Blog Tour ~ Review & Tour Wide Giveaway: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Hey and welcome to my stop on The Forgotten Ones Blog Tour! Click here for the full tour schedule. I have a review for you today, so relax and enjoy! :D

Title: The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Howard 
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Pages: 197
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal
My Rating: 4 / 5  
Blog Tour organized by: AToMR Tours


~ Synopsis ~ 

Allison O'Malley just graduated from college. Her life's plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn't have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more. 

When Allison's long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.

~ My Review ~ 

I must admit the cover is what initially drew me to this story - it's gorgeous and now that I've read the book, I love it even more. I can't help that I have a huge affinity for purple! Once I looked beyond the cover to read the synopsis, I was interested to see that there would be a character with schizophrenia. It's always been such a mysterious disorder to me, and I wanted to see how it would be handled in fiction.

While Allison started out as a bit of a bland character for me, I did appreciate her determination to take care of her mother and the way she loved her no matter what. I wanted to argue with her about closing herself off to others, but I knew I'd do the same thing in a heartbeat. Allison doesn't believe she can have a life outside of working and taking care of her mother, but I believed there would be room for love with Ethan. I kept hoping she would be able to see that for herself, too.

I wasn't sure about Ethan at first. He seemed like a player in the beginning, and I questioned his intentions toward Allison; however, I warmed up to him. He ended up becoming a character I wanted to see happy. I felt the same hesitation towards Allison's father except even more so.  I didn't trust him and felt the same as Allison in wanting to protect her mother from him. Where had he been all this time? Why did he suddenly show up now? Whatever you might be thinking, you won't guess the answers to those questions! You'll be surprised just as I was! 

The plot explodes in the second half of the book, and this is really where Allison begins to shine. Not to say I didn't like her in the beginning because I did, but here I was able to see so much more of her personality. She became fierce, courageous, and just jumped from the pages. She came alive. Sometimes in books the reader is privy to information the main character doesn't know yet. In this case, I loved how the author chose to allow the reader to discover things along with Allison. I felt more connected to her that way. 

Overall, with the colorful cast of characters, Irish lore, and the way in which the plot unfolds, I relished this book and am looking forward to the next in the trilogy.    

* I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. *

~ Buy the Book ~ 
Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

~ About the Author ~ 
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn't until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel. 

~ Connect with the Author ~ 




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Feature & Follow #19 ~ How Does Your Book Collection Grow?


I'm so excited to join Feature & Follow Friday!! This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where they each feature a blogger with an interview and also have a question or activity for all bloggers to participate in answering. Please click the links above to follow the hosting bloggers and the featured bloggers and enter the link to your own post in the linky. Hop around to as many blogs as you can - find new blogs to follow and gain some new followers as well. Mingle and make some new blogger friends! :D

I would be so happy and ever so grateful if you'd follow me any way other than GFC, especially by Bloglovin' and Twitter. Thank you! <3

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback, etc? 

I was so against eReaders when they first came out, determined never to own one. I changed my mind when my friend let me borrow hers, and my husband bought me a Kindle Touch for Christmas in 2011. At first, I struggled reading with it. I don't know why, but it seemed like it was harder to assimilate the book I was reading as if I had never read a book before! After a few books, I got used to it. 

I prefer paperbacks over hardcover and ebooks, however, some hardcovers have such pretty covers, lol! I don't mind them as much as I used to even though they can be a bit heavy to read in bed. I actually read ebooks most of the time since that's the format my review books come in. I'm so glad to have an eReader because otherwise I would've missed out on a ton of indie authors and the opportunity to review. 

I thought about buying a Kindle Fire, but my daughter has one as well as a few of our friends and they all have trouble keeping them charged. My daughter's Kindle Fire barely holds a charge. I think we should've waited until a later model comes out - I really hope Amazon fixes this since this seems to be a widespread problem.         

Before I knew they can't hold a charge, I had decided to keep my Kindle Touch because I like that it feels as though I'm reading an actual book rather than looking at a computer screen, which I do enough of that as it is, lol! 

Which format do you prefer? Do you have a Kindle Fire? Does it have trouble staying charged? 
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Cover Reveal ~ I Breathe You by Lori L. Clark

Title: I Breathe You 
Author: Lori L. Clark
Publication Date: July 2013
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Cover Reveal organized by: Xpresso Book Tours


~ Synopsis ~
When a tragic accident leaves Rhane Evans - lead vocalist for the rock band Fate's Crazy - permanently unable to speak above a whisper and kills the love of her life, she moves across the state to pick up the pieces. Shattered, Rhane struggles to understand what happened the night of the accident, an accident everyone blames her for, even though she wasn't driving the car. 

Enter Ian Callahan. He's the one person who may have a more tumultuous past than Rhane. Though they try hard to deny the sizzling attraction between them, it proves nearly impossible. When Ian's troubled past threatens to tear them apart, they begin to believe happiness isn't in their cards. 

Because Fate's Crazy that way... 

Here's a look at the entire jacket ~ gorgeous! 



~ Author Bio ~ 
I read, I write, I run 1/2 marathons for fun. 
Ten things about me: 
1. I'm an only child.
2. I love dogs!
3. I was born in Iowa City, Iowa and lived in Iowa my whole life until January 2007. 
4. I worked as a professional psychic reader for 2 years. 
5. I'm a Pisces Sun, Leo Moon with Aquarius rising.
6. I've written 5 books and am in the process of brainstorming a 6th.
7. I don't look or act my age!
8. I ran my first 1/2 marathon at age 50. 
9. I love 80's hair band music. 
10. My day job is as a claims payment analyst for one of Fortune 500 Magazine's "Top 100 places in America to work."

~ Author Links ~

I love the cover, and the story sounds awesome and exciting. On my TBR! What do you think? Do you love it? 

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Review ~ Death in the Shadows (IDWMA Episode #2) & The Arrival of Armando DeLeon (IDWMA Episode #3) by Rhiannon Frater

Death in the Shadows (In Darkness We Must Abide #2)
Title: Death in the Shadows (In Darkness We Must Abide #2)
Author: Rhiannon Frater
Published: March 21, 2013
Pages: 61
Genre: New Adult Modern Gothic Horror 
My Rating: 5 / 5

Add to Goodreads

*Warning ~ Possible spoilers if you haven't read Episode 1 yet*
Click here to read the synopsis and my review for Episode 1.

~ Synopsis ~
Death has claimed a Socoli, but the family curse will not allow him to stay dead. Vanora and Alisha must battle the creature that stole their brother's life while fearing the possible resurrection of Roman.

In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.

~ My Thoughts ~
The story of Vanora, Alisha, and Roman continues with Alisha and Roman vowing to keep their family intact and to keep their lives as normal as possible. I liked Roman more this time around than I did in the first episode. I understand him better and love his role as the protective older brother. He obviously loves and cares for his sisters and is more fatherly towards them than brotherly, which he is to fill that void in their lives.

Vanora is a strong character. I think the love from her siblings and the stable family life they've given her over the years contribute to her ability to not let not other kids bother her with their teasing her over her albinism. She's confident and intelligent, and I just really love her! Her name is unique - I haven't read a book with a character with her name, and I think it's beautiful and fits her very well.

I'd love for life to remain the same for the three siblings, but I have a feeling this isn't going to be as easy as Roman thinks it will be. It may not even be possible. What is he going to do when Vanora turns eighteen? He has built his entire life around her. What if she decides to go away to college? These are all questions I'm excited to explore as the story develops.


  ~I received a copy of this episode in exchange for an honest review~


The Arrival of Armando DeLeon (In Darkness We Must Abide, #3)
Title: The Arrival of Armando DeLeon (In Darkness We Must Abide #3)
Author: Rhiannon Frater
Published: April 12, 2013
Pages: 55
Genre: New Adult Modern Gothic Horror
My Rating: 5 / 5

Add to Goodreads

~ Synopsis ~
A mysterious new vampire appears in the life of the Socolis. Is he friend or foe? 

In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.

~ My Thoughts ~

Armando attempts to grow closer to Vanora, which set off warning bells for me. What are his intentions? Can he be trusted, or does he have some sort of sinister plans for Vanora and her family? He's suave and an old world gentleman, but there's something underneath the surface that I don't trust even though I like his character. There's a chemistry between the two of them that is undeniable and interesting because it isn't just as simple as a crust - there's much more to it.  

Vanora begins to grow apart from Alisha and Roman, which really saddened me, but it's an honest and realistic view into someone her age. She's a teenager becoming a young adult and developing her own identity. Already she's mature and intelligent beyond her years. Not only is she growing apart from them as any normal teenager might, but there's also the huge obstacle of Alisha and Roman being vampires while Vanora is not. Alisha and Roman really are more like parents to her than siblings, and the interactions between them remind me of a teenager vs. her parents situation, which led to some comical moments. 

I really love that about these episodes - there are serious moments, funny moments, tense moments, and sad moments all which make for a story that seems to jump off the pages. The writing is stellar, the characters are ones I care about, and the plot reels me in right away. I'm looking forward to the rest of this season, and luckily, I have episode four waiting for me! 

~I received a copy of this episode from the author in exchange for an honest review~


~ Purchase the Book Including All 5 Episodes of the First Season ~ 

~ About the Author ~

  
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a. pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.  
  
You can find her online at:
Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail dot com
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Cover Reveal ~ NOMAD by J.L. Bryan

Title: NOMAD
Author: J.L. Bryan
Expected publication: July 26th 2013
Cover Reveal organized by: BB Book Tours
* Cover Designed by PhatPuppy Art  *

NOMAD a BRAND NEW release from J.L. Bryan, author of Jenny Pox (The Paranormals) series & The Songs of Magic series! 


~ Synopsis ~
They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood. 

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight. 

Is this cover not kick ass or what??? I love it!! I want her hair, her name, her outfit, her boots, her attitude - everything about her just screams "Don't fuck with me!" Definitely adding this to my TBR! How about you? 

~ Author Bio ~ 


J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, dogs Violet and Tiger Lily, and cats Shadow and Sue. 

~ Author Links ~ 



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Feature & Follow #18 ~ "Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try!" ~ Dr. Seuss


I'm so excited to finally be joining Feature and Follow Friday!! This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where they each feature a blogger with an interview as well as ask a question for all participating bloggers to answer. Please click the links above to follow the hosting bloggers and the featured bloggers and enter your own post link in the linky. Hop around to all the other blogs - find new blogs to follow and gain some new followers as well. Mingle and make some new blogger friends! :D

I would be so happy if you'd follow me any way other than GFC, especially Bloglovin' and Twitter! Thank you! <3

Q: Share your favorite literary quote!

Gretchen Ross: Donnie Darko? What the hell kind of name is that? It's like some sort of superhero or something. 
Donnie Darko: What makes you think I'm not?

Karen Pommeroy: [To Principal Cole] I don't think that you have a clue what it's like to communicate with these kids. We are losing them to apathy... to this prescribed nonsense. They are slipping away.

Donnie Darko [in a letter]: Dear Roberta Sparrow, I have reached the end of your book and there are so many things that I need to ask you. Sometimes I'm afraid of what you might tell me. Sometimes I'm afraid that you'll tell me that this is not a work of fiction. I can only hope that the answers will come to me in my sleep. I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to."

What kind of Donnie Darko fan would I be if I didn't start out with some quotes from the movie? ;) It isn't a book, although I always thought it should have been. The dialogue is out of this world superb and the out-of-the-box concepts are so thought provoking, I still think about something new every time I watch the movie. :D

Okay, here are just a sprinkling of some of my favorite literary quotes!  

"I'm still betting on you." 
~Cinna, Catching Fire

"So many books, so little time." 
~ Frank Zappa

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." 
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Wasn't Dr. Seuss just freaking genius?? Everything he wrote was fun for kids to read and at the same time had a message he wanted to convey. He was ahead of his time. 

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." 
~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird 

*Special Note* Last week, when I chose to do an acrostic poem for the Feature and Follow, it was from a Bout of Books challenge I participated in earlier this year. Harley from Harley Bear Book Blog came up with the idea of doing an acrostic poem for that challenge. I just wanted to make sure she got credit for coming up with the idea - I wish I had thought of it 'cause it was so much fun! ;)
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Vacation time to get away!

~Jennifer~ | 11:47 AM | | | 4 Comments

Soooo...I'm late again in my post. I meant to let you know I'm on vacation this week in Michigan with my fam and am having a blast. We left Monday and will be home late Friday. Just taking a break from the 'Net this week and focusing on my husband and kids. See you guys soon! :D

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Sneak Peek ~ Made for You (Cole #2) by Vi Keeland

~Jennifer~ | 2:44 AM | | 4 Comments
  

  Title: Made for You (Cole, #2) 
  Author: Vi Keeland 
  Genre: Romance 
  Age Group: Adult 
  Expected release date: July 1, 2013
Event organized by: AToMR Tours  

~ Book Description ~ 
*** The sequel to Belong to You (Book two of a two part series) ***
Jack and Syd spent a week in paradise. It was only supposed to be a fling. But life can be funny sometimes, and circumstances brought them back together again. Together they seemed to have found their happy ever after. But when Sydney is offered a chance at the career she has always wanted, she must leave Jack behind to follow her dreams. Can their love survive long distance? Sydney’s touring with a man every woman wants, but he only has eyes for Syd. And an unexpected tragedy leaves Jack feeling remorseful. Can the two find a way through to forever?

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 ~ EXCERPT ~
I don’t know how long it lasted, but it was definitely at least a few minutes before we broke, both coming up panting wildly for air and smiling. He leaned down so that his face was in my neck and lifted me up off the ground for a hug. His arms wrapped so tightly around me that it was difficult to breathe, but I didn’t care. The warmth of his breath so close to my ear coupled with the quiet sound of his uncontrolled growl sent a shiver from the tip of my toes straight through to the swell growing between my legs. 

 When he finally put me down, we found my three friends watching intently. For a few minutes I had completely forgotten there was anyone else in the room but us. I looked up, embarrassed, to find Sienna was smiling like an idiot. Kyle looked intrigued at my reaction, and Justin was glaring at us. 

 Kyle smiled kindly as he spoke. “I hope this is your boyfriend, Syd?” 

 “Sorry, yes, this is Jack. I had no idea he was coming.” I stared up at Jack, smiling excitedly. “I can’t believe you’re really here!” 

 Jack pulled me possessively to his side, his arm wrapped tightly around my waist as he spoke. He extended his free hand to Kyle. “Jack Cole.” 

 Kyle nodded and smiled back. “Kyle Smith. Good to meet you, man.” 

 Jack leaned down to Sienna and kissed her on the cheek, whispering something into her ear that made her smile and giggle. 

 Then he looked to Justin and extended his hand. Justin took a second too long before taking Jack’s hand. “Justin Smith.” 

 Jack nodded and I watched, noticing his reaction was different to Justin than to Kyle. Something passed between them unspoken. Not  good.   

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  About the Author
 Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with six uniquely insane siblings. She has three children of her own that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.

 She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night! After years of thinking about writing her own book, she finally took the leap in 2012. Her most recent book, Belong to You, was published in April 2013 and hit number 8 in the Amazon Erotica Best Seller's list in its first five days! The sequel to Belong to You, Made for You, is due out on July 1st, 2013.


Okay, um, wow! Definitely on my TBR and take a look at that teaser picture!! Hottt! That alone makes me want to pick up the book! :D

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Cover Reveal ~ A Brutal Tenderness by Marata Eros

 

Title: A Brutal Tenderness - the companion novel to A Terrible Love
Author: Marata Eros
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales
Expected release date: August 26, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Age Group: New Adult
Cover Designed by: Phatpuppy Art
Cover Reveal Organized by: AToMR Tours
Preorder Links: Amazon | Nook | iBooks

There are two sides to every story. In this dark and sexy companion novel to the New York Times bestseller A Terrible Love, experience the sizzling passion and pulse-pounding suspense through FBI agent Cas Steele’s eyes as he hunts down a psychopath...and falls for the killer’s prey.

 Cas has been charged with an unsavory task: manipulate the hauntingly beautiful Jewell MacLeod—a woman he has every reason to hate—and slowly gain her trust in order to use her as bait to lure in a killer. But as the killer draws closer, Cas realizes that he can’t deny the scorching chemistry that ignites between him and Jewell, even if giving into his physical desire for her means jeopardizing his mission...and opening himself up to the possibility of a real and terrible love...


   photo goodreads-badge-add-38px11_zps1ae6e47f.jpg   


  About the Author
 photo MarataEros130509-3_zps66cf1867.jpg Marata Eros is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of dark, romantic new adult novels, including A Terrible Love and its companion novel A Brutal Tenderness. A passionate writer who loves interacting with her readers, Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband.


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Feature & Follow #17 ~ Spinal Poetry Love


I'm so excited to finally be joining Feature and Follow Friday!! This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read  where they each feature a blogger with an interview as well as ask a question for all participating bloggers to answer. Please click the links above to follow the hosting bloggers as well as the featured bloggers and enter your own post link in the linky. Hop around to other blogs - find new blogs to follow and gain some new followers as well. Mingle and make some new blogger friends! :D

Q: Activity: Spine Poetry. Create a line of poetry with your book spines (take a picture). Not feeling creative? Tell us about your favorite poem.
I participated in my first Bout of Books this year, and one of the challenges I did was to choose a book and make an acrostic poem. I really loved what I came up with, and even though I've already posted this once, I would like to share it again. :)

S ~ Satisfying
P ~ Psychedelic 
L ~ Lyrical 
I ~ Imaginative
N ~ Nightmarish landscape - not sure I'd want to visit, lol! ;) 
T ~ Thought provoking
E ~ Electrifying
R ~ Rare  
E ~ Ethereal   
D ~ Dark

Spreading book love with poetry... :D
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Think Out Loud #13 ~ Survive the Night


Hey everyone! I'm now going to join the meme Think Out Loud hosted by Thinks Books. With this meme, you can post anything you want to talk about! Get to know other bloggers outside of the bookish realm. :) Click on the link to go to her blog and sign up. :) The posts go up on Thursdays or whenever you'd like. :D 

 
So June 7th finally got here, and I went to see The Purge with two of my besties. I feel like I've been waiting for forever! I really liked the movie although there are a lot of negative reviews out there. Mostly I see people saying the movie had a lot of potential but ended up just being another home invasion movie. The Purge has been compared to Assault on Precinct 13, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, Panic Room, Straw Dogs, and The Strangers. 

If you're a horror movie fan like me, don't go into this movie thinking it's horror - it isn't. If I had to classify the genre, I'd say it's dystopian and thriller. There were a lot of tense moments where I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest! I had to hide my face in my sweater, not out of fear but just out of the superbly built tension and not knowing what was going to happen next. 

There were several funny moments, but I'm not sure if those were intentional or on accident. I found myself laughing several times. I know that makes me sound crazy macabre, but if you see the movie, you'll know why I was laughing. A couple times I had tears running down my face because I was trying my best not to laugh out loud at those moments. I wasn't the only one laughing I just want to point out! The audience around me was, too! 

Anyway, no matter what the critics say, I really had a blast watching it. Sure, they could've focused more on the purge itself - how it was decided upon, how it got started, and who is against it. It raises a lot of interesting questions, and on the way home, my two friends and I had a pretty lively discussion. Could it ever become a reality? Why or why not? 

My husband has no interest in seeing the movie, but he did say he doesn't think our government would ever go for it. "Those twelve hours are total anarchy," he said. "There's no way that would ever work." We also thought about how if someone really wants to kill somebody, then what would really stop that person from waiting until the night of the purge? A psycho is a psycho. 

Even if you haven't seen the movie, what are your thoughts? Do you think our country is capable of trying out an idea like the purge? 
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Cover Reveal & Excerpt ~ Never Too Far by Thomas Christopher

Title: Never Too Far
Author: Thomas Christopher
Release Date: June 13, 2013
Pages: 212
Genre: Sci-fi, Action/Adventure, Dystopian
Cover Reveal organized by: IMR Blog Tours


Book Blurb:
A harrowing story of love and survival. 

In a future of scarce resources, where the possession of gas and diesel is punishable by death, a teenage boy and a pregnant girl must save their impoverished family. They risk their lives on a terrifying journey to sell stolen fuel on the black market.

~ Book Links ~ 

~ Author Bio ~


Thomas Christopher grew up in Iowa. He received his MFA from Western Michigan University. His short stories have appeared in The Louisville Review, The MacGuffin, Redivider, and Cooweescoowee. He was also awarded an Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant and was a finalist for the Matthew Clark Prize in Fiction. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and son.

~ Author Links ~

~ Excerpt ~ 
Joe turned and ran back into the gully, but he didn’t get very far. A sudden blast of wind shoved him to the ground. Flat on his face, he heard the wind whistling and screeching past his ears. When he lifted his head, he couldn’t see the pregnant girl anymore. All the dust whirled and whipped into a blinding black blizzard. He thought for sure she’d gotten snatched up in the dust storm. The wind lashed at his face. He went to call out to her, but he didn’t know what to say because he didn’t know her name. And even if he did, his voice would’ve gotten lost in the snarling wind. Nevertheless, he had to find her.

I'm so excited to be a part of this cover reveal. I'm happy to have found out about this book and am definitely going to read this as it's right up my alley! :D 
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Cover Reveal ~ Indelible by Bethany Lopez



Title: Indelible
Author: Bethany Lopez
Expected release date: July 9, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult
Cover Designed by: B Design alliebbooks.wordpress.com – Photo by Kelsey Kukal-Keeton
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

~ Book Description ~
After a year of partying, Sam decides to buckle down and focus on college. Things are going great until a one-night stand leaves her pregnant and alone. Raising a child while going to school isn't easy, but Sam is determined to be strong for her daughter. She doesn't have time for guys or relationships, and takes great care to protect her child and her heart.

Judd doesn't fit the mold of a college ballplayer. His long hair and tattoos may fit the life he’s created for himself, but baseball is the one thing he takes seriously. When he meets Sam, he’s immediately drawn to her curves and refusal to put up with his crap. When Judd learns the truth, can he handle the responsibility that comes with loving a single mother?

Sam yearns for the fire that Judd fuels in her, but her child’s needs have to come first. Can two people at different stages in their life find a way to make a life together?

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17855632-indelible

~ Author Bio ~
 Bethany Lopez

Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. Since then she has published various YA and NA books. She is a lover of romance, family, and friends, and enjoys incorporating those things in what she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible.

Author social media links:
IAN - http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/bethany-lopez.html

Webpage - www.bethanylopez.blogspot.com

Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/BethanyLopez2

Facebook - http://on.fb.me/LypEaO

Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/bethanylopez2/


After reading Nissa by Bethany Lopez, I'm looking forward to reading more of her books, especially this one! I'm really getting into the New Adult genre. :D


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Blog Tour ~ Review: A Sliver of Hope by Karla J. Nellenbach


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour hosted by YA Bound! Click on the link to see the full tour schedule. :) This is a really exciting day because not only do I have a review for all of you, but also it's my first time reviewing for a blog tour hosted by YA Bound!!! :D Enjoy! 

Title: A Sliver of Hope
Author: Karla J. Nellenbach
Published: March 13, 2013 by Booktrope
Pages: 199 (Kindle)
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Average Goodreads rating: 4.47 / 5
My rating: 4 / 5 
Blog Tour organized by: YA Bound
Source: Review copy


~ Synopsis ~
My twin sister was the only person in the world I thought I’d known inside and out. Apparently, I was wrong.

Twin sisters share a unique bond, one that can't be broken by miles, time, or even death. Hannah and Hope Morton are no exception. When Hope takes her own life, Hannah loses a sister and a best friend, a catastrophe she isn't sure she'll survive herself. 

With her family in ruins, Hannah is slowly disappearing, drowning in a sea of misery. Even her wild, energetic best friend can't pull her out of her grief. Desperate to help Hannah, her brother comes home from college, bringing his best friend Julian along, the first boy to break Hannah’s heart. None of their efforts are enough to pull Hannah off her self destructive path, though. Julian is the only one who can get through to her, working his way into her frozen soul with cocky remarks and genuine love that warms her from the inside out.

As Hannah works to find answers, she continues to uncover new secrets and people that reveal a side of Hope she had never shared with her twin. Alone now, Hannah must make a decision of her own: move on and start a new life with the people she has left, or let the weight of her grief drag her down with her sister.

~ My Thoughts ~
Lately I seem to be reading books that delve into the subject of grief. I tend to gravitate toward books dealing with this topic as my own life at one time was torn apart by the anger and depression that come about as a result. After the death of my mom from cancer, there were understandably days where I wasn't sure if it was worth it to continue struggling to live. I wanted to see her again so badly that I did contemplate suicide. I don't know anyone who has committed suicide, so this book not only gave me insight into what it would be like to deal with the aftermath of a loved one's suicide, but also the devastating consequences after someone has taken her own life had I chosen that route.   

The main character, Hannah, is left shattered and stunned after her twin sister takes her own life. She's drowning in her own grief, grappling with questions to which there are no concrete answers, and there doesn't seem to be anyone to pull her out - each member of her family is lost and drifting away alone. There were so many moments I wanted to shout at them all to band together and fight their way through this together. I didn't want to see them each go through this alone, but Hannah and her family's reactions were so genuine and so real that I knew they were only getting through each day as best they could. Grief is messy and complicated with no right or wrong way to express it. 

Not only is Hannah dealing with the fallout of her twin's suicide, but she also finds out she didn't know her twin as well as she thought she did. Imagine finding out your twin had a secret side to herself that she didn't let you in on and now she's gone, unable to answer your questions. How would you feel? Hannah already felt betrayed that her sister decided to kill herself - now she feels even more betrayed learning there were huge secrets her sister hid from her. 

Hannah's frequent outbursts of anger were definitely understandable, and I could completely relate to how she felt in those moments. Death is so final, and knowing that once it happens, there's no going back brings out ugly emotions that are uncomfortable. It's so easy to drown in grief alone that it made sense to me that Hannah secluded herself, even from those who desperately wanted to help her but weren't sure how. 

There definitely aren't all heavy moments though, and many of the lighter funnier moments come from Julian, one of my favorite characters in the novel. He seems to be the only one who really can bring Hannah out into the light for at least a moment or two. I can't help but agree with Hannah's feeling that her parents took her to the altar of a therapist in the hopes that he could "fix" her. My only wish is that this book had been longer - I couldn't help but want more! What's the history  between Julian and Hannah? What was Hannah's sister like, and why did she feel the need to keep things from Hannah? 

The story is beautifully told, and you really feel every moment of grief and anguish as if the characters are real people you know and care about. You see how suicide affects everyone the person left behind and how it can drive them all apart. I'd love for a second book where Hannah's sister narrates. If you want to know more about the effect suicide has on family and friends whether you've contemplated it yourself or you have lost someone this way, you definitely need to read this book! 

~ Purchase Links ~ 


~ About the Author ~
Karla J. Nellenbach
Karla Nellenbach divides her time between day jobbing, writing, and indulging in her Winchester obsession. The rest of her day is spent playing butler to a cranky old man masquerading as a housecat and two rambunctious puppies that closely resemble small horses. Born and raised in the wilds of Michigan, she knows two immutable facts: (1) it is entirely possible to live in a thumb, and (2) you definitely can go home again…you just might not survive the winter. Having resided in the sunscape of Florida for the last decade, she’s still on a quest to see a real live alligator outside of the “petting” zoo. Karla is currently at work on her next novel.  You can find more information on Karla and her work at her website, The Last Word: http://www.karlanellenbach.com/

~ Author Links ~



***GIVEAWAY*** 
5 copies of A Sliver of Hope 
(Print for US, e-book for INT) 
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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Holding On and Letting Go (The Ties That Bind Us #1) by Lucy A. Kelly


I'm so excited to be a part of this tour for this incredibly moving book!
I have a review for you today - enjoy! :D

Title: Holding On and Letting Go (The Ties That Bind Us #1)
Author: Lucy A. Kelly
Published: March 10, 2013
Pages: 186
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Average Rating: 4.76 / 5
My Rating: 5 / 5
Blog Tour Organized By: Irresistible Reads Book Tours
Source: Review copy from the author 


~ Synopsis ~
Is there a way to describe the ties that bind us together? What happens when one of those ties is unexpectedly severed? Can everything else remain the same? Will the other ties hold strong?

Two years after her little brother's death, sixteen year old Emerson Caulfield returns to a home that she spent the last two years missing. In theory, everything should be the same. Her best friend, Matt, still lives next door. Her house is in the exact same condition as they left it. The scenery and hallways haven't changed, yet for Emerson, everything is completely different. The place may be the same, but Emerson is most certainly not. She returns home hurt, angry, and miles away from the girl she once was.

~ My Thoughts ~ 
This was such a deeply emotional read for me! After losing both my mom and maternal grandfather to brain cancer before I even hit high school, I'm all too familiar with the weight of grief that manifests in anger, sadness, loneliness, and just plain hurt. Every time Emerson visited her brother's grave and spoke to him, I cried. When she heard a girl making fun of her deceased brother, I cried. Who makes fun of a deceased little boy like that by the way?? I wanted to wring that girl's neck. Every emotion Emerson felt, I felt it too. We seemed to be kindred spirits. 

The book alternates between Emerson and her best friend Matt's point of view. The way Emerson describes her pain resonated with me, and the things she said are things I've said before. I was particularly struck when she said she has a hard time even just breathing and getting out of bed in the morning - I know what she's talking about. There were times I had to put down the book to catch my own breath. There is no better way the author could have expressed the toll grief takes on a person.

Matt's deep love for Emerson shows the strength of his character. He wants to love Emerson through this time, and what else can you do when someone you love is suffering from something you can't change or take away? He isn't afraid of the depth of Emerson's despair, and he doesn't give up no matter how many times she pushes him away. It's obvious Matt is wise beyond his years and cares about what's really important in life and not the silly superficiality of high school. How many guys his age can you say that about? 

I think there are times when a person becomes comfortable in his/her own grief - not that feeling miserable is what the person prefers but rather the person is afraid to move forward and do something to alleviate the pain. One worries that by letting go and accepting what's happened, the deceased loved one will be forgotten, not to mention that taking the first step forward is the hardest. This is why it's absolutely crucial that the person has all the support he/she needs. Matt was that support system for Emerson, and his perseverance in being there for her no matter what impressed me.  

I just could not and would not put this book down. I went through the entire spectrum of emotions while reading, and it was cathartic for me. I found myself examining how much progress I've made moving forward in my own life since losing significant loved ones and was surprised to see I've come a long way from where I began. It's amazing! And this is just the beginning to a series in which I'm really looking forward to where the author takes us next. :D 

~ Purchase Links ~ 
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

~ About the Author ~ 
lucy 
I'm not really going to write a biography. Though I am supportive of the high schools and colleges I have attended, it's probably not actually the most interesting stuff about me. I'm going to do a list of five really random things instead for now. 
  1. I like making lists. It's weird, and I never actually scratch things off of the list. 
  2. I sing and dance in the car like a maniac. 
  3. For the first six years of my life, I truly believed a shark lived under my bed. I watched Jaws at too young of an age. 
  4. Without a doubt, I am a night person. I am enormously grumpy when first woken up in the morning. 
  5. When I was younger, I read almost every Nancy Drew book, both new and old. I had a notebook, and I would take notes to see if I could figure out who the "bad guy" was before Nancy did. We probably tied.  
~ Author Links ~ 

 
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