Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: Long Way Home (Thunder Road #3)

Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3)About the Book:
Title: Long Way Home (Thunder Road #3)
Author: Katie McGarry
Pub. Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 448
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

Review:

“Sometimes people choose the harder path just to prove they can do it.” 

It's no secret how much I love Katie McGarry and the Thunder Road series, but I think this one just might be my favorite!! I have been waiting desperately for Chevy and Violet's story, and boy did Ms. McGarry deliver!! I never expected this story to have the impact that it did, but this was well worth the wait. I honestly loved every single second of this book and never wanted to put it down. I was on the edge of my seat so many times, and was finding myself desperate to find out just where all of the events in this story were headed. I couldn't focus on anything else...and because of that, I read this in one sitting. And that's how I would recommend reading this novel because trust me...you don't want to stop until the very end. 

“Ignoring our problems won’t make them go away. We’re playing a dangerous game, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know how many more hits I can take.”
“You want me to walk away?”
“No,” she says quietly. “I never wanted you to walk away. I need you, but I don’t know how to be with you. You need me, but you don’t know how to be with me either.” 

If you couldn't tell, this book is addicting. Chevy and Violet have such an amazing story together and Katie McGarry wove their story beautifully. I fell in love with these characters when they were first introduced, but I fell even deeper after reading this book. The one thing I adored about this book is the pacing. It's nonstop thrills from start to finish. There was always something that kept the reader engaged and begging for more. I mean the first few chapters alone are heart-stopping! The other thing that I loved is how many dimensions there are to this story. Katie McGarry has always been good at this, but with Long Way Home this talent comes into play even more. There is so much going on and every little thing becomes important in the end. Ms. McGarry seamlessly incorporates everything, all the while the reader is interested and hanging on every written word. 

“I thought loving people was supposed to be easy,” he says quietly. “But it’s the hardest thing I’ve done. I wish I knew how to love you right.”
“I’ve told you how to love me. You aren’t willing to love me how I need to be loved.” 

Obviously, my absolute favorite part of this book is the 2 main characters: Chevy and Violet. Chevy is simply swoonworthy. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love him and if there is a real-life Chevy out there, please come and find me! My heart melted time and time again with the love and respect he had for Violet. It was clear from the get go how much her cared for her, but he is also just plain awesome. Chevy isn't afraid to show his emotions and how much their breakup affected him. He's tender, protective, and willing to go to great lengths when he needs to. But I also loved his development throughout the story. Ms. McGarry showed us this character who went out there and figured out how to make things work for himself. No it might not be in the way everyone expects, but he figured out what he wanted from his life and managed to actually obtain it.

“I am not your property, I am not a dog … I am your equal, and I deserve the love and respect that comes with that because that’s what a real man does when he loves a woman.” 

Violet is one of the best female characters I have ever read. She is feisty and strong, independent and loyal. She is exactly the type of female character all young girls should look up to. Her strength is what truly made this book extra special to me. Violet stood up for herself time and time again throughout the story. She knew what was best not only for her, but also for her family, and went out there and fought for that. Violet didn't just give into what everyone expected of her. She set out on her own to show that she could become more than just another female in the MC. Violet shows all women that you never have to silence yourself. As a woman, your opinions, your thoughts, you actions...they all matter and are/should be valued. She makes all women remember that you need to find and surround yourself with the people who will allow you to do all of the things I just mentioned, and be there to pick you up (or help you pick yourself up) when you fall down. 

“I love you. I always have, always will. I understand the promises you’re talking about and I understand why you can’t make them, but I’m going to make a promise to you. No matter which way this plays out, I promise to love you and do my best to make sure whatever path we go down together or separately will be the one that hurts you the least.” 

Even though things were originally rocky between Violet and Chevy, they never stopped being loyal to each other. And this was something that I admired on both of their parts. It was clear Violet and Chevy still loved each other, but they needed to find themselves before they could come together again. That was the beauty in their relationship because they allowed the other to do just that, but also helped the other person along the way. Slowly but surely they found their way back to each other, and when their love was rekindled it ignited and created an inferno that could never be put out. 

“As much as you want to, you can’t take all our pain away. Hurting, it’s a part of life, and if you try to stop any of us from being in pain, that means you’re not allowing us to actually live.” 

I never expected to love a book about MCs as much as I did, but Katie McGarry blew me away with this series. We see a crossover between the Pushing the Limits series and this series, which means there is the return of one of my all time favorite boys, Isaiah!! And trust me, you will be amazed at the twist that brings him into the story. Katie McGarry will never disappoint in her writing an excellent YA story, and I can't wait to read whatever she writes next! You do not want to miss out on the epic story of Chevy and Violet!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #108

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 

Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis:
Cinderella, Necromancer
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He's happy and doesn't quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father's mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters' every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother's grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison's power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.
 


This sounds like such a fun twist on the Cinderella story!! Fairytale retellings are definitely hit or miss for me, but I've heard some great things already about this book, so I'm hoping it's a hit! Plus, this is supposedly inspired by a real medieval grimoire from 15th century Germany, so that's an added plus!

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater 
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017 

Synopsis:

Here is a thing everyone wants: 
A miracle.

Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.


I've never read a Maggie Stiefvater book. Well, I've actually tried listening to Shiver on audiobook but I absolutely hated the male narrator and couldn't continue. I've heard amazing things about her other novels, especially The Scorpio Races. I'm excited to try this and jump on the bandwagon! Have you ever read a Maggie Stiefvater novel? What did you think about it? 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)

You Don't Know My Name by Kristen OrlandoAbout the Book:
Title: You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)
Author: Kristen Orlando
Pub. Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 288
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Fighter. Faker. Student. Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan. Now Reagan must decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice?

Review:

When a book starts by throwing you/the main characters into a panic room, you know the story is only going to get more intense from there! You Don't Know My Name is an excellent start to a brand new secret spy series that will be sure to a hit with fans of Ally Carter and other similar authors. This entire book was a roller coaster ride of excitement straight to the very end. And the fact that this is Kristen Orlando's debut novel? Well that just impresses me even more!

Reagan is an excellent main character and I immediately was able to connect with her. I think that's pretty impressive given the situation she was in at the start of the story. As we get to know Reagan a bit more we see how intelligent, brave, and kickbutt she is. She's fierce and a fighter. Reagan is willing to die for those she loves the most and put her life on the line if it means saving the ones she holds most dear. In other words, Reagan is an extremely strong female lead that has excellent characterization throughout the story. Despite being a tough girl, she is also vulnerable and unsure of herself. That life her parents have been training her for since she was little? Well, she might not want it after all. And that's bound to cause some rifts. For once, Reagan just wants a little normalcy, and when you and your parents belong to a secret part of the government, that's just not possible. Every emotion Reagan felt during this story is palpable on the page. You truly feel as if you're right there with Reagan experiencing everything she is experiencing.

The other characters in the story were great as well. Her friends, her parents, the other people in the group, I loved! And that takes some skill to make me like everyone. But Luke is by far my favorite. He is just adorable and oh so lovable. He's a great character through and through, and not just as the love interest for Reagan (which don't get me wrong, just adds to his character). He is so much more than a love interest, and I'm excited to see where his character goes in the next book!!

The plot is phenomenal in my opinion. This was a fast-paced quick read that I never wanted to put down. There are a lot of twists and turns, and the ending is brutal. Like rips-your-heart-out brutal! It's okay if you shed some tears, I won't tell anyone, especially because I would be right there crying along with you. There was the perfect amount of suspense and action throughout the story, and she described everything very well.

This book was on my watch list for awhile, and I am super happy that I decided to check it out! I've always been a sucker for a good spy story, and this one is certainly no exception. From the minute I started reading, I was fully engaged in this book, and I couldn't believe I finished it within a couple of hours. I definitely think everyone who is a fan of spy novels should check this book out because you will seriously love it! 


Happy reading :)

~Cassie

P.S.  We're still working on the webpage design.  Some things came up that meant the design we had originally used had to be taken down. We are currently in the process of getting a new one, so you'll be seeing something brand new soon!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #107

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 
The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker
The Rattled BonesPublication Date: August 22, 2017

Synopsis:
Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.

As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.
 


This one sounds so good. It seems to have a good mix of mystery and love, and I'm always a sucker for ghost stories!  Even though I didn't like The Girl Who Fell, which is another book by this author, I'm willing to give her another chance. So let's hope this one doesn't disappoint. 

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch, #2) by Adriana Mather 
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017


Synopsis:

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one. 

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship. 

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.



I read How to Hang a Witch last year. At first, I was kind of unsure about how I felt about the book. However, looking back at it, it was a really well written book and great for halloween time. I can't wait to read the sequel, which seems like it is approaching an entirely new subject and I love when sequels do that because it keeps the plot new and fresh! If you haven't read How to Hang a Witch yet, you should definitely give it a try!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cover Reveal: Broken Hearts



About the Book:
Title: Broken Hearts
Series: Light in the Dark #5
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: New Adult
Cover Design: Regina Wamba, Mae I Design
Release Date: TBA
Synopsis:

After everything we’ve been through, I thought we could weather any storm.

But this is one thing neither of us ever saw coming.

Jace and Nova have learned to roll with the punches—they’ve had to. The last few years have been bliss-filled and better than they imagined, but they’re ready to take the next step.

The problem?

Life apparently has other plans.

Sometimes you have to fight for what you want, and for Jace and Nova they’ll have to battle this war together, or lose it all in the process.








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Author Bio


Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.



Author Links

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Book Blitz: In Her Blood

About the Book:
Title: In Her Blood (The Dagger Chronicles #1)
Author: Janice Jones
Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: May 1, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Supernatural

Synopsis: 
Alex Stone wants to pretend the supernatural doesn’t exist.
As the owner of a hot new clothing line, the only thing she’s killing is her competition – until she gets a phone call from her past. As the Dagger, she was a member of the covert ops team tasked with hunting threats of the supernatural kind. For the super soldiers of Night Command, the rules were simple: take the pills, fight the bad guys, and live to tell no one. After putting a bad-ass vampire on ice landed her in a padded cell, Alex thought she’d left the hunting game for good. Now she’s in the orbit of a handsome vampire with a problem. And sometimes keeping secrets bites.
Jason Stavros has the best of everything and life eternal. To the human world, Jason was just a poor boy who made it to the top. For a human turned vampire, the fight for a place in the inner circle of the ruling class hinges on one task: convince the best ex-vampire hunting assassin to become his personal bodyguard and save them all.
Join Alex, Jason and a new team of young hunters as two worlds unite against a common enemy. As the body count begins to rise, Alex and the Tracker Team fight friends and enemies to find the answers they seek.
What’s been happening in the dark will finally come to light.
EXCERPT:
She enjoyed seeing those chains of pure silver wrapped around the vampire’s scrawny arms like tattoos. He barely resembled the picture of the old parish priest the Cardinal sent them two weeks ago. His brown skin hung from his bones like an ill-fitting suit. His paunch bounced up and down as he struggled to get loose. It took longer to catch him, much longer than it should have, but all’s well that ends well.Alex Stone, call-sign Dagger, ran her fingers through her dark hair. Flakes of dried blood and sand fell as she pulled the dirty mess into a ponytail. Benjamin Palmer, Team Commander, snatched her wounded hand back down and tightened the field dressing as he griped at her about how dumb it was to try to catch the sharp end of a knife with her hand. She knew that . . . now.“Who do you think you are,” he said as he gave the knot one last yank, “Superman?” Ben checked her busted lip with a shake of his head. “That’s gonna hurt like hell till morning.”Alex just nodded, taking the pills in her good hand and swallowing them with a quick sip of warm water from his canteen.Under normal circumstances, Alex would be pulled from the field, evaluated and possibly scrubbed from the next assignment for that stunt. But time was running out and this wasn’t normal, not even for the top vampire hunting team in the country.
Author Bio:
Graduating with a Masters in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, Janice's first novel, In Her Blood, is the first book in her vampire adventure series The Dagger Chronicles. This series introduces you to the world of Alexa "Alex" Stone, ex-vampire hunter and assassin turned fashion mogul. Hiding in plain sight, Alex must return to the world of the supernatural in order protect a handsome vampire and her own secrets. Look for Book Two, By Blood Sworn to hit online outlets soon. Janice is looking forward to readers of New Adult Fiction and Vampire lore to embrace a new kind of action adventure hero, a woman with many secrets and many stories to tell.
(Author photo courtesy of Omar Ramos Photography www.omarramosphotography.com/Makeup by LaChandra Middlebrooks)
Author Q&A
Who is your favorite vampire found in literature? 

Louis from the Vampire Chronicles Series. That character was very tortured, but not angry. I think he was a very underrated character in the books.

What about your favorite vampire character in movies and television? 

Dracula played by Gary Oldman. Best portrayal I’ve ever seen in a rendition of Stoker’s character. He was regal in a very human sort of a way. You really did feel sorry for him. And let’s not forget that accent.

For television, my favorite comes from a show that unfortunately ran only one season. Kindred: The Embraced. Julian Luna was the ‘big man’ of the vampires in San Francisco. He ruled all the Clans in the city, hence his title, Prince of the City. The show was very stylish and modern for the 90’s. Julian was handsome and rich and ruled in a way resembling King Arthur.

We love how you’ve taken an age-old mythology and recreated a unique perspective of how vampires are existing and being used in a modern setting. Can you tell us more about the world you’ve created in your series, The Dagger Chronicles.

 The people you meet in this series represent a very small part of this world. They are the elite. This world really sits on the surface of humanity. Underneath, there’s a hierarchy to vampire society. The infrastructure is very much like the human world. There are vampires who have everyday lives and have elected those that represent them at the table. I wanted to ground this world in reality as we know it just a bit.

Within the elite, there is a lot more than meets the eye. There are teams of covert ops working for private interests and protecting the supernatural kind, secret science experiments to find new uses for vampire blood, and the key to all it, a woman who is unlike any of her kind. It’s certainly a fresh take.  

Which character from In Her Blood did you enjoy writing the most?

I have to go with Ben. He’s based on a couple of people I know. Ben’s that big brother type. He’s cool and fun, but can hold his own with Alex. He looks after Alex because he loves her and he’s afraid of what will happen when her secret gets out. 

In Her Blood Soundtrack

I’m gonna do this by character because I hear these songs when I’m writing scenes that feature these characters:
  • Version of Violence - Alanis Morisette (Alex Stone)
  • The Devil You Know – X Ambassadors (Tristan Ambrose)
  • Bright Lights, Bigger City – Cee Lo Green (Jason Stavros)
  • Post Modern Sleaze – Sneaker Pimps (Ivy Rose)
  • Stolen Car – Sting (Ben Palmer)
  • Bright Lights – Gary Clark, Jr. (Jesse Cooper)
  • Bodies – Drowning Pool (All the fight scenes)


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~Cassie

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #106

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 
League of American TraitorsLeague of American Traitors by Matthew Landis
Publication Date: August 2, 2017

Synopsis:
National Treasure meets Hamilton in a breathless history-based thriller from an outstanding new voice.

Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. . . .


When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.

First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.

His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.

Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.


National Treasure meets Hamilton?? Count me SO in!! I honestly can't wait to read this one because it sounds like it'll be such a thrilling, action-packed book! I really hope that this book is as good as I imagine it will be because this has a lot of potential to be a big hit.

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore 
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017


Synopsis:

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.


I love magical realism, which is a huge reason why I can't wait to read Wild Beauty. I don't know anything about the book besides what we get from the description, but I'm excited to form my own opinions about this book! Plus, look how gorgeous that cover is!