Published January 29th 2016 by Indie Sisiw Books
YA/NA > Romance | Contemporary
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Jules Coronado has been away from her hometown for almost a decade but when an intruder breaks in to her childhood home, she finds herself coming back. Changes evidently took place in her small town, including her childhood best friend’s younger brother, Kip – now tall, slightly scruffed, all grown up and caught climbing into their garden wall.
Kip Villamor has a mission and despite Jules’ doubts, they team up: going on fieldtrips, tackling unsuspecting men, and trespassing offices to dig up dirt. But Jules has secrets of her own, one that might be exposed – unless she keeps her walls up. But climbing walls are Kip’s forte, remember?
Will her secrets keep her on his side, or will it force her to disappear again?
Yep. That’s just me the whole time. Dawn Lanuza brings out the romantic side of me from my icy and snarky exterior. Well played Dawn! Well played!
“You ever felt like there are two versions of you, and they dont exist in the same place.”
I have bee a fan of Dawn Lanuza ever since I read her first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, which by the way is a great life choice because not only did I enjoy that smart and sweet story but I also got the chance to meet our main character in The Hometown Hazard which is Jules. I have to say though, because we’re totally being honest here, that the blurb of this books caused some double taking from me. The girl-being-younger-than-the-love-interest (no matter how much the age gap) is something I avoid aggressively. So. If you’re like me, I’ll tell you right away that THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BOTHER YOU.
The book started off with Jules waking up because of a phone call from her parents saying that somebody broken inside of their house and apparently, the intruder was very interested at Jules’ room. Could Jules know who the culprit is? Jules being the caring daughter decided to go home to her hometown which she left long time ago because of an incident. From here we meet her loving parents and of course the swoony daredevil, Kip. All grown up and enjoying his new hobby: sneaking into offices and running from people. Just like from Dawn Lanuza’s first novel, she made another set of characters that are authentic and fun. They are a bunch to let go. Jules is the definition of a likeable character. I like the fact that she’s matured and her background story agrees with her. I mean, you don’t expect me to like a character who says she graduated from law school but don’t act like it. Stuff like that are very important. You can see though from the first part of the story that Jules’ character is pretty flawed. She have fears and issues that she needs to overcome. Plus the fact that she’s running away from something that happened years ago and it’s affecting her future. And this is where Kip comes in. Kip is.. wow how do I describe Kip? Well he’s my favorite guy by Dawn Lanuza. He’s the right amount of dangerous and swoony. He’s all mysterious but I liked the fact that with every page, the author keeps peeling off a layer from Kips mysterious personality.
The romance is set in a pace that is believable and its just my favorite thing! No instalove. No love triangle. No unnecessary dramas. I think what makes The Hometown Hazard stands out from other love stories out there is that ITS NOT JUST A LOVESTORY. There’s also a mystery that is going on plus a huge revelation about our main characters pasts. It’s truly such an incredible story!
Written in a very easy and witty atmosphere, The Hometown Hazard is written not to only entertain but to tug at your heartstrings. Dawn Lanuza just keeps getting better and better! Hilarious, romantic and real.. Readers need to make room for The Hometown Hazard in their shelf.
I actually have playlist for the story while I was writing it on Spotify. But these are the top tracks:
The Naked and the Famous – No Way (Quiet)
This is actually the first song that came to mind when I was writing the book. It’s a beautiful track and I think it matches a certain part of the book. If you read the book, I think you’d know where it fits.
Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
This song just reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings and I feel like that’s how Jules pictured her childhood home and her hometown.
Raleigh Ritchie – The Chased
Just because there’s a lot of running and chasing.
Tom Waits – I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You
In the book, I made Kip and Jules dance to a James Taylor song but when I was writing it, I was imagining it with Tom Waits’ “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You.”
Tegan and Sara – Drove Me Wild
This is my Kip song. I think about him when I listen to this song.
The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still
This is the song that’s playing in my head when I imagine the beach scene.
Colony House – Learning How to Love
I think this song’s lyrics is spot on with Jules.
Imogen Heap – Entanglement
Last scene. I’ll leave it with that.
Dawn Lanuza started writing stories when she was just a kid (they weren’t good or even finished). She works for the music industry by day and writes meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. ‘The Boyfriend Backtrack’ is her first book. She currently lives with her family and an adopted dog.
BOOKISH DIARIES BOOK TOURS
Published April 1st 2014
NA > Contemporary | Romance
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Fate’s been playing tricks on Cara Nicolas lately. She agrees to go on a blind date with her best friend’s fiancé’s cousin, only to discover that the guy is her first love from high school, Lucas Lobregat. Now that would have been a charming story, except that the date turns out to be one of the worst ever. And they can’t even pretend it never happened, because they’re both suddenly part of the wedding preparations.
Just as she is starting to get to know more about the boy she used to love, Oliver Sta. Maria, an old flame who owes her some closure, surprisingly shows up. With two pasts resurfacing, which will Cara choose to rekindle? Or can she have the chance to choose at all?
“First love. Is it possible for someone that young to fall in love?”
Just when you thought your heart already found its peace and you have moved on.. Cara finds herself in a complicated situation when her best friend thrusts her in a blind date that she never wanted and when a person from her past that she already buried starts resurfacing again. Nothing is easy about Cara’s situation but I like how everything turned out in the end. I love that there is nothing cliché about this book and although the whole ordeal is complicated, the point is it happens in real life and Kristel Villar writes in a very realistic way.
Cara is a likeable character and it’s admirable that she acts her age most of the time when it comes to making decisions. I admit that there are moments that I want to scream at her but overall, she’s a well written protagonist. I love her voice and although we are not from the same group age, I can relate to her. We all had those first love/crushes, right?
I like the characters, the whole bunch of them! But I must say that Lloyd is my favorite. That friend who punches you with a verbal fist because YOU NEED IT. The author really made a set characters that are unforgettable and hilarious in their own different way. The love interest(s) are both swoony but each has a different trait that makes them charming. It was indeed hard to be in Cara’s situation. Good thing she have her friends with her.
Blast From Two Pasts isn’t exactly a story about love triangle, if that’s what some of the readers are worried about. It is a little short from what the books I usually read and the pacing moved faster than it should, in my opinion. But overall, Blast From Two Pasts is such a sweet and delightful book to read. Perfect for any romance junkie. No matter how old you are!
Kristel S. Villar covers sporting events for a national broadsheet by day and tries to write fiction by night. In between, she takes care of her husband and son. She is addicted to books, movies, American TV shows, and coffee.
Blast From Two Pasts is her first contemporary romance novella. She has also penned “The Rumor About Me”, a short story for the young adult book anthology, Kids These Days: Stories From Luna East Arts Academy Vol. 1. Her second short story for Luna East Arts Academy, “One on One” is currently featured in Clara, a quarterly romance online journal (www.clararomance.com)
Blast from Two Pasts Paperback Copy
BIBLIOPHILES UNPLUGGED TOURS
Published November 30th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
YA > Contemporary | Romance
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It’s senior year and it’s now or never. Callie Rivera always wanted to be part of her school’s drama club, and she finally musters the courage to audition for Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Only she got the audition dates wrong and landed a role that only existed in her wildest dreams. And her co-actor? None other than Landon Arcival, theater actor extraordinaire, not to mention Callie’s (former) crush— or so she says.
Callie is living the dream, until she wakes up to a nightmare. According to the rumor mill, she is sleeping with different guys in her school. Of course, it isn’t true, but who would believe her? And the worst part? It may or may not be her fault the rumors spread in the first place.
What to do? Callie finds herself in the middle of a hot mess. But then Landon proposes the perfect plan that can fix everything, but only if they don’t fall for each other first.
“It’s only romantic when it’s Shakespeare”
Let me just start off by saying that although Rumor Has It may have a rather NA-ish cover, the novel is nothing but sweet and it very much belongs to the ya genre. This story reminded me of Easy A when it started. That fact made me happy and a bit nervous somehow. Nervous because I was fearing that the story will flow just like what happened in the movie. But I was relieved when it was starting to get obvious that the author is making her own spin and by the near end, Rumor Has It is totally standing in its own story.
I like Calie. I’m pretty sure we, especially girls, have been in her position where you think the only logical thing to do is lie. And you may think that it’s not gonna do any harm but in the end, you’ll have to face the consequence of that lie you made. Calie is likeable and a character that girls will relate to. Just like every high school girl in this world, she just likes to fit in, survive highschool unscathed and make all those goals and dreams come true. But who said that highschool is easy? NO ONE. Because it’s not.
The romantic aspect of Rumor Has It take a huge part of the story. It was sweet and perfect for tweenteens readers. Although I wish it didn’t move in such a fast pace and that we got to know more about our love interest, people will be charmed. Nobody can resist those popular-unpopular love tales. And the fact that our main characters are involved in plays and reciting Shakespeare like it’s the easiest thing in the world, it just made them more precious in my eyes.
Rumor Has It is a short yet satisfying contemporary read. Perfect for readers who inhale ya contemporaries like crack. Its about friendships, staying true to who you are and of course, young love.
Farrah F. Polestico wanted to be a lot of things in life— an engineer, a nurse, an astrophysicist. But it wasn’t until she was thirteen when she knew for sure she was going to be a published writer. And now she is. When she’s not up all night writing her next book, you can find her reading anything and everything from a Charles Dickens novel to old grocery receipts.
BOOKISH DIARIES BOOK TOURS
Published January 3rd 2016
A > Contemporary | Romance
Purchase links: Amazon
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Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can’t do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…
Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.
Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?
“You’re worth it. And I’m not just going to quietly let you go. I’m fighting for this one…”
If you want a romance book that would fit to any young adult reader and above, this one is for you. Level Up is the definition of Romantic Comedy. Cathy Yardley just mixed the right ingredients to make a RomCom that stays away from cliche but stays close to absolutely readable. I’m so lucky that this is the first book I get to review because as I’m writing this down, I have nothing but smiles, feels and swoons.
This is my first from Cathy Yardley and if this is how she works with every single one of her books then I’ll confidently say that I will love it as well. If you think about it, the plot of Level Up is not at all new. A guy and a girl roommates, something really is bound to happen. But Yardley made the typical plot-line exciting and refreshing with her quirky and real characters, witty dialogues and realistic turn out of the story. First of all, the interracial couple is what drawn me in to this book. Although it wasn’t such a big deal in the book, I feel like I haven’t read enough stories with interracial couples. It was such a huge reason why I adore this book so much.
Second is the undeniable chemistry of our main characters, Tessa and Adam. Tessa is the kind of heroine that every reader will like. Yes, I just said that. I mean, HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE A HEROINE WHO LIKES SHERLOCK, HARRY POTTER AND DOCTOR WHO? It is not possible. I was rooting for her throughout the whole story. She just don’t have fandoms, she’s a feminist too. Yep. You read that right. In her field where men are dominating, all she wants is to be recognized, respected and to reach her personal goal. I don’t want to say anything anymore because it might be a spoiler but the way she did all that was with flying colors! Adam in the other hand, was endearing. A total alpha guy but adorable too. I always thought that if an author can write a hero like that, I will be happy and impressed. Cathy Yardley nailed it! Adam is that love interest who deserves all the swoon. Now the two of them together? You get a hilarious and sweet geeky story.
The romance was just the right amount. Not too much that the reader will find it cheesy and unrealistic but just enough to say that everything is genuine. You really won’t help but ask for more when you turn the last page.
You don’t want to miss Level Up by Cathy Yardley. It’s hilarious. It’s real. It’s a love story that melt hearts! The memorable characters will climb inside your heart while you’re caught by Yardley’s smooth and terrific writing. I highly encourage you to read this RomCom page turner, that way you can fangirl with me and we get to ask for a second book. Trust me, you’ll want it.
Cathy Yardley needs to get out more. When not writing, she is probably cruising the Internet, sleeping or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She is a closet fangirl for Supernatural, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and too many others to name. Her family is considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture. Want to read more of her writing? Sign up for her notification list, and get a free novella, Hooked, from the Fandom Hearts series! http://www.cathyyardley.com/notification-sign-up
$25 Amazon gift card (INT) | Ends Jan. 27, 2016 | Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.
CBB BOOK PROMOTIONS
Published November 17th 2015 by Createspace
YA > Fantasy |Paranormal
Purchase links: Amazon
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Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. But staying dead is another thing entirely. When he wakes up at his own funeral, the town of Mystique calls it a miracle, until it happens again. Something is bringing the residents of Mystique back to life, but what? Presley Caine finds herself caught up in the mystery when Bauer asks her to visit him. Presley can’t figure out why the most popular guy in school is so drawn to her. And when Bauer is kidnapped soon after, she looks to Bauer’s brooding best friend Sam, whose dad works for the powerful Mystique military base, for answers. In her quest to discover the truth, Presley’s relationship with Sam deepens, her feelings for Bauer are tested, and it becomes clear that her own mysterious past is somehow connected to these strange events. But is she strong enough to handle the truth when it is finally revealed?
PLEASE TELL ME ITS NOT THE END.
I’ve been an avid admirer of Shari Arnold ever since I read her novel, Neverland, earlier this year. If ever you read my review of that book, you’ll find out that I did nothing but praised it. Which is exactly what I will do now with Mystique. I think its safe to say that Shari Arnold is one author that can do no wrong in my list. In fact, I’ve been suffering from a book slump for months now and Mystique was the first book I picked up. And it it did not disappoint. Absolutely one of the best decision I made.
Mystique is the definition of YA THRILLER. This is how you do YA paranormal/thriller people!! The first chapter took my breath away. I’ve been holding my breath throughout reading, if I have to be honest. Shari Arnold definitely knows what she’s doing. You don’t just read her words, you feel it. You experience it. One moment I’m reading in my nook and the next thing I know I’m in this town called Mystique, solving the weird happenings with our heroine, Presley. Trust me when I say, YOU WILL NEVER GET BORED. There is no ‘filler chapter’, there’s no lagging and there’s just no chapter that will let go of you. You will be at the edge of your seat, like me, you won’t stop until you find out the answers.
Mystique gives something new in this genre. Yes, it is about zombies. But Shari Arnold have her own version of zombies and they won’t just scare you, but they will also mystify you. The whole idea of Mystique is really worthy of applause, combine it with Shari Arnold’s brilliant writing, you got an outstanding novel.
Presley and the gang is one set of characters that will surely leave you wounded. Why? They make you want to crave for more. These characters are alive and will own your emotions the whole time you’re reading.
Mystique have an amazing story to tell, and you don’t want to miss it. The writing is glorious, the characters are authentic and every page of this book just keeps on getting better and better. If you still haven’t found your 2015 favorite, then Mystique is for you. This page turner is definitely a must read!
Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it’s her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs
1 Winner will get a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of MYSTIQUE
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