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Review: The Stranger Inside

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Stranger Inside by Jennifer Jaynes


Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Pages: 284
Amazon  |  Goodreads


The Stranger Inside
In this tautly crafted tale of psychological suspense, a recently widowed mother resorts to the unthinkable to protect her shattered family. But does she go too far?
After mystery author Diane Christie loses her husband to suicide, she and her son move to the small coastal town of Fog Harbor, Massachusetts. Her daughter is attending college nearby, and Diane hopes that her family can now begin to heal. But rebuilding their lives after the tragedy isn't so simple.
Diane's depressed college-age daughter, Alexa, still avoids her, critical of everything Diane does, and even her generally amiable teenage son, Josh, has started acting out. Diane pushes forward, focusing on her writing and her volunteer work at a local crisis hotline. She knows that healing takes time.
But then a girl from Alexa's college is found strangled. Worse still, the murderer uses the crisis hotline to confess to Diane . . . and claims she is the only one who can stop the killing. And just when the glow of new love from an attractive admirer begins to chase away some of the darkness, more girls turn up dead, and Diane races to solve a mystery she fears will hit terrifyingly close to home.


The Stranger Inside is a fantastically twisted psychological ride that had me hooked from the very first page! This is quite possibly my favorite read so far this year, I honestly can't say enough how much I loved it. I really had no expectations going in and I was blown away. I've been reading mystery/thrillers since I was a kid, so I'm not easily scared by a book. the Stranger Inside had jumping at every little noise, biting my nails, and loving every scary minute of it!

Main character Diane, who co-incidently is a mystery writer ( love her already!) and her son Josh and daughter Alexa move to Massachusetts after her husbands suicide. Her life begins to get more complicated, just as students at Alexa's college start turning up dead. Meanwhile at the crisis center Diane volunteer's at, she starts receiving mysterious distorted phone calls from the killer, who claims only she can stop the murders. With a serial killer on the loose, no one is safe, especially not Diane!

This was so expertly written, the pacing was fantastic, there were never any lags in the story or parts that dragged on. It was a quick, fast paced read, which are my favorite kind. It was extremely suspenseful and I found myself screaming things out loud as I read along "no don't go in there," "pick up the phone!!!" "don't get in the car!!!"

This is one of those stories where your suspicious of everyone and see shadows everywhere. The ending was mind blowing, there were so many shocking twists and turns one right after another, I was truly left speechless when I finished this one. I absolutely loved this one, and highly recommend it! Can't wait to read more from this amazing author!


Review: The Stranger Game

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Pages: 288

The Stranger Game
The Stranger Game is a dark, suspenseful, and twisty young adult novel—perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart—about fifteen-year-old Nico Walker, whose sister returns home after a four-year disappearance. 
When Nico Walker's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties.
Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.
But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, where Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical—where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah. . . . 

Review: Chasing Truth Blog Tour

Monday, September 26, 2016



Chasing Truth (Eleanor Ames #1) by Julie Cross

Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Publish
Format: eARC
Pages: 400
Amazon  |  Goodreads



At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.


Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.





I am a huge fan of Julie Cross'   . . . . series, so I was so stoked that for Chasing Truth. I am such a huge fan of mysteries and couldn't contain my excitement to dive in to this read.

The main character, Eleanor Ames, has had a bit of a troubled life with a colorful past. She's learned she can't depend on anyone, except her sister Harper and her best friend Simon. After homecoming Simon commits suicide. This doesn't make any sense to Eleanor so she starts looking into his suicide but the deeper she gets, the more she realizes that something isn't right.

I really enjoyed Eleanor as a main character, she was snarky in a way that reminded me of Veronica Mars, and I really enjoyed the bond she had with her sister Harper. I admired her determination to not let Simon's death go, even when this meant putting herself in danger. The new guy next door, Miles, was a great addition to this book! His character is hot and there was such amazing chemistry between them.

I had just finished binge watching all 3 seasons of Veronica Mars (can you believe I'd never seen it!) and I didn't quite know what to do with myself. This book is so perfect for fans of Veronica Mars. Seriously guys, this book is for you! Julie Cross did an amazing job with this one, it was suspenseful, and kept me guessing right until the very end. I can't wait for the next book in this series!

Don't forget to go HERE to check out other stops on the tour.

 





Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.
She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.







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Review: Secrets in the Snow

Monday, September 19, 2016

Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl


Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Pages: 288
Amazon  |  Goodreads

Secrets in the Snow: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance
This is the fourth of Michaela MacColl’s Novels of Intrigue and Romance. This one is centered around Jane Austen—one of the world's most beloved authors who lived in a time with particular appeal to historical fiction enthusiasts.

Jane Austen’s family is eager to marry her off. Coming from a family of little means, it is the only way she can be assured of a comfortable future. Jane is much more interested in writing her novels, and finds every suitor lacking in one way or another. That is, until the mysterious Mr. LeFoy arrives on the scene. 

But when her cousin is suspected in aiding the French, England’s enemy, Jane is suddenly sidetracked trying to prove her cousin’s innocence, solving a murder, and ultimately facing a decision that might just cost her true love.

Michaela MacColl has once again intertwined the facts of a beloved author’s real life with a suspenseful fictional tale that will not only have readers on the edges of their seats but also, like Jane, debating right versus wrong, family versus independence, and duty versus love.


I am a big time Jane Austin fan, I blame it on my Mom, she started me young! haha So naturally, I was really eager to read Secrets in the Snow. The main character is a young Jane Austen who finds herself knee deep in a lot more than snow! Jane is caught between a rock and a hard place, the government wants her aid in gathering intel on her cousin, while she is dead set on proving that her beloved cousin isn't a french spy. Ack! She does it all while writing, solving a murder, and ensnaring the mysterious Mr. LeFoy to fall in love with her! I don't know how she does it.

This book was a huge home run for me! I love Jane Austen, literary characters, historical romance, espionage, mysteries, and this had it all! I am so delighted with this book and I found it really fun and entertaining!

French spies, a murder, ... seriously so much awesome in one book! The author stayed true to what you would imagine the spirit of a young Jane Austen to be and I found it really entertaining. I loved this book and I  read it from cover to cover in one day! It was a delicious historical tale full of espionage and intrigue and I think Jane Austen fans will be delighted!

 













Coloring Book Review: Wonderland by Amily Shen

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hi Lovelies!

I've been coloring in coloring books my entire life, literally! As an adult in my late 20's when I'd get invited to a friends house for movie night, it usually involved some snickering because I came with my tote bag full of crayons, coloring books and snacks! I have loved coloring since I was a child, and never stopped!

Several years ago when I first heard about adult coloring books I was super excited. It was like a big IN YOUR FACE to all the people who laughed or made fun of me. I bought my first adult book and I've never looked back. If your like me, this is not a craze, but a passion, a whimsical escape from a hectic day and a wonderful world of solitude.

I've mentioned before that this blog will be evolving, as I too have evolved. One way is with the addition on adult coloring book reviews. Squeee!!! So let's jump right on in to Wonderland by Amily Shen



Wonderland: A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures
Wonderland: a Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures

Author: Amily Shen
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Format: Finished Copy
Source: Publisher- for review
Pages: 80





Just like with any book, when it comes to the world of adult coloring, you'll quickly find who your favorite author's or artist's are. I've been a huge fan of Amily Shen for ages. I was always so jealous of everyone who could afford to pay the high prices to have her books exported from Asia. For me, that was just way outside of my price range, so I am absolutely thrilled that her books are starting to be published here in the states! When the chance came to review one of my favorite works of hers, I jumped at it!

 The cover is just so perfect, in my opinion. One of the things that makes Amily Shen my favorite artist is her use of childhood whimsy and fun. That definitely shines through in the cover of her book.

The book itself, like most adult coloring books is paperback with the cover being made of a thicker, more durable material.

You'll see some of the classic character's on the cover like the mad hatter and the cheshire cat!






The dust jacket is completely removable, which I really like. Underneath you'll find more of her whimsical art. On the underside of the dust jacket the background is white , with more art work. I really liked this because it is perfect for those who like to use sharpies to color with. This is the perfect place for those, and I loved that the artist left no wasted space!

The cover itself, once the dust jacket is removed is much the same. The background is this really beautiful peach color with art work done atop in black. Again, for those who love to color in sharpie's I feel like this would be the perfect place to make good use of them!

This is one of the first images I came to in the book, and I just couldn't leave the page black and white. The book is a clever mix of stories from the original Alice in Wonderland with classic art that Amily Shen is known for throughout the pages.

The pages themselves are a really nice thick quality, which is important in the adult coloring world. The pages are printed double sided, which can sometimes be an issue, but with the thicker heavier pages used, it wasn't!


I used an array of colored pencils in this book. From the kind you'd have used in school from brands such as Crayola, and Rose Art ( remember those! Are they even still around?!?) To the higher end like Prisma Color. I also used my stabilo fineliner's to add richness and depth, and draw the eye to certain parts of the artwork that I wanted to stand out. Typically on a thin or cheap quality paper the fineliner's will bleed through the page and become visible on the backside. In really sad instance's they have bled through several pages, but that was not an issue here with this book! It never bled through to the backside, making the double side printed pages no issue at all!

This book was a huge homerun for me and I had a blast getting lost in the pages. I highly recommend picking this one up! Before I go I will leave you with one last imagine.









Review: The Initiation ( Lock and Key #1 )

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Initiation ( Lock and Key #1) by Ridley Pearson

Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: publisher
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Amazon  |  Goodreads

The Initiation

Bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson reimagines the origins of the epic rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty. Set in modern times and focusing on Moriarty's bone-chilling beginnings, this middle grade mystery-adventure series will upend everything you thought you ever knew about Sherlock Holmes—and the true nature of evil.

In the pantheon of literature’s more impressive villains, Sherlock Holmes’s greatest nemesis, James Moriarty, stands alone. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes him in the classic tale “The Final Solution,” Moriarty is a genius, a philosopher, and a spider in the center of his web. He is the Napolean of crime—and now, for the first-time ever, New York Times bestselling novelist Ridley Pearson explores the origins of his evil ways.

Our story begins when James and his younger sister, Moria, are unceremoniously sent off to boarding school at Baskerville Academy. It is not a fate either want or welcome—but generations of Moriarty men have graduated from Baskerville’s hallowed halls. And now so too must James. It’s at Baskerville where James is first paired with a rather unexpected roommate—Sherlock Holmes. The two don’t get along almost instantly, but when the school’s heirloom Bible goes missing and cryptic notes with disconcerting clues start finding their way into James’s hands, the two boys decide that they must work together to solve a mystery so fraught with peril, it will change both their lives forever!

It’s another seat-of-your-pants mystery from the bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and The Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson.



I originally picked this up not knowing ANYTHING about it. I had just finished reading some dark dystopians and wanted to break this up with a quick MIDDLE GRADE title.  While I feel like this is more YA than MG...I am head over heels in love with this book!

The Initiation turned out to be so much more than I expected it to be. First of all, I think it was absolute BRILLIANCE on the part of Ridley Pearson to write a re-imagining of the whole Sherlock Holmes story. This story centers on the tumultuous relationship between Holmes and Moriarty, and I personally ate it UP! It was so brilliant to stage this at a boarding school , the Baskerville Academy. Ahhh!! EPIC!

The Moriarty's are a huge deal to the Baskerville Academy and have been attending for over 5 generations.  James and Moria are both sent there by their father and that's when this story truly takes off! James finds himself stuck with the most annoying, arrogant room mate, none other than a young Mister Sherlock Holmes. Squeee!!!

The story is told through the eyes of Moria Moriarty in a modern day setting. This book was absolutely perfect in every way! I am a HUGE Sherlockian , and I have read countless takes on the original beloved classic. I've read everything from the originals, the children of Sherlock, his niece, and all the way to the manga versions and this stood out from them all! 

There is mystery, suspense, secret societies, secret codes, and just so soooo many SECRETS! This book is totally EPIC and I hope that the author continues on with more stories in this style. If your a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and secret societies than this book is PERFECT for you! I highly recommend it!

 

Interview: The Replacement Crush Blog Tour

Monday, September 5, 2016




The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
presented by Entangled Teen and

hosted by Chapter by Chapter!
This tour will run from September 5-23, 2016.


Hey Guys!

I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour today. I had such a blast chatting with Lisa Roberts Brown about her book, The Replacement Crush.

I absolutely love that the main character, Vivian, is a book blogger! Where did your inspiration for this book come from?


I’m so glad you liked Vivian! I wanted to write about a girl who makes no apologies for championing romance novels, but who struggles with romance in real life…someone who doesn’t know quite how to respond when she meets her own real-life hero, and makes some not-so-smart decisions on the road to her happily ever after.

Also, I secretly wish I could be seventeen again and be a book blogger. That world didn’t exist when I was a teenager, but I would’ve been all over it if it had!


Obviously Vivian is an avid reader just like us! What are some of her favorite books and authors? Any summer recommendations from Viv?

Vivian has so many recommendations for you! She loves classics like Jane Austen, but reads plenty of contemporary books, too. In fact, she thought she’d hate Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith but she actually loved it (and the movie). She also loved First and Then by Emma Mills, a Pride and Prejudice retelling.

Vivian likes mysteries, too (because of her author mom). In that genre she recommends Holding Court by K.C. Held, a light-hearted YA mystery with romance, and A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, a YA Sherlock Holmes retelling that is dark and brilliant and amazing, according to Viv.


Hey Girl, are there any celebrities who would make it onto Viv's Replacement Crush List?


                                                

Well, Viv isn’t as obsessed with celebrities as her friend Jaz, but she definitely has crushes. Dylan O’Brien tops Viv’s list because he reminds her of Dallas.

                                        


Any fail proof summer romance tips for our readers?


Yes! Vivian says to trust your gut…and your heart. If somebody sets off your Enterprise red alert warning system, back away. Better yet, run. On the flip side, if you meet someone amazing but feel shy and unsure of yourself, take a risk. Meet them for coffee, like Viv does with Dallas. You never know what might happen ;).

And finally, are you excited for the new Star Trek movie?

So excited! I’ve already seen it twice. I was so saddened by Anton Yelchin’s tragic death and cried watching him in the movie. He was so talented. 

I thought the movie was fantastic. I’ve loved the whole Chris-Pine-as-Kirk franchise. Just like Viv in THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH, I’m a Trekkie nerd, but I don’t like to dissect and tear apart all the different movies and series like Dallas does. I just love imagining a vast universe full of possibility, of diversity, of exploration…and romance, of course.


Thank you for letting me interview you today!

                                    

I had so much fun! :) Thanks for having me!


That is it for my Blog Tour stop today. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Make sure you check out Chapter by Chapter for more stops on the tour! 



The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Entangled TEEN



True love can’t be strategized.


After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.


But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.


Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.





Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.


Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.


Author Website: www.lisabrownroberts.com
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/LBrownRoberts
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorLisaBrownRoberts/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8287979.Lisa_Brown_Roberts


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