Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tainted Bride by A.S. Fenichel

Title: Tainted Bride
Author: A.S. Fenichel
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Pages: 234


Only trust can save her…. 

Sailing to London, Sophia Braighton only hopes to escape certain ruin. But when she arrives, her Great Aunt Daphne has other plans for the American-born beauty. Determined to marry off her niece to a man of means, she propels Sophia into London society, not knowing that the young woman’s trust in men is shattered. In fact, Sophia never expects to ever feel anything for a man. Then again, she never expects to find herself in the company of the dashing earl of Marlton….

From the moment he sees Sophia, Daniel Fallon feels alive in a way he has not since his broken engagement. Though the vulnerable beauty shies from the passion burning bright between them, Daniel is determined to court her and make her his bride. And when he learns of the painful secret she harbors, he is equally determined to take revenge on the man responsible. But will the quest destroy him—and his future with his beloved?


I picked up a copy of this book for a quarter at my libraries yearly shelf clearing sale. I was a bit surprised that they even had a copy for sale so soon after it's release, but apparently it wasn't very popular because it was in pristine condition. Maybe I should actually check books out at the library every once in a while instead of just raiding their sales. 

There were times while I was reading this, where I felt like this was basically my life story. For starters, I had to flee America and head to Europe to preserve my reputation when I found out I was pregnant from an illicit affair with my husband that would have led to almost certain ruin if anyone had found out. At least in Europe I could lie and tell people that I had been married and that my poor husband had passed away before he ever got to meet the baby, whereas every single person in America would have known my shame immediately. 

I hadn't been living in Europe long when I realized that I would need to find a wealthy benefactor to help me maintain the quality of life that I believe a princess like myself deserves, so I bought a fancy dress and hit the ball scene hard. Let me tell you, ball crashing is way harder than Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson make wedding crashing look. Everyone wants to know who your father is and if he knows the Queen of England and stuff, and somehow they all freakin' know each other already, so I don't know why they ask questions that they already know the answers to. But I eventually met with some measure of success when a newly knighted nobleman arrived late to a ball to see me being tossed out and took pity on me. We went for greasy hamburgers and fries, and have been together for the past six years. I'm even almost ready to tell him about my daughter. It's getting really hard keeping her a secret. 

So really, I just couldn't enjoy this story too much because it brought back so many painful memories for me. And for that, I give it 2 too-tight corsets. 

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About the Author

A.S. Fenichel (Andrea) gave up a successful IT career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She's never looked back. 

Andrea adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

She is currently writing Regency romance for Kensington Publishing and you can learn more about Andrea's books at or visit her on her Facebook page, where she spends entirely too much time.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband, a fussy cat and a demanding dog. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Tainted Bride, just click any of the following links. 

An Heiress for the Bear by Pia Milan and Meredith Clarke

Title: An Heiress for the Bear
Author: Pia Milan and Meredith Clarke
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: December 22, 2015
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 120


When trust fund baby, Katriona Brandon inherits all her grandfather's millions, she feels the need to share some of it. Especially since the old man would disapprove. And the pro bono law firm she works at is the perfect recipient. 

Which brings her too close for comfort to her delectable boss Lukas Sarkozy, who knows nothing about her identity or her money. 

But the Sarkozy men are trouble. They leave broken hearts in their wake and with Kat representing her 'anonymous' donor, she plans on keeping her distance especially since Lukas sets her traitorous blood ablaze. 

Pro Bono lawyer, Lukas doesn’t believe in love or fate. No real need to since traditionally, mates were chosen with specific genetic requirements. The needs of the pack outweigh that of the heart. 
Until Kat Brandon, with her anonymous donor, and her gorgeous silver eyes, gets him all hot under the collar. 

With Kat as the liaison between Lukas’s firm and their most prized benefactor, he is forced to spend a little too much time with her. 

Until things fail to add up. Something is going on with Kat and her anonymous donor, something the feisty redhead won’t discuss. 

No matter what it takes, Lukas plans to find out. Because now that he’s found her, he won’t give up on his mate.


When my grandfather passed away, he left me a copy of this book in his will. Honestly, I would not have pegged him as the paranormal romance type, but apparently I didn't know him as well as I thought I did. Since he willed it to me specifically, I figured I out to read it sooner rather than later. It only took me about seven years to get around to it, and boy was that a mistake because the end of this book had a wonderful surprise for me!

I couldn't help but try to figure out why my grandpa would have willed this book to me specifically the entire time that I was reading, and it just didn't make any sense because this was the only item listed in his will for me. I couldn't figure out what that had to do with a person who inherited millions of dollars from her grandfather and then donated them to charity through the law office she works for.  And I was already married when my grandfather passed, so I doubted my grandpa was trying to send me a message about a mate. It would have been a bit ridiculous. But all of my pondering while reading really slowed the process down for me, and that's just one more regret I have about reading this book. 

See, when I got to the end of the book, I found a handwritten note from my grandpa directing me to get in contact with his lawyer for an additional inheritance. And after passing a quiz about the book (to make sure I actually read it I guess), the lawyer informed me that my grandpa had left me two million dollars. It's a life changing inheritance that I intend to use to buy myself a super nice house with a big pool and a brand new Ferrari. I mean, I'll probably put some money away for my kids to go to college I guess, but mostly I'm using this inheritance for myself. 

I still don't know why I had to read this book before I got my real inheritance, but it was only about eight hours of my life wasted, and the payout was so worth it. 

I give An Heiress for a Bear 3 notarized wills. 

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About the Author

Paranormal romance writer Pia Milan prefers to live in a world where shifters rule. Reason enough to imagine up stories filled with badass hunky, sexy shifters.

More than anything, she'd rather be cuddled under the covers watching Underworld, Grimm, Lost Girl, Teen Wolf and anything that contains shifters and vampires. With a bottle of plum wine of course.

More shifter stories coming soon.
Email Pia at

Alternate Reviews

I was unable to find any blog reviews for this title, so you'll just have to check out the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer

Title: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn
Author: Marianna Baer
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Abrams/Amulet
Pages: 384


Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?


I picked up a copy of this book because it has a really pretty cover. I was expecting the story to be pretty too, but it wasn't. It ended up being kind of ugly in fact. 

It took me a while to put myself in Quinn's shoes, she has tiny, slender feet and squeezing my fat hooves into them was quite the challenge. Then I had to get pregnant, and that took a couple months. I mean, my husband and I tried every day, but it took a while for it to stick. Then, once I was pregnant and able to continue reading the story, I found out that Quinn might actually be a virgin...and well, it's not like I could exactly take back my previous actions with my husband, so that was a bit awkward and hard to relate to. But I brought myself back on track by encouraging the local Jehovah's Witness to visit my house all the time, it wasn't quite the same as the religious fanatics from the story, but it was as close as I was comfortable getting. 

So once I got myself into Quinn's life, I went on the journey with her to try and discover how she got pregnant in the first place. I figured she'd just gotten blackout drunk at some party and didn't remember having sex with her boyfriend, but then when he was so sure that they hadn't had sex I didn't know what to think. In the end, it was a wild ride to the truth for me.

I give The Inconceivable Life of Quinn 4 adorable onesies. 

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About the Author

Marianna Baer has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the author of the young adult novel Frost. According to Kirkus Reviews, “Baer has a knack for dialogue and creating creepy situations that will intrigue teens.” She lives in Brooklyn and works as a freelance editor.

Alternate Reviews

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The Haters by Jesse Andrews

Title: The Haters
Author: Jesse Andrews
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 352


From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band. 

For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.


This one time, at band camp, I found a copy of this book in the dorm room I was staying in for the duration of camp, and even though I was spending twelve hours a day at practice for our concert at the end of the week, I found some time to read it. 

I tried to relate to this book, but I had a hard time with that. This is probably due to the fact that I hated my time playing in a jazz band. Granted, my dumb band director at the time made me switch from clarinet to tenor sax (we had way too many clarinet players in band that year, we outnumbered every other section of the band something like 5 to 1), and my diaphragm and lungs were just not prepared for the requirements of tenor sax. That didn't matter to the band director though, as long as he got his jazz band. Although I guess in that respect, I could relate to wanting to get away from a crappy band experience, but I never would have gone to jazz camp to begin with. Lame. 

Beyond that, I found it highly unlikely that there was only one girl in attendance at jazz camp in the first place. It just wasn't realistic at all. In my experience, girls typically outnumber boys at band camp by a slight margin, granted it wasn't jazz band, but in high school, girls are just as likely to play in jazz band as concert band or marching band. So I just couldn't buy the premise of this book at all. 

I give this book 2 off-key tenor sax's. 

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About the Author

Jesse Andrews is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Abrams Books, 2012). He is also the writer of the feature-film adaptation of his own book, also entitled Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It was released in theaters in summer 2015 and is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital HD.

His second book, The Haters, will be published in 2016 by Abrams Books. He continues to write both books and screenplays.

He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and is a graduate of Schenley High School and Harvard University. He currently makes his home in Boston, MA.

Alternate Reviews

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Title: Gameboard of the Gods
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Dystopian
Published: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Pages: 448


In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.


I found a copy of this book at my local comic book store, which initially seemed like a really weird place for it and me to be. But I thought the cover was pretty, so I picked it up anyway while I was there because heaven forbid I have to go back to a comic book store. 

When I started reading this book, I found that it hit a little too close to home with the current political climate. I'm pretty sure the world is one Trump Twitter rant away from annihilation, and I think we all know that he's widely supported by right-wing Christian extremists. How they can support a man who goes against pretty much everything that Christ talked about I do not know, but I guess as long as he's against the gays and probably against abortion, it's all good. 

So anyway, I'm reading about this world that I'm pretty sure I'll be inhabiting in just a few years in real life, and it started to give me legit nightmares. I can't sleep for more than two to three hours at a time anymore without waking up in a cold sweat, panicking, and wondering where my next meal is going to come from (the pantry, in real life I have a well-stocked pantry, but in the nightmares food is very, very scarce). 

So I don't recommend this book to anyone that is less than happy about the current occupant of the White House because it will likely give you nightmares as well. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

This book gets 3 misplaced electoral college votes. 

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About the Author

Richelle Mead is an international bestselling author of over twenty-five books for both adults and teens. Her Georgina Kincaid and Dark Swan series take a witty but edgy look at the paranormal while her sci-fi Age of X series shows us a future with no religion. Over on the young adult side, Richelle has written the much-acclaimed Vampire Academy series and its spin-off, Bloodlines, about a secret society keeping the vampire world hidden from humans. Her latest project, The Glittering Court, takes place in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America, following the adventures of three impoverished girls trained up to be "ladies" who can make advantageous marriages in a dangerous new world across the sea.

Richelle's books have been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and received honors from the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into over two dozen languages, as well as adapted into graphic novels. In 2014, Vampire Academy was made into a feature film. A lifelong reader, Richelle loves mythology and wacky humor. When not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, buying dresses, and watching bad reality TV. More at:

Alternate Reviews

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Finding Love Again by Christa Ann

Title: Finding Love Again
Author: Christa Ann
Genre: Romance
Published: August 23, 2016
Publisher: After Glows Publishing, LLC
Pages: 124


Widow Shannon Ward lives for her job and her children. Not wanting to feel that bone deep pain of losing her husband suddenly in a car accident, Shannon closed off her heart. Her four best friends and children decide she needs to get out and live again and maybe find love. A girls only vacation to the Mountains of Montana maybe just what she needs. Finding love again is farthest from her mind and definitely not on her to-do list. However, a certain sexy rancher may change her mind.

Rancher Ryan Collins has finally got divorced from his high school sweet heart. Though both agree they should’ve never married. The only thing good that came out of that marriage was his three children. Ryan is done with love and women in his life. He’s happy with running his ranch and bachelorhood. So he thinks until he meets Shannon.

Two hearts closed off from love and determined to stay that way, until that first glance at each other in a diner. Will Shannon and Ryan risk their hearts one more time to find love again or walk away?


picked up a copy of this book from my library during their semi-annual book sale. It was only a quarter and it looked like exactly the kind of book I'd be willing to spend at most a quarter on. I was pretty much right. 

I spent a disproportionate amount of time reading this book trying to figure out why anyone would think the mountains in Montana are the ideal getaway location for a group of women. Seriously, I just could not relate to that aspect of the story at all. If any of my friends planned a girls trip like that, it would for sure be a hard pass for me, and I might start looking for a new group of friends, because clearly the current friends just don't get me at all. 

So after I came to terms with the fact that apparently this type of vacation actually appeals to Shannon (and other real women who actually exist) I started to get into the story a little bit. I mean, I can at least relate to wanting to have some downtime away from the kids (I think pretty much every mother who is honest with herself would). In spite of that, I still think it's weird that you'd seriously consider dating a guy you met on vacation because those guys are really only good for one thing, and that's hot meaningless sex. The sooner we all agree on that and accept that there is nothing wrong with having hot meaningless sex with men who are basically strangers, the better off we will be. 

So in the end, this book was a bit of a miss for me. It had some highlights, but for the most part I just couldn't get on board with this trip. 

I give it two sickly cows. 

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Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Finding Love Again, you'll have to check out Goodreads or Amazon as I was unable to find any blog reviews for this title. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Girl on the Brink by Christina Hoag

Title: Girl on the Brink
Author: Christina Hoag
Genre: YA Romance
Published: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
Pages: 238


He was perfect. At first. The summer before senior year, 17-year-old Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire and Kieran becomes violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge.


I'm not really sure how I ended up with a copy of this book. I probably picked it up at my thrift store one day because I liked the cover and thought the title was intriguing. In any case, it was on my bookshelves and therefore it needed to be read at some point. 

Chloe reminded me of myself at seventeen. While I wasn't working as a reporter, I was the proofreader for my mother's tourism newspaper (and often the photographer as well, although she never gave me personal credit for my pictures). I even started dating my first boyfriend the summer before my senior year of high school, and he pretty much swept me off my feet on our first date. Fortunately for me, that's where his similarities to Kieran stop (I did encounter other aspects of Kieran's personality in future paramours, but never all wrapped up into one person). 

It was hard for me to really imagine myself in Chloe's shoes because my rage-y relationship was ended very quickly after I found out that was a thing he would do, and that happened early enough in our relationship I wasn't even considering him my boyfriend yet, which made it super easy to cut him loose on my end. And because he was a soldier getting ready to PCS to a new duty station, the Army took care of keeping him away from me. I do understand why it was harder for Chloe to end her relationship than it was for me to end mine, but it was still hard to fully feel those feelings myself. 

Overall I give Girl on the Brink 4 broken hearts. 

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About the Author

As a journalist, Christina Hoag was threatened by a killer's girlfriend, had her laptop searched by Colombian guerrillas and phone tapped in Venezuela, was suspected of drug trafficking in Guyana, hid under a car to evade Guatemalan soldiers, and posed as a nun to get inside a Caracas jail. She's interviewed gang members, bank robbers, gunmen, thieves and thugs in prisons, shantytowns and slums, not to forget billionaires and presidents, some of whom fall into the previous categories. Now she prefers to write about such characters in her fiction.

Kirkus Reviews praised Christina as a “talented writer” in her "Skin of Tattoos," a noir crime novel. Her thriller "Girl on the Brink" was named to Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2016 YA list. She also co-authored "Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence," a groundbreaking book on violence intervention used in several universities. 

Christina grew up as an expat around the world. She resides in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing at a maximum-security prison and has mentored at-risk teen girls in creative writing in South and East Los Angeles. Find her on the web at; and

Alternate Reviews

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Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox

Title: Ghost for Sale
Author: Sandra Cox
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Pages: 225


Caitlin King can’t believe that her shopaholic cousin actually bought two ghosts off of eBay. But she can’t ignore the truth when she starts seeing sexy Liam O’Reilly, who’s been dead for over a hundred years. He’s a fascinating specter, and the more time Caitlin spends with him, the closer they become—sending them both spiraling into a star-crossed tailspin. No matter how desperately they long for each other, there’s just no future with a guy who’s already stopped breathing.

In order to help Liam and his twin sister, Anna, leave their earthly limbo and cross over into the light, Caitlin must find the ghost of Anna’s fiancé. But a malevolent spirit is dead set against Anna moving on. Now Caitlin will have to unravel the mystery surrounding the twins’ past lives in order to keep Liam’s spirit safe—even if it means sacrificing her heart in the process.


I was searching eBay for a poltergeist that I could send to Joood - Hooligan's house when I came across this book. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it seemed interesting enough, so I decided to place a bid on it anyway. I definitely low-balled it, but since the book wasn't signed or anything, I thought I still stood a chance. A couple days later, I awoke to discover that I'd won both bids I placed that day. (You're welcome for the poltergeist Joood...I see that it's been doing its job in your apartment.) 

When the book finally arrived in my mailbox, I had some time to kill, so I started reading it right away. After all, I have it on good authority that reading in the afterlife is quite difficult because the lack of a corporeal form makes it quite difficult to turn pages. Your only real hope is to stand over someone's shoulder while they're reading a book, and just hope that they read at the same pace you do. But anyway, I'm not dead yet, so I read this book all on my own at my own pace. 

Now, I've just got to say that I think Caitlin is dumb for letting herself fall in love with a ghost. Like that is exactly the kind of guy that should be friend-zoned immediately out of the gate if the friend zone was actually a thing. I mean, sure, if you're lucky your dead mom will come back to turn your ghost friend into a real boy for a night of dancing, but is that really going to be enough for you romantically? I doubt it, even if he does look like Devon Sawa. So just be smarter than that ladies. Don't fall in love with a ghost. That's really the moral of this whole story. 

I give this book 3 pesky poltergeists. 

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About the Author

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte, and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

Alternate Reviews

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The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Title: The Waking Land
Author: Callie Bates
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey Books


Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life. 

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her. 

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.


I was gifted a copy of this book after dragging Maui across the ocean to restore the heart of Te Fiti because I am Moana. (You're welcome.) I thought it would be rather rude to not read the book gifted to me by a goddess, so once I found my way back home to the island, I told everybody to leave me alone so I could read it, figuring it held some special kernels of wisdom for me about being a way finder. It didn't, I don't think, but Maui was a pretty good teacher I guess. In fact, this book was a lot more like my life BEFORE I set off to return the heart than anything. 

I really related to Elanna's inner conflict about battling the kingdom that she called home for so many years. I mean I couldn't wait to get off the island that my parents swore was the best and safest place for me, but if I didn't go against their wishes, I know we all would have died so I had to do what I had to do, just like Elanna and her rebellion. I was lucky that I had Grandmother and the Ocean in my corner, otherwise I probably never would have succeeded. Elanna was not so lucky, although if her adoptive father hadn't been murdered she probably wouldn't have had to fight against the kingdom in the first place. 

I guess maybe this book was just a way for Te Fiti to say thanks for going against my family's wishes and persisting in my goal to give her heart back, and an acknowledgement on her part of just what I went through to do that. I suppose it's an acceptable thank you. Also, my island is no longer dying, and that's a major plus. 

I give this book 4 1/2 shiny magic hooks. 

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About the Author

Callie Bates is a writer, harpist and certified harp therapist, sometimes artist, and nature nerd. When she’s not creating, she’s hitting the trails or streets and exploring new places. She lives in the Upper Midwest. The Waking Land is her debut fantasy novel.

Alternate Reviews

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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 436


Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.


I received a copy of this book from a stooped old lady that was seeking refuge in my house from a storm one cold winter night. Like most normal people, I refused to let her in the house because she looked a bit creepy and could have just been out to kill my whole family, and I'm not down with that. After I refused her shelter, she handed me this book and then magically turned into a beautiful maiden, and I knew I'd fucked up (I've seen Beauty and the Beast). She put a curse on my husband that he would never see snow again (dude loves snowboarding, so it's a pretty shitty situation for him). I'm not sure what my curse is exactly, but I know it's there. 

Because she gave me this book though, I figured reading it could help me break the curse. Surely there'd be some clues in it that would help me out right? Otherwise why give it to me in the first place? But it was basically a bust. I mean, the main character in this story is inspired by the beast that she agrees to marry, but there's just nothing about my husband that I find really inspiring. He doesn't have the devilish good lucks that songwriters wax on about (his nose and ears are just a bit too big for his face). He's not known for his daring feats that one could write stories about. And in the bedroom, calling him a minuteman would be a gross exaggeration (so we're not making any pornos either). The book makes it pretty clear that Liesl's life needs to be sacrificed regardless of how the Goblin King feels about her and in spite of their relationship. Does that mean that for my husband to get to see snow again, I'm gonna' have to die? That's just not really an acceptable price I don't think, and frankly, I'm not willing to pay it. But we've tried everything else I can think of. We even tried that true love thing, but either it just isn't working for us, or my husband isn't my true love. So I guess before I sacrifice myself, I'm gonna' have to head out to kiss some frogs. Any volunteers? 

Overall I give Wintersong 2 cursed roses because it didn't help me at all. 

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About the Author

S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of WINTERSONG (Thomas Dunne 2017). When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Wintersong, just click any of the following links.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

C.A.S.E Revelations by Savannah Verte

Title: C.A.S.E. Revelations
Author: Savannah Verte
Genre: NA Dystopian
Published: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Eclectic Bard Books
Pages: 246


A simple mistake brings the world to its knees with no notice or time to prepare. Young and inexperienced, first term president Baron York will have a lot to answer for when it's finally done. If, that is, there's anyone left to answer to. 

Lessons from The Great Depression make an encore performance at the Hamilton property as they try to stay alive...and sane. Where were you when the world went dark and everything stopped?


I found a copy of this book while stumbling through the wreckage of the world after the zombie apocalypse ended. That's right, I was one of the survivors, and if you're reading this, you apparently were too. Thank goodness the smart people survived as well and were able to get electricity and the internet working again, or I don't know what I would do. 

Anyway, found a copy of this book and with all the zombies dead, I had time to actually read again, so I figured why not. Big mistake. The last type of book you should be reading at the tail end of an apocalypse is a book about an apocalypse. That shit will cause nightmares. Add to that the similarities between the president in this story and Trump before the zombie apocalypse started, and it's almost like reading a history book instead of fiction. 

But let's talk about that for a second. Because President York really does bear an eerie resemblance to Donald Trump in both looks and circumstances surrounding his presidency. And I love a good speculative fiction, but not when real life is as frightening as it is under our current "leader." At this point, I think I might be better served by sticking to sappy romances for the next 3 1/2 years, and this book just solidified that opinion for me. 

I will say that the action in the story was pretty well done and it was easy for me to put myself into the main characters shoes (but some of that is probably because of my recent real life experiences). So the book wasn't all bad, but I would definitely recommend you hold off on reading it for a few years until you've had time to work through whatever issues you may have come out of the zombie apocalypse possessing, because you surely have some. We all do. There's no shame in that. 

I give this book 2.5 nuclear bombs. 

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About the Author

A lifelong lover of words and reading, Savannah Verte hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to write when she grows up. Born and raised in the upper Midwest, Savannah’s gypsy spirit and never quit attitude keep her busy and seldom idle. For so many reasons, Savannah considers herself a ‘Contemporary Vagabond’ when it comes to writing and hopes that others find her diverse offerings as enjoyable to read as they are to write. 

Her first release in decades, Viva Zapata & the Magic 8-Ball began the journey August 1, 2015. Her short story, What they didn’t know, was featured in the January/February BTS magazine, and she co-authored a paranormal piece, Kingdoms Fall, which came out in early 2016. Her next two solo ventures, the first two books in The Custos series -Book of Time & Book of Change also released in 2016. After that, she’ll be working on her competition piece, Chasing Daylight for Cherry Adair’s Finish the Damn Book Challenge, she has an upcoming anthology work called Immortal Alchemy, and an untitled short story for a charity anthology that is a TBA release. There is a long list of titles to come after those are done too.

As the primary owner and driving force behind Eclectic Bard Books she considers herself immensely fortunate to see writing from varied perspectives as she endeavors to publish the authors rostered there. Working with other writers, Savannah gets to expand her horizons every day as someone brings a new idea to the table and the brainstorming begins. There is something addictive about the creative process for her and helping other authors embrace their dreams make hers a reality daily.

That’s the official Savannah, the unofficial version is just a girl who loves experiencing life with every twist and turn it takes. When she was born, she had such fine, light hair that her mother used to tape bows to her head so people would know she was a girl. She’s had a host of crazy unrelated jobs- everything from cake decorator, dry cleaner, and insurance agent to Emergency Room assistant, bartender, crime lab tech and bouncer. Savannah loves air hockey but completely sucks at it. She loves good jazz, good scotch, and antiques but also old rock, a quiet tea, and a tidy home. She’s completely technology impaired and can get it after she’s broken the computer or done it ass-backwards a few times… Thank Gods that there are some amazing meme creators that let her pilfer images or she’d be lost. Lime green is her color, the rhinoceros is her logo & philosophy, and she’s completely mad about seeing new authors try. 

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Alternate Reviews

I was unable to find any blog reviews for C.A.S.E. Revelations, so you'll just have to read the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.