ARC REVIEW: Burying Water by K.A Tucker a.k.a please remind me of everything again

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TITLE: Burying Water (Burying Water #1)
AUTHOR: K.A. Tucker
PUBLICATION: Published October 7th 2014 by Atria
GENRE: NA > Romance | Contemporary
PAGES: 368paes (paperback)
SOURCE: arc via publisher
RATING:

 

2 ★★ 1/2

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?
Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.
The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

 

REVIEW:

 

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So this is my first from K.A Tucker and though I didn’t get all the feels that I was expecting to get.. I was satisfied. I’m not gonna lie, my expectations was high. I was expecting some after-feels that I get every time I read a CoHo book. I’m talking about the pre-Ugly Love Colleen Hoover. Anyway, I’m still on the mission to read K.A Tucker’s first books. Hopefully I will like them more.

Its not that this book is boring. But as someone who has read a lot from this genre, I read nothing new. Plot wise, I guess it was something that will keep you guessing. Which is the only reason I kept reading it. Thank goodness there’s an air of mystery wrapped in this novel because if this is just a plain love story.. this will definitely be a DNF. There’s a chance that I wouldn’t even make it through the middle.

I usually write my reviews a week before I read the book because I want to sit it out first and a kneejerk reaction kind of review won’t be good either. Anyway, after 2-3 days of reading Burying Water, I completely forgot about everything. Even the name of the characters! So yeah, that’s not a good sign. The characters weren’t obviously memorable. Even their names. They weren’t annoying so that’s a relief. But even the annoying ones leaves memories. In here, nada! I guess the love interest was kind of swoony. But he’s as bland as the main character.

Thank goodness for the itty bitty bit of mystery, yeah? The curious side of me (which is 70% of me, tbqh) is the only reason I finished the book. I’m not saying its bad. 2.5 is not a bad book for me. Just nothing special. Meh. Just okay.

And even after all that I said, I want to mention too that K.A Tucker’s writing is great which makes everything easy. And for that, I will continue with the series

 

 

Paula

SNEAK-A-PEEK: Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) by Danielle Annett

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TITLE: Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) 
AUTHOR: Danielle Annett
PUBLICATION: Published January 28th 2015 by Amazon
GENRE: NA/A > Fantasy | Paranormal
PAGES: 157pages (kindle edition)
 
 

Purchase links:

Amazon | BN | GooglePlay |  Kobo | smashwords
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.
Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.
When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.
 
 
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EXCERPT & TEASER:

 

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All I saw was blood. Blood soaked my hands and coated the walls. It stained the concrete flooring of the abandoned warehouse and dripped from fixtures that hung from the ceiling, trickling like a slow rain. My vision blurred as anguish filled me. How could this have happened? How could I have been too late?

I stared down at the lifeless body of a child. A boy. Kneeling in a pool of congealing blood, I ran my fingers through his chestnut hair, ignoring the now-cool moisture seeping into the denim of my pants. His face was unrecognizable. Gone was the child with the dimpled cheek and brilliant blue eyes. Left behind was a mass of flesh and bone—a ruined body drained of its life force at such a young age.

Reality snapped like an elastic band, bringing me back to the present as I sat at my desk in Sanborn Place. Ripped from the haunted memories of finding Daniel’s body.

The world was a cruel place. It was a fact of life and even though I knew it was true, I still had a hard time coming to terms with the atrocities people committed. The cruelties that for some god-forsaken reason, people thought were okay. Staring down at the wallet-sized photo now crumpled in my hands, I was greeted by a crown of chestnut hair, bright blue eyes, a heart-shaped face, and a brilliant smile; a single dimple on his left cheek. The face of an innocent seven-year-old boy, cut down like he was little more than a calf brought to slaughter. I found myself struggling to link the image of this smiling boy to that of the ruined body I’d found less than forty-eight hours ago.

Inside, a small part of me burned. My blood heated and a turbulent rage rolled through me, one I had to fight to contain.

“Ari, you’ve got to stop staring at the kid. He’s gone. Let it go,” I heard Mike say.

I couldn’t let it go. I didn’t understand how he could either. I looked up from the photograph and stared Mike straight in the eyes. He cringed but held my gaze.

“He was seven-years-old, Mike,” I said through clenched teeth. “Seven!”

I shook my head, the poor kid had barely lived, barely tasted what the world had to offer. I take that back, he’d tasted too much of what the world could give and it had cost him.

Ever since the Awakening six years ago when all things that went bump in the night decided to come out of the woodwork and play, safety had been tenuous at best and kids like this, like seven-year-old Daniel Blackmore, were suffering the price.

Vampires, shifters, mages, witches and many more creatures of the night so to speak had seemingly popped out of nowhere, deciding they were ready to integrate themselves into everyday, or night, society.

Daniel had been abducted by a rogue vampire. I’d found his mangled body, broken and discarded as if he were nothing more than a piece of trash and I was going to find the bastard that had killed him and make him pay.

“Ari, I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no.”

I looked Mike up and down. He was an older man in his late forties with a streak of silver in his otherwise midnight colored hair. The wrinkles around his eyes would lead you to believe he smiled a lot but I knew better. Those lines were from his ever-present frown. Dressed in black slacks and a grey button up shirt, his mid-section strained against the buttons looking like they could pop off at any moment, likely taking someone’s eye out in the process.

“I wasn’t asking for your permission,” I told him, my gaze going back to the photo.

“I don’t give a rat’s ass if you were asking. I’m telling you, Ari, let it go! You can’t help him anymore. All you’ll end up doing is getting yourself hurt or worse, killed for your trouble.”

That was the problem with people who had lived through the Awakening. Their only concern was self-preservation. Nothing else mattered. Well, screw that because this little boy, he mattered. His life mattered and he deserved justice. I had scrubbed my hands after finding his broken body but couldn’t scrub the stain his death left on my soul.

I stood up from my desk and grabbed my keys and daggers. I sheathed the twin blades on either side of my waist, grabbed my leather jacket, and made a beeline for the door. Mike crossed the room to intercept me, arms folded over his chest blocking my way.

“Move,” I bit out.

“No.”

“I can move you.”

“You can, but you won’t.”

I ground my teeth together. He was being ridiculous. This entire situation was ridiculous.

“Mike, this isn’t some game. A little boy died. He died! Does that even matter to you? I couldn’t live with myself if I let this one go.”

“What’s your plan, Ari, you going to just storm into the coven and force them to tell you who did it? They won’t tell you. They protect their own and you’re one person against an entire Coven of bloodthirsty vampires. Even the kid’s parents know it’s a lost cause. They’ve dropped the case and are focusing on burying their kid. They’re coming to terms with his death. It’s over.”

I’d been hired by Jessica Blackmore, Daniel’s mother, a little over two weeks ago to find her son who’d gone missing one afternoon. He had been walking home from a friend’s, only five houses down from his own, but never made it to the front door. She’d thought it safe enough to allow him the small bit of independence but with paranormals about, it was never truly safe.

Mike knows I’m different. He knows I have pyrokinetic abilities and he knows I can take care of myself. This wasn’t reason talking, this was him being overprotective. Feeling the temperature in the room begin to rise I forced myself to inhale and exhale slowly. Trying to calm down and keep my pyrokinesis locked up tight. It wouldn’t help the situation to start a fire. All it would do is prove to Mike that I wasn’t in control and right now I was in no mood for a lecture.

“Look, Ari, you’re a mercenary. You take on a job when you have a client. There is no client so there is no job. We’re not the police. We don’t try to clean up the streets or bag the bad guys. We’re mercs.”

I couldn’t blame him for his way of thinking. Hell, two weeks ago I would have said the same thing, but this was different. He was just a kid and I couldn’t believe everyone was so willing to leave his murderer out there.

“Why don’t—”

Mid-sentence I heard the distinct buzz of a cell phone. Mike dug his phone out of his left pocket and answered it without looking at the screen.

“Hello,” he said. Mike’s face scrunched in confusion, a furrow forming between his brows. He listened for several moments and then with a grunt he hung up and stared me down. At six feet tall, he towered over me by a good five inches, but I didn’t back down. Lifting my chin and giving him my best try me stare. The one I knew drove him crazy.

“Looks like you’re getting exactly what you asked for,” he said.

“And what exactly is that?”

“That was Declan Valkenaar on the phone.”

Holy shit, the Pack Alpha. What the hell was he doing calling Mike?

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

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Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

You can learn more about Danielle on her website at Danielle-Annett.com or follow on on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDaniel… and on twitter @Danielle_Annett

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

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Paula

REVIEW: Ignite (Ignite #1) by Lily Paradis a.k.a but what.. happened?

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TITLE: Ignite (Ignite #1)
AUTHOR: Lily Paradis
PUBLICATION: Published August 26th 2014 by Empire Books
GENRE: YA/NA > Contemporary | Romance
PAGES: 326pages (paperback)
SOURCE: review copy via author
RATING: 

 

2 ★★ 1/2

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

After her father’s untimely demise in a mining accident and her mother’s abandonment, Lauren Lindsay is no stranger to loss. She’s used to living life for one person: herself. That is, until another family tragedy thrusts three children into her care and uproots her life in ways she could never imagine.
Lauren’s first instinct is to run, until she meets their striking, mysterious neighbor Dean Powell. Their immediate chemistry and his connection with her late father just might be enough to keep her in town long enough to uncover pieces of her past that she never had answers to. Dean’s shady past and her reluctance to trust him could cost her the life she’s always been searching for, but will she run back to her old life?
Or will she choose to stay and live the life her father always imagined for her?

 

REVIEW:

 

I don’t know what happened in here. But it was going okay at first half then it just started to become so… stupid.

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Like I said, the first half was okay. I like how the two main characters (Lauren and Dean) met because there’s  a certain farytale-like feel into it. I mean hello, I inhale this kind of stories and even though Ignite has Insta-attraction, I wasn’t that annoyed. I kinda liked it actually. I even like the two main characters individually, and that rarely happens.

But then the clicheness started happening. Of course THE GUY HAS ISSUES. OF COURSE THE GIRL IS TRYING TO REPEL HER BECAUSE HE’S A MAN WHORE BUT SECRETLY SHE’S FALLING IN LOVE WITH HIM. OF COURSE THE GIRL’S BEST FRIEND SAID TO PURSUE IT BECAUSE HELLO THE GUY IS HOT. WHO CARES HOW MANY GIRLS THE GUY DATED AND THAT HE’S A DOUCHE.

If you are this BEST FRIEND, please change.

And also, this is the stupidest part of all IMO; Things are started happening in her life and there are questions that the answers are OH MY GOD ARE SO OBVIOUS BECAUSE IT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER, but with some unexplainable reason, the main character, Lauren, cannot figure it out.

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Maybe she’s missing.. brain cells? I don’t know.  There’s a lot of unbelievable things that was mentioned in here that made me scratch my head. It made me say ‘BS!’ a lot of times and thank the book gods that the cover is pretty and the writing was okay, because those are the only things that kept me going.

Paula

Bookish Thoughts #002: ‘Goodreads Ratings? Pfft.’

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Welcome to Book-ish thoughts! A weekly post here on Her Book Thoughts where we ask for a little of your time to share a thought about useless and nonsense things. YAY! Don’t worry, it will ALWAYS have something to do with a book or anything bookish!


“If you aren’t on Goodreads, you should be. I’ve said it before, it’s like Facebook for readers on crack.”

And no one, ladies and gents, could have said it better than CoHo.

Today, as my first post on Her Book Thoughts, I’ve chosen to talk about Goodreads and it’s highly pathetic Rating Policy.

“Rating, schmating.”

No matter how long you’ve been part of the book blogging/reading/writing community, Goodreads is an undeniable and irreplaceable part of your life. And with good reason, too. It’s got everything that can accurately sum up the life of a reader: Books, Giveaways, Drama.

All three in abundance.

And before writing this post, I was talking to a few of my reader friends about how the site seems to be growing up before our eyes and how everything about the site seems to be changing.

“Except that Goddamned rating system,” they complained.

A lot of readers—hell, most of them—seem to hate the Goodreads rating system because of its inability to allow half star ratings. So you can rate a book from 1 to 5 but you can’t give, say, a 3 and a half. And here’s the funny part; Goodreads itself calculates the average rating of a book by adding 2 numbers after the decimal point. Like say, 4.45, 3.82, 1.06, etc. They’re all “our way or the highway” when it comes to ratings but readers have learnt to put up with it.

The problem is simple: There is a big difference between a 3 and a 4 star rating. For me, a 3 star rating is an average read, nothing out of the ordinary. But a 4 star rated book is very, very close to perfection. So when I find a book that’s smack in between the two, I have not other choice but choose either one.

I’ve seen some readers write in reviews that since their actual rating is 2 and a half stars, they’re going to “round it up” to 3 stars. Again, this makes no sense to me, because the entire point of a half star rating is that you want to rate a book between two full stars.

And Goodreads, seemingly, does not look like they’re going to give up anytime soon. A lot of people have tried setting up polls, talking about it on the Goodreads forums, even going as far as shifting out of Goodreads into Shelfari and LibraryThing because of this. Inspite of this, there doesn’t seem to be much happening on the ratings front.

So. Is it only me who seems to be having an issue with the rating scale Goodreads uses? Are you guys okay with it? Or have you gotten used to it? Have you shifted out of Goodreads because of it? Let’s talk!

 

 

2015-01-11

GUEST POST: The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy #2) by Joana Wiebe

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TITLE: The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy #2)
AUTHOR: Joana Wiebe
PUBLICATION: Published January 20th 2015 by BenBella Books
GENRE: YA > Fantasy | Paranormal
PAGES: 320pages (paperback)
 
 

Purchase links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BenBella | BooksAMillion | Chapters/Indigo | IndieBound
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined.
Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves…or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben’s destruction at the hands of dark leaders. Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, will Anne save others-only to lose herself?
 
 
 
 
 
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GUEST POST:

 

What I Grappled with on the Path to Finally Writing My First – and Then Second – Novel

So I’m on a plane to Tokyo.

I’m 22, wide-eyed, newly graduated from university, and staring down the barrel of my future. The plan now is to 1) avoid law school, aka “the next logical step” after completing an English degree, by 2) moving away for a year to 3) read like a lunatic so I can 4) write my first novel.

I’ve been told that English speakers with English degrees can go to this mystical, English-loving land called Japan – a place where there are no distractions, there are no bills and the streets are lined with books – to live out the dream of writing whilst traveling, a dream normally reserved for trust-fund babies and circa-1924 alcoholics.

I’m heading to a place where I can pay back my student loans by working just an hour or two a day, leaving the remaining 22 hours free to read and write. Amazing, right? I know. I’m all:

The plane lands. I lug my trunk o’ books off a Narita conveyor belt, turn around, face the overwhelming fact that I am in an overwhelming place – and find myself immediately swept up in Japanophilia. Like, my librarian glasses have fallen off my face, and I’ve become Harajuku Barbie:

A year passes. In this time I read exactly 14 books and experience exactly 23 waking hours in which I’m not entertaining or being entertained by the wonderful people of this little town, called Kamikawa-cho, where I’ve built a new life. How many words do I write? Um…

It’s around this time that my beloved dad – my hero – gets sick.

Like sick-sick.

So I bawl my eyes out, pack up my case of books, and head back to Canada, where I do the unthinkable – i.e., consider law school – while my dad’s brain tumor shrinks and then grows and then shrinks again, seemingly ready to vanish for good, before exploding back onto the scene a la John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, refusing to fade away, insisting on an epic comeback no one will ever forget:

The brain tumor leaves, taking my dad with it.

The day after my dad dies is my first day of law school.

I take that as a sign, even though I don’t believe in signs, and drop out of law school.

I spend two months writing a novel about a woman whose husband dies, leaving her his winery and his kids. She keeps the winery and gets rid of the kids.

Realizing that, just as I was not a trust-fund baby, I am also not about to be willed a life of luxury, I take a job at a marketing agency. It’s a copywriting job. Which is essentially a writing job. Which kinduv makes me a writer, right?

To make myself feel better about selling out, about going corporate, about working instead of, say, going to grad school, I list out the writers who started as copywriters:

• F. Scott Fitzgerald
• Salman Rushdie
• John Hughes
• Elmore Leonard
• Dorothy Sayers
• Don DeLillo
• Joseph Heller

I list out my university friends who have become published novelists:

• No one (yet!)

I list out the writers who weren’t novelists until their 30s, 40s, 50s:

• William S. Burroughs: 40
• Charles Bukowski: 51
• Laura Ingalls Wilder: 64
• George Eliot: 40

These lists buy me a little more time. These lists are my excuse. And, hell, these lists are, technically, writing.

I move into a better-paying job at a huge tech company. I’m still copywriting, so I’m still writing… right? Right? RIGHT!?!

My better-paying job allows me to take the first real vacations of my life. I go to Hawaii. I lay on Kaanapali Beach, hopeful I look like this:

But certain I look like this:

Not that I care. Because I’m totally and 100% engrossed – to my extreme surprise – in a little beach reading called… Twilight.

It is while reading here on the beach, nearly a decade after I flew to Japan, that I feel the itch to write again. Suddenly my fears that you have to be freakin’ Bukowski if you start writing post-30 or DeLillo if you spent years in advertising… suddenly those fears are gone. Suddenly writing is something that can be fun and light. An escape.

Five years pass. And here I am now, waiting for my second book in my YA trilogy to hit bookstores Jan 20. It’s not even sort of how I expected it to go. But those are the best stories, aren’t they? The non-formulaic ones.

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

Joanna-Wiebe-1000-x-1500

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

By day, Joanna is a copywriter and the co-founder of CopyHackers.com and Page99Test.com, a critique site for published and unpublished writers. As an undergraduate student, Joanna won several academic awards for excellence in creative writing: Canada’s James Patrick Folinsbee Prize, which she won twice, as well as the Godfrey Prize.

After graduating, she lived for a year on the remote northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, which is the inspiration for the verdant Wormwood Island of the V Trilogy. She holds a BA in Honors English and an MA in Communications from the University of Alberta and lives with her partner Lance in Victoria, British Columbia.

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is her first novel and the first installment in the V Trilogy.

 

 

 

 

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