Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blog Tour: Hemlock Veils by Jennie Davenport

Displaying hemlock veils tour banner.jpg
Welcome to my stop on the Hemlock Veils Blog Tour

Displaying HemlockVeils.v5-Final.jpgHemlock Veils
by Jennie Davenport
Release Date: November 25th, 2014

Blurb: When Elizabeth Ashton escapes her damaging city life and finds herself in the remote town of Hemlock Veils, Oregon, she is smitten by its quaint mystery; but the surrounding forest holds an enchantment she didn’t think existed, and worse, a most terrifying monster. The town claims it vicious and evil, but Elizabeth suspects something is amiss. Even with its enormous, hairy frame, gruesome claws, and knifelike teeth, the monster’s eyes speak to her: wolf-like and ringed with gold, yet holding an awareness that can only be human. That’s when Elizabeth knows she is the only one who can see the struggling soul trapped inside, the soul to which she is moved.

Secretly, Elizabeth befriends the beast at night, discovering there’s more to his story and that the rising of the sun transforms him into a human more complex than his beastly self. Elizabeth eventually learns that his curse is unlike any other and that a single murderous act is all that stands between him and his freedom. Though love is not enough to break his curse, it may be the only means by which the unimaginable can be done: sacrifice a beauty for the beast.

Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/The Cover:
The cover is super intriguing. Suspenseful. Dark. Curious. And I love retellings. Fairy tale retellings. Hemlock Veils is a more grown up version than the normal YA retellings. This novel features a slightly older protagonist and a hotter male interest. Well, I mean YA boys are definitely hot. But they can only know so much. And after all, they're still young. 

And that line: sacrifice a beauty for the beast definitely pulled me in. Sounds deep. And recently, I've read a lot of Beauty and the Beast retellings. There are a lot out there and every single one of them have their own unique charm. And plot. And story. So I decided to test this one out also.

The Characters/My Opinion: 
Elizabeth - Well, what can I say? She can read people pretty well. She's super nice, helpful. Of course, she has her own story to tell. Her own horrendous background raved with death and drugs. And now Elizabeth's at Hemlock Veils to start anew. Hemlock Veils is a sleepy town of Oregon. I actually really enjoyed learning about her old employment and how she got to Hemlock Veils. It's quite an interesting story there.

There are some twists and turns that I was expecting. I kind of could guess what's the big secret that absolutely no one knows. So when it was revealed towards the middle of the book, I definitely shouted an i-knew-it triumph. :) 

Henry - The love interest. The one with the perfect background. The perfect house. The perfect body. The only thing he's lacking? His attitude. Cold. Scary. Mysterious. Of course, it didn't stop Elizabeth from trying to get along with him. And later on, befriending him. 

Brian - Ugh. I just have to mention him. Because I hope I would never meet someone like Brian ever in my life. Ever. He's a manipulative person who thinks highly of himself. He bullies people when he's drunk and acts like he's a perfect gentlemen when people are watching. No. Just no.

Although this had some suspense to it and I was dying to know the truth, I think the book was a bit long. It could have been way shorter. The first half of the book was literally about Elizabeth and Henry talking. And talking. I mean, yes, she was finding out about things like the town, the beast, Henry. We learned more of her story, but I don't think really needs like 150 pages just give a background. It moved really slow in the beginning. We don't really learn anything until near the end of the middle section.

Once things picked up though, it was easier to fly by. And there were also some twists I wasn't expecting. I loved the endearment of each character and how tight knit this small town is. 

Overall Thoughts: 
It was an interesting the Beauty and the Beast retelling. I enjoyed this side of the story. And I'm pretty this is a series even though I thought it was a stand alone. The ending was open-ended. But maybe it is a stand alone. I mean, there are stories out there where it's like ...."and he opened the treasure box.......The end." 

The Rating: (1-10): 7.5

Author Bio: 
Displaying jennie davenport.jpgThough Jennie Davenport was raised throughout the Midwest, she now lives in the little desert mining town of Bagdad, Arizona, where six guys beg for her constant attention: a husband, three young, blond sons, a German shepherd with a name much mightier than his disposition (Zeus), and a black cat named Mouse. When she isn’t trying to run her home with as little casualties as possible, Jennie loves snuggling with her family, laughing with her friends, delving into brilliant entertainment of any vein, and playing outside. Despite the way being a writer is in her blood, and the wheels of her writerly mind are constantly turning, Jennie likes to think that in another life, she would have been a Broadway star. Or an American Idol finalist.

Jennie lives for the fall, and not just because of her adoration for the NFL (Go Broncos!). In her perfect world, she would have the springs, summers, and falls of Colorado, and the winters of Arizona—someplace where the climate and weather would allow her to go on a trail run all year round. But even though she prefers the pines and mountains, she is a devoted fan of all nature, from sandy beaches to woodsy cabins, and all are her greatest inspiration. She believes nature is one of the best healing remedies, with a magic all its own.

Jennie’s passion for writing is the way she survives, and is as vital to her sanity as oxygen, caffeine, food, and music. Even before she began writing it, well-told, original, and character-driven romance was always her weak spot. Add the paranormal or magical realism element and she may never make it back to reality.

Links: 


Displaying YA Bounk Tour Button.png

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

A Little Something DifferentA Little Something Different
by Sandy Hall
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Reads
ARC, 247 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Retrieve a Copy: 
      Amazon | B&N | Audible 

Goodreads Summary: The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/The Cover: 
I got this copy as a gift from Katie's Book Blog, thank you! 

This cover is a really girly, cutesy pink. And hence the publisher, Swoon Reads, this is definitely a book about romance. My first opinion of this is cheesy. This whole plot is about Gabe and Lea. No other people. None other things. But that's what makes it cute. :) And there's also a little something different about this book. The 14 different POVs.

The Characters/My Opinion:
I'm not a real fan of alternating POVs. They can prove to be very interesting and gives a lot about the story, but I'm the type that likes to keep a little suspense. I like to wonder along with the main character what the other is thinking about and why they're acting that way. 

To my surprise, this 14 POVs wasn't actually that bad. I did have to hop through a lot of different minds. And sometimes, I had to turn to the beginning of the chapter to check who was talking again, but most of the time, I was just engrossed about Lea and Gabe as the narrator was. Well, most of them. 

Maribel is Lea's roommate. We really don't learn much about these narrators, because everything is centered on Gabe and Lea. On how they meet. How they interacted. How shy they were. Some of their feelings they had expressed to their friends. What other people thought of them. 

Through these POVs, we as readers can shape up our own thoughts and viewpoints of this couple. They are both really shy. Like really shy. So shy that I'm almost flipping tables to urge them on. They're even more shy than me. Is that possible? Apparently yes. If I had such an urge to talk to a guy, I probably will. 

Other point of views include Gabe's brother - Sam, the bus driver - Bob, the creative writing professor - Inga, Lea's friend - Danny, Gabe's friend - Casey, the always-in-a-horrible-mood classmate - Victor.....etc. There are so much more. And since most of these are either strangers or really close to them, we get different impressions of these couples and that also helps us readers shape our thoughts. :)

We also get some cute POVs like the bench and the squirrel. :)

Overall Thoughts: 
I honestly never read a book like this before. I think it was actually kind of fun and not as painful as I thought it would be. Although of course, it was a bit different and needed some getting used to. I had to keep reminding myself in the beginning that it wasn't Lea talking or Gabe. 

Overall, I enjoyed reading this cute story. And if I had a chance to read another story kind of with all these POVs creating a novel, I would probably try it again~ 

The Rating: (1-10): 8~
Happy Reading~


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: The Call of the Deep by Tracy Lane

The Call of the DeepThe Call of the Deep
by Tracy Lane
Release Date: April 10th, 2013
Paperback, 321 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Get a Copy:
       Amazon | B&N

Goodreads Summary: At the ripe age of 21, happily single Mericle Edwards discovers that her body – her human body – is only a temporary fix. Born in the Deep as a princess with fins and gills, she was hidden amongst the humans, so her father – a corrupt sea king – could not use her to his advantage, or worse, destroy her in order to keep his position as ruler of a kingdom in the North Atlantic.

A mysterious visit from a crystal-eyed stranger, along with the onset of startling abilities brings Meri to a realization that her life is in for a drastic change. Expectations are high and duties aren’t taken lightly in the Deep. Thankfully, Meri’s true form knows exactly what’s expected of it.

With the guidance of her mentor and his unmatched ‘charm’, and a few others along the way, Meri will have to make some tough decisions. Will she fulfill her dream of becoming a small town veterinarian or give it all up to save a world and a lifestyle she remembers nothing about? Is there someone she’s destined to be with after all?

Will her deadly fear of water be a problem?
 


Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/The Cover: 
I won this book in a giveaway, so thank you to Ms. Lane for sending it to me. I have to say, I wasn't very fond of mermaids. Or angels. Or werewolves. But this story was fun to read. And I wasn't annoyed of Mericle. There was an interesting plot. :)

The Characters/My Opinion: 
Mericle Edwards - She thought she was a normal human being with amazing legs. That was, well, until she met Mat. Now, she learns of her amazing abilities to do telekinesis and breathe underwater. It's ironic that she is so afraid of drowning. :) Mericle was a fun narrator. She is super confused about the things going around her sometimes, but her talks are enjoyable and she does have a little bit of humor. Like a normal person, we see Mericle break down and gain confidence again and again.

Mat - Hmmm. I think Mat was a huge part of this story. Truly, if he wasn't 9 years or was it 11 years? older than Mericle, I would have shipped them so so hard. It would be #Maticle....okay. Maybe that isn't so cute, but really. Their relationship. And he caring about her so much. He's like a guardian angel. And I'm glad to see that Mericle did have the guts to experience and try the romance part of the relationship. 

Kelsey Kelsey is Mericle's best friend/roommate. She is super bubbly and awesome to have around. People like her brighten our days a lot! She kept Mericle up and about and less gloomy. She is so supportive of everything. And all her set ups and hard work did pay off. :) 

Jeff Of course, then we have Jeff. So fulfill the third angle of the love-triangle. At first, I didn't have a huge impression of him. I just waved him off like 'nahhh' I probably preferred Mat more for Mericle. But later on, after more physical features and personality was portrayed, he didn't seem so bad. Honestly, I thought it could have been better. Jeff and Mericle's romance could have been more in depth than just something that is causing the chemistry. 

Overall Thoughts: 
This was definitely a fun mermaid read. I loved the little details and descriptions of Mericle learning how to use her tail and how she transported to places. :) 

This actually isn't even to the main part of the conflict yet. The evil dad. The Call of the Deep is sort of like an introduction to the story and Mericle's first glance at her official future. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel~

The Rating: (1-10): 8~
Happy Reading~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Notable November Releases~

It's another new month again~
And that means more new releases! 
There are some I can't wait for.
And some I didn't know about until now. 

:) Here we go again~

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)
by Robin LaFevers
Release Date: November 4th, 2014

Thoughts: I absolutely love these kickass heroines and the genre. It's either historical fiction or high fantasy or just a mix of two. Love this genre. And now it's Annith's turn to tell her story. And the romance. :) I still think I like Ismae and Duval's the best. Sybella and Beast did have a really cute story, but I always tend to like the first book couple the best. I hope Mortal Heart turns out to be just as suspenseful and heart-stopping as the upper two. 

Tagline: Because love is stronger than death.


Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #2)
by Aimee Carter
Release Date: November 25th, 2014

Thoughts: What? This is book #2? What's book #1 then? I've been seeing this book cover floating around all over! The book cover is so captivating and the blurb sounds great! I should really read this series. Sounds like it has spies and secrets or something like that. :) 

Tagline: Some moves are riskier than others.


by Claudia Gray 
Release Date: November 4th, 2014

Thoughts: Another book I've seen floating around! It seems everyone is super excited about this one and there were a numerous of good reviews. Plus, like everyone else, I can't deny that cover. It's beautiful. :)  Definitely gotta check this one out~


by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Release Date: November 4th, 2014

Thoughts: A historical fiction novel! :) It sounds pretty interesting and when I saw some positive reviews, I'm so glad I snagged a spot on a blog tour! Woot! Mesopotamian deserts and tribes and forbidden romance. :) I don't really know what to say yet, since I haven't read the book yet, but hope my reviews are good.

Tagline: So much is at risk when everything is....Forbidden.


The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1)The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
by Amy Engel
Release Date: November 11th, 2014

Thoughts: I honestly cannot wait to read this book! I was so excited that even pre-ordered! It's been awhile since I read a dystopian novel because I was kind of getting tired of their concepts and plots. But this one sounds very good! Nothing that special but I'm a huge sucker for romances where the main character falls for the enemy. It's so romantic! *squeals. Or maybe it's just me. Haha. Anyways, excited for this one! 


Well, that's all I have for this month. 
What books are you excited for? 
:) 
Happy Reading~


Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Rush by Eve Silver

Rush (The Game, #1)Rush (The Game #1)
by Eve Silver
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Paperback, 361 pages
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Get a Copy:
      Amazon | B&N

Goodreads Summary: So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

Cindy's Review:
**Copy provided via the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.** 
At a Glance/The Cover:
Rush had a really interesting concept to it. When I read its storyline, I couldn't help but want to read it immediately! Yes, it's definitely one of those games where the players can die, isn't necessary, and can't be gotten out of. 

The only I can think of somewhat related to this plot is The Hunger Games, but it is different. In many ways. Many ways.

The Characters/My Opinion:
Miki Jones - Miki is the main character that gets pulled out of life, LITERALLY, and into a game. But it isn't just a game. This 'game' determines the Earth's life. This game gives us another view of Earth and how it was affected by aliens, which can't be seen by humans. 

I think Silver explains this plot really well. Readers aren't super confused to how game works, how people get pulled out of life, and why doesn't any normal people notice. The characters in the story describes this game very well, and also adds suspense to the story. 

Jackson Tate - He actually sounds very stuck-up in the beginning. But we see him change and see his demeanor weaken a little. Just for Miki. Miki and Jackson's relationship isn't all that romantic. We see them fall for each other little. I can't say I fangirl about their chemistry though. But it is a great add along to the story.

Normally, I'm a romance fanatic. Like everything is about the love and the romance. And the chemistry. And that shipping. But for Rush, i think I'm more interested in the game and plots and twists. :) 

Luka - Personally, I really like Luka. When he was first mentioned, I swear he could have been the love interest. He sounds hotter Jackson Tate. Or maybe because Jackson's jerky attitude kind of wavered my view of him. I don' t see him through Miki's eyes. Luka is like the best friend life saver that helps you get the guy and live to tell the tale. 

Comparing to The Hunger Games:
Just because. I feel like I can explain the book better this way....so...here i go. Like the Hunger Games the game is totally dangerous, yet random. It's life-risking and every mistake will be the death of you. Yet why is this game even happening? Unlike the Hunger Games, this game is actually necessary for the Earth to live on instead of just pure entertainment.

These players are supposed to be on their own and all that, but they still kind of work in teams as a group. While in THG, they fight among each other, in Rush, they fight against evil Draus.  

This whole thing takes place in our everyday world. So unlike THG, it's not dystopian. 

Okay. So that's all I probably should say without spoiling any more than needed. :) 

Overall Thoughts:
There were actually a lot of twisters in this novel that I really wasn't expecting. Rush's got me hanging on to the edge of my seat in suspense. I really can't wait to find out what happens next! And to know the truth of Jackson Tate. So many mysteries surround him. I must say, I am curious. 

So if you're interested in a sci-fi read, with a great plot and games, try this one! 

The Rating: (1-10): 8~

Happy Reading

Monday, November 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Play With Me by Anna Katmore


Welcome to my stop on the Anna Katmore Blog Tour
hosted by RABT.

Blurb:

Ryan Hunter’s parties are legend. And tonight she’s going to be there.
Lisa Matthews has been in love with her best friend since kindergarten. They’re close as can be. They’ve even slept in each other’s bed. But they’ve never kissed. Weeks away from her seventeenth birthday, Lisa hopes that soon things will change between them. But when Tony comes home after summer soccer camp, his mind is focused on someone else. And worse, that new girl is a soccer player.
Fighting for her love, Lisa gets carried away and makes a stupid decision: Without the least bit of talent or any passion for the sport whatsoever, she goes for the co-ed soccer team.
The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school. Ryan Hunter.

Cindy's Review:
I love these light romantic reads where the main character is in love with her best friend. So this short novella sounds like the perfect one to try. :)

Lisa Matthews - Our main character is a normal high school girl whose in love with her best friend, Tony. Things doesn't go according to plan when Tony starts dating Cloey, a soccer player Tony met at camp. Feeling like she has to own up to herself, Lisa also tries out for the soccer team. 

For me, Lisa was an okay narrator. I didn't really connect with her, but she wasn't overly ditsy or anything. She was just perfectly normal. She does sound pretty though. She's the type that's super pretty and doesn't know it. Lucky her. *sigh

I did like the way she described some things, like her relationship with Tony. M&M. Cute. 


Ryan Hunter - I guess I should move on with the love interest. Although it is supposed to be a love triangle, somewhat, it is pretty obviously who Lisa favors and likes. Throughout the first half, it was more about Tony, but as the book progresses, we get to meet more of Hunter and see how good they are together.

Ryan is of course 'amazing'. I mean, he sounds perfect by description. Tall. Abs. Captain of soccer team. Playful. Hot. Popular. Perfect. 

But as for me, couldn't really fangirl either. Well, it must be hard to please me, but if I saw him in real life, I'll probably go for the looks and not the personality. He's a pretty playful type, yet I still can't fall for him. Idk. I thought his personality and popular-ness wasn't all that. 

Anthony - I don't remember his last name, but I've got to say, I actually really enjoyed the parts talking about Tony and Lisa. They actually sound cute together. Although I knew it wasn't happening, I couldn't help but smile at those movie marathons and those hugs. 

Tony is shorter than Ryan. That's all I got out of their descriptions. LOL. 

The Plot:
While the characters weren't aksjerfijdjskj-ly ohmygosh terrific, I did enjoy reading the book and seeing their stories play out. It was a fun, light read where we see Lisa finally learning how to breathe without Tony and actually meeting new people! Not that having a guy best friend is a bad thing.

I'm happy to say that there are actually some love scenes. Not intimate scenes. Just cute kissing. It did mention somethings that weren't super innocent, but enjoyable either way. :) 

 Blurb:

Ryan Hunter kissed more girls than he cares to remember. But the only one he ever wanted is in love with his best friend. 

Watching Lisa Matthews’ obsession with Tony Mitchell is a torture Ryan conceals from everyone. Until after a five-week soccer camp, where Tony gets involved with someone else, things suddenly take a different turn. Ryan knows if he doesn’t make a move now, he might never get another chance. 

When Tony asks him to distract Lisa, Ryan is only too happy. He subtly seduces her first into his soccer team and later on to his party. He does all in his power to make her see that he’s not just an insufferable playboy but a guy who really cares about her. Some one-on-one soccer training, a passionate kiss — things seem to be going the way he wants. Except Ryan didn’t reckon on his best friend showing up at the worst possible moment and destroying everything...


This book can be read as a stand alone, but I strongly suggest you read PLAY WITH ME first.

Cindy's Review:
Basically, Ryan Hunter is what happened in Play With Me, but everything is in Hunter's point of view. For some reason, I'm not a big fan of the name Ryan. No offense to Ryan's out there. Maybe it's because I don't think the Ryan's I see are super hot at school...but anyways, Hunter just sounds better.

In Ryan Hunter, we learn more about the hero and his story. He doesn't get every girl like everyone thinks and he also isn't the player like everyone thinks. 

I'm trying to decided between if I would have liked this storyline better with the two POVs side by side in one book or a separate Ryan Hunter POV like it is now. Since this is super short read, I think it can pass, but if it was a long book, I think having to two separate books of the same story can be a bit repetitive. 

Overall Thoughts: 
This was an amazing read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Although I didn't super connect and fall in love the characters and really ship Ryan and Lisa, it was a great light read. 

The Rating: (1-10): 7~

Book Trailer:


Author Bio:
Anna Katmore grew up in Vienna. After she graduated from school at the age of 18, she moved to Austria’s country side.
Apart from traveling around the world, her one big passion is writing. She says about herself that she has been a storyteller all her life. Already in kindergarten, she came up with the most exotic fantasies and tales. Her teacher used to call her a liar. Anna calls it the cornerstone of her writing career.

Inspired by authors such as Lisa Jane Smith, Stepheny Meyer, and Becca Fitzpatrick, she started writing her first novel in 2009. Excessive reading and analyzing the structure and characters of her favorite books helped her develop the necessary skills and her very own voice. Because of her love for the language, she writes stories in English first, and when she finds a few weeks to squeeze into her tight writing schedule, she translates them into German later.

Her preferred genres are YA and fantasy romance.

In late 2012, Anna debuted with her novella PLAY WITH ME and later made this the first book of a series called Grover Beach Team. PLAY WITH ME was a finalist in its category for the RONE (Reward Of Novel Excellence) Awards, hosted by the InD’Tale magazine at the Romance Novel Convention 2013 in Las Vegas.

One funny fact: People always told Anna that she can’t make a living with being a writer. So when PLAY WITH ME came out and sold more than 500 units every day during the first four weeks, she was thunderstruck. It took her a few days to realize what was going on.
Anna is married and has a 12-year-old son. She loves her two cats, Lily and Emma, as much as she loves her family, tries to stay fit with ZUMBA dancing twice a week, and usually spends 86% of her day writing. The remaining time is used up for food and inevitable sleep.

P.S.: Cindy talking here: She sounds amazing! :) Just adding it there. Multi-lingual and not getting discouraged! I hope all you aspiring writers out there can continue to aspire like Anna Katmore. :) 

Links: 
Website: http://annakatmore.com

Play With Me
Goodreads
Amazon
B&N

Ryan Hunter
Goodreads
Amazon
B&N


Happy Reading~