Monday, December 31, 2012

Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino

Frat Boy and ToppyFrat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brad is great at meeting other people's expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother's hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.

Unfortunately, it's not that easy. He hasn't quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn't seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.

Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad's been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely-hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more-dare he admit the "L" word?-Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn't feel the same. Unless, of course, he does. After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.

Juls Review
This was a nice feel good coming out story.

Nothing prepares Brad for Sebastian. Brad is a ladies man but when he sees Sebastian the idea of girls goes out the door. He's always questioned his sexuality but he's never said out loud what he's always known in his heart. And Sebastian is doing something crazy to him. He's doesnt want him to but he just cant look away.

Brad has never felt like he was truly himself around anyone including himself. He finally finds himself when he and Sebastian decide to take things to the next level. He's willing to come out because he now knows where his heart is.

Sebastian may seem like the confident person others perceive him as but his lack of stability goes deeper.

Brad brings out a side in Sebastian that he didnt think could ever be thawed. And together they both find its not so hard letting go of the secrets and moving forward with the one you love.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of NeverThe Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction

Juls Review
So 90% of the book felt like it was a YA book and then the last 10% was all adult comp romance.

Cam lost the one boy she thought she'd ever love when she was in high school and now two years later she's found her boyfriend in an uncompromising position. she is done with men!

One dreadful thing leads to another and Cam decides it time for her to hit the road. Its leading to nowhere but she is okay with that. On the road she meets Andrew.

Andrew has his own issues. He's on his way to see his dying father. He couldnt deal so he's taking his time by taking the bus. This will give him time to process everything that is going on. Underneath all this he has a big secret.

The two become traveling companions and before long they are swapping stories of their lives.

When they get to his stop they part ways but something is niggling at him and he comes back to her only to find her in a predicament that he is all so willing to help her out of.

Things pick up some pace after that. Andrew visits his dad and the thought of him so helpless about the whole situation has him trying to escape. But its the perfect thing. He uses it to get Cam out of the shell she's in. Andrew proposes an idea to her that she cant refuse.

The two of them go on a journey of discovery and what they find is more than they would have ever thought. They find answers to their inner turmoils and also find something unexpected, love. But even that has a cost. So much still needs mending and letting go of secrets seems unreachable and when its revealed its almost too late.

Will they survive the horrible turn of events? Will they be able to
keep the love they both found?

I liked this book but was a bit disappointed about what the BIG secret was. I almost wanted things to end differently and yeah maybe things wouldnt have turned out like they did but it was really selfish of Andrew to leave Cam with something that cruel to deal with. But I'm glad Andrew and Cam were able to find some happiness, even thought it didnt come to light until the very end, literally.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tempted by Megan Hart

TemptedTempted by Megan Hart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had everything a woman could want. …My husband, James. The house on the lake.

My life. Our perfect life.

And then Alex came to visit.

The first time I saw my husband's best friend, I didn't like him. Didn't like how James changed when he was around, didn't like how his penetrating eyes followed me everywhere.

But that didn't stop me from wanting him. And, surprisingly, James didn't seem to mind.

It was meant to be fun. Something the three of us shared for those hot summer weeks Alex stayed with us. Nobody was supposed to fall in or out of love. I didn't need another man, not even one who oozed sex like honey and knew all the secrets I didn't know, the secrets my husband hadn't shared. After all, we had a perfect life.

And I loved my husband.

But I wasn't the only one.

Juls Review
Love triangles, you can either love em or hate them.

James and Alex are/were best friends but time and a secret has separated the two of them.

Time passes and James meets Anne. They are happy and content. Years later Alex comes back into the picture. That contentment is shaken when Alex becomes more than just a friend.

Lots of miscommunications and misunderstanding which leads to more than just having fun. Unanswered questions are left up in the air. Love is entered where its unexpected and it leaves the three at odds with each other. Ultimately things go back to what they were but it'll never be the same. Too much has been revealed.

Can they all find happiness again? Will they stay together or will everything fall apart?

I liked this book but I really wanted things to end differently.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Friends with Benefits by Alaina Marks

Friends with Benefits (A Sexy Romance Short Story)Friends with Benefits by Alaina Marks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A sexy romance short story for readers 18+ (Available on Nook & Kindle)
approx. 16,000 words

Brandi Montgomery, a caseworker for an adoption agency in New York, has just been told the apartment she was about to rent was not available anymore because the landlord decided to rent it to someone else at the last minute. She has two weeks to find a place to live. On top of giving up her place, and having the threat of being homeless hanging over her head, she has just ended her dead-end relationship which has made her swear off men forever!

Neal Calhoun, successful CEO of one of the biggest architectural firms in New York, gave up on relationships years ago thanks to the betrayal of his ex. He now finds comfort in having no strings attached, “friends with benefits” type relationships; keeping his heart safe while getting his needs met. When Brandi post an ad online looking for a roommate situation, Neal answers her ad with the “perfect” arrangement: a friends with benefits type of relationship in exchange for a great place to stay in one of the most sought after addresses in Manhattan.

With only two weeks before she’s out on the streets, Brandi has to decide if she wants to take Neal up on his offer. This should be a win-win situation for both parties where everyone benefits. But what happens when one of them breaks the number one rule, do they call it quits or do they take a chance on love...again.

Juls Review
Now a days finding people on line to date or to get a room mate is the way to go. Its fast and easy.

The premise of the book was just that. Brandi's plans fall through and now she will be homeless in 2 weeks. She puts an ad on Craigslist for a room mate and before she knows it she's got a few offers.

Neal answers Brandi's ad and his offer to her is "be my live in fuck buddy and you can stay here for free".
Um, I had red flags going up just from the subject line. That would have been a "delete NOW" for me.

I know this was a short but everything felt really rushed and before I knew it, Neal was giving Brandi the title of girlfriend. They have both been burned by exlovers so I was kinda put off by the fact they moved so quickly to titles. I think if it was just them having fun it would have made more sense.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fated by S.H. Kolee

FatedFated by S.H. Kolee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do you need to love someone to be happy? Does happiness mean a fairy tale ending?

Caden Riley challenged me from the first moment I met him. It was more than his good looks or his fame as a photographer that drew me to him. He offered me things that I never knew I wanted, and didn’t demand more than I was willing to give.

Was I happy? I’m not sure. Happiness is an emotion I’m unfamiliar with. But I finally knew what it felt like to experience real passion. To let go of all my inhibitions and surrender to my desires. It was enough for me, because it was more than I ever expected.

Until Caden tempted me with possibilities. The possibility of a future; the possibility of a life I never imagined; the possibility of heartbreak and never hearing the words "I love you."

Love is a funny thing. It can make you feel like the world is yours to conquer. It can also bring you to your knees. I’m not sure which is my fate.

Juls Review
I'm telling you what, RL might have sucked donkey nutz this year but my choices in books have been superb!!!

The story of Caden and Lauren had me on the edge of my seat. Things may have started accidentally with Lauren taking over as Caden's assistant but nothing after that is accidental. Its pure lust and sensually satisfying. The sexual tension between them is so thick it could be cut with a knife.

They both go into a friends with benefit type relationship but what starts as something purely sexual turns into a gut wrenching, soul searching, sexually charged romance that neither one of them had a chance at backing away from.

Both Caden and Lauren have had traumatic pasts. They both lost their parents at a young age and one witnessed the deaths and the other was tossed from one foster home to another only to be taken advantage of but in the end they find peace within each others arms.

I was not disappointed one bit. From the first word to the last I was captivated by the relationship between them.

This is going down as yet another fav of 2012!!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

HopelessHopeless by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Recommended for readers 17+ due to sexual content, harsh language and heavy subject matter.

A few book quotes/pictures - borrowed from Lise on Goodreads


"The sky is always beautiful. Even when it’s dark or rainy or cloudy, it’s still beautiful to look at"

"he slides his fingers down my arm until he finds my pinky, then wraps his around it. It’s an extremely small gesture, but he couldn’t have done anything more perfect to fill me with the sense of security that I need from him right now"

I miss them already...

“Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choice feels the least wrong.” 

Juls Review

As I sit here writing my review I can't help but think back to the first book I picked up by this author and for just a moment I almost put it aside cuz reading about poetry was kinda cheesy.  But what I've found from Colleen's work is that I will NEVER be disappointed.

Just when I thought I could breathe easier I'm thrown roughly back into a world that feels so hopeless.  The story of Sky and Holder left me utterly drained and I'm still waiting for my jaw to reattach itself back to my face from all that was revealed.

Honestly I'm not sure I can really give this book a proper review. You just have to read it yourself to get the full affect. Nothing I can say will prepare you for what is within these pages.
As much as I want to go on and on about what happened in this book I can't even begin to describe how this story has literally wrecked havoc to the inner core of my soul.

You have to believe me when I say this, end this year with this one.  I promise you this is one book you will never forget.

Jen's Review 

Another book to add to my favorites folder -
There was so much in this book that I loved, and so much that I didn't love. I think I Lived this book :) Maybe even a little more than that :)

So sweet - Sky, she's not a typical teenager. But she likes to do what teenagers her age do... but she does them for different reasons.

Sky doesn't feel much when she's making out with a guy. In fact she feels  completely and comfortably numb.. And that's what she likes. She likes to go in that state of mind where she isn't thinking about anything. But she is aware. And she never lets him get carried away.
She doesn't know WHY she doesn't feel anything when a guy is kissing her. And she knows she SHOULD feel something. Just ask her BFF Six :)

So when she's at the check out stand at the local store, and she see's a guy standing in line and gets a funny feeling in her stomach, she actually has no idea what she's feeling. well, she does, but she doesn't want to - so she runs out of the store trying to get away from him. But he follows her.

When he reaches her at her car, she is terrified of him, but he insists she tells him her name. Reluctantly, she tells him, and he gets this disappointed look on his face. She drives off.

When she gets home, she is ready to go for a run. She needs to get this new feeling for this strange guy out of her system. She runs farther than she thought she did, and ends up right in front of his house.

Holder recognizes a sign when he see's it and runs back with her.

At school, their relationship builds, after school and on weekends they talk - She lets him know (by accident of course) that she doesn't feel things with guys she kisses, So when she is ready for Holder to kiss her, he doesn't. He wants her to "FEEL" her first kiss. awe - and what a First Kiss that wasn't actually a kiss that was! WOW! LoL

I have to say that I didn't see the big reveal coming. I had my suspicions about one part of the story, but the other part totally took me by surprise.

All the pieces of the story just build and build, layer upon layer of things you don’t even realize are important until the secrets come out. Then it really hits you.

You feel their bond tighten as more and more memories are reviled.

There was so much in this book I will be remembering for a long time. Even when I forget what book I got it from. The quotes in here are just that great.

I can't wait to buy this book in paperback. Its going to be going right up on my top favs shelf <3

This is one of those stories that will stay with you forever.

And yes, there is a HEA :)

“Fuck all the firsts, Sky. The only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers.” 

I'm looking forward to reading more about from this author :) I've heard many good things ! I'm surprised this is my first.

Monday, December 24, 2012

White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

White Trash Beautiful (Beautiful, #1)White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First in a stunning new trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Teresa Mummert.

“I’m not naive. I know I don’t get the happily ever after. My knight in shining armor took the highway detour around this god forsaken shit hole. I’ve made peace with that. That doesn’t mean I’m going to lay down like a doormat and let every cocky prick in the trailer park have his way with me.”

Cass lives a depressing life in a small trailer park in Eddington, Georgia, with her mother and abusive boyfriend Jackson. She works hard to barely make ends meet. But everything changes when Tucker White, the lead singer in the band Damaged, walks into her diner. He tries to show her that there is more to life than the hand she has been dealt, but Cass soon learns that being with Tucker will come at a high price.

Juls Review
There were two things in this story that I didn’t like and they were at the end. Don’t want to say what they are because that would give away the story.

I'm also not a fan of the author, hate her honor student series but I actually liked this book. I loved Cass. She was such a caring person. She has a lot of baggage but she just does what she needs to do to get to the next day. She was in a sucky situation but I really admired her for sticking around. You know, the more I think about the story the more I realize why the ending was so crass. I think without those obstacles she can properly move on.

Cass doesn’t trust Tucker. Who would? Especially the life she’s lived she doesn’t give that away to anyone! He comes into her life but she’s not letting him have it easy. But he wont give up. He’s determined to have this girl however he can get her.

I really liked the fact that Tucker was a rock star but that still didn’t make Cass think that much better of him. She saw him as a person and treated him as such. And Tucker, he may have been her knight coming to rescue her from her horrible life and even with her attitude and coldness to him he saw the girl he could love.

Some parts were very cheesy but overall a very cute read.

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Jen's Review
The ending was a bit rushed, but this was a really cute story!
I love the whole Rock star looking for true love – I wish there was a little of Tucker’s POV in the story, but we got the idea :D

The book starts off and we find out how sad Cass is. She's working hard in a diner just outside her trailer park. She lives with her abusive, drug addict boyfriend and her mom.
She works hard for lousy tips and barely gets by with the bills. But she puts whatever she can away in her special hidden spot. She has a dream to get out of the trailer park. She knows once she's out, her mother will get clean, and they can be happy again.

One day all that changed when Tucker White came into the diner on his noisy motorcycle. When he first came in, Cass was intimidated by his good looks.
But when Jackson, her boyfriend came into the diner demanding cash that she didn't have, Tucker had decided then and there that he was going to help Cass out. Leaving her a big enough tip to get Jax out of the diner.

The next day, Tucker showed up again and sat in the booth. They talked a little, flirted, but she knew it was a hopeless dream. She was stuck with the reality of life. Jackson was her life.

And when Jackson came back into the diner, again demanding money, Tucker did what he could to make sure Cass was safe.

Even the next day, when Tucker couldn't make it to the diner, he had sent a couple of friends to watch over Cass for him. And when Jackson, again came into the diner, Tucker's friends were right there to help out.

Cass couldn't understand why he cared so much about her being safe from Jackson.

When Cass came back to the diner after a fight with Jackson, Tucker saw the tears in her eyes. His first instinct was to blame Jackson

Cass had enough. She couldn't take the guilt anymore and told him off.
Tucker threw a ticket to a concert on the ground for her and took off. She picked it up and put in her apron and went to work.

Just about the time the concert was about to start, she decided to ask the other waitress to cover for her. Giving her all her tips, she took off for the concert.

She had no idea who Tucker White was! But she had the time of her life at the concert.

After the concert, they parted ways, knowing he had to leave to go back on the road.

" In a perfect world, I would have run into Tucker's arms and never looked back at this godforsaken place, but that wasn't reality. I had a mother to take care of, and bills to play "

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Confidant - by Liliana Anderson - Guest Post

Biography Title: Confidante: The Brothel

 Author: Liliana Anderson 
 Date Published: 10/22/12

Ok, I'll admit it - My mother in law used to be a sex worker. It's something that she has confided in few people outside her immediate family until me. We are polar opposites in many ways but we get each other - as a result I have become the confidante in her life which is how this series has been born. In 1989, Angelien was 32 when she made the decision to enter a brothel to help support herself and her two sons. She quickly became the most popular girl there with her Kathleen Turner looks and her excellent 'acting' skills. Confidante: The Brothel is a collection of Angelien's most memorable stories of her month working in the brothel. This is a biography about friendship, discovery and of course sex.

 Practical Advice for Beginning Biography Writing

When you decide to write a biography it is very important to make sure you are telling a story that people want to read. Every one of us has led a fairly interesting life at some point, but the question is - is that life so interesting that people want to hear about it, and then repeat it to others?
I asked that of myself before writing Confidante: The Brothel.
By the time I had started writing Angelien’s story, I had already known her for more than ten years and her stories were fairly commonplace for me by then. The best thing I did was start to tell her stories to some friends. If I was out attending a girls night, I would tell some of the stories she had given me to those I was sitting with and found that suddenly all other conversations stopped and I became the centre of attention. The next time we went out, I would be asked for more stories – the girls I know kind of became voyeurs in a life that not one of them was willing to lead, and it fascinated them.
The best advice I have is to start telling the story to others, if their eyes glaze over – it’s not a good idea; if their eyebrows shoot up and others start to merge into your conversation – then you probably have something to write about.

Author Bio: 
Liliana Anderson Australian author of Confidante: The Brothel - Lilliana is a wife, mother of 4 and friend to many. She lives a relatively quiet life in suburban Melbourne and spends most of her spare time writing the Confidante series as well as a racey drama of love and loss with the working title ‘What Might Have Been’.

Contact Information

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of TranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Juls Review

WoW!!!! What a powerful book! I'm still in awe over this book. I have to give major props to the author. She really has an amazing way of showing that there is always light at the end of the dark and scary tunnel. 

Nastya is the new girl and the way she looks gets everyone's attention. Not the attention that is preferred but attention all the same. The more uncomfortable she feels the better. She almost thrives on it. And not that her appearance doesnt make her stick out like a sore thumb she also doesnt talk. It may sound harsh of me phrasing it that way but with her and what she went through three years ago she has decided to not talk anymore. She's not the only one this affect. This has put a huge gap between her and her family. 

Nastya moves in with her Aunt Margo and tries to start a new life. In her quest to be noticed for what she's not Nastya takes notice of the one person who she hasnt even given her a side ways glance. 

His name is Josh and Nastya wants what he's got going on. No one bothers him, no one looks at him, everyone leaves him alone. 

Josh's past may be out in the open for all to see but after the trauma he endures with the loss of his loved one he's buried so far into himself that no is able to break that shell. Or so he thought. 

An accidental meeting leads into a silent agreement for Josh and Nastya and without words they create a comfortable existence amongst each other. Together they find comfort and a love so powerful you question if they are old enough to have found something this strong.

Along the way, the people that Nastya comes in contact with learn to accept what they dont have in their control but more so is true for Nastya. 

If you are looking for a book to end this year on a good note, this is the book to pick up. Great great read! 

Jen's Review 

I don't think there could be a bad review for this book - It just went straight to the top of my favorites list after that ending :)

This book is so raw with emotions, the reality of it just blows me away.

Nastya - where to begin with her. She is awesome! My idle actually. To go through what she went through, and still be able to survive, just.. wow.
Something happened to her a few years ago. and since her memory returned to her almost 2 years ago, she hasn't spoken to a single person. She didn't want to tell anyone what happened, so she didn't tell anyone anything.. at all .

When she's ready to go back to school for her senior year, she gets her parents to let her start over in a new town living with her Aunt. The New principal doesn't know what to think of her not talking, but has agreed to leave notes with all her new teachers letting them know.

As she's walking out of the office, she meets Drew - and LOL the chemistry between Nastya and Drew is so much fun to read about. He's actually a pretty decent guy.

after school starts, the first day of school is the hardest for Nastya. She wants to be ignored and doesn't want to draw attention to herself. At lunch when she sees the courtyard filled with people everywhere.. everywhere except that one table where there is one guy, alone, like he has a force field.. and she wants a force field like that.

School becomes a drag but she manages to hide out and ignore just about everyone. Everyone but Drew that is. Because Drew isn't ignoring her like he's supposed to be. But she kind of likes the way he flirts with her.

After a couple of weeks, her pent up energy starts to get to her. The rain is finally stopped and she is able to throw on her tennis shoes and go for a run. After her run she realizes she's in a new part of the neighborhood and she's lost. Walking around, she sees a garage door open. Walking up she realizes it's Josh's garage, she won’t speak to him, but she watches him...

Drew screws up and pisses Nastya off.. his way of apologizing. Inviting her over to a Family dinner one Sunday. But he did it in front of her aunt, so she had to go.

Since Drew and Josh were Best friends, and Josh was like a member of the family. he was at Sunday dinner as well. Drew's mom took a special likening to Nastya, and was invited over again next week.

Nastya started making it a habit to stop by josh's garage a few nights after her run. Just watching him. Making him nervous.

Josh is a great guy Lots of bad luck comes his way through. He's now alone in life and does what he can to make sure it stays that way. He's afraid to let anyone in. But when Nastya starts hanging around him.. he really doesn’t' know what to do.

And when Nastya starts talking to Josh... that’s just a special secret that no one will ever find out.

The way these two got together, the way they grew stronger and happier while they were together. it just truly made the whole book. When Nastya tries to see reality, Josh is there to stabilize her. But she's not able to tell him her true secret.

This is a long story, but really worth every word on the pages :)

Awesome story! Totally recommended by me to everyone!!

The Sea of Tranquility book trailer

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Tale of another Kind - Guest Post/Review

Kai Emery likes to be indiscernible; however, his infatuation for his classmate, Sienna Fynn, has made his invisibility status all the more impossible to upkeep. His world spirals out of control when he discovers that he is a shapeshifting were-leopard, and finds himself unable to control his newfound anatomy. An unpredictable vampire enters his life, leading him down a path that soon reveals his destiny, and discloses another world, filled with magic and terrifying darkness. When he finds himself in danger from the god of magic and darkness for disobeying a curse bestowed upon his kind, forbidding him from falling in love with a human, he has to fight for survival, and protect everyone that he loves

Why teenagers connect so deeply with YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

by Leandi Cameron 
When I was a kid, there was nothing more magical than finding myself engrossed in a wonderful book filled with magical creatures and horror tales of demons, vampires and werewolves – back then some of these stories seemed to be awfully frightening, yet absolutely captivating.

It transported me to a world where I found myself escaping from the normal mundane life of being a teenager, living a life where the friends I had closest to me being the actual people who were my bullies.

I have grown up now, and have become a much stronger person, and have worked hard at finding my self-confidence again, even though, I must admit, bullies do still exist in the “grown-up” world as well. However, during that time, I realised, that my world of books saved me – whenever I was depressed, or felt down, alone in a corner with no one to call my friend, I knew that I could go home, and I would find a host of friends within my stack of books I picked up from the travelling library, and that is where I would stay for the rest of the day.

Books were my salvation – my escape to a place where I was safe and able to live out the person I was feeling deep inside – the romantic who wished I could find my dark prince who would woo me and sweep me off my feet, ready to save me from the pain I had to endure during my day at school; or the strong female character that wouldn’t allow anyone to stand in her way and who was strong enough to stand up for herself.

A soft person I used to be – yes, she still exists, I must admit, but through my books and the beautifully crafted, strong characters, I have found, one thing that stood out for me – they were determined, and fought for what they wanted in life. And, even though I was a teenager who some nights cried myself to sleep, my books helped me understand that if I wanted anything in life, I must fight for it.

And that I why I feel so connected to young adult (YA) books – they speak directly to the heart of teenagers and to what they go through on a daily basis and what they long so desperately for.

And now, there’s no question about it that this market has skyrocketed and the audience for these types of books are ready to indulge themselves in anything that might transport them to another place. There simply is no steady growth with the YA market – it has already exploded.

But, with that, the readers have become more demanding, the market has become more tough and, therefore, writers are expected to know more about their target markets – if they miss the mark, they simply won’t get the YA market “on their side”.

So, the question is, what are the keys to writing a successful YA novel? It isn’t that simple, but if writers delve deep into their past, and feel what they felt when they too were YAs, then they could bring to life a world that makes sense to any teenager who picks up their books. In a way, having a tough teenage life could even have been the best thing that has ever happened to me as a writer! It has formed me, and given me a greater understanding into the psyche of what teenagers feel when they are in love with a boy or a girl but the love isn’t mutual; it makes me understand how it feels to be the outcast; it makes me know just how insecure one can be about yourself – I’m not pretty, skinny, or curvy enough, or I have braces, my hair is ugly or I’m not popular enough. Having experienced these things makes a writer of YA books indispensible.

When you’re young, everything you feel is much deeper and much more intense. Song lyrics speak to you in a way a grown-up could never understand – because, face it, grown-ups don’t understand – they forget how it was to be there and feel pain, hurt and exhilaration so intensely.

Being a teenager is like electrical currents running through you at all times – nothing pleases you and everything pleases you – all at once. You find a first love and you will experience your first heartbreak, you make bad decisions and will be betrayed by those around you who you trust the most. These are all things that we all have been through, and what all teenagers go through still, today. Nothing has changed – yes, times have changed and kids have better equipment to read their books with or Playstations and PS Vita’s, but they still have to experience what we, grown-ups, had to once experience ourselves.

They have to find ways to make important decisions and deal with the consequences if their decisions were wrong. When they look around them, they all believe that they are the only ones who feel this way, but what they don’t know, is that every other teen around them have to go through the same things, and everyone will make a different decision to the tales of their own lives, which will shape who they ultimately become.

When you are a teenager, everything is utterly intense.

That, however, is why the YA paranormal romance genre is so intriguing to youngsters – it is dark and it speaks to their very core. It takes them to the place they feel inside, and it makes them be something or someone else for the 300 or more pages the book in hand is – a world of escapism.

And that is what YA paranormal romance / fantasy is about – it is dark, broody, mysterious and… intense – just like teenagers.

Author Bio: 
Leandi Cameron
Leandi Cameron is an award-winning journalist and assistant editor for the the Boksburg Advertiser, and has now also added the titles "author" and "publisher" on her plaque with the release of her first novel, A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel.
Cameron is from Johannesburg, South Africa, (maiden name Rostoll).

At school she wasn't the most popular girl, as she was a victim of bullying, but found comfort in her books, and soon discovered her talent for writing at a tender age.

She, therefore, resorted to spending most of her time writing poems, short stories and songs during her afternoons and evenings.

Cameron confesses that she filled her nights reading every young-adult horror, paranormal, romance and fantasy novel she could get her hands on.

Her father used to take her to a travelling library that passed by their house on a weekly basis, and she would stock up on her weekly dose of young adult novels.

Cameron, obtained her Honours Degree in Journalism at Tshwane University of Technology and soon found her feet in the print media industry, walking away with the Siemens Profile Award and being nominated for the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award and a National Science & Technology Fund Award.

In 2009, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, which she began suffering from when she was only 12 years old.

"No one, including myself, took it too seriously, as we shrug it off as growing pains. However, the trauma of losing my father to a heart attack in 2006 rapidly fastened my symptoms and aggressiveness of the disease within my body," says Cameron.

Cameron then had to put her life on hold, and had to leave the magazine she was working at during that time, while the doctors went through a trial and error process to treat her disease.

While at home, she wrote as a freelance journalist and established a writing and editing service company.

This was when Cameron decided to work full-time on her debut novel, A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel. This novel wasn't the first one to have made it onto the pages of her laptop, but it was definitely the one that stuck.

A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel, hit the shelves in September 2012, and she is working on the second novel in the series, called A Therian Struggle.

The story of Kai Emery, plays off in Sabie. He finds out that he is part man and part wereleopard (shapeshifter), and falls in love with the school beauty Sienna. He then has to fight for survival and protect everyone that he loves from danger. It is an interesting read for anyone who enjoys young-adult paranormal fantasy. However, this book is not just about paranormal romance, it has a rich cultural history and mythological background, deeply entrenched into the core of the story.

"When I write, I lived out every character, and each one has a bit of me in them," says Cameron.

Cameron also published her debut novel herself by establishing an independent publishing division within her multi-discipline business, House of LeaVik, which she co-owns with her sister Vikki Rostoll-Olivier.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – YA Paranormal Fantasy
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Leandi Cameron on Facebook & Twitter

Jen's Review

Cute story - I liked the paranormal parts that were involved. Very different in every way.

Kai is a 17 year old kid about to turn 18. In the beginning of this book, we are struggling to figure out what was going on along with Kai.

Sienna, the girl he's been crazy in love with since she moved into their town, was involved with James, Her boyfriend who had hurt her, physically. Kai isn't sure what the pull was, but as soon as he saw what was going on, he stepped in and they fraught.

well ever since the fight, Kai's body has been going through some strange things. Every time he gets upset, he gets really dizzy and painful joints, and he just doesn't know what to do about it.

It isn't until Sienna finally agrees to go out with him, that he figures out what he really is.
When Sienna's life is in danger, his body transforms and he tries to save her. But she gets hurt.
Taking her to the hospital is all he could do for her, that and leave her alone. After all, since he doesn't know what' going on with him, he's afraid he's going to hurt her.

Well that doesn't go over very well for Sienna. She's upset and wants an explanation. But since Kai doesn't even know what's going on with him, there is no way he could explain things to her.

That's when Astrid shows up. Astrid is a Vampire of sorts, but she wasn't created, she was born the same way Kai was. They may have different shifting abilities, but they are made of the same characteristics.. Hibirds, or shapshifters, whatever you want to call them, they are only part human.

Astrid has a lot of answers, but keeping her in one spot isn't easy to do. Kai goes through a lot trying to find out more about his ability and soon feels like he can trust himself to be around Sienna again.

But Astrid makes her appearance and lets Kai know that being together with Sienna is a BIG mistake!
But it's too late, Kai already showed himself to Sienna, and Quinn found out about it..

Duh Duh Dummmmmmmm

Really a cute story, I struggled with some of the reading though. It's targeted probably for ages 13 + but it's told in a teenage guys POV - I'm not sure if that's why, knowing teenage boys myself and somewhat what goes on in their minds, they don't do the detail thing, so reading this story, I feel like it's flashing around and leaving some things out.

But other than that, it was really a fun story to read. The different types of characters in this story was fun to read about. I think Ogel is my favorite though :)
Fun start to a cute new series :) I'm anxious to find out what will happen in the next book !

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines Double Reviews

Fallen Too Far (Fallen Too Far, #1)

To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter. 

She is still na├»ve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother. 

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far

Jen's Review  4 of 5 stars false 

I was not expecting a cliffhanger. I would have waited a little while to read it. I really wasn't impressed with the ending though :(

Great story! I really loved this one - I thought it was going to be Grant's story though.

Blaire had it rough. life was pretty good as she knew it, up until her sister died when she was 16, and her father left. Then her mom got sick and she had no choice but to take care of her. She had to grow up so fast, missing out on everything that the other kids were experiencing in life. everything a teenage SHOULD experience in life.

After her mother died, she had to sell the house to pay for the hospital bills, She had $20 and an old beat up truck with some clothes to her name.
She broke down and called her father for help. He told her to come stay with him while she got back on her feet.

So the story begins as Blaire pulls up to the house she's supposed to stay at. Instead of finding a nice quiet home that her father and new family shared, she found a really big house filled with cars!
That's where she meets Grant. As Grant walks her into the house to meet Rush, her new Step-brother, Blaire can't help but feel nervous.

Once she got one look at Rush, her whole world crumbled again. She could see in his eyes he didn't want to help her. Her father and his mother were gone and she had no place to stay.

She was surprised though when Rush offered her the tiny bedroom under the stairs no bigger than a broom closet.
She liked it. It was out of the way and she knew she wouldn't get caught up in Rush's lifestyle. The rich and spoiled.

Her first day out and she lands a really good job at the Country Club. Making really good money plus tips.
She also meets some of the members.

I have to say I'm a little disappointed that more didn't evolve with her and Woods. I really liked him. Yes he was her boss, but he seemed like he really liked her.

The story wasn't what I thought it would be, I was expecting something like Just for Now. The great story with the chase of the good girl and bad boy, followed by some good times and a HEA

Guess I"ll be re-reading this one in march so I can pick up where it left off when the next one comes out :)

Juls rated it  2 of 5 stars false

Thats right. You are seeing it correctly. Only 2 stars for me. I didnt hate it, I just thought it was okay.
If you hover over the stars you'll see that when you do this it says it was okay and thats how I felt about this book.

You take a girl who has gone to so much in life, the death of her twin sister to taking care of her dying mother, and put her in a room with a boy that says “I cant have you” or “you’re too good” and you turn her into what resembles a well put together chick.

I thought Blaire was smart. She was no slacker. She did what she needed to do to survive. Getting a job the first day out, good for her! But then she goes back to where she has a bed and one look at Rush and she’s just a puddle at his feet.

Rush is no prize. He’s been harboring a huge secret but allowing things to get out of hand knowing the heartbreak Blaire would endure made him seem pathetic.

I really wanted Blaire to open her eyes and see the great people she could have gotten to know. Woods was a great character. Yes he was her boss but he looked out for her. But did she give him a chance, NO! What about Grant, he was a bit of a partier but he still wanted to make sure Blaire was okay.

One saving grace was the end. Blaire finally manned up, in which we are left with a bit of a cliff hanger. I think as the series moves forward things will get better.
I’m not giving up on one of my fav authors. This may just have been one of her hiccups.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway

Painted FacesPainted Faces by L.H. Cosway
Our rating: 5 of 5 stars

Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn't have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she's around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn't know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

Publication date: 16th December 2012.

Juls Review

I was asked by the author to Beta for her and what I found in this gem of a book was quite unexpected. Put all those traditional thoughts of drag queens aside and see the real person inside. Painted Faces takes you on a journey of friendship and love and the ups and downs with everything in between.

Nicholas is Freda's new neighbor. Upon first sight of him Freda is completely mesmerized. His beauty makes her a bit flustered and her sarcastic tongue gets the better of her. But soon they become friends and even with the sexual tension and attraction they fall into a comfortable companionship.

Freda is your average girl and she is okay with it. She's no size 2 and that doesnt stop her from eating one of her cupcake perfections. Her past as being a "fat" kid has shaped her into a woman with a sharp tongue and quick come backs. She doesnt need to be small to be happy. It is what it is and she deals with it.

Nicholas is a beautiful man and also a beautiful woman. His beauty has always been an issue. Ever since he was a child its almost been a curse.
Dressing up with his deceased mother's clothes to find her within him may have been the original plan but it turned into more, a safety blanket of sorts. His past was ugly and the beauty he finds in dressing as a woman is the only beauty he sees in life. There he can escape his childhood.

Nicholas is not your typical drag queen. He may be one beautifully dressed woman but he is all man. And the man wants Freda. She is a breathe of fresh air and he cant seem to get enough of her. But his past is sneaking up on him and he shuns her love away. Will Freda give him another chance? Is it too late for him?

I really loved this book. I loved that Freda loved Nicholas for him and the woman underneath. She doesnt think of him differently for what he does on stage, she love him more for it.

I highly recommend this book!

Jen's Review

This book just moved up to my favorites list – Up high on the list.

I have never read a book about drag queens before – I’ve seen movies, I know a few things about them, but this book was so different – I’m totally smitten by it J

First of all, I love all the history of Ireland and things that are different than the USA way – it’s like Fred is speaking to us and wanted to make sure everyone got her story.

Fred – Oh wow, she is awesome! I totally love her sense of humor in this book – she is quick with her tongue, and can embarrass anyone into submission. But that is all talk for her.
Freda is a big girl. Not HUGE – but she’s a little curvy girl. And like more curvy girls, she is a little sensitive about herself.  But she has learned over the years of her childhood that her quick lashings with her tongue is a good way to keep people from noticing.

Nicolas, aka Vivica is a sweetheart. He hasn’t had the best life growing up. Everyone has their secrets. But Nicolas’s is a little deeper than the rest of us. His mother died when he was young, and his father was never home. Nicolas felt the best way to stay close to his mother was by dressing up in his clothes. Some people might find that sick, but to a 9 year old boy, that was comfort. And what became comfort, soon become more.

The book starts off with Fred running into her newest neighbor Vivicia. Because she introduced herself as Fred, she thought he was kidding about his name. But he didn’t give her another name.
She thought about Viv as becoming her BFF – sure she had Nora, but Viv was Gorgeous! She  wanted to be the BFF that Viv goes to and talks about everything with.

When Nicolas comes over to the apartment for dinner that Nora invited him to, Fred and Viv have this easy going flirtation going on. It’s so easy for the two of them to talk and just be together.
He makes her weak in the knees, and she makes him laugh like no one else.

And then Nicolas declares her his best friend. True he only has 4 friends in town, but she’s the top of the list now  *Sigh*

Fred starts helping Viv with her gigs at  The Hut, and they talk forever and become really good friends. But that playful Flirtation starts to get a little more than playful. Fred is starting to get uncomfortable with Nicolas’s advances because she’s truly afraid of her heart being broken. She doesn’t have a good track record with guys, and she’s scared to let Nicolas in.

But when these two DO get together….. But can Nicolas let go of his past enough to let Fred near his heart??

Like I said I really loved this book. It was really sweet! Nicolas may be a drag queen, but he’s not gay. Not even a little bit. Which makes me love him just a little big more.
My newest favorite couple J Fred and Viv ! I’m going to be thinking about them for a long time, now J Totally recommending this book to everyone!!