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Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


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

Cinderella: A Real Life Fairytale Promo and Giveaway!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
  Cinderella: a REAL life fairytale If a dream is a wish your heart makes then Cindee Ellis is in major trouble. There’s no way Henry Christensen will ever notice her under all those oil stains and brake fluid splattered across her shirt. Unless—she’s dead wrong about him. Join her with this real life fairytale set in the small town of Silver Creek to find out how she’ll work her guts out to make her own happily ever after.     Beauty and the Beast: a REAL life fairytale There's a tale as old as time of two people falling in love, but what happens when Belle won't have anything to do with it. Join her with this real life fairytale set in the small town of Silver Creek to find out how she’ll transform the town's beast into a handsome prince with her heart, not her beautician skills.       The Frogg Princess: a REAL life fairytale Taya is almost there. Join her in this real-life fairytale, set in the small town of Silver Creek, as she plans to start a new life by opening a little restaurant. Only to find a few rude people that don’t seem to welcome her. But that doesn’t seem to bother Felix Frogg, a local police officer, and the love-at–first-sight reactions he keeps tossing her way. If Taya isn’t careful with the way her heart is softening towards Felix, she could be walking into a lifetime commitment of happily ever after that wasn’t in her plans.     Excerpts Cinderella: a REAL life fairytale “Hey, Cindee, before I forget. You have a real nice day.” I nod with about the blankest expression I’ve ever felt, and then he winks. HE LITERALLY WINKS! My eyes are as big as I can stretch them. Either Henry Christensen just did that on purpose, or he has something irritating his eye. I want to go with my first choice, but the second one seems more accurate. I’m the girl with no name, until just now, standing in a huge coat, so it’s gotta be the second choice, right? “Henry? Is that you?” Priscilla’s sticky-sweet voice interrupts. He doesn’t speak a word as he presses on the gas to slowly start backing up. “I’ll stop by the station to pick up the trucks in a while. Make sure you’re there,” he says before quickly pulling onto Main Street where everything disappears, except for the faint glow of his brake lights that blink three times. Is he saying goodbye? I know other girls back in high school had boys do this to them, but not me. NOT EVER. Not once did a boy tap his brake lights to me. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. Beauty and the Beast: a REAL life fairytale “Thank you for this.” I whisper into Adam’s ear. “For what?” He grins. “For being the kind of man that makes a woman believe there’s a God in heaven.” I nuzzle into his shoulder and close my eyes as the preacher asks us to pray. Once we finish, the rows of people begin to stand. I wipe under my eyes one more time just to make sure I don’t have mascara running down my face.   The Frogg Princess: a REAL life fairytale “You probably shouldn’t be with a girl like me. I could corrupt a boy like yourself,” I tease, trying to ease the heat flooding my face. How could I push myself on him? I’m cringing inside at being so stupid. “Nah, I’d happily go as far as you’d allow me,” he softly chuckles. “I just have a promise I made with my brother.” “A promise?” I narrow my eyes. “Yeah, we both agreed to wait for marriage.” I stifle a gasp. Is he for real?     Praise for the Book Five Stars: Couldn’t put this book down! This book has a way of not only making you feel what the characters are feeling, but it sucks you in where you don’t want to put it down, Not only have I read this book once, but I read it all over a second time. If you want to get lost for a few hours then I would highly recommend you read this book!! Five Stars: Sooooo Good! I really enjoyed this novella. I was so happy with the ending. It was well written and kept my attention even when my Grandson interrupted for help on his homework. So happy he left the math worksheet at school. I will be looking for more of this author's work. Hope you enjoy this novella. Five Stars: A clean romance book! Jamie Brook Thompson has got some mad writing skills! She has talent that can take you to another world for a few hours! I recommend this book to anyone who needs a good chic book (like a chic flick but in book form ;) ) to escape the real world for a bit! And who doesn't love cowboys?! Author Jamie Brook Thompson Jamie Brook Thompson is a small town girl that loves to tell a good story. She grew up as the daughter of a redneck farmer and hippie mother. Her entire life has been filled with duct tape and peace and love. She currently has 6 children, two dogs, and a handsome Prince of her very own! When she isn’t writing, you can find her out at her father’s ranch changing tires on tractors, working on motors that need repair, or adjusting carburetors on the family four wheelers to ride the high Utah desert. She’s a woman of many talents and trades, but the one she enjoys the most is writing stories to take readers into a world of hope—a world of clean romance!
  amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 5/3/17 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

Stranger Things Have Happened by Jeff Strand: Excerpt and Giveaway!

Saturday, April 8, 2017
You can’t always believe what you see in this hilarious coming of age novel from the author of The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever and I Have a Bad Feeling about This

Harry Houdini. Penn and Teller. David Copperfield. Marcus Millian the Third.

Okay, so Marcus isn’t a famous magician. He may not even be a great magician. But his great-grandfather, the once-legendary and long-retired Zachary the Stupendous, insists Marcus has true talent. And when Grandpa Zachary boasts that he and Marcus are working on an illusion that will shock, stun, and astonish, Marcus wishes he could make himself disappear.

The problem? Marcus also has stage fright—in spades. It’s one thing to perform elaborate card tricks in front of his best friend, Kimberly, but it’s an entirely different feat to perform in front of an audience.

Then Grandpa Zachary dies in his sleep.

To uphold his great-grandfather’s honor, the show must go on. It would take a true sorcerer to pull off the trick Marcus has planned. But maybe he’s the next best thing…

JEFF STRAND lives in Tampa, Florida. He is the author of A Bad Day for Voodoo, I Have a Bad Feeling About This, and The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. Explore his website at jeffstrand.com.


GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hello. I'm author Jeff Strand. If you tolerated A Bad Day For Voodoo, were ambivalent toward I Have a Bad Feeling About This, and had little or no opinion regarding The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever, I'm pleased to announced that you'll be equally unenthused about my latest YA novel, Stranger Things Have Happened.

It's an extremely silly comedy about 15-year-old Marcus Millian III, who aspires to be a legendary magician like his great-grandfather, Zachary the Stupendous. The problem (well, the first problem of many) is that he suffers from paralyzing stage fright. That's a bit of an issue when you want to be a stage magician.

Some stuff happens, and Marcus finds himself part of a bet between Grandpa Zachary and his arch-nemesis Bernard. Marcus has to invent and perform a ridiculously amazing illusion that will astound the audience at Bernard's theater. Yeah, this is going to be a challenge, but at least he's got Grandpa Zachary to help him. Until Grandpa Zachary dies in his sleep.

So now Marcus is on his own. Well, not entirely. He's got his neighbor (and secret crush) Kimberly to help out, along with the very socially awkward and heavily bullied new kid, Peter, who has...secrets. Together they will work to create the ultimate illusion, one that may or may not involve making a shark disappear from a tank in front of a live audience.

Also, there's a really evil guy named Sinister Seamus. Watch out for him.

Readers who are into magic (of the Penn & Teller variety, not Harry Potter) should enjoy this book because that's kind of what the whole thing is about. Readers who are into books that are filled with silly (some might even say stupid) jokes should also enjoy it. It's also about overcoming obstacles and following your dreams, if that's the angle you want to play.

Excerpt

“What is this slop?” asked Grandpa Zachary.

“Shhhh,” Mom hushed.

“Marcus, do your magic. Turn this food into something edible—wait. No magician has that much talent.”

Marcus was with his family at a fund-raiser potluck for a local animal shelter. Since his retirement, Grandpa Zachary had focused his attention on raising money for charitable causes, although he had trouble sticking with any particular cause for very long. Last month he’d been saving the red-tailed hawk, which he later discovered was nowhere close to being an endangered species.

“I wouldn’t feed this slop to the dogs we’re trying to help,” said Grandpa Zachary.

“Shhhh,” Mom repeated.

“I’m speaking at a very low volume. The people who brought this vile gunk won’t hear.”

There were about fifty people in the park. Admission was five dollars. Plus you were supposed to bring your own dish of food to share. Grandpa Zachary didn’t gener­ate a lot of money for his causes, but he did give most of his free time.

Grandpa Zachary dipped a pretzel stick into the trans­lucent goo and popped it into his mouth. “Actually, that’s infinitely better than it looks. I withdraw my criticism.” He snapped off the end of his pretzel so he wouldn’t be accused of double dipping. (Grandpa Zachary hated double dippers.) Then he plunged the pretzel into the sludge again. “Marcus Three, do me a favor. Find me a paper bowl so we can take this home with us. It’s delicious.”

Marcus went off in search of a bowl, grabbing an oatmeal raisin cookie along the way. The band, which had arrived half an hour late, was finally set up and ready to perform. The lead singer was wearing sweatpants, a white hat, and nothing else. He had dark circles under his eyes and looked like his latest shower was a distant memory.

“Good evening, everybody,” the singer said into the micro­phone. He held onto the stand as if to keep himself upright. “We’re Banjo Dan and the Wham Zaps. We’ve been drinking since nine-thirty this morning. Enjoy the show.”

He plucked a few strings on his instrument, which Marcus was pretty sure was a ukulele and not a banjo.

“This is a benefit for an animal shelter, right? So here’s a little song we wrote called ‘Your Wife Is Uglier than a Dog’.”

“Nope, nope, nope, we won’t be hearing that,” said Grandpa Zachary, hurrying up to the stage. For an eighty-nine-year-old, the man could move.

Still, he wasn’t fast enough to get there before Banjo Dan passed out. The other two members of the band just stood there, staring awkwardly at their fallen leader.

“What other songs do you know?” Grandpa Zachary asked them.

“Uhhhh…we actually just stand here and pretend to play.”

“Begone!” cried Grandpa Zachary. “Take your snookered friend with you. Shame, shame, shame!”

The Wham Zaps dragged Banjo Dan away.

Grandpa Zachary picked up the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for that crass spectacle. What a disgrace.” He shook his head and started to scan the audience. “But the show will go on. Let us amuse you with a different act.”

Marcus suddenly felt sick to his stomach. He began to sweat. It was hard to breathe. His feet hurt, even though he couldn’t explain why.

Grandpa Zachary’s gaze fell on him, and Marcus started to tremble. He loved to perform tricks for Kimberly. Loved to perform tricks for his great-grandfather. Loved to perform tricks for his parents. But he was terrified of performing in front of an audience. He’d never done it before.
It was a fear he knew he’d have to overcome to pursue his dream of being a famous magician, but he sure wasn’t over it yet.


Grandpa Zachary cleared his throat. “Ladies and gentle­men, please put your hands together in a warm welcome for Marcus!”



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 Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler: Promo and Excerpt!

Friday, April 7, 2017




Note to Reader
You’re not going to believe this. Seriously, nobody does. But this stuff happened, right here in America. In the warehouse down the street.
The warehouse had a name: Straight, Incorporated. Straight called itself a drug rehab for kids, but most of us had barely even smoked weed. Take me, for example. In September, at age thirteen, I smoked it for the first time. I tried smoking again in October. In November, I got locked up in Straight—for sixteen months. The second we entered the building, we all stopped being kids. We stopped being humans. Instead, we were Straightlings.
Other than my father and me, each person you read about here has a fake name. Many of the Straightlings are smooshed-together versions of different people, but everything happened exactly how I describe it. If you want proof, hit the epilogue. There you’ll find court records, canceled checks, newspaper reportage, and Straight, Inc. internal documents. Want more proof? Go online and read all of the survivor stories that are just like mine.
And to my fellow Straightlings? Put your armor on. You’re going back on front row.

Chapter 18: EVERYONE MUST WEAR SHOES AND SOCKS
Something weird is going on. Something even weirder than the regular daily freak show. I can feel it. I can hear it. I just can’t see it yet.
Other than Amanda showing up, it’s been a normal day—people singing stupid songs; kids sharing about their druggie pasts; the teen staff strutting to the barstools like they’re on the red carpet. But then the side doors open, and all these kids I’ve never seen before come flooding in. They stand around the edges of group, wedged tight at the shoulder in a human fortress. It’s creepy and just…wrong.
A half hour later, on some invisible cue, they swarm around us, claw us up from our seats, and carry us across the group room. The door goons are gone, so they march us right through the back doors and into this empty room. The walls are bare brick and the carpet is new-jeans blue. We’re tugged into rows, because with no talking allowed and no chairs, how do we know where we’re supposed to sit? We should know, though. I can tell by the way my carrier is yanking me around. She practically tears my belt loop off.
Once we’re all positioned and sitting cross-legged—with the boys’ side so close, if I whistled, I’d ruffle their bangs—the bad guys show up: Matt King and the mean blond smiler.
“Family rap!” Matt yells.
The people around me start motivating and I do it too, because I don’t want a fucking demon at my back. Without anyone telling me, I put my arms up and shake them around. And that’s what gets Matt’s attention. He’s scanning the tightly packed room, and his eyes sear into me. They look even darker than yesterday.
“Cyyyyndy,” he goes.
The blond staff snaps her head my way. Her smile blinks to life.
“Oh! Y-yeah?” I say back.
My fists are still up by my ears. This isn’t what I was motivating for. I didn’t actually want to be called on.
“Stand up!” he says, fake friendly.
Everyone’s palms do the upward air shove.
My rubbery legs make it hard to stand. It’s silent except for the rustle of my clothes.
“So…?” Matt says from his barstool.
“What?” I say back. But I say it confused, not snotty.
What? What. What is that this is family rap. You need to tell us about an incident from your past, an incident involving your family.”
Four hundred eyes and chins are leveled at me. They make it hard to think.
“Um…”
“Were you a good girl in your past, Cyndy? Were you nice and sweet to your family?”
“Well, they—”
“I’m not asking about them. Were you nice and sweet to your family?”
“Um, no?”
“That’s right, Cyndy! You’re doing great. Now tell us about an incident with your family where you acted like your druggie self.”
I just stand there. I don’t have a family. I have a mother and a sister and a stepthing who’s the devil, plus his kids. And “an incident”? I have no idea what I’m supposed to say.
“CYNDY ETLER!”
My whole name. He says my whole name. Like he has some…ownership of me.
“Yeah?”
“We’re waiting!”
“I—I don’t know.”
I might be starting to cry a little.
He’s still staring at me, his eyebrows pointed into sharp little horns.
“I thought I’d give you another chance, Cyndy. But you’ve wasted enough of this group’s time. Have a seat.”
I can’t sit down fast enough, so I fall instead. My hand catches a girl’s shoulder, but she jerks it off like she hates me. I feel it, like a heat.
The group starts to yell a “Love ya—” at me, but Matt cuts them off. “No!”
Next the girl who hates me stands up, to share how she made her father beat her. “I remember, this one time?” she starts out.
That’s Straight code for, Here’s why my parents hate me enough to leave me here.
“I remember saying to my dad, ‘Maybe if you didn’t drink so much, Mom wouldn’t need therapy.’ I said that to my dad. I ended up in the hospital with a broken arm after that sweet nothing. And I deserved it, one hundred percent. He fed me and clothed me and kept a roof over my head, and that’s the thanks I give him? I can’t believe he’ll even still look at me.”
Matt doesn’t just let the group tell her Love ya, he leads it. Before she even sits, he’s all, “Love ya, Sammie!” so loud it rattles the doorknobs.
At the end of family rap, Lucy tells us what song she wants to hear—one of those ones from Sunday school. It goes, “They will know we are Straightlings by our love, by our love. They will knoooow we are Straightlings by our love.”
The next slap of weird comes when they push us back into the never-ending beige of the group room. The linked chairs are still in rows, but they’ve been turned around to face an ocean of gray folding chairs. There’s enough seats for all of Communist China. It’s like a chair warehouse, which, ding! That’s what this place is! It’s a warehouse, literally. It’s a giant storage locker where, for a fee, parents can disappear their fuckups and rejects.
That’s another reason I’ll be outta here tomorrow. No way does my mother have the money for this place, when she can barely put five dollars of gas in her car. Twenty-four hours, and I’ll be on my way back to Jo’s; forty-eight and I’m in Steve’s room. How could their parents not let me stay with them, when they hear what I’ve been through?
I can feel my Levi’s on my thighs, my denim on my back. Just thinking about Levi’s feels so good, I barely notice that I’m picking up a dinner tray and getting pushed back to the chairs. In my mind I’m like, one hundred percent in Levi’s…until the hand in my pants lets go while I’m still standing.
“Uh?” I kind of grunt, turning my head to the demon behind me.
“Go down the row,” she says. “Sit in that first open seat.”
Feeling like the balloon some little kid let go of, I look down the row, and oh my God! It’s not the front row! I’m out of the bull’s-eye!
“Thanks,” I say.
I get a mean Shhh! for a reply, but it’s drowned out by this earsplitting screech. Since I’m standing, I can see what’s going on. But, God. I wish I couldn’t.
It’s Amanda. She’s surrounded by demons, and she’s fighting them all at once. Crouched at her back is the biggest guy you’ve ever seen. He loops his arms around her from behind, linking his hands in a hate hug. But even worse is what they’re doing to her arms. Two guys are gripping her wrists, Jacque style. Matt King style. They’re spreading them like airplane wings, out and down and fast. Tomorrow she’ll have handcuff bruises. She’s telling them she hates them with animal sounds, not words. I don’t know if I’m more scared for her or for them.
A fist hits my spine, so I move down the row. I’m trying not to hear it all: the screams, the thwap of flesh on flesh, the shriek of metal as a kicked chair scrapes across the floor. When I get down to my seat, I can’t help it. I look back at Amanda right as the big guy snaps his hand over her mouth. He’s—he’s gagging her. Her face is red, and it’s getting redder. Her eyes bulge out, and she slams her head forward, then back.
There’s a crack as her skull hits his, and a shree! as Amanda throws opens her throat. She head-cracked the gagger. She got his hand off her mouth.
“Gimme my fucking Doc!” she screams.
She rips her bare foot away from the guy who was pinning it; he lunges and tackles her shin. Other guys are running at her. That’s when I sit down. I sit and pray for somewhere to put my tray, so I can plug my ears. Amanda’s noises are shredding me. It’s like she knows what she’s doing, fighting off all these guys. This is why she needs armor clothes. I don’t want to see or hear or know that it’s happening again.
“Intake room! Sit on ’er!”
It’s our hero, Matt King. He’s striding across the room. He’s calm, he’s casual. He’s happy.
There’s more fleshy struggle sounds, more running feet.
“Group. Look,” Matt says, in a voice you don’t ignore. “This could be you, if you try to run.”
We spin around to watch Amanda, who’s being carried across the room by six guys. She’s a human casket. She’s got one boot on, and her body’s rippling, trying to shake the boys off her. And she’s howling.
“Gimme my Doc Marten, you cock-fucking bastards! I’ll kill you! I’ll—”
Another guy runs over and jams a hand over her mouth. His teeth glint through his smile.
In English class, one of Mrs. Skinner’s vocab words was “maxim,” which is a wise little phrase about life. She gave us this example they use in Japan, to make sure everybody acts the same as everybody else: “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” Amanda is the sticking-up nail. But she’s not smooth and straight, like a regular nail. She’s all knotted up. They can’t hammer her flat, so they’re killing her instead.
The funeral procession ends as the boys carry Amanda through a door to the left of the kitchen. It’s a beige door, painted to match the walls, like they don’t want anyone to know it’s there. The door slams; the group room’s silent. It sounds like the end of the world.






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

Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott: Promo and Giveaway!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

An action-packed, edge-of-your-seat novel about a teen who, when backed into a corner, fights back, from the author of What Waits in the Woods

Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal, more special, than her boyfriend, Oliver.

But when she's attacked by someone from her mother's past and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia's secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. Stalked at every turn, Oliver and Kaia must protect each other...or die trying.

KIERAN SCOTT is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy, the He’s So/She’s So trilogy, and Geek Magnet. She also wrote the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Private and Privilege series under the pen name Kate Brian. She is a senior editor at Disney/Hyperion and resides in New Jersey with her family. Visit kieranscott.net.


GIVEAWAY
a Rafflecopter giveaway


One of my favorite things about writing PRETTY FIERCE was trying to figure out what Kaia would do next. I don’t consider myself to be particularly brave—except for the fact that I don’t mind public speaking which is one of those things that keeps people awake at night. But I imagine that if I were ever in a situation like Kaia is in—being pursued by bad guys, hunted down at every turn, forced to try to protect the man I loved—I’d probably end up a ball of blubbering mush in a corner. So when I was writing her, I would try to imagine the exact opposite of what I would do in a given situation, and then write that. More often than not, it ended up being the thing that I wish I would have the guts to do, but really just couldn’t imagine myself doing. And that’s what I think makes a great kick-butt heroine—someone who allows us to see the possibilities of what we could do—what we could be—if we could find that deep well of courage within ourselves.

Here is one of my favorite kick-butt heroines:

Veronica Mars – Veronica Mars

Veronica’s best kick-butt quality was her ability to slay with her tongue. That girl could cut down a redwood tree with one well-placed and sarcastically delivered barb—no roundhouse kicking or right-hook punching necessary. She was also constantly putting herself in dangerous situations in order to help others, never much caring for her own safety—and then she’d talk her way out of them whenever she was caught. The talent Veronica had was to say the thing you wished you’d said in the moment, but only thought of an hour later. She always had it ready to go.

EXCERPT
KAIA
I turned on the speed, caught up to the van, and jumped off my board. It rolled ahead and bumped to a stop at a sewer drain next to the curb.
Oliver!” I tried the door, but it didn’t budge. I pounded on it so hard my fists stung. Oliver shouted, but I couldn’t make out the words.
“Let him go!” I screeched. “He has nothing to do with this!”
The light turned green and they were off again. I groaned, grabbed my board, and followed. As I maneuvered Sophia around an ancient manhole cover I memorized the license plate.
Illinois 851 BCG.
Illinois 851 BCG.
Illinois 851 BCG.
My breath was short, and I honestly felt as if my heart was about to overload. I couldn’t keep up this pace much longer. Up ahead, a police car idled in front of a coffee shop. As I rolled closer I could see two men in blue through the plate glass window, sucking on coffee and laughing.
Would they help me? If I got the cops involved, they’d want my ID. And while I had a fake passport on me, I couldn’t risk it being entered in some database and possibly alerting the authorities of my whereabouts. Even more importantly, if the police got Oliver, they’d send him right back to South Carolina, to Robin, to that hell. I couldn’t let that happen. Anonymity was key. We really were in this together.
I pressed as hard as I could, almost biffing on some roadkill and hopping the larger cracks in the road. At each light, I closed the distance between us, and I nearly got close enough to grab the back fender, but then the van took off and changed lanes, and I lost my advantage. Then the kidnappers hooked a left onto a residential street, and I made it across the main drag seconds before the light turned green. A motorcycle zoomed past me, so close I swore the driver’s leather jacket brushed the back of my backpack.
I turned onto the street and didn’t see the van anywhere. It must have pulled into a driveway or a garage. I gave myself ten seconds, gasping for breath as I leaned against a wrought iron fence post, then kept moving.
The street was quiet, aside from dance music playing somewhere in the distance, the repetitive thump of the bass keeping time with my pulse. I hopped off Sophia and ducked down the first driveway on foot, thinking it would be better to stay away from the glare of the streetlights. For a second I crouched next to a busted wood fence and strapped Sophia to my backpack, then cut across a backyard with unkempt grass and a stone barbecue pit at its center.
The garages on the street were all detached and sat at the end of long driveways near the back corner of each property. I paused and took out my Beretta. The steel felt cool against my palm, and I prayed no one would give me a reason to use it. But I would if I had to. I would for Oliver.
At the next house, I peeked inside the foggy garage window and saw nothing but piles of boxes.
The dance music was getting louder. The next garage housed a small car covered by a brown tarp. The third was another mess of storage. At the fourth house, I was close enough to the music to hear the laughter and raised voices that went along with it. I had to scale a fence to get to this garage and when I came down on the other side, I nearly slammed my head against a pile of old kegs. The scent of stale beer hung in the air, and there were cigarette butts everywhere. Lovely.
I brushed myself off and righted my backpack. Cars packed the driveway, and the house was entirely lit up. Two girls hung out on the back porch, smoking and sipping from red cups. Over their heads, propped up on the porch roof, were three illuminated letters. BBΓ. And at the very edge of the driveway, hanging over onto the sidewalk, was a big, white, van.
What the hell?
A chorus of cheers went up inside the house. My eyes narrowed as I shoved my short, sweaty hair behind my ears. Suddenly, I wasn’t in such a huge rush. I pushed the gun into the back waistband of my jeans and made sure my jacket covered it.
Stepping out of the shadows, I cut across the lawn and walked up the steps to the rear porch where the two girls sat. They eyed me as I strode past and opened the back door.
Ladies,” I said.
One of them scoffed, but neither made a move to stop me. Inside, I found myself in a huge, brightly lit, mostly white kitchen packed with dozens upon dozens of miniskirt-sporting, overly made-up girls with straightened hair. The dance music was deafening. Everyone was drinking, laughing, shrieking. And in the center of it all was my boyfriend, shirtless, leaning his head back while two buxom babes poured alcohol from two bottles directly down his throat.
Um, Oliver?” I said.
He brought his chin down too fast and spit brown liquid everywhere. A few drops even landed on my cheek.
“Ew!” the girls chorused.

Oliver wiped the back of his hand across his lips and widened his eyes at me. “They made me do it!”

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

Cover Reveal!

Friday, March 31, 2017


Check out the EW for more details on the creepy cover!

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 Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A captivating story about dark truths and heinous crimes as well as unexpected friendships, with detailed black-and-white illustrations throughout. Perfect for fans of mystery and detective stories.
 
Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she’s an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja’s turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder. 
 
For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.

Goodreads Summary

I've never read a book where the main character was a loyal gorilla, but I'm glad I picked up this book! Sally Jones, a kind and friendly gorilla, is best friends with the Chief. When the Chief is accused of murdering someone Sally Jones steps up. She knows that she must find a way to prove that everyone is wrong, but she does not know how and she doesn't really speak. What ensues is a fun tale demonstrating the love and friendship between a gorilla and a man. 

I loved Sally Jones' character. If it was possible to make me like a gorilla anymore I'd be surprised. She seemed very real and present to me. I loved how she was portrayed as intelligently understanding everything going on around her. The relationship she and Chief had was intimate friendship. They had a deep familial bond. To me, the mystery of the true murderer took second place next to Sally and Chief's friendship. The author spent a great deal of time detailing the bond and the characters.  I enjoyed that this was a foreign-translated novel. This is one of the only times I've finished a book and looked up its author. 

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

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.
 

Goodreads Summary

This is one of those stories that makes you feel as if you're on the same collision course as the main characters, Declan and Juliet. Literally, the entire time I was reading this book I was holding my breath. I love how intricate the plot was and how the author must have had to spend time planning it out and accounting for details. 

Juliet desperately misses her late mother. She views her mother as a perfect, whole person rather than a flawed woman. In keeping with tradition, she writes heartfelt letters to her mom and leaves them at her grave. My own mother experienced the death of her mom in her teens; I know how difficult it is to finish that last stage of growing up and adulthood without a mother to help guide you. Juliet has trouble adjusting to her mom's death and feels as if nothing will ever be the same (which it won't, will it?). She never imagines that someone might accidentally/on-purpose read her left-behind letters. 

Declan is visiting Juliet's mother's grave for a different reason entirely, but (like most people) cannot resist reading the letter he finds there and responding. What happens next is a correspondence building to a strong bond between two grieving teens. I loved how the parallel of the pair not knowing who they were to each other in high school versus in the letters. It's fascinating to read as certain scenes play out and I love books where the reader knows more than the main characters! The plot was a bit of a slow burn; I couldn't wait for the moment they found out who their respective letter-writer was in real life. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending despite guessing the roles each played in each other's lives from the beginning. Both my sister and I obsessively read this book throughout the night. 

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

Dream Forever by Kit Alloway

Thursday, March 23, 2017
As the veil to the Dream becomes dangerously thin, Josh must stop it from tearing to save the world, in the conclusion to The Dream Walker Trilogy.

Trying to control her powers as the True Dream Walker is hard enough with Feodor as her instructor. But trying to learn her strengths with a broken heart makes it nearly impossible for Josh. When mysterious tears in the veil separating the Dream from the waking world begin to appear, and with Peregrine still on the run and Haley trapped in Death, Josh finds herself truly in over her head. With the World threatening to crumble around her, Josh must figure out who she really is and what she wants in time to save it, herself, and everyone she loves.

You won’t be disappointed in this exciting conclusion to Kit Alloway’s The Dream Walker Trilogy.

Goodreads Summary


I enjoyed the first two books in the series from this author and was so excited when I received this book in the mail! Josh's character continues to develop and she becomes a more intelligent, compassionate young woman. It still isn't easy for her to fully control her powers and her teachings with Feodor can be frustrating. I wish I could help people with their nightmares (and stepping into their dreams may be invasive, but it would be fun!). The book is told from three perspectives. Haley and Peregrine aren't doing so well; both have challenging situations on their hands and need to resolve them before the end of this trilogy! 

I liked Josh's, Peregrine's, and Haley's characters. They were pretty well-developed and they each had their personal struggles to overcome. I do wish there had been a bit more romance for Josh and Will, but having less romance probably allowed the plot to focus more on dream walking. The concept behind the book is fascinating and I think the author carried it out wonderfully. One thing that I thought was weird about the book: after I finished reading it, I couldn't believe that it took me even that long to finish it. For some reason, it felt like the entire plot could have been accomplished in forty pages or so. This would be a fun book to take on a plane ride or to the beach!

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

Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn



Last Call at Happies! Tonight, 8 P.M. Senior Class Only! Please with the Shhhh…. 

This is it. Graduation. And Vic Navarro is throwing the most epic party Rancho Soldado has ever seen. She’s going to pull off the most memorable good-bye ever for her best friends, give Happies—the kitschy restaurant that is her desert town’s claim to fame—a proper send-off into bankruptcy, and oh yes, hook up with her delicious crush, Jake Zavala-Kim. She only needs to keep the whole thing a secret so that her archnemesis, Miss Ann Thrope, Rancho Soldado’s nightmare Town Councilwoman and high school Economics teacher, doesn’t get Vic tossed in jail. 

With the music thumping, alcohol flowing, bodies mashing, and Thrope nowhere to be seen, Vic’s party is a raging success. That is, until Happies fans start arriving in droves to say good-bye, and storm the deserted theme park behind the restaurant. Suddenly what was a small graduation bash is more like Coachella on steroids with a side of RASmatazz pie. The night is so not going as planned. And maybe that’s the best plan of all.

Goodreads Summary



I loved the fast-paced, energetic tone that pervaded this novel. I finished the book within a day! Vic decides that she's going out of high school with a memorable bang! Vic knows that her party could get her in big trouble and potentially even alter her future if she doesn't keep it under wraps. When the party rages out of control Vic has to find a way to contain it and still have the night of her life.

I read other reviews that were highly critical of the book due to its fluffy content; however, I don't believe that every single book has to be about serious subjects and have meaningful life lessons. This book was exactly what it portrayed itself to be: fun, light-hearted, and exciting! I was perfectly happy reading about an out-of-control graduation party and its inhabitants. I loved the small town feel mixed with memories tinged by sadness and regret. Many people would like to have a memorable last experience in high school and this book certainly delivered.

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

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
GIVEAWAY: 10 Mystery ARC copies from Young Adult Authors.



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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

A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho




Can the right kind of boy get away with killing the wrong kind of girl?

Fin and Betty’s close friendship survived Fin’s ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates.

Then Betty disappears. Her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her, but his confession is thrown out, and soon the entire town believes he was coerced and Betty has simply run away. Fin knows the truth, and she returns to Williston for one final summer, determined to get justice for her friend, even if it means putting her loved ones—and herself—at risk.

But Williston is a town full of secrets, where a delicate framework holds everything together, and Fin is not the only one with an agenda. How much is she willing to damage to get her revenge and learn the truth about Betty’s disappearance, which is more complicated than she ever imagined—and infinitely more devastating?
 

Goodreads Summary

This book was fascinating on multiple levels. I know that socioeconomic status, attractivity level, charisma, and intelligence are all factors in how we are perceived, but I never considered those factors on a criminal level. Fin and Betty are a strange pair. Their personalities were a little at odds with each other. When Fin hears that Betty has been murdered and that there was a confession by her ex, Calder, she knows that she has to return to discover the truth. She teams up with Serena and the pair develop something a little more than friendship. As Fin gets knee deep in the tumultuous truth her new relationship with Serena becomes evermore confusing. 

Fin's character was so-so for me. She was pushy and obnoxious to a fault. However, I admired her dedication to her friend and how much she cared for her despite Betty's demise. Serena's character was definitely not a favorite of mine. Her mouthy ways and inextricable ability to get Fin to do things that I found extremely questionable made me think she wasn't good for Fin. In a strange and ironic way, Calder's character was perfect. Kind, loving, and charismatic, one would never suspect him even when he did claim to have killed Betty. The delicate overlay of he-said, she said and what really happened on that fatal day when Betty died was handled very well by the author. I was both surprised and a little sad at the ending, but this book really made me think.

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