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Thursday, October 29, 2015

On Tour: This One's For You by Brandy Jellum - Review + Excerpt

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Brandy Jellum is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours with her book, This One's For You. Please visit her page for more blog stops.

This One's For You
by Brandy Jellum

Genre: Drama, New Adult, Romance
Publication: Published July 24th, 2015 by Booktrope
Format: ebook
Source: ARC, CLP Blog Tours
Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
All alone in a new state, Brennan Daniels has only the memories of her best friend, Reagan, to keep her company as she starts college.

Reagan is the reason for everything Brennan does—before she died, she made Brennan promise to stay good until she found a man worth keeping. No boys, no dating, and definitely no falling in love—those were the rules for college, and Brennan carved them into the brick walls guarding her heart…

But there’s a fire burning behind those walls, and when Brennan meets Owen Scott, the (mysterious) new guy across the hall, she can’t deny the pull between them. He is everything she should never want. Everyone warns her to stay away—even Owen himself—but the heart wants what the heart wants, even if it knows that it’s going to get hurt—even if it means throwing old promises to new flames…

I was intrigued with the blurbs when I saw This One's For You by Brandy Jellum, and decided to read it. I love the sound of Owen, the mysterious guy across the hall. Brennan was dealing with the loss of her best friend, Reagan. They made a promise for college—no boys, no dating and no falling in love. And Brennan intended to keep her promise until she met Owen Scott across the hall. 

I love how the story started. It was exciting to see how Brennan started college and how she was going to survive it with new friends, class and everything. The characters were fun. Owen was such a playboy. But he can be nice and quirky. I immediately fell in love with Brennan and her relationship with her brothers and her new roommate, Amelia. 

Brandy Jellum writing was easy to get into and it flows nicely. I enjoyed reading her style, but not so much with so many dramas between Brennan and Owen of the story. I wished Brennan talk a lot more about Reagan, since they are best friend. And I definitely wanted to see more of Brennan, Amelia and their friendship. Overall, This One's For You by Brandy Jellum is definitely an enjoyable read, if not for a few issues. But, I think, fans of the new adult's book would surely enjoy this.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher/CLP Blog Tour in exchange for my review.


My body started to shake as the first tears streamed down my cheeks. I slid down to the floor, pulling my knees to my chest, and rocked back and forth. As more tears fell, my sobs became louder. Everything I had been holding in until that moment burst free from the dam I had carefully built.

Every emotion: anger, sadness, guilt, desperation, fear, anxiety, remorse, and rage overcame me in that single second. Everything I was afraid to let myself feel, I was feeling all at once. My body shook violently as the tears continued to stream down my face, and my throat was hoarse from crying.

It happened—I finally broke.

For the first time in almost a year, I let myself feel something—really feel something. The tears I had shed in the past were nothing compared to the ones I was crying now. The pain was unbearable. I wanted it to all go away. I wanted to rewind the clock just a little bit. I’d rather deal with my brothers acting like fools than to feel this.

This was the moment everyone close to me was waiting for, the moment when I finally let everything sink in. They were waiting for me to break. I was surprised it wasn’t sooner.

My sobs echoed the breaking of my heart. Speaking for the things I couldn’t say—the one thing I wanted to shout loud enough for everyone to hear; it wasn’t fair! Why was the most beautiful person I’d ever known stripped from this earth before it was her time?

Seeing Ronnie, hearing his plan, brought everything to the surface. Why couldn’t he stay away? Everyone was constantly pushing me, and this time they pushed me too far. I went right over the cliff, and there was no end in sight.

I barely heard the soft knock against the bathroom door over the sound of my own sobs. I held my breath, waiting to see if it was just my imagination, when there was another rap against the wooden door.

I heard a loud sigh and a soft thump against the sturdy wood. My chest heaved as I kept as quiet as I could, my face soaked with tears. I wiped at them furiously, trying to get them to stop. The more I fought against it, the faster they seemed to fall.

My mouth was dry. I licked my lips, tasting the saltiness of my broken heart.

“Brennan . . .” Owen said.

“I’ll be out in a moment.”

I bit my bottom lip. I had to get myself together. I needed to get up off the floor, put a smile on my face, and go on like nothing happened. There was a reason why it had taken so long for me to break—I kept pretending I was fine. It wasn’t healthy, but staying on the cold bathroom floor bawling wasn’t either.

I had to go back to the way I was prior to this. I had to grin it and bear it. Like nothing in the world could get me down. It was the only way I was going to survive.

Author Bio

Brandy’s passion for writing began long before she actually sat down to write. As a child, she has had an obsession with reading, everything from the classic stories by Jane Austen to YA Fiction by Richelle Mead. Finally, in 2012, she decided to create her own stories for people to fall in love with. Brandy bounces back and forth writing both Romance and Young Adult Fiction (which is mainly just for fun). At the beginning of 2014, Brandy signed a contract with publishing company Booktrope. She is very excited about the next chapter of her life and cannot wait to share her books and passion with readers. When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing after her husband, her four children and her black lab, Diesel. Or curled up on her favorite corner of the couch with her newest book.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review: Breakaway by Kat Spears

by Kat Spears

Genre: Contemporary, Friendship, Romance, Young Adult
Publication: September 15th, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: ebook,
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Connect: TwitterGoodreads
When Jason Marshall's younger sister passes away, he knows he can count on his three best friends and soccer teammates--Mario, Jordie, and Chick--to be there for him. With a grief-crippled mother and a father who's not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick. Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold onto the friendships he has always relied on.

A witty and emotionally moving tale of friendship, first love, and loss, Breakaway is Kat Spears at her finest.

I think I've been reading a few books with the main character dealing with loss, recently. In Breakaway, Jason was grieving over his younger sister. It wasn't easy with his grieving, mother and a father who wasn't really in the picture. Thankfully, Jason had his friends with him, Mario, Jordie and Chick. But their friendship soon went astray when Mario started to hang out with his new friends, and Jordie got himself a girlfriend. Then, Jason met Raine, a girl who was out of his league on a double date with Jordie. I think, the story reminds me to How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras.

If I have to judge the book by its cover, I wouldn't expect to read about dealing with loss, depression or drug addiction. But those are a few issues in Breakaway.

Kat Spears did a great job with writing Breakaway in Jason's point of view. The stories started out nicely, and I do enjoy reading about Jason and his friends. It was sad to see how they started to go apart, especially when Jason was dealing with his loss. The romance between Jason and Raine was alright. There are a few dramas, and sweet moments. I guess the Breakaway by Kat Spears was an alright read if it wasn't for the ending. I'm a bit dissatisfied with how the story ended. It didn't really resolve a lot issues in the book. It was so sudden and lazy.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Diner Knock Out by Terri L. Austin

Diner Knock Out (Rose Strickland Mystery #4)
by Terri L. Austin

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Romance
Publication: October 20th, 2015 by Henery Press
Format: ebook, 245 pages
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Rose Strickland's life is complicated. Besides her waitressing gig, she works part-time for Andre Thomas, a PI with no faith in Rose's ability to investigate, her love life with Sullivan has stalled, and her BFF, Roxy, has found a new bestie, leaving Rose out in the cold.

Determined to prove herself, Rose takes a case on the sly. As she searches for a missing MMA fighter, Rose discovers an illegal fight club, a group of ruthless businessmen, dead bodies, and a trail of drugs.

Hunting down clues that lead too close to home, Rose finds herself in the fight of her life. Can she beat the killer to the punch before she gets knocked out for good?

Rose Strickland Mystery is definitely one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I'm glad to find that there's a new Rose Strickland's book. And this time, she was working part-time for Andre Thomas, a PI, who was having doubts at Rose's investigation skills. When her boss was out, and a new client walked in with a new job, Rose accepted the case, even though she won't be making money out of it. Unfortunately, this job led her to her boyfriend, Sullivan's, business. Sullivan and his associates weren't  happy with Rose poking at their business.

I was hoping to see a lot more of Roxy's BFF, Roxy and Ax, but was happy with the some new characters too. My favorite in this book was Andre. He sounded tough with Rose, but he cared for her. He made the story much more interesting. Although Rose's relationship with Sullivan didn't go quite well, what with their trusting issues, I absolutely love watching how their relationship grew. I can't wait to see more of them soon! 

Diner Knock Out definitely did not disappoint. There are moments that made me laughed and moments that excited me. The new mystery was interesting up to the end. The story may be a bit slow paced at the beginning, but once the story picked up the pace, I just couldn't put the book down. There were a few surprises and twist that I didn't expect to see. If you loved the previous book from the 'Rose Strickland Mystery', or any cozy mystery, you wouldn't want to miss this one. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my review.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails: A Humorous Holiday Memoir with Sassy Drink Recipes
by Vicki Lesage

Genre: Chick Lit, Memoir, Humor, Family, Christmas
Publication: July 25th, 2015 by Party Girl Press
Format: ebook
Source: ARC
Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you'll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series.

This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season!

A humorous collection of holiday-inspired stories with Christmas drink recipes If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, don't miss Christmas Confessions & Cocktails! The 25 stories in this holiday collection take you on an adventure full of Christmas spirit (and spirits, with the Christmas cocktail recipes). And it makes the perfect Christmas gift!

I feel that Christmas is fast approaching. Probably because I've been watching some Christmassy movies recently, and reading Christmas Confessions & Cocktails helps with the mood. I've read Vicki Lesage's previous books, and fell in love with the author's style and voice. They're witty, light and highly entertaining. Christmas Confession & Cocktails is no different. I'm still in love the author's voice and writing.

In this entertaining Christmas memoir, the author has collected 25 short stories of her Christmas memories from her childhood up to her married life. There are a few stories in this book which had been included in the previous books, but I'm okay with it. It was nice to reread them again. It was fun to read the parts about a few differences in celebrating the holidays in France and America. Or perhaps it was differences of family traditions?

There are some humorous, crazy, heartwarming and saddening moments. And, in the end, what really matters in this holiday is being with your family, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the author's big family through this book. It reminds me a bit of my family when everyone was still around.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to get into the holiday spirits, especially since Christmas is just months away. And even if you're not celebrating Christmas, Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage is still a light and fun book to read. Plus, the author has been generous to share a few cocktail recipes that you might want to try.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: Plan Bea by Hilary Grossman

Plan Bea
by Hilary Grossman

Genre: Chick Lit, Women Fiction, Drama
Publication: October 14th 2015 by Booktrope
Format: ebook
Source: ARC, CLP
Connect: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon
How well do you really know the people in your life?

Annabel O’Conner has the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and the mother from hell! Annabel doesn’t like it but has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother, Bea, deteriorated to the point of forced and strained communications. However, an unscheduled call from Bea turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believed about her life.

Despite the fact secrets, lies, and misplaced blame have destroyed the women’s relationship; Annabel reluctantly agrees to help Bea plan her wedding. Little does Annabel know the impact of her decision.

In this Women’s Contemporary Fiction novel, Hilary Grossman explores the complex relationship that exists between mothers and daughters in a light-hearted and relatable manner.

Annabel had a perfect family, with a loving husband and two beautiful children. However, Annabel's relationship with her mother, Bea, was not that great. But Annabel's relationship with her mother was about to be tested again when Bea made a call and asked her to help plan her wedding.

I've previously read Hilary Grossman's Dangled Carat, and I loved it! I do think that the author's writing style had changed a bit in this book, but that's probably because the first book is a memoir. 

Plan Bea is a heartwarming story of a mother and a daughter. It is about making mistakes, reconcile, and learning to forgive. There were secrets, lies, drama, romance and happy ending. I don't think there were any dull moment in this book. 

The story was not what I was expecting at first, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was easy to relate to Annabel and I love spending time with her family. Her daughter, Violet especially, was adorable!! Annabel had an adorable and fun family. It was interesting to read about Annabel and Bea and learning about how their relationship gets to where they were. There are a few moments that made me laugh and moments that made me sad. 

The ending was a bit surprising. I totally couldn't tell what was going on until the very end. I admit that I was a bit frustrated, when the ending was fast approaching, but with a new possible drama emerged. It turns out that there's going to be a continuation with new characters. Yeay! I'm definitely looking forward to read the next book.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my review.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights
by E.K. Johnston

Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult
Expected Publication: October 6th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Format: ebook, 336 pages
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Connect: Website | Twitter | tumblr | Goodreads
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston book cover's looks amazing! And the blurbs sounds interesting, which was why I wanted to read this book. But I didn't expect that I would enjoy this book so much based on the first few pages. I mean, I wasn't really comfortable with the author's writing style at first, but strangely, the writing was one of the reasons why I wanted to keep on reading.

I was expecting a little bit of romance in the book, but sadly, there wasn't any. But I wasn't totally disappointed, because the plot was amazing that I did not think that romance was important to the story. The story was a bit slow paced, but I love how the story was built up. The characters were great, and I enjoyed their interaction with the heroine. I love reading about the heroine in Lo-Melkhiin's court. 

What I didn't like most about the book was the ending. Not that it wasn't great or anything, but the ending kinda made me go, 'what? That's it?' I wanted to see more of the heroine and Lo-Melkhiin. But still, A Thousand Nights was a great read that I absolutely enjoyed. I'm sure that fans of fairy tales and fantasy of all ages would enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/NetGalley in exchange for my review.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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