Monday, February 25, 2019

Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Title: Wild Country
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: Book Two of The World of the Others, Seven in the Others
Published By: Ace (March 5, 2019)
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

There is almost nothing more than the dark almost creepy world that Bishop has created in The Others series. 

With all the supernatural creatures we have all come to know, love and become fascinated with, but with a darker more sinister, no nonsense twist that is completely unique and one I completely adore. 

Even though I miss Meg, Simon and all the gang from the original series so very much, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to know after the first book in the spin off, Lake Silence, was just as fascinating and fantastic as the original, I was to know we would be getting more. 

Getting over that initial reservation of can Bishop really pull it off again, I can say with complete confidence and honesty, that why, yes, yes she can.

In fact, this is one of my most favorite books in the series to date. I just loved everything about it from the town, to the people, to the pack...just, it was so much of what I loved about the original but with whole new characters that were every bit as loveable as the original. 

Truly this series is just getting better and Meg and Simon or no Meg and Simon, it truly is worth it to pick up and get a darker, more frightening taste of what The Others is all about. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: Salvatore by Cecy Robson

Title: Salvatore
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Book One in the In Too Far Series
Published: March 13, 2019
Genre: Contemporary
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Book Description:
Desperate men do desperate things . . .

Salvatore Romero is a dangerous man. If you’ve lived the life Sal has, rage is to be expected and maybe so is heart. After his father killed his mother in a jealous rage, Sal was left to raise his two younger brothers, becoming a parent long before he was ready.

Desperate for money to support his family, Sal sought help from his old friend, Vincent Maggiano, the son of New Jersey’s top crime boss being groomed to take over his ailing father’s empire.

Sal never planned to join the mob. He also never planned to fall for his brother's sweet and ultra conservative counselor, Adrianna Daniels.

Aedry isn’t the type of girl Sal is usually drawn to. Her skirts are longer, her hair is tamer, and her heels aren’t clear. But he can’t deny the attraction he feels. And Salvatore’s dark, sexy, and dangerous persona is the exact opposite of the clean-cut business men who usually catch Aedry’s attention.

Neither planned on a life of crime nor did they plan on love. But now, both are in too far.

I wanted to both love and hate this book and I think, at times, I really did both love and hate it.

I hated all the lies and even how Sal acted for a good chunk on the story and I will admit, I was even not rooting for him for part of it. And yet, my weird self couldn't help but like that this gruff dangerous, over aggressive, over alpha male did have a soft spot for Aedry and most of the time, even treated her right.

But did all of that make up for the bad? I honestly, still don't know. I have so many mixed feelings about this book. When Robson said it was dark, she wasn't lying. Nothing about this book except maybe Aedry's relationship with Sal's brothers, is light. Nothing about it is even really good except for the one little thing called love and all the redeeming power said love can have and how very much someone, even a gruff alpha male, will do for it.

So did I love the lies, the deceit, and all the secrets? No, I actually didn't. 

But yet, I did love the tender rare moments and the great change that overall, happened to them all along the way and the way that in the end, it did work out and it was a happily ever after. 

Did I trust that Cecy would be able to change my mind about what I didn't like into something I did by the time the last page was turned? Why yes, yes, I did. 

So while this wasn't a favorite of mine, it was still classic Cecy under all that darkness and deceit and I couldn't help but like the characters in the end and yes, was even rooting for them and that crazy alpha male. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Title: What the Wind Knows
Author: Amy Harmon
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary
Published By: Lake Union (March 1, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?

Amy Harmon has always been a favorite author of mine, from her very first book I was hooked and as her stories progress, they truly only seem to get better.

I was so eager to get my hands on her newest release and for good reason, because let me tell you, it was riveting and so worth the wait. Once again, from the very first page,  I was pulled right into the story and it was so hard to put down.

Riddled with emotion, I was captured by the setting, the story line and the very real characters themselves. Everything about this story called to me. 

Set in Ireland during one of the islands worst events in its history, it was so enchanting. From the stories and lore to the very heart of the rebellion. Everything about it demanded that you pay attention and read on. 

I can't even begin to express how much I adored this story. From young Eoin right down to Thomas, so much about this story spoke and called to me in all the best ways that only Harmon seems to know how to do. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Release Day Mini Review: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Title: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss
Author: Kasie West
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: HarperTeen (Feb. 5, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.

Is there anything better than an adorable read in front of the fire place on a cool winter-y afternoon?

Nope, I believe not.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss, like most West books, was just so much fun. So cute and sweet and just the right thing to escape for a couple of hours and be left, by the very last page, with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart. 

Classic West with all the feels, friendships, and storyline that we've all come to know, count on, and love. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, February 4, 2019

Author Interview: Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro

I'm excited to share a very exciting book with you today along with an author interview for Gregory Funaro's newest release, Watch Hollow. This book looks so fun and adorable and even a bit creepy and I'm so excited I get to introduce you to it today. 

Title: Watch Hollow
Author: Gregory Funaro
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperCollins (February 12, 2019)

Book Description:
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows.

When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in Watch Hollow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that’s too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the clock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to keep.

It doesn’t take long, however, for the children to realize that there is more to Blackford House than meets the eye. And before they can entirely understand the strange world they’ve stumbled into, Lucy and Oliver must join forces with a host of magical clock animals to defeat the Garr—a vicious monster that not only wants Blackford House for itself, but also seeks to destroy everything the Tinkers hold dear. 

About the Author:

Gregory Funaro is the NY Times best-selling author of Disney-Hyperion's ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODDITORIUM (an Amazon Best Book of the Month for January, 2015) and ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODD AQUATICUM (2016), which received a Kirkus STARRED review. Look for his latest book, WATCH HOLLOW, coming from HarperCollins in February, 2019. Gregory is also a drama professor at East Carolina University.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your upcoming novel, Watch Hollow.

A: I am a drama professor at East Carolina University and started writing children's books nine years ago after the birth of my daughter. I grew up in Rhode Island, so setting Watch Hollow there was a combination of coming home and exploring something new. Watch Hollow is a modern-day, Gothic flavored horror story in which a widower and his two children move into an eerie old house to fix its (unbeknown to them) magical clock. It doesn’t take long, however, for the children to realize that something very strange is going on in Watch Hollow, and they ultimately join forces with a bunch of magical clock animals to defeat a monster who lives in the nearby woods.

Q: I see you've written in other genres before, which one is your favorite to write in?

A: Children's books, hands down. I've basically stopped maturing since I was twelve, so there you go. 

Q: When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?

A: I received an English award in ninth grade for some short stories I'd written. Then in the eleventh grade, I wrote a short horror story that my English teacher, Mr. Scaffardi, thought I'd plagiarized. After my initial terror, of course, I took it as a compliment, and looking back, I see now that those two events really planted the seeds. However, only after a much different career path in theatre, I started writing in my spare time. I began with screenplays in my 20s--and got pretty close with one of them--and then finished my first thriller in my late 30s. It was never sold, but it did land me the agent who sold my other two thrillers.

Q: If you could be one character, in any book you've written, whom would you choose and why?

A: Off the cuff, maybe Cleona from Alistair Grim's Odditorium? She's a banshee and can fly. I've always wanted to fly. Or maybe Kiyoko. She's a ninja. I've always wanted to be a ninja, too...

Thank you so much Gregory for being here today and sharing a little more about yourself and of course, Watch Hollow that releases this February!

Also check out this fun trailer for the book!