[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four by Nya Jade

(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!)

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four (Shapers, #1) 
Title: Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four (Shapers #1)
Author: Nya Jade
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Published by: Dreamwell Publishing
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.

Arguably the most enjoyable YA Paranormal read I've delved into for quite a while, Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is a novel that I'm sure that most people will have no trouble liking. Author Nya Jade did a tremendous job in world-building - I was thoroughly immersed in the word she created, and I found myself desperate for more information. I won't lie though - the first few pages did throw me off a little bit. A lot of details were just all over the place, and at first I couldn't make myself understand what was what, but once I got the hang off things, I just soaked everything all in. Jade also managed to walk the fine line between showing and telling, and the just enriched her storytelling even the more so.

I love the premise - there exist two schools, the Above and Below in one place, where one caters to purely humans while the other caters to Shapers, or shapeshifters, and the Shapeshifters must attend both. The Shapers have a mission, a career path to undertake once they graduate, and that's to kill Vigos which are evil shapeshifters that are considered as abominations. I enjoyed the interactions between the Shapers and humans; as well as those between the Shapers themselves. I had no problem connecting with the characters, most especially the MC, Phoebe, as well. I loved learning about the world of Vigos and Shapers with Phoebe and her classmates, and I can't wait to learn more about it.

I enjoyed reading through Phoebe doing her best to live two lives, and they're not easy at that. In her 'Above' life, Phoebe found herself the apple of Colten's, a movie star, eye, and Phoebe is understandably overwhelmed. She's not exactly used to having boys give her the time of day, and here was a bonafide celebrity just showering her with attention. Meanwhile, in Phoebe's 'Below' life, she finds herself the center of a prophecy that endangers her life. Add these all to Phoebe's other problems - Phoebe wields a power that she must keep secret per her father's wishes, and Phoebe hasn't exactly recovered from her father's death at the hands of Vigos either. Yet despite all these, I admire Phoebe's sheer determination and how strong-willed she is to do her best in everything she does.

Initially, I was wary of the development of Phoebe and Colten's relationship. I was half-expecting something like insta-love, but I'm happy to note that we readers don't get anything like that. While an integral part of the story, the budding romance between the two isn't the primary focus of this series, and that's something that I'm actually a huge fan of. I also like how Colten never took advantage of Phoebe's naivety.

Simply put, I loved this novel, and I can't wait to read its succeeding sequels. I'm not going to lie though, I found some of the dialogues and the way certain paragraphs were phased a little iffy, but that's something that I can look past. Anyway, Phoebe is a character that I loved reading about, and I enjoyed being a part of her journey. Moreover, Jade did a bang-up job with the plot and storyline - I actually didn't predict the twists, and that's saying something, because I have a knack for guessing the twists beforehand...

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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[Blog Tour: Review] Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle

(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!)

Pieces (The Breakaway, #2) 
Title: Pieces
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Published by: Rhemalda Publishing
Staying in love can mean running away...

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her...until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie - in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.

I know that Pieces is marketed as a companion novel that can work as a stand-alone, but I would recommend that you guys read Breakaway first to read through Naomi's kidnapping - why it happened; what happened to Naomi while in captivity; and how Naomi was finally able to free herself from her captors. Breakaway is a very emotional read, and a startling look into the eyes of someone who is experiencing Stockholm's Syndrome, and it left me thinking non-stop. Set two years after Breakaway, Pieces reintroduces us to Naomi and how she is currently doing.

Reading the first few chapters of the book actually left me heartbroken. Naomi is still obviously very deeply scarred from what happened to her, and she's still in pieces. She is not happy, and she is merely mechanically going through the motions of life. She has no passion for her studies; she has no friends; and her relationship with her mother is still pretty much non-existent. Naomi is as unsure of herself as she once was while in the hands of her kidnappers, and this absolutely broke my heart. Reading about this Naomi made me incredibly sad - while I didn't expect Naomi to be 100% better after what happened to her, I really didn't think she would be THIS removed from life.

There is however one guy who is starting to worm her way into Naomi's life. Finn, a guy who works at a coffee shop Naomi frequents, starts to become a friend. She is able to talk to him about absolutely everything, and yes, that includes Jesse and her past. Finn doesn't judge Naomi, and he becomes the person who Naomi so desperately needs - someone who cares for her unconditionally. I was glad to see Naomi actually living her life, and all this was made possible because of Finn.

Naomi, despite clearly caring for Finn as well, still feels that she is betraying Jesse every time she is with Finn. When Naomi learns that Jesse is out on parole, all the progress Naomi made with Finn disappeared at the blink of an eye. Everything that Naomi felt for Jesse never went away, and now that there was a chance that she can be with Jesse again, her love for him was amplified. Their love comes at a price though - Naomi cannot have the best of two worlds. If she chooses to be with Jesse, she has to leave the rest of her life behind - her family, her studies, and Finn.

Throughout the course of the novel, I never found myself hating Jesse. I never doubted the love that he felt for Naomi - he truly cared for her well-being; and he simply wanted to be with the person whom he loved. However, despite of his true love for Naomi, things will never be simple for them. Their past will forever hang over them like a dark cloud, and that's something that Jesse and Naomi must ponder - is their love truly worth it?

I loved how Argyle ended this novel, and ultimately, how she closed a chapter of Naomi's life. Truth be told, I was a little wistful at how everything ended, but I can't deny that there is no other plausible ending. Most authors aren't brave enough to tackle topics as sensitive as Stockholm's Syndrome, a kidnapping, and their aftermath, and I truly commend Argyle for writing this pair of novels.

Rating: 4 Stars

[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Recalled by Cambria Hebert (Death Escorts #1)

(Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!)

Recalled (Death Escorts, #1)Title: Recalled (Death Escorts #1)
Author: Cambria Hebert
Release Date: February 15, 2013
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository
Love or Death? A simple question really. The choice seems obvious. But. What if you never knew love, what if your life was spent just trying to survive? What if you knew your fate before you were fully grown?

And then you died.

And you were given another chance. A better chance.

This new life depended upon one thing: your job. And so you agreed. You thought it would be simple. You thought it would be cut and dry.

It never is.

And now you are left holding the fate of someone else in the palm of your hand and you have to make the ultimate choice.

Love or Death?

I don't think I've read many novels about grim reapers and death escorts (though I know that there must be plenty out there) and that's why I gave this novel a shot. Moreover, I'm positive that this is the first novel about death escorts that falls under the general umbrella of New Adult, and being the fan of NA that I am, I just had to read it! The premise in itself is intriguing, and I honest to goodness loved how the blurb was worded - there was no mention of the characters whatsoever, and everything was as if hypothetical in nature. I was actually questioning myself after reading the blurb - would I make the same decision the main character did? I don't think I stopped mulling thoughts around while reading this novel.

The MC, known to us as Dex, didn't have an easy life. He has resorted to a life of crime in order to provide for himself, and one fateful night, everything ends in the blink of an eye. After robbing a waitress named Piper, he proceeds to push her out of the way of an out-of-control bus, and this action results to an almost instantaneous death. Dex then wakes up in front of a guy who offers him a job as a death escort - simply put, he kills pinpointed targets - in exchange for all the money and luxury he could ever want. Dex agrees, and his first target is laid out in front of him - Piper, the very waitress whose life he saved.

Off the bat, I liked Dex. The first few chapters made it rather difficult not to like him and not to sympathize with him, even though he pretty much admitted that he was no-good scumbag. My heart pretty much broke for him - I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like to live the way he did, and I really can't blame him for choosing to become a death escort and dabbling at a life wherein he was positively reeling with material possessions. His POV showed just how much he wanted a normal life - a life wherein he needn't steal to actually live, but that chance slipped from his fingers at his untimely death - and he was given a chance at that, so he took it. Furthermore, I loved the way Hembert portrayed Dex and his indecisiveness of whether or not he should take Piper's life - I truly felt Dex's confusion, unwarranted despair and hopelessness throughout the novel.

I understand Dex and Piper's obvious fascination and attraction with each other given their first meeting, but I couldn't help but feel that the romance between them didn't enrich the novel in a huge manner. I don't think their supposed love was fleshed out enough, and I never thought that what they felt for each other was believable and real. Nevertheless, I did understand why it was so important for this romance to be an integral part of the novel, as made obvious during the climax and the ending.

I didn't expect the way this novel ended in any way. To say that I was surprised is an understatement - truly! Hebert did a bang-up job in writing about the moments wherein Dex was finally sure of what he wanted to do, as well as this novel's final few pages. (I don't want to elaborate and risk spoiling you guys!) The ending was beautiful, and it made me both want to cry and smile.

I initially thought that Recalled would have a sequel, but I just found out that it's a stand-alone. The other books in the series, while still about Death Escorts, would not focus on Dex and Piper, and I'm actually a bit sad at that. I usually let out a silent cheer when I find out that a certain book is a stand-alone, but that isn't really the case this time. I found myself really connecting with Dex's character, and I can't help but wish that I can read more about him. (Cambria, if you're reading this... Throw this girl a bone? Ha!) I'll definitely make sure to read the other books about this series though!

Rating: 4 Stars

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Feature and Follow Friday [22]

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This meme is a great way to meet new bloggers, and to likewise know more about them. Follow me and I'll be sure to follow you back! I have added a Linky widget to my blog as well, so feel free to follow me via Linky!

Q: Write a letter to your favorite character. Rant, rave or gush…just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a "few things". - Activity courtesy of author, Kelly Walker

I know you're fictional and all, but I really have no words to describe how much I love you. I'm amazed at how much you grew as a character, and I'm soo proud of you (I know, I know, I'll buy a copy of The Indigo Spell soon, I promise!) I really really hope you forgive Rose though!

(This letter can go on forever but it'd be better if I stop here.)


Weekly Round-Up
It's been a busy week in the blog this week. Make sure to catch up on all of my posts! ;)

[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Heart Waves and Breaking Waves by Danielle Sibarium

Heart Waves Title: Heart Waves
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Release Date: September 2012
Heart Waves Facebook Page / Author's Website / Author's Twitter
Jenna Kingsley has a gift. She knows things. With a simple touch she can pick up personal information from jewelry or objects. While at a neighbor’s party, a voice mesmerizes her. Jenna is momentarily frozen as a ring is placed in her hand. White electricity surges through her and a dire prediction is made. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to break my heart.”

From the moment they meet Jenna is enchanted and entranced with Reece Walton. She’s thrilled to learn he’s spending the summer two houses away from hers. Every moment they spend together is magical. But she can’t get the prediction out of her mind. As the summer draws to a close and secrets are revealed, can Jenna get past the fear of being left with a broken heart to live in the moment with Reece or will her fear of being hurt fulfill the prophecy?
Breaking Waves 
Title: Breaking Waves (Heart Waves #2)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Release Date: January 10, 2013
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
From the moment they met, Jenna knew Reece would break her heart, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. Jenna is left shattered and broken. When life becomes too painful to deal with and she feels completely alone, there’s only one person to help her pick up the pieces and move on. The one person she doesn’t want to turn to. The one person she promised to stay away from. Tyler.

Can Jenna put aside everything she knows about him and let Tyler help heal her broken heart?

One thing I can say for these books - I NEVER could predict what would happen next. From the blurb of Heart Waves, I expected a novel that was paranormal in nature, but I didn't really get that. There were hints of some paranormal aspects in the storyline, but that was only because the MC, Jenna, had a certain ability, and that was that. By the time I adjusted and decided that this would be a whirlwind love story dealing with normal relationship things, such as the fact that Reece was in college and Jenna was an incoming high school senior, I was once again blindsided. By then, I pretty much decided to stop predicting how the storyline would coast along and just went with what I was reading. And that, my friends, was one of the best decisions I made.

Initially, I cringed at how Jenna and Reece's story was seemingly insta-love. They meet at a party, have an instant connection, and next thing you know, Jenna can't even imagine what her life would be like without seeing Reece again. This, however, is not your ordinary 'Ohmygod we locked eyes and now we're in love!' that is so common in YA novels nowadays. I do believe that the reason why Jenna was so attracted to Reece and vice versa was because of the prediction Jenna made while holding Reece's ring - of course they wouldn't be able to get each other out of their heads! Add in the fact that this story is set in summer. Also, think about the prediction Jenna made - "It's like we're Romeo and Juliet. You'll break my heart." Like Romeo and Juliet, everything happens fast for the two of them, and Jenna has to conquer her fear of her dire prophecy coming true.

I can't deny the love Reece and Jenna have for each other. It's there, it's obviously there, and I really can't blame them for trying to see where their relationship would go. At the beginning, their relationship was like any other - they met each other's parents; Reece had to work hard to get Jenna's parents to like him, and etc.; but things take a turn for the worse when Tyler, the guy who used to be Reece's best friend, showed up in the story. Tyler then hints there is more to Reece that we do not know. Suddenly, Reece began to act unlike himself - he ordered Jenna to never talk to Tyler, and his apparent extreme hatred of Tyler started to scare Jenna. At this point, I myself was also starting to get wary of Reece - the change in character was unnerving, and was clearly a sign of things taking a darker twist in the future. While Reece's love for Jenna never wavered, it was obvious to me that some things from Reece's past were in the brink of exploding, and his relationship with Jenna would be the first to be affected.

Breaking Waves opened with one heck of a bang, and Jenna's life as she once knows it is shattered. Feeling alone, heartbroken, and lost, the one person who manages to help Jenna to her feet is none other than the person Reece told her to stay away from - Tyler. While Heart Waves is more of a Reece book, Breaking Waves focuses more on Tyler, and what I found out about him, I liked immensely. (At this point, I'm all for Tyler, but who knows where I'll stand after I read the third book in this series!) While Jenna considers Reece her once-in-a-lifetime love (aka Romeo), she really can't escape the fact that there is something between her and Tyler. Not only that, Tyler knows more about Reece's past than he's letting on, and that in order to keep Jenna safe, he must hide certain things from her. (PS after reading these two books I really want to punch Reece. Hard.)

Nothing at all what I expected, Heart Waves and Breaking Waves blindsided me more times than I can count. I'm excited to see what happens next, especially after the way Breaking Waves ended! (No no no, the ending wasn't a major cliffhanger or anything like that, but trust me, the ending was just intense!)

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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[Romancing the Otherwordly Valentine] Author Feature + Giveaway: Juliana Haygert


Love New Adult but looking for something with a little bite? Here's an event geared toward the other side of NA. Whether your tastes range toward shifters or men from other dimensions, there's a New Adult title out there for you.

Come by for prizes, games, and fun at the Facebook party between 8-10 est on February 13th. 

Author and Book Featured:

Destiny Gift (Everlast, #1) Title: Destiny Gift (Everlast #1)
Author: Juliana Haygert
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.


[Review + Giveaway] If You Stay by Courtney Cole

(Check out the rest of the blogs participating in the release day launch HERE!)
If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1) 
Title: If You Stay (Beautifully Broken #1)
Author: Courtney Cole
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.


He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.

But he’s got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.

So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?


And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he’s working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

Honestly, I don't have words for how much I enjoyed this book. I've been sitting here for a while now, trying to find the words, but I really can't adequately describe just how much I adore this novel with every fiber of my being. (Before you think it, no, I am not exaggerating! I thoroughly loved this book!) I loved every aspect of it - the characters, the plot, the writing... - every single thing was just perfect. Courtney Cole showed her talent as a writer in this novel, simply put. I found myself gripped from the first page alone, and my interest in Cole's characters didn't fade well after the last page. After finishing reading If You Stay, the first thing that came to my mind was that I haven't been this excited for how a New Adult novel will be received since the wildly popular and critically acclaimed Easy!

First and foremost, I'd just like to applaud Cole for the most original first meeting between the two characters, Pax and Mila - seriously, I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it! I really can't blame Mila for not being able to get Pax off her mind. If it were me, I would have reacted the exact same way! Moreover, I again would like to laud Cole for writing about a thoroughly engaging and realistic story about two people who couldn't be more different in taking a chance with each other. The chemistry between Pax and Mila is off the charts but while the intense attraction between the two of them is indeed palpable, nothing about their story screams insta-love. Their relationship had a proper build-up, I'm happy to note.

Secondly, the characters make it impossible for me not to be engrossed in this novel. In one word, Pax is broken. Damaged. Scarred. Alone. (Okay, I might have taken the one-word descriptions too far...) He thinks he has no one - his father and grandfather essentially left him to pick up the pieces of his life after his mother's death. It would initially seem that's he a Grade-A asshole, but the dual POVs help shine a light on how Pax sees and feels about his life. We then find out that because he can't escape his past no matter what he does, and he's resorted to vices - alcohol, drugs, and sex - to numb the pain of the unknown. In Mila, he finds something of an answer to his problems. He honest to God cares about her well-being. Furthermore, she makes him want to try; she makes him want to be a better man, and all this in the short time that they have known each other. Pax had me invested in his character - from the first chapter alone, I knew that I had to know how his story ended.

Mila, meanwhile, is like a sunshine against the darkness that is Pax. While she is going through her own set of problems, she isn't as closed off to happiness as Pax is, and that ultimately is the difference between the two of them. Pax is initially portrayed as someone who has given up, but Mila is depicted as someone who is fighting tooth and nail to overcome her troubles from the very beginning. Moreover, I love how Mila, while showing Pax that she is by his side for good and for worse, refused to be his doormat when times get tough. She does love Pax yes, I couldn't be more convinced of that, but she has a healthy respect for herself, and I just LOVE that. Too many heroines in YA/NA novels these days are wholly content to be treated like garbage by their boyfriends, and that's NOT RIGHT.

What I loved most about If I Stay is that while Mila was the catalyst in Pax wanting to face his problems, everything didn't begin and end with Mila. While Pax did want to be better for Mila, it was still apparent to me that Pax wholeheartedly wanted to be better for himself the most. He wanted to find out about the secrets of the past for himself; moreover, he wanted to start the long, perilous journey on recovering from his troubles for himself. Simply put, Pax WANTS to recover. Also, in contemporary novels dealing with real-life issues, I've come to find out that the problems the characters are going through are often put in the backseat to the romance, but that couldn't be further from the truth in this novel. Pax's mental and emotional troubles were never ignored by Cole, and I'm completely impressed at how well she wrote about them. They weren't merely plot devices or anything like that - Pax actually faces his demons!

I know that this review is a tad too long, but I couldn't help myself, so give me a break! Anyway, not only is Cole spot on with how Mila handled herself around Pax, how Pax faced his problems, how the two main characters went about their relationship, her writing is also astonishingly tremendous. She has a real knack for writing gritty, heartwrenching scenes - the scene wherein Pax finds out all the sordid details from the past completely broke my heart, as did its aftermath.

All in all, If You Stay is a MUST READ. (I hope I've emphasized that enough!) This is one of the best novels I've read in the past few years, and easily the best NA novel I've read, along with Easy. Cole did a mind-blowingly good job in telling the story of these people whose paths crossed after a night of close calls and how they helped each other build their lives back up. I highly encourage you to go grab a copy - you won't regret it!

Rating: 5 Stars

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[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway] Blood Fugue and Witch's Nocturne (Moonsongs #1 and #2) by E.J. Wesley

Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!
Blood Fugue (Moonsongs, Book 1)  
Title: Blood Fugue (Moonsongs #1)
Author: E.J. Wesley
Release Date: September 2012
Goodreads / Amazon
“Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried.

Life has pummeled her heart into one big, lonely callus. She has no siblings, both parents were dead by sixteen, and her last grandparent—and caretaker—was in the ground before she turned twenty-one. She’s the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thinks…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying it with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it

Witch's Nocturne (Moonsongs Book 2) 
Title: Witch's Nocturne (Moonsongs #2)
Author: E.J. Wesley
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Goodreads  / Amazon / Barnes & Noble /Smashwords
After receiving an ancient tribal journal from her grandfather, Jenny is sent on a mission of discovery in an attempt to unravel clues to her family's monster hunting past. The journey becomes more than academic when she is asked to confront a coven of dangerous witches who plan to cast an insidious spell on the plains of West Texas.

Witch's Nocturne is the second of the Moonsongs Books, a series of paranormal-horror-action novelettes by author E.J. Wesley. These stories contain language and content better suited for mature readers.


It's become a recent pasttime of mine to browse articles about the genre of New Adult, and to my displeasure, I've found out that most people tend to associate this relatively new genre with sex scenes. While I believe that that notion couldn't be more incorrect, that discussion is for another blog post and another time. So to the people who believe that New Adult is all about sex scenes, the  above-mentioned novellas are for you - The Moonsongs series, while under the general umbrella of New Adult, is not even remotely focused on romance. Instead, we have a heroine who has violet hair, fixes computers for a living, and basically kicks ass. There, I've gotten you interested, huh?

Both novellas are around 40 to 50 pages, and believe me, they're a quick read. It would be impossible not to finish them in one sitting, because not only is the series' premise interesting, the pacing is relatively fast-paced too. I've been told that there are some who panned the artwork featured on the covers, and I honestly have no idea why. I think they look amazing, and they're actually related to the stories they cover, so that's a plus in my book.

I didn't think it was possible for this short a novel to be able to get me invested in a character, but I couldn't be more wrong. Blood Fugue introduces us to Jenny - antisocial almost, no living relatives whatsoever, but she does have an awesome best friend named Marshal. In her little town, Jenny is a bit... unique. She looks different, she acts different, and she doesn't give a damn what other people think. While Jenny doesn't really have the desire to fit into society's perfect picture, it really cannot be denied that some part of her is lonely - she's lost all the people she cares about, after all. Moreover, she's ridden with guilt - she wasn't able to establish a relationship with her grandmother while the latter was still alive, and that fact is slowly grating on her. I liked what I know of Jenny - I admire how in tuned she is with herself, and at the same time, I sympathize with her regrets, and I can't wait to learn more about her.

After meeting with her supposedly dead grandfather and agreeing to a task that could get her killed, Jenny learns that there is something more to her heritage than she was led to believe. Things get shocking really fast. I really don't want to talk more about the plot since I will likely give out spoilers if I continue to do so, but just trust me on this, you want to read this series. As a matter of fact, something about The Moonsongs reminds me of the way the Nancy Drew novels were marketed - you know, those mystery novels we all collected as kids and tweens? Like Nancy, Jenny learns more about herself and her capabilities as the series progresses, and each novella focuses on Jenny helping a particular someone who needs her. Unlike Nancy, however, Jenny does get to know a bit more about her heritage as well.

I'm not entirely sure how long this series is going to be, but I definitely see myself riding it out until the very end. If you're tired of how your recent reads have all been about romance, why not give this series a shot? You'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.

Rating: 4 Stars

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[Book Blitz + Giveaway] The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

Here's a novel I'm sure that summer romances aficionados will enjoy - I've been eyeing this one myself!

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1)

Title: The Boys of Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Release Date: December 17, 2012
Purchase: Amazon (ebook) / Amazon (paperback) / Barnes & Noble / iTunes
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.

It will be a summer she will always remember.

“Don’t you dare.” I grabbed his arm, pulling him backwards. His eyes darted to where
my hand rested on him. I didn’t move my hand, I couldn’t physically bring myself to break
the contact; all of a sudden there were no smiles, no jokes, just him and me and our space on
the couch. I could only hear the music and be aware of the heat of his skin and the rapid rise
and fall of my chest in this moment.
The only thing that snapped me out of my daze was Toby’s words which seemed low
and raspy.
“Is Adam your boyfriend?” His gaze flicked over my face as he waited for my answer.
My mouth gaped open; I couldn’t hide the fact I was dumbfounded by the question.
I blinked quickly and took my hand from his arm. I struggled to construct a legible
“Oh – um, no, we’re just friends, it’s not like that.”
His stony expression didn’t falter, didn’t reveal any kind of emotion. He was so hard to
read, and I wanted to read him so badly. He gave a small nod and handed me the CD cover.
“Better go and make sure these guys aren’t cheating.” And without another word, he got up
and headed towards the pool table.


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