanksgiving is coming up! I'm so excited because I get to see my cousins. And, you know, the food is excellent. I can almost taste my Aunt Mindy's dinner rolls. Mhmmm. ;)

Oh, I almost forgot; my FIRST blogoversary is in 5 days! I don't exactly know what I'm doing yet, but I do know I'm celebrating by giving away books! Why? Well, I have way too many. And what better way to get rid of them than by giving them away to readers who will love them and cherish them? Right, so I'm still thinking up something. It'll probably just be a simple giveaway in celebration, but I could try to make it fun. Look for my post sometime in the next two weeks! Okay?! :P

***

In closing...,

Keep reading, reading, reading. :)

Cover Reveal: Abandon by Cassia Leo

abandon-cover
Expected Release Date: January 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover reveal organized by: Shh Moms Reading
  
SYNOPSIS Tristan never gave a shit about the girls he used and abandoned. His manwhore ways were ingrained in him from birth. His past has always been a mystery his conquests have wanted to crack, but no one has been able to... until now. Senia has always fallen for the wrong guys, but this time she's fallen for the worst of them. Her attempts to guard her heart from Tristan's charms and sexual magnetism only spur on his pursuit. And soon, the electric energy between Tristan and Senia sparks a fire too wild to contain. Now Tristan must decide if he will abandon his old ways or if he will stay true to his past and abandon Senia instead. Note: This is a spin-off from the Shattered Hearts Series and can be read as a standalone.   

EXCERPT
abandon
CHAPTER ONE
 
She walks into Yogurtland with her cell phone pressed to her ear and a scowl on her face. Behind the scowl, her vulnerability shines like a fucking nuclear explosion in a dark closet. Whoever she’s talking to has stripped her bare. I find myself wishing it were me who affected her that way. She’s digging inside her purse while balancing the phone between her shoulder and her ear; probably searching for money to get her frozen yogurt fix. What is it about frozen yogurt that makes us feel better? Maybe it reminds us of being kids, and how something as simple as a trip to the yogurt shop could turn a bad day into a great one. Whatever it is, I can see that she desperately needs some frozen yogurt. But with each passing moment that she’s unable to locate her money, I see the hope draining from her face. “I told you to stop calling me. I don’t care if your car is in the shop. I’m not picking you up!” She drops her purse and cell phone onto the checkered tile floor and curses loudly. “What the fuck are you staring at?!” she barks at the man who’s ogling her ass while ushering his small child out of the shop. “You’ve never seen a girl in a skirt bend over?” She falls to her knees as she reaches for the cell phone first. She presses it to her ear and says hello a few times before she realizes there’s no one there. I walk over to her, coolly taking my time, then I kneel next to her and reach for the lipstick tube that rolled behind her left foot. I hold it out in front of her. She looks sideways at me and her mouth drops as she’s stunned into silence. Most girls are stunned when they see me. I’m used to that. But Senia has seen me plenty of times. She’s not amazed by my good looks. She’s stupefied by my impeccable timing. Her gaze immediately falls to my lips, which are just inches from her own. Then she begins to sob as she throws her arms around my neck. I can’t help but chuckle. “Hey, it’s okay,” I whisper into her ear as I breathe in her scent. She smells like strawberries or pineapple. Something fruity. It’s intoxicating. I reach up and grab her face to pull her away, so I can look her in the eye. “What flavor do you want?” A tear rolls down her face and I wipe it away as she stares at me, still dumbfounded. “Cheesecake, with strawberries.” “Perfect.” I help her gather the rest of her belongings into her purse then I order her yogurt as she watches me from where she stands next to the trash bin. She watches me as I approach her with her bowl of frozen yogurt, one of her perfect eyebrows cocked skeptically. “Don’t look at me like that,” I say as I pass her the bowl of yogurt. “Why?” she says as she pops the first spoon of creamy yogurt into her mouth. She licks the spoon clean and I find myself wondering what it would feel like to have those full, red lips wrapped around my cock. I lean in and whisper in her ear, “Because you’re turning me on and I can’t fuck you in Yogurtland.” She continues to cock her eyebrow as she takes another spoonful of yogurt into her mouth. “Then maybe we should get the fuck out of Yogurtland.”
*****
In the three years I’ve known Senia, we’ve almost fucked three times. The first time happened the day I met her, after a show we played in Durham. We were interrupted backstage by Xander, the band’s manager, just as Senia was about to get on her knees. The second time was at a Memorial Day picnic. We were both pretty shitfaced and she ended up tossing her cookies all over me as I was sliding her panties off. The third time happened less than three months ago, in a pub restroom stall. She started crying and couldn’t go through with it; she was too heartbroken over her ex. I think the fourth time may be the charm for us. For some reason, this makes me really fucking nervous. I’m not afraid I won’t be able to satisfy her. There’s no doubt I’ll make her come harder than she’s ever come before. But for the first time in my life, I’m afraid of what will come after the sex. Senia is Claire’s best friend. Even if Claire and Chris never get back together, I know she’ll always be around. Chris is my best friend. I can’t avoid Claire and, therefore, I can’t avoid Senia. Something about this terrifies me and intrigues me; like I’m flirting with danger or, more accurately, fucking with danger. I grab the door handle on the passenger side of my silver Audi and pause as I look her in the eye and pull the door open. “Get in.” She smiles and shakes her head as she slinks into the passenger seat. “Please don’t bother using your manners.” “I won’t.” I slam the door shut and walk around to the driver’s side, tapping the trunk as I note my surroundings. It’s eight in the evening. There are only three other cars in the parking lot and at least one of those belongs to the guy working behind the counter in Yogurtland. I look up at the lamppost in front of the car illuminating the hood and shining through the windshield. I open the door and slide into the driver’s seat. Gazing into her eyes, for a moment I’m reminded of the last time my mom took me to get ice cream, when I was nine years old. I clench my jaw against the visceral nature of this memory and Senia takes this as an invitation. She climbs into my lap and takes my face in her hands as she crushes her lips to mine. I thread my fingers into her hair and roughly grab a fistful of her dark locks. She whimpers as I thrust my tongue into her mouth and squeeze my fist around her hair, intermittently tightening my grip then easing up. Finally, I pull her head back by her hair and her eyes widen with shock and excitement. That’s when I notice her styrofoam bowl of yogurt upended between us, the cold stickiness seeping through both of our shirts. She smiles as she swipes her finger through the cool, sticky substance and slowly eases her finger in her mouth. “Creamy,” she purrs. “Fuck,” I whisper as my dick jumps, trying to escape my jeans. I grab the bowl and toss it into the backseat and she smiles as I swipe my finger through the yogurt and reach under her skirt. Her thighs are smooth and warm against the back of my fingers as I move straight for her panties. She holds my gaze as I slip my fingers under the fabric and find her clit. She swallows hard as her smile melts into a look of pure ecstasy. “Oh, my God,” she breathes as I stroke her gently. I grab the back of her neck and pull her mouth against mine, swallowing her moans as if they were the air keeping me alive. I shove two fingers inside her and she gasps as I curve my fingers to reach her spot. Her body curls into me as I lick the soft skin below her earlobe. Abruptly, I remove my hand from her panties. Her face is incredulous as I lift her up by her waist and place her on the passenger seat. “Get in the back.” For a moment, it seems as if she’s questioning this abrupt request. “This better be good,” she says as she slithers between the two front seats to get into the backseat. I reach under her skirt as she crawls into the back and I yank down on her panties. “Jesus Christ, Tristan!” “Make up your mind,” I say as I place my hand on her ass and push her into the backseat. “Am I Jesus Christ or Tristan?” She laughs as I scramble into the backseat after her, holding onto her panties so she’s forced to leave them behind. I quickly position myself between her legs as she lies on her back and smiles. “You can be whoever the fuck you want.” I slide my arm under her waist and lift her up so I can place her back against the passenger side window. Pushing her skirt up, I spread her legs wide open and marvel at the sight of her. She perfectly shaved with a small landing strip of dark hair that ends at the top of her slit. “I prefer Tristan,” I say as I flash her my crowd smile. She whimpers like a kitten in pain, her hips writhing against me as I devour her slowly and methodically. She tastes like the frozen yogurt I smeared all over her. “Oh, Tristan,” she moans and I hook my arms tightly around her thighs to steady her as her legs begins to tremble. “Oh, my fucking God!” I suck gently as her clit pulsates against my tongue. She lets out a loud cry that sounds like a sigh mixed with a scream. I can’t help but smile as I continue to stimulate her until she grabs chunks of my hair and yanks me up. “Holy shit,” she breathes as she wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me on top of her. But she doesn’t kiss me. She just holds me there and I quickly begin to feel uncomfortable with this closeness. I begin to push away, but she tightens her grip. “Please don’t move,” she begs, and I can hear something strange in her voice—she’s crying. I lie still with her for a while until I no longer hear her sniffling. I slowly pull my head back to look her in the face and she quickly wipes at the moisture on her cheeks. “I’m sorry,” she whispers. I grab her hand and pull it away from her face. “It’s okay,” I murmur as I brush my thumb over her cheekbone. “No, it’s not,” she says, a hard edge to her voice as her hands reach down to undo the button and zipper on my jeans. “But it will be.” She pushes my boxers down until my dick springs free and I suck in a sharp breath as it comes in contact with her. “I don’t have a condom.” My shoulder-length hair hangs around my face as I hover over her. She reaches up and pushes my hair back as she pulls my mouth to hers. I groan as I try to resist making such a stupid mistake. Despite the rumors, I don’t have unprotected sex. I may be a whore like my mother, but I’m not as reckless as she is. I try to pull my face back, but Senia holds my head still. Suddenly, I’m royally pissed off. I rip my head out of her grasp and glare at her. “This is just a fuck. Nothing more,” I insist and her eyebrows scrunch together. A sharp pang of regret twists inside my chest. “I’m sorry.” Why the fuck am I apologizing? “Then shut up and fuck me,” she says as she tightens her legs around my hips and the tip of my cock presses against her opening. I slide in slowly, watching as she closes her eyes and tilts her head back. Leaning forward, I suck on her throat as I gradually ease myself further inside her with each stroke. “You’re tight as fuck,” I whisper as I carefully work my way deeper inside. She doesn’t respond, so I keep thrusting, slowly at first then working my way up to a steady pace. I pull my head back to see her face and her eyes are still closed. I don’t know why, but I want to see her eyes. “Look at me,” I command, and she opens her eyes instantly, her gaze finding mine. Her eyes are slightly red and that’s when I notice the tear tracks running from the corners of her eyes, down her temple, and disappearing into her dark hair. A strange urge overcomes me and I lean down and kiss her temple. Licking my lips, the saltiness of her tears turn me on even more. I ease my hand behind her knee and lift her leg higher so I can thrust deeper. She whimpers as she threads her fingers through my hair and pulls my mouth to hers. I kiss her slowly, matching the rhythm of my hips to the movement of our tongues. She bites my top lip and I feel myself getting so close to blowing my load. “Holy shit,” I whisper as I try to pull my head back, but she holds my head still and kisses me deeply as I let go inside her. My dick twitches as I fill her with my gushing warmth. I grunt into her mouth and she continues to kiss me, swallowing my cries the way I did hers. Finally, I tilt my head back and look her in the eye. Then I ask her a question I haven’t asked anyone since I broke up with Ashley four years ago. “Who was that on the phone?”
Cassia Leo Author Pic_new
  ABOUT THE AUTHOR USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she's not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she's not watching reruns, she's usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading--sometimes both.


GIVEAWAY 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Faerie War Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway



Synopsis:
The fate of the fae world is in her hands ...

Violet Fairdale is in big trouble. Her home is gone, her beloved forest lies in ruins, the guy she gave her heart to has deserted her—and she doesn’t remember any of it. The powerful Lord Draven is taking over, brainwashing guardians into fighting for him. No one is safe from the evil spreading throughout the fae world.

As alliances are forged between the remaining free fae, Vi struggles to reclaim her identity and figure out where she belongs in this new world. When someone from her past shows up, life gets even more complicated. He brings with him a long-forgotten weapon and an ancient prophecy that places Vi at the center of the fight against Draven. With the future of the fae world at stake, can Vi carry out the prophecy’s instructions before it’s too late?

***

Purchase The Faerie War

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My Review!
What a conclusion! This series has quickly become one of my favorites, and possibly my favorite books about the fey. The Faerie War was a wonderfully detailed book, with amazing characters, tough choices, and a love that can survive anything. 

At the start of the book, I pretty much had no clue what was going on. I'd forgotten everything that happened in the ending of The Faerie Prince, so I went back to that to familiarize myself with where this novel started. And as with the first two books, I was hooked.

I loved these two characters, Violet and Ryn. In the first book, they're enemies, in the second book their feelings are developing from friendship to romantic, and in the third book, they have some trouble. Trouble as in Violet took a Forget Me potion and now doesn't remember ANYTHING about her life. Except her name and age. Her memories are gone, locked away in the recesses of her mind, and she can't find them. And a month after The Destruction of Creepy Hollow, Violet is living with Reptiscillas, the creatures she used to hunt down as a guardian. While there, Violet makes friends, tries to regain her memory, and realizes that it's her fault Draven is still alive. Though, she definitely shouldn't be shouldering the full blame for that one. However, she does need to shoulder the blame for her not remembering anything, because she took the potion herself. No one made her do it, and Violet hates that she can't even remember what made her so devastated that she just wanted to forget it.

"You wanted to forget everything, Violet. And you know what that says to me? You wanted to forget me too."
Poor Ryn. He finds Violet only to realize she's lost her memory of him and doesn't even remember how she feels about him. And Ryn knows how she felt about him, because he can feel other people's emotions. It's his special talent. I liked the character development that Ryn went through during the series. From arrogance and cruelty to kindness and determination to save the woman he loves. I think he's had the most growth, and it never felt forced or ingenuine. It always felt true and real. Just like his and Violet's relationship, which has taken a huge blow after the forget me potion incident. I enjoyed watching them find each other again, even with all of the confusion and desperation. 
"It was about growing up together. It was about knowing your fears and dreams. It was about forgiveness  It was about making you laugh and being there when you cried. It was about knowing that even if we lived for centuries, I'd never get tired of having you by my side." -Ryn
Because of her love for Ryn, Violet was able to take back her memories. And now many things are clear. Like, why she did it and what happened with Draven. He's still out there, and he will stop at nothing to have the whole world, the fey and human ones combined, in the palm of his hands. And he has the power to do it, to bring on that kind of devastation and destruction. He's already done it to all of the Guilds and to Creepy Hollow, but the fey must band together to stop him from laying waste to the rest of the world. 

The Faerie War was filled with action and suspense. That underlying desperation and determination never slowed down, not even when the plot and the conversations between the characters did. I loved watching Ryn and Violet fall in love again. And I liked that the plot wasn't so full of action scenes that it forgot about its characters. While there's obviously that looming good vs. evil war, the relationships and bonds all these characters form was awesome to see. I thought the action leading up to the climax and to the final battle against Draven were well-written, and I thought they were just the right amount. It didn't get over too fast or too slow. The descriptions and imagery were so very well-detailed, and I felt like I was there right along with Violet, Ryn, Filigree, and all the rest. 

I really, really loved this series! 

***

Author Bio:
Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn't for her—after all, they didn’t approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults. When she isn't writing, she's reading (duh!), catching up on addictive TV series, and baking things that almost always include chocolate.

The Creepy Hollow Series

Rachel's Links

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Thoughts on Allegiant (Divergent #3)

***DON'T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ ALLEGIANT! SPOILERS ABOUND! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!***


I thought, before I started writing this post, that I should warn my readers. I don't want to spoil the most shocking and devastating ending I've ever read in a book. In a series that I love so much. And yes, it was DEVASTATING. It was HEARTBREAKING. It was nothing like I had imagined, or anyone else had imagined, for that matter. No one had predicted this. No one had wanted this ending. Except the author.
Dear Veronica Roth, 
I'm not mad. I'm just confused, and my heart is broken and devastated by the ending. I feel like I lost a loved one. When Cara told Tobias that Tris didn't make it, I started crying. And all the while, I was thinking that it was a joke. Surely you wouldn't be that cruel. But after I realized it was true, that Tris wasn't in a hospital room recovering, that she wouldn't wake up, I became numb. Yes. Numb. I just wanted to end this misery as soon as possible, so I rushed through the last thirty or so pages. And yes, I was mad. I was, like I said, devastated to hear that one of my favorite young adult heroines had sacrificed herself, even if it was to save her brother. But, Veronica, I'm more confused than upset about it. I can deal with heartbreaking endings. Obviously, I love my HEA endings and I would have loved for one of my favorite book couples to be together forever. But it doesn't have to happen for me to love a book. But what hurts me the most is that I just don't understand why you killed Tris off. I have never read a book where the author killed off her main character. But what was the point to it? What were you trying to accomplish? Was it because you wanted to stay true to the story-line and the idea of sacrificing yourself for love? I get that, except it doesn't make sense considering how the book ended. It should have been more about Tris and less about Four, if you were really making this all about her. Then, that confuses me because I'm left wondering why you gave Four his own POV. So, the ending was really about him? Was it that he had overcome all four of his fears? Then why would the first two books have only been in Tris' POV? Like I said, Veronica. I'm just so confused. 
Guys, I just don't know what to think. On one hand, I respect Veronica Roth for writing that kind of ending, when she KNEW that people would be upset about it. She stuck to her guns, and she wrote the kind of ending she'd always known would come. But, I'm still confused as hell as to why it was necessary to kill off Tris. I get it; war is bad and lives are lost. But so many lives have been lost already that one more didn't have the same impact. And it didn't have much of an impact for me, although I loved Tris dearly. I think that is partly due to the fact that after realizing her death was true, I became numb. So, her death just didn't hit me as hard as it should have. And that also left the ending not impacting me as hard as it did for others. Because I was so miserable and sad, I just didn't care to finish. But I knew I had to, for I was definitely NOT going to leave this book unread. It has been my most highly anticipated book of 2013. And I'm left feeling disappointed and with mixed emotions.
Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can't escape the damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other. 
Those are the last words before the acknowledgments in Allegiant. And I'm left wondering, again, what point there was to killing off the main character. Four still could have learned this without Tris dying! I just... I don't understand.

I'm not taking her death well, but it's more than the fact that I'm so heartbroken that her and Four don't get a happily-ever-after. I just don't think it was necessary! I think the book could still have had the same impact it did if someone else had died, or if even no one had died. Because when the factions resolved their issues so fast, it left me angry that Tris' death was for nothing. Yes, she saved everyone's memories. But the rest of the conflict died out after that, and I just don't believe that that was possible considering how power hungry Four's parents were. I liked having the ending where I saw what happened to the factions and when the conflict was resolved. But, like I said, I just didn't care. It ceased to matter to me. And yes, I think the ending was dragged out, even with my numbness. I think, considering how much Tris meant to everyone and how much this series resolved around her, that the last few pages should have been about her. That it should have been more about her struggles and decisions, and not the fact that Four will move on without her. Because I don't even wanna think about that...

Even with my dislike of Veronica's decision, and even though I still can't stop thinking about the unfairness of it all, I loved the book! Throughout all of it, it still impacted me and hit me hard. And her ending has me thinking about everything, and I love it when authors can do that. Make me stop and think, make me feel like I'm not finished with the book even though I turned the last page. I'm sure I'll still be thinking long and hard about this one long after I've read it. 

Am I the only one who feels this way? Am I the only one who doesn't understand why Veronica killed off one of the most beloved heroines I've ever had the pleasure to read about? Is it just me? Am I so caught up in Tris' death that I can't see the point right in front of my face? Please, someone, enlighten me! 

I'm not going to cry about it anymore; I'm not going to send Veronica a death threat to make her rewrite the ending. In my perfect world, Tris and Four would be living happily-ever-after. But I'm not Veronica Roth, and I don't know what went on inside her head when she wrote this story. Fact of the matter is, I'm going to push it from my mind and possibly reread Divergent, just so I can stay happy with the fact that Tris and Four are together. Plus, it's still my favorite of the whole series. But it'll probably make me cry knowing that she dies at the end. However, I'm just content to stay in my own little world, where everything is all rainbows and sunshine and happy endings. 

Don't judge me.


Dear Veronica Roth,  
No, I don't understand your decision. But oddly enough, I'm okay with it. I respect how you ended Allegiant. Thank you for creating this series, because it's one of my favorites ever. And Tris and Four are two characters who will always have a special place in my heart. <3
Love,
Holly :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seven Day Fiance Blog Tour: Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway


Synopsis:
Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.


Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn't do relationships and he doesn't fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn't expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse. 


Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19nIAjS


***

My Review!
Seven Day Fiancé by Rachel Harris is the second book in her standalone adult romance series, Love and Games. Where Taste the Heat followed Colby's and Jason's road to love, this second novel was all about Colby's bad boy brother, Cane, and Angelle, a newcomer to Magnolia Springs. 

After meeting these two characters in Taste the Heat, I was excited to learn more about them. And I was excited to watch them fall in love. From their shaky ground of friendship to their insane chemistry, I was rooting for these two stubborn people to open up and discover the kind of passionate love that's worth all of the heartache. Their rocky road to love, all of the mishaps and misunderstandings, the push and pull, and everything in between, was fun to watch unfold. These two characters were as stubborn as they come! Boy, did their relationship have a lot of ups and downs. Not to mention a lot of sweet moments, passionate exchanges, and a little drama. It was never boring, that's for sure. Angelle's and Cane's witty banter with each other kept me entertained, and their heated exchanges had me grinning from ear to ear. Their personalities are quite different, yet the pull they feel toward each other is hard to ignore. Even when they both want to ignore it for as long as they can. 

However, never underestimate the power of alcohol and matchmakers. When Angelle buys Cane at a Bachelor Auction, she feels it's the perfect opportunity to solve her problem. You see, she's been lying to her folks at home, spewing lies about a fiancé she made up to get them off her back. Now it's Thanksgiving, and she's going home without a fiancé. But if there's one thing a helpless female can count on is a protective guy who can't leave a damsel in distress to fight her own battles. Cane accepts her proposition, all the while with the attitude that a fling would benefit them both. Because that's all Cane does: sex without strings. 

His attitude toward the female population is not arrogant or sexist or about his need to be a bachelor the rest of his life. After learning that his father had had an affair with another woman, when he was only twenty, Cane's had a problem with attachments. He thinks he'll be just like him, that he'll cheat and hurt the woman he loves the first chance he gets. And he's so, so wrong. If anything, Cane is the most caring guy ever. His bad boy image is just that: an image. But underneath that hard exterior is an overprotective and loving brother, an adoring godfather, and a caring friend. He's rough and sweet, confident and sexy. And although he made some mistakes, stumbled along the way, he still tried his hardest to be the man Angelle deserved. 

Cane is like the polar opposite of Angelle. Her clumsiness and innocence was refreshing and endearing. Her sassiness and her ability to stand her ground when it came to her feelings and decisions was awesome to see. So many times I read about female characters who, either makes stupid choices, or let people control their decisions. In the situation of falling in love with her fake fiancé, I thought she handled it maturely. And I liked how she'd responded to Cane's one asshole (I'm sorry Cane, baby, but you were an asshole. I still love you!) mistake. She may have been like a mouse before she came to Magnolia Springs, but once she grew into her confidence, she became a tiger. Fierce and strong. 

Hers and Cane's character growth was one of the best parts of the book. But their relationship was definitely my favorite. It was adorable and sweet, sexy and romantic. Even when they were trying so hard to deny their attraction, it was easy to see that the two had sizzling chemistry. I loved the ups and downs, the push and pull. It was like a relationship in real life, and it made the characters so relatable. It made their conversations flow, and it made their interactions seem genuine. 

I love how detailed this book was, from the characters to the towns that they live in. From the food to the Cajun culture. It was interesting and at times, very amusing. What I also loved were the secondary characters. In Rachel Harris' books, they are always three-dimensional and not just pushed to the sidelines. I rather enjoyed seeing the Magnolia Springs residents again, as well as the new additions of Angelle's family and friends. It was heartwarming reading about these close-knit family ties and caring communities. 

Seven Day Fiancé was sweet and spicy; a perfect blend of romance, comedy, passion, and adventure. 


***

Exclusive Author Interview!
Welcome to Part of that World Rachel Harris! It’s so wonderful to have you here. J Congrats on your newest release, Seven Day Fiancé!

Thank you so much for having me!! I’m very excited J

First of all, I've read all of your books, and I've enjoyed them immensely. You've created such lovable characters, and you have a gift for storytelling. What made you decide to become an author? Or was it something that you always wanted?

Aw, that means so much, thank you! I've always enjoyed storytelling. I wrote tons of stories growing up—well, I began tons of stories while I was growing up. Finishing them…not so much. My longest effort was Guiding Light fan fiction in college (he he). During that time, my storytelling interests had shifted to telling a story visually, through television production. I hosted and produced several television shows for my college television station and that’s where I saw my life going. Shortly after returning from an internship in NYC, I decided I didn't want to live in a big city after all, and after I got married, I assumed my storytelling passion would just be something I called on with my own children. It wasn't until the summer of 2010 that Twilight entered my world, and I remembered how fun creating my own stories could be. I’d never imagined I could be an author when I was a kid—heck, I couldn't finish a story. But that summer I decided to give a whirl. I haven’t looked back since. 

What’s been more fun to write—young adult or adult?

Oh, they are both so much fun, for different reasons! I also have a new adult book in the works, and that, too, has its own unique enjoyments and challenges. I will say that I enjoy being able to really focus on a couple’s romantic relationship and exploring all the ways it can shape and challenge a character, and I have a bit more freedom to dive into that with adult. 

Which genre do you enjoy writing about more—fantasy or contemporary? 

Again, both are fun in their own ways, but I’m definitely more contemporary minded. Even my fantasy stories I feel are pretty much rooted in real life, contemporary situations, just with a touch of fantastical magic. I love telling (and reading) stories about people I can relate to completely, in a world that is very similar to my own. For me, it helps pull me that much deeper into the story, erasing that wall between reader and character, if that makes sense.   

How did you come up with the Super Sweet series? The Love and Games series?

The Super Sweet series came about with me just getting off a huge historical reading kick, and wanting to do the same. I’d just read Sarah MacLean’s adult debut followed by her fabulous YA, and I remember thinking that I wanted to throw myself in that kind of a world, too…but when I read historicals, the fun part of it for me is looking at it all with my modern day lens. I hadn’t really read any time travel books before, but it just seemed like a natural way for me to do what I wanted—lose myself in the past, but explore it through my modern lens. I’m a research junkie, so I decided to pick an era I already loved and wanted to explore even more (the Renaissance), and the first book pretty much wrote itself. Book 2, A Tale of Two Centuries, came about as I was writing the epilogue to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. All of a sudden, I have this surprise ending and I was like, well, looks like I have another book to write (ha!). It was so much fun to flip-flop it, and write about our modern world through the lens of a sixteenth century chica. The third book, My Not So Super Sweet Life, breaks the mold a bit in that it goes back to the first main character, is told via dual POV with her guy, and is contemporary with just a touch of magic.

Love and Games came from my desire to write about the people and culture of my hometown of New Orleans, to craft a love letter of sorts to that unique section of the world. I’m addicted to Food Network and while watching an episode of Chopped one day with fire captains competing, the idea just came to me and it took off from there. Family is so important in New Orleans—most of us have huge families and it’s rare that someone leaves, so I knew this would be a series. The heroine from book one, Taste the Heat, is the middle child, and that leaves at least two more books (Seven Day Fiancé and the youngest sister’s book coming in 2014), although I have plans to extend it even further. Each of the first three books focus on a different aspect of Louisiana culture—Taste the Heat was all about the food, Seven Day Fiancé is about Cajun country and dancing, and book 3 will be focused on the Mardi Gras season.  

Do you like to plan out your novels, or do you just let the characters and the story take you where you want to go?

Ha, if my assistant were answering this question she’d probably be rolling on the floor laughing. Yes, I’m a HUGE plotter. I plan everything, and even have to stop to adjust said plan during drafting. I can’t start without knowing where I’m going, the motivations for every step, and understanding the main characters arcs. And I can’t go forward with another chapter until I feel confident I got the current one where I want it. I edit as I go, which means fast drafting doesn’t happen, but I’m still able to write a novel within a couple months because of all that planning, and by the time I reach the end, I’m ready to send to my editor. 

Out of all of the characters in your books, who was your favorite to write about? Was there another character who gave you a lot of trouble?

SOOOOO hard to answer!! They are all so unique, and in many ways, they all have a part of me in them. Honestly, I keep thinking it’s a tie between Alessandra from A Tale of Two Centuries and Angelle from Seven Day Fiancé…hmm, both “A” names. Interesting. Also interesting is that they are both my most recent books, so I bet that has something to do with it. I always get really attached to my characters, so it makes sense that the ones I just spent the most time with are my favorites. Also, both of these girls are funny in more innocent ways, kind of silly, but also huge romantics. I think they are probably most like me in that way. And their book boyfriends were HOT!! As for a character who gave me a lot of trouble, not really, other than trying to keep bad boy Cane from Seven Day Fiancé a bit reeled in. He has a bit of a potty mouth. J

Which couple has been the most fun to write about?

Angelle and Cane from Seven Day Fiancé. I know, seems obvious because that’s the book we’re discussing, but honestly, they were so much fun. I love bad boy/good girl stories, and I think these two in particular not only had that intense chemistry from the get-go, but they had their own unique brand of humor that had me giggling and smiling the whole time. 

What’s next for you, as an author?

Currently I’m working on book 3 in the Super Sweet and Love and Games series, both of which are to be released digitally in the first few months of 2014. Then it’s on to my new adult holiday romance and the companion novel to my YA Contemporary series releasing with Spencer Hill next fall (the first book is The Fine Art of Pretending). After that, I have several projects calling to me, adult, new adult, and YA. I guess it’ll depend on what screams the loudest!

Can you give us a little teaser from a book you’re currently working on? ;)

Sure J This is unedited, so please keep that in mind! This is from My Not So Super Sweet Life, book three in my YA series. For the set-up, this is in Cat’s POV (Lucas is the other POV character). Cat is the daughter of Hollywood royalty and her birth mother just dropped a bomb on national television, and the paparazzi are tailing them. The two of them have escaped to a friend’s beach house for a breather from the chaos….


“Cat.” Lucas whispers my name like it’s precious. Like I’m worth something. And I so badly want to believe it. His blonde curls catch in the breeze, gliding over the bronze skin on his forehead, and my fingers itch to tame them. To capture the silky locks and gently tug. He grins as if he can read my thoughts, and warmth floods my body, pooling in my stomach. Picking me up, Lucas lays me on a blanket of soft sand and says, “You have no idea what you do to me.”
But I think I do. And that’s what makes my head so wonderfully fuzzy.
That look is back in his eyes. Still smoldering, but soft now, too. The hint that his feelings are real…and deep. Before he can see the tears welling in mine, still unsure I deserve any of it, I clamp them shut and tug his head down.
“Make me forget,” I beg him. It’s a big step, admitting what I need, but this is Lucas. I know I’m safe. “I just want to forget everything but us right now.”  
His hand curls around the side of my face, tilting my chin as his thumb skims my throat. But he doesn’t kiss me. He hovers, breathing me in until I reluctantly open my eyes. His gaze tracks over my face.
“We’re all that matters.” Our lips touch with each word he speaks, his stare so intense that I know he can see straight through to my soul. Too many emotions clog my throat to reply, so I nod. Right now, we’re everything.
Lucas brushes his nose along mine and my eyelids flutter. The last thing I see before they close completely is the dimple flashing in his cheek. Then his lips press into mine in a kiss meant to make the world fade away.
And it delivers.
Fingernails rake down my back, bringing a shiver. A low growl sounds in his throat, and I want to climb into his skin. Cologne, body wash, something uniquely him fills my head, and when his tongue flicks out, licking the seam of my lips, I open eagerly, greedy for more.
The air around us is electric. Humming, vibrating, and heated, weighted with lust, desire, and even love. Yep, love. I’m falling for this boy and that scares the crap out of me. But I can’t quit him. I don’t want to quit him. 
When Lucas kisses me, nothing else matters. Time doesn’t exist, our pasts don’t matter, and my heart is unscathed. With every delicious nibble and each tender touch, he mends another broken shard, making me believe that one day I really can be normal. I trap his bottom lip between my teeth and with a groan, his weight sinks against me. I wrap my arms around his back, gripping his shoulders so tight our bodies meld together.        

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Rachel! J

Thank you!! J

***

Rachel Harris Bio:
Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, where she watched soap operas with her grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading her mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up way too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.
When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, she homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. Taste The Heat is her adult romance debut. She’s the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. She loves hearing from readers! Find her at www.RachelHarrisWrites.com.


***GIVEAWAY!!!***

Friday, October 25, 2013

Burn Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway



Synopsis:
Just when Velaney thinks she is safe again…her worst nightmare comes back to haunt her. 

Eric is dealing with his own insecurities as he tries to accept Velaney’s decision to help the enemy…can he get past it? Will they be there for each other in the end?

He struggles to step aside and trust Velaney...but will his past keep him from doing so? Can he let go in order to move forward?

Velaney and Eric had their fair share of ups and downs in SPARK…they love was undeniable and intense. Just when you think they could get their happily ever after…pasts collide and merge together…will they fight for what they want? 

Or will their love crash and burn?

Burn Buy Links:

Spark Buy Links:

***

My Review:
Spark was an enjoyable read that brought us Velaney and Eric, two main characters who never understood what love really meant until they found each other. The healing that Velaney went through was amazing to watch unfold. The way she stood up to her past, the way she opened up to Eric. She's a strong person, and now she's found a reason to be happy. A reason to want to wake up in a man's arms. And that reason is Eric. 

In Spark, we don't know much about him. The first book was really about Velaney and her journey of healing. Eric is just the guy who helped her through it and made her start to believe in happily-ever-after. But it's clear that there's more to Eric than meets the eye. It's clear that he has demons, too. Demons that still haunt him to this day.
Demons. We all have them, right? But how do you live with them? Or better yet, how do you get over them so you can continue to move forward?
But Eric hasn't tried to move forward yet, and he doesn't know how to let go of his past and the pain he's kept buried inside. Velaney is there to help him, although she's still battling demons of her own. After the surgery, she thought she'd moved on. She thought she'd never have to see her family again. But when tragedy strikes, it brings everything back. The pain. The misery. The anger. And Velaney does the one thing she's always done; run away. She runs away from the people who love her the most. While staying with her aunt, Velaney has time to ponder her choices in life.
"Just make sure that whatever you're running away from, is exactly what you need right now to heal. Don't run away because you think it'll be too painful for others. But don't stay just because you feel you have to." -Aunt Tess
With time away from everything, Velaney realizes that she needs to go back to Boston and face Eric. Because she's been keeping secrets, and he needs to know them. And it's also because she didn't mean anything she said in that letter. He's her forever, the only man she'll ever want. He's showed her what unconditional love looks like, and she wants that. She just has trust issues. And she and Eric both let bad things tear them to shreds. But moving on is a part of life. 
"How would we appreciate the good if nothing bad happened? How would we learn from our mistakes if everything worked out perfectly? That's not the whole point to life, Eric. We live and learn...we suffer...we love...we live. It's a matter of how we adjust to what is thrown our way." -Velaney
If only they both would take that advice. At times, I wanted to smack the shit out of Velaney for her choices regarding Eric, and at other times, I just wanted to give her a big hug. She has had a lot of bad things happen to her, but she's strong. It takes her a long time to realize her self-worth, and that she deserves happiness. Both of these characters do. But because of all the shit that's happened to them, they don't take the time to appreciate the good because they're so sure it'll all be taken away. 

Through the tears, heartache, and pain, Velaney and Eric realize that what they have is something to be cherished. The kind of love that people should revel in. With the help of amazing family and friends, they don't lose sight of that realization. Their journey to finding each other was so, so worth it.

I loved this book, and I enjoyed watching the developing relationship between Velaney and Eric grow into something much stronger, and that burns brighter, than anything they've ever felt before. And I'm so looking forward to reading Carissa's story. :)

 ***

Excerpt!
Eric
I can’t breathe. She’s been in surgery for too long. Something’s wrong. Why is she still in there? Why hasn't anyone come out to update us?
I’m drowning in awful thoughts until Carissa starts shaking me.
“Dude, chill. She’s fine.”
“How do you know? I mean, you can’t be so sure.”
“I’m sure. It’s Velaney. She’s a fucking spitfire. She’s made it through much worse, trust me.”
So not the words I want to hear right now. I pace back and forth in the waiting area, driving myself out of my mind.
My mind goes back to when I saw Velaney in New Mexico—heart stopping. I for sure thought I was imagining things. My heart was shattered when she left me. I was empty. Numb. I agreed to come out to New Mexico because I secretly wished I wouldn’t come back. I wanted to die. I already felt dead without her.
I’m drowning in my sorrows when a hard slap across the face grabs my attention.
“What the hell was that?” I ask Carissa, holding my hand to my burning cheek.
“Snap out of it! She needs us during this time. This wasn’t easy for her. Hell, I still don’t understand her thought process, but it was her decision, and we are going to support her. Stop moping. Stop being a bitch.” Her voice is stern, and I can tell she’s completely serious.
“You didn’t have to slap me.”
“I know.” She grins. I rub my cheek until the burn fades, and I sit down. My hands are sweaty and my mouth is dry. God, I don’t know if I can do this…
“Listen,” Carissa begins, sitting next to me. “Velaney has taken care of herself for half her life. She’s tough. I know she may look fragile and weak, but she has really been through a lot.” She places her hand on my knee and I realize I’m shaking uncontrollably. “She’ll be all right. You just have to trust her. Ironically, she has great instincts.”
I smile back at her and say, “Thanks, Carissa.”
She shrugs nonchalantly. “Velaney is like a sister to me and if she insists on keeping you around, well, we might as well be on the same team.” She smiles back. “But don’t think for a second I won’t kick your pathetic little ass if you hurt her.”
“I don’t doubt that.” I lean in and give her a hug. It feels weird getting close to Carissa. She has higher walls up than Velaney does, somehow though, right now, she doesn't seem as guarded.

***


Author Bio: 
Brooke is a midwestern gal, from the cheese state of Wisconsin! Go Packers! She's a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (one daughter & two stepsons) and a black fury dog. She's studied psychology in college, and counseling and education in graduate school where she found her love for writing. Most days you can find her reading or writing, or just hanging out with her family! She loves movies, cooking, and shopping! She's addicted to Starbucks, Coach purses, and wearing yoga pants.


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