Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Release Day Launch: The Fine Art of Pretending


THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING Synopsis:
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.


BUY LINKS:

Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Amazon | Amazon UK |  IndieBound

***

EXCERPT!

An exhale of breath leaves Brandon’s lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under myself, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark-green depths of his eyes, the cologne I gave him for his birthday filling my head. It’s woodsy and yummy and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers, but on Brandon, it’s even sexier. My eyes flutter closed, and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy.
Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading his fingers through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek, and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight. 
When his mouth first meets mine, it’s hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart.
Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest, and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip, and I pull it, sucking on it gently.
He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back.
Brandon is an amazing kisser, just as I knew he would be. I have no control over my body’s reactions. I lose myself in his lips, his tongue, and his strong arms, forgetting time and space and even my surroundings—until Gabi’s snicker brings reality crashing around us, reminding me we have an audience.
And that I’m kissing Brandon.
We break apart, out of breath, and stare into each other’s eyes.
That was unexpected. 

 ***

About Rachel Harris:
Award-winning and Bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing. 

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers. 

Links:

Release Day Launch: Bone Deep by Brooklyn Skye

Bone Deep RDL baner

Bone DeepAbout Bone Deep: The boy who wants forgiveness… Haunted by the train accident his father instigated, college freshman Krister Ledoux is obsessed with finding the person sending him cryptic hate mail. He knows it’s one of them—a family member of one of the accident victims, and he’s willing to go to hell and back to find out which one. The girl he can’t forget… She was a stranger who kissed him in the middle of the train station, and now she’s the girl who pleads with her eyes for Krister to be the distraction she’s so desperate for. Krister doesn’t know what it is about her, why he’s sucked into playing Cambria’s game… All he knows is that when he’s with her, he isn’t consumed with thoughts of the crash. The collision that can’t be avoided… Cambria doesn’t know who Krister is—that he’s the son of the town’s most infamous killer, and he knows if his true identity surfaces he’ll lose her forever. However secrets can’t stay buried forever, and now Krister must fight to prove that their bone-deep connection is far more powerful than the hatred she now has toward him.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Bone Deep Goodreads
***

Exclusive Excerpt:
She stares at me, tracing her finger over my face, my eyebrows, the two-day-old stubble on my jaw. I catch her hand and kiss her knuckles, then wrist. “It’s just…” Jesus, how do I say this? “My life’s a little complicated right now, and I’m trying not to drag you into the middle of it.” The look she gives me is one I’m starting to recognize. The one that makes it seem like she understands there’s something more I want to tell her, but can’t. Or don’t know how. “On top of that…I’m a dickhead. And being with me will ultimately result in me hurting you, and I don’t want to hurt you.” “Actually…” She lowers my palm to her thigh, narrowing her gaze onto mine. “…you being concerned about hurting me is very non-dickhead-ish of you.” Little by little, she slides my hand up her leg and around her ass. “Besides, what if I want to be in the middle of it?” I slam my eyes shut, my fingers burning at the touch of her. She doesn’t know what she’s asking for. Being with me—being constantly reminded of her dead mother—will slowly but surely kill her inside. And I’m not a murderer like my father.

***

 Brooklyn Skye Bio:
Brooklyn Skye
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. She writes young adult and new adult fiction. You can follow her on Twitter as @brooklyn__skye or visit her web site for updates, teasers, giveaways, and more. www.brooklyn-skye.comShe is the author of FRAGILE LINE, STRIPPED, Without You, and STRIPPED Without You

(16) Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic, as stated above, are those books that were hard to read! Whether it was because it was a difficult book, because of subject matter, or because it was downright cringe-worthy. Whatever the case, I'm sure we've all had books like that. These are the top ten books that were hard for ME to read!

1. Ten Tiny Breaths
This book impacted me in such a huge way. It was so easy for me to connect with Kacey's character and how she dealt with her grief. It was hard for me to hear about what she went through and how she coped with it, because I could relate to her so well. This is one of those books that will always hold a special place in my heart. And because of this book, I want to help PTSD victims when I'm older (oh man, it feels good admitting that after thinking it over). <3

2. Guardian
This one was very much like TTB in how hard it was for me to read, though even worse. The beginning of the book was so eerily reminiscent of what my life was like four years, and still is, that I had to put it aside immediately. I wasn't even sure I could continue, but I did, and I'm SO glad I finished it! Wonderful book.

3. Debt Inheritance
I like dark reads, and hell, I love Pepper Winter's books. I shouldn't, God, I shouldn't. This one tore me out of my comfort zone, pushed at my conscience, and told my feministic side to shut the hell up. I wanted to fight back, but it was just so damn good and I can't wait to read the sequel.

4. Harder
This book and its predecessor were so INTENSE! God, I didn't think the author could drag my heart through the ringer again after reading Deeper. But man, this one was even harder to read because I wasn't sure where two of my favorite characters ever were going to end up! I just wanted them to have a happy ending. <3

5. Between Shades of Gray
Oh God, this book broke my heart and never fully healed it. What happened to Lina, her family, and all those other people were hard to stomach at times. It just makes you wonder how anyone could stoop that low, could turn their backs on the suffering of thousands, and not feel any sort of remorse or empathy. (As a psych major, the wars are majorly interesting because I want to know why and how people could do what they did, victims and soldiers). 

6. The Truth About Alice
This book was so hard for me to read! It killed me to hear everyone tell the story of what Alice did and not being able to hear her side of it, of knowing how much it hurt to have people turn their backs on her like that. I just wanted to climb into the story, give her a big hug, and tell her that she matters and that in time the hurt would lessen. And it kills knowing that some teens go through this every day. I want to stop bullying from happening ever again!

7. Falling Into You
This book was a freaking emotional rollercoaster ride! I don't normally read books with characters who have lost boyfriends/fiances/husbands. I'm not a huge believer in there being second chances at love, so I tend to stay away from books like this. It was a hard read, and it made me cry by the bucketfuls. But the journey these two characters went through was so beautiful and full of healing.

8. Forbidden: Discover the Legend
This book was seriously the worst one I've ever read in my life. It was horribly written, the MC was petty and jealous and judgmental. It was like Mean Girls with werewolves, complete with cliques and superficial introspection and tasteless personalities. I hated it so much, and I honestly don't know how I made it through this. But I did, and it was worth it to write the snarky review afterward.


9. Hopeless
This was one of the first NAs I read, and one of the first contemporaries that I'd read in years. I don't think I was prepared for how much it would attack my emotions and leave me ugly crying over what was happening to the characters. It was so heartbreaking, yet it left me with so much hope and happiness. But man, did my heart get dragged through hell and back.

10. Girl Lost
This book was hard for me to get through, because I had absolutely know clue what was happening in it. It was confusing and messy and muddled, and it was like trying to read something without my glasses on--a headache. And I still don't understand what it was trying to accomplish, especially with that ending. (Maybe I'm just dense. Who knows?). To this day, it's one of the only two books I've never rated.

***

Which books were hard for YOU to read? As always, leave me a link! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chasing Abby Release Day Blitz

 Chasing Abby is the final book in Cassia's New York Times and USA Today best selling Shattered Hearts series!! :)
About Chasing Abby

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling series.

Five years, six months, eight days….

It’s been eighteen years since Abigail was born with a hole in her heart. Five years since she collapsed on the soccer field. Five years, six months, eight days since she found out she was adopted.

Abby has spent five years wondering about the family she never knew and waiting for her eighteenth birthday. When Abby shows up on the doorstep of Chris and Claire Knight, her birth parents are overjoyed to see the little girl they lost eighteen years ago.
One summer is all they have to make up for the years they lost. But a summer of love soon turns into a summer of heartache.


Purchase Chasing Abby:

***

Previous books in the series:
1. FOREVER OURS
 2. RELENTLESS
Amazon US |  Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | KOBO | Google Play
3. PIECES OF YOU
Amazon US |  Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | KOBO | Google Play
4. BRING ME HOME
Amazon US |  Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | KOBO | Google Play
***

About Cassia

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo grew up in California and has lived in three different countries. She loves to travel and her dream is to one day score a record deal based on her awesome shower singing skills. She is the author of the Shattered Hearts series (Forever Ours, Relentless, Pieces of You, Bring Me Home) and the Luke, Knox, and Chase series.
Come chat with her on
You can also follow her blog at http://cassialeo.com to stay up to date on new releases and giveaways.
 Thanks for reading!

***Giveaway!!!***
a Raffleopter giveaway

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NERC Review #44: Sweet Unrest

*eARC kindly provided by Flux via NetGalley*

Ever since I saw the cover for this, I've been wanting to read it! It looks so spooky and creepy, and I love the design. Voodoo, New Orleans, and an intriguing synopsis that alludes to crazy twists, mysteries to unveil, and a swoony love story? Well. It had one of those elements. It did have an air of mystery about it. 

Rating: 3 Stars!
I'm so disappointed with this book. It's not like it was bad, but it definitely wasn't the best one I've ever read. It was a slow start, but I was intrigued from the beginning. However, once the story started unraveling, I became increasingly annoyed with the obvious twists and the clueless MC.

Seriously. Lucy Aimes was so clueless. Oblivious to everything around her and too hung up on Chicago and this mysterious new guy who keeps popping up when she least expects it. I never got a true sense for Lucy's character. I liked her voice, but it was bland. Pretty much exactly like her personality. She wasn't a bad character, but she didn't pop off the pages with an interesting persona. She loves photography, secretly enjoys history, and is pissed about the move to New Orleans. She wants to go back home, and her parents will let her if she's still not happy by the end of the summer. So, Lucy expects that it will be boring and uneventful and that her time will go by quickly. But she doesn't know that she'll get swept up into a past that has never truly gone away. And she becomes infatuated with this appealing new guy, Alex.

The romance was my least favorite aspect of this book. And romance is a very strong word for what goes on between Lucy and Alex. Honestly, it was so easy to guess what he is and why Lucy is so drawn to him. I knew right after they met. I think it would have been better if Lucy had known from the beginning what Alex is, if she had spent more time with him and I would have actually believed she fell in love. So, when the big reveal happened, I was like Really? It took this long? Their relationship was so underdeveloped, and I wish they'd had a stronger connection. But I just never felt it with them. Without spoiling anything, it's hard to say why I'm disappointed in this romance. The author focused too much on the past, and I become more invested in Alex's story.

The secondary characters were just...there. They popped in, talked to Lucy or did something that helped her get further along in the story-line, and that was it. She had no distinct relationships with any of them, so that when her brother got hurt, I didn't even feel anything from her character. The only two that had any impact on the story-line were Alex (of course) and Mama Legba. 

The atmosphere in this book was great, the details made me feel like I was there. But the plot, to me, was another weak point. The twists were SO EASY TO GUESS. When Lucy finally understood everything that was happening to her, I wanted to climb into the story and throttle her. Seriously, nothing about the plot was surprising, maybe except for the ending (but we'll talk about that in a bit). And it just became so much about the mystery and Lucy's "dreams" that nothing else was happening in the story. Where is the New Orleans fun? Where's Lucy exploring the house that her father is working on and immersing herself in the culture and people? Does she do nothing but sleep and photograph and not question anything that's going on? And that ending felt like overkill. Also, I wish it had been different because it just...sucked.

Even with all the negative, I did like the book! Like I said, I was intrigued from the beginning. And even when I wasn't sure if I was right with the twists, I wanted to keep reading just to see how it all tied together. Sweet Unrest was disappointing, but I found the atmosphere to be very compelling.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

NERC Review #43: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

*eARC kindly provided by Kensington Books via NetGalley*

I've been excited but also nervous about reading this book. This has been one of my favorite series, and after pretty much binge-reading the first four books last year, the wait for this had been killing me. I didn't want to let go of these characters, but I also didn't want to be disappointed with the conclusion. And I sort of am.

Rating: 3.5 Sacrificial Stars!

It pains me to say this. Hell, it pains me to even think this way. Because I thought for sure this was going to be a 5 star read. But this one, and Secret, were my least favorite books in the series. And I think Sacrifice takes first place in that regard. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I just was hoping for something a bit more epic. The ending left me feeling happy and okay, but it didn't meet my high expectations (which really isn't fair). But, like I said, this has been one of my favorite series. So it kills me to say that this conclusion was a disappointment. And no one is more upset by this news than me.

I was so excited to finally get Michael's POV. Though I never warmed up to him as much as his brothers, which was probably on the account that Michael acted like their dad and so they resented him for being their father figure instead of their sibling, I still loved his character. He's strong, stoic, a man who gave up his dreams and his future plans to take care of his little brothers when their parents died. It takes a real special person to do that. Someone who is selfless and caring, even if a bit rough around the edges. But in this novel, we see the strong facade crack just a bit. We see a guy who only wants to protect his little brothers and who feels like he's not doing his job right. It's a constant line that he balances, being a father figure and a sibling, and Michael had to learn that sometimes it's okay to lean on others and that his brothers can take care of themselves. And with Hannah, Michael has someone that he can lean on, someone who will have his back and share the burdens.

I don't think I ever truly warmed up to Hannah. It's not like there was anything wrong with her character. She's sweet, caring, and a wonderful mother to her son, James. She is struggling with balancing her job as a firefighter, being a single mom, and dating a man who keeps a lot of secrets and who pushes her away because he's trying to protect her. But Hannah is not okay with people telling her what she can and can't do. She's tired of the judgment she feels from her father and the looks she gets when she drops James off at school. Sure, she's built a life for herself while still living with her parents, but she can't seem to shake off the feeling of not being good enough, of not doing anything right. Honestly, whenever the book switched POVs, I found myself eager to get back inside Michael's head. I don't know what it is, but I never grew to love Hannah. I think her preconceived notions and the fact that she was constantly wondering if people were judging her, were factors in that. And I just felt that, without Michael, she didn't have much of a story.

Their romance definitely took a backseat in this book, because it focused more on what was happening with the Guides and the constant action. Don't get me wrong, I loved the action-packed and intense scenes that left me worried and terrified of the outcomes until they were over. But, because of that, I think Hannah's and Michael's relationship was a bit underdeveloped.

The ones between his brothers and Hunter, however, were definitely not. Even though the girls (besides Hannah) were not a part of this book, I didn't mind. Brigid Kemmerer is SO GOOD at developing her characters! And she is equally good at creating and maintaining or strengthening the bonds between them. Some of the scenes in this book were intense, and then there were those quiet moments, the ones that left me crying and laughing all on the same page. I love the relationships between Michael and his brothers, and how each of them have developed throughout the books. And the addition of Hunter was so brilliantly written, and I adored that he became one of them. Those moments between all of them were my favorite parts of the book. My favorite parts of the whole series, actually. I just love these Merrick brothers and Hunter so much (Gabriel will always be my favorite, though). 

The suspense and sense of danger never wavered throughout the story; it was always looming in the background, leading me to believe that there would be an epic showdown between the Merricks and the Guides. Throughout the book, Micheal is trying to figure out who is behind everything while dodging close calls with death. Whoever is doing this doesn't care about the collateral damage and how many people get hurt in their quest for taking down the Merricks. It was a surprising and shocking revelation that I wish had been more talked about. The "epic showdown" felt rushed and hurried, which left me feeling out of sorts at the end especially considering the magnitude of what happened. Without giving anything away, I just have to say that I wished there was more closure.

As always, I love Brigid's writing and how she draws me into her stories so effortlessly. Even though it's written in 3rd person (which is what I prefer), I can still connect with the characters. It has been so easy for me to get lost in the Merricks' story, and I'm so incredibly sad to be saying goodbye to them. Though Sacrifice didn't leave me with the same uber happy feels that the last four did, I still enjoyed the book. And oh, how I love my Merrick boys and Hunter Garrity. <3

Tidbits of information you may want to know:
**Sacrifice comes out on September 30th!! That's only in 3 days, guys!

**And Storm, the first book in the series, is still FREE AS A BIRD on most ebook platforms! Seriously, get it now! You want to read this series. :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Reviewer Snob

I know that title sounds really bad, but I promise you that this is not a personal attack on anybody in particular. Hell, it's not even an attack on reviewers in general. This is just me, wanting to let off some steam and vent about a problem I have. And that is being a reviewer snob when it comes to books.

What do I mean by that? Well, critiquing is fun. You guys know that. It's why you're reviewers. You read books, you pick them apart, and then you write reviews for them. Sometimes they're filled with gushing and fangirling and OMGs and this is a new favorite of mine because it's so amazing! And sometimes they're not. Sometimes they turn into full-on rants where you rage about everything that went wrong and why you're so pissed and disappointed with the story. But what happens when you can't take off your critic hat to just enjoy what you're reading?

I'm in a place right now with reading that has left me feeling burnt-out and just tired. In the last two weeks, I've read 9 books. One was the first in a serial (3 stars), which I'm not counting in this rant because I'm not a huge fan of installments anyway. Out of the rest, I had a 4 star read (Raven) and a possible 5 star (I say possible because I haven't rated it or reviewed it yet, but it's likely to get the highest rating from me). That book was Burying Water by K.A. Tucker. It's the only one out of those 9 that hasn't left me feeling disappointed in some way (I should have known; KA never lets me down). But the rest of them just haven't hit the mark. Some of them were because of the high expectations I placed on them, due to my love for the authors or series. And some of them went in a completely surprising direction that I ended up not liking. Because of that they've been in that middle place, 3 or 3.5 stars, which are hard to write. They're harder to write because you liked the story, right? However, you had problems with it. It wasn't the best you'd ever read but it wasn't the worst. It was just...disappointing.

But am I being too critical, too analytical about every little detail in the books? Guys, I love reviewing. I love fangirling and writing about how much a book has impacted me and why I think everyone in the world should read it. And of course, I love writing ones that end up being major rants about all of the things I disliked about the story. But at some point, I become a reviewer snob.

I critique EVERYTHING. I pick apart every little thing that happens. And when I do that, I stop enjoying the book to an extent. Because then I'm focusing on all that's wrong with the story and why I want to stop reading it. It becomes more about the review I'm writing out in my head than what the author is trying to tell me. And, I think, that's a very troubling thing for a passionate bookworm like myself. 

It showed with those 6 other books I read. Three were new-to-me authors, but they just didn't wow me. One, I downright disliked. Queen of Someday, which had so much potential to be freaking amazing, but it fell short in everything. And the other two were not what I was expecting and left me disappointed because I didn't like where the story-lines headed. I liked the books. I think they had great potential. But they just didn't WOW me. They didn't bring anything new to the table and they didn't amaze me. It sucks when it's an author I've never tried before, because then I'm not as invested in their other books.

It especially sucks when my expectations are not met, when I've previously read and enjoyed the author's other works or because it's part of a well-loved series. Out of those 9 books, three of them were disappointing because I placed them on a higher scale. Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer was, by far, the biggest letdown. I have loved this series from the beginning, so it killed me to rate this no higher than 3.5 stars. I was disappointed with the conclusion and it just didn't make me as happy as the rest. The Fine Art of Pretending was another little letdown. Rachel Harris is one of my favorite authors, but this book just didn't feel up to par with her other ones. Don't get me wrong, it was adorable and perfect for the kind of mood I was in. But it wasn't very thought-provoking and deep (which I've come to expect in contemporary romances). The last one that really killed me was Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire. As a lover of BD and Trent, I couldn't wait to dive into his story. So imagine my shock and utter disappointment when I didn't get his POV. It pissed me off, and the story just kind of went downhill from there. And after that bullshit of an ending, I'm not interested in the next Maddox book. Not really.

And, I just. I know that expectations are not good! I know that I need to stop holding books to a high standard, because most of the time, they do not meet them. It's not good if I go into a story with an expectation, of any kind. And I think that when my snobby reviewing comes out, it just amplifies the disappointment I feel when a book is not meeting my standards. It happened, especially, with Beautiful Oblivion (which I just finished tonight). Right from the beginning, I was pissed because Trent didn't have a POV. I think that clouded my reading experience, because I started raging about everything. And I honestly can't wait to write this rant review (I'm a horrible person, I know).

Buuuut, sometimes I know I'd love books more if I didn't worry about ratings and reviews, if I didn't let other bloggers influence my reading decisions, if I picked up a book at the store or library without checking Goodreads first. There are times when I hate reviewing, when it feels more like a job than a hobby. There are times where I just need to take off the critic hat and enjoy what I'm reading. Where I need to lower the expectations and just let myself get swept up into the story without being nit-picky about every little detail. I need to stop worrying about what's wrong and dissecting all of the parts. I just need to stop being a freaking reviewer snob.

And because of these last few weeks of disappointments, I'm feeling a little burnt-out on reviewing and reading. I don't know if it's me or these books or my ridiculously high expectations, but something is just not connecting and it's affecting my reading. My bloggy friend Val suggested rereading a favorite of mine, so I think I'm going to do that. I'll be heading to the library tomorrow, so I'm going to pick up The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I'd already planned on doing a reread of them before Blue Lily, Lily Blue comes out, so this would be the perfect opportunity. And I'm hoping that by doing this, I'll get out of this negative reading slump, take off my critic hat, and just enjoy my favorite hobby again without all the expectations.

Your turn: do you ever feel like critiquing books lessens your enjoyment? Do you ever get tired of reviewing? What do you do when you're in a reading slump?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cover Reveal: Rebellion by J.A. Souders

Title: Rebellion
Author: J.A. Souders
Publisher: TOR Teen
Pub. Date: June 9, 2015
Find it: Goodreads

(No synopsis at this time!)

***

About J.A. Souders 
J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive physical copies of RENEGADE AND REVELATIONS plus the eNovellas. And ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas. If you have J.A.s books already, she will do an amazon or book depository gift card of the same value. International.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel

Beautiful Curse
Release Date: December 2014
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed.

She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.

So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn't count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him.

BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.




***

About the Author
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWINCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga.

Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Raven by Stacey Rourke Blog Tour and Review


Raven by Stacey Rourke 
(The Legends Saga #2)
Publication date: May 26th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

Synopsis:
An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.


Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind, searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.


***

My Review!

I am thoroughly enjoying this series! I love the mix of paranormal and romance, the past and present, and the twisting of famous literary works and legends. In Crane, the legend of the Horseman comes to life and wreaks havoc on the people of Sleepy Hollow. But in this book, the life of Edgar Allen Poe unravels.

Rating: 4 Nevermore Stars!

I love Edgar Allen Poe. I love that his work is so dark and dreary, so of course, I was excited about the sequel to the first book. I knew he would play a prominent role, and he did. Because everything intertwines, and the past is not what it seems.

The same cast of characters--Ireland, Noah, and Rip are in this novel but they are joined by a new one. Ridley (can't remember his last name). At first, I wasn't sure what to make of him. He's arrogant (more so than Noah), charming, charismatic, flirty, self-righteous, and stirs the Horseman's spirit in Ireland a time or two. But soon he gets swept up into the mystery that surrounds the threesome, and he becomes cursed as well. Only it's not bloodshed and evil and a spirit that he gets. He's able to see the dead and bring someone back to life. 

It's the same affliction that haunted our dear Edgar Allen Poe in the past. I loved, loved, loved his POV! I felt that it stayed true to who he was (at least, that his works suggest) and made him seem not so bleak. More a hopeless romantic who didn't know how to handle his curse. For years, he'd been all alone in his hauntings, taunted and teased mercilessly by a ghost of a person he didn't save when he was a kid. But when he meets Lenore, when he touches her, the curse vanishes and the ghosts stay silent. It is a rare gift, and he becomes enchanted with the lovely Lenore. So much so that he'd do whatever it takes to keep her by his side.

The relationships were all so well-written and had a lot of depth. I loved the sweet romance between Edgar and Lenore, the sassy friendship between Ireland and Rip, the sexy moments between her and Noah. I even loved how the newcomer Ridley was brought into the circle of friends. And there were so many hilarious one-liners and cute moments between them. I love that this doesn't just focus on one character, but all of them! They are all important to the story-line and each other, and I've grown to care for them. So much so that I was devastated by an event that happened.

Through Edgar and Ridley's curse, the story keeps unraveling to unveil a few more mysteries concerning what's happening to Ireland. She's losing control, Ridley's curse helps unleash a deadly walking disaster, and both of them feel like they're going crazy. Through it all, more puzzle pieces of the past and why they both have these curses are uncovered, making all the characters aware that there is something more going on, something none of them can imagine. It's a mystery that has left me so intrigued and desperate for book 3!

As in the first book, I loved Stacey Rourke's writing! I love that the past and present feel separate and true to their time periods. I loved the addition of Edgar Allen Poe and how everything is connected. I can't wait to find out more about these characters, their curses, and the people behind them.

***


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AUTHOR BIO
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction  and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. Mark your calendars! Her latest literary adventure, Crane, will release May 26, 2014. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects.