Book Blitz & Giveaway: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester
Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.

Shit!

I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.

“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”

Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.

“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.

“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.

Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.

Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?

I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.

It’s official.

I killed my roommate.

Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…

Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?

The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.

“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”

Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.

Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!

Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.

“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”

“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.

I’m frozen.

Author Bio:

The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City..

Website / Twitter

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Queens of Geek
Jen Wilde
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

About Queens of Geek:

Three friends. Two love stories. One convention.

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.Queens of Geek, an empowering young adult novel by Jen Wilde, is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Queens of Geek RR

There is so much I love about this book, but I’m afraid my fangirling will give too much away. I hate spoilers, so I am going to try to make this review as spoiler-free as I can.

I think one of the best things about life is fandoms and then finding friends that will geek out over the same fandoms with you. Queens of Geek is a story about friendships and the love for fandoms. In a nutshell, it is a story about three friends, who are about to head off to college, so for a friendship vacation they attend a convention very similar to San Diego Comic Con. Their adventure is a page-turner that you will not want to put down. Fangirling ensues. Friendships strengthen. And swooning is guaranteed. 

Queens of Geek focuses on two main points-of-view. First there is Charlie, a well-known vlogger/indie actress, who has her own group of fans. I liked Charlie, because she is a girl that knows what she wants in life. She has a plan and a daring attitude. She is the girl that a lot of us inspire to be. And then there is Taylor, who I mainly related to. Taylor has a heart of gold, and often deals with severe anxiety.  

In Queens of Geek, I love that opposites attract, but it is the similarities between these two characters that bring Charlie and Taylor closer together. Both of the characters are honest, trusting, and so damn likable. Along for the ride, Jamie, Taylor’s best guy friend, geeks out with them at the convention. But in this story, the convention is more than fangirling or freaking out over you favorite vloggers, super heroes, sci-fi characters, or fantasy authors–instead it’s about growing up, stepping out of your comfort zone, and understanding who you are. 

Although Queens of Geek takes place in the span of a few days, a lot occurs. Panic attacks happen, ex-boyfriends get stupidly drunk, and crushes start developing into actual relationships. I really enjoyed that this fast-paced book touches base on issues that a lot of teenagers deal with in their everyday lives. And without giving too much away, I loved the healthy and realistic approach that the author, Jen Wilde, takes in regards to highlighting topics like anxiety, body issues, and bisexuality. If you are in the mood for a book that realistically portrays the love for fandoms, along with real-life issues, definitely give Queens of Geek a read. 

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TOUR SCHEDULE

March 13th
Bibliobibuli YA >> Interview
Fic Central >> Review
Adventures with a Book Nerd >> Review

March 14th
Rattle the Stars >> Guest post
To Be Read >> Review
Girl vs Books >> Review
With Love for Books >> Review
Happily Ever Chapter >> Review
Hopeful Reads >> Review

March 15th
books are love >> Review
Twirling Book Princess  >> Excerpt
Padme’s Library >> Interview
Quartzfeather >> Review
Rolling with the Moments >> Review

March 16th
Books and Ladders >> Review
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
My Tiny Obsessions >> Review
Book Stacks Amber >> Review

March 17th
The Cover Contessa >> Guest post
Kourtni Reads >> Review
Betwixt the Pages >> Review
The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange >> Review
Flavia the Bibliophile >> Review

AUTHOR BIO

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller.When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay. Jen lives in a sunny beachside town in Australia with her husband and their cheeky pug, aptly named Heisenberg.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Book Review: Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels

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Title: Shadows of the Forest
Author: Emma Michaels
Publication date: November 5, 2016
Publisher: CHBB Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: e-ARC from XPressoTours

About the book:

Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.
They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 


Rants and Raves of Shadows of the Forest

This is a really short fantasy novel, but it felt like a lifetime to finish. I wanted to love Shadows of the Forest, but in the end, I had such a hard time connecting with the characters and the storyline. Sometimes I caught my mind wandering away from the page, and then I would have to reread the same page over to finally understand what was going on. Don’t get me wrong, I think Emma Michaels has a gift for storytelling, her writing is beautiful, but I just don’t think this book caught me in the right reading mood. UGH, the curses of being a mood reader. 

Even though I had hard time connecting with the story and staying focused, I did like the fantasy elements regarding Japanese myths and the importance of spirits in the forest. I don’t now too much about Japanese myths/culture, but I would have liked to have seen this aspect more developed and explained.

I also really enjoyed the theme of sacrifice and love spread throughout the 144 pages. As twins, Lily and Cole have an important connection, not just as siblings and womb-mates, but their sacrifices and motivations throughout the novella portrayed a friendship worth fighting for. I’m really close to my brother, so I too think my decision-making skills would solely be focused on, “how do I save my brother at all costs?” My only complaint about Lily’s mission to save her brother is that she needed to be more focused and less negative. A majority of the story is focused on Lily’s depressing thoughts of how terrible her life is (and was). She often allowed her past to overpower a future she believes she deserves.

For a short book that makes a complete turn of events near the end, I felt like the story dragged on too long at first and then was suddenly rushed in the end. I also would have loved more development in the romance aspect of the book since it is quickly inserted near the end. I think Shadows of the Forest has a lot of potential of being a really good fantasy novel, but because it has a short span of pages, which was mainly focused on Lily’s self-pity, I had a hard time connecting to Lily and Cole’s story. 

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My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

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

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Romeo and What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff

Romeo and What’s Her Name
Author: Shani Petroff
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

About Romeo and What’s Her Name:

Understudies never get to perform

. . . which is why being Juliet’s understudy in the school’s yearly “Evening with Shakespeare” is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it’s just:

a) Shakespeare is HARD,

b) Amanda, aka the “real” Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and

c) there’s no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.

Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

EXCERPT:

I stood there like a lump, waiting for my line. Finally, I turned toward Kayla and repeated, “I said, LOUDER-ETH.”

She fed me the line again. Supercrazy loud this time. “I would not for the world.”

It was so loud, the crowd heard it and started to laugh. Not the snickers from before, but those evil, full belly laughs people get when watching home videos of someone getting kicked in the groin. Wes was going to hate me for putting him through this. This torture needed to end.

“Methinks,” I said, “I could use-eth a book-eth.” Come on, Kayla. Take the hint. “You know-eth. A BOOK-ETH where-est I can recite-eth beauteous words to thee . . . thou . . . whatever. I NEED THE BOOK-ETH.”

As I was shouting that last book-eth, I got my wish. The script came sailing from off stage left and hit me in the back of the head. “Ow,” I unintentionally yelled, to the delight of the crowd. It weighed a ton.

“Sorry,” Kayla whispered. “My bad.”

I didn’t care. I’d get over the pain faster than the embarrassment I was suffering. I was just happy to have the script. At least I was until I realized Kayla hadn’t bookmarked the page I needed. It was the complete works of Shakespeare. There was no way I would find the right page. Not to mention that since the book was with me, Kayla couldn’t even feed me lines anymore. R&J wasn’t a tragedy. My life was.

I was so flunking English.

“Would thou like some help, my sweet Juliet?”

Did Wes just call me sweet? I swung around to face him, but I wasn’t paying attention to where I was stepping and my foot went right off the balcony. Wes lunged forward to catch me, but why would anything go right for me? So instead of Wes stopping me from hitting the floor, I took him down with me.

I was lying on top of Wes Rosenthal. Only, this was not like any of my daydreams. This was mortifying. I rolled off him and jumped up. “Are you okay?” I was visibly shaking.

Wes stood up, too. “Don’t worry-eth, Juliet,” he said without any anger in his voice. He even smiled at me. For a second I thought that meant he didn’t hate me for the craziness I was causing. But then I remembered he was acting. He actually took what he was doing seriously, and right now his part called for him to be in love with Juliet.

Wes said some line I assumed was to get us back on track. But I had no response. I couldn’t take it anymore. The laughter of the audience. The panic coursing through my body. The thought of making Wes suffer more. It needed to end.

So I did the only thing I could think of—something super Elizabethan. I put the back of my and to my forehead, pretended to swoon, and let my whole body fall back to the ground with a loud thump.

“I am so sorry-eth, Romeo.”

“It’s okay.” He sat down on the ground next to me and took my hand. I felt little sparks fly through me.

I shook my head. I couldn’t let him go through this anymore. “No, I know how-eth this play end-eth. I think I shall stab-eth myself now to save-eth us both.”

“Finally,” someone in the audience yelled out.

I picked up an imaginary dagger and began to plunge it into my heart.

“No,” Wes said, stopping me before I committed imaginary suicide. “Our story is not over yet. So let’s just say, ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night ‘til it be morrow.’”

I was pretty sure that was supposed to be my line. But I decided I probably shouldn’t point that out. Then he stood up and walked off the stage.

After a moment, someone finally took mercy on me and brought the stage lights down.

The scene was over. But I knew all too well that my embarrassment was just beginning.

 

Author Bio:

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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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Seasons Within by Lele Iturroiz

Seasons Within
Lele Iturrioz
(Acorn Publishing)
Publication date: December 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.

G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

It’s dangerous not knowing who you are, what you’re capable of, and what future awaits you. Especially when the darkness that slaughtered your entire world, just found you.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

DUST. Everything was covered in dust and ashes.

Nádúr Noc, the main city of Terra was once beautiful and full of life. Not like that night, the night the darkness descended from the far land of Ifreann.

Now, the round city of Nádúr Noc was dark, burned, and destroyed.

Trees were no longer big and full of different green and golden, bright colors. The river Enosi, a river that surrounded the city with its peaceful crystalline water was now a rapid of blood and death. As for the sky, once bright and blue, it was now filled with dark smoke so thick, it made it nearly impossible to see the remains of the Zansèt Palace; a magnificent castle in the middle of the city made of pearls, flowers, rocks, and vines.

On that night, there was no music and laughter. The only thing anybody could hear were screams and the desolate pleas of the in-habitants. Fear, pain, and unimaginable loss.

This city wasn’t the ruins of any ordinary war, it was the ruins between the light side of nature and the darkest of evils. Beasts and other horrendous creatures destroyed everything that they came across. Killed everyone in their sight. Soulless creatures who lived to torture. Answering to no one, no one except Him, the one who owned the darkness. The one who hell itself was afraid of.

 

Author Bio:

Major geek by day, hermit writer by night! Love books, sugar gliders and everything that comes in a delicious taco.

I’m the author of the YA fantasy series, Seasons Within

I spend my time writing, planning on writing, reading, drinking coffee like there was no tomorrow, MMA and chilling with my friends and loved ones.

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Cover Reveal: Reach for You by Pat Esden

Reach for You
Pat Esden
(The Dark Heart #3)
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Her passion is her greatest weakness.

His legacy is his prison.

To reunite, both must fight the demons within.

A world of deception and danger separates Annie Fremont from her mother—and from Chase, the enigmatic groundskeeper with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared.

Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful ally and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . .

Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart—to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn. For all of their lives depend on it.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Previous books in the series:

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Author Bio:

PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Cover Reveal: The Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Gilded Cage
Sherry D. Ficklin
(A Canary Club Novella)
Publication date: December 1st 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious boot-legger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making. As she watches her world fall apart, Masie must decide whether to take her place in the hierarchy, or spread her wings, leaving the people she loves, and the life she despises, far behind her.

Two worlds collide in Gatsby era New York, in a time of dazzling speakeasies and vicious shoot-outs, of gritty gangsters and iridescent ingénues, where not everything that sparkles is gold.

*This is the first of the Canary Club series and is a short story introduction into the forthcoming novels.

Add to Goodreads / Website

Author Bio:

Sherry is a full time writer from Colorado and the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Sherry also writes New Adult fiction under the pen name Ranae Glass and is a contributing writer for fangirlish.com. You can find her at her official website, http://www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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