Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Lightning Strikes by: Theresa Parker

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Lightning Strikes An Andromeda Spencer Novel Book 1
Published: April 27, 2014
Genres: Humor, mystery/thriller, young adult
Format: eBook
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As if being struck by lightning wasn’t bad enough. I spent a month in a coma. Of course that was when I was a teenager. It left me with some pretty unusual abilities. For instance, I can find just about anything or anyone. Oh, and I can see ghosts, too!
I pick up extra cash working with the local P.D. I’m their go-to girl when they have someone they need to find. Despite all of this, my life is pretty boring — that is until the very hot Detective Nick Cavanaugh came into my life. Boy did we get off on the wrong foot. I was asked to pair up with Detective Cavanaugh to look for three missing children. Did I mention that he doesn’t believe in my superpowers?
When we discover the children have been kidnapped, the search takes us up into the mountains and old mining towns. With time running out and my abilities going wonky, Nick is ready to drop me from the case. Pffft! As if that will stop me!
—Andromeda Spencer

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review Tour & Giveaway: Made for You by Melissa Marr


Made for You by Melissa Marr
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Southern Gothic, Young Adult


Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.




***** 5 Stars! *****

I was already familiar with this author, having read the majority of the “Wicked Lovely” books, but I have to say I enjoyed this stand alone book even more. Eva is a likeable character and her best friend Grace… well; everyone needs a Grace in their life.

Eva is hit by a car, survives, and is scarred and broken. Her boyfriend, Robert, masquerades as well-bred gentleman but it pretty much an ahole. While in the hospital, long lost best friend and love of her live, Nate, shows up. In between trying to recover and dealing with a new gift/curse that shows her how someone dies, bodies of those close to Eva start piling up. Back home she is in a race to figure out who is the killer obsessed with her, killing for her attention and love.

I wouldn’t call this a southern gothic. It’s an excellent suspense thriller with a bit of paranormal tied in. The book does not have any slumps in action and I was able to guess the killer fairly early on, but the twists kept me wondering. The characters are interesting, the setting is a familiar small town/small social hierarchy (having lived in a small Texas town), and mystery, suspense, and horror are right on par. The viewpoint of the book also goes between Eva, The Judge (what our lovely murderer calls himself), and best friend Grace. I didn’t find it difficult to switch between characters; I found it welcoming and only added to the creepy factor.

Awesome read… would highly recommend it for multiple genre lovers.



Hmm, I’m never good at the bio bit. I used to teach college & bartend, now I write novels. I love to meet new people, to hear their stories, to walk through new streets and see new vistas. I enjoy art in all its guises–graffiti, surrealist paintings, classic sculptures, tattoos, interesting buildings, Renoir, photography . . . Art & nature, they feed my soul & thus my muse.

Author links:



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Friday, September 26, 2014

:::waves::: I'm Still Here!

Hey everyone! Ren here.... so if you haven't noticed I've been MIA for quite some time. I review a book here and there but you can never plan on how much life will get in the way. I'm still here! I've needed to recharge my batteries and take a breather. There's nothing like trying to write a review when you're burnt out. It's worse than writers block. I don't want to force it. I want to read books and talk/share them with others. I want to stalk my favorite authors and fangirl over my blogger buddies. I had to reevaluate the way I blogged. I love sharing books with people but I remember joining a tour and later finding out that the author was a plagiarizer GASP! I know...it's a travesty. I came to the conclusion that I need to only sign up if I know the author. I know that's not fair to others but you can never be too sure. I can't read every book but I notice the people who put in the work to get to know you aren't usually the ones doing the unthinkable. I urge you to add me on Facebook. I am always willing to help if I know you. https://www.facebook.com/laureeezy <<<That's me!

So yeah....blogger fail. I'm trying to find a system that works for me. I don't want to be one of those bloggers that only does cover reveals and promos.I try to write helpful posts sometimes but I've had a lot of things really put into perspective lately. I lost my cousin to a drunk driver. My family needs to come first. As much as I love to read, I also love to spend time with me son. I work 3 jobs and he goes to school from 8 am till 5:30 pm. This single mom gig is hard for me. I want to be the best mom I can be for him.

With that said, here's what I've been doing.

PROOF-READING! I'm D.T. Dyllin's bitch...seriously. I do her promo stuff, publicity, telling her no, and proof-reading her books before release. When I proof read I go through every single line, sometimes even twice. I have to make sure it's the best it can be.

I've proofed these in the past few months. I don't think it's appropriate for me to review a book that I've proofed but hey, I can recommend it! Read all of these. You will love them!

Becoming Death (The Death Trilogy #3)AlexxxaE-Day (M-Day, #2)Kat Scratched

Here are several other books that I've read and/or currently reading that I have not reviewed but have enjoyed. (Seriously, it takes me FOREVER to read)

Opposition (Lux, #5)Embracing Death (The Death Trilogy #2)Talon (Talon, #1)SublimeEnchanted Heart (Game of Hearts, #1)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="98" class=" "]The Gatekeeper's Sons (Gatekeeper's Saga, #1) I started this one MONTHS ago...that's how slow I am[/caption]

These books were my "not so much" pile. I DNF'd them both at 40%

 RawStorm Siren (Storm Siren, #1)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway: No thanks, Mommy, I peed yesterday by Sandy Appleyard

No thanks, Mommy, I peed yesterday

By Sandy Appleyard

60 pages
Do you have kids? Do you sometimes want to send them to their bedroom until puberty? And other times, do you want to hug them until they burst?

What about those moments when they say something so innocent and incredibly cute or hilarious that you wish you had a pen and paper so you could remember it?

Well, that’s exactly what I did. My children have given my husband and I so many gifts, but the most precious has been laughter. I made a record of each funny or cute thing that they said since the moment they could speak.

It’s all here in this short yet unforgettable ‘Kids Say The Darndest Things’ style memoir.

No thanks, Mommy, I peed yesterday is a witty, side-splittingly funny comedy that can be enjoyed by both young and old.

The humorous comments, explanations, and kid-thoughts will stay with you for years to come!
Buy Links: 


Victoria was sporting a really cool pair of light-up shoes that she got for her birthday.

Victoria: “Mommy, are these shoes really cool? Do you wish you had a pair?”

Me: “Of course, I didn’t have shoes like that when I was a kid.”

Victoria: “Why? Because there was no electricity?”
I never quite understood what being a mommy was or the weird stuff I heard parents yelling until I became one. Our son will be three next month and I'm still baffled by many things he does...  the insistent need to watch the Mighty Machine's train episode again being one. The sweet hugs, beautiful hazel eyes, and "choo choo"s of Joe make it worthwhile though. It's amazing to watch your child grow up and especially when they develop speech...

In her lovely short, but sweet read, Sandy Appleyard, conveys the hilarity, frustration, and just plain weirdness of being a parent by reminiscing quotes of things her kiddos have said, asked, and answered. Highly recommend to anyone who works with or has children to be reminded of why we do what we do.

Sandy Appleyard writes both fiction and non-fiction: memoirs, self-help, suspense, romance and mystery/police-procedural.

When she isn’t writing books, she writes blogs, reads, exercises and obsessively cleans her house.

Sandy is also an animal lover and gives regularly to local Humane Societies. She lives in Niagara Falls,Canada with her husband, two daughters and her cat.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Short Story Review: The Ivory Tower by Kirstin Pulioff



“The Ivory Tower” was an awesome short read. Sometimes, in between working, being married, and being a mother I don’t have but a few minutes to sit and read. A richly detailed short story like this can keep me tided over until I get time for a full reading session.

The main character, Simone, is a mischievous orphan who pushes the spoken and literal boundaries of the camp she lives in when skipping classes and playing a game with a friend. She discovers, with violence and consequences, that all is not as it seems in their small world. Simone is a strong character and the author does a great job of world building and character creation in a few short pages.



Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in the foothills of Colorado, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she's not writing an adventure, she's busy living one.

She loves to hear from readers and fans. Please connect with her on any of her sites:
Webpage: www.kirstinpulioff.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kirstinpulioffauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KirstinPulioff

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: The Soul of the Witch by Dana Michelle Burnett

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

21842038Title: The Soul of the Witch by Dana Michelle Burnett
Published:  July 19, 2014
Pages: 246
Format: eBook
Buy the Book 

From the author of the haunting Spiritus Series, comes an epic, mesmerizing novel of witchcraft and revenge.
Once again, she sweeps readers away with her spellbinding storytelling and the crafting of legend. Dana Michelle Burnett creates a reality of seductive witches, murder, revenge, and an ancient secret going back four centuries.
In a small Indiana town, alone in the dark, a man watches and waits...Waiting to see if the stories are true about The Soul of the Witch.
It begins with two girls, the very best of friends with an amazing psychic bond. As children they were lonely outsiders, but now as adults, Devan and Janesa’s powers are growing stronger and more difficult to control. When a mysterious stranger comes to town offering to tell them a dark and magical secret about their past, they are thrown into an old battle they didn’t start, but one that threatens to claim their very lives.
Jealousy and suspicion threaten their lifelong bond as they set out to solve the mystery of their past and their budding supernatural powers. The novel moves from past to present from the small town of New Albany, to nineteenth century England, to the witch hunts in Ireland, and back again. A complex tale of seduction and evil unfolds--starting on a fateful night in the sixteenth century because of a forbidden love and a curse . . . A curse meant to punish and torment throughout the following centuries.
Can they trust this stranger? Can they trust themselves as the dark secrets they learn threaten to tear them apart? Will the curse at last claim The Soul of the Witch?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Penned Con 2014 Recap

Hey everyone!! I just got back from Penned Con on Sunday night and I'm still not ready to get back into the swing of things. In case you aren't aware, Penned Con donated proceeds from the convention to Action For Autism, a St. Louis based organization dedicated to improving the lives of autistic children. This year they've raised over $11,000! That's incredible! Thanks to all of the volunteers, Amy Miles, and Rick Miles for putting together an amazing event.

I'm no stranger to conventions. I usually just go to see my friends and meet new authors. I was so out of my element here! I literally only knew about 10% of the people there. Here I am trying to blend in with the wall. It was overwhelming but oh so wonderful! My journey started at 2:30 am on Thursday morning. Got my shiz ready to go and got my butt on a plane. I landed around 8 am local time and drove to Indiana to pick up the lovely Desiree DeOrto. I swear, she tried to feed me to the corn fairies. I've never seen so many fields and corn in my life! WHERE'S THE CONCRETE?! We have a funny video heading back to St. Louis on Instagram.

The panels were awesome! I usually feel like most panels are geared towards writers but I found these were easy to enjoy as a reader. Jasinda Wilder and Abbi Glines were out keynotes for the weekend. These ladies are amazing and I feel honored to have met them. AND I MET COLLEEN HOOVER!! :::thud:::

C.J. Roberts is SO FRICKIN FUNNY! I want to be like her when I grow up lol. Of course I'm not that outgoing, hence the trying to blend in with the walls, but I met some awesome people. I'm sure I'll forget some but here they are... Eric Frickin Asher and his gf Amy! The WordWenches, Desiree DeOrto, Leann Cavallaris, Sarah Pepper, Mindy Hayes, Julie Cassar, JD Nelson, Colleen Hoover, Candy Chapman, Amy Remus, JA Huss, Alison Pensy, Mary Beth Witkop, Angela Pratt, Venture Cecena, Tish Thawer and Jennifer Laslie. Of course I got to see my old favs, Sarah Ashley Jones, Michele G. Miller, Kendra Malcom, Nancy Byers, Kelsey Keeton, Zac Rantz, Felicia Tatum, Susan Burdorf, Eva Pohler, Theresa Kay, Chanda Hahn, Mindy Ruiz, Hope Collier, Danielle Bannister, Amy Miles, Rick Miles, Jordan Deen, and Abbi Glines. I am most likely forgetting someone...my bad!

It was such a blast! I hope you will all check it out for next year. As promised, here is my vlog from Penned with my book haul and fav. swag!

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Frostbitten by Heather Beck

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

22600360Title: Frostbitten
Published: June 23, 2014
Pages: 226
Format: eBook
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 Great beauty hides dark secrets...
Seventeen-year-old Anastasia Lockhart has never led an easy life, but when she starts getting into serious trouble, she’s sent to live with her grandparents in Cedar Falls. The small, picturesque town hasn’t changed since she visited four years ago, with one exception – the presence of a handsome, mysterious boy named Frost. Despite warnings from her grandparents and friends to stay away from Frost, Anastasia can’t deny their attraction, and the more time they spend together, the deeper in love they fall. Unfortunately, Frost has a secret that is beyond Anastasia’s wildest imagination, and she soon finds herself in the midst of a supernatural legend that has haunted Cedar Falls for years.
Can Anastasia and Frost’s love really overcome anything, or are their fates much darker?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: The Prisoner by Rachael Wade

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Title: The Prisoner
by Rachael Wade
Series: The Replacement 1.5
Also in this series: The Replacement
Also by this author: Declaration, The Replacement
Published by Rabbit Hole Press on July 24th, 2014
Genres: adult, contemporary, new adult, romance
Pages: 75
Format: eBook

***THE PRISONER is a novella (approx. 25,000 words) intended to be read AFTER The Replacement. Contains explicit material and language.***

My name is Christian Walker, and Elise Duchamp is my drug of choice.

No matter how hard I try to break the habit, it’s a lost cause. Okay, maybe I haven’t really tried to quit this particular habit. All I can think about is owning her. Making her mine. Can you really blame me? With that sinful body, luscious mouth, and wicked tongue, she’s every man’s dream, and she knows it.

No one is immune to her charm, not even me, a man who has everything—a beautiful wife, an office with a view, and more money than most people can spend in one lifetime. Only I know how to make her toes curl. Only I know her body better than the other men she screws in her free time. None of them can compare to me.

But the joke is on me. I’m the prisoner.

The one who will never compare to him. The one man who makes me see red. His name is stored in her cell phone. It’s the first one she calls out to, the first one she cries for when all hell breaks loose. Ryder Jacobson.

The name makes me cringe.

She loves him, and I love her. In my own way, I always will. But the bad guy doesn’t always belong with the bad girl. Sometimes the bad girl needs a good man to believe in her, to give her that final push toward ultimate transformation. I wish I was that good man. That I could be her happily ever after. I guess that’s the thing about prisoners, though. They’re left alone with their torment, and in the end, they have no one to blame but themselves.
The Prisoner is Christian's retelling of his and Elise Duchamp's story. She's deemed the town whore and he can't get her out of his mind. When I read The Replacement, I had a million emotions running rampant in my brain and it was a tough read for me...enjoyable but hit a little close to home. I liked Christian's character and felt like he needed more. I'm glad that he got his own novella but I'm still left here wanting more. This would be a great start to a spinoff novel featuring him. I love his whole tortured demeanor. He deserves to have his story. Do you hear me, Rachael?! Christian is a man that knows what he wants and he goes for it. So bossy and so sexy! I do think that he has a lot more growing to do in his journey to finding love again. Not quite there but almost. I don't like to post spoilers so I'm going to end it there. I highly recommend reading this entire series back to back. 

The Replacement by Rachael Wade

Series: The Replacement #1

Publication date: January 27th 2014

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

You can read my review of The Replacement >>here<<

*Contains sexually explicit content and mature subject matter, including language and elements of abuse.* A gritty New Adult drama about a young woman’s self-destructive quest to find purpose, self-worth, and love in a broken world.

My name is Elise Duchamp. I’m twenty-three years old and I’m known as the town whore. No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like, because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing—the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need. All things considered, I’m not completely reckless. I’m safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone’s girlfriend. I’m convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago. But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I’d go to in order to keep it that way.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17608477-the-replacement?ac=1 

Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway (blog exclusive: signed print book!): Plagues of Eden (The Eden Thrillers #4) by B.K. Sherer & Sharon Linnea

buyBuy-book-from-Amazon-buttonAdd-to-Goodreads-buttonArundel Publishing



*** 3.5 Stars ***

Some slow, long, and boring weeks it’s a blast to read a riptide of an adventure novel. This is the first book in the Eden series I have read, but it was fairly easy to follow along in the storyline. I read up a bit on character backgrounds and the blurbs of the first three books to get a bit of an idea, but really this book can be read alone. The book could appeal to a mature YA audience or adult. I agree with other readers that the book could work for either male or female readers. There is more an emphasis on the overall storyline rather than just focusing on specific genre, such as romance.

Army Chaplain Jaime is a strong female lead and is supported by her husband, Yani, and rockstar Mark. Someone sinister is releasing plagues such as those rained on Egypt in the far past. Hopping around the world and to one crazy and explosive mystery to the next, everyone races to try and stop the nefarious wiles of a madman that might just start the next great world war.

Fast moving adventure, mystery, and out of world possibilities keeps the book entertaining and open to a wide audience in how to interpret the story.


Sharon Linnea is the author of the new mystery These Violent Delights as well as the four Eden thrillers, Chasing Eden, Beyond Eden, Treasure of Ede and the new Plagues of Eden. She has also written award-winning biographies of Raoul Wallenberg and Hawaii’s Princess Kaiulani. She lives outside New York City with her family.





B.K. Sherer holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Education from Oklahoma State University. A Presbyterian minister, she serves on active duty as a chaplain in the US Army, currently stationed at West Point. The authors first collaborated on a play about the French Underground for their sixth grade talent show in Springfield, Missouri, and have been friends ever since.






To win a signed copy of this book, please leave a comment below! One winner will be chosen randomly on 9/14/2014!