Sunday, May 31, 2015

Twisted Romance Recommendations

Hello there! You! In the corner! You have a wonderful face.

So today on No Bent Spines, we're going to talk about some mind-bending reads that have a good dose of swoon (I mean, seriously, do I read anything without swoon?) and whole lot of what the hell just happened moments.

Let's get started with this, shall we?

Book Rec Number One: Leah Raeder, Black Iris
G o o d r e a d s  //  A m a z o n 

One Word: Heavy

Three Words: Darkest and Deepest

After I finished the book, I gave it 3.5 stars, and I'm not going to change my initial rating, but the more I think about all of the things this book touched on: on abuse and sexuality and mental disorders and just how freaking well done it all was, the more I think this book it worth, like, thirty stars.

You think I'm over-valuing this book but I am not even in the slightest. I want all her books. I want allllll her books.

"I bloomed into the dark thing she made me. I am creature with a vast capacity for patience, and for violence. For watching. For waiting. (ARC)" 

Little wolf. Girls love with their teeth. Bipolar tendencies welcome. Murder isn't as bad as you think and getting away with it is the only option. Run girl, into each other. And boys, don't close your eyes at night, because- that little wolf? She's not even waiting for you to blink.

Book Rec Number Two: Courtney Cole, Nocte
G o o d r e a d s // A m a z o n

Ah, it's been what-? Two months? More? I'm still reeling. I saw all these updates saying "I guessed it!"

I did not guess it. *slow clap*

Courtney Cole, I read your contemporary series. This one was not like the other. It was sooooo not like the other. And I adore it. I'd even go as far as to pull a Mr. Darcy and say that I loved this book most ardently. Plus that cover is just absolute perfection. Seriously. Can I meet and bow down to who made it? Or buy them a coffee?

From the creeptastic Latin and the ENDING. *throws hands up* I don't know what you want me to say, man. I really don't. Read it? You should. Pay close attention? You better.

"I would plunge to the bottom of the ocean for you. I'd comb it for shells and make you a necklace and then hang myself with it. Because if you aren't here, I don't want to be either."

Book Rec Number Three: Tarryn Fisher, Mud Vein
G o o d r e a d s // A m a z o n

This is the book you mother warned you about. It's the book that haunts you because oh my god the ending and nothing is perfect and everything is perfect and soul mates comes in twos and threes and what are your chanced of you even finding one of your soul mates when you have the entire world to search through? That's 7 billion people. 7 billion possibilities. How many of those soul mates will you never meet?

But this book isn't about soul mates.

Nope. This book is about escaping and surviving and what one person would do to live. Sort of. It's about everything you've done wrong and all the chances you didn't take. It's about those times when you trusted someone but then they left you trust for the carnival workers to take down with the rest of the equipment.

I'll repeat one of those. This book is about every chance you didn't take.

"That's what its like to be a prisoner of anything. You want your freedom until you get it, then you feel bare without your chains."

- - - - 

So, how do you feel about the books that are a touch darker? A touch deeper? And do you have any suggestions? Because these books are my

Friday, May 29, 2015

ARC Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Amazon / Goodreads / ARC via AndyeReadingTeen (THANK YOU!)
Published June 2, 2015

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions. 

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” (ARC).

Confession: I want to love thrillers. Or at least find them thrilling. This novel is set up as a heart-pounding, blood- racing, keep-you-guessing kind of book. As are most thrilled preached as such. Cadie wants to live the life of a teenage instead of a mother to her younger brother (who is seriously adorable) because her father can’t deal, or even try to deal after the sudden death of her mother. When Cadie goes to a party she runs into two cousins. A spur of a moment idea (the need to do something kind of idea) leads her on a road trip with the two of them, and one of the local girls. One of the cousins is not at all what he seems.

Okay. This right here is my main complaint: The first half of the books was very much story- building focused and I feel I would have liked it more if we got more to the creeptastic, there is a psycho killer in our midst aspect of the story. Honestly- when the story did get to the psycho killer aspect, I seriously dug it. Other than that, the story was pretty eh. The whole trip was focused around the Devil’s Chair, but when they actually got there, it seemed to be seriously played down, and I didn’t quite know what to make of that.

Also, I totally guessed the psycho. I guessed he was the killer when he first appeared. And no, no I won’t tell you who it was. Where’s the fun in that? *evil chuckle*

Let’s talk about the characters a bit shall we? I’ve already described Cadie a bit, so we’ll just talk about the cousins. Matt and Noah. She meets Matt first when she invites him to the party, but meets Noah soon after when he’s working on Miss Kitty, the car a dead relative left him. Matt and Noah are pretty much opposites, granted they get along through the majority of the trip like they were best friends. And I really enjoyed the interaction. They’re both kind of irredeemable. But that was what makes them so much fun to read.

Sadly, I didn’t really particularly like, or connect with, either of the two boys. Who both are apparently drop dead gorgeous. (hehe, drop dead-get it?)

So I suppose it all comes down to do I recommend this. I really can’t. It was a little too short, to unexpressive, to guessable and too rushed for me. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but it’s apparently a lot of people’s ideal thriller. My wish? I wish there was less build up and more creepy aspects to the novel. I think that would have added a lot to the premise. The ending was too wrapped in a bow. Where’s the trauma when it’s needed? 

I really want to like thrillers. So, do y'all have any thrilling thriller recommendations? They would be much appreciated!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Interview with Sandy James! Learn about the Ladies Who Lunch.

Sandy James, Fringe Benefit INTERVIEW

Welcome one and all! Let's all welcome Sandy, author of the Ladies Who Lunch series. 

Hello, Sandy! Thanks so much for joining me here on my little blog! Below you’ll find the questions for the interview. Please fill them out and throw in plenty of descriptive information-the fluffier the better. 

Let’s chat a bit about the books first. What is a word that would describe each of the Ladies? And who do you connect to most? *props head on hands*

Mallory is a woman I’d admire. She faces some of the toughest battles in life and comes out with a sense of humor and a strong will to survive.

Juliana is who I’d like to be. To be able to stand up for exactly what she wants is a trait I admire. She’s tough, but she’s soft under all that armor.

Beth is a woman I’d love to have as my best friend. She’d be supportive and encouraging, and she gives more of herself than she expects of others.

Dani is the epitome of control, which makes her both the best and worst person for a job. Once she lets her guard down, she’s loyal and kind.

I think I connect most with Beth. I tend to “mother” people. Just ask my students. I’m always trying to make things better for people, and I get really upset when I can’t solve all their problems.

If the series were a TV show- or a movie series- who would you want to play the leading roles?

Fun question! The easiest one is Dani. She’s Amy Adams. I loved Amy as Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum 2. That character is pure Dani!

Juliana could be played well by Scarlett Johansson. Not just because she’s a redhead, but because she plays characters with the same type of self-confidence and all out chutzpah that Jules shows.

Beth could be Zoey Deschanel. She has that innocence and charm that embody Beth.

Now Mallory—she’s the toughest. I’d have to nominate Anne Hathaway. She’s the one actress I know could pull off the way Mallory is vulnerable despite the “mask” she puts on for everyone.

Let’s just say that the world gets taken over by zombies- theoretically of course- which of the Ladies would be most likely to survive the apocalypse?

They all would, because they’d pull together! BTW—The Walking Dead is favorite show right now! I can easily picture my Ladies fitting in with TWD tribe. Jules and Dani would probably become Carol’s bestest buddies.

Now I have a few questions regarding you. How did you come into the whole writing business? Was it fate or did it take some extra planning?

I started writing as a way to cross an item off my Bucket List. Way back as far as junior high, I’ve written stories. My eighth grade English teacher was convinced I’d be a writer one day. (Thanks, Mrs. Dewey!) But life gets in the way, and my husband and I married and started a family when we were right out of college. Until the kids grew up, I simply didn’t have time to write.

When my son—the last chick in the nest—was a senior in high school, I read a book that was so poorly written, I couldn’t help but think that I could do better. So I decided to try. After writing the first book, I was thoroughly, hopelessly addicted.

A couple of my teacher friends asked to read that first book, and they encouraged me to pursue publishing. Much to my surprise, I was picked up by a publisher, who then asked to see what else I’d written. From there, I just kept growing my career.

Fate definitely played a part in getting me into the Big Leagues! I met my agent, Joanna MacKenzie, when we shared a cab at RWA. We chit-chatted, and she asked to see some of my work. I was thrilled when she took me on as a client. She’s the one who sold my Ladies series to Grand Central Publishing, and we have more series in development.

If you were stuck with three books and three kinds of food on mars (you have oxygen and a spare pair of TOMS) for a year, what would those food kinds and books be?

Hmm... I’d have to take Julie Garwood’s The Bride. Love, love, love that book, and it never gets old. There would also have to be a copy of The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir. I’m an Anglophile, and I love her books. And I’d want a copy of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 for its history, and the sheer size means it would occupy me for a long time.

Food...I’ll stray from the nutrition angle and go with comfort foods. Cheesecake. Sweet and sour chicken. And chocolate ice cream.

You have enough money to go wherever you want and for however long you want to- where would you go and what would you do? Also, who would you take?

I’d divide my time between London and Paris. I’d stay forever so I could explore the myriad historical places I’ve read about my whole life. The list would be endless! My husband would be the person I’d want to share it with. After being married thirty-two years, I need him with me. He’s currently fighting colon cancer, and I want to thank all my friends and readers for all their support, kind words, and prayers! They mean the world to us!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cover Reveal + Giveaway + Sale

Hello everyone! Okay, first off, I adore this series. Like, this is one of my favorite Southern Gothic series ever. Angie is such a fantastic writer!

Don't you just love the new cover?

Buy the first book in the series here

Is this love affair their destiny? Or is it doomed?

Paradise, Louisiana, is far from idyllic for Mala LaCroix and Landry Prince. Haunted by strange visions, the pair are drawn together by a mystery concealed beneath the polite facades and the murky swamps of the Deep South.  Landry had a crush on Mala all through high school and was her greatest defender, but now-up close and personal-he is starting to suspect that the rumors of witchcraft and voodoo are true. But he can't let his doubts tear them apart because a day of reckoning is coming. As Mala struggles to conceal her powers and avoid the curse that has struck generations of LaCroix women, Landry will have no choice but to face his own demons. Both of them will soon be caught up in a web of deceit that reveals the dark side of Paradise.

Read the fourth book in Sandro's series:
Dark Embrace 

Reader favorite Angie Sandro returns to the bayou with a bewitching paranormal romance perfect for fans of Beautiful Creatures . . .

Rescued from the brink of death by her cousin Mala, Dena Acker returns to the land of the living with a terrifying gift. Still connected to the darkness that almost claimed her, she can tell when someone’s about to die—but there’s nothing she can do to save them. Desperate to rid herself of this cursed ability, Dena has only one chance at peace . . . and it comes from an otherworldly stranger. For centuries, Ashmael has seen more souls than he can count but he’s never been drawn to anyone the way he is to fragile, beautiful Dena. She fills the dark void of his days with light, and he would do anything to ease her suffering. Even if it means sacrificing his only chance at a flesh-and-blood existence to truly be with her.

About Angie Sandro
Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen.  Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father's family in Louisiana inspired this story. Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 25, 2015

ARC Review: No One Like You by Kate Angell

No One Like You by Kate Angell
Goodreads / ARC via NetGalley
Published April 28, 2015

For Rylan Cates, the gloriously sunny beachside town of Barefoot William may be home, but the pro baseball player needs to focus on spring training. Hiring a personal assistant to keep him and his four dogs organized for the next eight weeks is the first step--and Beth Avery is the perfect pinch hitter. 

Beth is still looking for her place in the world, and a couple months caring for Rylan's two dachshunds, his golden retriever, and a Great Dane named Atlas should shore up her finances before she moves on. Except it's Atlas who won't budge, pushing her toward tanned, scruffy, sexy Rylan every chance he gets. One more strike and she's calling the dog out--unless she and Rylan admit that the attraction they're feeling is a game-winning grand slam. . . 

Come one! Come all! Not to the circus- no, no, no. Come to the beach where the sun is shining, baseball season is in and the dogs are even more perfect than the guys! Though, dogs do tend to be better than people. But, that is beside the point? And, dear reader, what is the point? Great question! The point, is that NO ONE LIKE YOU is the perfect beach read and, for goodness sake, it’s almost summer. That means beach time. And that also means that I expect you to have this one in your beach bag. Now, I’m not picky- physical copy or ecopy are both just fine.

Why, you ask? Another great question! Well, aren’t you just on a roll today!

First, the backstory was woven perfectly into the reality. The painting and the picture. Stops on the beaches and nostalgia. Running away in a healthy way. I do wish it was delved into a tiny bit more, but I do also realize I might not like the story as much as I do had it been done like that. So, thanks? I’m actually not sure if it has ever been done as flawlessly as it has been done in NO ONE LIKE YOU. Like, darling, give yourself a round of applause. And while you're at it, have a bowl of ice cream. You deserve it.

Next, have I ever mentioned how much I love animals and pets and specifically dogs. I love them. The dogs always add to the story. I mean, the guy likes dogs. And the dogs like the guy. And that just makes everything better. There was this one book where the main guy didn’t want the dog and didn’t like the dogs and I just couldn’t get past it. It lowered my rating two stars. This one bumped it up a star. I MEAN THEY ARE JUST SO CUUUTE.

The dogs become the main girl’s family, as do the players on the team. And this girl needs a family. ASAP. Because the one she got stuck with sucks. Like they really, really suck. She should try to trade them in. OH WAIT. SHE DID. AND SHE GOT DOGS AND A NICE HOME AND A BASEBALL PLAYER. IN YOUR FACE. Heyyyy, batter batter.

This book is super cute, super sweet and it's a total Summer Read.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Oh So Quoteable: Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol


Sea of Stars (Kricket #2) by Amy A. Bartol

Goodreads / Amazon

Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

ARC Review: Back to You by Laura Dane

Back to You by Laura Dane
ARC via Netgalley + HQN
Published: May 26, 2015
Goodreads / Amazon

Former model Kelly Hurley has finally put the ashes of the past behind her. After a passionate but turbulent marriage to rock star Vaughan Hurley that ended in heartbreak and divorce, Kelly rebuilt her life in Portland, where she settled so their two young daughters could be close to their father. Just not so close Kelly couldn’t truly make her own way without interference from the man who shattered her heart. Now Kelly’s finally ready to move on, and she’s planning to marry another man.

But not if Vaughan has anything to say about it.

Vaughan knows he was a fool all those years ago. A young, selfish—and prideful—fool. Even as he buried himself in the fast, decadent rock star lifestyle, he could never drown out the memory of Kelly’s beauty and love. Or the sweet, searing heat whenever they touched. For years, he’s had to deal with the pain of seeing her only because of their daughters, but it was never enough. Now Vaughan must prove that he’s the only man Kelly needs, before he loses her for good. And there’s only one way to do it….

I expected romance. And I got romance and flames and maybe a little too much Vaughn. Usually I can't get enough of the main guy. My gut told me to hit him with a brick. Also, a quick disclaimer, I'm not overly fond of giving second chances. Vaughn needed like 20 second chances. So did his mama for that manner. Being protective is awesome- sweet as candy even- but what she was was too far. Much too far.

Now, I bet you're wondering what in the world am I talking about. Well, I'm glad you asked. Here's what this book is about: Vaughn is a complete and utter fool (great job with the book summary). He is young. And he is selfish. And what he did after he was stupid was almost worse than what he did during the stupidity. And good lord, was he a donkey's butt.

*chases Vaughn with chain saw*

There are a few things I am capable of forgiving, infidelity is not one of them. Not by a long shot. I think that Kelly is so strong. And I think that's why I gave the book the rating I did. Because though everything- her career, her kids, her ex-husband and his family entourage- she had a backbone. And a really good one. She didn't get bitter. She didn't become her mother. She stayed true to her own values. And she made sure that her two daughters were as sweet and loving as they could possible become.

I seriously admire Kelly. She might actually be one of my favorite female characters ever. I also seriously dislike Vaughn. I wanted to punch him in the throat through the majority of Back to You. 

The writing though, Laura Dane has serious skill. The characters felt alive. I mean, how can I hate a man to the extremes that I do Vaughn without serious writing skill. (he disgusted me, in case you haven't figured it out yet)

In the end, I hereby award the novel a grand total of 3.5 stars, because although I loved the character development, this story just wasn't me. I mean, it was good, but I wouldn't read it again. Kelly and Vaughn have an odd relationship. So do Vaughn and his mother. I think it takes a special kind of person to forgive, or learn to, or even try to, like Kelly did. I think it also takes a special kind of person to be unfaithful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ARC Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Goodreads / Amazon
ARC via Publisher + Netgalley
Published June 2, 2015

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

“Do I have you like you have me?” (ARC).

Brutally and beautifully honest, Anna Bank’s novel “Joyride” tell the story of a police chief’s son and a Latina girl trying to bring her family into the US from Mexico and all the hurtles and heartbreak along the way. My final though for this book: holy freaking bleepers.

For all those who say young adult novels don’t talk about relevant issues, why don’t y’all read this lovely? And then why don’t y’all come to Texas, where I know this is a hot issue. What’s this controversial issue? Immigration and all the fun stuff surrounding it. Raw and real, this story reaches the hard to talk about things like being sent back, being sent for, the people bringing them illegally who aren’t always as honest as you’re hoping they are, the heartbreak at being separated from your family and finally the police. Now, tell me if any of those issues are black and white. Carly dealt with all this and the pressure her older brother (who I’m pretty sure if half drowning in hope and half drowning in fear) puts on her to help out with the quest to reunite their family. Carly doesn’t really agree with all these ideals- she wants to graduate and make money from job that do more than give people food. She wants a degree.

Enter Arden. This boy made me wanting to ooh and aah over all the sweet things he did and said. He also made me cringe a little bit at the lack of thought that the consequences she would reap verses the ones he would. After his older sister commits suicide, he’s life is completely shattered. His father (the racist police chief) is more of an asshat than ever, his mother slips into a desperate oblivion and is unable to think about things that impact him and his Uncle (who happens to be complete awesomesauce) is drunk and depressed. How do these two meet? Basically Arden tries to scare his Uncle out of driving drunk (Carly happens to be on shift that night) and is confronted with a gun wielding Carly who in the words of the wise Uncle, is a little spitfire. CARLY WAS AMAZING. Have I mentioned that?

This book was super fantastic because of the characters. They’re people you can connect to, feel sorry for, hope for and totally fall for. The story was one where the characters have to fight for something real. Like, holy crap it was real. It was nail-biting real. While Carly was fighting for her family, she realizes she’s fighting to find out who the hell she is. Her whole life has been ruled by the prospect of just getting them back, not what they’ll come back to. Arden, he’s fighting to regain what he lost- a partner in crime and a part of himself. When he asks if he has her like she has him, it’s totally swoon inducing and oh so very sweet in a oh you’re just the vanilla ice cream on the cherry cobbler kind of sweet. And is there really a better kind?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's the release day for Laura Salters' romantic suspense!

Today marks the launch of debut romantic suspense author Laura Salters' RUN AWAY with HarperCollins! 

*stuffs confetti in cannon*

Want to know a bit more about RUN AWAY? Your wish is my command! 

When Kayla’s young brother tragically commits suicide, she books onto a gap year scheme to Thailand to escape her grief—and to try and find herself. While she’s out there, she meets a funny, charming guy called Sam and pretty soon they fall in love. But three months later, he vanishes, and she collapses in a pool of his blood. She returns to England suffering from crippling nightmares and the niggling feeling that nothing is as it seems, and the narrative flits between past and present as the reader tries to figure out what happened alongside Kayla. 

RUN AWAY is equal parts fun romance and dark suspense, with exotic locations, drunken antics and plenty of red herrings thrown in for good measure!

You can listen to author Laura Salters talk about RUN AWAY and its inspiration HERE.

Here's the official blurb...

“Ignorance is bliss...until there’s blood involved”

Drenched in blood and sitting in the sweltering interview room of a Thai police station, Kayla Finch knows that Sam, the love of her life, is dead. It doesn't matter that there's no body. All that blood can only mean one thing.

It isn't the first time Kayla's had blood on her hands. After finding her brother dead by his own hand, she tried to outrun her grief by escaping to Thailand. Heart-broken, the last thing she expected was to find love on the smoggy streets of Bangkok. But everyone Kayla loves seems to wind up dead. 

Returning home to England, Kayla is left with a barely-functioning family, a string of gruesome nightmares and the niggling feeling that nothing is as it seems. And as she confronts her brother's suicide, she starts to suspect that something is very wrong.

Three months. Two tragedies. One connection: there's more to both cases than anyone is willing to admit. And Kayla’s determined to uncover the truth…no matter what the cost.

Want to read the first chapter for free? You can find it HERE!

What readers have been saying so far...

"'That constant feeling of impending threat that crawled over her skin like menacing little ants.' That line pretty much summarizes how I felt the entire time I was reading this story. Imagine Gillian Flynn wrote new adult—and set it in Thailand/England instead of the Ozarks—and you've got Laura's Salters' RUN AWAY. Salters is a master of mood and tension, and she's honed the art of alternating timelines in a way that will make hundreds of authors read with envy." Amanda Heger, Goodreads

"I can say, without any doubt, that RUN AWAY is one of my favorite New Adult reads of the year. This book sucked me in from the very first page, and I literally could not put it down. Salters combines heartwrenching romance with a complex and suspenseful plot that is masterfully done." Jamie Howard, Goodreads

"Wow. I just finished this mind-bender and have been sitting here gaping at my e-reader. I must say, as a twist-ending fanatic, I'm generally very good at predicting twists - not this time. Just when I thought I had it figured out, Salters threw another curveball at me that I did not see coming. " Meredith Tate, Goodreads

"Holy psychological thriller! Whatever you think this book is about, you're wrong. This is supposed to be a debut novel, but Salters pulls this off like she's a multi-bestselling-novelist! I am hesitant in saying more because the power and mastery of this story is in what you don't expect. And trust me, you won't expect it!" Ara Grigorian, Goodreads

And a little about the author...

Laura Salters is a suspense author (represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media Inc) from Berwick-upon-Tweed, the northernmost town in England. When Laura isn't writing, reading or thinking about writing or reading, she's a music lover (and terrible singer), pet cuddler, beach-goer, runner (*cough* jogger), passionate foodie, caffeine addict, tennis player, lipstick wearer, Harry Potter fangirl (yes, still), housework dodger and relentless chatterbox. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Righteous by Kim Lehman

Goodreads  / Amazon
Review Copy via Netgalley
February 24, 2015

A story about a troubled girl and her effed up, going-nowhere life.

Quick witted, sharp-tongued Righteous Andrews is troubled by a broken past, fed up with her present circumstances, and resolved to a hopeless future. 

On the first day of her senior year of high school she gets in trouble, landing in the principal’s office . . . again. There she meets Colt Jackson, the new kid with a troubled past of his own. Despite her attempts to avoid him, Colt seems to show up everywhere she doesn’t want him to be, and soon they strike up an unexpected friendship. Righteous is wary. Friendships aren’t her thing. But something about Colt is different; something about him makes her curious, makes her wonder . . . 

Is Colt Jackson really different from everyone else? Does happiness and love truly exist? Or will every relationship in her life always end in lies and heartache?

This is the story about a girl named Righteous. Why do I feel like I should start rapping when I start that sentence? Anyways, she goes by Ria. Her mother, desperate for the attention of a man and with super incredibly crappy taste in them, basically doesn’t acknowledge Ria’s presence until after another man has let her down. And at this point her mom has pretty much gone through the entire bar’s worth of men. Ria has hardened herself. She’s been let down time and time and time again. Ria is pretty much done with any dreams or hopes or friends that she has ever had. When the mysterious new guy comes into town with a sugar sweet smile and a back story that has a dash of murder, Ria refuses to believe the murders and continues of keeping her secrets, blocking out the world and visiting the friend at the nursing home.

This seemed like it would be a terribly ‘me’ story. Girl stands up for who she is (maybe kicks a little bit of society along the way) and then finds a guy who may or may not be a psycho. No insta-love and a whole lotta mystery. And darkness. And ooh ahh moment.

There was quite a bit of that, but I think this book was lacking in one main component that would have made is amazing. What was it missing? I was unable to connect with any of the characters. I mean, the principal was cool. He actually cared what happened to everyone. But the girls were are so unlike what I have ever experienced in my life, and the guys (I mean that bullying scene made me furious) were just all asshats. Pardon my French. But, good lord. What the hell do they think they’re doing? Do they have no moral value what so freaking ever? And, THE ONE GUY THAT STOOD UP FOR THAT POOR KID IS THE ONE ACCUSED OF MURDER? YOU MUST BE JOKING.

So that did infuriate me a bit.

There was also the fact of the ending. No. There will be no spoilers. But, I will say it was way too neat. Especially from all the things that happened in the novel that just weren’t neat.

Overall, this book didn’t meet my standards. It wasn’t a bad read, but it just wasn’t really all my cup of tea either.

So how are y'all today? Meet a murderer? An accused murderer?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Q+A with Model/Author Mark Perini with a #Giveaway

Hello there all you lovely little readers and lovers of book. How are you on this May day?

Today we're going to have a chat with the co-author of the novel Halfway Perfect, a book about the darker side of the model world that has touches of romance. Who are these authors? Mark Perini and Julie Cross. You might know Perini from Ford models and Julie from the Tempest series or the Letters to Nowhere series.

Let's go ahead and get started with the Q+A Perini.


*Mark is the picture on the left and Julie is on the right

1. Did being a model in real life help you write this book?

When we were first brainstorming Halfway Perfect a lot of the stories and background came from my own experiences in the fashion industry. To me some of the allure of our story is that it’s an insider story. You can see the dark side of fashion. The book is of course a work of fiction, but it could all happen in real life.

2. What was the most awkward time you had in front of the camera?

I was shooting an editorial and the photographer wanted to capture the moment before a kiss. He explained the shot to me beforehand, so I knew what I was getting myself into. But I'm not sure he mentioned it to the girl I was shooting with. I'm almost positive it was her first job and she was trying to make a good impression. When we were just about ready to shoot I introduced myself, because we hadn't met previously and we assumed the position.

As soon as the photographer clicked off his first frame she went in for tongue just full on tonsil hockey. I was so shocked I put my hands up and stepped back, so she grabbed my face and held on. I'm pretty sure there are pictures of that laying around some office somewhere still making people laugh.

3. What was the coolest place you've visited from your travels?

Thailand really stands out to me. I felt very at home the whole time. My  friend lives there and he really showed us the local experience in Bangkok. Then we went south to Krabi and it was truly paradise. It really felt like I was in Jurassic Park. I kept waiting for a Pterodactyl to come flying out of the Jungle and chase us down. Thailand is so ancient and untouched, it really reminds you of where we all came from.

4. For all the wannabe models or writers out there- what advice do you have?

My Dad gave me this advice he said "You only get one shot at life— you might as well do what makes you happy, because you only die with regrets." That offset my trajectory and has been wisdom that I’ve carried with me ever since. Find what you love and keep on keepin’ on.

Title: Halfway Perfect
Authors: Julie Cross and Mark Perini
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult


Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry

Eve's time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she's determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex.

While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his co-star, Elana.

But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won't let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?

About the Authors

Mark Perini is a New York City-based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect. Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.
Mark began his career as an international fashion model ten years ago, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven wonders of the ancient world before he's thirty. Four down, three to go.

Julie Cross is the international bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy. Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. Her knowledge of the modeling and fashion world comes from viewings of the movies The Devil Wears Prada, and Zoolander, and her unwavering devotion to the first three seasons of Ugly Betty. On a recent trip to NYC, she also took the time to walk past both the Gucci and Prada stores, spending at least 15 seconds viewing items through the windows.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh-So-Quoteable (On the Jellicoe Road)


I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road. 


So y'all, thoughts and comments. I haven't read this one yet. I know! I know! *hides* 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Ruin of the World by Nazarea Andrews


Yesterday was the release day blitz for THE RUIN OF THE WORLD by Nazarea Andrews. This is the fourth and final installment in The World Without End series. Don't miss this exciting conclusion, be sure to enter to win a zombie prize pack below, and play our quiz to find out which character from the series you would be during a zombie apocalypse!

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When the zombies rose, we thought the world ended. It didn’t—it just broke, in a way we couldn’t fix. And we found ways to continue, reasons to fight. Faith. Family. Politics. Obsession. The most dangerous of all—hope. But when all of that is stripped away, and nothing remains but rage and betrayal—that is the true end of the world.

Return to the World Without End, for a final battle for hope and survival in the exciting conclusion to Nazarea Andrews’ phenomenal series.



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I have little left in life. Little that matters. Kelsey has been lost to me for almost a decade, and I have turned away from every door my family name might open. Even places where I could be accepted because of my prestige and the dubious favor of 1, it’s not real. The favor is bought with blood and people are fickle. So fucking fickle. The man I called brother is dead, his ashes scattered across a nameless desert, a thousand miles in my past. Even that has been taken from me. And I accepted it. I accepted every fucking thing, adapting and moving forward. Because that’s what you do. You move forward, and you adapt and you fucking get on with it, because the alternative is no better than death. I don’t know how to move on from this. I don’t know how to let go of the only thing that matters. What is the only thing that matters? She always gave the answer I demanded, the one that hid the truth. The one that framed it in a way that made her comfortable and able to accept me. I can see her now, the annoyance and the desire she tried to fight, the resignation, the fierce hope. What is the only thing that matters? Her.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION: Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. AUTHOR LINKS: You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Booktropolous. Newsletter: