Friday, December 19, 2014

Killshot by Aria Michaels Book Review

Title: Killshot (Icarus #1)
Author: Aria Michaels
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: ARC ebook
Pages: 375
Publication Date: October 16th, 2014

Amazon Summary
When seventeen year old Liv Larson and her brother are sent to separate foster homes, she gives up on her old life, her old friends, and her faith in God. The only bright spot in Liv’s new life is her energetic and obnoxious foster-sister, Riley. When Riley convinces her to come to the rooftop party to view Icarus, the up-coming solar flare, Liv meets Zander. For the first time in months her troubles take a back seat...that is until what should have been a small flare, erupts into a full blown solar storm. 
Now, Liv and her rag-tag group of not-quite friends must find a way to survive the sweltering heat, lingering radiation, and the mysterious virus that appears to have found an ideal host among their ranks. Alliances will be formed, and battle lines will be drawn as Liv and her new friends set out on a perilous journey to save their loved ones, find answers, and reach salvation. 
But, something sinister awaits them in the dark—and it’s undeniably connected to Liv. 
Will Liv be able to keep her promise and reunite with her brother? Will her brave determination be enough to save them all from a rogue government, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night? 
…Or was Icarus, indeed, the KILLSHOT. 


Cover Thoughts-
I love how the the text reminds you of the fiery orange color of solar flares. The cover really gives off the desolate aftermath expected from this dystopian novel. Although I wouldn't expect Liv to look so flawless in the situation.

First Thought-
I expect Liv and her friends go on a huge adventure to save the world and brother and fall in love on the way. I have never had the chance to read a dystopian with a solar storm so I was pretty anxious to get started reading. Immediately I was sucked into Liv's story.

Right away I was intrigued by Liv's life. All she wants is to fulfill her promise to her brother and you have to admire that in a character. She has an amazing amount of determination and bravery. In the beginning I was a bit confused about Liv. She seems extremely shy as she lives the life of a wall flower, then BAM solar storm, her personality switches from invisible to the leader of a ragtag group of teenage survivors. The character development of every person is so easy to follow and love. I began to really enjoy the banter between Falisha and Jake, the budding romance between Zander and Liv, the light Riley brings into the dark situation, and the 3-legged furry friend the group adopts. The story seemed less like a mission to save the world and more like how to survive in such a dire situation. The author was not afraid to describe some of the horrible details of death from Icarus. I got goosebumps because I felt like I was there, seeing what Liv is seeing. I could not imagine being as put together as Liv is after seeing people get burned alive, attacked, and seeing the hideous creatures evolving from the storm. Part of the side effects of the storm is a virus that affects certain people and gives paranormal like abilities. Even with this, the story was very realistic. If Icarus were to actually happen I imagine it would be just like this author wrote. Many nights after reading this I had vivid dreams of Killshot. This novel is more than just your average dystopian. It utilizes details and setting so well. My imagination became a beautiful mess survival and fire. Sometimes I felt thirsty like the dehydrated characters, and I felt the need to get my own water. Killshot could be a great movie in real life just as it was in my head.

Overall Readability-
Killshot is a very original dystopian. I recommend it if you enjoy novels such as Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, etc... If you love a good survival story from any type of apocalypse, then give Killshot a chance. You won't regret it.

My Final Thought-
A little sad that Liv hasn't reached her brother yet, but I guess I'll just find out in the second installment how this group of brave survivors fares in the aftermath of the virus quickly spreading. Now, how soon can I get my hands on it?

5 out of 5 Haunted Roses

Book Trailer

Author Information
Aria Michaels lives in a small town in Illinois with her loving, patient husband and her six (yes, SIX) energetic boys. Always the creative type, Aria fed off the encouragement of her mother, and started writing and illustrating her own stories at a very young age. Aria's passion for creation and love of the human spirit followed her to the university level where she graduated with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts, and a Bachelors Degree in Communications, with a minor in psychology. 
After years of juggling parenthood with her a career in higher education, the universe finally called Aria back to her original passion...writing. When she isn't glued to her computer, or painting her next masterpiece, Aria can be found playing in the dirt with her kids, snuggling up to a good zombie flick with her husband, or sipping a glass of wine by the fire with friends.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Melissa Foster Giveaway Promo

Huge Giveaway from NYT & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Melissa Foster
To help celebrate the release of her newest Romance, bestselling author, Melissa Foster, has created a fun Street Team for readers of her books and lovers of the Romance genre. As part of this launch, she will be giving away lots of prizes—and I mean lots. From chocolate gift baskets to autographed books to super swag, she will be giving away more than 20 prizes, and as many as 520!
If the Street Team reaches 500 members by Monday, December 22, every single member will score an Advance Review Copy of her upcoming novel, Seaside Secrets. That means that you can enjoy the newly released Seaside Sunsets and then immediately read the next installment in the series. Pretty cool, huh?
Not in the mood to join the team? Not a problem! You can still enter the Rafflecopter contest for your chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card and autographed book.

Now that I know you’re excited, read on to learn more about Melissa’s Street Team and her newest release, Seaside Sunsets.
About Melissa’s Street Team
Do you LOVE Melissa Foster’s hunky heroes and smart, sexy heroines? Want to tell others about her books and help spread the word while gaining exclusive peeks at upcoming releases? Join Melissa’s Street Team, and become one of her most trusted fans!
Fab fan benefits:  Personal interaction with Melissa, lively discussions with other super fans and romance junkies, sneak peeks into future publications, exciting challenges with great prizes/swag, and fancy badges for your website, blog, and social media profiles.
About Melissa’s Newest Release
For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother--and falling in love is not in his plans. From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sensual, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie's business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the blond beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie's life--and his heart--upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away

Recommended for readers aged 18+
Get Seaside Sunsets on AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo, or Google Play!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Heart by Nicola Hudson Book Review & Blog Tour

Title: Heart
Author: Nicola Hudson
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Source: ARC ebook
Pages: 213
Publication Date: November 25th, 2014

This title is suitable for readers over 15 

Sometimes it doesn’t end with happy ever after.
Neve believes Jake is the one.  She is miles away from home, struggling to fit in at university and missing the people she loves.  The only thing getting her through is the knowledge that Jake will be visiting for the weekend.
Jake believes he isn’t the one.  His family and lifestyle mean he can’t give Neve what she deserves: so much more than him.  He arrives for the weekend, knowing that he has to break her heart, along with his own.
Sometimes we make decisions and have to live with the consequences.
Each of them struggles to cope with the aftermath of the weekend.  Each of them is unhappy.  Each of them refuses to do something about it.
Sometimes it isn’t about a boy meeting a girl and falling in love; sometimes it is about what happens next. 


Cover Thoughts-
Now that is a beautiful girl. After reading the story I really wish that the cover had shown Neve's heart-shaped mark. What I imagine in my head probably doesn't come close to the real thing. 

First Thought-
Reading the line "Sometimes it doesn't end with happy ever after..." really scares me. Don't get me wrong. I love reading books that emotionally traumatize me, but I don't want to stay up the whole night crying over a book that doesn't have a sequel.

Unfortunately, I did stay up all night crying. It wasn't soft cries either. It was loud, ugly sobbing. The kind you have when a piece of you dies. Man I wish I could tell you why it broke me, but I won't spoil it for you. Just know that the kind of ending this book has shouldn't be allowed. This is the kind of book you will always remember. I have these books stuck in my brain shelf that aren't my favorite happy stories, but I remember them for their significance. Heart is forever sitting on my brain shelf. If I found my way into a situation like Neve, there is no way that I would let Jake walk away. When she started hanging with the american boy I had to fight the urge to yell out NO! I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew that he wasn't going to be good for her. I really liked how the novel has 2 point-of-views. It helps you feel empathy for Jake and Neve. You understand both of their situations and it makes you cry even harder in the end. The only thing that really bugs me about Heart is Garrett. He is the american boy that starts advancing towards Neve. I don't understand how he could go from sweet to evil so fast. The book gave no signs of his creepiness except for rumors. The book tricked me. For awhile I thought that Neve found solace in Garrett and his silliness. I was very wrong and surprised. Even though Heart broke me into a million sad pieces I encourage you to read it and feel what I am feeling.
Overall Readability-
If you are interested in new adult contemporary romance I recommend this as long as you don't mind a little heart break. I can't promise you won't cry.
My Final Thought-
I wish I could tell you that this book has a cute happy ending leaving you wanting more. The novel left me strangely empty and pessimistic. I don't think I have read anything as sad as that in a long time. In a way the ending does look up. It holds the theme of moving on, but I could not move on from that ending.

4 out of 5 Haunted Roses
Author Information
As well as being a writer, I love reading and reading about reading. My taste goes from Shakespeare to John Green...and much of what lies between! Dickens, check. Austen, check. Atwood, check.

Over Christmas 2012, I discovered the joy of new adult fiction and, inspired by Colleen Hoover and Tammara Webber, I decided to try my hand at writing my own NA novel.

I love the friendliness of the Indie writer community and have been overwhelmed by the support of followers interested in my journey. Please feel free to monitor my publishing progress via my Facebook page, Twitter or blog :-)

My first novel, Curve, was released in October 2013. My second novel, Heart, is a standalone companion to Curve and will be released in November 2014.

Nicola Hudson is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the release of her novel HEART! Check it out and enter on her Facebook Page!

  • Signed Print Copy of HEART (International)
  • eBook Copy of HEART
  • Nicola Hudson Swag Pack
  • $20 Donation to the charity of your choice OR a $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • $20 Donation to the charity of your choice OR a $5 Amazon Gift Card
    Heart ATOMR Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Meritropolis By Joel Ohman Book Review

Title- Meritropolis
Author- Joel Ohman
Source- ebook 
Pages- 226
Publisher- CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date- September 8th, 2014

             Amazon Summary-
The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment--to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.
But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn't an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing--not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science--is going to stop him.
Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn't possibly have bargained for...


Cover Thoughts-
In the book there are many interesting creatures beyond the walls of Meritropolis. The cover exhibits what I assume the bion, half bull-half lion animal combination, looks like. It's diffidently the most significant animal combination of the story and looks fantastic on the cover.

First Thought-
Dystopian novels are by far my favorite to read, Meritropolis sat perfectly on the top of my TBR pile, and I knew without a doubt that Meritropolis would be one of the greatest page turners that I have read this year.

First off, my favorite part of the series is the character development. Every character has their own unique voice and you can hear it perfectly in your head. Charley has one of the highest scores but he is far from perfect. Joel points out many times in the book where Charley's anger gets the best of him, but somehow it makes his score go up. Just from this you can assume that the scoring process that is supposed to tell how much you can provide to society is flawed. To me, it looks like the scoring is based on what type of leader or soldier you can be. Orson, the leader of Meritropolis, is that enemy that everyone loves to hate. The further I got into the book the more I felt for Orson and the more I hated him. Its a complicated feeling. Sven, Charley's best friend, begins the story a light-hearted, care-free kind of guy. Then, he becomes a little bit...creepy. Charley makes many new friends and creates a group of ragtag low and high scores all set on destroying Orson and his system. Little do they know that someone even scarier than Orson will be the end of Meritropolis. Even though Meritopolis is filled with action and adventure, there is also a little bit of a romance between Charley and his new friend Sandy. I agree that Meritropolis is comparable to The Hunger Games. I can picture Meritropolis being a movie just like the latest great dystopians Maze Runner, Ender's Game, and The Hunger Games.

Overall Readability-
Honestly, if you are interested in dystopians like I listed above then Meritropolis is a great read for you. It's easy to read the voice of every character and get lost in world of Meritropolis.

My Final Thought-
2014 is coming to an end. So, I can say for certain that Meritropolis is in my top 10 for best reads of 2014. It has the ending that leaves you sitting there desperately searching for the release of next installment in the series.

5 out of 5 Haunted Roses

~Author Information~

Joel Ohman is the author of Meritropolis--"The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist". He lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sound of Sirens By Jen Minkman Book Review

Title- Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1)
Author- Jen Minkman
Source- ebook 
Pages- 170
Publisher- Dutch Venture Publishing
Publication Date- November 27th, 2014

An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light,
its people ever tempted by Siren song,
and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.

On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents – the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St. Brandan to Skylge. Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the Siren's call will drown your body and steal your soul, but the sacred light in the Tower will chase the merfolk away.
When Skylger girl Enna welcomes her brother back from a long sea voyage, he gives her a special present from the mainland – an electronic record only playable on a Current device. The problem is that Royce Bolton, Current heartthrob and the town’s most gifted pianist, wants it too. After she stubbornly refuses to sell the LP featuring his favorite artist, he suggests sharing the record by secretly meeting up in his private summer house. Taken aback yet thrilled, Enna agrees – and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Current society and the history of Skylge. Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from? 
While struggling with these questions, Enna begins to fall for Royce, risking everything to be with a guy who is clearly wrong for her. She will learn that the sound of Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing out there to haunt her dreams.
(The setting of Tales of Skylge is loosely based on the Dutch island of Terschelling, or Schylge in the island’s dialect. Although the names and places in this book will sound very familiar to people living on the island, the characters and events are, of course, entirely fictitious in nature.)
Amazon  Barnes&Noble
Sound of Sirens just released last week and is only 99 cents available for Nook and Kindle!


Cover Thoughts-
It's very beautiful and gives off the ethereal feel you would expect from a siren or something of that nature. It makes me want to open the book and read something different for once.

First Thought-
When I read the summary and began the book I was immediately absorbed into the culture of the island of Skylge. This novel is the first of it's kind. I read a lot of paranormal romance but none with sirens or so many mixes of cultures. I was very excited to get started reading.

Sound of Sirens is a very interesting mix of modern lifestyles and traditional lifestyles. Enna, a Skylger, lives with her dad and brother without electricity because the Currents made it forbidden to Skylgers. When Enna's brother returns home he brings her a LP, but Enna only has a phonograph that cannot play it.  Lucky for her Enna meets a very handsome, very Current Royce who will share his electric machine so they can listen to it together. Very quickly this sharing relationship turns into something more. The old battle between Currents and Skylgers makes their relationship forbidden. Sound of Sirens feels very magical and lyrical. It is the kind of novel that inspires you to search for more afterwards. The LP by Jyoti Verhoeff holds significance and I couldn't help but play the music while reading. I felt like I was by myself listening to the eerie songs of the sirens floating on a beautiful cloud of words. I tend to go out of my way to search for novels that are very different from the usual paranormal romance, I admit I might be a bit tired of vampires, werewolves, witches, etc, but I really want to know more about sirens. The ending left me a bit unsatisfied. I felt like Enna could be too forgiving. I wanted her to be more angry than sad, but I understand that Enna suffers from the loss of her mother and the problems of being a Skylger. I hope the second in the series gives me more information about the history between Currents and Skylgers. I felt like Jen Minkman was just barely touching the surface. I love the romance with Enna and Royce and I love the music influence but I need more information of the cultures and their views on the Sirens.

Overall Readability-
If you are like me searching for a paranormal romance a little different from what you are used to then, I strongly recommend Sound of Sirens. If you are the kind of reader that is transported into another life, and likes the traditional battle between two cultures then, this is it.

My Final Thought-
I am patiently waiting for the second installment. I can't wait to dive in again and get entranced by the struggle between the Currents and the Skylgers.

4 out of 5 Haunted Roses

Sound of Sirens is strongly influenced by music of many varieties. I was inspired to create my own playlist to match with this novel. One of the artists I added from the novel is Jyoti Verhoeff. Her music is ethereal and sounds just like the sirens I envision. Below are some music videos. If you enjoy these videos then I know you will enjoy the book.

~Author Information~

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English and Dutch at a secondary school in The Hague, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).'