*Blog Tour Review* The Sowing (The Seeds #1) – K. Makansi

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Tour wide giveaway
Open internationally
–25$ Amazon Gift Card
–Signed copy of The Sowing

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251354/

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Book & Author details:

The Sowing by K. Makansi
Publication date: August 19th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

18344121

Synopsis:

Remy Alexander was born into the elite meritocracy of the Okarian Sector. From an early age, she and her friends were programmed for intellectual and physical superiority through specialized dietary regimes administered by the Okarian Agricultural Consortium. But when her older sister Tai was murdered in a brutal classroom massacre, her parents began to suspect foul play. They fled the Sector, taking their surviving daughter underground to join the nascent Resistance movement. But now, three years later, Remy’s former schoolgirl crush, Valerian Orleán, is put in charge of hunting and destroying the Resistance. As Remy and her friends race to unravel the mystery behind her sister’s murder, Vale is haunted by the memory of his friendship with Remy and is determined to find out why she disappeared. As the Resistance begins to fight back against the Sector, and Vale and Remy search for the answers to their own questions, the two are set on a collision course that could bring everyone together—or tear everything apart.

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

First off I have to say the idea for this story is excellent. It’s a different take on a post apocalyptic world that I think actually has you thinking. DNA, in particular seed DNA.

It starts off really strong, Tai, a young student in class, bored off her brain, waiting for it to end so she can go to dinner with her love Eli (the class technician) is brutally murdered, along with everyone else in her class as well as the professor.

So I smiled to myself and settled in for what I hoped was a story that would grip me as much as Hunger Games did, well it was promised. The story then jumps a few years on and centers around Remy, Tai’s younger sister and Vale, the son of the ruler of Okaria. The book is split into chapters between Vale and Remy and gives their point of view.

Remy and her parents have fled the city, knowing there was a cover up in the investigation of Tai’s death. They are now with the Resistance, along with Elis, Soren and a whole bunch of others who have fled the city. Vale has graduated and has now become a leader in a unit that is to bring in and question Eli and his bunch of Resistance renegades. He also is in love with Remy as is Remy with him.

The story flowed well enough, what I struggled with a little was how Remy and Vale could have such a deep connection when they’d little short had shared one kiss previously. I also struggled with the depth of character, it just didn’t seem to go deep enough. However that said the story was very good. Eli had kept a strange set of DNA that the now murdered Professor Hawthorne had been working on. It seemed to be one thing but no matter how hard they tried to solve its riddle they just couldn’t.

It was to be the key to not only the murder, but also life itself.

Out on a mission, the Resistance gets caught and instead of Vale capturing Eli he gets Remy and Soren instead. This is where the story starts to heat up (and as I’ve told you plenty) I will back off on story details.

What worked well for me was the nail biting journey Remy and Soren went on after they were captured. It was brutal, heart wrenching and very good. I loved the buddy romance between them, especially as they seemed to have a little hate and indifference going on in the beginning.

I liked Vale and his will to not just accept things at face value. What I had some problems with was, again the depth. I felt it lacked just a little further exploration of some of the scenes. Sometimes we were onto a winner, sometimes it felt it fell short. Then I found out it was written by a mother/daughter team and wondered if that was the reason.

No matter, overall it was good. I’d recommend it to all Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic lovers out there. Do I want to read the next one, The Reaping? You betcha.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18344121-the-sowing?ac=1

Purchase:

–Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Sowing-ebook/dp/B00DYIUX9I/
–B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sowing-k-makansi/1116524405?ean=9780989867115

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AUTHOR BIO:

K.Authors

K. Makansi is the pen name for the writing triumvirate consisting of Amira, Elena, and Kristina Makansi. Two sisters and their mother, the three women developed a passionate interest in science fiction as a way to write about issues of food sovereignty and food justice. Elena is pursuing a degree in environmental studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, and will graduate in May of 2014. Amira was a history student at the University of Chicago whose day job working in the cellar of a winery (and constantly being splattered with wine) keeps her busy when she’s not writing. And Kristy owns and operates Blank Slate Press, an independent publishing company based out of St. Louis, and is a partner at Treehouse Publishing Group, a company providing editorial and design services to aspiring authors. When not writing or reading, the three can be found having animated discussions around the dinner table, sharing a good bottle of wine, or taking long walks in the park eagerly plotting out their next book.

Author Links:

http://theseedstrilogy.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173640.K_Makansi
https://www.facebook.com/TheSeedsTrilogy
https://twitter.com/akmakansi

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*Review* Just Remember to Breathe (Thompson Sisters) – Charles Sheehan-Miles

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Synopsis:

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

My Review 5 Stars out of 5 *****

Oakies, I think I’m almost through with all the romantic downloads I did last summer! There is a cliched line there somewhere, but I won’t use it!

I think I inadvertedly left the best until last. Just Remember to Breathe was a gem, an eye opener and one hell of a story. I didn’t realize at the time, but this book is written by a man. Forgive my obvious sexist retort, but the title alone is beautiful, and I’m not saying a man can write romance, it just isn’t something I think about when I think about romance books.

That said, I think it gave it an edge, and edge you son’t usually get from the genre. There was a gritty realism to the story and that only enhanced the whole story. I loved Alex, the broken, yet “I will still get up in the morning” heroine.

A few years previous she had been an exchange student to Tel Aviv and had fallen madly, passionately and whole heartedly in love with Dylan. Dylan wasn’t only broken, he was flawed and fragile. He came from a completely different background than Alex and never quite felt he was somehow good enough for her.

Because of that he kept his feelings inside and that had caused a split between them, one full of misunderstandings and regret. Something that would change their lives forever, as well as the people around them.

So, Dylan is out of the army and Afghanistan. Recovering from a bomb attack on his humvee he is nursing wounds that go deeper than the scars on his leg. He is now in New York, back at the same school as Alex, hoping and praying he doesn’t meet her. But their paths are to cross…

What I loved about this book the most was the gritty reality of war, what it does to everyone who has fought, who stays at home to wait and the friends & family you go through this with.

I also loved the slow, deliberate way the story unfolded. It would be in the present, then flash back to the past explaining why Alex and Dylan were the way they were. Dylan’s story brought a lump to my throat on more than several occasions. I was so involved with them I was rooting for them all the way.

The one night, a party was to change everything. A frat boy from Alex’s past was to set Dylan on a course of down would spiral to soul redemption. I had a lump in my throat. The subject matter I think maybe a little too adult for the book to be considered YA, but it was refreshing to have a romance set around the realities of war and sexual assault (I know that sounds weird). That’s what gave it it’s edge.

When Dylan finally came to his senses and realized his only hope of a future was to confront and accept the past I was cheering, his “I thought I’d stop by” line to Alex when he showed up on her doorstep in San Francisco from New York had tears in my eyes.

This story was truly wonderful. Any romance lover should read this book. I loved it…..

*Review* Tamed by You (A Laurel Heights Novel) – Kate Perry

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Synopsis:

First rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client.
Second rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client!

Valentine Jones has never been good at following rules, especially the one that matters most: following the family tradition of being a matchmaker. She’s tried, but she happens to suck at it. So when her mother swoops in to help, Valentine is determined to prove she doesn’t need a babysitter.

Enter Ethan “The Predator” Hunter, ex-fighter and all-around hunk. Career on hold because of injury, his sole focus is to get back in the ring. He has no interest in the people until Valentine sets her matchmaking sights on him. Suddenly Ethan’s world is filled with nonstop commotion and lessons on attracting women. Only Ethan doesn’t want a random woman. He wants his matchmaker rules be damned

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

So, as I liked the previous Kate Perry Looking for You I saw this one was also offered for free on Amazon, got to dive right and and get that super sweet deal. I was really looking forward to this story because I do enjoy Kate’s style of writing.

After I was finished I wasn’t sure where to place the story with the previous one, or if it were fair to even compare them to each other. Why? I liked the story, it was cute and warm and Ethan has to be the funniest, surliest hero that I’ve read in a long time. He wanted Valentine and he was damn well going to have her…..family business/tradition be damned.

I like Valentine, in the main. She wasn’t your usual heroine and was definitely quirky. What I didn’t like was the repetitive reminders that the first born girl in the family became a match maker, why? I also wasn’t that fond of her mother Venus, who was clearly manipulating her daughter. Strange for a woman who was also a matchmaker.

I would’ve liked to see Valentine stand up to her mother more, heck if I’d a man like Ethan drooling over me, loving me the way he did I’d have stood up like a Spartan in 300 yelling “I am Sparta”

What worked was the interaction between Valentine and Ethan, you could taste the chemistry, the desire and the love long before they knew it themselves.

I also loved Sophie, she was a hoot, and Tony and their little side story. In fact there were times I liked their story a whole lot more. I also loved, loved the friendship Sophie struck up with Julia the florist. Very entertaining. All in all this was a cute romance, it was easy to read and a good way to spend an afternoon sitting in the garden by the pool.

If you like your romance easy, cute and a little sugary this series is one to take a chance on.

*Review* Caught Up In Us (Caught Up in Love #1) – Lauren Blakely

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Synopsis:

A second chance at first love…

Five years ago, Kat Harper fell into a dizzying summer romance with her brother’s best friend Bryan. It was a mad, crazy love full of kisses all through the night—but he broke her heart and she had to move on. Five years later, Kat is finishing her graduate degree and building her business as a jewelry designer, when Bryan, head of his own successful company, walks back into her life. Bryan has been assigned to Kat as her new business mentor and the rules are clear. No hanky panky permitted. Kat can handle that because she’s totally over him… right? Except, he still makes her laugh, and he remembers all the things she likes. Not to mention that he’s even more handsome now than he was then. Then there’s the spark between them—the simply undeniable chemistry, and the tender ways he shows he still cares for her. Can they resist each other the second time around or will first love trump all?

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

I downloaded this book when it was offered free on Amazon. I am seemingly going through a romance quest!! I liked the premise and loved the cover so it felt like a no brainer. I have to say I did like a lot of this book, I loved Kat and her quirky way. The way she had a love affair with Hello Kitty and unashamedly didn’t hide it.

I loved Jessica and her thespian ways, she was ballsy and stood for no nonsense. I also loved Bryan, he was sexy and in charge, yet he had a complexity that gave him an edge. Where I felt the book let itself down slightly (and okay, you can shoot me because romance is not what I usually review, I am the YA Dystopian sort of reader) was the story was a little too perfect!

Yes, I did say perfect. Bryan had walked out of Kat’s life 5 years earlier with nothing more than “I have to go” She had her heart ripped right out, yet somehow she managed to put the pieces of her heart back together and was studying for her MBA at NYU.

The last part of her degree called for her to have hands on experience with a mentor. Guess what? the mentor was Bryan!! Don’t get me wrong, if he hadn’t been there would be no story, but if some guy had ripped my insides out the way he had he wouldn’t have gotten the smooth ride Bryan got.

Sure Kat stood up to him, a little but overall she was a little bit of a pushover. That said there is some steamy, hot sex scenes. The phone sex is great and they did have amazing chemistry and the bigger picture of it all, is if you love romance that flows with ease, characters you can fall in love with from the get go and a nice happy ending, then this is the book for you.

For me, Lauren Blakely’s writing style and story telling will go to the beach with me. It’s sunny and fun but I need to get back to more grit and gore.

*Review* Dead Light District (Sasha Jackson #2) – Jill Edmondson

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Synopsis:

As open-minded as she is, private investigator Sasha Jackson feels out of place when her latest case plunges her into the world of commercial sex. A classy madam has hired Sasha to find a missing Mexican hooker, which seems easy enough at first. However, everything becomes complicated when a nasty pimp turns up dead in the wrong hotel.Things get even worse when a spaced-out call girl, an arthritic old lady, and a Rastafarian pawnbroker enter the scene. Sasha figures out why the hooker ran away but not where to. Besides,how fast can anyone run in stiletto heels? When the next body turns up, Sasha has her moral compass tested as she tries to understand the sex trade and how those enmeshed in it will do anything to survive– even if it means murder.

My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

Oakies, I’m really not one for mysteries, but this caught my eye last Summer. Yes I am still going through all the books I downloaded for the travels I was doing last year. I picked this because, although I’m not a huge fan of the cover the blurb grabbed me. It also came across as being a little on the Chick Lit side too.

I didn’t realize that this was in fact book two of a series, I am happy to report you can read it as a stand alone. I am also pleased to report that I really, really enjoyed it. Although it could’ve been a 5 star rating, but there was just a little bit on long winded writing that didn’t need to be in the story, that after a while started to irk me.

Having said that I really, really liked Sasha, she was a hoot. Smart, sassy and a little self effacing. She had it all going on, sometime singer in a band, totally broke, slightly happless P.I. She was a real woman, she liked a drink, and when she ate she did what I believe 99% of all women do, worry it was going to go to her hips.

When hooker Carmen goes missing, along with the lack of funds in her bank account she takes on Candace, a bordello owner’s request to try and find out what happened to her. All doesn’t go quite how Sasha wants it to go, and she has to quickly get over her slightly closed mind to the world of prostitution.

The story flows nicely, not sure if we needed the hooker’s POV, it did seem to give the game away slightly. But when a pimp turns up dead, graffiti sprayed on her house and a near hit and run the notches of the story went into a higher gear. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested and I really thought Sasha was going to let the hooker get away with murder.

That is until the body count started to climb. The bordello owner had her own secrets, which gave dimension to her character, as well as a nice little sub plot. Did it make me laugh as much as your traditional Chick Lit books? No, but I had some belly laughs, especially the part she is chasing the hooker down after being held at knife point. That had tears streaming down my face.

The book wrapped up nicely, and while I would’ve liked a little more romance. Derek seemed divine, Sasha was a ballsy enough girl that it probably wouldn’t have fit in with the story. All in all I am glad that I downloaded it.

*Blog Tour Review* Eden Forest (Saskia Trilogy #1) – Aoife Marie Sheridan

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GIVEAWAY: Tour wide giveaway
Open internationally:
2 eBooks of Eden forest (part one of the saskia trilogy) and 2 e books of city of secrets (part two of the saskia trilogy)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251346/

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Book & Author details:

Eden Forest by Aoife Marie Sheridan
(Saskia Trilogy #1)
Publication date: September 28th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Eden Forest

Synopsis:

Sarajane Anderson is your regular twenty one year old. With family, friends and a normal job. She also happens to be the only person who can save Saskia, a world parallel to earth.

When Sarajane is taken to Saskia, she could never have imagined the reality of the world she steps into, a world where magical abilities are in everyone’s possession.

She must face a father she never knew, a world that is beyond her belief. A guardian who captures her heart, and a darkness that wants to take it.
On this journey Sarajane discovers her magical abilities and realizes they come with a price. Sarajane is truly tested, as her loved ones are put at risk. The question she must ask herself is, how do you choose who lives and who dies?

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Saskia, a world parallel to Earth life is anything but simple. Marta is 25, unmarried and pregnant. No big thing here on Earth, but on Saskia it isn’t allowed. The baby she carries is also very special. Morrick the king is hoping she would be paired with someone who would look after her for his own reasons. Bellona the queen has her eyes on Marta. Everyone has at least one elemental ability, if a boy child is born with the ability to control air they are taken from their mothers to be brought up as Guardians. When Marta’s friend gives birth to a boy and he is ripped from her arms Marta knows she has no choice but to run.

On Earth Sarajane’s mother has disappeared, it’s something she cannot just accept and every Sunday she, and her best friend Josh go into the wood where she was last seen to search for her. Not that it is any use. Then one day, at the dance a strange, and handsome stranger is following her and takes her also. To the land of Saskia, to a future she never knew existed.

What I liked about this book was the story, it was wonderfully intertwined with both worlds. I have to confess I did not see how they were linked coming which I also liked (I hate being able to guess the story too early). I also liked the legend of Sakia and how it came to be. Who doesn’t like a bit of angels and magic and how they could cross over to Earth.

Where I felt it fell short was in the actual story telling, the descriptions sometimes fell a little short and I did tire a little at the continuing “and then we” I would have liked to have felt more depth in emotions, more feels from the characters and have the writing style slightly more mature. However as I said the story was actually very good, if you like parallel worlds full of myth, legends and magic you will like this.

Also, I have to do a jiggy dance because the ending set itself up for the next book, I am not a huge fan of cliff hangers that leave me hanging with a year to wait. So massive brownie points for that.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17087721-eden-forest?ac=1

Purchase:
–Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1908417498?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1908417498&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
–B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eden-forest-miss-aoife-marie-sheridan/1113848691?ean=2940016175959

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AUTHOR BIO

Aoife

Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon’s books, given to by her grandmother her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn’t) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison study one of her favourite books has been read and re-read countless times.

Aoife’s first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works.

LINKS:

http://www.aoifemariesheridan.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551996.Aoife_Marie_Sheridan
https://www.facebook.com/Aoifemariesheri
https://twitter.com/aoifesheri

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Blog Tour Review* Shattered Veil (Diatous Wars # 1) – Tracy E. Banghart

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GIVEAWAY: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251345/

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Synopsis:

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When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?

Selection

War has come to Atalanta, infecting its quiet villages and lush woodlands, igniting whispered worries in its glittering capitol.
All across the dominion, young men are being Selected for Military and sent to the front lines…and eighteen-year-old Aris Haan’s childhood sweetheart is one of them.

Secrets

Pyralis Nekkos, Atalanta’s leader, has kept the truth from his people, that their dominion will fall…and much sooner than anyone could guess.
Galena Vadim, his reluctant ally, wishes she could forget their shared past…until her future seems to depend on it.

Sacrifice

And for the boy she loves, Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, will give up everything – her home, her name, even her face…
…only to become the key to her dominion’s survival.

My Review: 5 out of 5 Stars*****

I seriously don’t know where to start with this review. I’ve so many feelings and emotions going through my head. Suffice to say, this book is brilliant. It has a wonderful underlying back story about what our military and their families endure through the separation of war.

The story starts off a little slow, Aris is eighteen and about to go through the selection process of where she will be for the rest of her life. She will then be promised to Calix and life will be wonderful. Only that is thrown on its head, a strange encounter with a flyer from the military has her world spun on its head.

I said the story was slow, however it gives the author the chance to do a lot of world building and character development. I had mixed feelings about Aris at first, she seemed a little petulant. I was wrong about her, she is one of the strongest heroines I’ve read in a long time. I grew to realize that not ever kick ass female has to be like that from the get go, maybe, through the strange turn of circumstances in our lives bring out strengths we didn’t even know we had.

So Aris follows Calix into the military, no mean feat since females were not allowed. She is hidden behind a veil that gives the illusion she is in fact Aristos, a man. I loved her growth as a person and a flyer. I loved the friendships she made, especially with Dysis another female.

Of course there was a bigger story here, the war between Atalanta and Safara. The side stories of Ward Nekkos and Ward Vadim of Ruslana were great. There was twists and turns, sub plots to scupper plots. It was all very well thought out and just bloody magic.

I was saddened by the sad reality war changes us, it sometimes makes us into people our loved ones don’t recognize. But it did open it up to a bigger story, loving Major Vidar. I truly didn’t see any of that coming, like wowzer. It was all there in plain sight too. Brilliant writing from Ms Banghart.

The ending, lets just say I was crippled, I actually shed tears. I wanted something to happen so badly I could feel it. It didn’t…..but there is always book 2 right? Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18621479-shattered-veil?ac=1

Purchase:

–Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Veil-Tracy-E-Banghart/dp/0989037347/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393258363&sr=8-1&keywords=shattered+veil+tracy
–B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shattered-veil-tracy-e-banghart/1118591644?ean=9780989037341

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AUTHOR BIO

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Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

LINKS:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter