Tuesday, September 30, 2014

[Book Review] Paradigm by Ceri A. Lowe

What if the end of the world was just the beginning?

Alice Davenport awakens from a fever to find her mother gone and the city she lives in ravaged by storms – with few survivors.

When Alice is finally rescued, she is taken to a huge underground bunker owned by the mysterious Paradigm Industries. As the storms worsen, the hatches close.

87 years later, amidst the ruins of London, the survivors of the Storms have reinvented society. The Model maintains a perfect balance – with inhabitants routinely frozen until they are needed by the Industry.

Fifteen-year-old Carter Warren knows his time has come. Awoken from the catacombs as a contender for the role of Controller General, it is his destiny to succeed – where his parents failed.

But Carter soon discovers that the world has changed, in ways that make him begin to question everything that he believes in. As Carter is forced to fight for those he loves and even for his life, it seems that the key to the future lies in the secrets of the past...

I will have to admit that the only reason why I picked up this book was because of the cover and how much it reminded me of Divergent cover. But even though they are both Dystopian novels, there is zero comparison. 

From the very start, Paradigm introduces us to Carter, teenager who is getting down at the Catacombs to be frozen until the Community will need him again. The way it was described was really interesting because right off the bat you're not really sure what's going on and it catches your attention. Next chapter goes to the past, before the Storms started and the world flipped upside down. The Storms are described just like they are called - the Storms where it just started raining/hailing on the city without stopping and eventually flooded everything. Narrator in this case is Alice who stays home when her mother goes out and never returns. I found it interesting that you're not sure what her age is until later on in the book which is impressing because it explains a lot. 

So alternating chapters, alternating chapter... Carter is back into the Community and starts to get ready to become the next Controller General who will try to make the Community a better place. This is where we can look closely at how the world works and have a better idea of their life. I like when the authors use this technic because it actually lets the reader figure it out for themselves instead of being told what the world is. Actually gives a chance to look at the world through narrator's eyes. 

As it sounds, I did really enjoy the book and the plot itself. The alternating time frames weren't a big deal for me since there are only two different POVs which are easy to follow and remember what's happening. The only issue that I wish would have been explained more is if the Storms would be described better. How they were caused, how do they stopped, what the actual reason behind them? The only thing that I got from the book was that it was people's fault (which might be Global Warming? Damaged Ozone Layer?) and nother scientific behind it. Other than that, it was fast, easy to follow, and gave a different aspect on Dystopia.

Friday, September 26, 2014

[Book Spotlight + Giveaway] The Sending by Jandy Salguero

The SendingThe Sending
A city’s peace is shattered when two university students go missing, and only Daneel and his friends know the shocking truth of what happened. Finding themselves under attack, Daneel leads them in a race to escape the mounting violence.
Mara is willing to kill for the beliefs of the faction that raised her. But as she seeks out her mark, using a rare, mystical form of travel known as the Sending, Mara discovers a powerful connection that challenges the truth of everything she’s been taught.
While Daneel fights to protect those he cares for, Mara must choose whether to cling to the ideology of her home—or open her scarred heart to a searing attraction and the promise of a new life.
Praise for The Sending
The Sending reads like a dystopian Romeo and Juliet where strong, full characters from very different places inevitably collide with passion and conflict. Salguero fills a fresh, vibrant world with a nerve-tingling fast plot. Prepare to be immersed. ~Tamara Ward, author of Hidden Betrayal
The Sending is a thrilling, fast-paced, science fiction-romance that’s impossible to put down. Edge-of-your-seat action scenes, and a romantic attraction so intense that it will make you want to turn down the air conditioning, The Sending is a great read that left me hungry for more. I loved this book!
~Sterling R. Walker, author of The Orphan Ship
Author Jandy Salguero
Growing up in southern Louisiana, Jandy Salguero’s life was full of friendly smiles, good food and tall tales. She holds a BA in French from Brigham Young University, where she met her husband in the midst of the great Rocky Mountains. She now resides in a small town outside of Raleigh, NC. Her days are full of grade-school antics and underfoot toddler toys– courtesy of her two handsome boys.
She is currently working on Book 2 in the Senitha’s Light series, due out in early 2015.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

[Book Review + Giveaway] Fierce by L.G. Kelso

Tori's MMA career was taking off, until she beat the wrong man. Her training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence. 

Three years later, Tori’s keeping her fists to herself as she struggles to put herself through college. But when a group of gangbangers hassle her at work, old habits kick in and her fists fly. Max Estrada, a frequent diner customer, steps in and gets them out of hot water, but Tori is still fired... days before tuition is due.

With no other option, she’s forced to take a desk job at her old pounding grounds, where her demons still haunt the cage and the temptation to go glove-to-glove with familiar pro-fighter, Max Estrada, is too much. The sexy Colombian draws her back into the world of MMA and revives her dreams of becoming a professional face-puncher—until Will, her old partner and current Middleweight Champion, struts back into the gym. The secret they share is an unexpected liability to his career, and he's determined to keep her silent. 

With her life on the ropes, Tori will have to face the past for a shot at winning back her future, or carry the weight of a loss even greater than before.

First of all - I LOVE anything that has to do with Kickboxing & MMA. I am actually a kickboxing instructor so reading Fierce was refreshing because Tori is the kind of girl that I would be if I have gone professional. She doesn't take crap from anyone and the whole "girls can't fight" makes her heart boil. 

Book starts off when Tori tries to live a normal life. She has a job, going to school, and trying to forget that night that turn her MMA career upside down. But after she beats up a guy trying to protect herself, she is fired and needs to look for another job. That's where she finds a front desk job. At a boxing gym. Where she used to train. 
“You do it because you like the creativity, and yet it's logical, like a science. You do it because it's your way of life. You do it because you love it and you can't not do it, because it's who you are."
I loved all of the characters in this book. The details of the fights, the combos that have been thrown around, it was like being in my studio and visualizing them go at it. Tori was an incredibly strong character, and not just because she fought - but because she could take anything that life gave her. 

Definitely recommend it to anyone that has any interest in MMA field or just looking for a strong female lead with light romance to spice things up.



L.G. Kelso is a fantasy and contemporary novelist. Having grown up watching Xena and Hercules with her grandmother, she inherited her passion for all things magic, paranormal and mythological. She also has a probably unhealthy obsession with martial arts, and as a boxer she strives to give readers an authentic view of MMA in her contemporary sports novel.
Website | Twitter | Facebook

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[Waiting on Wednesday] #19 - The Conspiracy of Us

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming books that we eagerly anticipate and cannot wait to get here!

"The conspiracy of us" - maggie hall

The Conspiracy of UsTo fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.  They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead. 

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.


It has a SECRET SOCIETY. There's explosions. AND there's a race across Europe to solve a puzzle. I don't know about you but I was pretty much sold when I heard "Secret Society". It has a promise of YA DaVinci Code and I definitely think there should be more YA Thrillers out there.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[Release Day Review] Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Afterwords is definitely one of the novels with a different style that I haven't been in contact before. Yes, I've read books that have multiple POVs, etc. but I have never read anything that has two different stories - both fictional and nonfictional. Both could be set in reality but have the tendency to be fictional. 

On the first part of the book, we are introduced to Darcy Patel - she wrote the novel "Afterworlds" and was able to get a contract from a famous publisher. Now she has to move to New York and be the writer that everyone expects her to be. The second part shows us the actual book that Darcy wrote - "Afterworlds". When Lizzie has a near-death experience, she is transferred to the "flipside", the world of the ghosts and phychopomps. She has to learn how to control her abilities and of course, the hot Yamaraj can help her lead the way. 

I really liked that the story has this alternation in it and thought that Westerfeld pulled it off perfectly. The book mentions Darcy signing ARCs at the BEA, the whole publishing process, and we can actually see how novels get published. I'm kind of curious if the author took his personal experience and added it into the mix. Darcy mentions that "...feel like an impostor, like someone will tell me to get out because I'm not really a writer". Both Darcy and Lizzie had that mature/immature personalities where they still made the decisions like a teenager would but stood their ground and tried their best. 

Afterworlds opened my eyes to a different writing style and even thought I didn't love the book, I definitely enjoyed reading it. The whole concept of ghosts sticking around because someone remembers them is awesome and river was a clever addition. However, there are a lot of questions that I still have about the book. The way it ended wasn't necessarily a cliffhanger but it sounds like there's going to be a sequel which will hopefully clear some things out.

I received this book free from  Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion in any way.

[Guest Post + Giveaway] Shameless by Nina Lemay

~New Adult Contemporary Romance -- recommended for mature readers~

Girls like me don’t get happy endings.

I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?

But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.

He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.

The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.

This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.

Guest post

Set in 18th century, The Story of Land and Sea tells us three different stories that are very much different but are all connected at the same time. It is stories of grief, loss, personal tragedy, and what it means to want to change everything but feeling hopeless in comparison to everything else. 

Book begins with a story about a father and his daughter. Left all along, they try to live in a small city without a mother. I found it very sad but their relationship was incredible and I loved that little girl. The way author wrote about her really made me want to reach out and give her a hug. 

This is definitely a book for the people that don't expect Happy Ever Afters. I don't want to give away any spoilers but it is sad. It's like listening to a beautiful melody and crying in tune because your soul just can't help it. This is a book like this. A real treasure to someone that waits to read about those raw emotions and deep stories that make us wish we could change it all for them. Beautiful and haunting - great read!

Nina LemayAbout the Author
Nina Lemay is a YA writer by day and author of sinfully twisted New Adult…well, also by day. She loves all things dark and edgy and never tires of tormenting her characters. While Nina is a fan of all things scary, Gothic, and fantastic, she doesn’t shy away from a gritty contemporary romance when the muse strikes. She lives in Montreal, a city that never fails to inspire, with her partner and her dog.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

[Book Review] A Safe Space by E.M. Tippetts

A Safe Space (Someone Else's Fairytale, #4)A Safe Place
Everyone needs a safe space.

For Lizzie Warner, that space has always been in front of the camera on her hit show, or on stage to a sold out concert arena. Since before she can remember, she’s been a star, but that may be about to change.

She’s nineteen. Her show has been cancelled and now she’s going to play the lead in a new prime time drama series, but is the world ready to take her seriously, or will she be typecast as the cute tween queen forever?

Her network has decided to be aggressive and has invested millions of dollars in an ad campaign for her show, money she’s not sure she can earn back. Her co-star can’t stand her, and the writing for the show turns out to be poor at best. The only reason Lizzie didn’t walk away from the job offer to begin with is because she’s broke, the victim of a decade of bad money management.

Then there’s Devon, the personal trainer at her gym. Arrogant and abrasive, he’s the last guy she should ever find attractive, but she has a hopeless crush on him anyway, and he doesn’t seem entirely disinterested either. In fact, sometimes he’s downright sweet to her. If only he weren’t an untamable bad boy who uses and dumps women like they’re nothing. Though Lizzie’s friends warn her to stay away, he’s the only person who can create what she needs: a safe space. But is there any way she can break him of his years' long habit of being a user?

*ARC copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review*

A Safe Place is definitely one of the stories about people who are not your typical crowd. Lizzie Warner is a big time actress who is starting a new series. After spending thousands of dollars on advertising, her network is really pushing it to get more views but keeps coming up unsuccessfully. 

Then there's also Devon. Oh Devon... Super hot, broken, bad. Pretty much the perfection of Alpha male. After Lizzie finds out that they have more history than she realized, her child fame comes rushing back and one thing that she did and thought it was worth it, might not be true after all. Balancing relationships, career, working out is hard and she will need to decide what's more important. 

Even though A Safe Place is the 4th book in the series, it can be read as stand-alone since it's more focused on Lizzie and Devon. I can say that I liked the book and really liked the flow of it. The only thing that turned me off a little bit was that there wasn't a lot of conflict. By the time second half of the book rolled around, I was used to Lizzie's crazy schedule and weird life so it wasn't a big deal. But I do love the writing and can't wait to read more of the author's work!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

[Book Blitz + Giveaway] Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Release Date: 05/27/14
Harlequin Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Bonus novella included: Crossing the Line.

Available from:
 photo 9F3EE1AE-B1F5-45EB-87E4-5D28630C7FC5-7157-000003FF9121E113.jpg  photo 6682AA0B-74D4-4387-95A5-8FF5F06129C8-7157-000003FF90EF4A11.jpg  photo kobobuyicon_zpsb933c957.png  photo C5192E77-11AB-4F0C-A100-1152CA3C5DBB-7157-000003FF90C02846.jpg  photo A2DA65FC-B90B-467F-AF60-4D7E604A5611-7157-000003FF907102DD.jpg  photo bookdepositorybutton_zps03c7c0bd.jpg

Excerpt from West’s POV

She pretends I didn’t speak. “Have you ever wrapped your hands before?”

“None of the fights I’ve been in have included advance notification so I bare-knuckled it.”
“And that,” she says with her best under-eyelash schoolteacher glare, “has to stop. Outside of this gym, there are no fights.”

“Hey, I don’t go looking for trouble. It finds me.”
Haley inclines her head at a stool and I sit. “Put your hand up, like this.” She sticks her hand in the air, palm down, with spread fingers.

I follow directions and Haley hooks a circle of material at the end of the wrap on my thumb. “Do you see the tag?”
I nod.
“It goes faceup. The trick to wrapping is to think in threes.” She winds the material around my wrist in layers. “Three up the wrist and then three back down. Tight enough that you create tension, loose enough that you don’t cut off circulation and cause your fingers to fall off.”

Haley’s thigh applies pressure to my own and I drop my knee open so she can slide between my legs. Every cell within my body hums and, when I breathe in, all I smell is the sweet scent of wildflowers. Her fingers work diligently, brushing against my skin as she weaves the material around and around again.

The seriousness of her face tells me she has no idea how close she is. How with each caress of her fingertips, I go up in flames.

Books in the series:
(covers linked to Goodreads)

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About the Author
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

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