The Wicked King-Review

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)The Wicked King by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a book. I’m a little weird about reading books that are very popular because I have been disappointed before, but boy, am I glad I picked up The Cruel Prince because it led me to the even more fantastic The Wicked King. Holly Black is a true black belt of the writing craft. Jude and Cardan will live in my memory for a very long time. They are perfectly imperfect and their relationship, with all its twists and turns, both shocks and entrances. I found myself going from an “aww” to a “What? What the hell just happened?” sometimes on the same page. The world Black created, however fictional and the stuff of dreams and nightmares, feels familiar and organic as Black’s mastery comes through in the way she describes it in much detail without ever breaking the flow of the plot.
It’s going to be hard to top this one but I have all faith that Holly Black will be more than up for the challenge. Now, what can I read while waiting for November’s release of Queen of Nothing?

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Realigned-Book Review

RealignedRealigned by Becca Seymour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a super quick read but long enough for me to fall in love with the two main characters. It’s a sweet and steamy friends to lovers story (my favorite trope) and my only complaint is that it was so short, lol. Mitch’s and Shaun’s friendship and love for each other comes through loud and clear and I got to say I loved the fact that they didn’t rush into bed together as soon as they revealed their feelings to each other. Instead they “realigned” themselves and their relationship after being away from each other for years until there was no doubt in their minds they wanted to stay together for life. Great first novel by Becca Seymour. Loved it.

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The Cruel Prince- Book Review

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I was going to like this book because every book I read that featured the Folk sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s face it, fairies and all their kin are not very nice. But I was so wrong when it came to this book. I absolutely loved it. All the twists and turns, surprises, the very flawed characters who in spite of it all manage to be somehow likable. I don’t like bad boys but I got to say I’m in love with Carden and the love-hate relationship (mostly hate) between him and Jude. I admire Holly Black’s talent to move the characters and the reader from a totally magical, unfamiliar world to our modern, very familiar world and vice-versa. I admit, I was shocked by the bloody scene in the beginning (thinking, is this really YA?) but as you read on, you realize how necessary that brutal scene was in order to establish Madoc’s personality. Extremely well-developed characters, intricate plot, and tantalizing promises of things yet to come.
Already bought The Wicked King and I can’t wait to start reading it.

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February Grow Team Giveaway

Love reading & reviewing? Like finding new authors? Wanna join a review team/street team?

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We have romance authors of varying genres who would love to find new readers! Why join a team? (Or lots of teams?) There are so many perks…like FREE books, advanced notice of sales, giveaways, and new releases. Let’s not forget the swag and signed books so many authors give to their team as a reward for the support.

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Give it a try! Join some teams and be entered to win $50 in Amazon Gift Cards!

Participating Authors:
Amy B Wells | Anna Bloom | Anna Edwards | Ashlee Price | Darcy Delany | Eric Bolt | Gina Conkle | Grace Roberts | Heather Young-Nichols | Ja’Nese Dixon | K.L. Shandwick | Krissy V | Lilliana Rose | Lissa Lynn Thomas | Liz Gavin | Liza Street | M.C. Cerny | Monica Corwin | Natalina Reis | S.L. Sterling | Sissy Queen | Sydney Aaliyah Michelle | Tara L. Ames

Enter to win!

Star Crossed-Book Review

Star-Crossed

Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not my first book by Dunn but by far my favorite. Love the tension between the two young lovers, the doubts and fears in Vela’s heart, the subtle social message, her relationship with her father (made me cry a bit), and most of all the ending. I’m not going to lie I was yelling at Pintip last night as I approached the ending. Things were not looking good, lol. But she delivered a satisfying end. Well done.

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Recipe for Disaster-Book Review

A Recipe for Disaster: A deliciously feel-good romanceA Recipe for Disaster: A deliciously feel-good romance by Belinda Missen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A romance about second chances. Since I believe in second chances (some would say a bit too much) I identified with the main character–the roller coaster of emotions she was on, wanting and not wanting, not knowing what to trust or what to believe, in love and angry, forgiving and resentful… I could go on, lol.
I can’t say I was “in love” with her husband which I guess was the author’s intention. I was never quite sure whether he was trustworthy and that he truly loved her or if he was just playing her. The story is told from the main character’s POV so we kind of struggle with our feelings for her husband alongside her.
Those who love a story sprinkled with food will love this one. At times, it actually made me hungry. All in all a well-written, entertaining and easy read with a satisfying end.

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Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser #1)Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this book on accident and boy, am I glad I did. I got sucked in shortly after I started listening to it (I bought both the book and the audible book) and it was a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Loved it and will be buying the second in the series as soon as possible. My only issue was that there wasn’t much romance in it. I had been under the assumption it was a romantic urban fantasy. But it’s not like I missed it too much. Loved Jade’s voice, her sister, the complicated relationships with the other magical beings, and ultimately the mystery all rolled up into a thick layer of chocolate frosting. Lovely. Excited I have found a new favorite author.

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Whole Lotta Frogs-Review

WHOLE LOTTA FROGS
RELEASE BLITZ
AUTHOR: SAMATHA HARRIS
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 19, 2018
COVER DESIGNER: T.E. BLACK DESIGNS

REVIEW

I was offered an ARC from the author with no expectations of a review, but I had to write a review for this one. I finished last night (I was up very late because I couldn’t put it down) and Samatha Harris did not disappoint me.

Whole Lotta Frogs is funny, sweet, and hot without going overboard with sex. The characters are flawed but very likable . By the end I felt I knew Len and Ellis as well or better than some of my own friends.

Harris’ use of blog posts in between chapters is brilliant. The blogs were believable and fun to read while giving Len (the FMC) and the plot more depth.

I’ve been known to collect quotes from books I liked and I collected quite a few from this one.  “…but you love me, Lennox. The only one who doesn’t believe it is you.” and “Wishes are like prayers fueled by hope and desire.” are just a couple of them.

Those of you who have followed me for a while know I love funny and this romance didn’t let me down–it had me laughing through the pages up to the very end.

Five enthusiastic stars for A Whole Lotta Frogs!!

My name is Lennox Brooks and I’ll admit, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I don’t take the big risks, I cover my insecurities with snark, I’ve shown my crazy a few more times then I would’ve liked, and I’ve been trying, and failing at love pretty much since I first grew tits. 
Weirdos, Mama’s boys, the over-coiffed, and underwhelming, I’ve been out with them all, just read my blog. I’ve got horror stories that would curl your toes and singe your nose hairs, but none of them compare to the toad who started it all, Ellis Walker.
He was the boy next door, the charming, infuriatingly gorgeous one who broke my heart and disappeared without a trace. Now he’s back and determined to throw my life into chaos, dredging up painful memories just when things were getting good.
But the thing is there are always two sides to every story.
I’ve spent the better part of my life hating him for everything he put me through, but without that resentment clouding my judgment how will I ever resist him?
Love is complicated, appearances are deceiving, and sometimes you have to kiss a whole lotta frogs before finding your prince.

I stepped into an enormous bowl made of trampolines. Bright neon-green padding ran in a grid-like pattern across the entire arena, separating each trampoline into its own little rectangle. The springy black fabric covered every available surface, including the walls.

I stepped down into the closest square, giving it a test bounce, and smiled. It doesn’t matter how old you get. It’s impossible not to smile when bouncing on a trampoline.

We had the entire bowl to ourselves. I could still hear the music and the screaming, but it sounded distant and not nearly as deafening.

Ellis bounced back and forth from square to square, the squeaking of the springs mixed with my own tentative steps.

“Is this part of your plan?” I asked.

Ellis stopped jumping and rested his hands on his hips to catch his breath. “I could’ve gone with the cliché dinner and movie, but I figured you could use a little bit of fun.”

I laughed. “You’re right. I could use some fun. I’ve been a little stressed since this guy from my past came back into my life and won’t leave me alone.”

Ellis shrugged. “Maybe he likes you.”

I laughed and jumped to another square. “He thinks he does.”

“Trust me, Len. He knows.”

“Okay, so what’s next? Or was your grand plan to make me work out against my will.”

Ellis held up one finger and disappeared through the curtain of netting, only to reappear with a bag of bright red balls.

“What is that?”

“I was thinking about what you said about me torturing you when we were younger. I was a punk kid trying to get the attention of the girl he liked, but I get how it may not have felt that way to you.” He dropped the bag at my feet and turned it upside down, emptying six rubber balls at my feet. “This is your chance to get me back.”

Ellis made his way to the other side of the bowl and opened his arms. “Let me have it, Len. All I ask is that you don’t aim for the face.”

“You want me to hit you?”

“If you’re ever going to give us a chance, you need to let go of the past, and if this is what it takes to get you to forgive me then so be it. I’m willing to take the hit.”

I picked up a ball, testing the weight in my hands and eyeing him as he stood, arms wide open, feet spread apart, muscles tense and prepared for impact.

I wanted to hit him. I really did. But I am an adult, and adults don’t solve problems by hurling rubber projectiles.

“I can’t,” I said. “This is childish.”

“You scared?” he asked that trademark smirk of his spread wide across his face.

“I’m not scared. This is stupid.”

“I agree, but continuing to punish me for the mistakes I made as a kid is also pretty stupid.”

Anger welled inside of me and I drew back, hurling the ball as hard as I could toward his chest. The ball hit its target with a loud thud and bounced away.

Victory swelled inside my chest.

“See?” Ellis said. “Feeling a little vindicated, aren’t you?”

“Shut up,” I said, hurling the next ball toward him.

 

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid. 
 
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.
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@LipServicesPR

 

Emotion in Writing

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I attended Donald Maas‘s workshop and I’m just now writing about it. I almost didn’t sign up for it. The workshop was being hosted by the Richmond branch of the Romance Writers of America (VRW) and held in Richmond, Virginia–an almost two hour drive from my house. Driving far from home and to places I’ve never been to stresses me out to panic levels and I normally avoid it like the plague. But I really wanted to go to this one, so I signed up. Luckily one of my local writer friends signed up too and I was able to drive with her. I’m a much better copilot than a pilot in situations like this.

This workshop was everything I expected it to be and so much more. A huge kudos for the Virginia Romance Writers  who set up an amazing event in a great venue and for providing us all with a magical supply of food (especially the donuts which seemed to be forever reproducing themselves in the kitchen) and the awesome speaker.

DMaas and me

I’ve been to many workshops. Some were writing-related and others not. Some were excellent, others left me regretting the money and time invested. This one was inspirational. I came out of the full-day event revitalized, inspired, and motivated to write more and better. I also left vindicated somehow.  I’m an emotional writer. I have a tendency to neglect certain details (which in my mind seem superfluous) and focus on feelings. I thought that maybe I was writing romance the wrong way, but after this workshop I feel I’ve been doing the right thing. But I need to get better at it.

During the session I wrote a couple of the best scenes in my current project, not to mention I came up with the missing pieces of my plot. Pretty wonderful, don’t you agree?

Mr. Maas was a pleasure to listen and talk to. Nothing like being able to immediately apply what you’re learning to give you a sense of accomplishment. He took us on a journey through his last writing book, The Emotional Craft of Fiction, and had us apply it directly to our current projects. It was truly magical.

I don’t normally recommend writing books, no matter how great they are, because we all write differently and what I’ve found is that one “technique” may be amazing for some and absolutely not work for others. However, this one is different. This one works with what you already have and helps you–through some pretty simple exercises–to make it better, to make it resonate in readers’ s minds and hearts. So I am totally recommending it. Further more I am suggesting that you buy it and read it as you edit your work. You’ll be amazed with the results.

Emotional

My only regret after such a great workshop is not having anything to send to Mr. Maas’ agency after he so kindly extended an invitation to all of the attendees to query him. Maybe one day, Mr.Maas, maybe one day…

The Heart of Betrayal-Review

 

The Heart of Betrayal

by Mary E. Pearson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)

After reading “The Kiss Of Deception” and loving it, I was weary about reading its sequel. Could Mary E. Pearson really write another book as good and surprising as the first one? Well, apparently she can. I loved the surprises she threw at the reader in the first book in the series and she didn’t disappoint again on the second. She keeps you on your toes through most of the story, she makes you hate and love the characters at the same time, and in the end you thirst for that next book. Pearson has a knack to write characters who are lovable and strong as much as they are uncomfortably imperfect and to describe a cruel and hopeless world with heart. I also love that the women in the story are strong and never give up,no matter what their circumstances may be. Pearson gives her female characters a sense of sisterhood that I truly appreciate and hope holds true in real life. Another amazing read. Looking forward to the next (already in my Kindle) one.

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