Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blitz: Stim by Kevin Berry

Stim by Kevin Berry
Publication date: October 16th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Robert is different. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He experiences the world differently to 99% of the population. Follow his entertaining and highly empathetic story as he struggles to realise and accept who he really is, try to understand other people—which he cannot—and find a girlfriend. Especially find a girlfriend—he’s decided it’s his special project for the year. Accompanied on this transformative journey by his quirky flatmates, Chloe (who also has Asperger’s, amongst other things), Stef (who hasn’t, but doesn’t mind) and their oddly-named kitten, Robert endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl…and not even a major earthquake will stop him.

This absorbing and humorous story is starkly told from Robert’s point of view, through the kaleidoscope of autistic experience.

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Stim by Kevin Berry Excerpt

Stim Excerpt

The temperature seemed even hotter than before as we pushed the trolleys back the same way to collect my belongings. My feet dragged as if I were wading through golden syrup with a ball and chain attached to each of my legs. I tried to imagine that we were trudging through some endless desert somewhere, but it obviously was not a desert, it was a main road lined with P30 parking signs, and the shopping trolleys were probably marginally easier to push along the footpath than through the sand. They did seem to have a life of their own, though.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Blitz + Giveaway: The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: June 12th 2012
Genres: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction

The Bastion was humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. A fortified city with a high wall, surrounded by lush land rich with all the resources needed to survive, protected by high mountain summits, and a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion became the last stronghold of the living on earth. But one fateful day, the gate failed and the Inferi Scourge destroyed the human settlements outside the walls and trapped the survivors inside the city. Now decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city as resources and hope dwindle.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her whole life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of her lover, Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.

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The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater Excerpt

The Last Bastion of the Living
Rhiannon Frater


Maria was dozing lightly when Dwayne crawled into bed with her. The fans around the bed hummed softly, and her body was cool beneath the thin sheets. As Dwayne’s naked body stretched out next to hers, she rolled over and kissed him.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tour + Giveaway: The Island & The Waves by Jen Minkman

The Island (The Island #1) by Jen Minkman
Published: June 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

“I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.”

Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?

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The Waves (The Island #2) by Jen Minkman
Published: October 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Walt lives in Hope Harbor, an island community that has put its trust in salvation from across the sea. The townspeople wait patiently, build their ships to sail out and welcome the Goddess, and piously visit the temple every week. Horror stories to scare their children are told about the Unbelievers on the other side of Tresco.
But not all is what it seems. Walt has questions that no one can answer, and when his best friend and cousin Yorrick is killed in an accident, he digs deeper to find out the truth about the origins of Hope Harbor’s society… and the secrets of the temple.

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Title: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Series: The Island series book 1 (novella)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Leia lives on an island where children, who reaches the age of 10, are separated from their parents and live on their own. They don't rely on anyone but themselves. They live on the minor with the other children to learn how to survive. Leaving and interacting with their parents is not an option; they could only do so when they get married or leave the minor. 

In the minor, Saul is their leader. He follows and teaches what is written in the Book to everybody. However, it seems that Saul is not teaching them everything in the book and are keeping secrets himself. Is there really another world or life outside the walls? Is there another way of living other than the life they have? Leia may have been living in a world full of lies but will she be willing to let everything she knew and believe in go despite the circumstances? 

This is my very first novella series. I'm not really into novellas. Most of the novellas I read is only a short installment to a series. I was a bit uneasy with this experience because most of the novellas I read are a disappointment. They just ruin the series for you. You'll think that the author is scamming you for writing something that is totally useless and letting you buy it because you won't really get the next book if you don't. However, this book isn't like that.

The flow of the story was really good. It was great actually. This is just like your normal book compacted into a novella. The events are well connected. Though, the story progressed way too fast but it's understandable considering it's a novella. Also, the thing about the plot is that you could easily see the ending or what's going to happen. In other words, it was quite predictable.

The author used Star Wars as her basis for the story. I don't really know anything about Star Wars so it was fine with me. Although, I think I'm missing some connections. I don't recommend this to Star Wars fans because if it was me, I would be so pissed with what the author did, taking up parts of series and using it for my own story. Again, I don't know anything about it so totally fine.

On the other hand, character-wise I didn't really see any improvement or drastic change because it was way too short. Favorite characters. None, as well, because I didn't really get the much time with the characters.

Over all, fine. If you want to read something short and has some sense to it, this book is good for you.

I would like to thank Jen Minkman for providing me a copy of the book for this review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Title: The Waves
Author: Jen Minkman
Series: The Island series book 2 (novella)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Walt lives in Hope Harbor, where they believe that Annabelle, their goddess, would come back for them to bring them salvation. They've waited patiently for the goddess, building ships and going to temples everyday. They are also taught to fear the Unbelievers beyond the wall. 

Walt has been questioning his faith. He believes that he is becoming an Unbeliever. After the death of his friend, it seems that not everything that they are taught is true, about Annabelle & the Unbelievers. It is up to Walt to find the truth and give himself peace & happiness. 

This novella is technically a mirror plot to the first novella. When the first book was about Leia, this one is about Walt. The first half of the book is basically about Hope Harbor and their belief while the second half is about Leia. Nothing much changed, really. You just get some insights about how Walt's people live and how he thinks.

I think this book is way better than the first one. First of all, the plot was way better than the Star Wars thing. I like this because it somehow reflects our religion & society, where corruption is present. How the head of churches use their powers to their advantage. How some believe blindly without really knowing about their religion first. Second, I think this book is well written. I think the lines were less cheesy or corny and the plot was smooth flowing. The story didn't really jump from one stone to another. You could see the improvement in both content and writing skill.

On the other hand, in the first book, there was no character improvement but now there are some changes and improvements in Walt. You could see how he struggled with himself and found the answer he was looking for.

I still think that the series is fine but you just get tired of reading the other novella, when you've read the first one. If you're really interested in Walt, this is the book for you.

I would still like to thank Jen Minkman for providing me a copy for this review.

Rating: 3.5 (This is way better than the first one but I just can't give it a 4)

Cover Reveal: Out of the Ashes by Diana Gardin

by OctagonLab
Out of the Ashes by Diana Gardin
(The Ashes Series #1)
Publication date: December 12th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

Paige Hill is discovering who she is again after losing everything she loves in a tragic fire. She’s endured a long road to recovery with the help of her best fiend Gillian and is finally beginning her life again: college, a job, and a blossoming love she never even saw coming.

Clay Forbes is the notorious campus playboy. He’s a star athlete, a senior architecture major, and the only son in a family with power and money back in his hometown. When he crashes into Paige, his whole perspective on life shifts, and his world as he knew it becomes nonexistent. He’s wrapped up in her.

They’re both learning how to love, but Clay’s ex-girlfriend Hannah won’t make it easy for them. She puts a target on Paige’s back, and won’t stop until she’s derailed their budding romance once and for all. Who will be left standing after the ashes settle for the second time?

The Waves by Jen Minkman Excerpt

The Waves Excerpt

THE FIRST memory I have of my grandfather is of a moment that we share together.

I’m sitting on his knee looking out over the harbor. Grandpa is smoking a pipe. He points at the horizon. “Look, Walt. Our ships are out there. And one day, another even more beautiful ship will appear at the horizon. A mighty ship to take us all away.”

The Island by Jen Minkman Excerpt

The Island Excerpt

WHEN I step out of my bedroom door, mother and father are waiting for me in the hallway.
The clothes I’m wearing feel uncomfortable. They’re grown-up clothes: rough-textured and of practical cut. Made to last for a long time.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Sugar Babies by Mickey Corrigan

Title: Sugar Babies
Author: Mickey J. Corrigan
Series: N/A
Genre: Adult, Romance, Thriller

"A sugar daddy can make your money woes disappear overnight. But for sugar babies, life is like a chocolate covered time bomb: sweet on the outside, deadly on the inside.

Young, beautiful, and hungry, Maire, Esme and Niki want what every woman wants: love, work, safe shelter, the bills paid off, a diamond-studded Rolex, and a two-bedroom condo with an ocean view. Working as sugar babies seems to be the only way to make this happen. But the sugar life is more dangerous than they thought.

Maire O’Rourke is too hot to handle herself properly. She tends to wear too tight clothes and too much make-up, but she’s got more than sex on her mind. She’s already landed one of the richest sugar daddies in Coconut City, a tropical paradise boasting more lonely men per multimillion dollar estate than just about anywhere else.

Sweet Esme Grant is a buxom blonde with a rough and tumble lover she’s left behind somewhere in hill country. She’s come to Coconut City in order to find herself a sugar daddy, a rich older man willing to fund her, along with her hometown boyfriend and their Mayberry-gone-bad dreams.

Niki Stephanopoulos, a dark, iconoclastic artist enrolled in a teaching certification program at Coconut College, struggles with depression fueled by guilt. She is embarrassed by her dependence on her family for the money she needs to survive. But she feels even worse after sleeping with her sexy, much older landlord when she’s short the rent.

Welcome to the secret lives of sugar babies. On the first day of the month, Maire, Esme and Niki struggle with overdue bills and sexy beaus. Readers can join them as they figure out ways to pay the rent, make decent love to indecent men, and stay upright on the rough road to happiness. Sugar Babies is a modern-day romance, a blue martini with a nasty twist. An intoxicating mystery steeped in social satire, the story of Esme, Niki and Maire is an all-American morality tale.

Three beautiful young women: place your order now."

I seriously didn't know what I was getting myself into when I joined this tour. I just signed up and waited for the author to give me a copy of the book, without reading the synopsis. Before actually reading the book, I read the synopsis. I was seriously shocked; the plot is way out of my comfort zone. I was stunned that someone would actually write something about sugar daddies, mommies & babies. Given the plot, I was a bit reluctant to read the story and just wanted to back out from the tour. However, I thought, "What the heck. I should just try and give it a chance, maybe it's good. Also, I signed up for this so I need to see this through." I'm actually quite contented that I pushed through with this book.

Cover Reveal: Tousle Me by Lucy Morgan

by Kenny Wright
Tousle Me: A New Adult Parody by Lucy V. Morgan
Publication date: December 13th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

He’s exquisitely hot. Exquisitely tousled. Exquisitely screwed in the head.

Cammibelle Hicks just wants to survive her first year of college. Desperate to forget her troubled past, she throws herself into her degree and book review blog. So what if her life is one long tumblr page of grumpy cat GIFs? She doesn’t need to get out more, and she definitely doesn’t need a man.

Hunter von Styles approaches life like he’s spoiling for a fight: with a tempting scowl. A cage-fighting, ex-rocker billionaire, it’s unclear why Hunter’s at college. Frankly, it makes no sense. Then Cammie falls into him—literally—at a party, and he’s obsessed. He needs her more than a moist towelette at a barbecue.

Though Cammie’s friends warn her against Hunter, she can’t resist his charms; especially not when he buys her shoes. And GoodReads. And a unicorn. But when her handsome best friend, medieval reenactor Archer Riddick, makes a play for her heart—and challenges Hunter to a jousting match—it turns out that Hunter has demons of his own. Demons that aren’t real ones, but metaphorical ones—which are MUCH WORSE, when you think about it…

Join Hunter and Cammie on an emotionally exhausting journey into love.

And co-dependence.

And probably therapy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: The Devil's Playground by Jenna Black

Title: The Devil's Playground
Author: Jenna Black
Series: Morgan Kingsley series book 5
Genre: Urban fantasy (Demons), Romance
Status: Series Ended

The final battle has come. A lot more illegal demons are going through the Mortal Realm. It seems Dougal has been getting impatient and is deep trouble. The council needs to put a stop to the demon outbreak before it gets out of hand. However, the people who could give them information are turning up dead. They need to find a way to lure out Dougal to the Mortal Realm to kill him and stop his plans. 

Other than the demons, Brian, Morgan and Lugh need to get used to each other if they are going to be with each other. However, it seems that Brian is having a hard time with this. 

This is a great book for the finale. I seriously love it. The events were seriously intriguing. This is the final stage of Morgan's development. She is not shitty anymore.

Review: Speak of the Devil by Jenna Black

Title: Speak of the Devil
Author: Jenna Black
Series: Morgan Kingsley series book 4
Genre: Urban fantasy (Demons), Romance

After exorcising the son of one of the most powerful man and him ending up dead, Morgan Kingsley is suspended by the Exorcism Board. She is living with ramen noodles & cheap coffee. Someone is out to ruin her life. She is receiving death threats & severed body parts.

Dead bodies are showing up leading to Morgan, leaving her in the hot seat with the police. It seems that the person after Morgan will not stop until everything she holds dear is gone from her. 

I really like this book. It's the best book yet in the series. Though, this book doesn't really have a connection to Lugh's problem, it's still a great story. This mainly tackles Morgan's internal struggles, meaning her trust issues. Finally! The author is focusing on the relationship problems.

Blitz + Giveaway: Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds

Peaceful Genocide by J.A. Reynolds
Publication date: November 25th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Mitzi and Deuce can recall how many drops of water were on a leaf from a rainstorm five years ago and conversations from last week, month, or year. They have the ability to remember every second of everyday—since birth.

This gift has blessed Mitzi with a history of being sexually assaulted by researchers and abused by her own parents. She trusts no one. Likes no one. Deuce, however, is a high school standout. His gift has made him a superstar on the football field and his memory promises him endless opportunities.

When they both end up at an Alzheimer’s research facility under false proviso, they quickly realize this place isn’t what it seems to be. They endure crazy military-style tests, are forcefully drugged, and complete real-life simulations that haunt them.

Mitzi and Deuce have no idea what the researchers want to do with them or their memories. But one thing is clear: the researchers will go to any lengths to get what they want.

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