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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Published by Riverhead Books on 13 January 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Ashbury, England // Whitny, England // Train between Ashbury & London (2012, 2013)

First Line(s): There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins isn’t my typical book these days as I do lean more towards the YA but I do love a good mystery. So when I heard that THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was going to be a movie and all the love for the story I thought that I would give it a try. I was initially intrigued by the story and found it to be very readable and I thought that I was in for a really good book. Then the middle happened and the book just lost all of its steam. It started to drag and I found myself not wanting to pick it up. That coupled with how easy it was to predict turned a story that was filled with promise to one that was just meh by the end.

At first I felt sympathy for the various POV characters but that too fizzled out over the course of the book. They were all flawed and that added realism to them but there was nothing to redeem them. Rachel starts off as a character that you think you can be friends with. But then as the layers are pulled back she just becomes pathetic and so very hard to like. By the end of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN I really didn’t care what had happened to the missing girl and kind of wish that all the characters would be killed off.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was a readable story but it wasn’t an enjoyable on for me. I figured it all out before the 50% mark so there were no great reveals and part of me wishes I’d just skipped to the end to verify before DNFing the story. I don’t get the hype for it and as such I am not sure if I’ll watch the movie. I like my mysteries to be engaging and filled with some sort of action but all I got from THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was a static story that never really went anywhere.

 

Add Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to Goodreads.

Add In the Woods by Tana French to Goodreads.

 

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016: My Reading Year in Review

Posted by Irish in Year End Summary0 Comments

Hello Internet!!

The time has come to say goodbye to another year and welcome in a new one. I had a really good reading year in 2016 and as always I am looking forward to see what this new year will bring. And with the end of one year comes one of my favorite things to do in the new one….putting together my year end review post. So here it is….my 2016 reading year in review. (Caution: Graphs ahead!)

Overall Reading:

Total Books = 150
Total Pages = 35,290
Total Audio Hours = 262.5
Average Days per Books = 2.39
Average Books per Day = 0.42
Average Pages per Day = 98.3

Longest book read in 2016 = Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (818 pgs)
Shortest Book / Novella = Frozen Heart by Heidi Cullinan (19 pgs)

My best reading month was January where I read 17 books for a total of 4180 pages and April where I listened to 38.5 audiobook hours. My worst month was September where I only read 7 books though my lowest page count read was August with 1,599 pages. The full breakdown for books/pages read by month for the year looks like this:

For 2016, I read an average of 12.5 books, 2941 pages, and listened to 22 hours of audio every month. Which is pretty darn good if you ask me. And now for the first graph of the day…my 2016 reading year, as charted to my previous years, well, those in which I started to keep an excel spreadsheet for stats. If you would like to skip the graph portion of my reading year and skip right to my Year End Survey then just keep scrolling though I do hope that you like the graphs as much as I do.

2016 was also a good year for audio books and with the exception of my summer hiatus. As I said above my best listening month was April with over 30 hours of audio listened to. My longest audiobook was Winter by Marissa Meyer (23.5 hours) and my shortest was Fairest which was also by Marissa Meyer (6.5 hours). In total I listened to 23 audiobooks and as always I’m hoping to increase that number in the coming year.

In terms of book ratings 41% of the books read had a rating of 4 stars or above which is an increase from last year (34%). In 2015, the bulk of my ratings fell in the 3 star range but in 2016 books with a 4 star rating just edged out the 3 stars taking 37% of the pie. So either I am getting better at choosing books that I know I’ll like or I just got lucky and stumbled upon some really good reads. I also marked five books as DNF and had six books with a 5 star rating. Here are my rating from 2016 done visually because graphs are fun!

This year I also decided to graph out all my ratings based on a post I had seen on twitter to get a feel for my reading “heartbeat” and I thought it was an interesting look of my reading year.

Every year I always get asked what my favorite book of the year and as any reader knows that is a daunting task! So I started to chose my top book from each month and then from those twelve books its a little bit easier to chose my favorite of the year. My Top 12 books for 2016 were:

JAN – Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson
FEB – Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
MAR – The Remedy by Suzanne Young
APR – The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
MAY – Hamilton the Revolution by Lin Manuel-Miranda
JUN – Fast Connection by Megan Erikson and Santino Hassel
JUL – Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
AUG – The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson
SEP – The Goal by Elle Kennedy
OCT – Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
NOV – The Screaming Staircase by Jonathon Stroud
DEC – Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

All of these books are absolutely worth your time in reading them. These are the books that have really stayed with me of the course of the year. From those twelve books I can further narrow it down to the following:

These are the books that once I started them I couldn’t stop reading until I was done. They are the one books that I gave 5 stars to and they are all very special to me in some way. These books made me laugh and they made me cry. They turned me into a book bully for them and will all been read more than once as they are bound to be lifetime favorites. But there can only be one book that is the best of the best and so the book that will be known as my favorite read of 2016 is…..*insert drum roll here*

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley!!!

WORDS IN DEEP BLUE was a book that I have been waiting a long time for as Cath Crowley is one of my favorite authors. I even went as far as importing this one from Australia as I didn’t want to wait for the US release date (June 2017). It was one of the last books that I read in 2016 and just touched me on so many levels. While there were things about the book I could have done without overall it was everything I’d hoped for in a Cath Crowley story. My only real regret is that there are no more words to read and so now another long wait for the next Cath Crowley book begins.

Favorite Quote from Words in Deep Blue:

Mood Board for Words in Deep Blue:

This past year instead of doing any formal challenges I set a few personal reading goals for myself with some mixed results. Some categories I did amazingly well in and others, well, its as if I didn’t try at all. I started the year with similar goal values and then upped that number as I saw fit over the course of the year.  It should also be noted that some books were placed in several different categories.  Even though I “failed” at some of my goals I am pleased with my overall reading year. I like the idea of setting my own personal goals so I’m not sure that I’ll be joining any formal challenges in 2017.

I also kept track of the genres that I read. I’ve used my gut reaction to chose one genre for each book. Although I am aware that sometimes it is possible for a book to be classified in more than one. 2016 was a hard year so it doesn’t really surprise me that I sought out books that I knew would have a happy ending and as a result most of what I read were romances. Based on what I read the genres fall out like this:

I’ve also tracked what age range of books I read and graphed them out (shocker) and those results can be seen below. I also just realized, by looking at this graph, that for the first time in years my adult book reading beat out YA and by a decent amount too.

Another thing that I like to track is the gender of the author that I read. As with previous years my reading is dominated by female authors and I am not ashamed of that. I’d like to say that this will change in 2017 by the data trend doesn’t lie and I don’t see this graph flipping any time soon.

Another thing I track is, how I acquired the books that I read during a calendar year. This data just encompasses the books that I read over the course of the year and doesn’t include all the books that I have obtained. In 2016, most of the books I read were books that I borrowed from the library (43) or that I purchased (41).

 

I also track the format that I used to experience a book and because I am a total nerd I made a graph for it (at this point you probably aren’t surprised by this). Like last year (and the two years before that), ebooks and egalleys dominated my reading and counted for 92 of the books that I read. This always seems to surprise me as I’m a lover of physical books and buy a lot of them but it does makes sense as my kindle is so much easier for this mood reader to carry around.

Last year I added a few new categories to track: Diversity, Year Published, and POV. For diversity, I focused on the characters that were in the books. This could mean that a character was LGBT+ or a person of color. I also included non-Christian based religions if it was mentioned. I tracked if the diversity mentioned was in the main or supporting character and for any book where it was unknown, or not specifically mentioned, I recorded it as NA. In 2017, I might dive more into the type of diversity mentioned in the books I read, though it wouldn’t surprise me if LGBT+ characters dominated the list.

For the year published, most of the books I read were published in 2016 and this is something that I think I want to try and change in the coming year. While I do love reading new titles I do want to put some more focus on backlist titles that I may have missed.

Finally, I tracked the POV of the books I was reading. I was curious to see how this would breakdown. I’m not surprised the the bulk of my books had either female or an alternating POV as I did read a lot of romances in 2016. I’m sure that this will be a trend in 2017 as well.

Well, that’s it for the graph/stats portion of the post which I hope you enjoyed and if you are still reading then you must have. If there are any stats you think I should track in the coming year then please leave me a comment below. I’m always looking for new graphs to make after all!

2016 End of Year Survey

First Read of the Year – Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert

Last Read of the Year – Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Best Book of of the Year –  Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Worst Book of Year (not including DNFs) – You Make Me by Erin McCarthy

Most Disappointing Book of Year – The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Most Surprising Book of Year – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Best Series Discovered – Lockwood & Co by Jonathon Stroud

Series That Went Off the Rails – While there were a couple of series that I tried this year and did not care for the first book there were none that I felt went off the rails and I enjoyed most of the series books I read in 2016.

Favorite New Author You Discovered This Year – Lily Anderson (The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You) and Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)

Most Hilarious Read of Year – Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Anderson and Hyperbole & a Half by Allie Brosh

Book That Made You Cry the Hardest – There were books that made my heart ache in 2016 but none that I recall making me cry

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book – Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Book You Most Anticipated in 2016 – Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2016 –

Most Beautifully Written Book of Year – Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Book That Had the Greatest Impact – Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited until 2016 to Read – Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else: Deeper by Robin York

Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? Off the top of my head, I can’t really think of any one book that was out of my comfort zone this past year.

Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? There are so many possibilities and I’ll read any of my favorite heart-achy reads from 2016. As of writing this though the books that I most want to reread are the ones in Annabeth Albert’s Portland Heat series.

Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2016 (be it romantic, friendship, etc) – Damien and Laurent in the Captive Prince Series by CS Pacat, Baz and Elijah in Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan, Mitch and Cody in Full Disclosure by Kindle Alexander, Trixie and Ben in The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson, Maddie and Seth in Lucky in Love by Kasie West, Billie and George in Because of Miss Bridgeron by Julia Quinn

Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously? The Remedy by Suzanne Young

Book you read in 2016 that you recommended to people most in 2017? Lucky in Love by Kasie West, In Real Life by Jessica Love, The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Genre You Read The Most From in 2016? Contemporary Romance

Best 2016 debut you read? In Real Life by Jessica Love and Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read this year? Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Book You Read in 2016 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out? The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson, In Real Life by Jessica Love, and Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan

Series or author’s works you binged? Portland Heat series by Annabeth Albert

Book read furthest away from home – Gemina by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufmann (England), Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen (Poland), One Silver Summer by Rachel Hickman (Poland), Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas (Poland – read on plane home), The Deepest Blue by Christina Lee (Started on plane home from Poland)

Book that took the longest to read – Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (19 days)

Book that made you love the villain – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo because Kaz Breckker can be described as many things…but Hero is not one of them.

Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date – Lucky in Love by Kasie West (July 2017)

Book you read on your birthday – None! I finished a book on 18 September (The Goal by Elle Kennedy) and I started another on 21 September (Tempting Tristan by Melissa Foster) I didn’t actually read anything on my actual birthday (20 September).

Book you which you could go back and read for the first time again – Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Most books read by one author this year – Annabeth Albert (9 books read)

Number of new series started: 24

Number of series completed: 12

Number of 2016 Debut Novels Read: 16

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get to in 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett, In a Perfect World by Trish Doller, The Adjustment by Suzanne Young, Thick as Thieves by Meg Whalen Turner, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, Dream Magic by Joshua Khan, Want by Cindy Pon…and several more…2017 is going to be a good reading year!

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock and Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? None!! Because I really hate when a good series comes to an end. *sobs*

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2017? To get caught up on my review backlog.

End of Year Quiz

Saw this on a friends facebook page and she saw it on LibraryThing and liked it enough to try it for myself. The idea is to answer the questions using book titles read in 2016.

Describe yourself: Bookishly Ever After
How do you feel? Frazzled
Describe where you currently live: Crooked Kingdom
If you could go anywhere…? A Scot in the Dark
Favorite form of transportation: Fly with Me
Your best friend is: Steadfast
You and your friends are: Thicker Than Water
What’s the weather like? Winter
Your favorite time of day is: Sunset Park
What is life for you? Practice Makes Perfect
You fear: Frozen Heart
Best advice: Adulthood is a Myth
Thought for the day: You
How you would like to die: Black Knife

My 2016 Book Reviews

Other Posts of 2016

 

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Blog Tour Review: Heartless

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Blog Tour, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: HeartlessHeartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 8th 2016
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Family, Fantasy, Friendship, Love & Romance, Magic, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
Setting: Wonderland
four-stars

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter

First Line(s): Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.

First things first…there are FOUR days until HEARTLESS!

Can you believe it?!? The wait is almost over!

excited-baby

We all know the story of Alice in Wonderland even if we’ve never read the book by Lewis Carroll we at least know the Disney version about a plucky girl who falls down a rabbit hole and goes on a most extraordinary adventure. There are songs and shenanigans and run ins with the evil Queen of Hearts. When you watch the movie or read the book the Queen is always cast as a villainous character and as a viewer its easy to sympathize with Alice and cheer her triumphs. But you don’t always think about why the Queen is so evil or that maybe Alice isn’t as nice as you originally think. We grow up conditioned to think about fairy tales in a certain way that it can be a bit shocking to see alternate versions of the stories we love. We see this in the stories of Gregory McGuire and on the show Once Upon a Time and now here, in HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer we get to see a new side to the Queen of Hearts. Not only does HEARTLESS make you think differently about a story you thought you knew but its also a bit of a unicorn in the world of fantasy books in that it is a standalone book.

lurking

HEARTLESS is a story that will suck you in from the start. This book is such a different sort of story from Meyer’s series, The Lunar Chronicles and yet you still get her signature writing style and her ability to spin a beautiful story. HEARTLESS is not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, its a prequel. Its a story that came about because Meyer’s asked the question why is the queen so evil? Was she born this way or did something happen to make her this way. Catherine (aka the Queen) is a girl much like the readers of the book she has hopes and dreams and a love for baking that will make a reader’s mouth water throughout this book. She’s of a noble family but she dreams of opening a bakery with her friend and maid.

cupcake

But we all know that’s not how the story ended up and I loved Meyer’s take on the story. I love the characters that she created and how she incorporated some old friends. It was a wonderful mix of original and new and told in a way that I think would make Lewis Carroll proud. HEARTLESS is a book that will suck you in with its whimsy and you’ll fall in love with Cath. You’ll turn the pages hoping against hope that somehow the ending of this story will be different and that Cath will get her bakery and her happily ever after. You’ll hope that in the end you’ll learn that the Queen of Hearts is a different girl altogether. But not all stories have a happy ending and sometimes your heart has to break. And boy does Meyer’s play with your heart but everything that happens needs to happen and despite the lack of a HEA its still possible to love this book. In fact, its kind of hard not to like this story and I highly recommend it.

broken-heart

irishdarkblue

JOIN THE #HEARTLESSCOUNTDOWN!

Join Fierce Reads in celebrating all things Heartless by Marissa Meyer! Starting Monday, September 19, they’ll be counting down to on sale with daily challenges where you can show your love and excitement, AND where you’ll have the chance to win a special edition advance copy of Heartless and MORE every single day.

Enter for your chance to win each day from September 19 – November 8 on Twitter or Instagram using #HeartlessCountdown and #Sweepstakes.

Fierce Reads will be posting weekly challenge updates and adding more links and information for some challenges as we get closer. Click here to take a look at the schedule and join in the excitement!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: She Made Me Read It!

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday3 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about those books you may not have read if someone didn’t bully…err….recommend it to you. Most of my recent read because of a recommendation are from Andi at AndiABCs….she’s like an annoying little fly sometimes that you can’t swat away. And what usually happens is we’ll meet up, grab some beers and then make a drunken book deal because there’s usually something I’ve been nagging her to read just as much. So here are ten books that were strongly recommended to me and that I am now recommending to you. (Links go to Goodreads except where indicated.)

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (Recommended By: Robin)

My friend Robin had nagged me about reading Harry Potter for YEARS starting in 1997 and not letting up until I caved and read the first one around 2000 or 2001. I was a snotty newly adult and insisted that I couldn’t possibly like this series because it was a children’s book and I only read serious literature at that time.

eye-roll

But then one day I was at my local library looking for a new audio to listen to for my commute to work and saw they had HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE. I grabbed it fully expecting to rub it in her face about just how wrong she was about my liking this series. But in the end, the egg was on my face because I not only liked the book I fell in love and thus began my interest in YA books.

What Happens

2. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton (Recommend By: Andi // My Review)

How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

 

far from you

3. Far From You by Tess Sharpe (Recommend By: Andi // My Review)

Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?

The Program

4. The Program by Suzanne Young (Recommend By: Andi // My Review)

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

scoring wilder quote

5. Scoring Wilder by RS Grey (Recommended by: Andi // My Review)

 What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

Everything Everything Quote

6. Everything, Everything by Nicolaa Yoon (Recommended by: Andi // My Review)

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

7. Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton (Recommended by: NY Sarah)

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

Something Real Quote

8. Something Real by Heather Demetrios (Recommended By: Andi, and others // My Review)

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

Demon's Lexicon

9. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (Recommended By: Jennifer and Dani // My Review)

Sixteen-year-old Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy—she screams if Nick gets near her. She’s no help in protecting any of them from the deadly magicians who use demons to work their magic. The magicians want a charm that Nick’s mother stole—and they want it badly enough to kill. Alan is Nick’s partner in demon slaying and the only person he trusts in the world. So things get very scary and very complicated when Nick begins to suspect that everything Alan has told him about their father, their mother, their past, and what they are doing is a complete lie. . . .

Shuffle Repeat

10. Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein (Recommended By: Andi)

June wants high school to end and real life to begin. Oliver is soaking up senior year’s glory days. They could have coasted through high school, knowing about—but not really knowing—each other.

Except that their moms have arranged for Oliver to drive June to school. Every. Single. Day.

Suddenly these two opposites are fighting about music, life . . . pretty much everything. But love is unpredictable. When promises—and hearts—get broken, Oliver and June must figure out what really matters. And then fight for it.

 

irishdarkblue

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Guest Post: Joshua Khan, Author of Shadow Magic on Inspiration

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Guest Post, Middle Grade0 Comments

Guest Post: Joshua Khan, Author of Shadow Magic on Inspiration

 

Title: Shadow Magic (Shadow Magic #1)

Author: Joshua Khan

Release Date: 6th October 2016

Genre: MG Fantasy

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Paperback

Thorn, an outlaw’s son, wasn’t supposed to be a slave. He’s been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they’re headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.

Lilith Shadow wasn’t supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?

Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.

I’m very pleased to welcome Joshua Khan, author of SHADOW MAGIC, to Ticket to Anywhere as part of the UK blog for this fun and imaginative middle grade novel. SHADOW MAGIC is filled with friendship, mystery, zombies, magic and giant bats. Its an adventure story and sure to engage the mind of anyone who reads it. SHADOW MAGIC is currently available in the US, UK and Australia and if you haven’t picked it up yet then what are you waiting for? As Rick Riordan has blurred “I defy you not to love this story.”

Guest Post

Most Inspiring Things/Places

 

My bank statement is probably what inspires me most of all. Second comes the crack in the walls in the house. Third is the holes in my shoes…

I jest, sort of. Writing’s my job. It’s my career. It’s what earns me money and I’m very proud of that. Very. Getting paid to do something you love is damn awesome.

I’m not looking for inspiration, and definitely not waiting for it to strike. If I’m not typing, I’m sitting with my notepad open. Sometimes it’s just scribbling, sometimes its notes in teh margin on previous pages, sometimes it’s maps or pages and pages of download, random ideas that, when shifted through, make yield up a nugget of sometime shiny.

My inspirations the world going by. I love taking buses. Up on the top floor you’ve a great view, of people and places and the sky and I love that. Looking down onto people’s heads and wondering about what they’[re wondering about, trying see into their heads. Cafes, travelling, seeing sights, all these things inspire me, if not immediately, sometimes later. They’re a compost of ideas. What will grow out of it, who knows?

I start and abandon projects all the time. If I hit 20,000 words on an idea, then I’ll finish it, that’s my test on its sturdiness. I no longer plot in detail, certainly not on the 1st draft. I have a sense of the journey, the destination, but not on the actual road. I know where I want to end up, but happy to work on the route as it comes.

I think there is an irony to writing. It’s a lonely profession, but one that needs the writer to engage with the outside world more than any other job. It’s our concerns, our dreams and our frustrations with the world at large that feed our work. SHADOW MAGIC is all about the education and opportunities for girls, despite the zombies and giant bats my concerns are how my daughters, now in secondary school, will get on in the outside world, what with gender pay gaps and glass ceilings and stereotypes on careers suitable for women (one daughter’s very interested in the RAF, for instance, the other’s taken up martial arts). So, my biggest inspiration is my children. Always has been, always will be.

Joshua Khan was born in Britain. From very early on he filled himself with the stories of heroes, kings and queens until there was hardly any room for anything else. He can tell you where King Arthur was born* but not what he himself had for breakfast. So, with a head stuffed with tales of legendary knights, wizards and great and terrible monsters it was inevitable Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements.

*Tintagel, in case you were wondering.

Website: http://www.joshuakhan.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerjoshkhan

 

Tour Stops

Wednesday 5th October

Bart’s Bookshelf

Teens on Moon Lane

Thursday 6th October

Luna’s Little Library

Bazinga Booknerd

Friday 7th October

Bookish Outsider

Sister Spooky

Saturday 8th October

Northern Plunder

Chouett

Sunday 9th October

Tales of Yesterday

The Book Bandit

Monday 10th October

It Takes a Woman

Ticket to Anywhere

Tuesday 11th October

Big Book Little Book

Delightful Book Reviews

Wednesday 12th October

ArtsMum

The Reading Pile

Thursday 13th October

Kirstyes

Inspiring Imarah

Friday 14th October

YA Under my Skin

Bibliomaniac

Saturday 15th October

Fiction Fascination

Sweet Love Books

Sunday 16th October

Mugglenet

K Books

Monday 17th October

Snuggling on the Sofa

MG Strikes Back

Tuesday 18th October

YA Yeah Yeah

Nayu’s Reading Corner

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Blog Tour Review: Enjoy the Dance by Heidi Cullinan

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Blog Tour, Review1 Comment

Blog Tour Review: Enjoy the Dance by Heidi Cullinan

Blog Tour Review: Enjoy the Dance by Heidi CullinanEnjoy the Dance by Heidi Cullinan
Series: Dancing, Book 2
Also in this series: Dance with Me
Published by Self-Published on October 11, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Love & Romance, Performing Arts, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
Setting: St Paul, Minnesota (2012)
three-stars
Also by this author: Love Lessons, Fever Pitch, Lonely Hearts, Short Stay, Dance with Me

First Line(s):  One cool October day, after a dispiriting seven hours of teaching privileged kindergarten children, Spenser Harris returned to his apartment to discover a teenage boy – battered, bruised, and coiled into a ball – in front of his door.

ENJOY THE DANCE is the second book in Heidi Cullinan’s Dancing series and takes place about a year after the events in DANCE WITH ME (my review) ends. While this book features cameos from people that we’ve met before the two main characters are new ones to the reader, Spenser and Tomas. Both of whom I really liked and I also really liked their story and the journey that they took over the course of the book. I liked how they became friends first and then worked up to something more. I liked the slow burn aspect of this book but also liked that it wasn’t so slow that I lost interest. I also liked how Spenser and Tomas interacted with the people around them.

What I didn’t like about ENJOY THE DANCE was just how much was going on in this book. There was the issue with Duon, there was the political aspect, and then there was what was going on with Tomas’s family. Just one of those plot points would have been a lot but all three together and it all got a bit jumbled and distracting. The political portion of the story line, while an important part of modern history, isn’t something that I really want to encounter to the extent mentioned in this book. As a bit of filler here and there fine but it was just so much. Although, I do think that part of this dislike of mine comes from politic fatigue. We are in the midst of Presidential election season and I’m just really really really tired of politics. So this portion of the story may not have bothered me if I’d read it at a different time.

ENJOY THE DANCE is a quick read and I liked it I just didn’t love it as much as I would have liked. I think if there was more focus on the romance and less on the political situation than I would have liked it more. I enjoyed the cameos of the characters we knew and I won’t be surprised if Duon eventually gets his own story. The boy has been through a lot of the course of the two books in this series and ENJOY THE DANCE ends in 2015 so there is potential for it. Speaking of the ending, ENJOY THE DANCE had an epilogue that did not suck. You know me reader, I am not a fan of epilogue but I think that Cullinan did a good job with this one. Although I did think that the timing of things didn’t seem entirely plausible for a 3 year stretch from the start. A year, maybe, but three? It just seemed forced. But overall, I liked it and I liked how Tomas and Spenser’s story ends. Unlike make of Cullinan’s books I didn’t find this ending to be too sugary although it does end in a way that is so very Cullinan.

If you are a fan a Cullinan, then you will like ENJOY THE DANCE. There is a lot to like about this book and I think that new fans and old will enjoy it. ENJOY THE DANCE can be read as a standalone book but there is something added when you know the other characters involved. This was a quick read for me and I do look forward to reading more of what Cullinan comes up with.

enjoy-the-dance-quote

three-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: three-stars
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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Dance with Me by Heidi Cullinan

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Dance with Me by Heidi CullinanDance with Me by Heidi Cullinan
Published by Self-Published on 26 July 2011
Genres: Adult, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, GLBT, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Performing Arts, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 418
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
Setting: St Paul, Minnesota (2010)
three-stars
Also by this author: Love Lessons, Fever Pitch, Lonely Hearts, Short Stay, Enjoy the Dance

First Line(s): Ed Maurer tapped his thumb on his steering wheel as he inched through Twin Cities traffic, sloughing off a rough afternoon as he headed to Halcyon Center.

I became a fan of Heidi Cullinan when I read her series Love Lessons, in that series we meet a character named Ed Maurer who is the hero of her book DANCE WITH ME. DANCE WITH ME is a book with a trope that I like, the ol’ hate to love scenario and Ed and Laurie do not get along when we first meet them. Part of the issues between Ed and Laurie is because they don’t talk to each other. Once they do things start to change between them and they grow closer.

DANCE WITH ME is far from perfect and there were a few times where I rolled my eyes and got frustrated with the characters. There were times when the forward progression of the story stalled and Ed and Laurie just seemed to keep circling the same issues…getting and giving the same responses with the same distraction as a way to change one scene to another. Then there was that one scene that had me cringing. I won’t go into full details here but it involved a hot tub and a man that, while not blood related (I don’t think), but who Laurie called Uncle. And just *shudders* it totally took me out of the story and I wish I could scrub it from my brain.

dance-with-me-quote

Overall though I did like DANCE WITH ME. It was a quick read with an interesting cast of characters and enough momentum to the plot to keep me reading until the end. I liked Ed when he was with Laurie and vice versa. They two were opposites sides of the same coin and they brought out the best within each other. They each needed qualities found in the other to bring out things within themselves that they didn’t know they had. I liked how they worked to build a relationship even if they did go in circles at times.

As with most Heidi Cullinan books, the ending was a little too cutsey and too neatly tied up with a bow but I get why she gives the endings she does. They allow each book to be a standalone even as her characters spill out into her other stories. I loved meeting this version of Ed and Laurie which are different than who they are when we meet them later in the Love Lessons series. I like how her characters make these cross overs as it fleshes out the world that Cullinan has created and makes it a little more real. Her stories aren’t perfect but they do make for a good afternoon distraction.

irishdarkblue

ir-dance-with-me

Add Beta Test by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Excerpt: Danny, The Champion of the World by Ronald Dahl

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Excerpt0 Comments

Excerpt: Danny, The Champion of the World by Ronald Dahl

This year Penguin Young Readers and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate are celebrating 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl —the world’s number one storyteller.

I have been a fan of Roald Dahl since I was a little girl and read The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda. These stories took me away from the everyday and transported me to a world’s that I longed to live in and am forever grateful to Mr. Dahl for all the wonderful memories he has given me.

As part of the celebration, Penguin Young Readers has released brand new covers of all of Roald Dahl’s works. I have the honor of celebrating the newest cover for The BFG and an excerpt! Pleasejoin me in the celebration of such a wonderful event.

 danny-champion-of-the-world

Title: Danny, The Champion of the World
Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 1975

Can Danny and his father outsmart the villainous Mr. Hazell?

Danny has a life any boy would love—his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest master car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. But one night Danny discovers a shocking secret that his father has kept hidden for years. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world.

Excerpt

When I was four months old, my mother died suddenly and my father was left to look after me all by himself. This is how I looked at the time.

                I had no brothers or sisters.

                So all through my boyhood, from the age of four months onward, there was just us two, my father and me.

                We lived in an old gypsy caravan behind a filling station. My father owned the filling station and the caravan and a small meadow behind, but that was about all he owned in the world. It was a very small filling station on a small country road surrounded by fields and woody hills.

                While I was still a baby, my father washed me and fed me and changed my diapers and did all the millions of other things a mother normally does for her child. That is not an easy task for a man, especially when he has to earn his living at the same time by repairing automobile engines and serving customers with gasoline.

                But my father didn’t seem to mind. I think that all the love he had felt for my mother when she was alive he now lavished upon me. During my early years, I never had a moment’s unhappiness or illness, and here I am on my fifth birthday.

                I was now a scruffy little boy as you can see, with grease and oil all over me, but that was because I spent all day in the workshop helping my father with the automobiles.

                The filling station itself had only two pumps. There was a wooden shed behind the pumps that served as an office There was nothing in the office except an old table and a cash register to put the money into. It was one of those where you pressed a button and a bell rang and the drawer shot out with a terrific bang. I used to love that.

                The square brick building to the right of the office was the workshop. My father built that himself with loving care, and it was the only really solid thing on the place. “We are engineers, you and I,” he used to say to me. “We earn our living by repairing engines and we can’t do good work in a rotten workshop.” It was a fine workshop, big enough to take one automobile comfortably and leave plenty of room around the sides for working. It had a telephone so that customers could ring up and arrange to bring their cars in for repair.

                The caravan was our house and our home. It was a real old gypsy wagon with big wheels and fine patterns painted all over it in yellow and red and blue. My father said it was at least one hundred and fifty years old. Many gypsy children, he said, had been born in it and had grown up within its wooden walls. With a horse to pull it, the old caravan must have wandered for thousands of miles along the roads and lanes of England. But now its wanderings were over, because the wooden spokes in the wheels were beginning to rot, my father had propped it up underneath with bricks.

                There was only one room in the caravan, and it wasn’t much bigger than a fair-sized modern bathroom. It was a narrow room, the shape of the caravan itself, and against the back wall were two bunk beds, one above the other. The top one was my father’s, the bottom one mine.

                Although we had electric lights in the workshop, we were not allowed to have them in the caravan. The electricity people said it was unsafe to put wires into something as old and rickety as that. So we got our heat and light in much the same way as the gypsies had done years ago. There was a wood-burning stove with a chimney that went up through the roof, and this kept us warm in winter. There was a kerosene burner on which to boil a kettle or cook a stew, and there was a kerosene lamp hanging from the ceiling.

                When I needed a bath, my father would heat a kettle of water and pour it into a basin. Then he would stop me naked and scrub me all over, standing up. This, I think, got me just as clean as if I were washed in a bathtub—probably cleaner because I didn’t finish up sitting in my own dirty water.

                For furniture, we had two chairs and a small table, and those, apart from a tiny chest of drawers, were all the home comforts we possessed. They were all we needed.

                The lavatory was a funny little wooden hut standing in the meadow way back of the caravan. It was fine in the summertime, but I can tell you that sitting out there on a snowy day in winter was like sitting in an icebox.

                Immediately behind the caravan was an old apple tree. It bore fine apples that ripened in the middle of September. You could go on picking them for the next four or five weeks. Some of the boughs of the tree hung right over the caravan and when the wind blow the apples down in the night, they often landed on our roof. I would hear them going thump…thump…thump….above my head as I lay in my bunk, but those noises never frightened me because I knew exactly what was making them.

                I really loved living in the gypsy caravan. I loved it especially in the evenings when I was tucked up in my bunk and my father was telling me stories. The kerosene lamp was turned low, and I could see lumps of wood glowing red-hot in the old stove, and wonderful it was to be lying there snug and warm in my bunk in that little room. Most wonderful of all was the feeling that when I went to sleep, my father would still be there, very close to me, sitting in his chair by the fire, or lying in the bunk above my own.

roald-photo-official-photo-jpeg

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published asCharlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

For more information please visit www.roalddahl.com/usa

Facebook.com/RoaldDahl

Twitter.com/roald_dahl  

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #roalddahl100
Youtube.com/officialroalddahl

Pinterest.com/roalddahl

Instagram: @roald_dahl 

Don’t forget to hashtag #roalddahl100

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Blog Tour Review: Say It Louder by Heidi Joy Trethway

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Blog Tour, Contest, Review0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Say It Louder by Heidi Joy Trethway

Blog Tour Review: Say It Louder by Heidi Joy TrethwaySay it Louder by Heidi Joy Tretheway
Series: Tattoo Thief,
Also in this series: Tattoo Thief, Tyler & Stella, Revenge Bound
Published by Self-Published on September 28, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Performing Arts, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 246
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Tattoo Thief, Tyler & Stella, Revenge Bound

 

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): I’m shaking as I leave Tyler’s loft.

One band. Five love stories. Too many secrets.

We’ve been waiting a long time to find out how the band Tattoo Thief will deal with drummer Dave’s toxic ex—and the secrets she’s been collecting on everyone. It was worth the wait.

You don’t have to be a fan of the series to love a book that starts fast with a huge wow moment and then unpacks the band’s secrets. In fact, you don’t have to read the earlier books because each book is a different love story about a different member of the band.

 About Say it Louder:

I had a choice—dump my toxic girlfriend, or break up my band.

It should have been easy. But she’s been collecting dirt on all of us for years.

Just when I think I’ve hit rock bottom, a pink-haired street artist rocks my world. They call Willa “the Parking Lot Picasso.” I call her my refuge, my center, my last reason to hope.

When Willa’s life on the streets collides with a sudden spotlight on her art, I’ll stop at nothing to protect her. But when the spotlight turns on my secret shame, she might be my only salvation.

Review

SAY IT LOUDER is the long awaited sequel in Heidi Joy Tretheway’s Tattoo Thief series and it picks up almost immediately after REVENGE BOUND ends. We see Dave at a crossroads with the members of his band and the after effects of choices he makes from that meeting. Though its a decision that’s a long time in coming since readers are well aware of the toxicity that is Dave’s girlfried, Kristina. We also know that Kristina won’t go quietly though I did expect there to be more tension and drama from her. The scenes with Kristina just fell flat for me as did much of this book. Perhaps, because I’d been waiting for it for so long that my expectations were higher than they may have been and as a result SAY IT LOUDER just never really lived up.

As an installment in the series, I liked where SAY IT LOUDER went but just never really felt the heat between Willa and Dave. Willa was intensely dislikable at first and Dave seemed a little wishy-washy. Willa does change over the course of the book but it seemed pretty sudden and I never really bought her change in behaviour. I didn’t really feel the heat between Willa and Dave but as a couple they did work. They definitely worked better than Dave and Kristina ever did. For me, SAY IT LOUDER just didn’t seem to hit the right now. It was well written but it just seemed to lack the heart of the other books and while I liked it I just didn’t love it as much as I’d wanted.

A portion of SAY IT LOUDER was also spent introducing a new character, Ryan, and placing her into the path of the main characters. As with the introduction of Willa in REVENGE BOUND, this was all part of a set up and we learn that there is to be another book in the series, SKIP A BEAT. Which I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I like the idea of another rock star musician book but on the other I was ready for this series to be over. Ryan also wasn’t really developed enough in this book to give a sense on who she is and if her story is worth reading. Although, deep down I know that I will because I do enjoy Tretheway’s writing.

irishdarkblue

 

Grab your copy today:

Amazon ebook | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Paperback

 

sil-teaser-2

 

Get the first book in the Tattoo Thief series free (on iBooks, Amazon, Nook or Kobo), or dive in to Say it Louder by downloading a free extended sample for Kindle or all other devices. Check out this excerpt, and then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win a signed paperback and special swag.

Tattoo Thief (#1) – https://heidijoytretheway.com/0px%20!important;%22%20/%3E

Tyler & Stella (#2) – https://goo.gl/WrLTff

Revenge Bound (#3) – https://goo.gl/Uq5VTR

Skip a Beat (#5) – releases Jan. 31, 2017

All buy links are at www.heidijoytretheway.com/books

 

About Heidi Joy Tretheway:

heidi-joy-tretheway-author-photo

Heidi Joy Tretheway is a sucker for campfires, craft cocktails, and steamy romance in books and real life. She sings along with musicals (badly), craves French carbs, and buys plane tickets the way some women buy shoes.

Her first career as a journalist took Heidi behind the scenes with politicians, rock stars, and chefs, all of whom inspire her stories. Heidi Joy is currently working on her tenth book from her home in southwestern Washington.

 

Connect with Heidi:

Contest

Enter Heidi’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Stops

September 30th                             

Socially Awkward Book Nerd     Review

Barbara’s Book Reveiws                              Excerpt

October 1st                      

Books,Dreams,Life          Excerpt

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium                   Excerpt

Vera is Reading                Excerpt

October 2nd                    

Sassy Girl Books                             Review

A Dream Within A Dream            Excerpt

Quesarasera Book Blog                Review

October 3rd                     

Southern Belle Book Blog            Excerpt

Ticket to Anywhere                       Review

Reading Tigress                Review

October 4th                     

My Favorite Things         Review

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews        Excerpt

October 5th                     

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess           Review

Reese’s Reviews               Excerpt

Bound By Books Book Review    Review

October 6th                     

Romance Book Nerd      Excerpt

EskieMama Reads           Excerpt

October 7th                     

Collector of book boyfriends      Playlist

iScream Books Review

Captain Reads A Lot       Excerpt

Inked in Chapters            Review

October 8th                     

CReeeBookWorld            Review

Renee Entress’s Blog      Review

Author Groupies              Review

October 9th                     

A Brit and a Yank             Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club Guest Post

bookshelf dreaming       Review

Ashley Book Blog            Review

October 10th                   

The Smut-Brarians          Review

Books to Breathe             Review

Books Need TLC                              Review

October 11th                   

Adventures in Writing    Playlist

Live read and breathe    Review

Novel Addiction                              Review

October 12th                   

Alpha Book Club              Review

Red Cheeks Reads           Excerpt

Wild and Dirty Book Blog             Review

October 13th                   

G & T’s Indie Café            Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs       Review

Ramblings From This Chick         Review

The Phantom Paragrapher          Review

Nay’s Pink Bookshelf      Excerpt

 

three-stars
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLeanA Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2
Published by Avon on August 30th 2016
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Regency, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 392
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Season, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, The Rogue Not Taken

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1834)

First Line(s): Miss Lillian Hargrove was the most beautiful woman in England.

 

I always get a little giddy when a new Sarah MacLean books is placed in my hands and I was super excited to get an early copy of her newest, A SCOT IN THE DARK. I really liked the first book in this new series, THE ROGUE WORTH TAKING (my review) and was looking forward to seeing more of King’s friend the Duke of Warnick. And while I liked this book I didn’t love it as much as the first in the series but any book that has Freddie (aka the Earl of Stanhope) in it will always hold a very special place in my heart. I enjoyed the chemistry between Warnick and Lily but, for me, there was just something missing from this one and looking back I can’t quite put my finger on what.

A SCOT IN THE DARK was a quick read but its also one that I found easy to put down. There was nothing about it that made me want to keep picking up. Though when I was reading it I was throughly engaged and even laughed out loud on several occasions. There is some good banter between the hero and heroine but they just paled in comparison to King and Sophie from the first book. Those two just set a really high bar and Warnick and Lily didn’t live up. But they did have some really fun scenes together and I loved the cameos from the Talbot sisters. I think perhaps, part of my disappointment with A SCOT IN THE DARK is because it wasn’t a Talbot sister book. I just got really attached to that crazy family and it was hard to say goodbye to them.

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My disappointment is all my own. I think that any devoted reader of Sarah MacLean will love A SCOT IN THE DARK. There is humor and adventure and potential for scandal around every corner. There is chemistry and heart ache and a book that has a lot but still remains true to the love story at its core. There is some fun banter between the main characters and some good side scenes when they are not sharing a page. I just wish that I was able to connect with the lead characters more which would have had me liking this book more than I did.

A SCOT IN THE DARK is a book that can be read as a standalone but why would you want to? It totally helps to read all of MacLean’s books in publication order because then you can enjoy the cameos all the more. I just love how those little cameos really help to flesh out a world and make it seem more real across the various series that MacLean writes. And MacLean can write, that is something that never changes from book to book. She is a gifted author and one that I think all lovers of romance should experience. I know that I, for one, am already looking forward to her next book even though April 2017 seems like its an eternity away!

 

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Add Lady Bridget’s Diary by Maya Rodale to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen to Goodreads.

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