Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review: Glitter (Glitter #1) by Aprilynne Pike

Book Blurb:

A royal murder. The promise of a throne she never wanted. And a glittering drug that is her only way out.

Outside the Palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play…blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Dystopian, Historical, Royal-Court, Survival, Suspense--

Set in a world of decadence and glamour, Dannika is desperate to escape. From the outside, it looks like she has the perfect life betrothed to the King and CEO of the most successful company in the world, but in reality she was sold to the despicable King by her power hungry mother and Dannika is dying on the inside. When she has one last chance to try and claim her freedom, she takes it- even when it means she will be working with a master criminal and the drug Glitter.

I feel like I went into this book pretty blind, not really knowing what the book was about but willing to give it a whirl since the cover pretty and I liked the author. And when I say the cover is pretty, I mean absolutely gorgeous and eye catching and I would have read the book without liking the author for the cover alone. (Feel free to swing by my Instagram page for a picture of the cover in the wild!). And yes, I do pick books based on cover- the more stunning, the more I need to get it. There was mystery, darkness, glamour, angst and romance found within the pages of the book. And yes this was YA, but most certainly geared towards the older YA adult readers due to content. This was such a convoluted mess with so many twists and turns that were shocking and I never predicted​.

The world building was pretty epic and such an odd mish-match I was surprised how well it went together- and my favorite part of the story. We have a future filled with incredible technology like eye computer lens and android systems that will dress you and monitor all actions. And then we have this society that dresses and acts like it was French royalty during the 17th century and replicates the ways and court of the old Kings of France's past. Everyone who lives with in Versailles must live up to these standards of dress and action, as well as with titles and rules- while at the same time having the technology to help things go smoothly. There was even a historical society that had to approve everything and tours where "regular" people could come and see the court in all it's finery and proper actions. It was such a crazy unique idea I absolutely loved it.

​Dannika is our main character, the narrator of the book, and the person that I was surprised to find myself liking. ​Why am I surprised to like the main character you ask? Well, because she was a drug dealer. Dannika was willing to sacrifice everyone in the palace to be able to obtain her freedom- this is one of those debates of the welfare of 1 versus the many. And let's add in the fact that she lied to everyone, got them addicted to her crazy expensive "make-up" against their will to fit in, never once disclosing that she was getting them hooked on drugs. And yet, despite all that, I empathized for her- her corset pulling was such a small outward sign of her lack of control and inner turmoil. (Oh and by the way she was also at least partly responsible for 2 deaths.) Her life seemed so out of control and unhappy, that her choices didn't even matter, her desperation more a driving force for everything. She was the biggest victim (at the start of the book) but then she pretty much said screw it, I will get out regardless of the cost and went on her merry way ruing those around her. I hat to say it, but I respected her. She made so many bad choices, but she knew who she was and the cost of what she wanted. It was interesting how she was able to create such loyal relationships, even when her actions were known, which I guess shows how compelling she was as a person. To anyone else in her world, she would be seen as the villain, yet she was the ingenue.

I have encountered a LOT of mixed reviews on this story, so I am fully aware that it is not for everyone, but I enjoyed the twisty, dark, dangerous, glamorous read. FYI, HUGE shocking cliffhanger ending so be prepared for that bomb to drop. Overall I really found myself engrossed in this world and I look forward to the next book.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Lantern: The Complete Collection by Chess Desalls

Book Blurb:

Lantern: The Complete Collection by Chess Desalls

Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi

Pages: 230

Release Date: September 26th 201
7

The story of every lantern is unique, just like yours and mine.

This collection includes all three novellas, Lantern, Beacon, and Torch.

Tori discovers a lantern that shines for her and nobody else. Isit a ghost or a living being that must be set free?

Serah unseals a globe made of Celestial Glass. Does success bring her happiness or create more trouble than it's worth?

Evelyn meets Graham after attending a party where a lantern burns out. Who lights the way to pull the other through?

Experience three different stories, all with a connection to a mysterious lamp maker.

Kindle | Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Goodreads

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Mystery, Romance, Supernatural, Teen--

What if you found a lantern that had mysterious background and a strange flickering light that nobody else was aware of? Or what if you end up in an entirely strange world unlike your own, and you had no idea how to get home? The Lantern Collection answers those questions and so many more.

I found this to be a very fast, easy read full of mystery, hints of romance and some unique supernatural elements. I could honestly say that I had no idea what the books were going to really be about, so it was a pleasant surprise at the content. The stories were pretty short, roughly 70ish pages each making them more novellas than anything else. Each book was about a new group of characters and mysteries to solve, but with one common factor that ties them all together- the machinations of Master Machin, a man with more mysteries, powers and intentions than any other character.

My favorite story was Lantern, the first novella, because it had a creepy vibe that sucked me in as well as it helped to set the tone and the mystery of the series. I went into the book blind which helped I think, so there were no expectations and I could just sit back and be surprised by miniature Jared and the cuteness of the relationship between Tori and Kimmie. I love lanterns in general so it was really cool to see them portrayed in such a new, paranormal way. As a side note, the other stories were good, but the first just captured my interest the best.

The books are listed as teen, but I think they are appropriate for all ages due to the easy style of the writing and the clean content. I literally flew through the pages, a story a sitting. I think the stories need to be read together, like in this collection, instead of as independent books because they build on the world and help to wrap up the story- I also recommend them in this order because it flowed really well. The world the author created was interesting and I would have loved to know more about it as well as the magic that comes from there, but this was overall a well done taste and wrapped everything up nicely without too many extra questions. This was my first book by Chess but I am really interested to see what else she has created.

I received this title for reviewing purposes.

Author Bio:

Author Chess Desalls is the author of award-winning young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has been included in academic and industry publications, with a focus on law and technology. She's also a contributing editor for WritersTalk, South Bay Writers' monthly newsletter. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Beauty and Beastly by Melanie Karsak

Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast
Melanie Karsak
(Steampunk Fairy Tales)
Publication date: December 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Steampunk

In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. And it doesn’t hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escapefrom her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.

But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.

Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.

See how NY Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Hello? Is anyone there?”

The sky overhead darkened, and in the distance, I heard the rumble of thunder.

Oh no. No, no, no.

I looked up at the sky. My head swam.

I needed to find shelter.

I turned to go back to the path, but when I did so, I didn’t see the path, nor the ring of mushrooms, nor anything else vaguely familiar.

Once more, the sky rumbled.

I felt the first of the raindrops on my head, but luckily, the thick leaves overhead sheltered me somewhat. As the storm rolled in, the forest grew dark.

I cast a glance around.

It didn’t matter which direction I went. Eventually I would find the shore once more.

Turning to head out, however, I spotted a bluish colored light in the distance. A house? A fire? A lantern? A…something.

“Hello?”

No reply.

Turning, I followed the bluish glow. I headed deeper into the forest, chasing after thelight, but soon found its source. It was a mushroom. The glowing mushroom had been sitting on a rise. It had played a trick on my mind. Then I spotted another glowing fungus, then another, and another, all of which held an incandescent blue light. They grew in a straight line. Without a better recourse, and feeling half suspicious of the supernatural, I followed the glow of the blue mushrooms as the rain pattered overhead, the sky rumbling. I followed the blue lights deep into the ancient woods, aware that I was passing other sacred rings. I walked past a mound of earth, a barrow, the final resting place of some ancient person—and some said a passageway to the Otherworld—as I hurried deeper into the woods. Surely I would find the shoreline soon.

Lightning cracked overhead.

Then, on the horizon, I saw golden light. A fire? I squinted my eyes, trying to make out the shape through the trees, but my head ached miserably. Leaning heavily against my staff, I moved toward the golden colored light.

The forest thinned. The glowing mushrooms led me onward toward the glow of the yellow light in the distance. Praying to find someone—anyone—I followed along, well aware that my quick exertion had my stomach rolling. Black spots wriggled before my eyes. The line of mushrooms ended. To my shock, I’d blundered to the center of the island and found myself standing outside the gates of a castle.

I gazed up at the enormous structure. It towered over me, a black silhouette on the horizon. Light glowed through one of the windows in the upper floors. It was raining in earnest now. Not waiting a moment longer, I pushed the gate. It swung open with a creak.

It was pouring.

I leaned my walking staff against a metal bench in the perfectly manicured garden, then grabbing my skirts, I ran for the castle door. As I rushed, lightning flashed. It created an odd illusion on the bushes and flowers around me. For a moment, they all seemed to glimmer like metal under the bright light.

My temples pounded. My stomach rolled. I raced through the heavy rain to the castle door.

Hoping whoever was at home would forgive me for letting myself in, I pushed open the castle door and crept inside.

The place was eerily silent.

“Hello?” I called. “Is anyone here?”

Breathing deeply and quickly, I realized the moment I stopped that I was not well.

I cast a glance toward a roaring fireplace nearby. A chair was seated before the hearth, a glass of something dark sitting beside the seat. I heard a strange clicking sound.

“Hello?” I called again, but this time, my head began to spin. I put my hands on my hips, trying to catch my breath. I closed my eyes. Everything was twirling.

Footsteps approached.

“I-I’m sorry I let myself in but…” I began then opened my eyes.

Standing before me was a massive automaton, its silver eyes staring coldly at me.

A nauseous feeling swept over me, and my head swam. Black spots danced before my eyes.

“Pardon me. I think I’m about to—”

Faint.

But the word was lost.

And so was I.


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Vixen’s Lead (Kit Davenport #1) by Tate James

The Vixen’s Lead
Tate James
(Kit Davenport, #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.

Or so I thought…

It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.

I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.

Goodreads / Amazon


My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, New Adult, Romance, Supernatural, Suspense--

Kit and her friend Lucy have been thieving for years under the identity of the Fox, no one any wiser that two high school students could be behind the master thief. But recently, Kit has been having some odd things happen to her, besides her advanced speed and strength, as well as strange coincidences from her past. It seems like there might be more to Kit’s past than she can remember and it might be coming back to get her…

Ok, so I am totally fangirling over this book! It sounded like a fun read when I first read the synopsis, but let’s just say that I completely underestimated the level of fun that this book (or should I say Kit?) was I found the story to be a complete genre mash, in a completely positive way- romance, action, humor, mystery, tragedy, drama, with a heap of paranormal thrown on top. Kit may be in high school (but she is 18 almost 19), but this is not a YA book, more NA with content level and subject matter.

Kit was a great female main character, very much so a strong capable person who was more comfortable in the action than the sidelines. When she needed a certain skill, she didn’t argue, instead she used her resources (aka hot instructors) to learn and master what was required. She was quirky, honest, just, hard working and loyal and I rooted for her right from the start. Her past was atrocious, but instead of wallowing in totally justified self pity, she attempted to right wrongs and pursue her own kind of justice. Her relationship with her bestie Lucy was great, more like sisters than anything else, and the way they had each other’s backs was endearing.

Can I just mention that I am pretty sure I need more reverse- harems in my life? (I didn't even know that was a thing until recently.) I have only read one in the past but I loved the dynamic of it and this book was a prime example of a reverse harem- one special girl and a highly trained team of 5 guys with the single minded goal of keeping her safe(ish). I would not really call this a romance, and if it was I have no idea who I would root for to capture Kit’s heart, but I loved all the guys (and their nicknames for Kit) and the different dynamics. There were a few times where the point of view was switched from Kit (our main narrator) to one of the guys in the team and it put an entirely different spin on things, which I loved. Can she and at least 3 of the guys get married and live happily ever after? (Oh and ps, twins should not share EVERYTHING!) And yes, this was not a romance like I mentioned, she pretty much treated all the guys the same and like friends, but there were a few very hot scenes included here (like woo–hot, let’s go get a fan!).

I am completely aware that I am gushing about this book, but it was just what I needed and I have already told everyone I talk to about it. I can’t wait to see what will happen next on this dangerous, exciting roller coaster. Props to Tate for creating a book I devoured in a day and now my grabby hands desire book 2, ASAP.

I received this for reviewing purposes

Author Bio:

Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.
She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: A Study In Shifters by Majanka Verstraete

A Study In Shifters
Majanka Verstraete
(The Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #1)
Publication date: June 26th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes may be the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s hard to live up to the family name when only one mistake can spell yourdownfall. After trusting the wrong guy in a case gone totally wrong, Marisol convinces the Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a last chance to prove her worth, and maybe even heal her broken heart

After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—and every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter. But is one of her own people involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?

Then Marisol discovers her best friend, Roan, is missing, and maybe the killer’s nexttarget. The stakes just got higher than political intrigue. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. Marisol fears this case might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined.

It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.

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Author Bio:

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series ofnovels. At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

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