Monday, September 30, 2013

COVER REVEAL - Be With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Buy Links

Barnes & Noble: Be With Me
Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…


Buy Links

On Barnes & Noble:  Trust in Me

This is key parts of Wait for You in Cam's point of view.

(Goodreads Blurb)
It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?
BE SURE to follow Jennifer's blog as she will be posting excerpts from Trust in Me from now until the release.
You can also keep up with her  through her Facebook and Twitter.

LOOKING BACK - September

It was another busy month.  Did you miss any posts?

Cover Reveals



Top Tens

Stacking the Shelves


Featured Authors


Sassy Girl Swoony God Challenge #3

I am participating in the Sassy Girl Swoony God Challenge being held by Tellulah Darling in preparation for her upcoming release of My Date from Hell, book #2 in The Blooming Goddess Series.

Here are the playlist results from Challenge #2

Sassy Girl Swoony God Challenge 2 - slideshow

Challenge #3

This week's challenge involves your best design skills. Because Kai needs a new tattoo. You’ve seen (from the T-shirt in the video and tourney banner) one of his designs. Now design another. It can be of anything as long as it fits his personality. Design it on the computer or draw it in crayon, it’s all good. Make it as simple or complicated as you want.

My tattoo for Kai is inspired by Cassie's prophect when she said, "Oneaboveonebelowakeyawakeitisnomore."

I see it on his forearm.

GUEST REVIEW by Nikki - Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

On Goodreads: Antigoddess
(Goodreads Blurb)
The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.
Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.
Here is what we are working with folks:
  • Greek Mythology
  • Badassery
  • Blood & guts
  • FUBAR situations
  • Kendare Blake
Antigoddess is an awesome read for fans of anything on that list above. It is a re-telling of the Trojan War story; with a refreshing modern twist and a few surprises up its sleeve. If you don’t remember the story (Dude? The hotness of Brad Pitt in Troy) don’t fret, Kendare Blake has got your back, you won’t get lost. The trick and the treat with this story is that the Gods are dying and they don’t know why.

This book had a killer smooth pace and you jump right into the chaos. Kendare Blake has a real keen talent for building a creepy, kick ass story. You feel totally comfortable while everything goes to complete shit around you. I love doom-y revenge type stories. If you haven’t read Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood Series, read them immediately.

There are certain attributes each god or goddess should have, in order to be recognizable in a story. I was glad to see how recognizable the modern versions of the Greek gods were in Antigoddess. I was clapping and happily exclaiming to myself “Yes! It’s Apollo” or “Ooooh Hera is such a bitch!” Athena is the Goddess of war, wisdom and the arts, etc. She is affiliated with owls and virginity as well. She’s one of the only Greek gods that isn’t a depraved whore. Kendare Blake’s Athena is a whip smart, sarcastic, tatted up, grey-eyed chick. Who is, by the way, much more likeable than she has any right to be. Because really, gods are just dicks and that’s the whole point of this book. We love to hate them. It’s pretty cool to see them get what they deserve.

There are multiple primary characters and POV’s, but it’s easy to discern where you are at and who is talking. Blake’s characters are not morons. They are intelligent, independent and cool. There is some romance weaved into the story and it’s believable and refreshing. I actually cried a little bit and I’m kind of a black hearted bitch with most characters. The violence isn’t torture porn level, but it’s imaginative and has you widening your eyes just a bit in shock. It’s a good shock, it always is.

Despite ample parts romance, strife and doom; the book doesn’t sway you too sickly-sweet in any one direction. There is an actual ending, rather than being a gigantic raging cliffhanger. I get so tired of book blue balls. The ending had me rubbing my hands together and mwahaha-ing greedily like a villain. Just thinking of all the destruction and chaos to come makes me giddy as hell. It was a very satisfying ending.


Antigoddess takes place mostly in upstate New York in the fall. The leaves have already fallen from the trees and its starting to flurry snow just a bit some evenings. Whats more comforting on a cold evening than a warm Apple Pie? Save yourself all the mess of baking and make an Apple Pie cocktail instead.  Check out Nikki's recipe inspired by Antigoddess HERE.

About Nikki:
Nikki spends half her time at the gym and the other half of her time wondering why she is single, which gets old really fast so she reads instead. She loves cats, shopping, cartoons, good music and great friends. She loves to read dystopian, paranormal, steampunk, horror, erotica and even a bit of sci fi. She is an avid Manchester United fan and a total dork.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Far Too Tempting by Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely's FAR TOO TEMPTING Cover Reveal

Jane Black has written the break-up album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break-up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. Her novels include Caught Up In UsPretending He’s MinePlaying With Her Heart, and Trophy Husband. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.

Pre-Order Links:

Check out my published content!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

In Loving Memory - A Review of In Honor by Jessi Kirby

On Goodreads:  In Honor
On Amazon:  In Honor 
 (Goodreads Blurb)
Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

The Story...

Finn told me once, as we sat on the porch watching the sun go down, that one thing he remembered our mom telling him was that life sometimes gives you a tiny moment of peace when you need it most.  And that you had to be careful and look out for it or you'd miss it.
The day after her brother's funeral, Honor takes off on a road trip taking her from a small town in Texas to the California beaches.  Overcome with grief, Honor takes Finn's last letter and decides to follow his instructions to the letter, even knowing that part of it was only a joke.  Along for the ride is Finn's lifelong best friend, Rusty.

Rusty and Honor meet some interesting people along the way.  Honor attempts to celebrate her brother's memory by stepping out of her comfort zone and taking chances she never would have taken before.

The road to California isn't smooth.  A blinding rainstorm causes Honor to wreck her Impala, her last link to Finn.  Rusty and Honor take a detour by his mother's house where she ends up learning some startling truths about Rusty, Finn, and herself.

What Works...

Rusty and Honor's relationship is really kind of perfect.  Their sexual tension is heavy.  Their hesitation makes sense.  Their shared history is what makes this trip worth reading.

What Doesn't...

Some of the tension between Rusty and Honor is predicable and a few of the situations they get themselves in made my eyes roll, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

4 Stars

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

I received the following ARCs this week. Click the image to visit the book on Goodreads.

Check out my published content!

Check out my published content!

Check out my published content!

I confess to requesting an ARC for this one based on the cover alone.

Check out my published content!

Did you get anything new and exciting this week?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

COVER REVEAL - One & Only by Viv Daniels

One night they can't forget...

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she's sworn to keep: the father who won't acknowledge her, the sister who doesn't know she exists, and the mother who's content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets.  But when summer ends, so does their relationship -- Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can't ignore...

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan's life.  Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess's legitimate half-sister.  Tess refuses to follow in her mother's footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time.  

...And only one chance to get things right.

Viv Daniels Bio:

Viv Daniels writes love stories for the young and young at heart. Like many of her characters, she met her husband in college, and knows all the ins and outs of navigating that kind of relationship — from how to date when you’re both flat broke to how to fit two people in narrow dorm room bed. Her favorite new adult authors include Tammara Weber, J. Lynn, and Cora Carmack. Viv can usually be found on her Facebook page or Twitter feed, chatting with readers about her favorite New Adult fiction, or sharing pictures of cute boys. She lives outside of Washington D.C. with her family.

And since Viv Daniels is really author Diana Peterfreund, she has put together a fabulous giveaway that includes signed copies of the Secret Society Girl Series.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Breath of Life -A Review of Unchained by J. Lynn

(Goodreads Blurb)
Between the pissed off creatures that want demon-hunter Lily Marks dead and the fallen angel who just...wants her, Lily is about ready to trade in forever for a comfy job in a cubicle farm.
The fact that she and Julian are civil to one another is enough to have her thrown out of the Sanctuary, but she can't shake her not-so-angelic stalker or how he brings her dangerously close to ecstasy.
Her forbidden relationship with Julian provides the perfect fuel for suspicion when a traitor is discovered to be working within the Sanctuary. Lily quickly finds herself hunted by well, everyone.
Her only hope is to discover the real traitor before she loses everything--and she'll need Julian's help. That is, if Julian is really there to help her...and not destroy her.
Yeah, being a Nephilim isn't everything it's cracked up to be.
I feel like I have been waiting for this story to release for YEEEEAAARRRSSS.  Okay, I know we haven't known about it that long, but my cursor has been hovering over that "one-click-purchase" button for a while now.  I was so excited to be able to click it.

Lily is an ass kicking Nephilim.  She doesn't take sass from anyone.  Especially not the Deadheads or Minions created by angels who have fallen.  The other Nephilim at the Santuary fear her skill and reputation. But what is she to do with Julian, a Fallen who seems to follow her around, protecting her.  
One night while out hunting, Lily stumbles across a Nephilim, Michael, who is untrained and seems to not know what he is.  She takes him to the Sanctuary, where their leader, Nathaniel, assigns Lily the task of training the him.  Michael and Lily form an unlikely friendship.

Julian sparks desires in Lily that have lain dormant her entire life, and giving in may just cost her her life.  When others begin to suspect her as a traitor because of her relationship with Julian, Lily has to rely on her instincts and her heart.  But what is a Nephilim to do when her it turns out that her heart is wrong?

This story had great characters. They had a lot more edge, more bite than Armentrout's usual cast.  Lily and Julian are the main characters, but there are many other Nephilim in the Sanctuary have great stories to tell.  Michael's story was just getting started here and I know that there is a lot more to Rafe than what we've seen so far.

This was a fantastic start to a new series.  At times it did feel a little like I was reading an inexperienced author, but I still enjoyed it.  The author has said that this story was originally written over five years ago.   I'm hoping she is still planning book two.  I'm excited to see what it will be like now that she has so much more experience under her belt.

This story begged for a girl-powered fanmix rather than just one song.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Sassy Girl Swoony God Tourney Challenge #2

To promote her upcoming book, My Date From Hell (follow-up to My Ex From Hell), author Tellulah Darling has set up tournament for bloggers.  She dishes out challenges each week and bloggers earn points by completing her challenges and spreading the word.

For anyone keeping up, here is the results from last week's challenge.  
Many exciting and beautiful places.  

 It's time for Challenge #2

Sophie is making a playlist for Kai. What would she tell him through musical subtext? Or not so sub.  This playlist can reflect any stage of their journey, just please try to avoid any songs that would be major spoilers, especially for book two.

So with that in mind, here is my I Hate Myself for Loving You Playlist

1) I Hate Myself for Loving You by Joan Jett
2) True Love by Pink
3) Madness by Muse
4) I Need Your Love by Ellie Goulding
5) Heartless by William Fitzsimmons
Everlasting Light by The Black Keys
I Am A God by Kanye West
First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes

You can listen here:

Houston Book Rave Featured Author: Jennifer Miller

Author Jennifer Miller was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but now calls Arizona home. Jennifer’s love of reading began when she was a small child, and only continued to grow as she entered adulthood. Ever since winning a writing contest at the young age of nine, when she wrote a book about a girl with a pet unicorn, she’s dreamed of writing a book of her own. Quickly learning that dreams don’t just fall into your lap, she knew she had to chase them herself and not be afraid to dream a little bigger. Most importantly, she is a wife and mother, and is very lucky to have a family that loves and supports her in all things. She also has an unhealthy addiction to handbags and chocolate covered strawberries, neither of which she cares to change. For more information about Jennifer and her books please visit 
 Pretty Little Lies (Pretty Little Lies, #1)
Genre: Adult
Paperback, 276 pages

Published June 12th 2013
A little lie can change the course of everything. . .

Like every other eighteen-year-old in love, Olivia has dreams of spending forever with the love of her life. Luke is all she’s ever wanted – until she overhears something she was never meant to. In a matter of seconds, Olivia’s heart is shattered. Olivia handles it the only way she knows how - she runs- leaving behind her family, friends and the boy she loves.

Seeking comfort and an escape, Olivia finds it in resident bad boy Deacon. He’s everything Luke isn’t – and that’s fine with Olivia.

Now, seven years later, Olivia is older, wiser and headed back to Chicago looking forward to a fresh start and reconnecting with her best friend Pyper. What she doesn’t expect, is to come face to face with the boy she left behind and discover that even though she may have left, her feelings for him didn’t.

Can Olivia put aside the pain in her heart and trust Luke? Will the ties to her past ever let her go, or will she continue to let her life be affected by pretty little lies?


“This club is amazing!” I can’t keep from looking around, trying to take it all in. “How long did you say it has been open?”

“Not long, maybe a couple weeks now.” Pyper speaks loudly into my ear to be heard over the loud thump of the bass, “There was an article in the social section of the Tribune talking about the opening I guess, but I didn’t see it. A restaurant that closed down a while ago was here and the owner did a complete renovation, it seems. Caroline was talking about it at the spa the other day.”
“Well I’m really impressed, it’s fabulous. I’m glad we came.”
The bartender hands us our drinks and Pyper pulls bills out of her bra and slaps them on the counter. The bartender grins slyly at her, but Pyper turns and we start making our way to look for seats. With perfect timing, a few girls have just vacated a couch, so we snag their places before someone else beats us to it.
Pyper turns to me, takes a sip of her drink and then asks, “What article are you working on right now?”
“Funny you should ask, because I thought I would ask for your help on this one. I’m working on an article for Martini magazine. Each month, their magazine is comprised of a lot of sex related articles, along with the usual fashion fluff and celebrity interview.” I take a sip of my drink and continue, “The article I’m working on is Things You Should Never Say to a Guy. Want to weigh in?”
Pyper immediately smiles devilishly at me, “Absolutely. What do you have so far?”
“Well of course the worst thing you can say to a guy is, ‘Is it in yet?’”
Pyper laughs loudly, almost spitting out her drink in the process, “Yes! Definitely not a good thing to say! You may as well kill him instead. Less painful!”
Her reaction has me laughing too, “True. That would certainly be more humane! I don’t think I could ever do that to a poor guy! Next is the ever popular, ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’”
Pyper laughs and then admits, “I may or may not have used that line once or twice myself.”
“Why does this not surprise me, Pyper?”
“Hi ladies, excuse the interruption, but can I get you another drink?” A very petite blonde-haired waitress asks us, interrupting our conversation. Pyper answers, “That would be great! We are drinking vodka cranberries. Thanks!”
“Sure. Be right back.”
“Okay Olivia, what else have you got?”
“How about ‘Does this make me look fat?’”
“Oh! There are sixteen thousand possible answers to that question and any one a guy would mutter would be incorrect.”
“Exactly!” I laugh.
“How about ‘Size really does matter!’” Pyper suggests.
I snort at that one! “Yes, that or, ‘That’s it?’”
Pyper and I laugh so hard we can barely breathe!
While we are trying to catch our breath, a couple of guys walk up and stand in front of us. We look up into their smiling faces to see one guy has blonde hair and blue eyes, while the other has brown hair and brown eyes. They aren’t bad looking and they seem friendly. “Hi ladies, my name is Dylan and this is my buddy Ken. We couldn’t help but see you two laughing over here and we thought we would come over to see if we could be let in on the joke,” says blondie.
“Yeah. What are you two hot girls laughing so hard about?” says Ken. I really want to ask him where Barbie is. That would be rude though, and cheesy.
Pyper looks at me with a smirk. “Actually, I bet you boys would be able to contribute to our conversation. My friend Olivia here is writing an article for Martini magazine about the things a woman should never say to a guy. Care to weigh in?”
They both take seats, a little too closely, one on either side of us and we proudly tell them the answers we already have.
“Well you forgot, ‘You remind me of my Dad,’” Dylan suggests.
“Ewww! Don’t tell me you’ve actually heard that before!” Pyper gasps while wrinkling her nose in disgust.
Dylan just shrugs in answer, and Pyper and I giggle in response.
Ken says, “Oh my personal favorite, ‘Oh my God, thank you for the drink! I can’t believe the bouncer fell for my fake ID.’”
We all break into hysterics. I can’t help but ask, “Oh my gosh! What did you do?”
Ken looks at me like that is a crazy question, “Well I ran, of course.”
We all laugh harder, the alcohol we’ve consumed adding to the humor.
“Good contributions guys, thanks for being such good sports.” I definitely have some good material for my article.
While we’ve been chatting, the waitress returned with our replacement drinks we ordered, plus Ken and Dylan bought an additional round as well, slippery nipple shots for all of us. I’m definitely starting to feel more than just a buzz. I’m slightly nauseated and realize I haven’t eaten anything since we had a light lunch of a salad at the spa. Not good.
“So tell us ladies, how good of friends are you?” Ken asks raising his brows at us.
“We are best friends, pretty much sisters,” Pyper says. “Why do you ask?”
Ken looks at Dylan and the look they exchange makes me feel uneasy. “We were just wondering if maybe we could interest you in a foursome. You are both gorgeous, and with the way you two were laughing and talking with us, I know you find us attractive too, so what do you say the four of us get out of here and go make some fun of our own?” Dylan asks.
Pyper and I look at each other, totally grossed out and speechless.
“Hell to the no.” I tell them.
Before they can utter a response, Pyper tugs on my arm, “Come on, let’s go get our dance on!”
I smile and nod at her, words seem beyond my ability at the moment.
Pyper grabs my hand, tows me to the dance floor, and keeps going until we are in the middle of the moving mass of bodies, safely escaping the two creepers we left sitting on the couch. The speakers are blaring techno music and it feels like it’s echoing inside and outside my head. I close my eyes, trying to center myself and end up losing myself to the music. I raise my arms above my head and move my body to the beat. Pyper links her fingers with mine so we can make sure we stay together and not get pushed apart. I squeeze her hands gently and keep dancing.
I feel a body come up behind me, pressing against mine and it startles me. I open my eyes just in time to see Pyper being pushed flush against the front of my body because Ken is behind her pressing himself against her, which means the asshole at my back is Dylan. “What the hell?” Pyper asks.
“Dance with me baby,” Dylan slurs into my ear.
Dylan grabs my hips and slams his pelvis into my ass. I can feel his erection against me, and I am immediately uncomfortable and pissed off. “Pyper…let’s go.”
“Guys, we don’t want to dance, we are going to head home,” Pyper tries reasoning with them.
“I don’t think so,” says Ken. “You ladies have been teasing us all night, we know you want us, now let’s dance.” Ken smashes his hips into Pyper’s ass, making her slam against me again. Her head smacks into my mouth and I taste blood almost immediately. I cry out and cup my mouth with my hand. I can feel the inside of my mouth where my tooth just cut it starting to swell.
“Oh God, Olivia, I’m so sorry! BACK OFF YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES,” I hear Pyper start screaming, trying to get us away from Dylan and Ken, but they just won’t listen. People around us start to realize there’s a problem and finally, I see someone pull Ken away from Pyper. He’s a big guy and I hope he’s a bouncer. I’m still struggling to get away from Dylan when I hear, “Get the fuck off her.”
I freeze.
I can’t move.
I know that voice.
It haunts my dreams and my memories.
I am still cupping my mouth and I look over at Pyper, eyes wide to see her eyes matching my own while she’s looking at the person standing behind me.
I feel Dylan get pulled away from me and the voice I could never forget says, “Ian, escort both of them the hell out of here. They are not to return again, ever.”
I very slowly begin to turn around and look right into the eyes of Luke Easton. The first boy I ever truly loved. The first boy that ever broke my heart. My high school sweetheart. The boy that I’ve never been able to forget. The boy that was supposed to love me forever.
That boy is now a man and he takes my breath away, his blue eyes as mesmerizing as I remember.
I suck in a breath. I feel sick.
“Hello, Olivia.”
I remove my hand from my mouth, open it to respond…
And throw up on his feet.


 Come out to meet her and get your books signed.
Get your fee ticket here

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stephanie Reviews: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

(Goodreads Blurb)
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 
Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 
Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.
Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

From a young age, Violet had listened to her grandmother, Freddie, warn her about the devil, but she never imagined in a million years she’d be sharing a bed with him.

Violet and her twin brother, Luke live in a dilapidated mansion by the sea. Their artist parents left them months ago to peruse careers in Europe, and their money has finally run out.  When Violet hangs a flier in their small, sleepy town to rent their small cottage, she doesn’t expect anyone to respond. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect River West- the sexy, mysterious boy to take up residence in more than just her cottage. When she falls for him, despite the fact that he disappears often, and lies just as much, she realizes that the intense pull she feels for him isn’t something she can control. Strange things begin to happen in the town, people acting crazy and seeing things that aren’t really there… and River always seems to be attached to the happenings. And even though Violet knows River is bad, she is torn between love and hate for him.

I really, really liked this book for a bunch of different reasons. One thing was the setting. This dilapidated mansion that was once something to be envied, set on a cliff high above the ocean is just perfect. You get this creepy sense of the place, like there’s a constant fog hanging about and something just waiting to crawl under your skin.

Second, the history of the characters. There is a whole arc about Freddie and her past, which ties River and eventually, his two brothers to Violet. The mystery unfolds slowly, and when you put all their pieces together, it is such a satisfying revelation.

Third, the characters. I loved Violet’s quiet quirkiness and her fondness for old things including her grandmother’s clothing and going through her old letters and her unapologetic attitude about not having friends and being okay with that. Freddie, even though she’d died five years past, was mentioned so much you feel like she’s a living character throughout the story.  Violet’s sort of best friend Summer and her brother, Luke’s relationship was honest and real, and at times blushingly unabashed. And the moments between Violet and River were swoony, making the reader understand how Vi could be so torn over him, but still feel this incredible draw that made her question her won integrity, but not care either way. When River’s brother Neely, comes into town, you feel how deep and palpable their love and mutual respect for one another runs.

What I most enjoyed, was the fact that this book was timeless. I wasn’t able to tell if it was set or written in 1960 or 2013. It was different from any other YA book I’ve read, really historical almost, and supernatural with a dark twist. There’s talk of the devil quite a bit, but not necessarily in a religious way. 

The only thing I didn’t care for was the ending. I think the author left it open for a sequel which I will devour, because I’d like to see more of Violet and River’s relationship bloom.  I might even venture to say that I’m curious what would happen if she dare chose the other brother, who is charming and sweet- much better suited for her, but not nearly as much of a bad boy as River. And we do love our bad boys.

I’d give this 4.5 stars out of 5.

Check out the recipe for Eggs in a Frame that River makes Vi in the book.  I know it doesn't look special, but Violet is so in awe of the way he puts such thought and care into cooking and there's even a moment she decides she wants to kiss his back; so out of character for her. The author makes you salivate over something so simple.

Review by Stephanie