Books · Reviews

THE MERCILESS by Danielle Vega

6160nw7GzrL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Horror

Similar Writings: Guilt Trip by Maggy Farrell

Plot: Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls…unless she wants to be next.

By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

Opinion: The few times that I have seen this book at the bookstore, the pentagram on the cover was just SCREAMING at me to pick it up. Maybe it’s the “metal head” in me, or my obsession for anything with a little bit of evil in it, but I always noticed this book right away. The reason I never picked it up is because…well it’s f*****g pink. So I assumed it was a silly teen book about a girl who got dumped, got into Wicca and animal sacrifices, and tried to hex everyone. Yes, I did judge this book by its cover. Sue me. 😉 But then I got recommended it by a fellow bookstagrammer who said it is ALL kinds of twisted and demented, so I thought what the hell. Man oh Man, am I glad I finally bought this.

*Could we also just take a moment to appreciate the little upside down cross that the author put in her name on the cover? Perfect touch.

Sofia Flores has just started at another new school, befriending a group of three girls who are highly religious. However the three girls, Riley, Alexis, And Grace, believe that another girl in their class named Brooklyn is possessed by the devil. Brooklyn, who has a slightly edgier look with an “I don’t care” attitude, seemed pleasant enough to Sofia the few times they hung out together. But one night at a party the Brooklyn throws, Sofia sees Brooklyn making out with the boyfriend of her new friend, Riley. After Sofia confesses to Riley what happened, Riley insists that Brooklyn is evil and that they must perform an exorcism on her. After Riley brings Sofia to a deserted house and taken down to the basement, she finds out that the girls kidnapped Brooklyn and tied her up. As the girls start to perform the ritual, Sofia learns that they might be taking the situation much further than a pretend exorcism, and things start to turn gruesome. But with Riley calling the shots, and no way out of the home that they are torturing Brooklyn in, Sofia learns that she might be in over her head.

This book, gets REALLY creepy REALLY fast. Not only does the author give the reader a sense of mystery throughout the book, but I found that from the beginning the writing felt oddly disturbing and strange. From the slight looks that the characters would give each other, and the almost unnoticeable yet strange things they would say…this book was dripping in psychotic tendencies from the beginning.

What I loved about the characters was that you got a sense of knowing who they were, without getting too much overwhelming and useless information about them. Of course the obvious and typical themes were presented: the characters seem so pristine and innocent, and then you find out that they aren’t as perfect as they try to portray. There is quite a few twists and turns to keep you guessing, but the best part in any book is being surprised and that is exactly what happened for me. The author did a fantastic job of making me choose sides and then switch sides more than once, so clearly I was a little more than surprised with how the story ended. The character of Sofia reminded me a lot of the character of Melissa in the book Guilt Trip by Maggy Farrell, and not just because of the twists in both stories. I was constantly wondering why Sofia was being so casual about the torturing and not saying a word. I understand she was trying to be smart and to “play her cards right”, but I kept saying to myself SERIOUSLY girlfriend?! GET IT TOGETHER!

There were a few things that weren’t as “tied up” (pun intended) or concluded as much as I would have preferred. Why was Alexis pulling her hair out and losing her mind all of a sudden? I guess we can chalk it up to the fact that she just lost it, but she was just as into torturing Brooklyn as Riley was from the beginning. I am also wondering what happens to Sofia at the end after we learn the truth. There is a sequel to this book called Survive the Night, which I was hoping would take off from where The Merciless left off…but it is actually an entirely new story. So I guess I will just have to leave the ending as it is 😦 But nonetheless, I am VERY excited to start book two and to get back into being frightened and scared…I am thinking this will be a nice theme for me to stick with for October!

P.S. If you have already read this or want to find something similar, try giving Guilt Trip by Maggy Farrell a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed with that ending! You can see my review for Guilt Trip here.

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Reviews

RELEASE DAY BLITZ!! Blog Tour and Giveaway!

About the Book:

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind. 

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram’s father brings his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same. Vikram thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered. Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them. From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers. 

If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia romance series, The Ruby Iyer Series is it.

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon

An exclusive excerpt and GIVEAWAY from The First Life of Vikram Roy
The Ruby Iyer Series—by Laxmi Hariharan
Clad uniformly in jeans, hoodies and baseball hats, the boys look pretty slick. Tenzin wears a brand new Lacquer jersey, another gift among the many he receives from home on a weekly basis. Me—I like my faded old leather bomber jacket. My concession to fitting in with the boys is my very own pair of Wu-Tang jeans. There’s just something badass about them. It’s a brand I am going to stick to, especially in the more trying times of my life ahead.
Not that you’d know it that day, as the five of us swagger up the strip in the town centre. It’s August, just a few months into the start of the school year. The sun is just beginning its descent, and the shop lights twinkle on, one by one. We perch at the gang’s customary spot. It’s a bench at the edge of the mall. If you look down you can see the rest of the town spread out one way. Look the other direction and the entire mall spreads out before you. More importantly, you can see every single girl who walks by. It also gives them a clear view to check us out. 
“So remember, stay cool. Don’t give these girls the time of the day,” Tenzin lectures as I take in the scene. “Especially this girl, Miriam—Mirri—boy, I so want to get into her pants. But, you know, got to act all casual around them. Let them come to you, know what I mean?”
“The Italians call this passeggiata,” I say to Tenzin, as I stand next to him at the bench.
The others sprawl in various poses, meant to convey casual disregard of their surroundings. All of them have a lit cigarette that they puff at. Tenzin offers me one, which I refuse. “What the fuck is passe … passage … dude?”
“It’s an Italian tradition,” I say. “A gentle stroll in the evening through the town centre—for which you are meant to dress up, of course—and then you walk through the piazza, to see and be seen.”
“Yeah, whatever, man.” Tenzin puffs away on his cigarette, coughing a little. “You going to Italy or something?”
“Nope, Oxford probably. It’s just … this reminds me of a passeggiata, Indian-style.”
“Dude,” he taps me on my forehead, “all that studying is frying your brains. You need to get out more often. Check out the girls … know what I mean?”
“Hmm! You need both brains and muscles … dude.” I grin, but I know what he means. The flame I’ve been carrying for Ash has died a natural death, but it’s left me with a bitter aftertaste. No, I don’t think I am headed anywhere near girls anywhere soon. I might look at them, but that’s about it for now. 
“Hey, Tinny!” A girl in mini skirt, boots over her knees, leather jacket zipped up to enhance the thrust of her breasts, approaches us. 
“Tinny?” Did she really call him that? I chuckle. Once. Before wiping all expression off my face. 
“Hey, Mirri,” Tenzin nods. He’s playing it super cool, but his body is wound tight; he is almost vibrating in anticipation, hoping to speak with her.
“Who’s your friend here?” She nods at me.
I raise an eyebrow at her and almost choke at the surprise on Tenzin’s face. Apparently she’s interested in me. The rest of the boys are watching us, too distracted to smoke now.
“Ah, my friend, Vik. Vik, meet Mirri.” 
I nod, unsure what to do next. Then I put out my hand, and when she places her smaller palm in mine, I kiss it. “Enchanted,” I say.
The boys around me chuckle. But Miriam takes no heed. Taking a step forward, she looks up and her eyes round with interest. Curling a strand of hair around her forefinger, she asks, “So, you want to go see a movie?”
Charm. It definitely gets you everywhere.

Want to find out what
happens next? Click
here

About the origins of Ruby Iyer:

Growing
up in Bombay, my daily commute to university was inevitably nightmarish. It’s
just how public transport is here. The man behind you on the bus will brush up
against you. You know you are going to be felt up on a crowded train platform.
All you can do is accept it and get on. Or so you think. I did too, until, a
young photojournalist was raped in the centre of Bombay in broad daylight.  It made me furious. Nothing had changed in
this city in all these years. Then, I had a vision of this young girl who would
not back down; who would follow her instincts, stand up for herself regardless
of consequences.  Thus Ruby Iyer was
born. Make no mistake, Ruby’s her own person. She leads. I follow. You can
download the RUBY IYER DIARIES, the prequel novelette in the series free
HERE
 
 
 
 
 
 
About The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer

2015 Readers’ Favorite (Bronze) YA Action
 YA
Finalist 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award
Finalist 9th Annual Indie Excellence Awards

When
her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him.
 
Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed
with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to
be. Ruby knows something must be
done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr
Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best
friend, save the world from total destruction. Armed only with Vikram, a
cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. If you’re looking for fast-paced books
like Hunger Games or dystopia fiction like Angelfall,
the Ruby Iyer series is perfect for you. 



DOING MY BIT
All SEPTEMBER earnings
from the RUBY IYER SERIES will be donated to SAVE THE CHILDREN: SUPPORT
CHILD REFUGEES OF SYRIA. All the RUBY IYER books with their brand new
covers, are on SALE all this month at 99p/c & Rs 69/49. Click 
HERE to buy them. 

YOU can also donate to SAVE THE
CHILDREN directly 
HERE 


About the Author:

She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY – FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY’s FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you’re looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you’ll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree — a redwood — in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination. 

Receive a free copy of THE RUBY IYER DIARIES when you sign up to her Newsletter 
 
 
GIVEAWAY
The First Life of Vikram Roy, The THIRD book in the RUBY IYER Series, launches this month. To celebrate the launch of the FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY I am giving away a $30 gift card. Winner will be drawn, Oct 1, 2015, and announced in my next newsletter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Books · Reviews

SECOND CHANCE HEART by Marie Lavender

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This will be available for purchase on October 19, 2015,

you can Pre-order a copy now per the below link:

Amazon.com – Second Chance Heart by Marie lavender

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Marie Lavender, for an honest review.

Genre: Adult/Romance

Plot: After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…
The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.
She can’t be more wrong…
The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

Opinion: This short story has the right amount or romance, innocence, regret, and forgiveness to leave you completely satisfied. Not only does this author do a fantastic job of condensing some major emotions into only thirty-five pages, but she writes with a straightforward purpose to make the reader feel pain and forgiveness all at once.

This short story starts off with our main character, Dana Nelson, running into her ex-boyfriend Vince. As soon as she spots him, Dana feels an intense wave of emotions run through her. Not only had they been friends since they were little, eventually becoming high school sweethearts, but Vince had cheated on her when they were in college and had severely broken her heart. Now, years later, Vince is trying to make up for his mistake and earn Danas forgiveness. Dana is forced to decide if she can move on from Vince and their past, or if she can forgive the man that broke her heart.
This story was sad and romantic all at once! This is a story many people can relate to, unfortunately, and I think the author does a great job of capturing how hard it is to forgive someone who has cheated on you. The author got the emotions in that moment perfectly! How sickly you feel just thinking back to the memory, and how your emotions go back and forth between anger and thinking about bittersweet moments from the past.

This is one of those short stories where you can appreciate its length and the content, without needing for the story to go on because it is perfect the way it is. This is a great read if you are looking for something romantic, as well as if you have been through the hardships of learning to forgive. Definitely give this one a chance!

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Books · Reviews

WISHING FOR YOU By Elizabeth Langston

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This will be available for purchase on October 13, 2015,

you can Pre-order a copy now per the below link:

Amazon.com – Wishing For You by Elizabeth Langston

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, FictionETC Press, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult

Plot: She’s a girl who can’t remember. He’s the guy she can’t forget…

It’s her final semester of high school, and Kimberley Rey is curious about what will come next. She needs to pick a college, but her memory disability complicates the choice. Will her struggles to remember make it impossible to leave home?

Help arrives through an unexpected and supernatural gift. Grant is a “genie” with rules. He can give her thirty wishes (one per day for a month) as long as the tasks are humanly possible. Kimberley knows just what to ask for–lessons in how to live on her own.

But her wishes change when a friend receives a devastating diagnosis. As she joins forces with Grant to help her friend, Kimberley learns that the ability to live in the moment–to forget–may be more valuable than she ever knew.

Opinion: It is not very often that I prefer the second book over the first in a series, but in this case, I most certainly do. The story-line is better, the reader is given a much more personal look into the characters, and the overall message is fantastic. I loved that the first book centered around Lacey and her wishes to help her family, and that the book centered on her friend Kimberly who used the wishes to help herself become more independent and to be able to work with her disability better.

After Kimberly receives an old pocket watch from her friend Lacey, with instructions to polish it, a genie suddenly appears promising her a wish for every day for the entire month. Immediately Kimberly realizes that the genie is Grant, Lacey’s now ex-boyfriend, and requests that her wishes be made to help her overcome the hardships that her memory disability has brought her. Soon Kimberly starts to learn how to do things that a regular teen might see as normal, but to her seem difficult and almost impossible. But soon Kimberly learns that her friend Sean is in terrible health, and works to not only make herself more independent, but to also stay strong for her friend.

Firstly, the opening line in the description for this book is a bit misleading. Sorry if this is a spoiler (it really isn’t) but the opening sentence insinuates that there might be something brewing between Kimberly and Grant in this book. There isn’t at all, so don’t get confused when you finish the book and nothing has happened between them.

The best part about this story was that it didn’t completely center on Kimberly and her wishes, which I will admit, got a little blasé after a while in book 1 with Lacey. The reader got better insight into how much Kimberly’s memory has affected her everyday life and her daily routines. She is constantly surrounded by lists and reminders for everything she must do in her day. But not only is she unlike normal teens, she also lacks the ability to do basic things such as cook meals, go on walks by herself, or drive a vehicle. As Grant and Kimberly start to work through her wishes, she starts to learn skills that can help her in both her everyday life as well as in her future. But soon Kimberly gets news from her friend Sean that he has cancer, and that he wishes to spend the rest of his time with Kimberly pretending that he isn’t dying. I completely commend the character of Kimberly for being able to put her sadness and worry over Sean aside, and to do as he asks. It gives both of these characters a really unique dynamic and puts the reader at a personal level with them. I feel like the author really dug in and gave me a fantastic insight into the main characters of this story, which was a much bigger improvement in comparison to book 1. The little time that Sean and Kimberly spent together was both sad and bittersweet, especially the relationship that Kimberly makes at the end of this book.

I am still trying to wrap my head around what happened between Grant and lacey in book 1. It all seemed very rushed and random, and I was actually expecting a reconciliation between them in this book. I have grown to dislike the character of Lacey because of her wishy-washiness, so I am glad that this book went into the life of another character instead of continuing with her.

Overall, a great follow-up to book 1 in this series, I Wish. This is a very sweet and charming YA series about growing up and believing in yourself, as well as the fun that comes with a magical being that grants you wishes.

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Blog Tour · Books

Emma Scott’s Cover Reveal!!!

Endless Possibility, a RUSH novella by Emma Scott Cover Reveal

Hosted by Raven. PA

Synopsis: 

After the disastrous Planet X party, Noah Lake knows he must to learn to cope with his anger and bitterness, to learn to live as he is and not as he had been. He sets out on an impossible journey, alone. in the hopes of making himself worthy of Charlotte’s love, and to slay the demons of an old life that is lost to him.

As he makes his arduous way across Europe, following Charlotte’s tour, Noah writes of his experiences that will become his memoir, and it is only after reading his words that Charlotte comes to fully understand the hardships Noah endured for their sake; a journey that nearly broke him in mind, body, and spirit. She knows what she must do: show Noah that while she is the light in his darkness, he is the music in her heart, and that without him, she’d be just as lost.

Endless Possibility is the final chapters in a love story about acceptance, peace, and the bond between two souls who have found their equal in each other, and the happily ever after they both deserve.

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/FgdZ9T< /div>

Goodreads link: http://bit.ly/1hDrLfk

RUSH buy link: http://amzn.to/1ILRMyy

Emma Scott´s Facebook Page: https://goo.gl/lvSzU9

Raven. PA´s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RavenPAauthorservice

Books · Reviews

THE TRAVELER by Evan Ronan

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Horror/Adult/Thriller

Plot: This is the fifth book in the paranormal thriller series The Unearthed by Evan Ronan.

Eddie McCloskey is a survivor.

But the scars from his last big case run deep, slowly driving him mad.

Detective Sumiko Christie has her work cut out for her. Before the two victims died, they both reported seeing a ghost. And it gets stranger.

Both victims died from fear.

Christie is no expert in the paranormal. Eddie isn’t ready for a case this dangerous.

But they have no choice. The ghost they’re trying to find is the rarest of the rare.

˃˃˃ It’s a traveler.

And it will kill more people if Eddie and Christie don’t stop it.

Opinion: I am still not understanding why this series does not have a huge following by now, and why there is only about ten reviews on it. This series, is AMAZING. This is obviously the fifth review I have written for this series, so if you are one of those readers that STILL has not purchased The Unearthed (the first book in the series) you are truly missing out…and I think we need to rethink your judgment in what a good book is 😉

After the terrible events from Eddies last case in Oregon, he is still trying to pick up the pieces and get his life back to normal. But a call from a Detective Christie throws Eddie right back into the danger that comes with paranormal investigating. Detective Christie explains that they have two separate deaths that have occurred, and that both victims claimed to have seen a ghost before they died. Not only was that strange, but their autopsy reports conclude that they both suffered from elevated heart rates (heart attacks)…with the cause being fear. As Eddie joins Detective Christie on the case, more deaths start to occur and they soon realize that the ghost they are dealing with is a traveler.

First, let’s talk about the writing style of Evan Ronan. As you all know, I obsess over there being obnoxious amounts of detail in books. The Unearthed series might be my one exception, and this is why: Evan Ronan has a unique style of writing where he gives you just the right amount of detail in such a small amount of words. His writing style appears effortless and easy going, thought out but not overthought, and imaginative but oddly realistic. You know you have found a good author (or in my case, a good author has found you) when their books are completely fictional but the writing makes it eerily too real. Also, I have to again point out how awesome it is when an author ties themselves into their own series. Perfect.

The Traveler has become one of my favorites from this series (The Unearthed is still my favorite) because of a great storyline and new characters. There is a lot of names that the reader has to remember in this series, and I will admit that detectives always referring to characters by their last name gets confusing. Detective Sumiko Christie is the definition of a focused and disciplined cop, but she has no problem wrapping her head around crazy ideas and the paranormal. I grew very fond of this character and was glad to find how open minded she was. Stan, Eddie’s best friend, makes a reappearance in this installment and ends up helping Sumiko and Eddie on the case. I wish I could have gotten a little more from his character in this book though, I still feel like I don’t know Stand and Moira very well…but hopefully that will change as the series continues. Eddie has grown into an AMAZING character over this series, and has really shown that he is dedicated and loyal. Also he FINALLY catches a break with a lady, oh how I have been WONDERING when this would happen to the poor guy!

I was putting off reading this book because now I must wait until the author completes book six, The Dream Machine. Thankfully Evan Ronan has just sent me his new, and first, YA/Fantasy/Adventure story called Otherworld. So I think that will tie me over 🙂 . So if you haven’t tried this series out or are hesitant to…JUST GET IT! It is a truly addicting and suspenseful series, and I am so glad that it has gotten me into reading paranormal books.

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Books · Reviews

THE GARDEN by John M. Nuckel

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, John M. Nuckel, for an honest review.

Genre: Short Story/Romance

Plot: Walt Palmer is ready to pass from the physical world to join his life-long love, Meg in a world of eternal enlightenment. Before he can pass he must forgive his daughter and himself of the pain they brought upon themselves and each other. The Garden is a story of love; family and forgiveness.

Opinion: This is SUCH an adorable short story. I can definitely see this growing into a fantastic novel or even a movie. I am going to keep this very short so that I don’t spoil the treasure that this story is, but I will give a little bit more detail into what it is about.

Walt Palmer is near the end of his life, laying in the hospital physically unresponsive but mentally aware. He takes us through small memories with his daughters and his late wife, who died seven years prior due to a mistake that he had made. In this story we watch as Walt tries to enter the “afterlife” with his wife Meg, but learns that he must make amends with himself and his daughter before he can.

This story was very short and sweet, but I think it could absolutely be turned into something much bigger. For only being about 28 pages long, this is filled with beautiful descriptions and character development. The way the author chooses to describe the garden in which Meg was living when her and Walt first met was amazing, I felt like I was right in the setting. This feels highly genuine and full of emotion, especially when Walt is taking us through a memory of him and his daughter when she was very young. Though they had been estranged for years, there is an unconscious link that kept them together. I hope this author either adds to this story or makes it longer, because I have not had my fill quite yet!

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