Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Blog Tour: Bite Me

Title: BITE ME
Author: Louise Cypress
Pub. Date: May 14, 2018
Publisher: Louise Cypress
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 303
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

I fell in love with the slayer sent to destroy me. 

Morgan Taylor-Jackson can't wait for high school to end. In six months she leaves for UCLA and says goodbye to La Jolla, California and her parents' messy divorce. But when Morgan is bitten by a four-year-old boy, she becomes infected with a mysterious condition. Fever, insomnia, and a new bustline are only the beginning; Morgan morphs from nerd to bombshell.

As far as Van Xander is concerned, all vampires are evil, even the ones who reject human sacrifice and call themselves Puritans. When Helsing Incorporated sends Van to La Jolla to investigate the local coven, Morgan is his prime target. Pretending to be interested in her, Van asks Morgan out and puts her through a series of tests to determine her killer nature.

Morgan is thrilled to be dating a hot guy like Van and falls for him hard. As Van strings Morgan along, he grows increasingly guilty. Morgan is kind, compassionate, and a gooey romantic. Just as Van's mind begins to change, evil forces threaten everything. When prom night arrives, there are only two ways out of the ballroom: death or immortality. 

About Louise: 
Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. Louise can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise lives in San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal.BookBubAmazon LinkInstagramGoodreads

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, International.
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Guest Post:
What do you like about writing in the YA genre? Why do you think it's important?
Young Adult books matter to teens andadults. I've seen research that suggests that up to 60% of all YA readers are over the age of eighteen. For indie books, that percentage is even higher. There is something about the YA genre that attracts readers of all ages, yet you don't see that happening with other branches of KidLit. Yes, an adult might buy a picture book to give to a niece or nephew, but she doesn't circle the release date on her calendar and download the picture book on her Kindle the moment it comes out. YA is special.
I love reading YA because the stories are full of hope and optimism. The world is still full of possibilities. There are no bills to bay, baskets of laundry to fold, or weeds to pull in the backyard. Reading a YA novel lets me escape to a time in my life when my biggest worry was getting good grades so I could go to college.
I love writing YA because when I was in high school I was so focused on studying that I didn't make time for fun. I went to a couple of dances but missed my senior prom. I had a boyfriend for a couple of weeks, but that was it. In high school I always felt too nerdy to love. All of my YA books feature main characters who are nerdy, but who eventually become brave enough to date and embrace romance on their own terms. Of course, in BITE ME, Morgan runs into a bit of trouble. She doesn't know that she's a vampire, or that her hunky date for prom is the slayer sent to destroy her. At least my high school experience didn't involve Promageddon!

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
5/21/2018- The Phantom ParagrapherReview
5/21/2018- Mythical Books- Excerpt

5/22/2018- Ya wonderlustReview
5/22/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post

5/23/2018- The Young Girl Who Loved BooksReview
5/23/2018- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt

5/24/2018- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview
5/24/2018- Owl Always Be ReadingExcerpt

5/25/2018- K.L. Knovitzke – AuthorExcerpt
5/25/2018- Parajunkee- Interview

Week Two:
5/28/2018- To Be ReadReview
5/28/2018- BookHounds YAInterview

5/29/2018- Two Points of InterestReview
5/29/2018- The Howling TurtleGuest Post

5/30/2018- Smada's Book SmackSpotlight
5/30/2018- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

5/31/2018- Wonder StruckExcerpt
5/31/2018- Jaime's WorldSpotlight

6/1/2018- The Book GirlInterview

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: The Night Sister

Title: The Night Sister
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Page Count: 322
My Rating:  4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

This was a bit of a departure from what I usually read (I don’t typically read many mysteries or thrillers) but I’m really glad I took the chance! Jennifer McMahon wrote an incredibly suspenseful mystery. I had to read the last sixty pages or so in one sitting because I had to find out what happened! I love how the story is told through different points of views in three set eras to trace the mystery over three generations. The pacing that new information about the mystery is revealed is perfectly timed. Slow enough that the suspense continues to mount, but quick enough to keep the story moving.

I also thought the characters were super compelling. Some likable and sympathetic, others less so, but the nature of the mystery always had me questioning whether or not some characters were who they were presented as being (some yes and some no). The casual queer representation in this book was also a big plus for me. I love it when characters’ queerness is a present part of their identity but it isn’t the most important thing about them. Don’t get me wrong, I love coming out type stories too, but getting to read characters who just happen to be queer is really exciting for me. The one character that felt a little flat to me was Jason. He was always there, but kind of pushed to the background and underdeveloped. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of who he was, because what was there was interesting.  

One things that seems incredibly difficult about writing mystery to me is coming up with the ending. How do you come up with a conclusion that lives up to the suspenseful build up? I think the book came up a bit short in this department. The suspense was so thrilling that even though the reveal at the end explained all the mysterious elements well and tied up all the loose threads, it did not feel as dramatic as everything that came before it.

Overall, though,  The Night Sister is an incredibly entertaining, enthralling, creepy novel and I would definitely recommend it.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: Aversion

Title: Aversion (The Mentalist Series #1)
Author: Kenechi Udogu
Page Count: 133
My Rating4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review

For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?

I’ve seen other reviewers compare this book to The Adjustment Bureau, and I definitely have to agree. Crossing The Adjustment Bureau with a contemporary YA novel and adding a dash of I Am Number Four is the closest I can come to describing this book. The combination works really well and the book grabbed and held my attention from start to finish. 

It is fun to see the popular-guy-falls-for-not-so-popular-girl trope of contemporary YA appear side-by-side with Gemma discovering secrets about her parents and developing her powers. Although some aspects of the plot were familiar, these familiarities did not come off as trite. This is possibly because the plot was so unpredictable. Each new twist made sense within the context of the story, but I did not see it coming.

One thing I wished had been different with this story, though, is that I wish it had been longer. Its short length does make it very past faced, with every scene moving the plot along. And, while I love it when books have a sense of urgency to them, I felt like there could have been some more scenes to flesh out the story more. I was thinking of other contemporary YA tropes and waiting for Gemma and Russ to go on a field trip together and bond or get to know each other better when they were assigned lab partners, but since everything was so lean there were not any of these extra scenes. I think if this book were longer it would have given me a better grasp of setting and character and made the conclusion more emotional. That said, I still really enjoyed this book and think it manages to do quite a lot in a short amount of time.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to readers of YA. Also, if you read it and love it, books two and three are already out so there’s no agonizing wait for a sequel! 

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.