Monday, January 26, 2015

Review and Giveaway! - Withering Hope, by Layla Hagen

Thank yous go out to the Author and Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to take part in this tour. Check out my review for Withering Hope and the great Giveaway at the end of this post! You can also follow the tour by clicking here for schedule.

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen   
Publication date: January 19th 2015  
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, 
Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.
But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.
As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.
Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My Review:

I was immediately drawn to this novel based on the description, and frankly I was in the perfect mood for a romance like this. The story did not disappoint. In fact, it grabbed my attention from the very first page.

It is one thing to survive a plane crash, but being in the middle of the jungle with no means of communication and knowledge of when you may be rescued, is an extremely terrifying thought... yet these two worked so well as a team to ensure each other's survival. 

Tristan, was without question, a strong male from the beginning. But I was taken by surprise on how strong Aimee actually turned out to be.  Both worked together as an efficient and effective team, and it was no surprise to me when they both began to develop strong feelings for each other.

I was not surprised by their ending, and yet I still shed a couple of tears for them. 

A fast, well written romance. Great character development, and the setting was definitely high up on the believability scale. I could picture the jungle, the heat, sweat and fear.  Not to mention, the sweetness of new love between these two characters.  Which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started reading this story.

I give Withering Heights:

Happy Reading!


My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough

Author links:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Xpresso Book Tour Blitz - Life Lived Twice, by Sherrie Wouters

I am truly a sucker for a good love story. After reading the synopsis of this novel, it really is a no brainer that I have to add this on to my list. Sounds like it will be a rollercoaster ride with a few heartfelt sighs in between chapters. 

Life Lived Twice by Sherrie Wouters
Publication date: June 6th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Some promises are made to last forever…
What if you fell in love with a stranger…but that stranger had come from your past, a past you never knew existed until the moment your eyes met?
When Tess Winters locks eyes with a stranger at an airport bookstore, it ignites a feeling of passion somewhere deep inside her that she can’t explain.
Although the encounter is innocent and brief, the intensity of it lingers, leaving her overwhelmed by a yearning for the mystery man now consuming her every thought.
Struggling to break the powerful hold he has over her heart, Tess starts to experience strange but familiar dreams…dreams from the turn of the twentieth century of the charming Mr Addison Taylor.
As her dreams start to materialize into reality, and past and present begin to blur, Tess is forced to put the pieces of a forgotten time together, and soon discovers that love isn’t the only thing that can find you after an eternity.
Captivating, mysterious, and romantic, Life Lived Twice will leave you wondering whether love is so powerful it could last more than a lifetime.

Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Sherrie Wouters is the author of the romantic fantasy, Life Lived Twice.

A qualified Homeoeopath and Kinesiologist, Sherrie lives in country Victoria, Australia with her husband, and two daughters. She is currently working on the sequel to Life Lived Twice.

Author Links:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Xpresso Book Tour Blitz & Giveaway! - Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune


The moment I saw it, I knew that I would very likely read this book, no sypnosis required. I know that's so superficial, but it's the truth. The bonus is that it sounds very interesting, so I took advantage of the free Amazon promotion and grabbed myself and copy! It's only free until November 22 so hurry over now!

Also don't miss your chance to win some cool swag and gift cards. Check out the tour giveaway and enter for a chance to win. Good luck everyone!

Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune
Publication date:
July 7th 2014  
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.

Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.

Purchase Links: Amazon

(FREE from Nov 18-22)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I write stories about magick, love and dark creatures lurking in the shadows. When I'm not lost in Edit Land you can find me reading a book from my towering TBR pile or at the movie theater nibbling licorice. I don't have a lucky number, but my favorite time is 11:11. I completely believe that the fortunes found inside cookies will come true and that you must be careful when wishing on stars. I live on an island, so if you want to visit you'll need a boat, and if you want to survive the passage, be sure to bring candy for the mermaids.  

Author links: 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Netgalley Review - Muse, by Mary Novik
Richly engaging historical adventure in the vein of The Winter Palace and The Malice of Fortune.

Muse is the story of the charismatic woman who was the inspiration behind Petrarch's sublime love poetry. Solange Le Blanc begins life in the tempestuous streets of 14th century Avignon, a city of men dominated by the Pope and his palace. When her mother, a harlot, dies in childbirth, Solange is raised by Benedictines who believe she has the gift of clairvoyance. Trained as a scribe, but troubled by disturbing visions and tempted by a more carnal life, she escapes to Avignon, where she becomes entangled in a love triangle with the poet Petrarch, becoming not only his muse but also his lover.

Later, when her gift for prophecy catches the Pope's ear, Solange becomes Pope Clement VI's mistress and confidante in the most celebrated court in Europe. When the plague kills a third of Avignon's population, Solange is accused of sorcery and is forced once again to reinvent herself and fight against a final, mortal conspiracy.
Muse is a sweeping historical epic that magically evokes the Renaissance, capturing a time and place caught between the shadows of the past and the promise of a new cultural awakening.

Purchase Links: Amazon 

My Review: 

I have at times expressed my enjoyment of historical novels, yet... I don't really pick them up very often. I have to be in a certain mood to really enjoy them. That is usually when I am on vacation, or have a weekend on my own with no distractions where I can really focus on stories like these.

'Muse' was certainly an intriguing novel, filled with court drama and the injustices of being female in an era that really treated women like crap.  Solange is no exception, even though she attracts the attentions of a romantic, dashing and poetic soul who is, unfortunately, easily swayed by the promises of power.  Petrarch was irritating to me, and his fickle love left a lot to be desired.

Unfortunately for Solange, even though she becomes a personal confidante to the Pope himself, the powers afforded to her are merely an illusion.  Understanding that there was envy aimed towards her was a laughable concept the price she had to pay to bear this 'power' and influence.  In this novel it was clear - whether poor or wearing the finest gowns and jewellery - the chains were ever present, tight and heavy, leaving their mark on the soul.

Mary Novik writes eloquently and with a beautiful style that has me curious about her other novels.  Though there was not enough focus on Solange's abilities to satisfy me, there certainly was enough drama and misfortune to keep me intrigued to the end.  I would certainly recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction.

I give Muse:

Happy Reading!

For more on this Author, visit her Website, Twitter or Author page.                       Author Links: Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Netgalley Review - Torn Away, by Jennifer Brown
Jersey Cameron has always loved a good storm. Watching the clouds roll in and the wind pick up. Smelling the electricity in the air. Dancing barefoot in the rain. She lives in the Midwest, after all, where the weather is sure to keep you guessing. Jersey knows what to do when the tornado sirens sound. But she never could have prepared for this.

When her town is devastated by a tornado, Jersey loses everything. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with relatives she hardly knows-family who might as well be strangers. In an unfamiliar place, can Jersey discover that even on the darkest of days, there are some things no tornado can destroy?

In this powerful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown delivers a story of love, loss, hope, and survival.

Purchase Links: Amazon / The Book Depository

My Review: 

Living in Ontario, Canada, I do not see much tornado action. Except, of course, a few months after moving to Angus, we get a tornado, the likes of which this area had not seen since 1985, I was told. 

Thankfully, outside of our fences being ripped off the ground, and a lot of debris to clean up and the loss of a tree on our property, we did not suffer many damages.. not like our neighbours some blocks over. No one was seriously injured, though, or killed, from what I understand, but it was stupefying, humbling and very scary nonetheless. 

I ended up reading this novel after this happened, and I think that the experience allowed me to relate a bit more to this story. Though, in all honesty, I think that I would have been as emotional regardless, as the author was incredibly talented of conveying emotions in this novel.

Frankly, I can't imagine what it is like to lose everything in a matter of minutes. To have such a destructive force of nature take everything dear to you - your loved ones, your home, your possessions... And I certainly can't fathom that kind of loss as experienced by a teenage girl.  

This novel was incredibly emotional and do raw, it left me breathless and exhausted.  From the utter shock, to the unspeakable grief and then injustice of Jersey's situation... I could barely recover from one emotion, before being assaulted by the next.  I have never wished so hard for a fictional character to find a happy ending the way that I did for Jersey. 

From heartfelt tears, to justified anger and the blossoming promise of hope, I walked this journey with Jersey Cameron as she opened her heart, and welcomed in all the positives that did come out of such a horrible situation. 

This was a wonderful story about grief, second chances and finding out that you have a strength inside you to overcome just about anything and I recommend it for readers of all ages.

I give 'Torn Away' 4 bright Stars!

Happy Reading!

 About this Author:

Two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer's weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist.

Jennifer's debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association's Thumbs Up! Award, the Louisiana Teen Readers Choice award, the 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association's Taysha's high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association's Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been chosen to represent the state of Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Jennifer's second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha's high school reading list pick as well.

Author Links: Goodreads / Website

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Xpresso Book Blitz & Giveaway - Dead New World, by Ryan Hill

Oh how I love October and scary reads.  Here is one that caught my eye! Check out 'Dead New World', and the awesome tour giveaway at the end of the post. 

Dead New World by Ryan Hill
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 13th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult, Zombies
Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.
Before the world fell into chaos, the undead existed only in the imagination. Now, more of them walk the earth than living. Zombies move about freely, while humans entomb themselves inside concrete barricades to stay alive.
All that, while the leader of a powerful cult – known only as Reverend – becomes the next threat to the rebuilding United States. Believing zombies to be God’s latest creation, making humanity obsolete, he wants to give every man, woman, and child the chance to become one. With his combined army of humans and zombies, he may well get his wish.
Best friends Holt and Ambrose went up against the Reverend once. Holt lost a foot and a zombie bit Ambrose…though he survived the virus, only to become a human-zombie hybrid, reviled by the living and unwelcome among the dead. When the Reverend kidnaps the woman Holt loves, the race is on to save her from a fate worse than death.

Purchase Links: Amazon


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.

Author links:
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