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Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
by Danielle Paige

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal,  Young Adult
Publication: April 1st 2014 by HarperCollins
Format: ebook
Source: Own
Connect: Twitter | Goodreads
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling. What happened?

Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission:

Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.

Steal the Scarecrow's brain.

Take the Lion's courage.

Then and only then—Dorothy must die!
I knew that I have to read Dorothy Must Die the moment I saw the book in some 2014 YA lists. The cover was simple and pretty. And after reading the blurbs, I purchased the book, put aside any other books on my ‘next-to-read’ list, and start to read this one. I need to know what happen to Oz, and how Dorothy will die.

I did not regret my decision. Dorothy Must Die was a really great book. It has almost everything—action, fantasy, magic and a bit of romance. I immediately fell in love with Amy Gumm. She was the other girl from Kansas who had some issues at home and at school. Amy was having an argument with her mother just before the tornado brought her to Oz. Amy took the Yellow Road to the Emerald City and found out that Oz was different than the one she read in her books. Apparently, Dorothy now ruled Oz with an iron fist. How does Oz turn to be like this? Can Amy return home?

I love Danielle Paige’s new version of Oz, even though it may be a bit dark. There were some parts in the middle, which was draggy, especially during Amy’s training with the wicked. The ending was a bit too sudden. I thought that there were too many things happening at once towards the end. Other than that, Dorothy Must Die was a really enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend Dorothy Must Die to fans of Oz and fairy-tale retelling. 

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Blonde Ops 
by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Publication: May 2014
Format: ebook
Source: ARC, Netgalley
Connect with Charlotte: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Connect with Natalie: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady.

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca "Bec" Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker's "accident" may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady's life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who's after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker's accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome

Blonde Ops was set around Rome and the glamorous world of fashion. When Bec was expelled from school for hacking, her parents sent her off to stay with Parker, a friend of her mother, who was also the editor of Edge magazine. But when Parker is injured in a car accident, a former supermodel, Candace Worthington took over Edge, and the custody of Bec. When Bec realized that there are something suspicious about Parker’s accident, she started to investigate the people around her.

This book was a very fun read with a little bit of thriller, mystery and romance. I think the author did a very good job with the plot. The storyline was entertaining, and the mystery of who was it that was trying to hurt the first lady was very exciting. Everyone sounded like a possible suspect to me.

Bec was a likeable character. Although I do question her hacking skill, I still like her voice and attitude. Bec may be the usual troublemaker, but she can also be kind and meddlesome. I love Bec’s and Candace relationship. They didn’t start out well, but when they get to know each other well, they can be fun. I especially love it when Bec would always do or say something to annoy Candace.

The romance between Bec, Dante and Taj was light, fun and exciting! Dante was the Italian who worked as a delivery man. He’s a family man who happened to have a lot of cousins in Rome. Taj was a fashion blogger who had some mysterious side. I love both Dante and Taj and would like to see them again. Hopefully, there will be a sequence to this book.

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On Tour: Love Illusion by Chineka Williams - Review + Q&A + Giveaway

Chineka Williams is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book,Love Illusion. Please visit her CLP Book Tours page for more blog stops.

Love Illusion
by Chineka Williams

Genre: Chick Lit
Publication: February 2014
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tours
Connect: Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook
Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Lucy is a confident PR professional, who is fearful of her troubled ex-boyfriend Charles. He is in denial about their breakup. With issues of alcoholism and abandonment, he spirals out of control.

Meanwhile, Lucy’s best friend Jade has found love and is about to get married. She is a loyal friend who is there for Lucy every step of the way.

Feeling trapped, Lucy is determined to fight back against Charles, but it won’t be without complication. After great debate, she optimistically accepts a new job offer miles away. Lucy soon embarks on an uncertain journey all connected to love.
Love Illusion was a short, enjoyable story that you can finish within a couple hours or more. It was  about the three main characters, Lucy, Charles and Jade. Lucy was living in fear for his trouble ex-boyfriend, Charles, who was in denial after Lucy broke up with him. Charles wanted to get Lucy back and would do anything for it. While Jade was about to get married to Reggie. She and Lucy had been best friend for a long time.

I absolutely love the idea of Love Illusion with Lucy who was having a hard time because of her stalking ex-boyfriend. The plot was very interesting, although it was confusing at first, with the changing point of view between the three characters. Chineka Williams had a really good descriptive style. I wished there were more dialogues/conversation in the book, though… especially between the two best friend, Lucy and Jade. That will make the story a bit more alive.

Love Illusion is a great women’s fiction. I would recommend this book to anyone who was looking for a short, sweet read.

I received a copy of Love Illusion by Chineka Williams from the author/CLP Blog Tours as part of the book tour. 

Q&A with Chineka Williams

1.    Please introduce yourself and your book.
My name is Chineka Williams and my book is named Love Illusion. It is in the genre of women’s fiction with a little of suspense.

2. How do you come up with the idea of the book? What is your inspiration?
I came up with the idea of my book by first having a strong sense of who I wanted Lucy, the main character, to be. I knew that I wanted a little suspense to be in the book so that’s where Charles came in. I also wanted the serious issues of alcoholism and domestic abuse to be in the book.

3. Grade your book. How many stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars? Please give your reason too.
I would give my book 4 stars because no writer is perfect and there is always room for improvement. I believe that Love Illusion has good character development and an engaging storyline. More dialogue could have been added, but I didn’t want to complicate the plot anymore than it needed to be.

4. What are you working on right now?
I am currently in the beginning stages of writing my second book. Right now I am working on the preliminary and location notes.

5. Anything you would like to say to your readers?
I would like to say hi to my readers. I hope that you enjoy my writing and see that it comes from a sincere place. Feel free to connect with me on twitter @ChinekaWilliams.

Author Bio:

Chineka Williams found a love of reading and writing early on as a child. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Books and Stilettos is the blog that she maintains for all things women's fiction and writing updates. Outside of reading, her hobbies include baking, playing the clarinet, photography, and DIY. She can always be seen with a cup of tea close by. Love Illusion is her debut novel.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes

Until You're Mine
by Samantha Hayes

Genre: Adult, Crime, Thriller, Mystery Suspense
Publication: January 2013
Format: ebook, 416 pages
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Claudia seems to have the perfect life.

She's heavily pregnant with a much wanted baby, she has a loving husband, and a beautiful home.

And then Zoe steps into her life. Zoe has come to help Claudia when her baby arrives.

But there's something about Zoe that Claudia doesn't like. Or trust.

And when she finds Zoe in her room going through her most personal possesions, Claudia's anxiety turns to real fear ...

Until Your Mine is a thrilling book full of mystery and suspense. There are 3 main characters each with a story of their own. Claudia, is a social worker, a mother of two of her stepsons, Noah and Oscar and a wife to James, a Navy officer and she was expecting her first born baby. Zoe is the new nanny that Claudia hires, and Loraine is a mother of two of her daughter, Grace and Stella, a wife to Adam and the DI investigating murder cases of pregnant women. 

This book had me hooked right from the start! If I weren’t on my babysitting job, I think I would find myself staying up to finish this book to find out how the story would progress. Samantha Hayes did a good job building the story and suspense of the book. I’m having a hard time guessing who the criminal is.  By the end of the book, I had my mouth gap open. I still cannot believe that the story would end up that way. The ending is absolutely fantastic. I can’t stop thinking about the ending after a while. I would definitely recommend this book to crime and thriller/chick-lit fan!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)
by Katie McGarry

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication: July 2012
Format: kindle
Source: Own
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

I had high expectation for Pushing the Limits after hearing and reading lots of 4 to 5 stars review on the blogosphere when it first came out. Pushing the Limits started out great. I love Echo and Noah immediately. Echo was the nice girl with good grades and friends. But her life changed after a terrible tragedy that she can’t seem to remember. And Noah was the bad boy who wasn’t all that bad. His parents died and he was now fighting for custody of his two younger brothers. 

The book was written in both Echo’s and Noah’s perspective. I really love Echo and Noah and how their relationship was built. I loved their chemistry. Noah and Echo were perfect for each other. I love how Echo’s and Noah’s relationship was built and I enjoyed watching Echo’s and Noah’s relationship with other characters around them.What I didn’t really like was how at earlier in the book, Noah and Luke looked at Echo and all they would always think about sex. Echo was hot. I got it.

I didn't enjoy this as much as the others, but I do think that Pushing the Limits was quite a good read. I think that fans of Contemporary YA would enjoy this book.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

On Tour: The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie - Review + Excerpt

Faerl Marie is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, The Golden Apple. Please visit her CLP Book Tours page for more blog stops. Don't forget to leave a comment on the tour page with your email address for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

The Golden Apple
by Faerl Marie

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance
Publication: October 2013
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tours
Connect: Website | TwitterFacebook | GoodReads
Buy the book: Amazon
MEET POPPY PARKER, a recent widow who knows she must move forward but has no idea which direction to take. To start fresh, Poppy moves from her idyllic home in Georgia to the grimy glamour of New York City to open up her own boutique and find a way to live and love without her husband.

Austin Bandy has been in love with Poppy since the moment he laid eyes on her years ago, right before her wedding. Now she is back, grieving and broken hearted by her nearly-perfect husband’s death—not Austin’s ideal romantic situation. He needs to wait for her to recover but not so long that someone else has the chance to move in and sweep his dream girl off her feet and keep him as a “good friend” forever.

Poignant, hopeful and fresh, Faerl Marie’s enchanting debut novel will have you hooked and ready to pursue your own hopes and dreams the moment you turn the final page. The Golden Apple is a charming and fashionable novel about loss, love and moving on without betraying your self, your past or those you love.
Poppy had lost her husband unexpectedly and had no idea what she should do next. She felt lost without her husband and decided to move to New York to start a new with the support of her family and friends. 

Austin had been in love with Poppy years ago and was devastated when he learned that she’s getting married. Now that Poppy was without husband, Austin decided to win her heart. It was not easy when Poppy was still grieving. I really like him. Austin was really nice and patient towards Poppy. He waited and helped Poppy to pass her grievance. And Poppy learned to be independent without her husband who would always take care of everything when he was still around and moved on. I love the romance between Poppy and Austin. It was nice that their relationship that was not based on sex or anything like it.

The Golden Apple was a book about dealing with loss and moving on. I certainly did not expect to read about Poppy dealing with her loss if I were to judge this book by its title or cover.  I bet that fans of chick lit and women’s fiction would enjoy this book.

I received a copy of The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie from the author/CLP Blog Tours as part of the book tour. 

Excerpt: The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie

Viv, Let’s go! We’re going to be late.” Poppy glanced at her watch-— an anniversary gift to mark the fourth year of her marriage. Four diamonds gleamed from the mother-of-pearl face above the twelve, three, six and nine. Josh had told her the smaller diamonds circling the watch represented all the years to come, forty-eight in total. She had teased him about putting an expiration date on their marriage, fifty-two years hadn’t seemed like enough.

                She checked the closure of the watch and looked at the time again, 6:30 pm. “Viv, you said the party started at seven and it takes at least ten minutes to find a cab.”

                “It’s New York Pop!” Vivian shouted from her bedroom, “Nothing starts on time and half the people invited won’t even be dressed until nine, they probably won’t even be serving cocktails yet.”

                Vivian grabbed a leather bomber jacket off the coat hook and pulled it on. The black leather extinguished the glitter and shine of the violet sequins composing her dress.

                “You said this was just a cocktail party. Not a big thing. You’re dressed like we’re going dancing. Am I under-dressed?” Poppy glanced down at her black lace cocktail dress. She ran manicured hands down the full skirt and smoothed the high collar at her throat.

                “You’re never under-dressed and you look perfect, but… you’re wearing all black.” Vivian’s pink lips turned down as her arched brows rose.
                “Not all black;” Poppy pointed one foot forward, “my shoes are a color.”
                “Poppy, honestly, nude? Nude is not a color.” Vivian rolled her blue eyes as she gathered up her keys, overflowing jeweled clutch and cell phone. Vivian usually had a lot of accouterments.

“I’m going to steal all your fabulous, colorful clothes if you don’t start wearing them. Ready? We better hurry or we’ll be late.” She smiled coyly and held the door open. Poppy rolled her own eyes and headed out the door.

As she walked through the door, she glanced at the dry-erase board. Austin’s number had been erased and replaced by the super’s new phone number and six weeks’ worth of changing grocery lists, reminders and to-do’s. They had seen each other several times, at various dinner parties and restaurant run-ins but she hadn’t called him. It seemed strange, purposefully confiding in a man other than Josh. The first time had been embarrassing enough; a second would probably just make her look pathetic.

Author Bio:

Faerl, Marie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and minors in English and Social Welfare. She has worked as a style consultant, personal shopper and wardrobe curator, among other things. Faerl Marie spends her days writing, dreaming about new stories and characters, walking her dog and adoring her husband. She lives in the idyllic mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico. "The Golden Apple" is her first novel.


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