Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Deviation, Conviction, and Hooked Cover Reveals!






It's been a busy week for me . . . THREE COVER REVEALS!!!

In August, I asked VLC Productions to redesign the covers for the first two books of my Sophisticates Series, Deviation and Conviction. Vania Stoyanova did a photo shoot to capture the personalities of my main characters and she came up with a new design that really showed off the dystopian feel of the story. She will also be designing the last book in the series. The cover reveal for those two books occurred last week and it was so exciting to finally be able to share them after having them finished for so many months. I'm really happy with the way that they turned out.



DEVIATION
Cover Design: VLC Productions
Cover Photo: Vania Stoyanova
Cover Model: Krista Gibson









CONVICTION

Cover Design: VLC Productions
Cover Photo: Vania Stoyanova
Cover Model: Hart Morse







And tonight I revealed the cover for my NEW ADULT romance that will be published February 3, 2015!!! I love this cover so much and I hope you do too!



Cover Design: VLC Productions
Cover Photo: Vania Stoyanova


HOOKED SYNOPSIS:
If you ask the confident and snarky skater girl, and she’s in the mood to share, she’ll tell you her name is Cat. She might even tell you that she’s hooked on graffiti, 80s movies, and having fun—the riskier the better. Cat will share a good time with you, but she won’t ever trust you enough to share her heart. It’s protected by secrets and she’d like to keep it that way. 

Cat knows one thing for certain: Love isn’t really her thing.


If you ask the confident and rich pretty boy, he might tell you his name is Huck. He might even tell you he loves a challenge and is used to getting his way. He won’t tell you that his life is a mess because he risked his heart by trusting the wrong girl. Huck is ready for a change, he just wasn’t ready to get hooked on someone like Cat.


Huck knows one thing for certain: Love hasn’t done him any favors, but Cat just might be worth the risk.


Cat and Huck think a one-night stand seems harmless, but when all the little secrets they didn’t share turn out to be toxic truths, they realize how easily a one-night stand (or a few) could ruin everything. 


The thing is, you can be ruined in more than one way. Once you’re HOOKED, what wouldn’t you risk for the chance at more?



Put Hooked on your TO READ list on Goodreads!

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Book Review – Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3


SYNOPSIS:
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? 
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.



MY REVIEW:
What I love about the characters in these books is that they are so realistic with their insecurities and passions and dreams and quirks. There was a fantastic, unexpected twist toward the end....which wasn't even Isla's or Josh's twist...but it was sweet and satisfying all the same. Perkins creates female characters who are different, and weird, and lovable. And her male characters aren't the alpha male bad boys...they're sweet, romantic, and delicious. I will read anything that Stephanie Perkins writes. Love, love, love this series.


SUM IT UP:












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Book Review – Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2


SYNOPSIS:
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. 



MY REVIEW:
This book was like a big bag of cotton candy. So sweet, and pure, and addictive. How could I not fall in love with Lola and Cricket too? I couldn't stop reading or smiling. Each character had wonderful quirks that made me jealous I wasn't that clever and strangely cool too. Usually I'm a huge fan of snarky bad boy characters, but I'd have to say that Cricket Bell is a forever favorite love interest. And Lola....I feel like I can relate to her. I was just as insecure and strange growing up, although without the fashion skills. Loved this book and I just want to hug this entire series.


SUM IT UP:












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Book Review – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1


SYNOPSIS:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?



MY REVIEW:

This was so ah-mazing! The characters were diverse and interesting, the story was easy to fall in love with, and the witty banter between the friends was my favorite part. What a sweet, easy, fun read. Oh, and I'd like to add that I never wanted to go to Paris until I read this book....it makes me want to go!


SUM IT UP:















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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review – Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Legend Series, Book 2


SYNOPSIS:
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?


MY REVIEW:
Five. Massively. Heartbroken. Stars.

Haven't Day and June suffered enough? 

Seriously. Just when I think they've made it past the worst the world has to offer, tragedy strikes again. And again. And again. But June and Day aren't prodigies for nothing...they still keep fighting and surviving through each and every horrible torture they face. They trust their instincts and follow their hearts no matter how scared they are. They make sacrifices to do what's right for their families and for others who are suffering. Their story is complex and addictive and I love that they are helplessly drawn to each other no matter what else goes on in their world. And their world is disaster. It seems the only safe place for Day and June in all of the Republic or Colonies is when they're together, but that safety is stolen from them time and time again whether by scheming officials, injuries, heartless soldiers, or strange illnesses. 

Even though the entire story was gut-wrenching and the ending completely tore my heart to shreds, I loved every minute of reading this book.

p.s. Day = Sacrifice


SUM IT UP:













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Book Review – Legend by Marie Lu


Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend Series, book 1


SYNOPSIS:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.


MY REVIEW:
Legend is everything a dystopian story should be. The world building was gritty and believable, the characters were both flawed and heroic, and the events were described in such vivid detail that I could believe this scenario happening in the future. 

I admired June for her quick thinking and ability to stay calm when faced with danger, but I loved Day for his triumph over tragedy. He defied death to become the common man's hero. He is like the Robin Hood of the future. 

Loved the story, loved the characters, loved the mystery and I'm so glad I have the rest of the books already in my greedy little hands because I can't seem to put them down.


SUM IT UP:












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Book Review – Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass book 3
Published: September 2, 2014


SYNOPSIS:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?


MY REVIEW:
This book is huge...over 500 pages, but there is so much action and drama between the covers that it could fill three books. We get to see the point of view from Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, Aedion, Manon, Rowan....such a rich story that I didn't want to put the book down. It's epic like Game of Thrones, but the plot and characters have so much depth that you feel the fear, love, and passion that they each feel as they survive the evil that the King of Ardalan has unleashed on the world. 

The relationship that Celaena forged with Rowan was amazing starting from a mutual dislike and disrespect into full-fledged trust and dedication to one another. I feel like the theme of this book was sacrifice because all of the characters seemed to have to make a sacrifice for those they loved—a companion, a friend, a lover, a fellow warrior, or even their "people." It could even be said that Rowan sacrificed his beauty for the memory of those he loved when he tattooed their stories on his skin.

I love this series and can't wait to read more.


SUM IT UP:









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Book Review – Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass book 2
Published: August 27, 2013


SYNOPSIS:
"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."


From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.


Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.


Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.



MY REVIEW:

This book is EVERYTHING you could want out of a fantasy novel. It has action, adventure, good, evil, battles, romance, magic, mystery....it's so perfect I wanted to hug it and then read it again right away. Throne of Glass was excellent, but this book just makes me swoon so hard. Loved it. Oh...and I sort of figured out Celeana's big secret (although I'm not sure Maas was trying to hide it from us very well, I think she wanted the reader to sort of know before it was revealed) but I have no idea what is going to happen with Caleana, Chaol, Dorian, and the evil king and I can't wait to find out. 


SUM IT UP:













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Book Review — Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published: August 7, 2012


SYNOPSIS:
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


MY REVIEW:
An enjoyable read, lots of interesting characters, plenty of action and suspense. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the competitions, but since the book was already hefty (which is fine in my opinion), I'm glad Maas gave us more character depth and less action. I'll take that trade. I've always been a fan of Xena, so this was awesome for me to see a female warrior character who had a dark past.


SUM IT UP:













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Indie Book Review – Defining Courage by Jill Daugherty

Title: Defining Courage
Author: Jill Daugherty
Series: The Courage Series (Book 3)
Published: April 19, 2014

SYNOPSIS:

“I know Balor is evil and all, and I know his death would mean that so many other people would get to live, but I hate that I have to be the one to kill him. Taking his life will mean that I’m no better than he is.” 
Ian stopped walking and took one of my hands in his. 

“You want to know the biggest difference between what Balor is doing and what you’re planning to do? You question it. You ask yourself it it’s morally correct. You have a powerful internal struggle that I know keeps you up at night. Balor never asks those questions. Balor doesn’t struggle with what he does.” 

Eighteen-year-old Maggie O’Neill is a high school dropout. If her parents knew, they’d probably kill her, but that’s the least of her worries. Balor—the evil faery from hell—is still stalking her, someone is still betraying her, and the mean girl at school is still mean. The worst part of her life, however, is figuring out how to live it without Simon. Will Maggie discover a way to defeat Balor? Will she ever be able to out-snark the mean girl? Will she find Simon? Tune in next week—uh, read the book—to find out.


MY REVIEW:
Defining Courage is a terrific ending to the trilogy. We get to see Maggie begin to become stronger, not only as a faery, but also as a person. Instead of running from her problems, she faces them head on with courage and maturity. There are plenty of plot twists that keep the story exciting, leaving the reader unable to guess, or assume, what will happen. I really enjoyed the irish folklore and the way it was worked into the modern day world. The Courage series is a great debut series for Daugherty and I encourage everyone to check it out, especially if you enjoy stories about fey.


SUM IT UP:













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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Book Review – Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: August 2014


SYNOPSIS:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly



MY REVIEW:

Brilliant. Heart-wrenching. Sexy. Addictive. Rewarding. Flawless. Butterflying Awesome.

Colleen Hoover is an amazing writer. She never writes the same thing twice and I find it mind-boggling that she is so consistently flawless in every book. I butterflying love everything she writes. I know I've said this before, but I'd freaking read her grocery lists if I had the chance to because they'd probably have some sort of hidden genius and humor in them too. I always think there is no way CoHo can top the last book she wrote. But then I crack the spine of her new release and her words are so perfect and I want to hold her characters in my heart forever and I can't put the book down. 

Ugly Love...it was so beautiful. At first I thought that the use of water and liquid as a theme in Tate's and Miles' storylines was just clever, a nice little juxtaposition of their feelings and emotions for each other. But then when I got to the end of the story and finally knew the full truth of what water meant to Miles and his broken heart....I wanted to fall to my knees in front of CoHo and worship the perfection of her writing.

And it wasn't just the words and language of CoHo's writing that was so lovely together, it was the way that those words were placed on the page. Cascading, centered, repeated, emphasized...the layout of the words was just as poetic as the words themselves. This book was poetic, truly poetic.

I'm in love with this story and the characters. I want to jump right back in and read it all over again



SUM IT UP:












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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Book Review – Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me Series
Published: 2014


SYNOPSIS:

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.



MY REVIEW:

This book was so incredibly perfect in every way. The writing, as always, was poetic and haunting and gorgeous. 

I enjoyed seeing Juliette come full circle and grow as a character, able to look back at herself in the past and find answers and explanations in her behavior and choices. 

And Warner. God how I loved Warner's character. He was the ultimate tortured, cocky, bad boy...my favorite. There was so much action and craziness at the end that I truly feared I would not get my happy ending. But this book was flawless and I loved, loved, loved it.


SUM IT UP:




















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Book Review – Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me Series
Published: 2013


SYNOPSIS:

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life



MY REVIEW:

Tahereh Mafi's writing is, in one word, poetic. This is just one of my favorite passages:

"So I have to keep remembering that Warner and I are 2 different words.

We are synonyms but not the same.

Synonyms know each other like old colleagues, like a set of friends who've seen the world together. They swap stories, reminisce about their origins and forget that though they are similar, they are entirely different, and though they share a certain set of attributes, one can never be the other. Because a quiet night is not the same as a silent one, a firm man is not the same as a steady one, and a bright light is not the same as a brilliant one because the way they wedge themselves into a sentence changes everything.

They are not the same."


I'll let her writing speak for itself. Except to add this....I love the tortured-soul bad boys, always have. So although Adam was the true love of book one....I'm beginning to see why Juliette is so attracted to Warner.



SUM IT UP:
























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Book Review – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me Series
Published: 2011


SYNOPSIS:

I have a curse

I have a gift

I am a monsterI'm more than human


My touch is lethalMy touch is power


I am their weaponI will fight back


Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.


The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.


The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.


Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.



MY REVIEW:

This book was impossible to put down. The language and writing were so poetically beautiful. I loved the odd combinations of words that almost created a new language of heartache, loneliness, love....thoughts of a truly shattered person. Gorgeous. I found the crossed out text to be intriguing, the love scenes were steamy, and the storyline unexpected. I want to read it again immediately just to experience the beautiful writing again.


SUM IT UP:















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