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Lover's Surrender by J.C. Reed: Promo!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Lover's Surrender by J.C. Reed


Title: The Lover's Surrender
Author: J.C. Reed
Released: November 25th, 2015
Genre: Mature New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance
350pp
Synopsis:

LOVE…sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. And sometimes it’s dangerous.

Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, is sure of one of thing. She should never fully trust someone who has secrets. Especially when said bad boy is the sexiest man walking on earth. She is running away and has no intention of ever returning to him. But when a friend is killed and the one man she thought she would never meet again is accused of murder, she knows the story doesn’t add up.

Dangerously sexy and arrogant millionaire Jett Mayfield knows his secrets are not doing him any favors. However, when they serve to save Brooke’s life, he has no intention of revealing them. When problems spiral out of control and his life is turned upside down, he knows he needs her more than ever. He needs her more than he knows. But will he be strong enough to do what needs to be done?

In a world where truth shatters and danger is closing in on them, where love is their only sanctuary, will they be able to find each other or is it time to let each other go?

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Wasted Time: Promo and Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Wasted time mya Wasted Time by Mya O'Malley Do you believe that some souls are destined to be together, even through hardship and deceit? After 9-11, Declan’s heart is torn between wanting to stay with Morgan and needing to fight for his beloved country. Knowing that the future may be uncertain, he kisses his fiancée goodbye and focuses on his mission until that dark day from which he will never fully recover. Injured in Afghanistan, Declan has lost more than part of his leg; he’s lost part of himself, now plagued in grief and guilt. How could he possibly ask Morgan to take care of him for the rest of his life, being nothing but a burden to her? Which would be more heartbreaking, feigning his own death or bringing her unhappiness every day? If only he could eradicate her from his mind and be at peace with his decision. Morgan prays day and night for Declan’s safe return, but when his letters stop coming, Morgan knows in her heart that she has lost him forever. Morgan has a hard time believing in fate and destiny after her fiancé is taken from her. With Declan gone, Morgan’s hope for true love is destroyed, but eventually she finds comfort in the arms of another, even though Morgan’s new love knows that her heart belongs to Declan. Will Morgan eventually be able to move on, or will Declan haunt her dreams forever?
Excerpt: Her face was the only thing that had kept him sane during his deployment. At this moment, however, thoughts of Morgan had been pushed to the side for reasons of pure survival. Declan wiped the mud from his eye with a swift movement of his hand, just quick enough so that he could see again. Booming thunder went off near and far. Swearing under his breath, Declan closed one eye and squinted the other shut as he spied his target. Breathe. One, two, three… he could do this. The first time he’d had to shoot another man he had faltered, hesitated only the briefest of seconds, during which time the man escaped his line of sight and shot a fellow soldier in the leg, causing serious injury. This time, Declan concentrated, aimed his M4 rifle, and fired. The distinct thud of a man dropping to the ground confirmed the target had been hit. Swiping at the sweat in his eyes from the sweltering mid-day heat, Declan gulped and struggled to his knees. Lining up his rifle again, his neck and shoulders ached with fatigue. He bit down and gritted his teeth, tasting dirt while fighting off the pain. It seemed as if hours had gone by, when in fact, it had probably only been minutes when finally the haunting sound of gunfire ceased. Not one to trust silence in any setting, Declan mentally counted upward until he reached near fifty. “All clear,” his buddy, Sean, called out. “All clear.” Declan, always cautious, still maintained his position until he heard his fellow soldiers from his platoon begin to speak. Peeking up from his ravine, Declan rose slowly to his feet as the rifle was pressed to his side. Surveying the damage, it appeared that several of their enemies were lying still on the ground. The man he had shot lay still, appearing lifeless. Another man lay several feet away. It seemed the enemies had taken off, deserting the boundaries of the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. His platoon mates fell silent, all business as they quickly gathered their belongings to head back to base. Declan clutched his rifle, drawing closer to his victim. Curiosity had gotten the best of him. Fully aware of his previous actions, Declan stepped even closer. He had never killed a man before — injured, yes, but never killed. This man did not appear to be alive. His heart sped up as sweat caused his fatigues to cling to his body. For God’s sake, the man looked to have been only in his early twenties at best. What have I done? What are we doing here? Waves of nausea rose and Declan swallowed hard. “Hey! Step back!” Sean called out. “Move out! I repeat, move out!” Hearing his friend call out to him, Declan turned toward the sound of his voice, realizing his mistake seconds too late. He should have known better; he should have. But no amount of training can prepare you for taking another man’s life. Glancing swiftly at Sean through tear-stained eyes, he saw the movement in his peripheral vision. Sean raced to the open dirt road. They were sitting ducks, in plain sight. The man that Declan had presumed dead, the one he had shot, raised his own rifle and fired at Sean, who dropped instantly to ground. “No! No!” Declan spun his head back to the imminent threat, a moment too late. The force of the explosion knocked him to the ground in an instant. Morgan’s face was the last thing that registered in his mind as another shot fired, leaving his world black.   ****   Clouds scattered overhead, cries of gulls bringing back another time, a different memory, sitting here with Declan by her side. Morgan squeezed her jaw, fighting back the pain. Months later, there was still no word from Declan. On the Internet, she had searched out his name relentlessly but there was no mention of Declan, no death certificates and his name couldn’t be found on any list of casualties of the war. It was as if he had simply disappeared, but that wasn’t possible and she feared the worst. He was gone and there was no closure for Morgan, as his only living relatives were his mom and some family living on the west coast, whom Declan hadn’t seen in years. Even she and Declan’s old friend, Stephen seemed to be losing touch. She could sit on this beach and watch the water forever; it was a place Declan had cherished, a place she felt close to him. Never again would her life be the same without Declan Blake. How was she going to make it without him? The world was quiet and without joy for Morgan. Even Morgan’s mother nagged her to speak with a therapist. She didn’t see the purpose of smiling or laughing when it was all forced. Constant thoughts of Declan plagued her day and night. Morgan nearly jumped when her cell rang. First instincts were to let the call go to voicemail, but she knew the person calling would only persist. That’s how it had been lately; she would ignore phone calls only to find tons of messages waiting. It was Elle, calling for the second time that day. “Hi, Elle.” “Where have you been? I’ve been trying to call you for hours,” Elle exclaimed. “I don’t know, I’m just hanging out.” “Down by the river again?” Elle inquired. “Yup,” Morgan responded as she moved her foot around in the sand. “Figured as much.” Elle’s voice sounded odd, almost as if she were hearing her close by. Morgan turned to see her friend walking toward her on the grassy path leading to the small beach. Rising to her feet, Morgan felt tears escape. Elle was by her side, arms wrapped around her within moments. Morgan released Elle and took a small step back. “Oh, Elle, what am I going to do?” she sobbed. “You’re going to live, dammit. Declan would want you to be happy.” “How? How can I forget about him, just move on?” It wasn’t possible, she had tried, and it just wasn’t working. Even when she was at work, she was just going through the motions; she did her job, but her heart wasn’t the same. “I think it’s time for you to see someone to talk about all of this. You’ve waited long enough.” She was right and so was her mother, believe it or not. “I will, Elle. I will because I don’t know what else to do.” “Morgan, you’re the strongest person I know. You have so much happiness and love to share. I have full confidence in you. You’re going to make it and come out stronger in the end.” Elle spoke through her own tears. “Thanks, Elle. I love you.” Morgan felt better knowing there was someone on her side rooting for her.  
add to goodreads Mya OmalleyAuthor Mya O'Malley Mya O'Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of a boxer, Destiny and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students. Mya's passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her eighth novel.
50_Amazon_Paypal   $50 Blast Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/16/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

Sunday, November 22, 2015
In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

Goodreads Summary

My mom, sister, and I all loved this book!  Heather Petty has the perfect depiction of Sherlock Holmes and his eventual nemesis, Moriarty.  I loved how she integrated them into a high school and had them solve a crime together that eventually sets the scene for why Moriarty hates Sherlock.  The novel is mainly about Mori and told from her perspective.  The reader will love learning about her family and the difficulties she faces.  It makes her seem more human and a more pitiable character.  

Sherlock is the love interest and eventual nemesis. I found myself mainly on Mori's side even though some of what she did smacks of budding criminal.  I loved her character-driven, brilliant, and cunning.  The way the book was written was different from what I had scene before and very unique.  I'm looking forward to many more books from this author.  The way the plot tied together in the end was brilliant on the author's end.  I was truly surprised at the ending.  This book is perfect for young adult/teen readers...even adult readers!

5 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

List To Me by Kristen Proby: Cover Reveal!

Friday, November 20, 2015

We are so excited to bring you the Cover Reveal for Kristen Proby’s LISTEN TO ME. Releasing April 12, 2016, LISTEN TO ME is the first novel in Kristen’s Fusion Series, published by William Morrow. Be sure you preorder this one today!

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  About LISTEN TO ME: In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart. Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy...exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need. Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him. Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?   Image Map Author Pic - Kristen ProbyAbout Kristen Proby: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Proby is the author of the popular With Me in Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type—fiercely protective and a bit bossy—and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate, and sunshine. And naps. Visit her at KristenProby.com.      

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  InkSlinger-Blogger banner-New This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Roman's Holiday by Susan Aylworth: Promo and Giveaway!

Roman's holiday cover Roman's Holiday by Susan Aylworth
Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.
Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.
  Excerpt “Ro-man! Ro-man!” A capacity crowd in the Ak-Chin Pavilion chanted his name under the starry desert sky, but Roman Kincaid barely heard it. He stood in the stage wings, gearing up for an encore and wondering when his dream had become a nightmare. “Okay, guys,” he said to his back-up band via their ear buds. “One encore only. Let’s do ‘Gamble.’ Start with the chorus.” He took two steps toward the stage entrance, swinging his guitar into playing position. Sam, his manager, caught his elbow. “Are you sure about this? That crowd adores you. You could probably play three encores, sell more CDs—” “No.” Roman left no room for argument. “One and done. And no backstage stuff, either. I’m outta here.” He took a deep breath, pasted on the same fake, crowd-pleasing smile he’d used in the last half-dozen shows, and jogged back onto the stage to the roar of twenty thousand excited voices. He strummed the intro and launched into the chorus of his first number-one hit: “Love is such a gamble. You break a new deck every time. Sometimes you’re dealt the aces; Others you draw to nines. But when I met you, I knew it was true. A winning hand you seemed. Now I have the rush of a royal flush. You are the gamble of my dreams.” The crowd cheered wildly as he played his way through the music he now sang in his sleep. In fact, he realized as he watched fans taking up the beat and clapping along, that was pretty much what he was doing now. He struggled to suppress a yawn during the guitar interlude as he turned to acknowledge his band. I spent my early life dreaming of a crowd like this. When did performing start to feel like a chore? He put the thought away. Lately he’d been thinking of times when he’d heard of some celebrity being hospitalized for exhaustion and assumed it was a euphemism for drug rehab. Now he wondered. When was the last time I felt truly rested? The question was an imponderable. Months, at least. He hit the last chord and took a deep bow, then shouted, “Thank you, Phoenix!” and dashed off-stage. add to goodreads   Susan AAuthor Susan Aylworth
Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. "It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages." For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become "a rich and famous author." Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the 'author' part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. "It's one way to live many lives at once." She lives in northern California with her husband of 45 years and two spoiled cats.
  50_Amazon_Paypal   Book Blast Giveaway - $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Paypal Cash Ends 12/11/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

Goodreads Summary

Raisa is in love with the Prince of the people who enslave her people and poised to help her own people rise out of servitude.  The reader meets her while she is cleaning the Library on a scary scaffold.  Many children like Raisa die trying to clean from way up high.  She is soon chosen as Tutor to the Prince and learns the forbidden reading lessons only given to the Prince and King.  She discovers that the scrolls written long ago are not what they seem and give her clues that may help her own people.  The book has interspersed stories about the gods and goddesses of old that factor in to the story and make the entire book more interesting than a typical intense story-line.  

I really enjoyed Raisa's and the Prince's romantic and friendly relationship.  I appreciated that the author did not try to turn it into a love triangle.  It was sweet, organic, and developed over the course of the book.  The Prince wasn't entitled or stuck up; I liked how he cared enough to save Raisa when she needed it.  The threads that began in the beginning of the book wove together perfectly at the end and this book would be very enjoyable for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

I'll be Home for Christmas by Lori Wilde: Review and Giveaway!


Christmas in Twilight, Texas, is all merriment and mistletoe. The Cookie Club is whipping up their most festive sweets, the townspeople are scrambling to get their holiday shopping done, and Joe—a hometown guy with a restless heart—is dreaming about the woman he wants to kiss most...

...And who happens to be staying at his sister's place over the holidays, while Joe's sister is away. But Joe isn't quite sure he wants to be a living Christmas present to runaway law student Gabi Preston.

Joe thinks the sassy sweetheart he nicknames "Trouble" won't inconvenience anything but his healthy sex drive. But when he discovers the reasons Gabi escaped from her life, he aches to give her everything she's never had. As the magic of the season draws them together, the gift of love is the only one worth giving…
 

Goodreads Summary

This is a fun, romantic Christmas read perfect for the upcoming holidays.  Gabi and Joe have a natural, instant attraction.  Gabi is still having a rocky time when she firsts meets Joe and at first there is a lot of friction;  Joe is fighting the instinct to seduce her. This book follows the trajectory of a romance book like the reader may expect.  I liked how much chemistry and spark Gabi and Joe had.  It's always fun for me when the main characters at first don't quite get along, but have to learn how to deal with their differences to get to their attraction.

Gabi's character is interesting, but I didn't particularly want to "be" her or anything.  Joe was the standard hot, intense romance book man.  I love how protective he is towards his sister and later to Gabi.  If a reader is looking around for a romantic Christmas read to snuggle up with during the cold months this is the ideal book!  

3 1/2 Stars

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas. www.twilighttexas.com

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic. Her books have been translated into 27 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill, and her two New American Shepherds.


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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Sliding In The Snow Blog Tour

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grab your gloves and snow boots, it’s time for an adventure in a frozen wonderland—right in your own backyard! Here are fun twists on classic winter pastimes, like sledding and making snowmen. Learn how to design your own backyard winter Olympics.



Things to make and do include:
• Saving a Snowflake Forever
• Wacky Snow Creations
• Making Your Own Snowshoes
• Making a Snowball Launcher
• Sidewalk Curling
• Skijoring
• And more!
 

Goodreads Summary

If you are looking for fun activities to do in the snow with your children, a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, or any member of your family or random stranger, this is the book that will give you a day filled with entertainment. You will be causing trouble by starting snowball fights with your new snow launcher, freezing over your sidewalk for a game of curling, and making show shoes for an exploratory run through the tundra of your backyard. This book is filled with hours of fun and will not disappoint in its plethora of options available. So get up off your butt, there is no reason to watch movies all winter when you could be diving into everything this book has to offer.

4 Stars

Reviewed by Chris  

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Gratitude Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
You can also win a box of YA ARCs here!
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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine


Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Goodreads Summary

Lorelai represents Snow White, but not how a reader might think.  She is intelligent, quick-witted, and doesn't depend on a prince to save her.  The reader meets her with her brother, Leo, and Gabril, their savior.  The reader will come to love these characters very quickly just as I did. Leo has a fun and spunky personality and Gabril is warm, comforting, and safe.  The backstory to this latest Snow White story is fascinating and very innovative.  Lorelai must remove her depraved aunt from her rightful throne to help Ravenspire.  

Lorelai's character was perfect and easy to relate to.  I thought it was a nice touch that she wasn't good at court fripperies. The introduction of Kol as a love interest from a neighboring kingdom as well as the ability to transform into a dragon at a moment's notice was a nice touch.  I really enjoyed that the author didn't let Kol overshadow Lorelai even when certain chapters focused more on him than on her.  The descriptions in the book made it easy to paint the scenery and setting in my head and the dialogue was exactly right for each situation in the book from light-hearted to intense.  Overall, this is a great read for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Monday, November 16, 2015

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Goodreads Summary

This was one of the most thought-provoking books that I have ever read.  I spent an entire night reading this book instead of studying!  Told from multiple perspectives that I don't know how the author pulled off-it must be very difficult to write from the perspective of a budding psychopath to a young Polish girl with a brutal past-this book is eloquent, descriptive, and will make the reader physically feel for the characters. Joana, Emilia, and Florian are all amazingly distinct characters; I was not so fond of the other perspective, but I must admit that it was valuable to the book.  

Joana acted a nurse during the Holocaust and came off as very compassionate and, in some sense, motherly.  She cared for the little Polish girl with a shocking secret and a glaring health problem, Emilia, as well as the blind girl in the rag-tag group.  Emilia was probably the strongest character of the four perspectives as far as I'm concerned.  She went through the most and suffered the most amongst the four perspectives telling the story as an "un-desirable" Polish girl during the Holocaust. She suffered horrible atrocities as spoils of the war.  The author highlights that Poland was torn apart by two warring countries-Poland and Russia.  Florian brought the thrust and verve two the main characters.  He was a man on a mission throughout the book and the reader won't guess the mission until he decides to spill his secret.  The scenes in the book are vivid and the plot is fast-paced.  I literally couldn't put this book down; teens and adult readers should snatch this book up.

5 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Dark Energy by Robison Wells


WE ARE NOT ALONE

Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest, killing thousands of people. Since then, nothing–or no one–has come out.

THEY HAVE ARRIVED

If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site–because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything’s a special project, it’s this.

AND THERE’S NO GOING BACK

A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.
 

Goodreads Summary

As far as alien encounter books go, this one was a great and fast read!  Readers like me who don't want to be able to guess the ending and who enjoy being completely surprised will find this the perfect book!  Alice's father is the director of special projects at NASA and just when she is installed in a boarding house in Minnesota a UFO crashes near the area.  She is struggling with settling in and getting used to her new room when she has to get used to having two aliens aka "guides" around the schools and interacting with her, as well.  Alice can already tell that the Guides are not quite what they claim to be and, after seeing a blood-spattered room, is sure that she needs to find the truth.

Alice's character was a lot of fun to get to know.  She is half Native-American and I love how the author incorporated quite a few words and some of her culture into the novel.  Having a dad work at NASA has to be one of the coolest things in the world; he was a good character and, with his connections, enabled Alice to step into the UFO.  There were a bunch of other great characters from the two aliens attending the boarding school with Alice to Alice's potential hilarious love interest.  The author offered many twists and shocking surprises when it came to the "guides" that the reader is sure to enjoy!

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Saturday, November 14, 2015

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Goodreads Summary

When I was going to high school it never occurred to me someone could come in and shoot a bunch of students.  The author manages to keep this book suspenseful, scary, hopeful, and heart-pounding all at the same time.  This is definitely a book that would be easy to read in one sitting.  There are multiple characters (4) from multiple points of views from the sister of the shooter to the sort-of girlfriend of the shooter to students who had *nearly* nothing to do with the shooter.  The reader will feel with these characters after every gunshot.  The book is somehow told within a 54 minute time period and yet is packed with emotions and scenes.  

I do with that the author had delved more into the why and how the shooter became the shooter and how the other perspectives tied into his transformation.  The book was missing this one crucial piece and really took away from it for me.  I rooted for the students to live and hated knowing that someone had been shot.  I liked the scenes where the teachers tried to take over and stop the shooter.  A large part of me wishes someone else had a gun and whipped it out to kill the shooter prior to any student/teacher deaths.  Overall, this is a book worth reading.

3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ