30 June 2014

The Trouble With Flying






The Trouble With Flying - PROMO Blitz
By Rachel Morgan



Young Adult/New Adult
Date Published: June 24, 2014


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When introvert Sarah boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, the last thing she expects is Aiden, the guy sitting next to her who’s never flown anywhere before and refuses to shut up. Hours of random conversation later, they part ways. Sarah can’t stop thinking about Aiden, though, and wondering if she made a terrible mistake letting him go. Should she abandon her safe, predictable life and go in search of him, or would she be chasing a happily ever after that could never exist in real life?



EXCERPT:


I don’t make friends on aeroplanes. I know there are people who like to strike up a conversation with the complete stranger sitting next to them, but that’s not me. It’s not that I’m an unfriendly person. It’s more the fact that the conversation centre of my brain seems to seize up in the presence of strangers, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what to say. And even if the other person is happy to simply babble on while I pretend to listen and be interested, I’d really rather be doing something else. Like reading. Or watching a movie. Or sleeping. Or trying to figure out how to stop crying.

Yes. Crying. Because if being shy and awkward isn’t enough, today I’m adding red eyes, tears, and suppressed sobs to the embarrassing mix.

I stare out the tiny, oval window at the patches of reflected light on the wet runway and silently ask God to leave the seat next to me empty. I can’t deal with a chatty neighbour right now. I’d rather watch the black sky and incessant rain until we reach cruising altitude. Then I’ll close my eyes and let sleep take the pain away.

Oh, STOP IT. It’s not like someone died.

I wiggle around a bit in my seat and sniff, trying to listen to my inner pep-talk voice. Think of the good things, I tell myself. I’m on my way home. I’m leaving behind the dreary, wet weather for a sunny, summer climate. That, at least, should make me happy. But thinking about home leads to thoughts ofwho I’m flying towards, and that only makes my stomach twist further.

I hear the sound of a bag being dumped onto the seat at the end of my row. There are only three seats between the window and the aisle—mine and two others—so there’s a fifty-fifty chance this person is about to plonk him or herself down right next to me.

I angle myself more towards the window and swipe my fingers beneath my eyes. I start the furious tear-banishing blinking. Stop crying, stop crying, stop crying. All I need now is for someone to see my blotchy, wet face and start asking me what’s wrong.

I hear someone settling into a seat. I don’t feel movement right beside me, so it must be the aisle seat. Fantastic. I send up a quick thank-you prayer and remind God that it would be spectacularly awesome if He could keep the seat next to me empty.

A tickle inside my left nostril alerts me to the fact that my nose is dribbling. I sniff, but it doesn’t help.Crap, where are my tissues? I lean forward and reach down by my feet for my handbag. Brown strands of hair fall in front of my face and block my vision, but if I can just get the zip open and feel past my purse to the tissues—

No. Too late. Now it’s trickling down my lip and I’m digging around in the bag and I can’t feel the stupid tissues and a drop of tear-snot just landed on my hand and yuck! I haul the ridiculous handbag—I told Jules I didn’t need something so big—onto my lap with one hand while holding the back of my other hand to my nose. And there the tissues are. Right next to my purse. Perfectly easy to find. I rip one from the packet and jam it against my nose to stop the tear-snot flood.

And that’s when I catch a glimpse of the guy sitting in the aisle seat. A quick sideways glimpse, but enough to tell me he’s cute. Excellent cheekbones, a strong jawline, and perfectly messy dark brown hair. Terrific. My nose is dripping snot in front of a cute guy. Not that I should care that he’s cute, or that he’s a guy, because it’s not like I’m going to talk to him, and it’s not like I’m even available—am I? I don’t actually know. And thinking about that makes me want to cry all over again—but STILL. I don’t want to look blotchy and snotty in front of a cute guy.


Buy Link:



Author Spotlight:

Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn't for her--after all, they didn't approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults.

Author Links:





GIVEAWAY:

A $20 Amazon gift card for one winner
E-copy of THE TROUBLE WITH FLYING for two winners
  








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29 June 2014

LUX Read-Along Update




 I thought it was about time I reported back on my Lux Series Read-Along progress..
You can join in the fun over at Deity Island (full details below). 


I borrowed this Daemon Invasion teaser pic...




Where I'm at:

Because once I start a book I can't not  finish it, I managed to get ahead of myself by reading Obsidian, Onyx and Shadows

I'm currently part way through Opal...


How are you guys doing?!





"This Read-Along will run from June 2nd-August 1st, giving you a few days to recuperate and get pumped for Opposition.


The Deets:


  • June 2nd (Week 1):Obsidian Read-Along, Chapters 1-15
  • June 9th (Week 2): Obsidian, Chapters 1-15 Questions AND Obsidian Read-Along, Chapters 16-30
  • June 16th (Week 3): Obsidian, Chapters 16-30 Questions AND Shadows & Onyx, Chapters 1-16 Read-Along
  • June 23rd (Week 4): Shadows & Onyx, Chapters 1-16 Questions AND Onyx Read-Along, Chapters 17-36
  • June 30th (Week 5): Onyx, Chapters 17-36 Questions AND Opal Read-Along, Chapters 1-18
  • July 7th (Week 6): Opal, Chapters 1-18 Questions AND Opal Read-Along, Chapters 19-36
  • July 14th (Week 7): Opal, Chapters 19-36 Questions AND Origin Read-Along, Chapters 1-15
  • July 21th (Week 8): Origin, Chapters 1-15 Questions AND Origin Read-Along, Chapters 16-31
  • July 28th (Week 9): Origin, Chapters 16-31 Questions AND End of Read-Along Survey
  • August 4th: Wrap Up Post & Winners Announced

The Rules:

- You can read each book at your own pace, it's totally up to you. Join in any time you like, too. You can read the physical books, ebooks, or even listen to the audiobooks. Above all else, I want this to be a fun time for all Lux fans to revel in this series before the final book, Opposition, comes out. *tear*

In order to be eligible to win one of the prizes, you must SIGN UP via the LINKY List (enter your name, email, & url - either blog, GR, Twitter, etc) for the Read-Along and participate as much as you can by answering the book questions that I will be posting each week pertaining to the chapters we read that week. Some questions will be trivia while others will be opinion/personal thoughts questions. I'll be picking winners based on whoever participates the most and/or gets the most questions right.

- The Question Forms will remain open up until the Read-Along ends as I know that we are all very busy people and might not have time to answer questions on a particular day or read at the same pace as the Read-Along suggests. The forms will close at MIDNIGHT on August 2nd, exactly, so that I have time to tally up the results and pick a winner.

- Each form will have an area for you to post your thoughts on what we've read so far. I will pick some of my favorites and post them on the following week's post. I'll do my best to remain spoiler-free for those who haven't read that far yet. Or, if no one has anything to say, I'll post my thoughts on what we've read so far.

- If you have ANY questions or concerns, you can always email me (Vi).

The Prizes:

- Opposition (US & International)
- Lux Beginnings & Lux Consequences (2 copies of each, US only)
- Be With Me (US only)
- White Hot Kiss (2 copies, US only)
- Don't Look Back (2 copies, US only)
- Tempting the Bodyguard (Ebook copy, International)
Obsidian Necklace from Hebel Design
- SIGNED Swag Packs (various signed bookmarks and fan art)

That's over ELEVEN WINNERS! Whoa!

*More prizes may be added as the Read-Along progresses. A BIG thank you to those who donated prizes, particularly JLA & Viviane from Hebel Design.* 

I hope you will all join me during this time and read the Lux series along with me. It'll definitely be fun to discuss the books with you guys."



Vi and Deity Island have got us covered! 




#LuxReadAlong


28 June 2014

Mirror X ARC Review


Mirror X - The Van Winkle Project #1
by Karri Thompson




What they say: 
I was born more than a thousand years ago.
Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future.
But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me.
Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets.
The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either.
When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

  • ISBN: 9781622660582 - Coming 30th June 2014 by Entangled Teen.




I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!



What I say: Mirror X is the story of american teenager Cassie, who wakes up to a new and scary world as a result of being cryogenically frozen for over a 1000 years. The society she wakes up to is a sort of sci-fi/dystopia crossover. This new world is a sort of mixture of the worlds seen in 1984, The Hunger Games, Divergent and Fated, with a stronger sci-fi twist. 

Cassie soon discovers her entire life has changed and not only has society moved on, but also the rules have completely changed. Her hospital is more like a prison and she's not sure who to trust in a world with a very different viewpoint.

Cassie meets the hot and talented, young Doctor Michael, who goes all out to help her. He seems to have a never-ending amount of patience because Cassie is kinda petulant at times. I liked Michael, although I really wanted him to open up to her and tell her everything rather than dodging her questions (and mine). Even though I really liked him, I was always slightly suspicious of him - I'm not entirely sure why. I wasn't always convinced by the insta-attraction thing, but I enjoyed seeing them get to know each other. Travel was a great addition to the book, I have to admit I was suspicious of him too but then again I think the idea was to doubt everybody like Cassie herself does.

I did find the ending a bit quick and it could have been developed a bit more. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions as it seemed there we're a few plot points which I hope will be addressed in the next instalment. I really loved the concept behind Mirror X because it's both clever and kinda scary. Thompson analyses the value of life and she takes her readers on a morality tale (albeit with a fun YA sci-fi twist). She has created a clever concept and good starting point for her series which has a lot of potential.


4 Stars in my Sky!





27 June 2014

Polar Opposites Book Blast


Polar Opposites: Super Villain Academy #2


Polar Opposites


The supers are balanced. Academies have altered their curriculum to teach both sides of the super power spectrum. All’s well in the super world. Right?

When Mystic kidnaps Oceanus, Jeff learns it isn’t all right. Turning to the newly balanced supers for assistance, he panics to find they’ve done nothing to rescue Oceanus. When no ransom request follows, he worries Mystic’s plan never included returning his girlfriend. Frustrated, he’s forced to work with the only super willing to help. Oceanus’ ex-villain, ex-boyfriend, Set.

Mystic isn’t the only one hiding something. Nothing about Jeff is balanced. Temper flares result in scorched clothing or flying furniture, and his charm has become an indiscriminating people-magnet.

Jeff is convinced, or maybe just hopeful, that his lack of control is directly related to Oceanus being gone. But will he and Set find her before Jeff loses control completely and will they find her alive?



Excerpt:

They never talked about how they ended the world. Twice. Jeff glanced at Oceanus, bent over her phone in the passenger seat of his car. A curtain of black hair shielded her profile from view, but he thought he saw her smile.

He reached over and tucked her hair behind an ear. Yep, she was smiling. So was he. He felt his skin heat, but not as a side-effect of his super power ability to create fire. This heat was due to thoughts of Oci running her small warm hands down his back and tilting her face up to accept his kiss.

“ How about a movie?” Oceanus asked.

“ Which one?” Jeff replied, scanning the traffic and then his girlfriend.

Oci’s thin arms, delicate wrists, and bird-like legs that barely reached the floorboards, all gave the impression she needed protection and caring for. Whereas, with her super strength, she could lift the car they drove in onto two wheels if someone were trapped underneath.

“ Oh, perfect!” Oceanus flung her hair over her shoulder and straightened in her seat. Her smile illuminated Jeff’s peripheral vision as he concentrated on traffic. “The one I want to see starts in forty-five minutes. That gives us plenty of time to get there, get popcorn and some good seats, and watch the previews. I love the previews, don’t you?”

Jeff glanced at her again. The devilish glint in her eye made him frown. “What movie?”

Oceanus peeked through thick black lashes. Jeff was pretty sure she even batted them a bit. “What movie, Oci?”

“ Accidental Hero.” At Jeff’s groan, Oceanus chuckled. “Come on, you have to admit the storyline looks kinda familiar. Besides, the special effects look amazing. You love that crap.”

Jeff stared at the traffic and said nothing. He knew it was useless. He could mount the best argument against seeing the movie, but Oceanus always got her way. Cursing his Oceanus-shaped soft spot, he turned at the next intersection and headed toward the theater.

The whiny guitar tones of the heavy metal song Super Villain erupted from his cell phone. He looked at the display and saw Mother’s number. “Can you answer that?”

Reaching for his phone, Oceanus said, “You know, now that we aren’t technically super villains anymore, you should consider changing your ringtone.”





King of Bad: Super Villain Academy #1

King of Bad


Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?





Author Spotlight:

Author Kai Strand

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.





book blast button


Blast Giveaway:
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/20/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.






26 June 2014

Inside Out: Series Review




If I Were You:
When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she's shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer--until the terrifying final entry.
Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca's life. Soon she's working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca's friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she's going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she's not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.
If I Were You - Review: (This review was originally posted in Nov 2013 & can also be found here). Adult contemporary fiction comes in many different forms these days, but I have to say I found the journal entry concept really intriguing (albeit in a different way to Sara). In a very general and rather small nutshell: Sara finds some er smutty diaries and makes it her mission to track down the owner Rebecca, who has apparently gone missing. The diaries describe Rebecca's life working in an art gallery and how she becomes a Submissive for a guy known as 'Master'. In her hunt for Rebecca, Sara finds herself drawn into Rebecca's world and seemingly faces the same danger.

Along the way Sara meets the extremely alluring and grumpy artist Chris Merit. She begins a relationship with him but is left asking is he the Master? Another candidate is gallery own Mark, who definitely screams dominant!


I haven't fully been able to decide how I felt about Sara. On the one hand I can sort of understand her fascination with finding out what happened to Rebecca, but on the other, I often found her obsession and Rebecca-like transformation disturbing!  BUT and it's a big one, I think this is kinda the point! As readers we're supposed to question everybody and any sane person would wonder if Sara was getting too involved. 

Sara and Chris's relationship is super steamy (I personally hope the window scene makes it into the TV show), but be warned, although there isn't any real BDSM YET (or at least in this book) it's mentioned and the books belong in the smutty category. Chris is super mysterious and potentially dark. I loved the whole tortured artist thing he had going on. I did find his over confidence a bit overbearing at times but everybody loves an Alpha, right?! 


If I Were You is the first in a series so there are a lot of unanswered questions. What is Chris up to? Where is Rebecca? Who is the Master? What's up with the club?


On a side rant...I'm really bored of 'this book' or 'that book' being described as "the new Fifty Shades of Grey." It's never something which would make me read a book and as much as I love CG, 50 Shades isn't exactly up there with the great works of literary fiction. That being said I do love the story but would never read a book because it was described as being similar to 50 Shades. I read If I were You because it was recommended to me by a trusted blogger and I heard the TV rights have been sold.

4 Stars in my Sky!


Rebecca’s Journal—A Novella:
Kept under lock and key, discovered by chance, dangerous new secrets and scintillating adventures lie within Rebecca’s private diaries—searing scenes from a passionate journey inside a world where pain is pleasure, pleasure is pain, and where every limit she once had is no more.

Being Me:
I arch into him, drinking in his passion, instantly, willingly consumed by all that he is and could be to me. . . .
Sara McMillan is still searching for Rebecca, the mysterious woman whose dark, erotic journal entries both enthralled and frightened her. Tormented by a strong desire to indulge the demands of her new boss while also drawn deeper into her passionate bond with the troubled artist, Chris Merit, Sara must face a past as deeply haunting as Rebecca’s written words. In one man’s arms, Sara will find the safe haven to reveal her most intimate secrets and explore her darkest fantasies. But is safety just an illusion, when the truth about Rebecca has yet to be discovered?
Being Me - Review: The story picks up right after the end of If I Were You and Sara is still shocked by what she discovered and is on the hunt for answers surround Rebecca's whereabouts. 


She goes through a lot in this book and it seems Chris is always pushing her with his need for control and emotional meltdowns. Sara is still determined to solve the Rebecca mystery and track down Ella. She also wants answers from both Chris and Mark. Mark ups his intensity and we learn more about the issues between him and Chris.

We do get some answers in terms of Rebecca, although there are definitely more questions left answered. The past is a big source of conflict in Being Me, I really wanted to shake some sense into Chris when he’d flip out. Oh boy! The man can brood!

Chris is as swoon-worthy and intense as ever. It was good getting to know him better. There was one scene where I kept thinking of Jesse Ward and his er…coping mechanism. We do get more of an insight into Chris’s kinkier interests and Mark’s world.

Sara faces a choice of becoming more like Rebecca or staying true to herself.


4 Stars in my Sky!



The Master Undone—A Novella:
I told him goodbye, and I will not call him. I know if I do, it will be my undoing, and I’ll once again be caught up in his spell. I will once again be…lost.
In her private journals, Rebecca laid bare her soul, revealing her obsession for the one man whose erotic demands captivated her imagination—and enslaved her forever. Now, with Rebecca no longer in his life, her former Master is lost—questioning everything he thought he knew about himself, and the control he holds in such high regard. One woman will reach out to heal him and then turn away, leaving him haunted. She is nothing he thought he wanted, and somehow everything he needs. He tells himself to forget her, but he cannot escape his desire for her. He has to have more...

Revealing Us:
You've discovered Rebecca's secrets. You've discovered Sara's secrets. Now Sara will discover "his" deepest, darkest secrets...but will those secrets bind them together--or tear them apart?




Revealing Us - Review: In Revealing Us we finally get to get some answers from Chris in terms of his secret and we get to learn more about his past. Sara and Chris head off to Paris where he has no choice but to confront his demons and face his past.


Chris is extremely protective of Sara and when she finds herself dragged into the Rebecca investigation he’s prepared to do anything to protect her. There are a lot of misunderstandings between the two of them mostly because of Sara’s issues with her father and Chris’s inability to tell her the truth.

Both characters are extremely jealous when it comes to the other, and although I did find Sara’s ranting a bit much at times, I wouldn’t have been happy about all the women in Chris’s life either *ahem Amber*!

We get a softer Chris in Revealing Us with some really sweet and sad moments. I do prefer the more alpha version of Chris but it’s nice to see he has a more approachable side too. Some of my favourite aspects of the book are when Chris uses his painting to help cope with his demons. I want a Chris paintbrush!

I did find there was a lot of back and forth before we got to the big reveal. Also Sara is looking for Ella and is still involved in the Rebecca mystery. I was a little underwhelmed by Chris’s secret but could understand why it was so upsetting for him. I couldn’t help thinking that if he had just told Sara from the start she’d have been fine with it and helped hum. But the story is about Chris working through his issues.

Lisa Renee Jones leaves us with unanswered questions, which I hope will be tackled in the next books and the novellas. But she manages to keep her readers engaged throughout the series and I think it'll make for a fab TV adaptation!

3.5 - 4 Stars in my Sky!






Author Spotlight:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland, Austin Powers, Must Love Dogs) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today and USA Today lists.
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.
Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

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