Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Haven by Mary Lindsey

HavenTour

Title:Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s use to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running rom trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Ancient magic and modern society collide in a sexy, spellbinding romance perfect for fans of C. C. Hunter and Maggie Stiefvater that proves sometimes beauty is the beast…

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo


my raving review

For me, Haven started off slow, but as the story develops a lot of interesting and unique twists unravel in regards to the world-building and the author’s take on paranormal beings, in this case weres. Haven is a great reminder of why I love delving into young adult literature that focuses on the paranormal and magic. It is fun. It is messy. It is gutwrenching. And overall it’s a constant page-turner. 

Haven is fully packed with action and shocking surprises, but the book is also packed with A LOT of side characters. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping up with them all. But other than that, I was really fascinated with the main characters, Freddie and Rain. Both of these characters are so well-developed. They are strong, determined, fierce, and so selfless. I loved watching their bond and hilarious snark grow throughout the novel, and what guy could walk away from a girl who calls him Sprinkles? HAHAHA

Overall, I really enjoyed the history, lore, and paranormal approach that Mary Lindsey establishes in Haven. The story is unique and the plot is straightforward and oftentimes hints back at generational conflicts. More importantly, I loved that the book is full of mystery with a hint of romance sprinkled into its pages. 


***GIVEAWAY***

WIN a Swag box including books (not Haven) and fun stuff. 
A $15 Amazon gift card will be substituted in place of the prize pack if the winner is international.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Book Review: The First Kiss Hypothesis by Christina Mandelski

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Title: 
The First Kiss Hypothesis
Author: Christina Mandelski
Published by: Engtangled: Crush
Publication date: November 6, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Nora Reid believes scientific laws control everything, even love. With her grandparents’ epic first kiss story cemented in her brain, Nora develops a hypothesis she’s determined to prove:for each person in the world, there is exactly one other person, and at first kiss, they’ll experience an immediate and intense reaction. 

But after four years of zero-reaction kisses, she comes up with a new theory: maybe that pesky crush on her stunningly hot best friend Eli Costas is skewing her results.

She needs to get rid of him, and fast.

Eli Costas is an injury-prone lacrosse star with a problem–the one chance he had at winning over the girl next door resulted in the most epically sucktastic first kiss ever. And now she’s…trying to get rid of him? Hell no. It’s time to disprove her theory and show her exactly what she’s missing. 
Game. On.

Disclaimer: This book contains a stunningly hot lacrosse player who isn’t above playing dirty to win over the stubborn girl-next-door of his dreams.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


the first kiss hypothesis

Why do I continue to torture myself with books with the most frustrating romantic antics? Because they are so passionate and annoyingly good. When it comes to The First Kiss Hypothesis, I have never wanted two characters to kiss so bad. In a nutshell, this book contained several young adult tropes that I love, and I am so glad I kept turning the page to the very end.

The First Kiss Hypothesis drove me nuts in the best possible ways. Nora, the main character, is so focused on proving a hypothesis that originates from her grandparents’ relationship, where their first “earth-moving” kiss equaled soulmates. Nora wants that type of love and fails to see that relationships are more than just one great kiss. And I liked that Eli, through science and tricky persuasion, challenges Nora’s expectations and her theories. 

Nora and Eli are neighbors and best friends. They are opposites in many way, but they have the best things in common (like their love for pie). They make each other laugh and they’re always helping each other when it comes to facing life’s difficult challenges and even small milestones, like getting your driver’s licence. From the beginning, these two characters have a burning chemistry between them, and the tension between these two characters made me so flustered.

And one of the best aspects about this book is that pie always seems to be the best answer and cure for a bad day. So if you’re in the mood to read a fun, sweet, but infuriating romantic book, definitely give The First Kiss Hypothesis a try. This book will have you craving pie and rooting for the boy next door to get a second chance to woo his best friend. 

3 star rating

NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

Title: My New Crush Gave to Me
Author: Shani Petroff
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: October 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

This sweet, funny holiday romance from the author of Romeo And What’s Her Name features cute boys, plenty of rom-com mishaps, and a determined heroine readers are certain to fall for.

Charlotte “Charlie” Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He’s a star athlete, a National Honor Society member, and the most popular guy in school. Plus he contributes to the school paper, where Charlie is a co-editor. Basically, he’s exactly the type of guy Charlie’s looking for. The only problem is–he barely knows she exists.

But Charlie has a plan: rig the paper’s Secret Santa and win his heart with the perfect gift. The catch? She has no idea what to get him. Enter J.D. Ortiz–Teo’s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He’s easy going, laid back, disorganized, and spontaneous–the exact opposite

of Charlie (and Teo). But he knows what Teo wants, so she’s stuck with him.

Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?

Shani Petroff’s newest young adult comedy of errors, My New Crush Gave to Me, is the perfect read for those searching for some love and laughter along with their holiday spirit.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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GAH! I love the holidays, and this is the perfect book to treat yo shelf to this time of the year. If you are a fan of swoons, Secret Santa surprises, and hate-to-love relationships, My New Crush Gave to Me is the perfect book for you. This novel is as sweet and fresh as a candy cane and it will have you laughing due to all the holiday shenanigans the characters go through.

In regards to the main character, Charlie is a stick-by-the-book type of gal. Routine, rules, and structure make perfect sense, so I can completely understand her personality. Charlie is extreme, but I like that she knows what she wants and she is determined to do what is best for her. Even though Charlie is a handful, she fosters a surprising friendship with the most laid-back, never on time, and free-spirited person named J.D. I adored J.D. because he is caring and spontaneous and balances out Charlie’s intensity. He challenges Charlie in the best ways; I loved how their friendship grew through each page.

Definitely pick up My New Crush Gave to Me, make yourself a hot cup of cocoa, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, and let the Secret Santa fun unfold. The romantic notions mixed with wintery traditions adds a great amount of holiday atmosphere to the story. Even though this book will give you the warm fuzzies, My New Crush Gave to Me will also have you opening your eyes to the idea that you never know what other people are going through, so don’t take them for granted. 

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Shani
Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. She’s the author of the “Bedeviled” series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress, Careful What You Wish For, and Love Struck, and is the co-author of the “Destined” series which includes Ash and Ultraviolet. She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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October 30th
Life of a Literary Nerd >> Review
Readingwithwrin >> Review
The Candid Cover >> Excerpt
Writing Pearls >> Review
Dani Reviews things >> Review

October 31st
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog >> Review
Love in a time of Feminism >> Guest post
Rolling with the Moments >> Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon >> Review
The Bibliophile Confessions >> Review

November 1st
Here’s to Happy Endings >> Review
Married To Books Reviews and Blog >> Review
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Excerpt
Katie’s Stories >> Excerpt
Buried Under Books >> Review

November 2nd
Books Direct >> Review + Excerpt
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
Character Madness and Musings >> Interview
I Read Indie >> Excerpt
Chocolate and Chapters >> Review

November 3rd
Creating-Serenity >> Review
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review
Supercalireader >> Review
Lisa Loves Literature >> Interview
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Playlist

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If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

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Title:
The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Published by: Central Avenue Publishing
Publication date: October 1, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

A contemporary romance inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market.” Four neighbors encounter sinister enchantments and a magical path to love in a small, modern-day Puget Sound town, where a fae realm hides in the woods and waters…

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out. 

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


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I love Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” and whenever I see a retelling that reflects the original poem and its themes of sisterhood and female empowerment, I want to read it right away. So of course, when I came across The Goblins of Bellwater being a new adult, modern-day retelling of “Goblin Market,” I knew I had to read it. And you guys, this book did not disappoint. 

The Goblins of Bellwater has the perfect amount of romance and fantastical elements, with a innovative contemporary storyline that parallels Rossetti’s poem. I love that the author, Molly Ringle, does not romanticize the goblins. Instead, she provides them a heartbreaking backstory, but they are still ruthless creatures with greedy and uncaring intentions. 

In The Goblins of Bellwater, the four main characters all have their own well-developed personalities. Each of them are ingrained with aspirations, but these dreams are halted by goblin mayhem. I don’t want to give too much away in regards to the characters and plot, but the goblins are only appeased when they are given gold or other valuable treasures. If this routine of appeasement is stopped then the goblins retaliate in the most bizarre and evil ways. Temptation is tested in this story, but I love that sisterhood and love are the empowering forces that drive these characters to go against the goblins. 

Overall, I highly recommend everyone to get tangled in this goblin-infested but love-conquers-all book. The overall story is well paced, I loved the characters, and there is a good mix of sensual romance. If you like your contemporary novels meshed with a fantasy twist, The Goblins of Bellwater is the right book for you. 

4 star rating

NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

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Title:
Devils & Thieves

Author: Jennifer Rush
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Synopsis

Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all. 

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


devils and thieves banner

I am so glad I picked up this entertaining book during October. Similar to this Halloween-ish month, this novel is filled with magic, mayhem, and mystery. In Devils & Thieves, every magic user, aka “kindled,” has their own unique power that they inherit from family members, who are linked to local motorcycle clubs. I really felt like this book was a perfect mashup of Charmed and Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series. The story plot is very straightforward, but it’s the main character’s (Jemmie Carmichael) attempt to figure out her powers and her love life that sucked me in.

One of my favorite characteristics about Jemmie is her unique ability to smell and see power. As a very wallflower-ish type, Jemmie tends to underrate her magical abilities with fear and discouragement. She is very different among the other kindled population, and I can understand why she wants to hide something that she thinks is a flaw in her magic from other people. Jemmie is often predictable in her ways, but I can see her maturing and adapting to new scenarios in the next book, especially after that odd and creepy ending.

In the romance realm of  Devils & Thieves, there’s a strong sense of a love triangle. And what I like about both Jemmie’s “love” interests are that even though they are protective over her as she is over them, they always encourage Jemmie to appreciate who she is and her magical abilities. But with any type of love triangle, I picked my OTP, because deep down I knew who made Jemmie’s heart flutter uncontrollably. I have one word to encourage you to read this novel, and that is “Crowe.” *SWOONS*

Overall, I liked the magic and conflicting havoc that litters the pages of this novel. Devils & Thieves is a great start to a series that I foresee a lot of growth in the characters, more swoony romance scenes, and some more understanding of the kindled magic users. I am a big fan of one of the male leading characters, *cough* Crowe, and I cannot wait to see what other sexy pandemonium he gets into. If you want your reading month of October to be filled with spells and swoons, I highly recommend that you add Devils & Thieves to your TBR. 

4 star rating

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

NOTE: Thank you to NOVL for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own. Please note that all graphics and photographs were created by me. All quotes are from the an advanced reader’s edition of the novel and are subject to change upon publication.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

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Title: 
Things I’m Seeing Without You
Author: Peter Bognanni
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.

Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.

Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.

Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?

As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.

LINKS:   Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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I think that writing about grief and trying put all that pain into words is one of the hardest emotions to explain. However, in Things I’m Seeing Without You, the author executed this emotion so well—with love, heartache, and sorrow. Through snapshots of the main character’s emotional turmoil of losing the first guy she ever loved, Tess walks us through her emotional state to grasp the reality of death and all the lows that come with it. 

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As Tess is facing anxiety and depression, she is often stagnant and rarely opens up to the few people around her. She’s not angsty but with her “take no BS” attitude she comes off very sarcastic, while she internally bottles up her grief. I kept wishing that she would open up more to people about her depression, but I think she realistically portrays an adolescent that oftentimes keeps their feelings within themselves. Tess is quirky and smart, but she definitely has a thick shell that’s hard for people to crack. 

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Overall, Things I’m Seeing Without You, is a quick read but throughout the novel I felt like I lingered with Tess. I felt as though I was part of her mourning process. Even though this novel focuses on first loves and loss, it also unfolds into a novel about maturing, trying to move on, and second chances. Death is a hard topic and situation to grasp, and Peter Bognanni’s writing is a honest portrayal of the struggles that come with it: loss and heartache. 

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Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni. (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 25, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 16, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 18, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Peter Bognanni
 
Peter Bognanni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut novel, The House of Tomorrow, won the LA Times award for first fiction and the ALA Alex Award and has been adapted into a feature film.  He teaches creative writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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Week One:
September 25 – Arctic Books – Author Q&A
September 26 – Fiktshun – Review
September 27 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Reasons to Read TISWY
September 28 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Author Guest Post
September 29 – BookCrushin – Review
 
Week Two:
October 2 – The Young Folks – Author Q&A
October 3 – Dazzled by Books – Review
October 4 – In Wonderland – Beyond the Pages
October 5 – YA and Wine – Review & Mood Board
October 6 – Fiction Fare – Author Guest Post
 
Week Three:
October 9 – Rants & Raves of a Bibliophile – Review & Favorite Quotes
October 10 – Margie’s Must Reads – Author Guest Post
October 11 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A
October 12 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
October 13 – Twinning for Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel


Title: 
Black Bird of the Gallows
Author: Meg Kassel
Publication date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing/ Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Goodreads Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK |
Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo


raving review

When I first saw the cover of this book on Goodreads, I knew I had to read it. Black Bird of the Gallows is a paranormal romance enriched with fierce characters, unique legends, and a creepy antagonist. This intriguing book is a constant page-turner leading up to a finale that is truly frightening but also heart warming. 

One of favorite aspects of the book was the strong chemistry between Angie and Reece. Both characters are quite different in many ways, but their oppositions strengthen the attraction between them. The strong pairing of trust and brutal honesty that they share with each other allows their relationship to mature. I love that even when they have landslides and swarms of bees threatening their lives, they continue to protect each other. 

Overall, I think I enjoyed this book because, although it sticks to many traditional characteristics of young adult novels, Black Bird of the Gallows is littered with new and innovative myths and legends. Those who are considered cursed still believe in redemption, and evil is provided karma-tic relief. I like that the author does not shy away from portraying the characters with their everyday adolescent struggles. Instead, these characters are provided groundwork to discover who they are through actions and reactions. They are challenged by everyday struggles and evildoers, and their hearts and minds are forced into different tug-of-war battles. 

More importantly, the friendships in this novel had me smiling ear-to-ear and swooning. Self-identity, inner strength, and understanding true friendships are common themes that encompass this novel. Every page will have your eyes brimming with tears from laughter, heartache, or the simple acknowledgement that the hardest choices in life can result in the best endings. 

giveaway

Three (3) winners will receive A Black Bird of the Gallows canvas tote bag (11“x14”) which includes a custom made crow pendant and ball chain, bookmark and stickers, $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT):

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about the author

Meg Kassel Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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