Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Reads: The List is Endless

I've been reading like crazy in January so I've got a lot of books to talk about. 

First off, WICKED DESIGNS by Lauren Smith. Lauren is a fellow Samhain author and all around super smart lady. This book was incredibly sexy and dangerous. I'll admit though, that I had a hard time getting past the premise. The MC is kidnapped by the love interest at the very start, all because he wants revenge on her uncle. He doesn't care AT ALL that he has ruined her reputation completely. I liked how the MC fought back in the beginning, and fought against her feelings for awhile, but while she began to forgive/lust after/fall in love with him I was still like, um no. 

SWORN ENEMY by A.L. Sowards. This was a well-written, well-researched novel about World War II, most of it taking place in a location not usually used for WWII novels. The characters were fleshed out, and the mystery of who the double agent might be was really good. It lacked a little bit of something for me... not sure what I just wasn't feeling the emotion as much as I wanted to. Otherwise though, it was a great read.

THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson. Great contemp YA read. I loved it, loved the love interest, loved the friendships. My only complaint is that at over 500 pages, it was long for a contemp, IMO. 

GOLDEN SON by Pierce Brown. This is the second book in the trilogy and these books are... interesting for me. I love parts like crazy but then I'm bored by parts. The best thing about these books are- 1) he never goes where I expect. The plot twists and turns so much and I'm always surprised by it. And 2) the endings are such cliffhangers in the best way that I want to read the next one. Honestly, if they didn't end like this, I probably wouldn't have picked up GOLDEN SON and wouldn't pick up the third book, but I will now because I want to know what's going to happen. I will pick up book 3 but I'm really hoping it wows me more than bores me. 

IN THE MIDDLE by S.J. Henderson. S.J. and I are in a Facebook author group together and I picked up this book when I signed up for her blog tour. I read the book in two days. I found it a very interesting take on life and death, but most of all, I LOVED the love story. 

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith. I think this is my fave Jennifer E. Smith book out of the three I've read. I can't help but love the movie star/average girl trope, plus I loved the email aspect. My only complaint was it ended as Happy-For-Now with not much getting resolved at all. I wanted a better glimpse into the future, but that's just me. 

Phew. That was a lot of reading. What are you reading right now?

Friday, January 27, 2017

IN THE MIDDLE blog tour

Today I get to take part in the blog tour for IN THE MIDDLE, a YA Paranormal Romance by S.J. Henderson. 

Here's the blurb:

Girl moves to new town.
Girl meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.
Cue Happily Ever After.
That’s how the story goes, right?

Except this is Lucy. The same Lucy whose stellar driving skills single-handedly wiped out both of her parents, leaving her with nothing but the suitcase in her hand and the screws in her skull. Not to mention that Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome—AKA Oliver—is just as annoyingly bossy as he is hot. According to Oliver, Lucy’s not safe in her new hometown, but he refuses to say why. He just gives her some lame warning about not going out after dark, like that’ll stop her.

When several townspeople vanish, the lethargic community springs to life, fearful of the danger lurking among them. The problem is that Lucy’s the last person to have seen any of the missing. Doesn’t exactly qualify her for the Neighbor of the Year Award.

Lucy’s already given up on Happily Ever After, but now she has two choices left: find out what’s happening in her new home, or become the next victim.

Sounds pretty awesome right? Well I can tell you it is! I read this book in two days. It was a fast read, engrossing, the characters were vivid, and best of all the romance was swoony! Not only that, it was a very interesting take on life and death, and a touching story to boot.

You can buy the book on Amazon or at the Publisher's website: Tiny Fox Press.

Wanna read an excerpt? Of course you do!

“Do you trust me?” he asks. He’s closer to me.

“Do I have a choice?”

“Not really. We’ve got to get you back to the mansion before . . .” His voice trails off. I want to slug him in the arm for being spooky again, but I’d have to find his arm first.

He swoops in without warning, whisking me from my feet. Again, I cry out. He sucks in a sharp breath that catches between his teeth. “Lucy, I’m not kidding—stop making noise.”

My blood simmers beneath my skin. “Warn me next time you’re planning on picking me up, then.”

“Sorry,” he fires back, his mouth too close to my ear.

I want nothing more than for the strength in my legs to return so I can get away from him and his nerve, but Oliver is in control now and holds me pressed unnecessarily tightly to his body. Turning my head from him is my only means of escape. I’d shown him, all right.

With a little more energy than necessary, he heaves me up into the blackness. My bottom connects to something soft yet solid—Jasper’s back—and pain spikes down my spine. I gasp as my body starts to curl in on itself.

“Okay,” Oliver says. “Slide your right leg over to the other side. I’ll keep you steady.”
My mouth flops open and I wonder if he can see the ever-growing whites of my eyes. Or maybe he’s picked up on the stampede going on between the valves of my heart, because he softens. “Lucy, I’m not going to let you fall. Trust me.”

“The only people I’ve ever trusted are dead,” I shoot down to him as I claw around for something, anything, to keep me from falling on my face.

Oliver snorts, which sends me over the edge.

“What? You think that’s funny?” I challenge him, no longer concerned about keeping quiet. His hand clamps on my leg in piercing reproof. I’ll have bruises there tomorrow, for sure. Through locked teeth, I order, “Let. Go.”

“Please stop,” he says. “I’m trying to keep you sa—”

A rumble beyond us, where the orchard fades into the rest of the forest, interrupts his plea. Even though I sit astride stoic Jasper, I can feel the ground vibrating beneath us.

“What in the—?” I cry, whipping my head in the direction of the growing commotion.

“Slide back,” Oliver commands. I know better than to take offense at his bossy tone. I’d made a big mistake, one he’d been trying to protect me from. The fear of horses leaves my body, only to be replaced by the fear of the unknown. Ignoring the bite of pain in my hip, I throw my leg over Jasper’s withers and shove myself backward, using my palms for leverage. A second later, Oliver sweeps himself upward and in front of me on his horse’s back.

“Hold on,” he yells over the thunder moving our direction.

And a bit about the author: 

S. J. Henderson is the founder of the Kid Authors Project, as well as a published author of the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER series. Now that she's published IN THE MIDDLE, she'll start working on the next big thing.

S. J. lives on a farm with her husband, four boys, two dogs, and cat. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her riding one of her family’s three horses. She loves to sing and is slowly learning to play the ukulele.

Social Media Links

Friday, January 20, 2017

Super Secret Project is No Longer a Secret

For the past couple of months I've been working on a Super Secret Project. Well, today, the announcement is out, and I can finally talk about...


I'm super excited to get to be part of this incredible anthology. I mean, check out those authors!

If you want to read an interview about the project, check out Just Jane 1813 to see what our editor, Christina Boyd, has to say about it.

And look for THE DARCY MONOLOGUES coming May 22nd!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jane in January: Michael Buble vs. Jane Austen

If you've read my Persuasion retelling, SWAY, you'll know that Michael Buble and his music was a huge influence on me. When I decided my Eric (AKA Captain Wentworth) would be a musician, it seemed natural to me that he'd be a Michael Buble-esque crooner. I listened to his music on repeat while writing, and mentioned a few of his songs in the novel (CRY ME A RIVER and AT THIS MOMENT were two big ones). I even read a biography of Michael Buble so I could get a better idea what kind of struggles an artist like Eric would go through in rising to the top. 
So for Jane in January today, I made you guys a quiz. I've given you a quote, and you just have to answer who said it: Michael Buble or Jane Austen. *I tried to go with random quotes instead of known ones, but I still think it's probably pretty easy.*

So take the quiz, then let me know what you scored in the comments. Everyone who tells me their score in the comments will be entered to win a paperback of SWAY and a copy of Michael Buble's newest CD "Nobody But Me." Open internationally! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Reads

Blogging... what on earth is blogging?

At least, that's how I've felt lately. As in, the last year or so. And especially over the Christmas break. We all need social media breaks now and again though. And I'm back today (late today) to talk about what I've read since... whenever I blogged last.

I really should've blogged earlier because I've got FIVE books to talk about.

CLOSE TO YOU by Kara Isaac. Dang. It's been so long since I read this (okay, only like two and a half weeks) and I don't remember what I loved and didn't about it. The premise and all the Tolkien-related nerdery: totally cool. The romance was fun. I gave it four stars so obviously something held me back from all the love, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

RED RISING by Pierce Brown. This was an interesting read for me. Started slow, but I kept reading because of all the hype. Then got super good. Then got a little boring. Then got really good. Then got okay. Then ended fantastically. So yeah, a roller coaster of a book. I didn't LURVE it but I'll definitely pick up book two.

SOLVING FOR EX by LeighAnn Kopans. This book has been on my radar for forever because I'd been in contests with the author, plus it's Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK retold YA-style. There were things I loved about this book- it was a fast read, good writing, and fun characters. I didn't mind the pining and angst most of the time, although there were times when the MC would go back and forth between I'm blah and no one likes me to I'm hot look at me! or he'll never like me and he's always liked me! It was a little wrenching at times. The whole mathlete thing got a little lost too and didn't get resolved at the end, which was a bummer. Otherwise, a fun read.

BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST by Nancy Campbell Allen. I picked this book up at a bookstore because I liked the sound of the premise: a steampunk Beauty and the Beast meets Jane Eyre story. When I started reading, I worried there was too much going on. Not only was it a steampunk retelling, but there was magic, ghosts, werewolves, and vampires mixed in. It ended up working seamlessly and I loved the story! The mystery was solid, though I had the antagonist narrowed down to two since almost the beginning and it annoyed me a bit that the MC never considered these two, even though evidence pointed that way early on. Otherwise, the MC was awesome, and it had a swoon-worthy love story. I will definitely pick up another book by this author.

P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West. LURVE LURVE LURVE so much. I'd never read a Kasie West before but I will read ALL the Kasie West books now. This felt like a YA YOU'VE GOT MAIL and I loved the quirky MC and the cocky love interest. Best of all the book was funny, with fast and witty dialogue- my favorite. Sooo good.