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Geekerella: All that’s Missing Are the Mice

bookreview

GeekerellaGeekerella
by Ashley Poston
320 Pages
Quirk Books
Publication Date:  April 4th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

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4Penguins
Quick Reasons: yet another CINDERELLA retelling!; I loved the nerdculture/comic con references happening throughout; awesome, entertaining voice; these characters are pretty rocking; LOVELOVELOVE the play on fandom; not so sure how I feel about a few of the relationships here

Huge thanks to Ashley Poston, Quirk Books, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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As so often happens when I pick up a CINDERELLA retelling (or ANY retelling, honestly), I found myself swept up in the magic of the story…and yet, somehow, also questioning some of the relationships. Now, don’t get me wrong–I totally understand the whole “wicked stepmother, evil step-siblings” trope. By “understand” I mean I get why it has to exist. But recently, I’ve begun to question the REALITY of such relationships. In this book, for instance: it’s really unclear exactly why the stepmother is so determined to be so cruel to Elle. I get that the stepsister is really just “following by example” in this case, and can therefore wrap my head around her being so unnecessarily snotty. But the stepmom? While we get a bit of an explanation later on in the story, it just… it doesn’t really FIT for me. It doesn’t really make much sense, or explain anything. It’s an excuse, in the end–not a justification or explanation. So I’m not sure how much I believed that particular relationship–it just didn’t seem very realistic.  It felt, in fact, just a little forced to fit the fairy tale trope, in my opinion.

 

That being said, however–these characters shine! The personalities are all individualized; I absolutely adored watching Elle transform and grow from “shy girl who never says no” to “independent, strong young lady.” I also adored all the mini references/nods to the original Cinderella–such as the pumpkin/chariot, which I only JUST now realized and pieced together (oops!)

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The play on fandom and cons was super entertaining for this lover of all things nerdculture, and I so appreciated all the pop culture references laced throughout. It was so great to watch these characters react to and interact with others over their passion–and introduce a few specific special characters to the obsession, as well! I had a TON of fun watching the relationship between Elle and Darien evolve, as well–they’re so sweetly cute and tooth-rotting!

 

Overall, this was an entertaining read FULL of nerdculture/pop culture references. The characters are well-written, though a few of the relationships felt a bit too contrived to fit tropes for my taste. Also…I now wish that Starfield was an actual thing, because it sounds amazeballs. I definitely recommend to my fellow retellings fanatics, lovers of modern-day fairy tales, and other pop culture nerds. Roll up your sleeves and step on the gas, penguins; it’s time the masks came off.

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Blog Tour and Review: Stalker, My Love

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Stalker, My Love by Zack Scott. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 21 May till 10 June. See the tour schedule here.

Stalker, My LoveStalker, My Love
By Zack Scott
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/ Romance
Age category: New Adult, Adult
Release Date: 14 May, 2017

Blurb:
Welcome to Pine Bridge, a small town where secrets are rife, personal is everyone’s business, and passion is high.

With the disappearance of Rosalyn Ray, tensions soar and fingers point in every direction: the lover, the mother, the best friend, and the stalker.

Frustrated by the search going nowhere, Rhett Calloway makes it his mission to discover the truth, find the girl, and win her heart. Some people in Pine Bridge say he’s obsessed. Some say he’s dangerous. Some say he’s hurt Rosalyn. All Rhett knows is he’s loved Rosalyn since they were kids and he’ll do what it takes to see her again.

Stalker, My Love is an untraditional love story where fantasy clashes with reality, and happily ever after seems like an elusive dream. Told through four POVs, the story follows those closest to Rosalyn Ray.

You can find Stalker, My Love on Goodreads

You can buy Stalker, My Love on Amazon

About the Author:
Zack is the author of the zombie apocalypse trilogy, THEIR DEAD LIVES, the horror comedy, ONE PISSED-OFF SHARK, and the untraditional love story, STALKER, MY LOVE. He’s licensed to practice law in the State of California. When he’s not writing, he enjoys baseball, avoiding LA traffic and playing with the dogs.

You can find and contact Zack Scott here:
Website
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon


bookreview

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: I have a LOT of thoughts; this was a unique, one of a kind read; love the cyclical nature of the plot; I had no idea where the story was leading me, and I ADORED that; the bright, vibrant cover only emphasized the chaos within the pages

Huge thanks to Zack Scott and Lola’s Blog Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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I….have a LOT of thoughts about this book, penguins. Like, I finished this read last night and just sat here staring at my computer, my mind racing. I had to wait until this morning to be able to coherently put into words what I was feeling–and I’m STILL, even now, not sure I can manage. So be warned: I might, at any given time, become a blubbering mess of chaos. Bear with me, please–I’ll do my best to explain in a way your beaks might be able to handle.

So let’s start with the easy: this is, in my mind, EXACTLY how a mystery should be written. From the very first page, I was suspicious of EVERYONE. Nobody was safe from that part of my brain that likes to jump to conclusions and see secrets hiding in the shadows. The fact that we were given a look into multiple POVs only helped to make everyone shady. Zack Scott KNOWS how to write an excellent mystery, and he drew upon foreshadowing and vague word choices to, at some point or another, cast every character in a villainous light. I literally went from thinking such and such character had done it one page…to totally flip-flopping the next, and I absolutely ADORED the chaos. It made this so much more fun, knowing I had absolutely zero clue who I was supposed to be suspecting. It also made it feel much more authentic, for me.

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These characters are vibrantly written in regards to their personalities, though I honestly felt I couldn’t really *see* them. I feel, thinking about it this morning, that that might have been part of Zack Scott’s plan. While their personalities leaped off the pages, we weren’t given much to go on about them physically–we got small glimpses of their clothes, the way they stood, how they reacted to stress…but we’re never really outright told what they look like. This, in hindsight, allowed me to imagine them as ANYONE–and probably helped, in some instances, to confuse and mislead me, because hello, stereotyping and preconceived judgments. So the fact I couldn’t see the characters? NOT a bad thing in this instance–it actually helped to make this read more confusing and chaotic!

I just… I had a ton of fun stepping into this twisted, intriguing mystery, and cannot WAIT to see what Zack Scott does in the future! The plot was confusing enough that I followed red herrings several times, and I adore that I had pretty much no clue who to suspect through the journey (a rarity for me, to be honest!) The characters were vibrantly written, though also vague enough to bring a different sort of chaos to the read. Overall, I LOVED how one-of-a-kind this read was! I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend to lovers of mysteries, who-dun-its, and suspiciously shady characters. Follow the clues, penguins, and see if YOU can figure it out before the big reveal–it’s not as easy as you’d think!


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Book Tour, Giveaway, and Review: It Had to Be You

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It Had to Be YouIt Had to Be You
by Lizzy Charles
YA / Contemporary / Romance
184 Pages
Entangled Teen: Crush
Publication Date:  May 15th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

 James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains red-hot romance, all the feels, and a soul-mate bad boy.

About the Author:

Processed with VSCO with q4 preset When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

Giveaway Details:

* Prize 1- $25 H&M Giftcard
* Prize 2- $25 H&M Giftcard

Open to US or International (if no H&M near them if international, they will receive a $25 amazon card)

CLICK RIGHT HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

4PenguinsQuick Reasons: super cute, endearing romance; absolutely love the “fake to real” relationship trope; not sure I buy that they “love” each other after such a short amount of time, but I’m willing to overlook this; Edel’s character arc is well-rounded and entertaining

Huge thanks to Lizzy Charles, Entangled Teen Crush, Chapter by Chapter Book Tours, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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There’s just something about contemporaries that, recently, have me falling head over feet to get through. I don’t know if it’s that I can “turn off my brain” and just enjoy the journey, or something else entirely…either way, contemporaries have been calling my name a LOT lately. It’s a good thing I’ve got a ton of them on standby for such occasions, I suppose?

 

Regardless–this was SUCH a cute, entertaining contemporary. I sat down expecting it to be just like all the rest…and instead found myself sucked straight into the story. There’s something adorable about Edel that I couldn’t look past, and something searingly steamy about the “fake to real” relationship.

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The character arcs are also entertaining and enlightening. I really enjoyed that we got front seats to both James’ and Edels’ changes over the course of just a few short months. Many of the side characters also step into their own, and I loved seeing how they each brought something new and unique to the table. Learning the intricacies of familial relationships–the the rules of boarding school–right next to Edel was a great way to bridge the gap between characters and readers, in my opinion. The fact we got to watch her interact with and react to the varying situations that crop up only helped to more vibrantly paint her across the page. This was, in fact, true of all the characters; due to this, they all were bright sparks of personality woven into the pages.

 

In the end, I had a ton of fun (as I usually do!) stepping out of the chaos of my own life and into the chaos of someone else’s for a little while. Lizzy Charles wrote these characters with intricate, vibrant personalities–and made me care for each of them as individuals. The plot, while not inundated with action, was fast-paced and entertaining all the same, and I cannot wait to pick up another Lizzy Charles novel in the future! I definitely recommend this to lovers of boarding school settings, bad boys struggling to change, and “fake to real” relationships. Care to redefine relationships? Pick up this book!

 

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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: The Upside of Regret

TheUpsideOfRegretTour

The Upside of RegretThe Upside of Regret
(Aimless Perfection #1)
by T.K. Rapp
YA / Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date:  May 17th, 2017
Get a copy right here!

BLURB:

 Brighton and Leah have been the best of friends since seventh grade. Where Brighton is the quiet one who is focused on school, Leah is the bold and daring one who craves the adoration of an audience. It’s always worked for them, until now.

Heading into their senior year, Brighton is challenged with an opportunity that can change the course of her future. The only problem? She just might have to step out of her best friend’s shadow.

But when Leah doesn’t support the choices she makes, Brighton is forced to reevaluate what true friendship is.

Brighton is changing and exciting doors are opening. A new world of music, friends, and even love are falling at her feet. But it’s hard to enjoy it when Leah’s life is spiraling out of control.

Now Brighton must try to not only save her friendship, but also her friend, before it’s too late.

addtogoodreads

TUoR-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

T.K. RappTK Rapp is an author living in Houston, Texas with her husband and two daughters.

Prior to writing, she spent over ten years as a photographer and photo editor, specializing in wedding album design. She left photography to pursue her dream of writing a story and it was in 2013, she self-published her first novel, Being There. It was a standalone story about long-lost friends finding each other. She has since written both contemporary and young adult novels.

Rapp grew up in Texas, but has lived in California, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which serve as inspiration for her writing. With several more works in queue, she doesn’t anticipate stepping away from the computer anytime soon, especially since she makes friends with all of her characters.

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

TUoR-2

Giveaway Details:

· Prize #1 – $10 Amazon Gift Card
· Prize #2 – Ebook copy of TUoR
· Prize #3 – Signed Paperback copy – mailed out when the paperbacks are available. US Only (Should be soon after release date.)

 

CLICK HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: cutesy contemporary with some heavy-handed subject matter; Brighton’s character ARC is so gorgeous and inspiring; I fell in love with these characters, and they smothered me with their vibrantly written personalities; I was NOT expecting that bombshell to drop

Huge thanks to T.K. Rapp and Chapter by Chapter Book Tours for sending me a free galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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First things first: the biggest reason I picked up this book? THAT COOOOVER. Just look at it, penguins–LOOK AT IT! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty simple…but that blue with the red? The way it’s sort of split down the middle, a sort of warning that the read is a bit like fire and ice? The fact it’s a treble clef?! I just adore everything about this cover, and how it lends itself to the read ahead. I’m not ashamed to admit I drooled over it, penguins. I drooled over it HARD.

And these characters are sort of the personification of the idea behind “fire and ice,” when it boils down to it. Brighton and Leah are best friends…and are written so, so gorgeously. I could tell, almost immediately, that while they’re so super close, they’ve sort of fallen off the friendship path and into something closer to uncomfortable. I’d even go so far as to say that the plot and their interactions lend to this theory–where one is burning, the other is frozen. It’s actually brilliantly and subtly done, and looking back on it now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it while reading.

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There are some heavy, mature subjects touched on throughout. Alongside things like personal growth, friendship, and relationships are things like molestation, rape, and underage drinking. T.K. Rapp approached these heavier topics with sensitivity and poise, while still leaving them prominent enough for readers to ponder on and think about.

This was an entertaining, if heart-wrenching, journey, and I cannot wait to pick up another T.K. Rapp novel in the future! The characters are vibrant and personify the “fire and ice” idea brilliantly; the plot is fast-paced and filled with gut-churning moments. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary reads, personal growth, and mature subjects handled with sensitivity. Step into this book, penguins; don’t let it be something you regret missing out on!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Violet Grenade

VioletGrenadeTour

Violet GrenadeViolet Grenade
by Victoria Scott
366 Pages
YA / Contemporary
Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017

BLURB:

Domino: A runaway with blood on her hands.


Cain: A silent boy about to explode.

Madam Karina: A woman who demands obedience.

Wilson: The one who will destroy them all.

Her name is Domino Ray.

But the voice inside her head has a different name.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position at her girls’ home in secluded West Texas. With no alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval…and falling for Cain, the mysterious boy living in the basement.

But the madam has horrible secrets. So do the girls in the house. So does Cain.

Escaping is harder than Domino expects, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the danger living inside Domino’s mind.

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

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VictoriaScott_Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight novels for young adults including FIRE & FLOOD, THE COLLECTOR, and VIOLET GRENADE. She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe. Victoria’s novels are sold in fourteen countries, and she loves receiving reader emails from at home, and across the world.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

* Signed paperback of The Collector, a signed paperback of Titans, and a signed galley of Hear the Wolves.*

CLICK HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: darkly atmospheric; life-ruiner; heavy handed, mature topics; this read was a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode; intricate, complex characters; Domino and Cain are SO adorable, I can’t even; the snark is on point

HUGE thanks to Victoria Scott, Entangled Teen, Chapter by Chapter Book Tours, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

VG Quote1

Okay, penguins. I have FULLY INTENDED to pick up a Victoria Scott book for, like…several years now. There are several I’ve had my eye on. I have one on my kindle just waiting for me to look its way. So WHY, OH WHY, did it take me so long?! I just… I honestly don’t have an answer. But I’ll start with this: I am so, so glad that I decided to start with THIS book. Because this book?! is a gem, and I’m not sure Victoria Scott’s other books would have touched me quite so deeply as this one. I will warn you, though: there are some very heavy, mature subjects broached in this read. This is a very darkly atmospheric, bone-chilling read, so if you’re all about the butterflies and unicorns and rainbows…this book might not be the best fit for you.

That being said, this penguin? absolutely ADORED the journey. It’s been a while since I last picked up a book that promised darkness and angst and hushed secrets in forbidden rooms…and that’s exactly what I found waiting here. Victoria Scott twisted and tore every page with emotion, and I am so blown away with how much her words wrung me out and left me bleeding. There is a loud, vibrant talent seeping through every sentence: the power to ensnare and enthrall readers. The ability to mute the real world and push the imagination to the forefront. Victoria Scott took me on a roller coaster, whirlwind journey…and I fell in love from page one.

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These characters are complex and intricate. The balance of snark with sensitively handled, heavily mature subject matter was beautiful and well-done. While there are a few characters that fall to the very bottom of the “redeemable” pile in my mind, I feel as if Victoria Scott did a gorgeous job in rounding each personality fully and showing them in several altering lights–to allow readers a more completed picture of them, as individuals and as a whole. And penguins, did they leap to life for me; not only was I ensnared by the gorgeous writing, the dark atmosphere, the fast-paced and thought-provoking plot… I was also swept up by the characters. And not just one or two of them– ALL of them.

I am just so, SO happy the first Victoria Scott novel I picked up was THIS one. Victoria Scott wrote a darkly mysterious, intriguingly painful read–and she wove the heavy subject matter so beautifully and sensitively into the journey. I definitely recommend to lovers of shady characters, questionable motivations, and atmospheric reads. I officially cannot WAIT to pick up my next Victoria Scott novel; if the writing is as gorgeous as in this book, I’m in for a real treat. This read’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode; why don’t you open the cover and start the countdown, penguins? You know you want to.

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Groupie

 

Groupie
(Rock-Hard Beautiful, #1)

by C.M. Stunich
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

“Can one of these five rockstars fill the hole in my heart? Or will I stay broken forever?”

Young, dumb, and broke.

That’s what started everything. With five dollars in her pocket, and everything she owns stuffed in the back of her car, Lilith Goode’s life is over. Done. Destroyed.

Ten words. One text. That’s what it took to change the whole world.

A crumpled concert ticket. A chance encounter. That’s what it takes to start all over again.

Five rockstars. One girl. Six dark hearts, six withered souls.

But can one broken person really put another back together again?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands

(among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.

She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.

Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: this made my penguin heart go all aflutter; I love how unique and vibrantly written each character is; you can see their personalities through their reactions/interactions; the drama is hugely satisfying and entertaining; STEAMY, STEAMY, STEAMY!

Huge thanks to C.M. Stunich, Sarian Royal, and Xpresso Book Toursfor sending me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

G Quote1

I can hear all you penguins roaring in outrage right about now. “BETH!” you all scream loudly, “what is UP with your taste in books lately?! It’s all love and music and diverse relationships! Why!?!?!” …Okay, okay, so maybe that’s not your actual reaction. Honestly, I’m sure most of you don’t even care what I read, within reason–so long as I don’t force YOU to read it if you don’t want to. But, see, someone recently DID ask me something close to this question, and I wanted to take a moment to address it. I, your Princess Penguin royal extraordinaire, am all about the butterflies! I know, I know…penguins and butterflies?! Not something you hear about often–I mean, penguins chase butterflies to EAT THEM, right?! But seriously, this book? These characters? Huge case of satisfying, delicious butterflies–with a heavy dose of grief and pain on the side. That’s right, penguins; I have found a new reading niche I adore and enjoy, and I’m not giving it up anytime soon…so expect to see many more such books on this blog.

That being said, let’s move on. There’s this sense of… “wrong” that Lilith, throughout, feels about what’s happening between her and the guys. I want to address this first and foremost, because while she does in the end come to terms with feeling “judged” by others… I don’t understand why the judging was happening to begin with. Sure, this relationship? is not one we see in today’s world often. But I think this is more due to the way we, as humans, so often leap to “judgement” than to “acceptance.” So let me just say this: this book? Is probably not for a lot of readers. But you should at least try to keep yourself from judging something you don’t understand, because how else are we ever going to learn about others’ otherwise?

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I went into this book expecting something not quite as steamy as what I actually found. Honestly, going into this book, I was NOT expecting what I got–though what I got was wonderful and exciting and pure literary gold, in my opinion. This is what happens when your Princess conveniently always forgets to read the blurb for books before picking them up–because who needs to know what’s going to happen!?! GO IN BLIND for the win! And this was a win, penguins–the characters are so vibrantly written, they painted themselves on the backs of my eyelids. The darkness in each of them only helped to mold and shape them even further in my mind’s eye; I could practically SMELL each of their shampoos, they felt so real to me. And the love! The love was glorious and delicious and butterfly-inducing. Each personality brings something unique and different to the forefront, and I adored learning about these characters and watching their journey play out.

I cannot WAIT to lay hands on the second book in this series! C.M. Stunich brought these characters, and their love, to life for me within these pages, and I will definitely be picking up more of her novels in the future. This love is endearing, STEAMY, and beautiful; the characters are vibrant, loud, and clashing in exactly the right ways. I recommend this to lovers of “different” relationships; contemporary romances; and soulful rock bands. Open your heart and let an attachment form, penguins; the guitar riff is to swoon for with this one!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review — Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs

 

Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs
(Time Collector #1)

by Jacinta Maree
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Supernatural, Young Adult

I have a clock for a heart…and the man who put it there tried to take it out.

Time Collectors are modern day genies capable of exchanging wishes for time. Elizabeth Wicker lives within a steampunk world riddled with the supernatural. Among the stories of witches, Bacts, and other monsters, Time Collectors remain as the greatest hushed secret among the noble families. They are temptation’s greatest tools. A contract with a Time Collector is a guaranteed death sentence, and for some the price isn’t worth the prize. But when Elizabeth is struck down by a fatal heart attack, she finds herself trapped beneath a Time Collector’s blade. With no time left to offer, she makes a desperate sacrifice for a second chance at life. If there’s only one truth, it is a Time Collector will always come back to collect.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons and Japan. Published in 2012 to USA publisher Staccato Publishing, Jacinta writes a variety of genres from YA paranormal, steampunk, horror and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and best selling author, Jacinta writes to answer all of her absurd questions and to explore themes and characters not often seen in main media.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: welcome me back to steampunk!; awesome, thrilling adventure; these characters are complex and astoundingly vibrant; Elizabeth has a bit of the “special snowflake” happening, but I didn’t care; fun, whimsical, dark read akin to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart

Huge thanks to Jacinta Maree, Ragnarok Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Steampunk, my love, I have missed you SO! I am so happy that you can overlook my unavoidable on the side relationships with other genres and accept me so quickly back into your life; I don’t know what I would do without you. Although I don’t seek you out very often, I want you to know that you still remain my FAVORITE genre…and it’s for this reason that I only read you once every few months. Don’t tell the others–I need to keep them in my world so I always know just how much better you are!

Okay, I know that might be going a LITTLE too far–don’t get me wrong, I love all the other genres I read equally. But steampunk… there’s just something special about steampunk that I cannot, for the life of me, bring myself to examine too closely or ruin by reading too much of it. I cannot risk going down the path of no return only to realize that the magic fades…which is why, while I ADORE steampunk so much every time I pick it up, I often go months between readings of the genre. The return is always SO much sweeter than I expect it to be, which is exactly the case with this title!

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These characters are well-rounded and so vibrantly written, I found myself living in their heads for the duration of the journey. Elizabeth almost immediately called to me–I mean, aside from the fact we share a name, there’s an edge to her that I wasn’t expecting going into this read. She is not as soft as you’re initially led to believe; she has spunk, and intellect, and knows how to fight for herself and her loved ones with aplomb. I admired her strength throughout this journey–especially in those moments when I might have otherwise simply given up. The rest of the cast are just as endearing and, in most instances, wholly redeemable.

The plot is fast-paced and enthralling. I found myself whisked away to another world and plopped down in the middle of the excitement. There’s a bit of a nod to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart, though this novel is a lot less whimsical and a whole lot darker. The world-building is so well-done, I didn’t find myself questioning anything or becoming confused. Jacinta Maree did an amazingly beautiful job of putting me into the heart (clock though it might be!) of this story, and I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the coming installments!

I definitely recommend this to lovers of steampunk, stories with a focus on time, and entertainingly stubborn characters! Jacinta Maree stuck me straight into the story and ensnared me there between the tocking hands with her vibrant personalities, fast-paced plot, and beautiful world-building. My heart ticks with steampunk, penguins; maybe you should take a chance to find out why with this gorgeous read!

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Blog Tour, Giveaways, and Review: Cry Wolf

 

Cry Wolf
Greta Stone
Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: Gothic, New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Peter is a kitsune. Chaos follows him wherever he goes. Good intentions, bad intentions—it doesn’t matter. Even mimicking the howl of a friend he hasn’t seen in over a decade turns out to have disastrous consequences.

The wolf doesn’t have a name. For now, he goes by Luca. He has no past, and as an escaped slave, if he can’t stay hidden in the shadows, he’ll have no future. When someone steals his howl, he’s drawn to investigate, and ends up saddled with a mouthy fox who insists they used to be friends once upon a time.

Petty problems and a dubious reunion are pushed aside the longer they’re stranded together. The Underwood is a dangerous place.

They have two choices: work together or die.

Join Greta Stone in a dark paranormal MM romance retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and David P. Mannix’s classic novel, The Fox and the Hound.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Greta is the unruly offspring of a tiger and a dragon. She spends most of her time reading, stalking her favorite musicians, and harassing other authors with pranks.

Underwood District Series (MM Romance/UF)

Cry Wolf – Book 1

Cry Wolf: Mating Season – Book 1.5

Take a Tour of New Gotham: http://www.brimstonepub.com

Sign up for GRETA STONE’S MAILING LIST and receive access to a bonus adventure featuring Peter and Luca.(Their fates might be changed forever.)

Copy and paste to join my newsletter: tinyurl.com/l99rh6m

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAYS!

eBook giveaways:

The first 5 people to comment on ANY tour post (given on each day) will automatically win a free e-book copy of Cry Wolf. Greta will keep tally and submit prizes at the end of each tour day.

Take a trip to New Gotham!

A paid vacation to New Gotham is an expensive affair. I found a witch who specializes in crafting gatestones. These magical pendants are used for traveling between dimensions. The bauble offered as a contest prize should take the winner to Avaline’s Trees. Keep in mind, gatestones are touchy things. It might not do anything at all. Or you might up in oblivion. Good luck with that. We’ll read about it in the papers, no doubt.

Elderstone Keys – What’s the big deal?

There is a house in New Gotham that is rumored to be haunted. No one has lived in it since the Great Depression, and no one can recall what its last occupants looked like, what they did for a living or where they went. Only one is fated to enter and learn its secrets. Anytime I host a contest, I give away keys to Elderstone. The person who collects ten of them is fated to own the house. Among their keys, they’ll have the mystical key that opens the door. (More information)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: intriguing, entertaining takes on some well-known classics; vibrantly written, well-rounded characters; some awkward writing and grammatical mistakes; adorable, stubborn romance; whimsical, but a bit meandering plot-wise

Huge thanks to Greta Stone, Skeleton Key Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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So, okay. This was definitely an entertaining, intriguing read! The characters are vibrantly written and complex, each with their own defined struggles and inner demons. I really enjoyed being pulled along for this journey with Luca and Peter; their individual arcs and growths are only intensified when woven together, and I adored watching the transformation take place!

There’s a lot of the “oral narrative” vibe happening in this read, which I also really love. This being said, though, it felt as if the plot was a bit more meandering than anything. While there IS a story happening here, it seems to take place more in the background; we are, instead, at the whims of the characters, following blindly where they lead–which is in a lot of different directions at times. While this type of story-telling works for some journeys, I don’t feel it really did THIS journey much justice.

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The romance was slow-building but so super steamy, I was impatient for them to get past the walls entrapping them and just kiss already! And penguins, the fireworks when the walls finally got torn down?! I thought my kindle might go up in flames in my hands! It was a believable, endearing romance, and I loved watching them interact with and react to each other–and the world around them. There were, throughout, some awkward grammatical moments and missing words…but I was so caught up in the romance, I didn’t even care. Honestly, I was ALL ABOUT the love between these two.

This was a fascinating, whimsical read, and I adored every minute of the journey! The characters were vibrantly portrayed, the romance was believable and easy to root for, and the whole read had an air of the oral narrative to it. I definitely recommend this to lovers of the fantastical, to seekers of complex character arcs, and to those who adore whimsy. In this forest, the trees are purple and love abounds; step outside, won’t you?

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Netherfield Prep: There’s More to This than Pride and Prejudice

bookreview

Netherfield Prep

YA / Retellings / Romance / Contemporary
580 Pages
Sleeping Dragon Books
Publication Date:  April 6th, 2017
Get a copy here!

 

A modern reimagining of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

When Lily Brewer’s mum dies, she’s shipped to the other side of the world to her step-sisters’ pompous English boarding school, Netherfield.

There, she meets Austin Cooper. Arrogant as hell but with abs to die for, Austin soon becomes the bane of her existence.

His twin brother, Jax, is the complete opposite. Kind and sweet, Jax soon strikes up a thing with Lily’s roommate, Anne.

Austin, though seems keen to keep them apart.

Will pride and prejudice ruin them all?

Or, will love win the day?

addtogoodreads

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: P&P Retelling for the win!; I mean really, do I need any other reason to adore this?!; the characters are superbly individualized, with enough hints at the original to keep them straight in my mind; lovelovelove the modern day boarding school setting; a lot of weird comma usage?

Huge thanks to Elizabeth Stevens and Sleeping Dragon Books for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Be still, MY beating heart! I know what you’re all thinking. “Really, Beth?! ANOTHER P&P retelling?! Haven’t you read enough of those yet?!?!?!?!” And the answer is….NEVER. I can never ever ever read enough P&P retellings for it to get old, so….get used to it and suck it up, beakers. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them to come; they’re here to stay! They’ve lugged their many suitcases out of the car, dragged them up the stairs, and perched themselves on my shelves –both the physical and the digital ones– in pretty little rows. They’re not going anywhere…except maybe to work with me, tucked into my purse.

That being said. Elizabeth Stevens brought a hint of the new along with the classic in this modern-day retelling, and I absolutely ADORED every step of the journey! The characters have all been given different names. The relationships in a lot of instances have been changed–for instance, not all of the Bennet sisters are ACTUAL sisters in this version. I adored how out of the box and creative Elizabeth Stevens decided to be with these characters; she gave them all such vibrant, loud personalities, while still maintaining the integrity of the original characters. It was both a refreshing change and a beautiful nod to the original content, I’m super impressed.

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There was, throughout, a weird issue with commas in random or wrong places that sort of broke me out of suspended disbelief…but these were such minor and easy to forget issues, I didn’t have trouble quickly falling back into the story and following the flow of the plot. In fact, I got rather used to the awkward comma placement, and learned how to ignore it whenever they popped up. The plot, the characters, and the entertainment were more than enough to make up for such a small grammatical problem, it didn’t subtract from my enjoyment of the read at all!

This was a super adorable, entertaining, modern-day P&P retelling and I will be on the lookout for more of Elizabeth Stevens’ works in the coming future. The characters are vibrantly written and imbued with their own unique quirks…while still maintaining enough of the original characters for readers to tell who’s meant to be whom. I definitely recommend this to lovers of Pride and Prejudice, boarding school romances, and bad-boys turned “good.” Don’t pass this ball down the field, penguins; run with it and score!

0

Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Harmful Rush

 

Harmful Rush
(Remedy #3)

by Debra Doxer
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Harmful Rush is a standalone, full-length novel set in the Remedy world. You do not have to read the first two books to read this book.

Skylark Samuels has a secret.

She’s not a normal teenager, although she plays one in real life. Pretending to be something you’re not isn’t easy, especially in high school where gossip is gold. For years, Sky manages to hide her uniqueness, until one fateful day when she exposes her gift, her curse, and all her fears come to pass. Now instead of going to college near home like she planned, she has to leave town and go someplace where the rumors can’t follow. The plan when she gets there: keep to herself and stay under the radar.

But blending into the background is impossible when local heartthrob Dylan Parks notices her. Even though Sky keeps her distance and doesn’t act like one of Dylan’s adoring fans, he goes out of his way to talk to her. Her. The girl who wants to be invisible.

Sky isn’t immune to Dylan’s charm, but getting close to him is a bad idea. It goes against the promise she made to herself. Besides, if Dylan knew the truth, he wouldn’t want her. If he discovered her secret, he’d treat her differently and possibly fear her. It’s happened before. But the more Sky gets to know Dylan, the harder it is to resist him, until fate intervenes.

A tragic event forces Sky to reveal herself to the one person she’s come to care for, and his reaction is unexpected. For the first time, she doesn’t feel so alone. But what she doesn’t realize is that she’s never been alone. When she finally lets her guard down, someone comes along who threatens to unravel everything, because being normal was never Sky’s destiny.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

Author Bio:

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: just a bit of insta-love; interesting “coming of age/discovery of self” journey; I didn’t really connect with these characters; the romance was a bit unbelievable; the plot was intriguing and entertaining, but not filled with many answers

Huge thanks to Debra Doxer and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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This was an interestingly bittersweet read for me. I became SUPER invested in the story pretty early on–the beginning of this hooked me, put me right into the action, and made me want to keep going. I wanted to know more–about Skylark, about her abilities, about the world around her and how such things came to be. Unfortunately, I felt a bit stiffed in terms of answers at the closing of this read–I don’t feel as if we really LEARNED much more about Sky than we start out already knowing, because she doesn’t come up with many answers on her journey either. It was a bit disappointing–I’d been hoping, I suppose, for a more complex story than the one I ended up being given.

That being said, this WAS an entertaining and thought-provoking read. While I didn’t necessarily feel a strong connection to the characters, I was also not wholly distanced from them–I cared about what happened, was rooting for them or disgusted by them in turn. I sat down to read this this afternoon, and finished it in a matter of a few short hours; the read is fast-paced and easy to fall into. I am intrigued by the world that I found myself residing in, and am interested in possibly picking up the other books in this series to see what else I’m missing out on. There’s a sense of…unfinished about this read, I guess–I’m not sure if the rest of the series holds the answers I seek, but I’m willing to at least try and find out.

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The romance was a bit of an insta-love moment, and parts of it felt disingenuous to me as a reader. While it’s realistic for the most part, I felt Skylark and Dylan moved a bit too quickly in other instances. I was, honestly, more invested in the romance between Trevor and Maggie. There was also a bit of a love triangle happening that I didn’t particularly care for. Still, Dylan and Sky were endearing and adorable in their own way, and I wouldn’t pass their romance off as wholly unrealistic.

Overall, I had a fun few hours stepping into this world, even though I feel like I was left with more questions than answers at the ending. The characters are complex and believable, and the romance only a little unrealistic. I’d recommend this read to lovers of fantasy, genetic quirks, and fast-paced plots. Duck and run, penguins; danger lurks in these pages!

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