Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

My Thoughts:
Every time I read a book in this series I think, "OMG this is my favorite book!".  With each new book comes an amazing story and more characters to fall in love with.  Every one of them wonderfully complicated and fascinating.  I loved how Haley & West kept saving each other both physically & emotionally.  I wish I could be as kick-ass as Haley, literally.  When it came to protecting those she loved she was fierce!  West had a lot of growing up to do.  There was a twist in his story I was NOT expecting and I was shocked.  It was the perfect situation to really help him evolve.  Both Haley & West had some past wounds they needed to overcome.  While they did help each other some, in the end they both had to face their "demons" alone and came out stronger for it.  I binge read this book like it was my first meal after not eating for weeks!  I would read all the books in this series over again.  I can't wait for the next one!

Recommended for readers 15 & up.  Mild to moderate language & sexual situations.

Katie McGarry - http://www.katielmcgarry.com/

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

My Thoughts:
I've been on quite a reading binge lately.  Wild Cards has been one of the better books I've read in the last few weeks.  I'm from TX so it didn't hurt one bit that Derek was a smart mouth, boot wearing, piece of eye candy.  I can see how he could drive most girls to do some crazy stuff.  His need to constantly push Ashtyn away was a little annoying, but in the end he got out of his own way.  Ashtyn is not your typical female MC.  She's one of few female high school football players and she's fought her butt off to prove she deserves to be on the field.  I loved the banter and sarcasm that flowed between Derek and Ashtyn.  The chemistry is H~O~T, HOT when a guy and a girl get such a rush annoying each other.  The only thing that bothered me about this story was the ending.  It was a little too perfect.  Without smacking you with spoilers, I'll just say it's a little unrealistic that Derek's grandmother would do what she did.  Also, a little more should have been said about Derek & Ashtyn's trip to Texas in relation to the travel.  Texas is huge and it takes at least 2 hours to get from one big city to another.  Unless her football camp was within about 30 minutes of his grandmother's house it's unlikely she'd be calling a cab to take her between the two places.  I know that seems like a minor detail to focus on, but it bugged none the less.  Over all I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, young adult romance to read.  I disagree with Amazon's Grade 9 & up rating.

I'd say for readers 16 & up.  Moderate sexual content and language.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop ~ INT


It's time to get out those sparklers (unless you're under a fire ban) and celebrate the USA!!
For my stop on this hop one winner can win their choice of a $10 Amazon or iTunes GC.

Have a fantastic 4th of July if you're in the US and great weekend all around!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop


It's that time of year!!  Can you smell the sunscreen and the freshly mowed lawns?  I love this time of year.  I love ice cream too and I'm sure that's no coincidence.
For this splash on the hop, one lucky person will win a $10 Amazon GC code to get a nice pool or beach side read.  
I would love to recommend 1 or 20 for you but that's like choosing which child I love most.  (It depends on the day & the amount of eye rolling that's in sued.)
I do like everything by Rachael Anderson that I've read so that might help.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Post: Sherry Soule's Dream Cast for Starlight Saga

“Author Sherry Soule’s Dream Cast” - #StarlightSaga

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new upper YA series: the “Starlight Saga” (paranormal romance with a Sci-Fi concept) with scorching-hot character chemistry and exciting suspense on June 26, 2014.
To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.
So without further ado here are Sherry’s top actor picks...
For my tough heroine, Sloane Masterson, I think this lovely and brilliant actress:  Lucy Hale (just imagine her with purple hair) would be perfect!

Tough talking, girl reporter, Sloane is not your typical heroine. She’s a feisty, disarming, and a fiercely independent seventeen-year-old. But she’s not flawlessly beautiful, or super thin, or extremely intelligent like some YA protagonists. Sloane has very real and relatable body issues and insecurities like most teen girls do. She favors the dark-side in clothes and music, loves to watch scary movies, and likes hanging out in graveyards. She uses her wits to cover her emotional scars, and if you can break through her tough exterior, you’ll have a fearless, loyal friend for life.
For the part of the stoic and brooding, Hayden Lancaster, I think this dynamic actor would be great, Matt Lanter.

At first glance, it seems that eighteen-year-old Hayden has a detached, unemotional exterior, but what lies beneath is a kindhearted individual that will go out of their way to help a friend.   
For Sloane’s best friend, Viola Saks, this remarkable actress would be fantastic: Camilla Belle.

Outgoing and feisty, Viola’s a fun-loving spirit girl, who loves to read. Never lacking in optimism, Viola is frequently seen as a crusader for the rights of others and a defender of lost causes. Popularity makes no difference to her as long as she believes in the cause.
For Devin Greenspan, Editor of the school paper, I like this gifted actor best: Ed Westwick.

Devin has had a crush on Sloane for years and never gave the hope of one day hooking up with her. But when Hayden becomes her best friend, he feels threatened by the newcomer.
Only one actor comes to mind that could portray Hayden’s younger brother, Zach Lancaster, and it is actor, Robbie Amell.

Zach and his brother grew up in a close-knit family where outside friends are discouraged. So when Hayden becomes good friends with Sloane, Zach tries to sabotage the friendship and strongly opposes the relationship.

 

For Sloane’s good friends, Tanisha and Raymond, I like both of these talented actors: Erica Hubbard and Dylan O’Brien:
Tanisha and Raymond are loyal friends that hang in Sloan’s crew. Tanisha dresses sort of Goth, and she’s really into Wicca and alternative bands. Raymond is more punk rock, and plays the role of the tortured musician to perfection.

VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga
High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.
Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.
They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.
Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....
The LOST IN STARLIGHT eBooks can be purchased from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, & iBooks on June 26th.
The paperback edition from Amazon on June 16th 2014.
Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Twitter @SherrySoule: http://twitter.com/SherrySoule

Please add LOST IN STARLIGHT to your TBR on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20707942-lost-to-starlight 

Kindle Fire Giveaway from I'm A Reader, Not a Writer

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter. June Kindle Fire  
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grief, Hoping the cracks aren't Showing: A non-book related post

I know I've been MIA for a while.  I'd like to take a moment to tell you why.  
The gorgeous woman you see in this picture is my step-mom. She married my dad when I was only 2 yrs. old and loved me like I was her own.  Until May 1, 2014 I had not known life without her.  She passed away suddenly at the young age of 61.  She was the center of our family's universe.  She was our sun.  She was my mom, my role model and one of my best friends.  I still have my bio-mom.  I am so blessed.  I had 2 beautiful, amazing women to raise me.  That still doesn't change the fact that there is a GINORMOUS hole in my life.  She was so loved in her community that it was standing room only at her funeral.  As you can tell by her smile she was pure sunshine.  People gravitated toward her like moths to a flame.  When I was little and couldn't find her in our church building all I'd have to do is stop & listen for her laugh.  She was such a fun grandmother that my kids called her Xtreme MeMe.  She didn't bake cookies with them but when it was time to make ice cream sundaes she'd line the kids up and squirt whip cream from the can in all their mouths.  
How will we ever come out of this darkness without her bright light guiding us?  That was a rhetorical question.  I know that the answer is time.  It's my faith in God, and only that, that has kept me from drowning in this grief.  Whether you're a believer or not, is not for me to judge.  But it's what gets me through. Knowing that if she were given the choice to come back or stay in Heaven she'd choose Heaven.  Regrets are for those left behind.  The should'a, would'a, could'a's are for us to learn from.   

I know that what I'm going through isn't uncommon or unheard of.  In fact, when you put it into perspective, so many people have it much worse than me.  However, that doesn't stop the overwhelming grief that attacks me like a silent stalker at any time, day & night.  My dear friend, Jana, called it Gorilla grief because it attacks you like gorilla warfare.   I'd heard others describe this kind of pain.  Like a tidal wave that over takes you and you can hardly breathe.  In the last few weeks I have come to realize how people can actually die of a broken heart.  Pain so intense that it feels physical and all I want to do is scream in agony.  I know that things will be easier one day.  If for no other reason than it's what she expects of me.  She expects me to pick up the pieces of my lost & broken family and try to form them back together as best as I can.  I know I'm an adult but in the course of my life I've never felt more like a kid pretending to be a grown up.  

The next several months/years will be a journey of pain, adjustment and acceptance.  I am so thankful for the family and friends that have supported me and that will be there to see me through.  Kindness has been shown in forms I never knew were possible.  

So, I will get back to reading soon.  Thank you for sticking with my blog and understanding.  

Jeannette
Psalm 98:14
 
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