Friday, July 29, 2016

Matefinder by Leia Stone

Welcome to YA Friday! Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. I haven't been blogging too much as I enjoy my summer reading :) But, today I have a YA paranormal that I picked up on Kindle that I'd like to share, Matefinder by Leia Stone.

The Story-
Aurora is one tough chick who survived a violent childhood and now runs a domestic abuse shelter. She gets into a car accident and is saved from death by Kai, an alpha werewolf. As Aurora adjusts to her new world, she learns that werewolves are few in number because they can only have children with their true mates, which are rarely found. She also learns that other paranormal creatures, such as witches and vampires, exist.

As a changed wolf (versus a natural born wolf) Aurora will gain a power with her first full change. To the surprise of everyone, she discovers that not only is she Kai's true mate, but is also the matefinder, a werewolf who has visions that show the location of other wolves true mates. Now Aurora's life is in danger as outside werewolves seek to own her and control her power.

My Thoughts-
I can't seem to get enough of paranormal stories, if they are well written, and this one was. In fact, as soon as I finished it, I purchased books 2 and 3. Aurora is a determined girl who is frustrated to suddenly be placed into an automatic relationship with a male. Her past looms large in her head, and she  can't seem to committ to Kai, even though she knows he is her other half. The situation adds a bit of tension, and the author does a good job in not making Aurora's fears too over the top, which allows the reader to feel that the relationship will work, they just have to keep reading.

I enjoyed Kai as the dominant male that growls, "mine", but allows Aurora all the time she needs. The romance is fun and flirty, without being too intense. In fact, you have to wait until the later books for the sex, and even then it isn't written about. But still, I felt like there was good chemistry and enough passion involved in the story.

The world of the werewolves is well built and brought to life with color. We learn about Kai's pack first. They don't determine things by fighting, but by forcing the submissive to not return a stare. So, it is a bit of a shock when you learn that not all packs are like his, but have continual infighting. I also found it a bit odd that some other packs treated their women as property, especially since women werewolves were semi-rare. You'd think they be treasured, but alas no.

I really enjoyed this book, actually all 3 books in the series. I'm giving it 5 stars.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Tiger Tail by Mike Boldt

Today I am reviewing a new picture book from Simon & Schuster, A Tiger Tail- Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School, by Mike Boldt.

The Story-
On Anya's first day of school she wakes up to find that she has grown a tiger's tail! Oh No! Her parents tell her not to worry, that it goes well with her red hair and wild side, but Anya is not comforted. She does everything she can think of to get rid of her tail, but nothing works. She will have to go to school with it. How will the other student's react? Will they even let a girl with a tiger's tail go to school? Anya will find out.

My Thoughts-
This is a delightful picture book that looks at the subject of fitting in and self esteem in a new light. It is perfect for young readers. Anya is horrified at what people will think of her with a tiger's tail. She tries to take it off, hide it, or just miss the bus, but as all kids will learn, they have to go to school anyway.

Once Anya gets there she finds out she is not the only one who is different. In fact, even the teacher looks a bit different. This story will teach kids that it is okay to be different from others, not only that, but that you should accept yourself for who you are. It also helps a child to learn that they should judge others either.

I loved the big bold pictures and vivid colors. There are great bits of comedy in both the writing and the art. Anya's character has such great expressions. She is fun to watch as she runs about and panics. Children will understand first day or back to school jitters and will enjoy an extreme take on a very normal problem. So cute. 4 stars!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal

Welcome to YA Friday! Today I am reviewing a new release from Albert Whitman & Co., Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal.

The Story-
A year ago, Jillian and River shared a kiss, one amazing, passionate kiss. Since then, River went from being the star quarterback to an expelled student sent to juvie. Jillian never knew what happened, and now that he's back, he is different.

Hurricane Danielle is bearing down on Texas, and Jillian is forced by her mother to evacuate with River and his father. The quiet, pill pushing River ignores Jillian, until after sitting for hours in unmoving traffic, he asks her to run back to Houston with him and escape the gridlock and certain death.

Together they make it back to their high school, where they try to wait out the storm, but Mother Nature is not kind, and the school partially collapses and floods. As Jillian and River try to survive, River's own personal nightmare is brought to life, and Jillian realizes that his body and soul both need to be saved.

My Thoughts-
The book is told from both Jillian and River's points of view. The reader is able to understand each's underlying emotions and personal battles. The author does a good job telling River's tale in segments, so that his story is stretched out and the reader has to wait for it. Honestly, that is the reason I stayed with this book. I thought it was going to be a survival story, but really it's not. They hang out in a school and don't face much. The real survival that would happen after the hurricane is only brought up in a couple paragraphs at the end of the book. Plus, they don't have to live through any of it, safe in a hotel.

But, River's story, that was something I wanted to know. The time he spent in juvie is horrifying. What could he have done that would have caused such a punishment? I had to know. The answer isn't anything spectacular, but the corruption, that is another tale. Everything boils down to corruption. The need for revenge in both River and us, the reader, is deep. Which is why I was semi-disappointed in the end. The hero of the tale needs to be the one to stick it to the bad guy. Here, there is justice, but it is in a legal sense only. I needed something a bit more to patch up all the feelings of anger and injustice that the author excellently stirred up.

The writing is good, the characters are both well-written with full fleshed out characters, and the hurricane setting is exciting. Plus, the cover of the book gets a huge thumbs up. It is romantic and sexy at the same time. I would totally pick it up in a book store. So, a mixed-review, but it is worth the read. I give it 3.5 stars!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

And the winner is...

And the winner of The Star-Touched Queen ARC and matching tattoos is...

Congrats and look for your winning email.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Manuscript Wishlists 7/1/16

Yesterday was #mswl day on twitter. I thought I'd some things up for aspiring queriests.

HUMOR. If you're writing something funny - esp like wry, smart humor - I'd love to see it. PB, CB, MG, YA.

I like books that are set in magical worlds or take me to a strange new place

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Golden Girls adventure in space.

- Epic and darkly twisted YA Fantasy please!

Oh! Can I please get a YA novel where the characters have jobs and a community of coworkers? Think Empire Records.

Broader : fantasy whose settings are non-Western analogs. Funny as hell MG. Dark comedy for any age.

I will forever want magical realism in MG, YA & women's fiction. Bonus if the magic is strongly rooted in a specific culture or place.

❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜 all genres - YA contemp, YA SFF, book club, romance, thrillers, historical fiction, ALL OF IT. Especially

Not afraid of unlikable or "damaged" female characters. To me they’re more real (Girls on Fire, Luckiest Girl Alive, Dark Places etc.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Release and Giveaway! From Titans by Mary Ting

The Titans possess power more than anyone anticipated, and Cronus is hungry for revenge after his own children locked him up in Tartarus.

No one is safe. Not even the humans. Visit the world of Descendant Prophecies in FROM TITANS by Mary Ting…

Everyone is searching for Mason.

Zeus sent Hermes, and the Oracles have used their magic, with no success. A sparkle of hope arises when Eris, the goddess of Chaos, sends an invitation to her wedding engagement party. She’s holding Mason hostage, and Skylar and her friends only need permission to enter Eris’s world to rescue him.

At the party, Eris gives them one condition: In exchange for Mason, they must travel to the Land of Reverse and bring back the bottle of gold water King Midas used to wash himself free of his gift. Further chaos follows when Eris not only sets up a hunt in the Labyrinth of Crete, but makes a bargain with the Titans she rescued.

The Titans possess power more than anyone anticipated, and Cronus is hungry for revenge after his own children locked him up in Tartarus. No one is safe. Not even the humans.

“Look what I learned to do. I learned this trick from Mason.” Nick used his light and raised the meatball from his dish. An electric sizzling light crackled around it as it paused in midair. “Pretty cool.” His grin shone as bright.
“I’m still better at it,” Mason joked.
“Show off,” Hades mumbled. “Just like Zeus.” He snickered and snapped his fingers. The meatball puffed up in flames and dropped on the table linen.
Poseidon pointed where the fire grew and water from his cup flowed out like a fire extinguisher. Steam rose from the table.
“Could we have a normal dinner?” Everett rolled his eyes and ran his hand down his face. As for everyone else, they had a good laugh and continued their dinner as if nothing had happened.
“Boys will be boys.” Kayla shook her head.
Amanda rolled her eyes. “I believe you mean gods will be gods.”

Author Bio- Mary Ting International Bestselling, Award-Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great.


1 Grand Prize: $25 Giftcard to Amazon + Print Set of Entire Descendant Prophecies Series + Signed Bookplates
2 Runner-Ups: Digital Edition of Any Backlist Title from M. Clarke or Mary Ting

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard

Welcome to this stop on Cedar Fort's Beyond the Rising Tide Blog Tour, from Sarah Beard.

About the book:

Kai was seventeen when he died saving Avery’s life, though he didn’t really have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it’s been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery’s life is unraveled by his death.

Avery doesn’t know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer’s body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.

Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai’s half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will.

My thoughts:

This is a very interesting Young Adult read that delves into the world of life after death and extraordinary love. Avery is lost. Ever since she almost died, and her rescuer did, she has not been her self. She no longer can stand to be near the ocean and her once fearless nature is gone. Her boyfriend tries to hold on to her, but is unable to deal with her new state of being. The reader can feel the pain that Avery goes through and is able to understand her dealings with her boyfriend, her annoying sister and new arrival Kai.

When she runs into to Kai, Avery is suddenly able to  breath again. Kai, of course, is breaking all the rules to return to Earth in a mortal body and help Avery out of her funk. He doesn't plan to fall in love with her. Told from both Avery's and Kai's POV, this story explores both sides of love and despair. It reaches beyond just this world, and  tells an interesting story of life after death, which both Avery and Kai experience.

The true story asks the question- What would you do or give up for love? Very well written, poignant and thought provoking. I liked it and think you will too. 4 stars!

About the Author:

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels Porcelain Keys and Beyond the Rising Tide. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in writing from VCFA. When she's not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.

Praise for the Book:

“Vividly imagined, this novel is the perfect mix of modern love story and literary fiction. One brimming with genuine emotion that had me re-reading passages simply because they were too beautifully written to experience just once.” --Julie N. Ford, author of With No Regrets

“This book is not only an engaging and satisfying supernatural romance, but also a beautiful story about life, death, and the gray places in between.” --E.B. Wheeler, author of The Haunting of Springett Hall

"This is one of those stories that stays with you long after the closing scene. It was beautifully imagined and vividly written and I absolutely loved it!” --Teresa Richards, author of Emerald Bound.

Buy it Now: