Friday, December 16, 2016

New Look!

As you guys can see, there's a new look to the blog! This wasn't really a choice...the old formatting must have been removed (it was created years ago) and so I had to choose something different! It's a bit sunnier than it was in the past, but I like it, and I hope you all do as well!

Because this post is mostly just about that....I don't really have anything else to say. I don't have any completed lengthy reviews to post, as I've unfortunately not been reading a lot this month due to the holidays and my writing the second book for my publisher. (Don't forget, one of my books comes out on Dec. 25th)! So I guess I'll just take this time to tell you all what I'm TRYING to get read, and what I have up for R2Rs in the (hopefully) near future!

I don't usually like to read so many books at once, but I've been finding it really hard to sit and focus on any one book this past month (probably because of everything I've got going on) so I have a huge list this go around. :/

Currently Reading:

I received an advanced copy of this and when I started it I absolutely loved it! I still really want to sit down and finish it, it's just taking me forever to actually get around to doing so. As of now though, I'm excited for the book to actually come out in Feb. and might buy myself a copy even though I have this ebook. If you want to know more about it, visit it's Goodreads.com page, here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30258320-gilded-cage










I got a copy of this from the author in exchange for review as well. I'm not overly found of this cover,
but the book itself is very good! This isn't meant for anyone under the age of 18, however, so please keep that in mind! I read a mixture of genre's so sometimes the things I review aren't Teen/Ya Fiction. I've got about 20% more before I'm finished with this one, and I read most of it in two nights. The characters are great and complex, and aside from a few plot points I felt were rushed, I can't find anything I don't like about it! As of now I highly recommend if dark contemporary romance is your thing! More info? Click here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31282839-blaire








Honestly, I'm only on page 18, so there's not really much I can say about this one. So far, I'm actually not that into it, but I don't feel like that's even fair to say seeing as how the book is over 400 pages, meaning I have yet to even make a dent. It's gotten really great reviews and its rating is pretty high, so I really think I just haven't given it enough of a go yet. Hopefully I get the time to do so. :) More info here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26836910-the-diabolic









This one is actually available to be read for free on Swoonreads.com, which is where I ran into it. I
wish I had the time to really sit down and read it straight through, because so far I am really liking it and the world building. It's a bit like Gilded Cage to be honest, or maybe that's just because I made the mistake of reading them both at the same time, I don't know, but the point is if one sounds interesting to you the other probably will as well! I would definitely check it out if I were you, especially because that's a site where you help authors get published! Here's a link to the Goodreads.com page, but again, you can find this and read it for free at Swoonreads.com :

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32199172-shadows-of-stars





To Read Soon:

This book isn't very long, it just feels like I never have time to get to it. I might start carrying it around in my purse. This also isn't generally like the books I read, so that might be why it's taking forever as well. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from the author, and I did read the first few pages which I liked. So, if you're the author reading this, I DIDN'T FORGET! It's just taking me a while to get to. Add to your reading list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29595726-the-six-principles-of-enlightenment-and-meaning-of-life











Here's another one for R2R. The author actually just sent it over to me yesterday, and it sounds so
good that I'm really looking forward to getting to it! I think I'll probably move it up my list to be honest! :) And the cover is great!!!! For more info go here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31945438-silver-blood

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

 Blurb:

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).


* * *
 
Full disclosure, I don't usually read these types of books. I've probably only read about three or so in my entire life, in fact. But I follow Anna Kendrick on Instagram and loved all of the posts she did, and I think she's a great actress so when I found the signed copy at Barnes & Noble I knew I had to buy it.
 
BEST. DECISION. EVER.
 
I read this in one sitting. I figured I'd read a chapter here and there and that would be it, but ended up unable to put it down for the entire night. It's amazing. The book is honest, and relatable, and HILARIOUS in the way only an honest and relatable book can be. I loved that it didn't focus solely on how she got her career; it's mentioned, but we aren't bashed over the head with all these details. She also doesn't preach or try and give advice on how to become famous and successful. Because of this, it came off more genuine and real, and I was drawn into how she felt and why she felt it. I wanted to know if she ever got over her insecurities, and when she realizes she might not ever, but that it's okay, I felt okay about the ones that I personally have. We've all had those moments where we feel like we don't fit in, or that here's something socially wrong with us. Anna Kendrick touches base on those feelings, reminding us that being "famous" and even sometimes getting what you want, doesn't always magically equate to happiness. Life is tough, and there are struggles, and while not having worry about money might solve one of them, it doesn't solve everything. I think this book managed to express what most celebrities always try so hard to: that they're just people, with real lives who often times feel the same crippling doubts and insecurities that we all do. And, most importantly, that that's okay.
 
I would absolutely highly recommend this book, even if it's something you wouldn't usually pick up. It's definitely one of those ones that I'll return to over and over again, whenever I start feeling weird or awkward or alone. There were so many great quotes that I can't even pick a few to list, and again, it was SO FUNNY.
 
BEST. DECISON. EVER.
 
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cover Voting for Unhinged!!!

Hi Guys,

Cover voting for my upcoming book is taking place now until Friday! Please head on over to vote for your favorite and help my book get dressed for its release party (too corny?)!

Here's the link where you can vote: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMUGAMuDXrf/?taken-by=thepolyethnic

Again, please do so! I've supplied closer looks at the cover options below! :) Comments and questions are welcomed!





Monday, October 31, 2016

Threatening Souls by Nicole Lambert RELEASE! + Cheaper Buy and Coupon!!!

Hey guys!!!!

The Polyethnic Publishing just published their first book, Threatening Souls, by Nicole Lambert!!! It's now available in ebook and paperback form online and in bookstores! If you purchase a copy from The Polyethnic website directly, you even get a discount!!! AND if you type in coupon code GRANDFALL you get another 10% off!!!

Here is a link to the Goodreads.com page so you can all add it to your shelf:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32321532-threatening-souls

And here is the blurb in case you missed it:

The sacrifices, the drama, the horror within.

In the year of 1860, a curse was performed over the suburb of Roseway, Washington, which rests about twenty miles south of Seattle, that killed nearly every living resident. After coming back to Earth as spirits, they form a twisted plan that not only provides them with bodies of their own but also kills off all who venture into Roseway in the future.

Thirteen-year-old Rebekah Jensen has lived a fine life in Marywood, Florida with two best friends, a clique that strives to make her one of them, and a boyfriend who happened to be one of the most popular guys in her school. But all that is about to change when the date of her arrival to Roseway nears, when she starts to see things that she presumes are spirits—and she is sure that she had gone insane.

After moving to Roseway, she gets sucked into an illusion of the dead, coming to regard Roseway as some sort of cult in which they worship a mysterious being that is introduced to her as the Master. Within the months of enduring Roseway, she finds out more about herself and her purpose in the suburb. Teaming up with a friend, who has a dark secret, Rebekah must put an end to the curse before she ends up like the rest of the victims.


And, finally, here is the link to where you can purchase from the Polyethnic site for cheaper!!!!!!!

http://store.thepolyethnic.com/product-category/bookstore/

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Giveaway + New Book Subscription Box!

Hi guys,

In case you haven't popped over to my author blog yet, there's currently a giveaway going on for some cool extras for my upcoming book, Unhinged! It's set to be rereleased in paperback on December 25th!

My publisher for that book is also starting something cool, their own book subscription box, out the same month! My book is going to be the first book offered in the box, which is currently available for preorder! Here's the link so you can go and secure your box!

http://store.thepolyethnic.com/

As for the giveaway, prizes are signed bookplates, bookmarks, coloring pages, stickers, etc. Everyone get's a free entry so be sure to enter below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Raven Song (Inoki's Game, #1) by I.A. Ashcroft

Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

* * *
 
This is going to be a short review because there's not a ton to say (which isn't a bad thing). All in all, I enjoyed the world building in this book. The characters were also interesting enough to keep my attention once we got deeper into the story, however, I do feel like the beginning dragged a bit. It was hard to really care about the central plot because so much time in the first few chapters was spent on backstory for Jackson. Once Anna came into the picture things really picked up. Even though I felt the story took a while to really start going, this was a fast read all the way through. There were a lot of little mysteries and clues which were engaging and held my interest throughout. I would recommend reading this if you're into sci-fi, mystery, and made up worlds, as the one in this book was well done. I think a few scenes needed to be described in a bit more detail, for example one in the beginning where Agent Walker and them find mutilated bodies, but other parts were really well described. It's fast enough that you should give it a chance, and at only 290 pages, it won't be a waste of your time if you don't absolutely love it.
 

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Subscription Box!

Hi guys,

Just thought I'd let you know that the Polyethnic is currently looking for reps for their upcoming Book Sub Box!!! The first box comes out in December and the theme is Meet the Greeks! My book, Unhinged, is going to be supplied in its new paperback form as the main book for that months box, so be sure to sign up! It's a great way to get a copy as well as a bunch of other great items!

The reps will receive the first box FREE of charge, so if you're interested head on over to instagram and check out @thepolyethnic for more details! :)

Also, don't forget to join the giveaway in the post below for some cool Unhinged swag! :) :) :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

Blurb:

Centuries ago, sibling rivalry tore Aramith apart. As punishment, the losers were stripped of their immortal birthright and banished to Earth. There, they wasted away from old age and diseases. However, there is hope…

If a Shaw child, born on the 12th day of the 12th month offers her soul in a public sacrifice, then the exiles will be forgiven and welcomed home to Aramith.

Aubrey Shaw is that child, but dying for the exiles is not on her to-do list. Using her gift as a Jumper, Aubrey leaps between bodies to escape relentless shape-shifting hunters. Only, shedding her skin is not enough. Not when Joshua, her best-friend-turned-hunter, is hell-bent on dragging her to the altar.

Will Aubrey’s love for Joshua change his mind?

Or, will she have to trust the scarred stranger who shows up out of the blue cloaked in lies and secrets? Doing so means giving up on Joshua. But betting on Joshua's love could do more than break her heart.

It could kill her.


* * *
 
 
I really enjoyed this book. I loved Aubrey and Tessa, and quickly fell for Coy. The characters that were meant to be the "bad" guys felt legitimate, though I didn't really find a lot of redeeming qualities in Joshua and do wish there might have been a few more. Only because then I would have been torn between him and Coy and understood better why Aubrey was. The story flowed quickly, so it was a fast and enjoyable read the whole way through. I loved how easy it was to get sucked into, and understand, this world that Dempster created. The only problem I had with it as a whole is that in the end, I don't feel like the people who forced her onto that alter got what they deserved. I wish that in the epilogue when we're in Coy's POV and he's explaining the war, he mentioned that Charr also revealed to everyone that forcing Aubrey up there wouldn't have worked so they new they'd hunted her for nothing and in the end it was her choice. But, that's just me, and even though it annoys me (because I'm big on justice and karma) I can see why the author didn't bother with these details. It was an easy decision to give this book five stars, and I highly recommend it to people who are looking for a fresh and fun supernatural read!
 

 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

GIVEAWAY!

Don't forget, only 4 days left to enter the giveaway for Threatening Souls, which doesn't come out until October 31st!!!! Here's your chance to get a copy before anyone else :)

Details about the book two posts below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Night Circus By: Erin Morgenstern

Blurb:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
* * *
 
There really isn't much that I can say about this book because I loved it so much. Everything about it. The only thing that I found tricky was keeping track of the ever changing dates that started each chapter and sometimes jumped around but...that's more of a me issue than anything. The romance was sweet and I liked that it took its time, and the setting....wow. Just wow. Every scene in the circus made me feel like I was actually there, experiencing it all. The smells, the sights, the tastes, every sense was covered. The characters were just as colorful as the settings, and while there were many, they each had their own distinct personality which made it easy to keep track of them. I definitely recommend this book. It's got everything. Action, romance, magic, suspense, and the uncanny ability to make you feel like a child again, wondered by the circus.
 
 


Don't forget to check out the giveaway in the post below!!!! :)

And follow @TempestChani on instagram for more books!


Threatening Souls Giveaway + Interview

Hi Guys,

It's been some time since we've hosted a giveaway here! The people over at The Polyethnic publishing are offering up (3) ebook copies of their upcoming book, Threatening souls, written by Nicole Lambert! This is a long one because there's also an interview, the giveaway is all the way at the bottom!! Here's the blurb, and link to the books Goodreads.com page so you can add it:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32321532-threatening-souls

The sacrifices, the drama, the horror within.

In the year of 1860, a curse was performed over the suburb of Roseway, Washington, which rests about twenty miles south of Seattle, that killed nearly every living resident. After coming back to Earth as spirits, they form a twisted plan that not only provides them with bodies of their own but also kills off all who venture into Roseway in the future.

Thirteen-year-old Rebekah Jensen has lived a fine life in Marywood, Florida with two best friends, a clique that strives to make her one of them, and a boyfriend who happened to be one of the most popular guys in her school. But all that is about to change when the date of her arrival to Roseway nears, when she starts to see things that she presumes are spirits—and she is sure that she had gone insane.

After moving to Roseway, she gets sucked into an illusion of the dead, coming to regard Roseway as some sort of cult in which they worship a mysterious being that is introduced to her as the Master. Within the months of enduring Roseway, she finds out more about herself and her purpose in the suburb. Teaming up with a friend, who has a dark secret, Rebekah must put an end to the curse before she ends up like the rest of the victims.


* * *
 
I've also got an interview with the author so that you can find out a bit more about this book and its author!!! :)
 
1.) How long have you been writing?

Honestly, it's rather hard to pinpoint exactly how long I have been writing for, since I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I want to say I've been writing seriously since I was eight years old, so about eleven years. However, writing has always been a hobby of mine and has been a part of me since birth.

2.) What gave you the idea for Threatening Souls?

There actually was a book, my first attempt at novel writing, that had a similar concept to Threatening Souls that I started writing when I was ten, that of the cursed town that the main character would be moving to. There were some major differences between the two books, however, but I guess you can say the concept for Threatening Souls came from that first novel. In all honesty, the idea for the novel just came to me, like a lot of my novel ideas had been. I have always had an infatuation with the paranormal and supernatural, and Threatening Souls, originally titled Sacrifices: The Curse of Roseway, was actually my tenth novel idea but the first novel I ever completed.

3.) Were any of these characters particularly difficult to write? Easy?

The most easy character for me to write would probably be Jamie only because I did know someone like her in the past, someone who was snobby and literally pretended to be my friend in order to get to my other friend. This person later on also tried to steal my only friend away from me and even resorted to physical violence in order to make that happen, and for her tenth birthday party, of which I was invited to as a last resort only because someone else couldn't come, her parents actually did rent out a hummer limo that drove everyone to this really expensive restaurant called Red Lobster and then later to Dairy Queen.

The most difficult characters for me to write, however, are also coincidentally the most interesting to me. The antagonists are among them because I love focusing on their drive and what made them the way they are. In other words, it is no secret that I tend to favor antagonists much more than I favor protagonists for that very reason. The only other character that was difficult for me to write, but was also equally interesting, was Andre because of her past situation and how much her past experiences had broke her.

4.) Who is your favorite character from this book?

My favorite character from the book would probably again be Andre for the above reasons to the point where I started writing a shorter series called Days of Darkness that is based off her experiences before she got involved with Roseway. In all honestly, because she is introduced late within Threatening Souls, the reader only knows the gist of what happened to her; however, the Days of Darkness series as well as the third Threatening Souls novel, Twisted Ignorance, explores her past on a deeper level.

5.) Without giving spoilers, was there any particular scene in this book harder to write than others?

The buildup and transition scenes were probably the hardest for me to write only because I am not the most patient person in the world, and therefore, I always found myself wanting to write the more exciting scenes as soon as possible because they were the most fun to write.

6.) What, besides writing, do you enjoy doing?

I also sing, and I am currently in one of the five choirs at my university called the University Singers. I also have a youtube channel (xXOnTheScene01Xx) where I occasionally post videos, such as song covers and whatever else I feel like making at the time. My favorite genre of music is probably rock and metal music, and it is because of bands like In This Moment, Five Finger Death Punch, and others that made me want to teach myself how to do growls and screamo, so I can also do that to a degree, though I don't do it often for the fear of ruining my voice. I also game whenever I can, and a few of my favorite games to play would probably be The Last of Us, Undertale, the Elder Scrolls franchise, and the Saints Row franchise. Sometimes, I also read, and I tend to read a lot of self-published novels from novelists such as Isabella Rogge, Corrie Fischer, Maya E.S. Bode, and Victoria Snow.

7.) Are you currently working on any other projects?

Besides making changes to and editing my other completed novels, such as Bleeding Misery, Twisted Ignorance, and Days of Darkness, I am also currently working on the fourth Threatening Souls novel, Immortal Injustice, and the second Days of Darkness novel, Days of Light.

8.) Is there anything else you would like us to know about Threatening Souls?

I started writing Threatening souls when I was twelve years old in July of 2009, and I finished the original first draft in May of 2010 when I was thirteen. Since then, the novel itself has gone through countless amounts of changes until I first self-published it on October 31, 2014 when I was seventeen. Also, there are a couple of things in Threatening Souls and other books in the series that allude to future plot lines within the series, but they all tend to tie into each other in some way.

 
Remember, this book comes out on October 31st (yes, Halloween)!!! It'll be available in most bookstores in paperback as well as online in ebook format!!!! This is also the first release by new publishing house, The Polyethnic, so be sure to show your support by picking up a copy :)
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 1, 2016

My Book is Getting Published!!!

Some of you might already know about my book, Amid Stars and Darkness, getting picked up by Swoon Reads back in April (which I still can't believe!) and that it's due for publication on July 18, 2017.

BUT

The Polyethnic Publishing recently signed Unhinged! I'm excited that this book will finally be getting a further reach and that you'll all be able to pick it up at a store :) Amazingly enough, it looks like this will be published by the end of the year (yes, by the end of 2016) which would be so cool! I know this isn't technically a review, but I wanted to spread the word. For more information, please go check out my main blog, which you can get to by clicking the link at the left sidebar, and/or my instagram account:

@TempestChani

This is my handle for most things, so you can also find me with it on Twitter and even Wattpad. :)

I finished The Night Circus yesterday so a review for that will be coming!!!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Interview with Iain S. Thomas & Carla Kreuser on 300 Things I Hope

Iain S. Thomas & Carla Kreuser Interview Each Other About

300 Things I Hope

WHO ARE YOU?



Iain I’m Iain S. Thomas. I only use the “S” because I think it makes me sound smarter, and


there’s a phone<c resonance with Hunter S. Thompson. And there’s a Belgian pop singer

called Ian Thomas now, so it helps avoid confusion. I’m an at least moderately successful

writer and poet, although I struggle to call myself a poet as that feels like quite a loaded

term, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling myself that at a dinner party.
Carla But you are a poet.

Iain I know I’ve sold more than 100,000 books of poetry but there’s an assump<on of skill


when you call yourself a poet. Someone smarter than me once said, and I’m paraphrasing,

let someone write and at the end of their life, when they’re dead, let’s decide then whether

or not they were a poet and that sounds fair to me.
Carla But who decides?

Iain Everyone else. Everyone else can decide, I don’t want to decide. Besides all that, I’m


known for wri<ng I Wrote This For You and all its sequels, 25 Love Poems for The NSA,

Inten<onal Dissonance, a science fic<on novel, an interac<ve poetry journal called I Am

Incomplete Without You and How To Be Happy, which is a collec<on of prose and short

stories.
Carla Now I need to talk about myself and you might have to fill in the blanks because I’m


not really good at this. I’m Carla Kreuser, a graphic designer and illustrator. I write poetry but

never published. For my day job, I’m a crea<ve director at an ad agency and on the side, I

draw and I’ve got an exhibi<on coming up based on Nick Drake’s album, Pink Moon.
Iain You’re very craXy and very awarded. You’ve won about a million awards.

Carla I’ve won quite a few, I’ve spoken at Design Indaba and Pecha Kucha. And a few other


things, I’ve recently graduated with a Master’s Degree.
Iain I think it’s worth men<oning that we both live in Cape Town, South Africa.





HOW WAS THE BOOK MADE?



Iain The book was a collabora<on, and the drawings existed before the book existed and I


like that because it’s not a perfect process. You’ve got this moment here, where you’ve

captured something, and I’ve got this line here of what I’ve wrote, and you put them

together and you get this third thing. It’s like 1 + 1 = 3. There’s this entry in the book, that

says, “I hope you love your family” and we’ve got this drawing of this girl brushing her teeth

and there’s this unique, vulnerable thing about it that says family.
Carla Very few people have seen me brushing my teeth, besides my family.

Iain I think one of Evelyn, my daughter’s first memories, will be of her father brushing his


teeth. And so with all the drawings in the book, you get this magical third thing from these

combina<ons.
Carla I love that the one isn’t an echo of the other one, that the pictures some<mes say


something different. There’s this beau<ful cross pollina<on between them.
Iain It’s exponen<al. In prac<cal terms of how we did it, we sat in coffee shops and we went


through all your drawings over the last three years, and then there were a million emails

backwards and forwards.
Carla I loved that there was a degree of independence from each other. As was said earlier,


there’s not always <me to make art and so I always have a pen and a notebook with me and

I’m always drawing and if I’m wai<ng for some coffee or something, I’ll just start drawing the

people around me. I’ll do lots of those but only a few of them have the right spark of energy.

And you did the same in terms of edi<ng your lines, the ones that resonated with you and so

when you bring that kind of edi<ng together, the right illustra<ons with the right lines,

there’s something awesome that happens, with these li^le pockets of energy and they have

this li^le dance on the page together.
WHO IS THIS BOOK MEANT FOR?



Iain I think, my ideal situa<on for a book like this is, is that someone’s walking through the


bookstore and they find it, and they have this feeling that the book is right for them, at that

moment in <me. The very first entry in the book is, “I hope you find this book or someone

gives it to you when you need it.”

I think it’s ammo for life. It’s a stranger wishing you well, in 300 different ways.
Carla And you don’t have to read it cover to cover, you can kind of pop it open on any page


and find something that means something to you.
Iain What I really want, is for it to live in your glove compartment, next to your bed or on a


coffee table and every now and again when you need it, you rediscover it and find

something in it again. I don’t know who that is, in terms of who is the book meant for.
ANYTHING ELSE?



Iain I just hope people like the book. If it’s good, I’d love to do another one like it


Read my review on this book and find a link to it in the post below! :)

300 Things I Hope by: Iain S. Thomas, Illustrated by: Carla Kreuser

For more books follow me on Instagram: @TempestChani

Blurb:

From the creator of I Wrote This For You, comes a collection of 300 things that the author, Iain S. Thomas, and artist, Carla Kreuser, truly and sincerely hope for you – from hoping that you always have a pen, to hoping that you’re never lonely, and everything in-between. This collection of hope will move you and remind you of what’s important in life as you live it. Or at least, that’s what they hope.

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I was really fortunate to receive an early review copy of this book from the publisher. To be honest, I hadn't read anything written by Mr. Thomas yet, so I was going in blind. I came out a fan. This book was absolutely amazing. It was sweet, funny, touching, insightful, romantic, and thought provoking. Each line begins with the words, I Hope, and are followed by a wish the author hopes the reader experiences (or doesn't in some cases). It's the perfect book to pick up when you're feeling a little melancholy, or when you simply need a bit of inspiration or motivation. It serves as a great reminder that life is filled with little things that are magical, and wonderful, and that we shouldn't let them pass us by unnoticed. I think that's one of my favorite things about this book, you don't have to sit down and read it straight through in one sitting. Honestly, in my opinion, you might even get more from reading a couple pages a day. Give yourself some time to ruminate, because even the ones that sound silly at first start seeming sweet and insightful a half hour later. This is definitely a book worth picking up!
 
It comes out on October 1st (tomorrow)! I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy!
 
Here's a link to its Goodreads.com page to make it easier: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29502141-300-things-i-hope
 

 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Two Graves: A Novella by: Zoe Kalo


Blurb:

 (TWO GRAVES is a short novella, about 70 pages. It is volume #1 in Zoe Kalo's psychological suspense "Retribution" series.)

A Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…

Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.

For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge.



* * *  

Being that this is a novella, it's a pretty quick read, for that reason alone, if you're into psychological stories I'd recommend picking this one up. That being said, I wasn't as in love with this as I hoped when I read the blurb and signed up for the R2R. I'm a big fan of Dante's Inferno and was really looking forward to seeing how that made it into this. I'm not sure how I got it into my head that there'd be some form of romance in this, but there definitely is not. That's not a deal breaker for me, at all, just something worth mentioning in case there are others out there who are looking for that. The blurb also makes it clear that the main character, Angelica, is currently 23, and that the event she's seeking revenge for happened 7 years ago, however, while reading this get's a bit confusing. Honestly, even though it's retold in the story itself, the constant back of forth of the timeline makes her age confusing. She doesn't seem like a young teen in the beginning, and she would be 16. I'm also not sure she would be doing her college interview/audition at that age. Usually it's junior year when things like this take place and she would be on her way to turning 17. Of course, she could be a 16 year old who's a junior in high school, but if that's the case (and I think it is) that needs to be clarified. Because it isn't, it's hard to get into the flashback aspects of the story. I spent too much time struggling to picture her as a sixteen year old, especially because (and this is somewhat of a spoiler, I suppose so you're warned) her son is at least 3 years old already. I say at least because I'm pretty sure at one point in the beginning it's mentioned he's 4, and then later he's mentioned as 3. This could just be my mistake, and if so I apologize, but the point is she had to have had him at an even younger age than 16, and I don't get that feeling from her. Add in the overly zealous mother, the wacky tired grandmother, and the ex who did something (we never find out what, but I assume it was abandon them) who wants to get back into their lives, and it's just a bit much for something less than 100 pages. And that's just for the flashbacks.

When we aren't in flashback mode, we're in the present where she's now 23 and it's been 7 years since this horrible thing happened to her (another event we never really get clear details about). As the story progresses we understand, vaguely, what happened, but nothing is definitively spelled out, which I found very disappointing. We keep being told that her target is a monster, yet we rarely see it. Instead, we see all these other crazy people acting like loons and even a boy who slits his own wrists. Right in front of her. What does she do? Not call the cops. I understand that would ruin her plan for revenge but, let's be honest for a moment, what plan? Because she didn't have one, not really. Unless her plan was to get completely turned around and lost in some crazy old guys giant house... By the end, she pulls the gun out and that's it, she doesn't even care there are cameras. If that's the case, she could have just shot him at any one of the rehearsals she had to sit through with him before this story even started. It would mean there's no novella, but it would also make a hell of a lot more sense for her. Which brings me to the happenings at the party in that mansion. Very little of it made sense. I was often times more confused about what was going on, where the hell she was, and what she was seeing. Because of this, it was really hard for me to follow, or even care, about the story. By these points I wanted to resume the flashbacks because at least they were straight forward, even if they rarely gave us useful information. She moves through the rooms way too quickly, and the descriptions about how all of the guests are acting are rushed and muddled. I understand this is a party with drugs and, apparently, sex in random places out in the open, but that should be explained from the very beginning. When I think of a production like the one they put on (they seem like professional musicians, even though it's mentioned they're still in school) and a mascaraed ball after I think elegance and high society. Basically, I think of people trying to appear prime and proper, but this is not that type of party, and I would have liked to be told from the very beginning. It's so complicated, with all of the different rooms and the house that is basically then like a maze, that I never knew where Angelica was supposed to be. It was obviously then very obvious she was following her target so how she thought she could keep that from him is beyond me. Again, not very stealthy. Going back to that one scene where a guy kills himself in front of her...It felt so forced. What should have felt like a thrilling, and sad, desperate moment, fell flat. I felt like by that point everything else was so confusing that now she was hallucinating him. And then when she wasn't (at least I think she wasn't) the information she got from him was something that could have been gained a different way. It wasn't even that shocking, and it should have been a shocking reveal about her target. Instead, I would have liked to see her figure it out on her own by being sneaky. She's had seven years. What has she got to show for that? She got her gun license. Wow. Good planning. And that ending...Not enough was explained. Almost nothing was explained, in fact, just eluded to, which for me wasn't enough. Unfortunately, the story I was interested in was the actual act that caused her to go on a seven year long revenge plan, and then also a story involving an actual revenge plan. I didn't get either of these things.  And her hallucinations? Not necessary. In fact, they only served to confuse me more, especially because by that point it's been so long and she's been planning this so long I feel like she'd have gotten past that stage already. Or, at the very least, have been experiencing it the whole time. If we were told she's spent the past seven years hallucinating, which has made it impossible for her to move on, then I would have bought into it. That would also explain why she's acting so manic and insists she has a plan when she obviously does not have one.

All that being said, you're probably wondering why I gave this novella 3 stars. That's why. Because it's a novella. If this was a novel, it would be amazing. Not even, add another 30 pages and I could see this being ten times better than it is. That's because, as stated above, everything in this was rushed. Because of that it was confusing, hard to follow, and hard to connect with. I could feel bad for Angelica if I actually got to see/know, in detail, what happened. I could understand that she's seeking revenge and yet doesn't actually have a plan if I saw how she's been dealing the past 7 years. Like, what ever happened to the father? Or her mother? Or her grandmother? How are all of them dealing? We don't know, and because of that it's hard to care about them during the flashbacks. If Angelica is going to have that many issues in her past, they need to be given to us in smaller doses, not all at once, so that we can connect with her. If this was a longer work, that would be possible. It would also then make describing the many rooms (the layers of hell from Dante's inferno) less of a hindrance on the reader and more of an eye catcher. As it is, because it's so much being packed into so few pages it's way too hard to follow and the descriptions are boring, confusing, and makes the rest of the story drag. So, basically, I gave 3 stars because of the idea behind this, and the potential I think this story has. As this is part of a new series that's coming out, I hope that the next book will be better explained, and contain either less meaningless description or more meaningful pages. I would still read the next installment because of how much potential I can see in this story.

 
Title: Two Graves (Retribution Series #1)
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: Dark Psychological Suspense
Audience: New Adult/Adult
Word count: 18,000 words – 70 pages (short novella)
Launch date: October 1st 2016
 
 
Purchase on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Graves-Novella-Zoe-Kalo-
ebook/dp/B01LDIXCR0
 
About Author Zoe Kalo
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading
led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her
classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga, #1) by Erica Cameron


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Blurb:

Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.


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This was a hard one for me to rate. On the one hand, there were things about it a really liked, and on the other...there was Mariella. Yup. I hated an entire character, which almost never happens to me. I mean, I guess by the last chapter she was ok, not so bad, but for the rest of the book.... Here's the thing about her, she's been made to believe that she was miserable growing up and sad and lonely all the time when in fact she wasn't. This is a good premise, and with this knowledge I can see why she'd buy into Oran's whole spiel, not to mention the fact she's known him for pretty much ever. BUT that's not expressed until more than halfway through the book, so for the first half of the book she just comes off selfish and whinny and I couldn't even bring myself to feel bad for her. Honestly, I wanted her to get killed or whatever at the end just so Hudson could move onto someone else. That's how annoying and arrogant she was. I feel like if we'd gotten more about how she had this entire horrible fabricated childhood it would have been different, but because it came too late in the game it couldn't change my opinion of her. It's sort of like what happened to her with Oran. I'd spent so much time by them believing she was awful that I couldn't believe that she wasn't once I was told. There were moments where she'd get angry with her parents for not noticing she was trying to communicate with them through their scrabble game. Only, she's the one who decided not to speak. Ever. She has no right to get mad at them for not recognizing she's attempting to use a different form of communication, especially when we already know they had to twist her arm just to get her to learn sign language and spend time with them. She also thinks about how she doesn't want to hurt them and feels bad for it, but doesn't once feel guilty over the fact she's planning on leaving and never coming back.
 
Honestly, the saving grave was Hudson. It sort of felt like their POVs were being written by two different authors even, that's how good Hudson's parts of the story were. And not just because of his character, but also the other characters and how they all reacted. Whenever we met someone through Mari's eyes, they seemed flat and almost trope-like, but everyone in Hudson had personality and drew my attention deeper into the story. Hudson is also the opposite of Mari, in the sense that he's selfless, and always has been. He's also patient and acts more like an adult that she ever does. The only issue I had with his part of the story was that it never really gets made clear what "answers he's looking for". It keeps being mentioned that there are some, and that he hasn't gotten them, but I mean, we know why these creatures are doing this, how, what they're called, and where they come from by the end of the book. What other questions could he possibly have? I did really like the ending though, and really hope that we get another book focusing on these particular characters (because book two is about other characters who, kind of unbelievably, are related to these ones...yeah). I might read book two anyway though, because I really did enjoy it every time I read Hudsons parts.
 
All in all, I would recommend as it was creative and a fast read. I'm attaching my Reading Progress from Goodreads to give you a better idea what I mean about Mari.
 

 
 
 
Reading Progress
09/20 marked as: currently-reading
09/20 page 29
7.0% "So far the only issue I have is how damn naive she already is. I mean, I don't care how hot you are or how long I've known you, if you ask me to hurt my family I'm going to question it. Not talking for no reason? Hurts them. Why isn't she more suspicious of such a ludicrous request? It'd be a simple matter of him being like, hey just don't talk about this. On I somethings up."
09/20 page 51
13.0% "She's worried about hurting her moms feelings....yet she basically plans on running away and never coming back again......huh? Honestly, I really like Hudson but I'm hating Mari."
09/20 page 71
18.0% "I. Hate. Her.

It really doesn't help that he got shitty parents and came out selfless and she has great parents and came out selfish. Like, so much so, that I wouldn't be surprised to find her picture next to the word in the dictionary."
09/20 page 76
20.0% "Pay attention! He's not saying you'll never HAVE to, he's saying you'll never.

I don't usually rate books this way, but if I were to give it a rating right this second, I'd rate 5 for Hudson and -1 for Mari."
09/21 page 211
56.0% "The sad thing is I think I would love this book, if it was only told in Hudsons POV. I can't stand Mari. Even the attempts to make her seem more human and caring fail miserably. I get that she's been brainwashed since she was young, but she's also painted as this intelligent strong willed person and I just don't see that. She just seems selfish, naive, and moronic."
09/21 marked as: read