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The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson - Blog Tour
Oh, dear reader! I’m so excited to be sharing this book with you today! When I learned this book was on tour with TLC book tours I asked to be on the tour straight away! A strong woman, the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty, who must weather the storms of her times? Oh HELLZ YES!!!!! So who is this woman, you ask, dear reader? Allow me to introduce you to Catherine de Valois, The Agincourt Bride…..
by Joanna Hickson
Pub. Date: January 3rd 2013 by HarperCollins
The epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid. Perfect for fans of Philipa Gregory.
When her own first child is tragically still-born, the young Mette is pressed into service as a wet-nurse at the court of the mad king, Charles VI of France. Her young charge is the princess, Catherine de Valois, caught up in the turbulence and chaos of life at court.
Mette and the child forge a bond, one that transcends Mette’s lowly position.
But as Catherine approaches womanhood, her unique position seals her fate as a pawn between two powerful dynasties. Her brother, The Dauphin and the dark and sinister, Duke of Burgundy will both use Catherine to further the cause of France.
Catherine is powerless to stop them, but with the French defeat at the Battle of Agincourt, the tables turn and suddenly her currency has never been higher. But can Mette protect Catherine from forces at court who seek to harm her or will her loyalty to Catherine place her in even greater danger?
Joanna Hickson became fascinated with history when she studied Shakespeare’s history plays at school. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she took up a career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on both television and radio. Now she writes full time and has a contract with Harper Collins for three historical novels. The Agincourt Bride is the first. She lives in Scotland in a 200 year old farmhouse and is married with a large extended family and a wayward Irish terrier.
As I expected, this book was a tour de force of historical fiction. Told from the view point of Catherine’s nursemaid and closest ally, Guillamette, we see Catherine grow from a lovely, but severely neglected princess in the French court to beautiful yet tightly controlled pawn of those who seek to control the court in her father’s illness. Caught between the machinations of her mother, her brother, the Duke of Burgundy and Henry V, her fortunes sail precariously among them all.
I loved the detail with which Joanna Hickson’s tale is told, pulling the reader instantly into the era in a lush and vibrant way. I felt like I walked next to Guillamette and Catherine through this story. Experiencing the highs and lows of their lives, the reader is swept into history. It makes the time period come to life in very real way.
Also, the story is so universal. Catherine is a young girl facing serious challenges. A severely neglected childhood with a party girl mother and a crazy father. She longs for a connection with her family, particularly her youngest brother but is continually isolated because of how it serves those who seek to use her as a pawn in their petty squabbles. And then she finds she has a suitor: the gallant, powerful, relentless Henry V. He’s gorgeous and fierce and he’s enthralled by Catherine’s grace and beauty. They’re a power couple in the making. If only Catherine’s family would get out of the way and let them be a couple.
Bottom line, this book was completely engrossing. When it ended I was surprised, because there was so much more I wanted to learn about Catherine’s life. Fortunately, there’s a second book, The Tutor Bride, which was previously released and will be re-released by HarperCollins next year! Keep your fingers crossed for another audiobook!!
This book is utterly engrossing and absolutely enthralling! You’ll be rooting for Catherine all the way and dying to find out what happens next!
As I mentioned above, The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson is on tour right now! Check out the other stops on the tour!
You can find out all about the tour on Joanna’s TLC page too!
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Adorable Best-Friend Romance - On the Fence by Kasie West
I’m a huge fan of Kasie West and already when I read the blurb about On The Fence I knew I was going to love it! Secretly in love with your best friend?
I absolutely and completely adore the setting. Charlie grew up with men, being alone only with her dad and her brothers made he grew up being a cute tomboy. While that might be all fine and good when growing up, but once you reach this age when you regonize that there are boys out there which might be more than just a friend, things get more complicated.
And especially when your whole male family is so over protective. I absolutely adored this set up, I love strong family bond and I loved Charlies brothers, as annoying they could be, but you all felt the love between these so much!
However, not all is just sunshine and happiness. We see Charlie’s dad struggle with finding the right way to raise a daughter and give her the advice and comfort she would need and maybe get from another woman. It was heartwarming to see how hard he tried and struggled .
It was actually wonderful to see their relationship grow and change and at the same time seeing Charlie grow and develop into a girl. I loved loved loved her development and how she tried to find it and find a place. It was genuinely sweet and earnest. While she might never be the super girly type of girl, she also not “just a Tomboy” either, and it was heartwarming to see her realising who she is and come to terms with it!
Also, we never know what really happened with their mom and we soon realize that there is more to this story, yet no one says a word. There is hidden drama which will play a huge part and added the perfect amount of angst to this light story.
Surely a big part was the relationship and romance between Charlie and two boys. No! Wait , don’t go running, it’s NOT a Love Triangle per se, it’s more of picking the wrong guy for the wrong reasons and coming to term with who you are, and you who you want to me!
Braden is the boy we know would be good for her and Gosh, the romance was so cute and adorable! With Braden being nearly like a brother she had a hard time adjusting from seeing him any different than her brothers. But we quickly feel the tension and chemistry between them. I so badly wanted them to be together, wanted them to see how good they are for each other and for Charlie to see the real Braden. I loved loved loved this cutest of romances!:)
On the Fence by Kasie West is a light, quick and charming read with an unusual girl, a wonderful family set up and with the most adorable romance! Following Charlies Development and seeing all these relationship dynamics change made this story just a wonderful read I can wholeheartedly recommend to all lovers of Young Adult Contemporary°
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/05/the-truth-about-alice-by-jennifer-mathieu.html
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
I knew that this book would get me thinking and it did, but I like these books that try to point to the darker side of being Teenager.
The chapters are decided into the different kids tellings us the story of Alice, what happened – or rather what they think has happened and how they see Alice. I found it a rather brilliant way to tell us Alice’s story as it added a whole amount of intrigue and wondering what is the truth.
Alice is supposedly a slut – having slept with 2 boys at a party and her slutiness also lead to the death of one of the boys. And this boy was the golden boy – handsome , charming and the QB of the Football team. Needless to say everyone has a say in what happened.
Usually, I am not the biggest fan of multiple POV’s but here it worked perfectly! Moreover, each POV had a very distinct voice something I often find lacking in other multiple POV stories. but Jennifer Mathieu did a fantastic job in creating unique characters.
The book perfectly creates a picture of a whole school bullying one single girl and how it started with one rumor and then totally exploded and then run completely out of control. Everyone knows something about Alice and especially the girls are terribly mean, which truly also brought some tears into my eyes. The way it got worse and worse made me actually fear for a happy ending, was it not for the one singly POV who stuck out. One boy, who knows what it means to be avoided by the other kids actually tries to look behind all the rumours and looks closely at Alice herself. In the end he’s saving her and I loved to see a glimpse of hope and goodness in this book too!
The Truth About Alice is wonderfully written and pictures a story that can happen like this any day in any school. How rumors run out of control and how this affects the life of a Teenager. Also, the arc of suspense was incredibly crafted and made it often impossible to close the book – all we wanted to know was what really happened, where the truth lays and if the kids finally realize what they are doing and how they are ruining another persons life.
I loved when we got a final chapter told finally from Alice POV, which also lead us to a wonderful and honest ending!
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu is a brutally honest story about bullying and how rumors can very fast and very dangerously run out of control. It is brilliantly written and told from different POV of kids who were involved in the ultimate destruction of one single girl. but it also offers hope, not only with a wonderful ending but also with some of the kids thankfully showing us a little that they do reflect what they did!
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/05/broken-hearts-fences-and-other-things-to-mend-by-katie-finn.html
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Well, this title is a mouthful, hu? The synopsis sounded intriguing and promised a lot of drama, so I was eager to dig into this new Contemporary series!
Gemma had a very very good friend when she was 11, but it also happened to very difficult time for Gemma as her parents just split and she wanted desperately for her parents to get back together. She spent her summer in The Hampton’s and during this time did some truly awful things, she’s now ashamed of. But… we all remember that we were not so levelheaded when we were 11 and also often have no idea how damaging your actions truly can be, so we have to take this into account when judging Gemma – because I really loved this girls despite all the stupidity:)
When she is spending time with her dad now 5 years later she thinks she has the chance to win back her friend, but of course Drama is inevitable here!
I should warn you, because I am sure you will shake your head over Gemma’s actions – but in the end, Gemma is a girl who truly has the heart at the right place. She’s a cute girl who always wants to do everything perfect but sometimes not quite manages. Years later she knows exactly how devastating her actions were but is too ashamed to say anything. Even if I often can’t quite follow all Gemma did and had to shake my head a few times, it was still wonderfully amusing and lots of fun to see all the weird and funny moments Gemma got herself into!
While Gemma is telling the story from her POV, the other two important characters are Haylie (her former best friend, who has no idea who Gemma now really is) and Haylie’s brother Josh and of course, Josh and Gemma slowly fall for each other even though Gemma tried hard not to! The romance was definitely cute and adorable!
The story was wonderfully endearing cute and filled with lots of funny moments, the ending left us hanging and wishing the next book will come earlier! Different to what I thought, the next book will not feature a different set of characters but will follow Gemma’s story which I definitely will enjoy!
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn was entertaining and beautifully diverting , this making it a perfect beach read! Gemma is a sweet heroine with a heart at the right place, which however is not helping her running into the most weirdest circumstances. We have romance, friendship and lots of drama which perfectly rounds this story!
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Hexed by Michelle Krys - The Witch Hunter #1
One of the few times when the synopsis was so well and perfectly written that I knew I needed to read this book! It sounds like fun, especially with the promise of an action packed plot and a little romance along the way!
The setting was just picture perfect and right on! Indie, our super popular Cheerleader with the perfect boyfriend is Queen Bee at her school, and that even with her weird mother who runs an Occult shop. But, Indie is popular enough to withstand even this. However, Indie’s world is turned upside down when an old book is stolen from her mother and suddenly weird things happen and Indie is thrown into a world she didn’t believe exists. Witches, Magic and Warlocks and Indie in the middle of an old war!
Bishop is the incredible, unbelievable amazing highlight of this book. He’s a Warlock send to help Indie in recovering the book and train her in magic and Oh this boy! He will make you swoon and die of laughter! Already when we meet him he made me laugh out so loud – I literally had tears in my eyes so bad I had to laughed. And … this bad boys has a tattoo of naked cartoon character – on his neck! Gosh this guy is unbelievable! So full of snark – his comments are just the cherry on top of everything!
I couldn’t get enough of him.
One of the first scenes where when he was sitting on the bleachers during a Football game, where Indie was a Cheerleader – and every time she cheered and did some cheering stunts he cracked up! Everyone was confused why this boy was sitting there laughing his ass off – but he just found Cheerleading ridiculous and made no secret of it.
I think I’m not getting this across right, but believe me this scene was cracking me up and if you read the whole scene I promise you will too!!
I liked the plot surrounding an old war among the witches and an old book that needs to be found. It’s the stuff the make movies from and this would be a perfect movie plot in my opinion! Indie was a wonderful, genuine and easy to connect with heroine that drove the plot wonderful. Her struggle felt real and I loved seeing her grow! But what is a hero without a sidekick? And there comes Paige – Oh cute wonderful Paige! She always wanted to be friends with Indie and didn’t get that Indie run with a different crowd. But when it really counts you suddenly see who are your real friends and there comes weird Paige! The way she always saw the good in Indie even though Indie had been pushing her away and it was wonderful to see when finally Indie realized that Paige is a real friend!
Hexed by Michelle Krys was wonderfully quirky story, full of humor, magic and intrigue! Bishop totally rocked the story with his insane attitude, bad-assery and onliners that will crack you up! I can wholeheartedly recommend Hexed to readers who enjoy a character driven plot full of magic, action, romance and with a good amount of snark to make you laugh!
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/05/oh-so-adorable-catch-a-falling-star-by-kim-culbertson.html
Oh so Adorable! Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
I have a soft spot for stories with the girl from a small town meeting the big hollywood celebrity. It’s one of the themes that seem to always work for me and draw me in!
Carter is a girl from a small town who just loves her family and also the family business, which is a small café run by her father. But, as idyllic that all sounds, there is a dark spot on her family and especially Carter struggles a lot with it. When Hollywood decided to film a movie in her small town, and she is asked to play the small-town girlfriend as main cast and deliciously sexy Adam, she decided to take this unusual arrangement to save her family.
Among the many things I loved about Carter is her being so wonderfully down to earth and just genuinely contempt with her life in a small town. She never cared about Hollywood or celebrities and this whole world feels very foreign to her. But Carter would do anything for her family, so when she has the chance to help, she just does it!
The whole story is just insanely cute. It’s one of these Contemporaries you just gotta love. There is some slow developing romance between Adam and Carter the felt very genuine and not forced. In the beginning the do not much care for each other and Adam seems to be distracted and also does not care much for Carter. But as they are forced to spend more time together, they get to know each other and see behind the walls both of them build to protect themselves. I can’t find other words to describe it than adorable and so wonderfully cute!
I actually also liked the progression of Adams real character. It took some time for him to open up and get rid of the attitude he usually always carries around. But we very quickly understand that there is more to him than it meets the eye and Adam has his own issues to deal with.
However, as deeply we connected with Carter and understand her as a person, as lacking was our real connection with Adam to some extent. I wished we would have gotten more from him. I feel like we just scratched the surface and there is much more to him. I would have loved to get to know him better.
Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson was an adorable romance set in the backdrop of an idyllic small town and the allure of hollywood. Carter was a wonderful down to earth girl who was easy to love. Adam was swoon worthy enough to fall for him, but I would have loved to get to know better.
Do you love this theme of small town girl meets hollywood celebrity as much as I do? Which are your favorite books with this theme?
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House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter - Crescent City #1
This is the week of Spin Off Series and today I’m talking about Kristin Painter’s new series: Crescent City with is a Spin off of her exciting House of Comarée Series, which I loved very much! Vampires, Fae and other paranormal creatures play centre stage in this world and here, we are introduced to two new main characters!
Set in the future and specifically in New Orleans, which comes with a lustre and colourful setting that has a lot of charm. The futuristic details are rare and in the end it does not truly feel like the story is set in the future. New Orleans always holds a special allure and it made this story distinct from the previous series which is placed in another city. The first instalment here is used to introduced the ambience and many different paranormal creatures with all their powers, gifts and rules. I especially loved the Fae mythology here, as it place a major role in contrary to the previously vampire focused books.
From the synopsis it sounds like the story focuses only on Augustine, who is a Fae hybrid creature, who is very dark and mysterious. But what we find are actual dual POV with the other voice being Harlow the “lost” Daughter of Augustines mother-like friend Olivia. Yeah, theory have a complicated relationship, which I won’t go into detail here…
Between those two characters driving the story, I still felt myself more drawn to Augustines voice. He proves to be a very interesting character, with his mysterious background and Fae powers and a strong, bad ass personality. His upbringing has been rough and without any love, so when Olivia took him in, they formed a very unique relationship with Augustine needing familybonds and love and Olivia needs someone to take care of since her daughter refuses her.
He is also the driving force of the storyline in the book, with his desperate wish to avenge Olivia’s death and his new role as New Orleans Guardian of the supernatural.
Harlow was a very difficult characters, but also the one which showed the most growth in the story. Honestly, I wasn’t very fond of her in the beginning, as her reasoning behind refusing contact with her mother seemed not strong enough and selfish. Still, there is a lot more to Harlow than it meets the eye in the beginning and slowly while the story developed I also warmed up to her. I loved seeing her grow and see her develop and realizing Olivia did what she did… Still, I think I’d have loved the story more if Harlow would have been a different character..
House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter is a great introduction into a new series fans of Urban Fantasy with a Fae themed focus will love and should add to their lists. Augustine is a kick and badass character that proved to be a fascinating character that I am excited to get to know better. Even though I had some problems with Harlow, I am still eager to see her develop more.
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Reborn by C.C. Hunter- Shadow Falls: After Dark #1
Here comes a new Spin Off Series from one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite Young Adult Paranormal Series: Shadow Falls. When the series ended last year I was sad. Then CC Hunter announced the Spin Off with Vampire Della and I was not.. exactly thrilled at first, as she was not one of my favorite characters, but now after finishing I’m totally Team Della – GO Della!
Della is an interesting character, she’s very angry and not always very nice, which is why I was not immediately sold on her as a protagonist. Being made a Vampire was one things she had to get used to, but what hurts her even more is the rejection of her parents. Since her parents do not know about supernaturals, they think she’s at a camp for troubled teens. Their rejection, and especially the cold shoulder from her Dad huts Della so much that she completely closed off from friendship and love with the fear of being hurt again.
Once you get to know in Della’s head, it’s easy to understand her better and hurt along with her. Also, I loved that everyone made her aware of her cold snappish behaviour and that she begins to reflect her attitude and slowly begins to change!
The theme which was prominent in The Shadow Falls series carriers also into this new series. It focuses a lot on the power of real and true friendship and that you can find family in many different places. Della’s friendship with Kylie (protagonist of the previous series) and the witch Miranda is absolutely moving and touching and makes you wish to have such close friends yourself. It’s with them that Della can be herself and she’s loved simply for who she is.
Then there is the Vampire camp leader Burnett who is also working for a CIA like organisation only for Supernatural. He’s a closed off badass who also has a hard time showing and expressing feelings, but he has taken on Della and seeing their relationship was also a thing of wonder.
What made this story really shine was Steve with whom Della has some kind of an relationship, which Della has a hard time truly defining as being in a relationship due to her issues. But Steve knows her and he loves her for who she really is and he never gave up on her and I LOVED that about him so much! when Della pushed him away, he pushed forward even more. How can you not love a boy like this!
The synopsis hints a a Love Triangle, and while a triangle was major part of the previous series, it is completely differently handled here for which I’m grateful.
Apart from all this wonderful elements there is of course also a plot line that keeps everyone moving and hooked. There is a killing and Della desperately wants to prove herself to Burnett to help and solve the case. Then there is the mystery surrounding Chase which totally ended up in a super surprising twist I didn’t see coming. In addition Della tries to find family members her father never mentioned before and in her desperate wish for love, she tries to find them.
The story hooked me right from the beginning and there were lots of surprised and twists along the way. The ending was exciting, closed up some loose ends to satisfy the reader, but then leaves some mysterious for the next book!
If there is one thing to complain about is the constant feminism from Della, who thinks that she’s not taken seriously that she’s a girl. While I like the theme and I think it’s an important issue to be addressed, a little less wouldn’t have hurt and would have still gotten the message across.
Reborn by C.C. Hunter kicks of excitingly into a new series set in the Shadow Falls world. Beloved characters are back, and new ones are introduced. Even though I was skeptical, Della proved to be a kick ass heroine with a lot of heart we just needed to discover she has. The romance is touching and the basic them of love, friendship and family is what truly shines in these pages! Even if you haven’t read the previous series feel free to jump in now!
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The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa - Blog Tour and Review
Oh I’ve been a fan of Julie Kagawa since I read her first book The Iron King – and ever since I feel deeply in love with her stories. The Blood of Eden Series combines her incredible world building with my (still) favorite paranormal creature: Vampires!
But.. all good things must come to an end so welcome to the Blog Tour for:
The Spectacular Conclusion to the Epic Dystopian Trilogy
Final book #3 in the Blood of Eden series
Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?
With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.
Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the path is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal.
The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost— the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
Allie has been through a lot. From becoming a Vampire in The Immortal Rules to slowly accepting being a creature she always despised. We left Allie in a state of pure horror and devastation at the end of The Eternity Cure.
Hell, we’ve all been shocked! But, Julie Kagawa knows exactly what to do a Reader to make us both love and hate her:) The ending of The Eternity Cure was shocking and Readers have been desperately dreading and wishing for The Forever Song!
The Forever Song is dark and it brings Allie to her knees in what she can endure and who she wants to be. Allie struggles a lot with the loss of Zeke and struggles to keep her humanity, something she always valued so much. This struggle drives the story, together with the run to rescue not only humanity but also also all vampires. The whole world and both humans and Vampires are in danger and Allie, Kanin and Jackal are the only ones that might come to their rescue.
In this final conclusion we find ourself in a heart pounding and thrilling race, that takes nearly everything. I said it before, and will say it over and over again – Julie Kagawa is a master storyteller who never holds back, who never spares us and her characters anything. And this is what you should also expect from The Forever Song. It’s shocking and sometimes even dreadful, but it’s such an absorbing story that never had dull or boring moments.
The Forever Song also comes with stunning twits, that will make us laugh and cry. Sure enough, there are lots of emotions in this final conclusion and eyes won’t stay dry for very long!
The ending was perfect! Even though I am sure many people ar dreading the end, and will hate the way the story ended. I personally think it was the best and perfect way to end this story. I’m excited that I can leave this story and world behind me with satisfaction and not with anger or confusion, like so often with series endings.
Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon puppy.
Visit the Blood of Eden website for more content!
Follow the tour for many more chances to win and for great posts and exciting Interviews!!
Monday, April 7th – Harlequin Paranormal Romance Blog
Tuesday, April 8th – fiktshun
Wednesday, April 9th – The Page Turners
Thursday, April 10st – Books and Things
Friday, April 11th – Ticket To Anywhere
So, are you a fan of Julie’s tales just like me? Are you afraid of the ending of The Forever Song? Let me know!
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/04/all-lined-up-by-cora-carmack-rusk-university-1.html
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack - Rusk University #1 (New Adult Monday’s)
Dallas didn’t have it super easy with her Dad being the High School Football Coach boys either wanted to impress or were too afraid to approach Dallas. And her hope for a fresh starts crumpled when her Dad got a job to coach the Football Team at Rush University. Yeah.. nothing is going to change for Dallas and suddenly all Football boys are off limits for her as well…. Especially since she’s been burned by a Football player in High School she doesn’t want to have anything to do with them.
Dallas is alone with her Dad and they do not have an easy relationship which makes matters even worse now that she can’t escape…
“Dad still approaches parenting like I’m a member of his team. And I ……. I’m still stuck. In my father’s shadow.” ARC- All Lined Up
“Dad really only has two faces: normal and pissed. And football. Footballs gets its own expression, though it overlaps with pissed a lot.” ARC- All Lined Up
But of course, as much as she wants to avoid Football playing boys, when she meets Carson suddenly her resolve is slowly dissolving. Carson is not what she expected and at first they both seemed fine to just be friends. However, as good as they are as friends their sizzling chemistry is something both can’t deny forever.
Dallas is a wonderful girl, who can be shy and reserved, but than can also be a force of nature when she needs to be. I loved this about her. She’s a wonderful soul who pours all her heart into dancing, there she can put all her emotions in.#Carson on the other side is not our usual football prodigy. He has to fight for a place in the team, he doesn’t have a football scholarship and his whole life plans are at stack.
Still, when they both fall for each other – hard- even all the logic cannot keep them from each other. Loved the romance so much, Dallas and Carson were so perfect and so good for each other and it was pure delight following them in their quest to figure out that sometimes you have to fight for love and that when you found someone so important, all your rules are suddenly tossed aside!
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack – was a delightful, endearing and romantic story about finding love, fighting for it and then do everything to keep it – even if it was so very much not what you expected at first. Dallas and Carson were cuteness, but also there was lots of sizzling and hot chemistry between them!
Fans of New Adult romance and fans of Friday Night Lights will devour this new kick off into the Rusk University series!
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/03/great-sara-benincasa.html
Dark and Surreal - Great by Sara Benincasa
A Retelling of The Great Gatsby, with a contemporary setting among the rich and famous during a summer in The Hamptons? Yeah – let it come!!
Noami usually lives with her dead having anormal life. The summers however she spends with her mom, who is a super rich TV cook. I imeadiately loved Naomi as she was not impressed by her moms money, nor did the rich and famous impress her. Naomi was just a normal girl, who wanted friends and a true loving mom, not the fake loving one her mother usually played. I loved Naomi’s character, as she felt incredibly strong and real for me.
What I didn’t expect was the tone and turn of the story into a comic like surreal satire. The surreal feeling when we meet Jacinda was truly unexpected, but once I got used to it, it was easy to go with the flow and just let it work its charms on me. Jacinda is major part in the story and was both surreal, comical but also very tragic. Jacinda was bubbly, extravagant and totally out of context. It felt like she could do anything, has no limits.
But there was something very tragic around her and we only realized this slowly during the progress of the story.
How much can money buy? Can it by love and friendship? Major aspects dealt with these kind of questions.
There was some romance, yet it didn’t go in the direction I was hoping for. I was happy seeing Naomi falling in love besides all her judgment of rich-people and that she found a boy she liked easily. What I didn’t like was the direction his character was going towards the end of the book. In this story it felt like all rich and wealthy people come with a bad character and cannot help themselves but judge poorer people. I would have loved to see that there are also wonderful and nice people among the rich and famous, but the overall story made us believe they are all corrupted. Which I cannot belive. Money per se doesn’t make you a bad person. I would have loved to see this romance develop more and make Noami open her eyes and see that each person has their own flaws, not matter how much money!
Then the end… I think my biggest problem was the end. As I said just above about the romance, the ending was not how I would have liked to see it end. I was hoping for just a little more for Naomi, which sadly didn’t came.
Great by Sara Benincasa was a dark and very surreal satire that comes with a truly wonderful, strong main character. Corruption, poor judgmental characters and our down-to-earth heroine among them, trying to find a place.
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/03/57-lives-alex-wayfare-m-g-buehrlen-blog-tour-love-letter-m-g-alex.html
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen - Blog Tour with Love Letter from M.G. to Alex!
Strange Chemistry is one of these publishers that always comes up with the most unique book. The debut from MG Buehrlen The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is no exception and combines Time Travel with a historical setting featuring the super cute and nerdy heroine Alex Wayfare. In celebration of its launch I have Author MG Buehrlen here today and she shares a Love Letter to Alex! Ever since we started with these Love Letters they become more and more popular among readers and also Authors. I especially love it when an author writes a love letter to one of their character and shows us such a deep insight in their “relationship”.
So please welcome M.G. Buehrlen with her letter to Alex!
Hey girl. I know you’re not the easiest person to be around. You’re sassy, snarky, and you always say what’s on your mind, no matter if it offends others. I know you’ve had it rough, so you put on a rough exterior to keep out the hurt. But I wanted to let you know you are so deeply loved, and I wanted to tell you all the things I admire about you.
You’re so incredibly strong. You know what needs to be done and you do it. Even after you screw things up, you stick around to fix it and clean things up. That’s damn awesome of you, woman. So few people have that kind of strength.
You’re loyal to the core. Once you decide to let someone inside those walls you’ve built, you hang on to them forever, and you’d do anything for them, no matter the cost.
You’re the bravest chick I know. Maybe you jump head first into things that normal people would mull over for awhile, but you can’t help yourself. That’s the superhero in you.
You’ve got some growing up to do, sure, but that’s just another reason why I love you. You’re flawed, but those flaws are natural growing pains and a byproduct of the world you live in. You’ll figure it all out soon enough. You’ll learn to put the shoe on the other foot. You’re not impervious to changing for the better, which makes you an unfinished work of art. I can’t wait to see the final product.
So onwards and upwards, Alex, my love. Keep trusting your gut and becoming the amazing woman you were meant to be. I’m so thankful I get a front row seat.
For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
When she’s not writing, M.G. moonlights as a web designer and social media/creative director. She’s the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website YABooksCentral.com, a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is her debut novel. M.G. lives nestled away in Michigan pines, surrounded by good coffee and good books, with her husband and son and three furbabies. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
You know sometimes you go into stories and you simply expect to like it. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare was exactly like this. I love Time travel stories, even though they sometimes make it hard to grasp the specific and rules. Netherless they are always exciting and come with many twist and turns.
I loved that in the beginning of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare we don’t actually get that we are talking about time travel, until slowly Alex learns the truth. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let me tell you that I loved the concept of Souls, Reincarnation and Travel throughout time. The whole concept left room to explore and develop the basics and dynamics behind these “rules” and I loved discovering them together with Alex.
Even more, there were lots of twists and turns that made the story exiting and thrilling, Many of them I didn’t even see coming!
I love love LOVED Alex as a heroine! She’s very withdrawn and especially hides her true self among her peers at school. I felt for her, and it make me sad seeing this sweet girl so alone. But her “ability” made it hard for her to get into physical contact with someone, so she completely secluded herself. She tries to hide this by focusing on things she can do alone. Fix things and especially all things with a electronics or a computer. Yep, Alex is nerdy and a little geek but I LOVED that about her. I also liked that she actually wished to have friends and be normal, it made her more genuine.
Or course there is romance – travel among the times – romance. And… there is a little tiny romance in her “real life” too. I didn’t completely figure out the connection to both boys yet and it’s one of these mysteries I’m so excited to uncover.
The ending is horrible. Sorry, but I have to say this. Not horrible = bad, but horrible= cliffhanger bad. M.G. leaves the story at a point where I was simply dying to read on! I couldn’t believe that she actually, really stopped at this particular point and leaves us hanging, desperately waiting for the next book! I personally cannot wait for the next book – I need to read it right now!!!
Bottom Line is that The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is a fantastic debut that comes with a complex and exciting storyline about rime travel, souls and reincarnation. Alex, the heroine is one of the cutest heroines ever and enchants with her nerdy and geeky attitude!
How about you. Do you love stories that surprise you and come with so many twist and turns? Do you love time travel and nerdy heroines? And what do you say about M.G’s Love Letter to Alex – isn’t is adorable?
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/03/half-bad-sally-green.html
Half Bad by Sally Green
When I heard about this story I thought about a great paranormal story with Witches and a Boy’s POV, which is always something that draws me in as it is so rare in Young Adult. I realized however soon that this story has much to offer than a simple book you read simply for pleasure.
We find ourselves in a more or less Contemporary setting, yet with a world of witches living hidden among us. Sounds like many other setting too, which is why I didn’t complain too much about the lack of world building, it was also not really needed to tell Nathan’s story!
Nathan is a half blood, part white (good) part black (bad) witch and everyone hates, fears and oppresses these halfblooded witches. The story starts with Nathan being a little child and we follow him while he grows up among people whoeither hate or fear him. He’s an outcast, even within his family and siblings. There is only his Grandma and older brother who treat him as a real boy and do not only see where he comes from.
Nathans story will bring you to tears. It will leave you gasping and it will make you eyes widen with horror. What this boy has to endure is truly terrible and horrific. He’s not only ignored by his peers, but often also tortured to a point where the cruelty reminds of horror stories. It gets even worse when he’s send to a special witch who is supposed to supervise and train him.
There Nathan is completely alone and cut off from his family, but also trained with a brutality that made my heart ache.
What makes this story so unique, is the way it’s written and the way Nathan tells us his story. Most of the times, the story is told in first person narrative which captures beautifully Nathans personality. However, I must also admit that I sometimes felt a little detached from the story. But Nathan is a very complex boy, being constantly tortured and left with so little love, he simply developed differently and I feel like he himself was often emotionally detached. So in this sense the writing was simply brilliant!
A few times the narrative even switches to Second Person, especially when Nathan had to endure terrible moments in his life. I actually thought a lot about the purpose of this switch in narration and believe there are many reasons why the author chose this. I personally felt more involved, completely drawn into this situations and it left me shivering in horror.
The pacing is a little off sometimes. The beginning is a little slow and it took me some time to get used of the narrative and the pacing. It takes up towards the middle and then rashes towards the end.
Certainly, such a dark story needs some hope and thankfully we are offered this in form of some wonderful people Nathan meets. One outstandingly special person is his half-brother who is such a soft and wonderful boy who loves Nathan for who he really is. I think it was because of him that Nathan went not completely mad already as a young kid. And then there is a girl Nathan falls for when he’s super young, but this love stays in his heart and makes him endure even in moments when I though he would break now.
But the character that made the biggest impression was Gabriel who he meets on his quest to find his father and the three gifts that will make him a full witch. Gabriel is wonderful with his sometimes cherrie attitude. He shows Nathan that there is more in the world than darkness, than black and white and that there are people who will judge you for who you are.
Half Bad by Sally Green is a brilliant debut with an incredible deep story about acceptance and racism, wrapped in a delightful magical setting. Nathans story left a deep impact on me and won’t leave readers easily after reaching the last page. Due to its often gruesome scenes I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger readers and I rather think that this is a book for all ages.
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/01/cruel-beauty-rosamund-hodge.html
Surreal and Unique - Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge | Blog Tour & Giveaway
ther mostly good, ro mostly evil which would make this one the villain and the other one the hero.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is a very melancholic, yet mesmerizing, surreal and outstanding debut, that let’s us see good and evil with new eyes!
Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could lay hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She got a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in Medieval English from Oxford, and she now lives in Seattle with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. Visit her on the web at http://www.rosamundhodge.net/
New Post has been published on http://bewitchedbookworms.com/2014/01/secret-brigid-kemmerer.html
Secret by Brigid Kemmerer - Elementals Series
The Elemental Series from Brigid Kemmerer is definitely one of my favorite Young Adult series. I think what makes this series so outstanding is the wonderful mix of Contemporary Romance & Issues stories mxdd with some paranormal elements. So, lovers of both genres will find something appealing in this series!
We started with Chris, the youngest Merrick brother, moved on to Gabriel and Hunter and now finally get Nick’s story. Nick and Gabriel are identical twins, yet their personality is so different and Nick always felt elusive. It was easy to be intrigued by Nick but we never got to really know this boy. At the end of the last book it was hinted that Nick is actually guy, and this revelation was both surprising yet made totally sense.
Now in Secret Nick explores finally his feelings for Adam and struggles with admitting his true self in front of his brothers. He is afraid how they will react, he’s afraid to be cast out and his feelings were so real and raw that I felt everything right along with him!
Together with Nick’s story we also get Quinn’s story. She’s pretending to be Nick#s girlfriend but realises soon that this is not enough for her. She seeks love and partnership and since Nick only can offer friendship and is dealing with his own issues – Quinn feels lonely.
We finally also get a real glimpse into her home life, something which was only hinted at during the other books, yet never explored. And now we get a full devastating view which will break our heart. So it’s not surprising that Quinn turns to someone who might be her savior, who will be there for her and has the strength she does not have by herself. It’s extremely surprising who this savior is, and I won’t tell her and leave it for you to explore.
Secret was amazing and plays with emotions that will bring us to our knees! Nicks struggle and fears were moving and heartbreaking, yet felt incredibly real and genuine. I loved the addition of Quinn’s story and I also really love the direction we are going with this. Again, sorry but no spoilers.
The story was delicately told and written with so much care for the characters. We also dealt with Nicks fear of rejection and with truly finding out who you are. As heartbreaking the story was, there was also so much beauty and heart warming moments that made me cry. Love love love the way Nick’s family was integrated into his struggles.
My only complain is the paranormal elements, which drew me into the series in the first place and takes a backseat here in this story. Sure, it’s still a major part of the whole development of the series, yet it was not really a big part in this story.
Secret by Brigid Kemmerer was wonderfully raw and emotionally touching. Secret comes with a genuinely developed honest story about finding out who you are and struggling with a huge secret that will tear you apart.
Have you started this series yet? Do you also love a great combination of Contemporary issue filled story mixed with paranormal elements?