*ARC provided by St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first read by Tara and I am proud to admit that it most certainty won’t be my last! I am obsessed with her writing now. Also, I didn’t know that this book was part of a series until I sat down to write this so now I can’t be any more excited to read more!
This book follows Aurora who is a 16 year old aspiring author. That last fact alone had me forming a connection to her right off the bat. She’s a complete romantic at heart so of course, she takes it upon herself to do some research in the matter. We follow her as she tries to play cupid with her friends while they take part in a play and you can probably already guess how crazy things get from there. Sometimes I felt like she needed to invest in some life brakes because she just didn’t know when to stop pursuing something. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading her story.
I just want to quickly mention that Hayden was absolutely hilarious and I found myself falling for his personality as soon as we were introduced to him. I never knew what he would say next and I was always looking forward to more scenes from him.
This book was so over the top and ridiculous but in the best way possible. The girls and their overreactions killed me with laughter since they reminded me so much of me. This story was cute and rather obvious at some points but the events were still enjoyable to see play out. The romance included was cute and more than fulfilling for me. Tara manged to encompass all of the drama that could come along with attending high school and I found myself really invested in the story and certain characters. This was exactly what I needed to get out of a funk I was in and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for the same thing!
*ARC provided from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first read by Kiara and I went in completely blind. It took me quite a while to get into it and, by a while, I mean almost 70% of it. I didn’t start really getting into the plot line and the characters well into its last few chapters. But even then, it wasn’t really enough.
This book follows a group of 3 friends, June, Jasper, and Lenny, who are vloggers. This is the first book I’ve read about vloggers and I really wish I had liked it more. I liked the friendship dynamic for the most part but I didn’t like how unbelievably obvious/predictable the story line was.
I wasn’t a fan of our main character, June, whatsoever and that made this story more than difficult to get through. I also thought that June’s best friend was sort of a ‘meh’ character and I didn’t really understand the importance of her character.
I found this story to be repetitive in some aspects and too far ‘out there’ with others that made me not believe anything that was going on. I didn’t like how the character expressions were so easy to read and decipher. They basically told me the entire story from the very beginning and it wasn’t fun. Also, even if the facial expression issue wasn’t there, the chapter titles would have given the story away anyway. They kept making what was already obvious, even worse, and I had to ignore them in order to give myself a semblance of anticipation.
I also didn’t like how it focused so much on a lot of superficial things when I really wanted an inside look to other aspects of their lives. Romance is my favorite part in any story, yes, but there is such a thing as focusing TOO much on it, which applies to this story.
And for the positives, I liked how easy it can be for any reader to relate to this story in one way or another; The reader can be the vlogger or the subscriber.
I also really liked how Kiara managed to showcase how crazy the internet world can really be. I found this story funny at times and it’s perfect for anyone looking for a quick and light read.
Genre/s you write: Mystery, Middle Grade Fiction, Suspense
Birthday: January 12, 1988
-Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m a reader! I mean, I’m the biggest book nerd ever. Sometimes I’ll be reading a book and a word or phrase will jump out at me and I’ll scream, “I’ve gotta use this!” Then I’ll jot it down in my notebook. (I always read with a notebook by my side just in case inspiration strikes.)
-How do you think you have grown as a writer?
The more I read, the more I discover, the more things and people I stop to observe, I find myself growing more not only as a writer but as a creative. My imagination knows no boundaries and with writing, nothing is impossible, nothing is off limits.
-What part of the writing process comes easy to you? Which part is difficult? Honestly, I never force the issue. I allow my stories to write themselves. No matter how long it takes, I wait for the pieces to come together, even if it takes years. So I can’t really say which part is easy and which part is difficult. I just let the process of writing take care of itself.
-Do you edit your own books?
I used to but I learned the hard way that that wasn’t the best idea. I read a quote once that said when editing, a writer will always see what they meant to write. You need a fresh pair of eyes, someone who isn’t so familiar with your story, to give your manuscript the once over and point out your little errors.
-What is your favorite genre to read?
Mystery and suspense. Anything that will give me chills without scaring me senseless lol.
-Where are you from?
Detroit, MI but I like to imagine I’m from the grimy, gothic streets of Victorian England.
-Who is your main book boyfriend/girlfriend?
Mr. Darcy is the man of my dreams!
-What is your favorite quote?
When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes. ~Desiderius Erasmus
CONTACT INFO/MEDIA LINKS:
MY REVIEW/S FOR THIS AUTHOR:
*ARC provided by St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review*
“Sometimes it is our greatest kindnesses that are the most difficult to bear.”
I have been waiting almost a month to share my thoughts about this fantastical and overwhelmingly precious work of art that I can’t believe the day has finally come! *Excuse me while I participate in a happy dance of sorts* I admit, I have only read the House of Night series that P.C. co-wrote with her daughter, Kristin, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a solo work, but let it be known, I was entranced from cover to cover.
The fact that every chapter was introduced with an illustration made me fall in love with it that much more. Illustrations are always welcome in my opinion! Personally, those illustrations made reading this an interactive experience. They made me study them and wonder how it would tie into their particular chapters which was fun!
As soon as I read how the synopsis mentioned this world included animal Companions, or allies, I was automatically hooked! The first thing I thought of was my own ally, Xena the Warrior Bunny, and was curious about how P.C. would execute that plot line (while I also mentally included Xena). I have read about particular characters having a sort of animal ‘ally’ but I haven’t read a book where it was the main focus… Until now! That particular plot line made me cherish this story even more because animals will always be the loves of my life. It made me happy to no end to see them getting the attention they deserve.
This book has a few different POV’s that kind of confused me in the beginning but only because I was thinking too much and wondering how important they were all to the story, if at all. It didn’t take me long to appreciate and love them all in their own way ,while internally kicking myself for ever doubting P.C.
We have our main character, Mari, who is an Earth Walker and an 18 year old artist. I completely appreciated her amazing relationship/bond with her mother, the Healer of their Clan, that it brought me to tears time and time again. Their powerful bond made me yearn for something like it, but they made me feel like I was a part of it, so I didn’t feel left out too much. Mari’s character development was astounding and I couldn’t help but cheer her on every step of the way.
Then we have Nik, the son of the leader of a rival Tribe who’s actions aren’t quite nice towards the Clans Mari is a part of. We follow him as he tries to get a grip on what makes him so different than the others of his Tribe and I completely loved watching his character grow. His story was so heartbreaking that I couldn’t help but cry for him a couple times. We also get to witness how he crosses paths with Mari and my anticipation for their meeting was off the charts. I also loved witnessing his developing relationship with his father. It rivaled Mari’s relationship with hers but they were unique and wonderful in their own way.
Since I’ve talked about the heroes I love, let me take a moment to also call out the villain of this story. I normally don’t do this in my reviews because the villains don’t really stick to me, but that wasn’t the case here. This one most definitely raked and embedded its figurative claws into my skin that I can’t shake no matter how hard I try. Dead Eye’s actions were so atrocious and disgusted me to no end that I have to bow to P.C. for accomplishing such a feat. I’ve never read about another villain executing these particular horrible acts and I can’t even explain how much I admire her for creating him. Dead Eye owns the villain name with a capital ‘V’ and a part of me can’t wait to see what else he will gross me out with next.
This story was so full of suspense and intensity that I felt like my heart beating 10000000 miles a minute. This was full of unlikely friendships, sweet romance, humor, loyalty, betrayal, and growth. It had it all plus so much more. This book tore my heart out and mended it, only to tear it apart again… And that cliffhanger didn’t make matters any better.
For this story being almost 600 pages, I was so addicted to it that it felt like it was, at most, half of that. I am dying for more if this beautiful world that has stolen my heart. Even though it has been about a month since I read this, the entire world has been deeply etched into my mind that I remember it as if I have just read this a minute ago. The sequel has officially become one of the most anticipated releases of my life. I don’t even know if this review came close to explaining how much I treasure this series, but I tried.
This is ins’t a 5 star rating, this completely blew my rating system out of the park.
The Destined by E.J. Mellow
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
I searched for you in the stars tonight.
But I found none
that burned as bright as you.
—Part of a letter from Dev to Molly
With the loss of Terra’s greatest weapon, the war against darkness escalates rapidly, and time is on no one’s side. While Dev struggles to keep his home and hope alive, Molly and Rae find themselves forced to confront a desperately kept secret and quickly learn that a life-altering sacrifice is the asking price to restore order.
Nightmares, betrayal, the fate of two worlds, and one man’s hunger for vengeance lead Molly down a twisted and dark path she fears she might never come back from. Cornered into making a heart-wrenching decision, Molly teeters between deliverance and damnation. Who is worth saving most—a nation or the one she loves?
From Award Winning author, E.J. Mellow, comes the breathtaking conclusion of The Dreamland Series. A story that will take you on a spine-tingling and gripping ride through self-sacrifice, the true power of love, and the importance of friendship.
E.J. Mellow is the Award Winning author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.
*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“How ironic to find oneself in one’s enemy.”
Oh. My. God. This was one of my most anticipated releases for this year and even though I already knew I was going to love it, I was not ready for how much it would cost me. I fell in love with this world since the very first book but this last installment managed to multiply my feelings for it time and time again. I can’t wrap my head around how much angst and fulfillment this book held between its pages. One second it had me dreading the next page, then it had me cheering so hard I almost fell off my bed, until I was back in a fetal position, crying my eyes out from all the devastation being thrown at me.
Molly completely blew me away in this book. She’s a character I have always deeply admired but this book unearthed another side of her that I didn’t know I was yearning to witness until it happened. The respect I have for her now is even more insane than it already was.
And since we are naming characters, we can’t forget about Dev!! The blue eyed hunk that drove me insane in every single book has officially sparked a deeper passion in me than ever before. I deeply enjoyed crawling in his head with those beautiful letter snippets we got at the start of some chapters. He made my heart ache and eyes tear up with all his beautiful sentiments. So much so that I grew insanely jealous of Molly as I read them; I need a guy to write me words like those *cue in more tears*.
Now, I can’t finish writing this review without dedicating a spot to my other two favorite men in this series, Rae and Hector!!! Those two were as spectacular as any characters could get. Even though they’re considered ‘side characters’, they didn’t let themselves be overshadowed by anyone. I have such a deep affection for them that I feel it is borderline motherly. I spent most of the book scared out of my mind for all of these wonderful characters. Mellow didn’t hold any punches and I felt them down to the core. The plot just kept getting crazier and crazier until I felt like my heart would turn into mush from being tossed around in my chest so much. I’m honestly scared to read more from Mellow now. I really thought she was a nice person but I may have to rethink that opinion after she destroyed me like this…
WIN SIGNED paperbacks of entire Dreamland Series, Dreamer Tote Bag + $20 Amazon Gift Card
*ARC provided by St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review*
This was the first book I’ve ever read by Anna-Marie and I am sad to say that I don’t really know how to feel about it, for the most part. I spent most of the book being confused about what to interpret in the literal sense or figurative. It seemed repetitive at times which made me lose faith and interest in certain characters that had intrigued me. It just took me too long to get used to the world that it prevented me from enjoying it as much as I wish I had.
We have Miel (which means Honey in Spanish) who grows roses from her body and Sam, the boy in town who is known for making and stringing moons all over the town. The moons are his way of ‘speaking’ his feelings and it was a unique thing to witness. We follow them as they seek who they really are inside and would like to become. Their friendship felt solid and real, ever since they met as children, and I loved watching them interact. I was mostly sympathetic for the bad things that happened to them but I felt a wall between the characters and me that prevented me from getting too attached. Their character developments were so amazing that I tried not to focus so much on the negatives.
Now for the positives! I loved how diverse this story was. Most, if not all, of the stars go to our two main characters and their backstories. They were unique and unforgettable.
One of my absolute favorite things about this book were the Hispanic references that were thrown in. Being a Latina myself, I appreciated part of my culture scattered around this novel. Especially a certain Hispanic legend that I grew up hearing about and that’s been one of my favorites since I was a child. I deeply appreciated the nod of acknowledgement this book gave it and I can’t wait to read another book that does so as well. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a retelling of it, nothing says it is, but I like it nonetheless.
Another thing I really loved were the darker elements presented in this story. I didn’t think it would be so dark but I found myself enjoying it even more because of it. Even through the darkness, there’s still so much heart throughout it that they balanced each other out perfectly. Some things managed to make me tear up and riot against things that were happening so all in all, I would definitely give this author another chances.
Genre/s you write: Romantic Suspense / Dystopian
Number of books out: 3
What are you currently working on?
I always have way too many projects going on at once. I just completed my adult Dystopian Romance series and am in the midst of writing a contemporary romantic suspense series; each book will be standalone but have interconnected characters. The first book is a mafia romance (which is my guilty pleasure read!) that takes place in Chicago.
I’m also working out a YA book about a teenager living with a father who is a functioning sociopath. I’m excited to put to use my background in Psychology for this one!
I’m also excited to write a new Dystopian / apocalyptic book that will be a sort of prequel to my series, which will explain how the world came to ruin and the society that is the focal point of my 3-book series came about.
Why did you choose to become an author?
This is always a tough question to answer. I didn’t really choose to be an author. I’ve always loved writing, even as a child, but doubted my ability to create a career out of it, so I followed other paths. Through my “big girl” job as a marketing manager, I had the opportunity to do market research on the indie publishing industry. As I tried to understand this unique and growing industry, I thought “what better way to know what it is like to be an indie author than to actually become one?” And so Reaper was born, my first book, which I published a year ago.
Writing has become a strange addiction to me. After each book, I tell myself I’ll stop and go back to my normal life. But then the need to write becomes too strong to ignore, and once I’ve started writing a book, I am compelled to finish it. I don’t write for money or notoriety, because God knows I haven’t gotten much of either anyway, but because I love the process, I love the people I’ve met along the way, and I love creating new worlds where before none had existed.
What part of the writing process comes easy to you? Which part is difficult?
I try to be a planner, rather than a “pantser”, but even when I take copious notes, the characters always have a mind of their own and follow a different path than I had originally planned. This is both frustrating and wonderful at once. I love when I’ve created such strong characters that their decisions and actions become their own, and I’m just the one recording it all. But this does make it challenging, because I’m constantly changing elements of the plot to fit the characters. My books are first about people and their relationships; the action and suspense is always secondary in importance to me.
I will also add that it is so difficult to decide when a book is ready to be released. I could keep tweaking my novels for years and never be fully satisfied, but at some point, I need to just release it. In my mind, it can always be better.
What inspired your first novel?
The opening scene of my first novel, Reaper, came from a dream I had that seemed very real. I have difficulty sleeping, and to settle my over-active mind at night, I create stories in my mind. I’ve done this since I was a child to help calm myself; I go to my fantasy world where a story is always waiting. I began creating the story surrounding this dream each night, and it was still in my head when I decided to try my hand at writing a book. I tried to find a time period to fit this story, originally planning for it to be a historical romance. However, when I couldn’t find the right era to fit the intrigue of the plot, I created my own time in the near future which would fit the story. And here is my confession: Until I wrote Reaper, I did not read Dystopian / post apocalyptic books. Now, I love the genre.
What is your favorite genre?
My favorite genre is Romance, and I’ll take it however I can get it: Romantic Suspense, Dystopian Romance, Futuristic, Historical… I love it all. I’ll read any book that has a good love story in it.
Do you have a job besides being an author?
In my real life, I’m a full time stay-at-home mom to two precocious children, part time digital marketer for an amazing marketing software company that has generously supported my writing habit, and a huge nerd for statistics and psychology.
What are your 3 life essentials?
3 things I can’t do without on an average day: Coffee, wine, and my computer (not necessarily in that order).
I want to use this “anything goes” section to thank Cassandra for her support of indie authors, and all the amazing readers, bloggers, and fellow authors that have offered their advice, support, and a shoulder to cry on along this fantastical journey.
If you like Romantic Suspense or Dystopian books, I hope you’ll take a moment to join my mailing list, which includes special offers and exclusive giveaways.
I also love to hear from readers, authors, and bloggers, so contact me anytime through my website or on Facebook. Watch for my upcoming Romantic Suspense novel Just to Keep You coming next spring. You can request an exclusive sneak peek on my website.
My review/s for this author:
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