Tour + Review: Loving Your Lies by Piper Shelly

Loving Your Lies

Title: Loving Your Lies
Author: Piper Shelly
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 404
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Julian is drop-dead gorgeous, annoyingly provocative, and he’s fast becoming her best friend. But he also has a secret that makes the little hairs on her arms stand on end…

My name is Jona Montiniere, and that’s pretty much the only good thing to say about me.

I’m seventeen, I’m snarky, and I’m a crap-load of trouble. Or so they say. But what did they expect from me really, when they dumped me in an orphanage at age five? That I’d grow up to become the new first lady? Nah, I think it’s much more fun to raid Camden Market in London with my friend, Debby. She’s cool. She lives on the street. I learned so much from her.

The only thing she missed to teach me was how to tend to a vineyard. And yeah, that’s what I’m going to do for the next 6 weeks, courtesy to this darn judge, who sent me off to France after I was caught stealing again. Fair enough, the vineyards are okay, and so are my aunt and uncle, who I haven’t met up ‘til now. What isn’t okay, and I mean it, is that I have to live in the same house with my mother, that god-awful dragon, who spurned when I was only a child. And now she wants me back? Demands my forgiveness? Why, because she’s about to die of cancer? Uh-uh. Sorry, but that’s not gonna happen. I want no contact with that woman, thanks.

But what’s Julian got to do with all of this? About my age, he’s too young to be my mother’s lover. So why doesn’t he leave her side? Ever. He’s different, as in the paranormal kind of different, but he’s sa-woon-worthy gorgeous. He obviously has secrets, but he’s also get-under-my-skin charming. In short, he’s a riddle to me. But he likes me, and that’s scaring the shit out of me. I sure won’t let anyone come too close.

So now I’m wondering only two things: How did he manage to hold me in his arms after only three days? And how the hell do you keep an angel earth bound?

My Review:

This book had my attention from the first few pages. Jona is sarcastic, feisty, a little angry and hurt. And her attitude is ruining her life. Running from the law is almost a daily occurrence and Jona’s on a first name basis with the judge. But when the judge and police has finally had enough of Jona’s petty thefting ways, she gets shipped off to France to live with an aunt she’s never met, a mother she despises and Julian. Gorgeous, mysterious Julian.

Jona is a great character to lead this book. She’s rough around the edges but I liked that. Her life hasn’t been easy but Jona isn’t the type to lie down and let tough circumstances get the better of her. I liked her camaraderie with Quinn but her relationship with Julian was a true highlight for me. Her feelings are as complicated as the situation and with each interaction between them – I just wanted to read more!

I have found myself a little worn out with angel stories lately but Shelly managed to deliver a story that is new and exciting. Her take on the paranormal/mythical beings was a pleasure to read.

I definitely recommend this book to people who like new adult fiction but are looking for something just a little bit different. Jona is not like your typical heroine. She’s tough and I loved reading her thoughts. Julian is a great match for her but this is one book where the heroine outshines the swoon-worthy hero.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | B&N

AUTHOR BIO


The quick-and-dirty:

I’m a cool girl with a passion for writing.
The genres you’ll find me hanging out at are contemporary and paranormal YA, but I’m also snooping into some adult paranormal right now. All of them romances…of course.
The nitty-gritty:
I’m an Austrian lass—totally uncomplicated and up to anything fun.
I grew up in Vienna, not by free will but because my parents decided to move there when I was only 4 years old. I. Hated. The. City. Everything about it. So right after graduation I moved back to Upper Austria, where I settled down with a nice husband and an awesome laptop.
I’ve been a storyteller all my life. Already in kindergarten, I came up with the most exotic fantasies and tales. My teacher would call me a liar. I call it the cornerstone of my writing career.
People always told me you can’t make a living with being an author. So when my first novella PLAY WITH ME came out and shot straight to the stars within the first week, I was totally dumbstruck. Took me a while to realize what was happening, LOL.
And the personal stuff:
At the (awesome) age of seventeen, I met the love of my life. But he was a playboy, and I was so not going to be his next trophy. It took him another four years of fighting for me until I finally decided to give that “couple-thing” with him a shot. I’m now married to this man. ;-)We have an eleven-year-old son, and together we travel a lot…although I sometimes wish the trips were shorter because I can’t wait to get back to my laptop and my many stories. Unless we’re in Disneyland. No stress to go home then…

If you still want to know more about me, my FAQ page is the right address for you. 😉

Author Links:
If you want to check out the other blogs that are involved in this tour, you can visit the schedule here.

Book Review: Origin by Jennifer L Armentrout

Origin (Lux, #4)

Title: Origin (Lux #4)
Author: Jennifer L Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Aliens, Sci-Fi, Contemporary 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: 27 August 2013
Pages: 366
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

My Review:

This is one of those series that keeps getting better with each new instalment. In Origin, Katy finds herself captured by the Daedalus and all her worst nightmares come true. Even hearing about what happened to Dawson and Bethany didn’t really prepare Katy for what life as captive hybrid would bring. And then there’s Daemon. Nothing on Earth – or even on an alien planet – could stop him from saving the girl he loves.

For all those Daemon fans – I think he really shines in this one. He’s arrogant, sarcastic but willing to give up everything for Katy. The snarky sarcastic conversations he has were a highlight for me. I love the way Katy and Daemon interact and I’m really rooting for this pair as a couple!

In many ways Origin is a turning point in the series. The first three books were mostly about the love story and the action was secondary. But now things have changed. Don’t worry – there’s still plenty of fluffy tenderness between the leading pair but the war between our favourite Luxens and the world… it’s only just getting started. The dual point-of-view between Katy and Daemon helps bring the urgency of their situation to light. I loved getting to see how Daemon felt about Katy from his eyes and I think this is part of the reason why I’m behind them romantically. They’re growing up and it’s clear to see that Katy isn’t the same girl she was at the start of Obsidian. She’s seen the worst life has to offer but she’s stronger than I ever expected.

I loved the action in this book. Things are happening and they’re happening FAST! Some brilliant new characters are introduced (I want to know more about Archer!) and some old ones reappear. There’s a cameo appearance of Hunter and Serena from Obsession (JLA’s adult paranormal romance novel that’s set in the same universe as the Lux novel). Armentrout isn’t afraid to put her characters though hell and I respect her for that.

For all the fans who have been eagerly anticipating Origin since the cliff-hanger at the end of Opal – I think you’ll be satisfied and impressed with how things unfold in Origin. This book is exciting, cheeky and romantic. My favourite from this series by far.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon| Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2013 To-Be Read (TBR) List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is:  Top Ten Books On My Fall Sping 2013 TBR List 

This can be books I plan to read in the next three months or new releases for Spring.

5 books that are already released that I’m planning on reading:

  

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Deadly Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock

Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

Spring (September – November) New Releases I want to read!

Fangirl Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2) Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2) Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2) Altered (Crewel World, #2)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Released September 10)

Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang (Released September 17)

Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter (Released September 24)

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth (Released October 22)

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chonicles #2) by Kresley Cole (Released October 1)

Altered (Crewel World #2) by Gennifer Albin (Released October 29)

 

 

And that’s a top ten…. plus one. I can’t wait for the new releases and the other books that I plan on reading… well I hope I get around to reading those too! Hope you guys have a lot of books you’re excited for in the next few months! Please let me know what books you can’t wait to read.

Follow on Bloglovin

Book Review: What Endures by Katie Lee

What Endures

Title: What Endures
Author: Katie Lee
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult,
Publisher: self published
Publication Date: 1st August 2013
Pages: 346
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Jason Kincaid is young, hot and successful.
An All-Star outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, he finally had everything he ever wanted, including a second chance with his high school sweetheart, Megan Williams.
But their hopes for a ‘happily-ever-after’ are dashed by tragedy.
A horrific car accident wipes out most of Jason’s memories. Unable to recall anything from the last fifteen years of his life, Jason is suddenly adrift, his once charmed life now in ruins.

Megan finds herself in the untenable position of having to deal with the fact that the man she’s helping to rebuild his life may look, and even act, like her beloved fiancé, but in reality, isn’t any longer.
Trying to protect herself, as well as Jason, Megan fights the attraction between them. . .to no avail. As their potent connection inevitably draws them closer, Megan wonders,
With the memories of their relationship gone, can love endure?

My Review:

I read this book because I was told it was new adult – it isn’t. Megan may be 26 years old but she’s not at the stage in life that I associate with new adult heroines. She’s established in her career and whilst Jason may be her first true love – they’re not newly together. They’ve been married, have lived together for years and – prior to the accident – are on the way to happily ever after.

There were moments where I thought this book could somehow bring the adult characters together with their new adult selves – with flashbacks and memories of how life was like when they first got together and all the trials their relationship had to go through – but those memories were few and far between.

I like the idea behind this book. It’s very much like the movie The Vow (which I know was based on a memoir but I haven’t read it). True love derailed by amnesia. However I didn’t like the characters very much. Megan is a little too well liked but too willing to walk away from hard work. It didn’t make sense considering the back story that’s revealed throughout the novel. Jason is rather unlikable – I found nothing endearing about him in the slightest and I think therein lies my biggest problem. I need to want a couple to be together to like a romance novel. But Jason had no redeeming qualities so to be honest – I didn’t really care one way or another if they ended up together.

There are good things about this book. Tyler – one of the supporting characters – is entertaining and I’d be interesting in reading a spinoff about him and his own issues.

Overall, this book was a little predictable. The characters go around in circles and when they’re no doing that, they’re not making a lot of sense. But if you like the main characters of Megan and Jason, I can see that this would be a sweet romantic read.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing

Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, GLBT, Romance
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: August 2013
Pages: 208
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Seventeen-year-olds Craig and Harry are trying to set a new Guinness World Record for kissing.

Around them, Ryan and Avery are falling in love, Neil and Peter are falling out of love, and Cooper might be somewhere, but he is also, dangerously, nowhere.

Narrated, Greek-chorus style, by the generation of gay men lost to AIDS, this novel is a thematic companion to David Levithan’s groundbreakingBoy Meets Boy, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013.

Two Boys Kissing is trademark Levithan: warm, sharp and real. It is also something new and completely extraordinary.

My Review:

This is the power of a kiss:
It does not have the power to kill you. But it has the power to bring you to life. 

Two Boys Kissing is the story of Harry, Craig, Ryan, Avery, Cooper, Neil and Peter. They may be teenagers from different towns and have different backgrounds but their sexuality connects them. Craig and Harry are trying to set the world record for the longest kiss to prove a point. Exes but still friends, there’s no one the other would trust more to spend thirty-two hours, twelve minutes and at least ten seconds kissing. Ryan and Avery are in the grasp of new love with all the secrets and surprises that go along with getting to know someone new. Cooper’s life is falling down around him with the line between reality and real life blurred. And Neil and Peter have been together for a year – things are no longer new but there is a lot about each other lurking behind the surface. These characters cover the entire dating spectrum and have so many differences – their familial situations, their cultural backgrounds, their relationship statuses – and yet are part of a network because of one thing. Their sexual preferences.

With the novel being narrated by a chorus of gay men who have been where the teens are now, made their mistakes and danced their dances, this book is a unique perspective into the lives of the next generation of gay men. The writing is beautiful – slightly pretentious but perfect for the setting. I loved reading this book and found quotes I wanted to remember on almost every page. I’ve been a fan of David Levithan’s books since I read Boy Meets Boy ten years ago and thought Two Boys Kissing managed to convey the same message of acceptance and sexuality despite being darker and more realistic than his novel from a decade ago.

There’s a certain cyclical nature to this book – with the harassment of people based in their sexuality spanning across the characters despite their other circumstances. But the highlight is the support that they receive – from friends, family and complete strangers who want equality. I found some of the lines to be fantastic in their hope of future equality – “Max is a marvel to us. He will never have to come out because he will never have been kept in.”

All of the action in this book happens over just a couple of days, covers seven main characters in just over two hundred pages and yet I felt close to these characters. There’s enough detail to feel like I knew these boys, had experienced their heartbreaks and knew where they were going to go in the future – and I think this can be attributed to the unique narration style. The pop culture references are artfully inserted throughout the book with enough detail to feel included (book spine poetry with books I’ve read!) yet ambiguous enough to keep from dating the novel.

The authors note at the end of the book was fascinating to read – the record Harry and Craig were attempting to break was inspired by a true story as were other facets of the novel.  I loved this book . It’s full of hope and optimism with beautiful writing whilst still not glossing over the more painful aspects in life. I definitely recommend it to readers of all ages who enjoy a good story.

Thanks to Text Publishing for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Blog Tour: What Endures by Katie Lee – with Character Spotlight!

What Endures Blog Tour Banner

what enduresWhat Endures by Katie Lee

Release Date: August 1st, 2013

Contemporary New Adult

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Jason Kincaid is young, hot and successful.

An All-Star outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, he finally had everything he ever wanted, including a second chance with his high school sweetheart, Megan Williams.

But their hopes for a ‘happily-ever-after’ are dashed by tragedy.

A horrific car accident wipes out most of Jason’s memories. Unable to recall anything from the last fifteen years of his life, Jason is suddenly adrift, his once charmed life now in ruins.

Megan finds herself in the untenable position of having to deal with the fact that the man she’s helping to rebuild his life may look, and even act, like her beloved fiancé, but in reality, isn’t any longer.

Trying to protect herself, as well as Jason, Megan fights the attraction between them. . .to no avail. As their potent connection inevitably draws them closer, Megan wonders,

With the memories of their relationship gone, can love endure?

 

Purchase the book from: Amazon

And I’m lucky enough to get to share with you a Character Spotlight! This one is for Tyler (Ty) – who just happened to be my favourite character from the novel.

WHAT ENDURES – CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT

 

Character – Tyler Adams 

Hair – Blond 

Eyes – Blue 

Occupation – Journalist 

Age – 28

Lives – Los Angeles, CA

Likes 

  • Sports
  • Writing
  • Women – maybe a little too much!
  • Gourmet food found at his mom’s store, Delights
  • Secret alley hideaway behind Delights
  • Talks with his BFF, Megan Williams
  • Playing video games with his ex-stepbrother, Jason Kincaid

Dislikes 

  • Arguing with his ex-stepbrother, Jason
  • Taking his own advice
  • People quitting when things get hard
  • Dealing with his ex-stepfather, Bruce Kincaid

 

About the Author

katie lee

Katie Lee has had a lifelong love affair with books. She fell in love with her first book in the second grade and hasn’t looked back since. She first took up writing as a hobby, wanting to craft her own magical adventures, and through the love and encouragement of family and friends, decided to get serious about writing and share her stories with the world.


She currently resides in Maryland in the United States. She works for the government during the day, and her spare time is devoted to writing. She gains inspiration from all sorts of things, but mostly from the fun and adventurous trips she takes when she can.  She loves hearing from her readers so drop her a note!

 

Author Links: 

Website|Goodreads|Twitter

 

***GIVEAWAY***

(1) $25 Amazon gift card (INT)

(2) Signed print copies of What Endures (US only)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

2013 Debut Authors Bash: Q&A with Liz Fichera!

Hooked (Hooked, #1)

US Cover of Hooked

Today I’m delighted to a part of the 2013 Debut Authors Bash hosted by YA Reads. I’m very excited to introduce you all to Liz Fichera – the author of Hooked (click to read my review). If you’ve not heard of Hooked, it’s the story of Fred Oday – a young Native American girl who loves to play golf. When the coach of the school team sees how talented she is he recruits her for the all male school team – only her new team mates aren’t too happy about it. Fred has to deal with social and racial injustices as well as sexism within a sport she loves to play.

Great characters, interesting relationships and enough drama and romance to keep things interesting – I loved Hooked and because of this I so excited that Liz generously gave up some of her time to answer some of my questions on my blog today!

Q&A with Liz Fichera, author of Hooked!

Hi Liz, I loved reading Hooked and am delighted that I have the opportunity to ask you some questions.

Thanks so much, Kate! I’m very honored to answer them.

· What inspired you to write Hooked?

True story. I was coming back from a desert hike near my home in Phoenix, Arizona, which is in the southwestern part of the United States. I was driving down a long stretch of mostly deserted road called Pecos Road. The Gila River Indian Community stretches south of Pecos Road as far as you can see. Anyway, for some reason I got this image of a young Native American girl in my head and she was waving a golf club at me. Fortunately I did not swerve off the road. But I went home and started to create this story.

· Fred is an American Indian who lives on a reservation. Is cultural diversity important for you in your writing?

Yes. That said, it doesn’t seem natural to me to not include a Native American character in a story set in the American Southwest. Native American culture is important to this part of the world. In my state of Arizona alone, there are over twenty tribes. It bothers me that there aren’t more Native American characters in young adult literature.

Hooked

Australian cover of Hooked

· Golf is an important part of Fred’s life. Is sport something that you’re passionate about?

I do enjoy the sport, although I am dangerous at best at it. Golf is a popular sport in the American Southwest too. In Phoenix, there’s a golf course on practically every street corner (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not by much). I had a lot of help writing the golf parts, making sure that the technical aspects were correct. My father loved the sport and taught me a lot. My sister, husband, and brother-in-law all play and are much more skilled at it than I am.

· Fred and Ryan as such different people! Did you find it hard to switch between their point of views and which POV did you find harder to write?

I loved writing both POVs for different reasons. Fred’s life experiences were very different from my own. It was intriguing to me to get inside her head. Fortunately I had a number of Native American beta readers who helped me to understand her. With Ryan, it’s always fun to get inside a teen boy’s head and try to think how he thinks and understand the decisions he would make. Teen boys fascinate me.

· Are there any similarities between you and Fred?

While her life experiences may have been different than mine, I completely understood her shyness and determination. I was very shy and (mostly) quiet in high school but people should not mistake shyness for weakness, especially when it comes to Fred. She will surprise when you least expect it.

· Hooked was your first YA novel but you’ve published a couple of adult romance novels previously. Was it difficult for you to switch from writing adult novels to writing for a young adult audience?

My first published novel, CAPTIVE SPIRIT, was written as a YA, interestingly. The protagonists are sixteen years old. However, since it is historical fiction, the publisher Carina Press was able to market it as women’s commercial fiction. My second novel, CRAVING PERFECT, had a twenty-something protagonist and could now probably be considered New Adult before New Adult became The Next Big Shiny Thing. My writing voice is very comfortable in the young adult genre so making the switch was not difficult.

· Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you have other dream careers in mind?

I’ve known since I was ten years old that I wanted to write stories. Unfortunately life kind of got in the way for a while but I never lost sight of the dream or desire.

· I loved the photos you had on your blog of the spaces different authors write in (click here to see Liz’s blog post on writing places) . Apart from where you write, do you have any other writing rituals?

Thank you so much, Kate! Glad you enjoyed them. I write every day, usually in the afternoons and into the evenings. However, when I’m deep in a story, it can go pretty much 24/7 where I’ll lose all sense of time and other normal things, like eating and combing my hair. J I’m also an avid hiker, so I like to hike in the mornings (before it gets too hot) and think about what I want to write about that day.

Fountain Hills, Arizona is just one of the places Liz enjoys writing.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Hiking, reading, spending time with my husband.

· What books do you think have influenced your life the most?

There have been so many. I probably read 2-3 books each week, mostly YA. I love contemporary realistic YA and wish there was more of it. As a kid, I devoured all of the Little House books as well as The Boxcar Children series. I’m pretty sure I checked those books out of my school library a thousand times.

· What are you currently reading?

I just finished Bennett Madison’s SEPTEMBER GIRLS which was quite edgy. I’m currently reading GONE GIRL, a thriller, which is usually not my cup of tea. However, I am unable to put it down!

· Are you working on anything now?

I’m always working on a story. Right now, I’m working on two more YA contemporary stories.

· Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of readers from all over the world. It’s always quite amazing to hear how a story can touch people. Words truly can’t express how grateful I am when someone takes the time to read my book.

Thanks so much for your time! I can’t wait to read Played (Riley and Sam’s story) when it’s released next year!

Thank you so much, Kate! I loved your questions and thank you so very much for your support and love of books.

I hope you all enjoyed having Liz stop by as much as I did! I have to admit – after reading Hooked and liking the characters and story so much – I was a little star struck. Thanks again Liz for stopping by!

 ***About Liz Fichera ***

 I’m an American author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago.  Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong.  It certainly didn’t hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too.

Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place.  Living in Phoenix, I’m surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals.  There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I’m lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities.
When I’m not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I’m training for a triathlon.  I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  In no particular order, I’ve been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.  Would love to connect with you there too!