Thursday, May 31, 2018

Book Review - Together Forever by Jody Hedlund + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Marianne Neumann is searching for her younger sister, Sophie. Filled with desperation, Marianne becomes a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society in hopes of locating her sister. As a placing agent, Marianne hopes to locate a better life for the orphans, while locating her sister in the process. 

Andrew "Drew" Brady is accompanying Marianne on her first placing trip. He is a former schoolteacher who gets along with the children. However, underneath his charm and beauty, lies a dark secret that continues to torment Drew. The pair finds themselves growing closer until a devastating accident threatens to break their bond. Will Drew be able to put aside his feeling of guilt? Will Drew and Marianne be able to move past the accident?

This historical romance was an enjoyable read. It was an interesting topic about placing orphans from New York City to other small towns. While the book was good, I found the beginning a bit slow but it picked up towards the end. The characters were all flawed but they were trying their best with the cards they were dealt with. 

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

About the Book


Title: Together Forever, Orphan Train Book 2
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
Release Date: May, 2018

Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she’ll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be reunited.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing-out trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children, firm but tender and friendly. Underneath his charm and handsome looks, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden.
As the two team up, placing orphans in the small railroad towns of Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.

About the Author

Jody hedlund 
Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book Review: Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy) by Claire Legrand

Photo Credit - Amazon
Rielle Dardenne is hiding a secret from her kingdom and her loved ones.  However, when her beloved best friend, Audric is ambushed, Rielle is willing to risk everything to protect him. Rielle is exposed to be one of the prophesied queens; but she must prove that she is the queen of light and not the queen of blood. Rielle must perform seven elemental magic trials and if she fails, things will take a turn for the worse.

Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. She is a bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, who is trying to survive. When her mother suddenly vanishes and Eliana must join forces with the rebels to find her mother. At the side of the rebels, she realizes evil and how terrible the Empire treats its citizens.  How is Eliana and Rielle related as their story intersect? Will Eliana be able to save the rebels from the Undying Empire?

I found the novel to be an interesting and thrilling read. It was fun to read about two strong female leads. However, I found it hard to like Eliana. She act like she was invisible but she was consistently overtaken by Invictius and the general from Red Crown. I didn't like that she tried using her sex appeal to get out of a situation instead of trying to formulate a plan. While, Rielle to rely on her internal strength and convictions instead of using her sex appeal. I can't read to read the next installment of this book.

**Disclosure - I received a free unedited copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Monday, May 28, 2018

Book Review - Bite Me by Louise Cypress + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

High School senior, Morgan Taylor-Jackson, can't wait to attend UCLA and leave her old life behind.  Her parents constantly bicker over their divorce. Morgan is known as the nerdy girl who hasn't been kissed yet. Her life turns upside down when she gets bitten by a small child and she is taken to the hospital. Upon returning home, she realizes that her body is going through a transformation but she isn't sure what to do.

Van Xander is descendant of Van Helsing. He believes all vampires should be destroyed even ones who abstain from human blood, who call themselves, Puritans. When Van is sent to investigate a local coven, Morgan becomes his prime target after a string of murders occur. While Van pretends to be interested in her, he notices that she isn't like the other vampires. Will Morgan become a full-fledged bloodthirsty vampire? Will Van be able to put aside his distaste for vampires and help Morgan?

The novel read like your average teenage vampire romance novel. It was packed with the basic predictable teenage drama along with a few twists. I found the book to be a fun and enjoyable read.  Even though, some parts were a bit over the top. For example, the dynamics between Van and his sister, Cassandra didn't feel like "normal" brother and sister interaction, at times.  I enjoyed the fact that the author incorporates popular vampire ideas, such as their weakness to silver. I like that she also included aspects, such as Puritans and groups of people who both wanted to kill and "help" the vampire race. I look forward to reading the book in the series.

**Disclosure -  I received a free unedited copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**



Title: BITE ME
Author: Louise Cypress
Pub. Date: May 14, 2018
Publisher: Louise Cypress
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 303
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

I fell in love with the slayer sent to destroy me. 

Morgan Taylor-Jackson can't wait for high school to end. In six months she leaves for UCLA and says goodbye to La Jolla, California and her parents' messy divorce. But when Morgan is bitten by a four-year-old boy, she becomes infected with a mysterious condition. Fever, insomnia, and a new bustline are only the beginning; Morgan morphs from nerd to bombshell.

As far as Van Xander is concerned, all vampires are evil, even the ones who reject human sacrifice and call themselves Puritans. When Helsing Incorporated sends Van to La Jolla to investigate the local coven, Morgan is his prime target. Pretending to be interested in her, Van asks Morgan out and puts her through a series of tests to determine her killer nature.

Morgan is thrilled to be dating a hot guy like Van and falls for him hard. As Van strings Morgan along, he grows increasingly guilty. Morgan is kind, compassionate, and a gooey romantic. Just as Van's mind begins to change, evil forces threaten everything. When prom night arrives, there are only two ways out of the ballroom: death or immortality. 




About Louise:
Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. Louise can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise lives in San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal.

BookBub | Amazon Link | Instagram | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, International.

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Tour Schedule:
Week Two:
5/28/2018- To Be ReadReview
5/28/2018- BookHounds YAInterview

5/29/2018- Two Points of InterestReview
5/29/2018- The Howling TurtleGuest Post

5/30/2018- Smada's Book SmackSpotlight
5/30/2018- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

5/31/2018- Wonder StruckExcerpt
5/31/2018- Jaime's WorldSpotlight

6/1/2018- The Book GirlInterview

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Book Review - The Dan Diaries by D.D. Marx + Giveaway

Photo Source - Amazon

Dan Sullivan and Olivia Henry are best friends until Dan loses his life tragically in a car accident. Dan is transported to Heaven, where he must navigate his new life. He is assigned to become Olivia's guardian angel. While guiding her through her life, he realizes that she is going to take a lot more work than he realizes. He sends signs and clues to Oliva to let her know that he is watching over her but Olivia is deeply distressed over his death. She is hesitant to believe in the signs and fearful to fall in love again. Will Olivia be able to love again?

This was the fourth novel in the series but this novel can be read standalone.  I found the novel to be an interesting concept. After reading the novel I felt wanting more. I felt the plot fell flat because it was narrated mostly by Dan and he already knew what was going to happen and when. I felt that the Angel aspect took central stage and Hank and Finn's life was more of a backstory. Especially, when important story building information was given as side thought or was just told to us. I found there were too many characters and it got confusing with the nicknames for each character. Olivia, for example, was called Olivia, Liv, and Hank. Each of the characters' lives was intertwined and played a special part in Olivia and Finn's future. I thought that was interesting but only a few main characters should have key involvements and not minor characters as well. I was curious about finding your soul mate in heaven if you didn't find it on Earth. However, they never spoke about if you found your soul mate on Earth and then they remarry to their other soul mate. How would the dynamic change when all the soul mates are in heaven.


**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Book Details:

Book Title: The Dan Diaries by D.D. Marx (The Beyond Series Book #4)
Category: Adult Fiction; 200 pages
Genre: Chick-Lit
Publisher: Beyond Dreams Publishing
Release date: April 6, 2018
Tour dates: May 14 to June 8, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 (minimal swearing)

Book Description:

Dan Sullivan was the best friend of Olivia Henry when his life was taken in a tragic car accident. Shocked to be on the other side, Dan navigates his way by learning his new role in eternal life. His first assignment is as Olivia’s guardian angel. He has the crucial role of guiding her to her pre-defined destiny. Dan’s death throws Olivia into a tail-spin which causes her to veer way off course. He understands the enormity of the challenge when he hears the mechanism by which he can communicate. He’s only allowed to use signs and symbols to get her attention and cannot interfere with her free-will.

Every time he thinks he’s close, something throws her off track. He’s forced to start over by convincing her to trust in their enduring, unbreakable bond. Olivia can feel Dan’s presence but is still reluctant to believe the messages he’s sending. She is fearful of falling in love again at the risk of losing another soulmate. Can Dan persuade her to trust in his love from afar so she can finally receive the happiness she truly deserves?

Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:





D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger. Marx is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always had a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends June 16, 2016


1st Prize: Win the complete Beyond series (4 ebooks total / open int'l / 2 winners)

2nd Prize: Win the complete Beyond series (4 paperback books total) and a Shine Bright Journal (open to USA only / 1 winner)


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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Review - Nothing Happened by Molly Booth + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

In this modern retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing takes place at a summer camp, Camp Dogberry.  Sisters Bee and Hana Leonato live and breathe the camp life. Mostly because their parents own the place. Every summer, the pair look forward to the rewarding camp experience especially helping campers with fun activities. However, no summer camp is complete without any drama. Bee and her fellow counselor, Ben have romantic chemistry together but both are reluctant to ask the other out. While Hana is falling for Claudia but Hana is still having trouble letting go of her ex-boyfriend. Will the counselors be able to take the leap of faith and find their soul mate? Or will it lead to heartbreak?

I read the original Shakespeare novel several years ago. I can't remember much of the story but I enjoyed this dramatic retelling.  I enjoyed the drama-packed narrative but I couldn't stand some of the characters. They act very immaturely for their age and I felt like some of the characters were quite annoying. Personally, I didn't care for Hana, Bee, and Ben.  When Ben returns this season to camp, he wasn't on the best of terms with Bee. He accused Bee and Hana to having special privileges (best cabin) because they are the owners' children. However, when Bee and Ben were on good terms, he automatically took Bee's words at face value without questioning it. Whatever Bee said was the golden rule and law. Several times, Donald has pointed out to Ben, that he isn't being a good friend to Claudia. But Ben never did anything to change that, even though Ben claims Claudia is his best friend. 

I also found Bee to be a hypocrite, she bullies Claudia and then tells Claudia that she hates bullies. I felt like Hana and Bee were treated better than the rest of the characters. Like when Hana betrayed Claudia, everyone banded together to help Hana feel better and Claudia apologized first. I felt that Hana should have stopped acting like a victim and should have taken a proactive role in fixing her relationship with Claudia. Lastly, I found the dynamic between Ben and Bee very juvenile. Their initial disagreement was caused by something so trivial and escalated into something huge. Neither of them really wanted to own up to it. I found the part where Bee had feelings for Ben but acts upset when he doesn't show his feelings towards her to be annoying. She also keeps denying they have a spark even though they both admit they like each other. Overall, I found the book to be enjoyable and I look forward to reading other books by the author. 

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**


Title: NOTHING HAPPENED
Author: Molly Booth
Pub. Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 336
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

This modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing takes place at the idyllic Camp Dogberry, where sisters Bee and Hana Leonato have grown up. Their parents own the place, and every summer they look forward to leading little campers in crafts, swimming in the lake, playing games of capture the flag and sproutball, and of course, the legendary counselor parties.

This year, the camp drama isn’t just on the improv stage. Bee and longtime counselor Ben have a will-they-or-won’t-they romance that’s complicated by events that happened—or didn’t happen—last summer. Meanwhile, Hana is falling hard for the kind but insecure Claudia, putting them both in the crosshairs of resident troublemaker John, who spreads a vicious rumor that could tear them apart.

As the counselors juggle their camp responsibilities with simmering drama that comes to a head at the Fourth of July sparkler party, they’ll have to swallow their pride and find the courage to untangle the truth, whether it leads to heartbreak or happily ever after.



About Molly:
Molly Booth (she/her/hers) writes books about Shakespeare and feelings. She's the author of Young Adult novels SAVING HAMLET (2016) and NOTHING HAPPENED (5.15.2018), both published by Disney Hyperion. In high school, she was a stage manager for three different community theatres, which almost killed her. She graduated from Marlboro College and went onto study more Shakespeare (twist!) at University of Massachusetts Boston. Molly is a freelance writer and editor and has been published on TheMarySue.com, McSweeneys.net, HelloGiggles.com, and various other websites. She co-hosts a Bardcentric podcast, Party Bard, and directs a lovely, hilarious, and fierce group of homeschooling teen Shakespearean actors. She also speaks and teaches workshops at schools, colleges, bookstores, book fairs, camps, and libraries. Molly lives in Massachusetts, where she spends a lot of time with family and friends, and the rest attending to her queenly cat and loaf-of-bread-shaped dog.  

Literary agent: Alex Slater at Trident Media Group.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of NOTHING HAPPENED, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:
Week Two:
5/21/2018- Magical ReadsReview
5/21/2018- The Cover ContessaInterview

5/22/2018- Dani Reviews ThingsReview
5/22/2018- Angelic Book ReviewsReview

5/23/2018- Blushing BibliophileReview
5/23/2018- Two points of interestReview

5/24/2018- Bookworm CafĂ©Review
5/24/2018- Novel NoviceReview

5/25/2018- Portrait of a BookReview
5/25/2018- BookCrushinGuest Post