Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: I'm Not Afraid of Wolves by Erin Hayes


I’m Not Afraid of Wolves
Erin Hayes
Series: The Cotton Candy Quintet #4
Publication date: September 22nd 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis: Christine would do anything to get away from it all.
After escaping an abusive marriage and heading up a group of brand new performers, she’s tired and in need of a vacation. So when her sister Sara wants her to go camping out in the mountains of Georgia with the girls, she packs her bags for some rest and relaxation. Not even meeting a gorgeous park ranger like Colton Donnelly is going to distract her.
Except Sara didn’t tell her the real reason for the trip: she’s running away from a terrible secret. One that puts all of their lives in danger.
Now the vacation that Christine so desperately needed is ruined, but that’s the least of her worries. She has to use her wits and skills to save them all. Because she soon finds out that werewolves are very real. And they’ll stop at nothing to get their claws into her sister.
EXCERPT:
When the sliding door locked, I turned my gaze onto Sara and watched her, waiting for her to bring up her story. I wanted her to be the one who talked first, if only because I didn’t want to prod her too much if she was traumatized by whatever this was.
But if she was going to try to weasel her way out of talking to me, she had another thing coming.
“Wow,” she murmured softly. “Look at that full moon.”
I picked up a note of fear in her voice. “Yeah,” I said cautiously. “It’s beautiful.”
“I used to think so.” Sara turned around and looked back at me. Her eyes were wide with fright and the rigidity told me something else was going on with her.
Finally, my patience snapped.
“Sara, what’s wrong?”
“You won’t believe me,” she repeated, using the same phrase she used when we were putting food away.
I crossed my arms. “I think you’ll be surprised.”
Sara’s jaw worked. “I think I’m going to need more wine for this.”
I held up my glass. “Just drink mine.” Don’t think I’m letting you back in the kitchen that easily. She’d run away and hide and hoped I’d forget about it. She wanted to talk about it, but she was too afraid to.
She took my glass and downed the rest of it in one chug. I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“Okay,” she said, as if warming herself up for our talk. “Okay.”
“It will be all right,” I told her.
“No, it won’t.” Tears started filling her eyes. “Christine, do you believe in werewolves?”
Beautiful young bride walking on the field of flowers


Author Bio:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: The Speaker by Andi O'Connor

Series: The Vaelinel Trilogy #2
Publication Date: September 30th 2016
Publisher: Purple Sun Press
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
~ Goodreads ~

Synopsis: The Vaelinel Trilogy continues with this absorbing sequel to Silevethiel!

Alone and hunted by the Drulaack, Irewen takes advantage of her only option for survival: walking among the dead.

But her refuge doesn't last long. Driven out of their hosts by Laegon, a handful Drulaack have returned to the Spirit World. No longer having the protection of the dead, Irewen is forced to return to Vaelinel.

​Finally reunited with her companions, the burdens placed on them are taking their toll. Thoughts of suicide and mistrust plague the company. Slowly unravelling, they must conquer their personal battles before standing against the evil threatening the land.

​For the Corrupter thirsts for revenge. And he'll stop at nothing to satisfy his hunger.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
“We’ve made it this far. Together, we’ll find a way.” 

The Speaker is the perfect sequel to Silevethiel. There is action from beginning to end that keeps you on your toes, and the characters just become more lovable than ever.

The Speaker starts up right where Silevethiel left off. Irewen is on her way to Lundvelle in hopes of reading the prophecy in the archives. The Drulaack are almost to Irewen, her only hope is to follow her parents into the spirit world to walk among the dead. Severing her link with Silevethiel, the dame and Laegon lead a party to try to find the princess, in hopes that she is still alive.

From the beginning of the fist book I fell in love with both Irewen and Laegon. They’re both amazing characters and I loved the love and passion they share not only for each other but for their people and guardians as well. There was a lot of character development for both of them in this book, Irewen is trying to fight the pressure she's feeling of being a leader and having to fight, which is not what she was raised to do by her father while Laegon has to face his inner demons and doubts of not being good enough.

The world building was a thousand times better than the first book. Now on the road with Irewen and the group, we not only get to see the side of the wood elves and humans, but we also get to see light elves and even a sea elf. We see new cities, new groups of people and an inside look at whats happening back in Irewens city.

I was amazed that this book did not suffer from the second book syndrome. I was so worried that there was going to be less action and the characters will have changed, but I was completely wrong. Not only was there just as much action, but the characters were just the same, and sometimes even better.

I am absolutely in love with this series. I still highly recommend this series to all fantasy lovers, especially fans of Lord of the Rings. Definitely give the first book a try, I’m sure you will love it.

I’m desperately waiting for the third book in this series. Hopefully the wait doesn't kill me.

Happy Reading,
- Aneta 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Ruin by Clarissa Wild


Ruin
Clarissa Wild
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis: Maybell Fairweather was the girl of my dreams.
Always smiling brightly, she kept going, despite the names her classmates called her behind her back.
She was full of curiosity and independence, the extent of which I could only be jealous of. Even though she had all odds stacked against her, she knew what she wanted from life and pursued it, no matter the cost.
She was completely my opposite in every way.
Perfect, even though she couldn’t see it.
Perfect … until me.
Because this is the story of how I ruined her.
Based on a true story. Standalone Romance. No cliffhanger.
This gorgeous Limited Edition cover is available in Paperback ONLY and can be purchased here!
limited-edition-paperback-ruin
EXCERPT:
He winks, and somehow, it makes me blush.
For some reason, it’s hard to look away too.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Alexander Wright.”
I smile. “Maybell Fairweather.”
“Hmm … Maybell … nice name.”
“Thanks.” I blush.
I don’t know why or what it is about him, but he has this gentleness about him that soothes me and makes me want to ask him to stay, even if I don’t have a reason for it.
But then I realize it’s not the only reason I’m looking at him.
Something’s felt off since we met, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now, I can.
“Wait …” I mutter. “I know you, right?”
“Yeah, I’m that guy who ate a sandwich with you the other day. You don’t remember? Should I call a nurse?” He chuckles.
I roll my eyes. “No. I mean …” I recognize him from somewhere. “I know you from … school, right?”
His eyes suddenly widen, and he slams his lips shut.
HA! I knew he looked familiar. “No way! I knew it.”
The muscles in his face tighten. “Oh, boy.”
“I’ve seen you at school a few times.”
“Really?” he says, scratching the back of his neck.
“Yeah … don’t tell me I’m making this up. I’m not crazy … right?” I pout.
He smiles, his dimples making me wanna pinch his cheeks. “No, you’re not crazy. It’s just a surprise that you’d even recognize me. People usually don’t even see me. I’m invisible.”
“Yeah?” I bite my lip and frown. “Same here.”
He lowers his arm. “No … you’re not invisible at all,” he says, looking at me with half-mast eyes. “I see you. All the time.”
Romantic couple kissing with love and passion


Author Bio:
Want to be the first to get your hands on new books & get access to free short stories, giveaway prizes, previews, and more? Sign up here http://eepurl.com/FdY71
Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, and Stalker. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

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Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. With this amazing meme, you can check out which books I've gotten this past week.

From Netgalley
The Nerdy and the Dirty by B.T. Gottfred
Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated--and not quite sure that she's like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he's destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different--but that's what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?
 



Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out - the Russian Revolution has just begun... 

Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales. 

Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be. 


From Author
Starbound by J.L. Weil
Everyone, in some way, has been touched by magick. If you have the blood of a spider goddess flowing in your veins, it is a double whammy…and kind of creepy.

Katia Montgomery’s life is charmed. She is pretty, popular, and dating the star basketball player. So then why is she miserable? There is so much more to Katia than endless parties, expensive clothes, and her social status—she is a nixie. Her world feels inadequate, lonely, and she can’t shake the feeling that something or someone is missing. And that might just explain why she is suddenly crushing on the mouthwatering and forbidden Seth Nightingale.

Seth Nightingale has always known that the sassy and spunky Katia is destined to be his—that they are starbound. While she goes through boyfriends like bubble gum, chewing them up and spitting them out, he stands in the shadows, unable to do anything about it, knowing he shouldn’t care. Not a damn thing in his power can change their fates, and that…well, really blows, but it doesn’t stop him from dreaming about her, craving her, loving her.

A dark curse hangs over their heads, one cast centuries before. Now it is up to Seth to be stronger than ever and resist the one girl he can never have…or risk killing them both. But the attraction between them is something neither can ignore.

And the curse, it’s out for blood—their blood.
 

Goodreads Giveaway 
Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.

When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.

But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.

Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.

Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.

Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?

The Descendant of Destiny by Marion Hill
What is Destiny?

Is destiny something to be shaped by your own hands? 
Is destiny something to be shaped by other people?
Or is there a higher power that ultimately shapes our destiny?

This is the journey that Diondray Azur of Charlesville will discover when he finds out the existence of a book called The Book of Kammbi. The book reveals an ancient prophecy that needs to be fulfilled by a descendant of Oscar Ortega, one of the land of Kammbia's greatest men. All signs point to Diondray being the one who will fulfill this prophecy. However, he does not believe in the prophecy and thus begins the journey towards his destiny.

What did you guys get this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Surrendered by Case Maynard


The Surrendered
Case Maynard
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Synopsis: After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.
Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.
Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.
EXCERPT:
A sinking feeling washes over me. “We’re going to Meadowood.”
He responds without opening his eyes, “I want answers.”
I start to argue that this will be a fool’s errand, but in truth, I want the same answers he does. “Do you think the man who rescued Oliver was with the Southies?”
“I don’t know who else it could’ve been.” He sits up and stretches. “It must’ve been them, and I want to know why they changed the plan without informing us. The Master and his Regulators got to the rooftop very quickly after I fired that shot. I have to wonder if someone told them we were there.”
“You think the Southies took Oliver to get the combination and then set the Regulators on us? Why would they do that?”
He rubs his face. “It doesn’t make any sense. But something’s not adding up.”
I ponder this, thinking about my brother’s strange plea. “I know you think I’m insane, but I can’t help but feel like Oliver knew someone was going to take him; I swear it felt like he was speaking to me when he said not to interfere. But that doesn’t make any sense, either. He’s been behind the fence for years.”
Cason yawns and tries to shake off the effects of the Papaver. “I don’t think you’re crazy; his message did seem odd for someone who was about to hang for a crime he didn’t commit. I don’t know, but hopefully he’ll be at Meadowood and you can ask him yourself.”
My mood elevates as I realize I may only be hours away from a reunion with my brother. The pain in my arm forgotten, I try to concentrate only on this knowledge, confident we’ll have our answers soon enough. “I didn’t get a chance to thank you for earlier. You could’ve just turned me over to the Master and walked away, but you didn’t. I’m grateful for that.”
I feel a little embarrassed as soon as the words leave my mouth. Normally I’m not one to share my feelings, but the Papaver Flower makes me breathless and lightheaded and loosens my tongue.
He reaches for me, careful not to jostle my splinted wrist, and pulls my face to his. “I’m probably going to ruin that sentiment by telling you the Master would never have let me go anyway, but know this—” he runs the pad of his thumb along my lower lip and meets my eyes “—if everyone else in the entire world leaves you to fend for yourself, if your father, your mother, your brother disappoint you, if God himself decides you aren’t worthy . . . you’ll still be able to count on me. I’ve got your back, Vera.”
the-surrendered-teaser-8


Author Bio:
With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.



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Cover Reveal: The Reaping by Shirley Anne Edwards


The Reaping
Shirley Anne Edwards
Publication date: October 23rd 2016
Genres: Horror, Young Adult

Synopsis: The quaint village where Adela Jane lives is surrounded by fear. At night, a centuries old green mist covers the land and controls the animals within the forest. Lately, Adela feels someone or something is following her every move. Unbeknownst to her, the mist waits for the perfect moment to make her his. Adela feels trapped by her small town life and burdened by her love she keeps hidden for her best friend’s older brother, Nathan Alexander. But all that changes on her eighteenth birthday when Nathan admits his love and desire to marry her. Adela’s joy is cut short when the mist kidnaps her and takes her to his secret underground lair. Her nightmare has only just begun when the mist makes Adela his bride.
What of the Jabberwocky fell in love with Alice from Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking Glass? That’s the question tackled in The Reaping. A Young Adult with an atmospheric Gothic feel, and elements from such classic novels, as Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera and John Fowles’ The Collector.

Author Bio:
Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head.
Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.
In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: Forgetting Yesterday by Ava Wood

Forgetting Yesterday
by Ava Wood
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: October 28th 2016


Synopsis: Missy Shaw thought she had her life planned out perfectly; do well in school, take her basketball team to state, and get a free ride to college. Her life wasn't perfect, but it was constant. With her best friend Karley at her side, she could handle anything.


After the death of her mother, however, her dad had other plans. Moving Missy from everything she knew in Kansas to the great unknown created a new set of problems. Attending a new school, all she really wanted was to be invisible, but that simple feat proved difficult when she had a run-in with the school's basketball star, Adam Miller, on her very first day.

Adam is every girl's dream; charming, sweet, and gorgeous. And for some reason, he's very interested in Missy. His attentiveness is unnerving as Missy does everything in her power to evade his interest. Living with secrets she's not willing to share, Missy works to push Adam away in order to keep her family safe. But will keeping secrets really keep her safe? 




About the Author
Ava Wood is an insomniac who writes to calm the voices. When the voices get too loud, stories are formed. 

Ava was born and raised in Texas but got to Florida as quick as she could, enjoying the fresh sea air and summer storms. She believes there is nothing more beautiful than an evening summer light show. 

She’s married to the love of her life whom she shares two beautiful daughters and four sweet fur babies. Their marriage is the perfect “North-meets-South” pairing. 

When she’s not writing, Ava can be found chasing her children all over the county, snapping photos of any and everything, visiting one of her local theme parks, or just spending quality time with her family.
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:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Series: Nemesis #1
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
 

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Cease & Desist by Stephen David Hurley


Cease & Desist
by Stephen David Hurley
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: October 10th 2016

Synopsis: What if the secret to being charismatic were actually a gene you could inherit, and pass along to your children. What if this "X-factor" could make you a star? Welcome to the world of Cease de Menich, a sixteen-year-old actress in New York City who gets cast as Joan-of-Arc in a reality-drama, only to discover her "acting gift" has been passed down through her bloodline for almost six-hundred-years. Cease finds the plot of the drama reveals dark secrets from her past--an abusive mother, a brother who committed suicide--and the reader must decide if she's a reliable narrator or a terrified girl who's succumb to the pressure of fame and the abuse of her past.

Cease & Desist is a dark, contemporary YA thriller with a supernatural twist. Readers of books like I Let You Go and The Girl on the Train will enjoy this coming-of-age story, which struggles with the realities of sexuality, violence as entertainment, and mental illness. Cease & Desist has excellent crossover potential into the adult marketplace.







Excerpt - Chapter 1 

I'm Cease de Menich. It's OK if you don't know me—but you will. That's what my agent
keeps telling me to tell people, and judging from the throng of mostly stage-moms waiting
beneath a marquee that reads “Good Morning, New York City,” maybe he's right. I'm the actress
who plays Jeanne d'Arc (please don't call her Joan; that was never her name) the virgin, the
warrior, the Catholic saint in a reality show that's going to be a blockbuster. I'm supposed to say
that, too. But don't worry, I'm not over-the-top full of myself the way the others in the final three
are.  
                I'm not beautiful, for starters. I've got a big nose—a French nose, as my Aunt Nana
insists—but if it weren't for my wide-set eyes it would be a real honker. I want to have it fixed
but my Nana won’t let me. She says it gives me character. But the real reason is that we haven’t
got the money, so that's another thing you don't have to worry about. I'm not rich, not like the
girls from the Upper East Side who sat beside me at Juilliard. What I am is tough and smart, and
I have something all the unrich, unbeautiful girls have: I have absolutely nothing to lose.
I look out the window of the car as I take off the last of my body armor; at the faded
crepe in a liquor store window—the long shadows lumbering over subway grates on
Broadway—and back to the faces of the wannabes waiting in the cold. All those wet noses and
eager looks—all those eager fingers I hope will soon be pressing the letters of my name into their
home screens. It’s only been four months since I was standing outside in the cold—an unknown,
a wannabe, just licking my lips hoping to sink my teeth into a plum role.  
For all you people who’ve been watching me on the WebTV trailers, I know what you’re
thinking—that I just got lucky. I don’t deserve to be here. And you know what? I think that, too.
(Is there an unrich, unbeautiful, sixteen-year-old girl anywhere who wouldn’t think that?) But
fame never landed on my doorstep like a perfectly wrapped gift. I’ve paid my dues in ways
you’ll never know… and for those of you who’ve been watching the installments the producers
have been showing on WebTV every night—and are wondering just what this show is, I can offer
you an explanation in a few simple steps.
First. This isn’t just a reality show; in other words, this isn’t just a show about a bunch of
girls and boys who fall in love or beat each other to death—it’s a drama. I’m an actress playing
an historic character who lived almost six hundred years ago. Try to think of my character,
Jeanne d’Arc, as a real-life superhero, because she was. The three finalists who must compete for
the boys are Jeanne d’Arc, Catherine the Great, and Susan B. Anthony. The boys do not play
historic characters—they’re just hunks who flex their pecs and preen a lot. You probably know
by now, that the conflicts we face are pretty modern—as in, things that girls and boys must face
every day at home and school.
Second. The plotlines of each episode are closely guarded secrets. Dialogue is released
the night before we shoot, and I’m given only my lines and a brief outline of the action. There
were rumors in the beginning that actors would bribe the writers to get their lines early or to find
out what was being written about the other characters. I don’t doubt it.
Third. Francis MacDonald, the director, is crazy—hopefully crazy the way that
Hollywood geniuses are—an auteur, I try to convince Nana, but she keeps insisting he’s an
imbecile.
I comb my fingers through my hair and need another minute before I get out of the car.
I’m tired. Before arriving here I was locked in a straw-filled cage for three hours, and now I’d
rather be back home in Tudor City with my Nana having my brownies and milk because even a
martyr about to be burned at the stake deserves her brownies and milk. I open the window.  
“We’ve been waiting all morning,” a girl in the crowd says. 
I offer up a wholesome smile.  
“Sorry. I was tied up.” And I was. Tied to a stake, in fact, just after the interrogators in
Rheims, France (actually it was the Kaufman-Astoria Studios in Queens) grilled me, Jeanne
d’Arc, about the voices I heard from angels and why I chose to wear men’s clothing. 
A woman tugs the arm of her girl, maybe eight, with a crooked smile, braces, and black
rimmed glasses with unfashionably large frames. “She’d make a great angel, don’t ja think?” 
I know why they’ve come. All those eager faces. All those Louis Vuitton dreams. They
want to know how I made it. What it feels like, rising so quickly at such a tender age. What the
ingredients are in the potion that raised me up over all the others. 
The it-ness of fame.   
Be careful what you wish for, is what I should tell them, tell all of you. Fame tastes like
a kiss from a stranger—a really hot guy who’s got a dark side you’d better see before it’s too late.
Fame will make you do the most horrible things to the people you love. It feels like a bolt of
grief in my chest, a lock I’ve felt since the first day I arrived on the set.    



About the Author
Stephen David Hurley teaches middle school and blogs about fiction, faith and young people. You can find his blog at—you guessed it—fictionfaithandyoungpeople.com

Author Links:
   
GIVEAWAY:
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

Series: The Gender Game #1
Publication Date: September 24, 2016
Genre: YA, Dystopia
Amazon ~ Goodreads 

Synopsis: A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender. 
Women rule the East. Men rule the West.
Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus...


Ever since the death of her mother, Violet's life has been shadowed by bad luck. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now after two unfortunate incidents resulting in womanslaughter, she has been sentenced to death.

But one decision could save her life.

One decision to enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit. 

Everything about the patriarchy defies Violet's identity, but she must sacrifice many things if she wishes to survive the forbidden kingdom... including forbidden love.

My Rating
2/5 stars

My Review
I wanted to love this book so much, maybe my expectations were too high. UGH!

Violet's life has gone downhill, ever since the death of her mother and her brother being taken away. After killing two woman, Violet is sentenced to death, until the Queen of Matrus sends her on a secret mission to recover a missing artifact over in Patrus. Across the river in Patrus its men that rule, Violet is forced to marry a fellow undercover agent and work together to frame a security guard for stealing the artifact and returning it to Matrus.

I'm not sure why, but I did not like the story line at all. The main part of the story starts around 20% in when Violet is sent to Patrus. You'd think an undercover female agent, in a land where males rule, would stay quiet and do what she's told, yet Violet does the exact opposite of what she's told. I'm not sure if the author was trying to make her more relatable, but I just found Violet to be really ignorant and stupid. Rather than focusing on the mission, she chose to do what she wanted to do and start breaking all the rules. Everyone knows that in order do complete a secret mission, you have to go undercover and stay in the shadows, which is the opposite of what Violet did.

The romance in this story was very weak, almost to the point where it seemed forced. Violet ends up falling for the individual they are trying to frame, which is also the exact opposite of what a smart person would do. We see the character talking about their lives, while sharing the joy of fighting and self-defence but theres no spark between the two characters, they just act like best friends. Then out of no where, Violet has second thoughts about letting him fall under the bus for her mission and ends up kissing him... which basically comes out of no where.

The only part I truly liked about the book, was the ending during the last 5%. Thats when I thought that Violet was finally beginning to act like a sane person would in her situation.

Unfortunately I don't think I will be continuing this series. I really wanted to love this book, but it just wasn't for me.

Happy Reading,
- Aneta
 
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