Blog Tour + Giveaway: Gold Rush by Jennifer Comeaux Book Review

Title: Gold Rush
Author: Jennifer Comeaux
Publication date: January 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Xpresso Book Tour
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.

Until she meets Braden Patrick.

He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks


book-review

I read Gold Rush in one-sitting, and I loved it so much!

I’m a fan of competitive figure skating, and I love reading books about it, and I have to admit that it was the main reason why I decided to participate in this tour. I didn’t expect to love it this much.

When I reached the part about the first time Liza and Braden met, I thought it would be like all the other cliché YA contemporary romance books, where the two main characters meet, fall in love, throw in some misunderstandings here and there, maybe a break in the relationship before making up and their happy ending. I was wrong. Well, okay, some of those did happen, but most didn’t. The whole story was a big ball of fluff, and you’ll only feel a teeny bit of frustrations. There’s also an element of mystery (only a tiny bit though) in the book that caught me off guard.

I like Braden so much— well, I like Liza too, but I like Braden the most. He is just too sweet. And I love the relationship between him and Liza. I love the interaction between them when they first met (the awkward flirting!), I love their interactions before they became official, and I love their interactions after. I just love them. I love Braden’s family too. I just love relationships like that, like when Liza became friends with Braden, she didn’t just became friends with Braden but also with his family.

Me loving Braden’s family didn’t mean Liza’s own family wasn’t great. I love them too. Her father came off strict at first in regards of Braden, but he’s just an overprotective papa bear. I love Liza’s younger siblings, and the relationship she has with her stepmom was great. There are lots of stories where stepmoms are made into this wicked, evil person, and it’s just nice to read about a stepmom who is so nice for a change.

Also, just because this book is sweet and fluffy, doesn’t mean it didn’t have its sad moments. I didn’t bawl my eyes out, but I think a few tears escaped here and there. This is where the lil bit of mystery came. I’m not going to say what so that I don’t spoil anyone. But I’ll just have to warn you readers who are so emotional like me, maybe you’ll have to prepare some tissue papers when you read this book.

To sum it up, this is the perfect book for readers who are looking for a light YA romance book to read. I like how Jennifer Comeaux managed to make me so invested in these characters. And I think fans of figure skating might enjoy this book too. I think the figure skating parts were described perfectly.

I rate this book 4 / 5 stars.


Author bio:

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. When she’s not writing, traveling, or calculating taxes, you can find her feeding her television addiction.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY! (INTL) – $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Seasons Within by Lele IturriozBlog Tour + Giveaway

Title: Seasons Within
Author: Lele Iturrioz
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.

G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

It’s dangerous not knowing who you are, what you’re capable of, and what future awaits you. Especially when the darkness that slaughtered your entire world, just found you.

Goodreads / Amazon


book-review

First thing first, I really love the cover of the book. But that wasn’t the reason why I was drawn to this book. This is the reason:

When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

Yes, yes, so sue me for loving that cliche. But don’t worry, there are no mushy romance in this book. What you can definitely expect though are scenes that will make you laugh. Because seriously, it caught me by surprise how funny it was.

Of course, there is one thing that I’m not really fond of. Okay, maybe that’s not the right word, but I can’t find one that fits at the moment. I think all this tension between G and Edan is a bit confusing/ doesn’t really flow smoothly

Apart from that, I really enjoyed this book. I rate it 3.5 / 5 stars.


Author Bio:

Major geek by day, hermit writer by night! Love books, sugar gliders and everything that comes in a delicious taco.

I’m the author of the YA fantasy series, Seasons Within

I spend my time writing, planning on writing, reading, drinking coffee like there was no tomorrow, MMA and chilling with my friends and loved ones.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY! – Signed copy of Seasons Within + Character’s Handmade Necklace (US/CAN)

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Blog Tour: High Summons by Eli Celata Book

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Title: High Summons
Author: Eli Celata
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

Blurb:

Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.

4d534-addtogoodreads


book-review

This is definitely my kind of book. Magic. I love magic.

It started out slow, but I really enjoyed it as the book progressed. The fact that that the characters in this book is diverse is also a bonus point that makes me like this book.

I love Jordan a lot, and to be honest, I wasn’t that fond of Jon at the beginning. But Jon kind of grew on me. I also like the camaraderie between Jon and Jordan. I laughed a lot while reading this book, even at parts that others (my sister, because I showed her that part) didn’t find amusing.

I think fans of The Mortal Instruments might find this book interesting (because I know I did). I would also recommend this book to fans of YA Urban Fantasy books. I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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Author Bio:

Eli Celata was born in Rochester and is currently attending Binghamton University as a doctoral student.

 

Author’s Social Media Links:

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Buy Links for Book:

Amazon:  https://goo.gl/PQ7lzh

Kobe: https://goo.gl/4ZrKVs

Smashwords: https://goo.gl/eYuVNU

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/MEqCdb.l

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff

Title: The French Impressionist
Author: Rebecca Bischoff
Publication date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Rosemary is fifteen and gloriously free, on her own for the very first time. Part of an exchange program for aspiring artists, she arrives in sunny southern France with a single goal: she doesn’t plan to leave, ever. She wants a new life, a new family, and a new identity. But her situation, crafted from lies big and small, is precarious.

Desperate to escape haunting images from her past and a stage one helicopter parent, Rosemary struggles to hide her lack of artistic talent and a communication disorder that has tormented her all her life. She believes her dream of a new start will come true, until she unwittingly finds herself enveloped in a decades-old mystery that threatens to ruin her only chance for success. Determined to stay, Rosemary must choose whether or not she’ll tell the biggest lie of all, even if it means destroying the life of someone she cares about.

Dramatic, heartwarming, and full of teenage angst, The French Impressionist perfectly captures the struggle of those who feel they have no voice, and also shows the courage it takes to speak up and show the world who we really are.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


book-review

‘France’ and ‘communication disorder’. Those three words made me sign up for this blog tour. One of my favourite settings for stories is Europe, I just absolutely love them. And I’ve always loved reading about characters with disorders.

Of course, I also had my doubts about this. It didn’t help that I could only really find the mood to read this book after the second time. Rosemary lied to get to where she was, and she continued lying throughout the book. Normally, that alone would’ve put me off, because nothing good ever come out of lying, especially if it is for something as big as that, and I didn’t know if I could handle it; the frustration and the second hand mortification I would feel when everything is revealed. But then, ‘FRANCE’!

I’m glad I was able to get into this book, because it wasn’t so bad at all. In fact, it managed to make me laugh. But then again, it’s easy to make me laugh. Sure, I couldn’t really connect to Rosemary, and I find her annoying at times and it was hard for me to sympathize with her, but I think the book is still worth it to go through all of that. At least once.

I would recommend this book to YA readers who love contemporary, especially books about teens going abroad to Europe. Although, I think artist readers might want to stay clear or read at the risk of feeling frustration, annoyance and outrage.

I rate this book 3 stars.


Author Bio:

Rebecca Bischoff currently resides in Idaho with her family and works as a speech-language pathologist. She loves helping others, especially kids and teenagers, discover their own unique voices and learn to share who they are with the world. When she isn’t writing, she loves to read, spend time with her kids, and make awkward attempts to learn foreign languages. She is drawn to all things both French and Italian, used bookstores, and anything made out of chocolate.

Twitter / Facebook / Blog

 

GIVEAWAY!
(A signed copy of The French Impressionist, a $50 Amazon gift card, and a box of macaroons)

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My Friends Are All Strange Blog Tour + Giveaway

Title: My Friends Are All Strange
Author: Margaret Lesh
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

My friends are all strange.

Right now I’m living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I’ve met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can’t be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.

I’ve always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don’t seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I’m hot, so hot, all of the time. If I sleep, a wizard haunts every dream. I don’t sleep. Sometimes I want to run, but where do you run to when you’re trying to escape your own mind? I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m smart. I’m nice, sometimes. I just want to be normal(ish). But, right now, my friends are all strange… Like me.

Dark, funny, snarky, seventeen-year-old Becca struggles to cope with mental illness in My Friends Are All Strange, the gripping contemporary young adult companion novel to Normalish.

Goodreads / Amazon


book-review

This. Book. Was. Amazing!

Lately, I am really interested in reading YA books with mental illness thrown in the mix, and I guess I’ve come to have a high standard on the theme because of all the other books I’ve read, and lucky for me, this book didn’t disappoint.

In fact, this book is kind of refreshing, because I like Becca so much better than the whiny main character from the book I read before this one.

This book managed to bring me through a roller coaster of emotions since the very beginning, which surprised me. It’s rare that a book made me emotionally invested since the very beginning. But it did; it made me laugh and cry. And it made me frustrated and angry and annoyed (yes, Troy, I’m talking to you. Or about you. Whatever). Becca’s journey as she struggles with her sanity, the friendship she made along the way… it is just beautiful.

I’ve mentioned that I like Becca. But the one I love the most is probably Roman. He is so sweet. And that’s not just because I have this soft spot for an artist…who happened to be a social outcast.

To sum it up, this book was a beautiful coming of age story, with beautiful friendship and romance thrown in the mix. (Yes, I realize I used ‘beautiful’ a lot). I think fans of Am I Normal Yet would enjoy this, as well as readers who love YA books with a touch of mental illness.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.


Author Bio:

California native Margaret Lesh lives in a narrow canyon populated by herds of wild burro and packs of coyote. The canyon is also populated with her creative, handsome husband, her feisty mother-in-law, her not-brave-at-all Border Collie, Echo, and sometimes her son (who is away at college. And she is not quite sure how that all happened so fast).

She writes books to entertain young and not-so-young readers as well as herself. She believes tacos are magic.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY: Open Internationally

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Poppies for Christmas Blog Tour + Giveaway

Poppies For Christmas
Stacy Keywell
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

A celebration of love without labels. It’s easy to be brave with you by my side!

Popular DJ Dexx finds himself positively smitten by the precociously pristine Poppy Paris. Too bad she’s already taken by an older boy, Declan Davies, a beautiful model with a thriving career, and a perfect family. By a dreamful stroke of chance, Dexx finds himself invited to spend Christmas at the Davies home by a gorgeous girl, granting him the opportunity to pursue the precious Poppy. But in his quest to win her over, he unlocks a world of imperfection and insecurity, where people are picked on for their disabilities, speech, appearance, and eccentricities. For Poppy and her friends, love trumps labels, and everyone deserves a brave friend to stand by their side. What gifts will Dexx discover this Christmas? Will he ultimately find true love, or will he discover something even greater?

You are invited to read a powerful story about living with autism, but not letting it define you, about being bullied, but carrying on with determination and grit, and about having dreams, but not giving up in the face of adversity. Come celebrate something beautiful with Poppies for Christmas.

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT

The Science of Baking

I read somewhere once that cooking is an art. It takes imagination and flare. But baking? Baking is a science. It takes exactitude and precision. It requires patience. It requires dedication. It requires love. A whole lot of love. And well…that’s what I’ve got…love…love for a girl, a special one, one who deserves dedication. So what do I choose to prove my love? I choose baking.

Chapter One

Lenn

Deep inside my tote, my hand grazed against my faithful sketchbook before I removed it. The metal spirals comforted my fingers as I dragged them across the row of sharp-edged rings. Firmly gripping the book, I flipped it open to a blank page near the middle. I smoothed out the slightly texturized, eggshell white page. I bent down and buried my nose in the crease, inhaling the faint lead pencil scent. It calmed me, readying me to add another chapter to my visual saga.

Spreading my tools around me, hard and soft pencils, a ruler, several firm erasers, and a small metal sharpener, I steadied my hand and cleared my mind, inviting in only the most blissful images of my fantasy. With a soft lead pencil, I constructed an oval blank for the face. Art classes definitely assisted in perfecting the technique, but dedication and talent trumped instruction.

I used the ruler to estimate the proper dimensions. I added eyes, a nose, some crazy-hot lips, all his beautiful features. I gave him expressive brows. I sketched his glossy dark brown hair, shaggy bangs flopping over to the side, covering his ear, exposing that sarcastic, twisted grin on his lips, the same way he looked when he joked around with his friends in the corner of the library during study hall.

A trusty eraser mopped up all of the stray, miscellaneous marks. I blew away a couple gummy shreds before I shaded in his taut jawline. I wiped up the last scattered pieces left behind on the page before I started on adding myself to the portrait. Duplicating the process, I gave myself a hipper, manga-esque look, allowing for a more whimsical likeness of myself.

Poppy and Kit sat at the same long, wooden table, on the opposite side of me. Kit swiped through the pages on her tablet, desperately trying to find the right page number, since she had neglected to tap the bookmark before closing out her chapter the previous night. Nervous oohs and aahs escaped her lips. Poppy, sitting with her legs crossed, jiggled her feet beneath her chair, shaking the table, creating a rattling earthquake under my artwork.

I shot a glare in her direction. “Would you please stop? The both of you! You are driving me crazy, and ruining my picture.”

Poppy and Kit stopped suddenly. They looked at each other, wide-eyed and innocent, two does in the midst of a meadow. Unaware! Clueless! Oblivious!

“I can’t think when you moan that way,” I snapped, addressing Kit. She squirmed underneath her oversized flannel shirt and baggy jeans.

“And, you,” I turned to Poppy. “You are going to smudge my drawing with all of that wild motion going on underneath the table. Can it!”

Their jaws dropped. They both stared at me, wordless.

“Please.” I hugged my journal protectively. Softening my voice, I turned to Poppy and asked her again. “Please?”

“Sorry,” they announced in simulcast, sighing, shrugging their shoulders, lost together in the great woods of their minds.

They looked back down at their own musings. I continued to draw.

In this picture, the two of us relaxed together on a chaise lounge, him with his large, bulbous headphones, and me with my skull and crossbones ear buds. Our eyes drifted in the opposite direction, lids almost closed, in a sleepy trance. My arm draped across his chest until our fingers entwined, intimately. We zoned out to his simpatico beats.


Author Bio:

Stacy Renée Keywell enjoys spending time misusing, mispronouncing, and misspelling languages, especially in her native tongue, English. When she is not stargazing or daydreaming she creates adventures for her family to conquer. Besides following her whimsical dreams, Stacy likes to sing to the music in her head, dance poorly, and compose non-sensical words. She is also the author of Forbidden Sky- Book One of the Dark Wing Series. Stacy resides in Michigan in a little house in the woods with her husband, and two daughters.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Blog Tour: Children of the Gods

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Oppression
Jessica Therrien
(Children of the Gods #1)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning – and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

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Uprising
Jessica Therrien
(Children of the Gods #2)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Elyse has done everything she can to protect her friends from The Council’s reach. As long as they believe she’s dead, she has time to rest and train for war. And war is inevitable.

When Kara arrives with the news that Anna and Chloe have been captured, Elyse is faced with the realization that no one is safe until The Council is stopped and Christoph is destroyed. She doesn’t need a prophecy to tell her to lead an army. Christoph has done the one thing that ensures she’ll fight to the death. He’s threatened the people she loves.

It will take more than the words of an oracle to help them fight against the most powerful Descendant alive. To break The Council’s oppression and rise up against a plot so many years in the making, Elyse will need to get dangerously close to her enemy. So close, in fact, she may not survive.

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Redemption
Jessica Therrien
(Children of the Gods #3)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped.

Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat.

When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision—war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it.

After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive.

Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

The boxset version of The Children of the Gods was recently released. Jessica Therrien has put it up for sale at $0.99 for the duration of the blog tour.


book-review

GREEK MYTHOLOGY RETELLING!

I was so excited then, because I love Greek Mythology. I was hoping I would love this book as much as I love the Percy Jackson series, and The Song of Achilles.

After reading a few chapters, I had mixed feelings about this book. I like the premise of the story, but the book also contains elements that hits on my nerves, such as love at first sight, the changes made to the Greek mythology (it was hard to wrap my head around it at first) and also the way the character’s features was described. But I persevered, and read till the end.

I’m glad I did.

The book is kind of slow-paced at the beginning of the story, only picking up after the second half mark. But it gets better in the final book. Other than my annoyance towards Elyse at first, as well as the love at first sight aspect of the story, I’ve come to like the book. Each scenes has its moment; some were so sweet it made me go awe, some made me laugh, some made me angry, and surprisingly (or not), some made me feel like crying.

The first book lack any character development, and the many side characters introduced  feels like they were only there as fillers of sort. But please, don’t drop the book because of that. Because as I’ve mentioned, things gets better in the second book. And the side characters will play a larger role in the second and third book. I like William, I really do, aside from the love at first sight thing. You can say that’s just my pet peeves. But Elyse, well, it took me some time to get myself to like her. Her thoughts and attitude was just plain annoying at first. I do love Kara though, for some reason.

Overall, I like the series. Although I may have set my standards too high in the beginning, but it wasn’t all bad, and I wasn’t too disappointed. I’d recommend this book to Greek myth + Dystopia lovers. It can’t really be called Dystopia, I guess, but it has some elements of it, I think.

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Individual book review for each of the books will be available soon.

Author Bio:

Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons. She is working on an adult novel and a children’s picture book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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