Month: November 2016

Book Review: Within Reach by Jessica Stevens

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Title: Within Reach: A Novel
Author: Jessica Stevens
ISBN: 978-1-940716-69-51
Publisher: Spark Press

Synopsis:

Dying wasn’t on seventeen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s summer to-do-list. Finding ways to spend more time with his girlfriend, Lila, was the most critical thinking he planned on doing. But that was before he found himself trapped in a realm of only darkness with thirty days to convince Lila he’s not actually dead―well, not completely, anyway.

As Xan tries to show Lila she isn’t alone, she struggles to comprehend how her life has changed so completely. Six months ago her life was perfect: she was on her way to becoming a professional dancer, her parents were still married, and her boyfriend was alive. But now, with her anorexic tendencies stronger than ever, she must decide which is the lesser of two evils: letting go to be with a boy she doesn’t love, or holding on to the unreasonable, yet overpowering, feeling that Xan is still within reach…and trying to show her something.

Within Reach is a story of two soul mates discovering that sometimes it takes more than one lifetime to get it right.  Join Lila and Xan as they struggle to find the inner strength to trust in their intuition.  It will leave you believing in the impossible-and questioning life as you have always known it.

My Review:

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Book Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Out of Beat by Cassandra Giovanni

Today is the cover reveal for Out of Beat by Cassandra Giovanni. The cover is designed by Gio Design Studios. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Out of BeatOut of Beat (Boys of Fallout #1)
By Cassandra Giovanni
Genre: Coming of Age
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: 6 December 2016

Blurb:
Danny ‘Madman’ Maddox isn’t supposed to make Skylar Haze’s heart beat out of rhythm.

At least not anymore.

She hasn’t seen that boyish face, always covered in a five o’clock shadow, dimpled smile and teasing hazel eyes since the day he left to go on tour with her brother Joey’s band. Now with a major record label backing them the band is in need of a bit of help, and when Joey asks Skylar to be the band’s photographer, she can’t help but say yes.

Of course, Joey doesn’t know about that forbidden kiss.

The one Skylar hopes Danny’s forgotten.

But can she?

One smile and she finds herself slipping again.

But he’s the drummer, and he’s beaten her heart before.

And she won’t let it happen again.

You can find Out of Beat on Goodreads

You can pre-order Out of Beat here:
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Out of Beat full cover

Excerpt:
“Lark!” Zack says as he comes in the back door of my bedroom. He sweeps me into his arms and spins me around the room before putting me on the ground. “You’re all grown-up!”
I cross my arms and narrow my eyes at him. “And I still hate it when you call me Lark.”
He pouts, and I can’t stay mad at him. He’s foolishly good looking in his band t-shirt, zip-up hoodie, and beanie. It covers his dapper haircut that has a streak of chemical white-blond he dyes a different color to suit his mood. I pull the beanie off his head, and he winks. Pink.
“Something you’ve been meaning to tell me, Killer?” I ask.
His pout drifts into a smile, complete with lady-killer dimples. “I’m completely secure in my manhood. You can ask my girlfriend.”
“Settling down are we?” I tease just as Aaron bursts through the door and throws me over his shoulder. Where Joey and Zack are tall and skinny, Aaron and Danny are muscular. Danny’s got the arms while Aaron has the abs.
“You get her bags,” Aaron orders. “We’ve got a radio interview to get to.”
“Do either of you know how to use a front door? Or knock?” I ask as I hang suspended over Aaron’s shoulder with my hand cupping my face.
Danny comes through the door next and his head jerks back as he takes in the scene. “Looks like you don’t need my help.”
I nod to my rack of longboards. “You’re the only one I trust with my boards. The pintail and the dinghy.”
“Speak English,” Zack says, but Danny seems to understand and grabs the two boards.
“Look!” Danny says, holding the dinghy up next to Zack’s head. “The trucks match your hair!”
“I was wondering where you fools went to!” Joey says as he walks in the door. “Mom and Dad want to say bye to all of us, but I’m pretty sure Dad will prefer if you’re not hauling Sky around ass over teakettle.”
“Oh, come on! This is totally normal,” Aaron says, and Joey blinks at him. “Fine.”
“Don’t worry,” I say, squeezing Aaron’s arm as he sets me down. “You and Danny can take turns trying to bench press me after.”
“Sick!” Aaron whoops. “You’re the perfect size for that!”
Danny narrows his eyes at me as the guys file up the stairs. I hold my hand out, and he gives me the dinghy. “Bench press you?”
I lean my shoulder into him before we head up the stairs. “Just because you like the idea.”
He laughs, shaking his head as he holds the door open for me. “I’m afraid Aaron will like it too much.”
“Jealous?” I ask.
His neck turns red beneath his scruff. “Protective.”

Cassandra GiovanniAbout the Author:
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

For regular updates visit Cassandra’s website and sign up for her newsletter.

You can find and contact Cassandra here:
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Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Out of Beat. One winner will win a swag pack including bookmarks and postcards. This Giveaway is US only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Book Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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Title: The Vegetarian
Author: Han Kang
Translator: Deborah Smith
ISBN: 9781101906118
Publisher: Hogarth

Synopsis:

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize
ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S “BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SO FAR”
ONE OF TIME’S “BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SO FAR”

A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
 
Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.

Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Han Kang was born in 1970 in South Korea. In 1993 she made her literary debut as a poet, and was first published as a novelist in 1994. A participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Han has won the Man Booker International Prize, the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today’s Young Artist Award, and the Manhae Prize for Literature. She currently works as a professor in the department of creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.

My Review:

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Book Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult
ISBN: 978-0-345-54495-7
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: October 2016

Synopsis:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

My Review:

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