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Loves & Loathes – 1 March

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LOVES

1. Birthday love! I was majorly feeling the love over the weekend so thank you to everyone who had a part in that ❤ – C

2. EEEK!!!! Austin Book Fest this weekend!!! My first book signing and I am sooooo excited!!!- A (I am SO jealous Amy!!! You’re going to have the best time! -C)

3. Penny Reid. I’ve just finished the ARC of the first book in the Elements of Chemistry series. Dead. I’m dead it’s so good! I’m not usually a NA reader but I will be if this is what it’s like! I swear this author can do no wrong – C

4. My new phone. By old one has been slowly dying and it was getting to the point that I wanted to throw it against a wall every time I had to use it. Soooo……new phone time! So quick, so fast, no freezing up or refusing to take calls or text messages…..I’m in heaven. So long, old phone! You will NOT be missed. – K

5. I recently stumbled across an Urban Fantasy read called Dark Hope (The Devil’s Assistant Book 1) by HD Smith. I love finding UF that I haven’t read but….it’s incredibly difficult to find good UF. And even harder to find something original. I’m currently around 60% and it is going swimmingly for me. I’m loving the characters, the world and this STORY. WOW!  I haven’t read anything like this in a loooong time. – K

LOATHES

1. Deciding what type of cell phone to buy! I love my phone. It’s an android.  I’ve had it for 2 years. It’s finally starting to have issues and needs to be replaced sooner rather than later. I have no clue what to buy?!?- A (Amy – Snap! See above! – K)

2. Goodreads is hating on me at the moment. Posting my comments twice. Deleting comments that I have definitely not deleted? WHAT IS GOING ON! – C

3. Courier companies. That is all. – K

4. Left over birthday cake. Thanks to my son and I sharing a birthday weekend we have so much cake that I actually think I never want to see cake again! (For the rest of this week) – C

5. Adjusting to my new workout/healthy eating routine. I’m loving doing it and feeling super dedicated but these first few days are brutal. I’ve turned in a raging bitch while adjusting to my sugar free, processed food free, new life. At least the food’s still good and there’s plenty of it. – K

Blog Tour!!! The Ship has Sunk by Michelle Graves

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TheShipHasSunkTour

The Ship Has Sunk

by Michelle

Graves

The

Misadventures of Maggie Moore

Publication Date: December 23, 2014

Genres: Contemporary, Humorous, Romance

Tour: The Ship Has Sunk by Michelle Graves

Amazon

Nook

I wanted three things out of life: to be successful, to make use of my

journalism degree, and to write for the Life and Style section of a big name paper. Unfortunately, things

never work out quite the way I plan. Some place between life’s little twists and turns and a botched

assignment, I found myself standing on the edge of the Puget Sound. If I don’t nail this assignment, I’m

out of a job and practically homeless thanks to my mom’s edict. The challenges of an unwelcome travel

companion aside, life could be far worse. I mean, who doesn’t love Dragon Boat racing?

Add to Goodreads

About Michelle Graves

AuthorMichelleGraves

Michelle Graves is a self-proclaimed nomad, moving every two to three years with her husband the

Army man, her beautiful daughter, and a fat tailless cat named Torri. When she is not writing away

trying to purge her mind of yapping characters she can be found entertaining her daughter, attempting

to craft (whilst trying not to injure herself with the glue gun), baking yummy treats, or reading. She

admits to having a restless spirit and forces her family to go out on adventures whenever possible. They

lovingly play along.

 

REVIEW

Maggie is an extremely accident prone, instantly loveable mess of a character… and I mean that in the best of ways! Maggie (as was intended) was the shining light in this fast fun read, her almost constant barrage of bad luck kept her on her toes that’s for sure… But never fear, nothing keeps her down for too long!

Maggie is fresh from a personal tragedy and with a little (ok a lot) of prodding from her mama she is ready to land that perfect reporting job… Except maybe the Universe got a little mixed up on that one. Turns out the reporting career she landed is based on all things sports related… And she doesn’t really know anything about sports! Can you tell this is not going to go smoothly?

Mix into this the grumpy, but kind of handsome guy who she keeps running into… Who actually may not be as random and mysterious as she thinks he is and you have the makings of a great start to what I am sure will be a very entertaining series. This book was fast paced and absolutely full of heart. While most of the time I was giggling away, there were some moments that definitely had me a little emotional. I really enjoyed every minute of reading this and I can’t wait to read more about Maggie AND her misadventures!

NEW RELEASE! Review – Drowning in the Dark (The Veil Series #4) by Pippa DaCosta

“I wasn’t demon enough to defeat my brother before. Things have changed.”

As the veil begins to fall, and the demons bleed through onto the streets of Boston, Muse knows the battle is lost before it’s even begun.

To make matters worse, Adam and the Institute have captured Akil at a time when the city has never needed him more. Muse believes Akil’s incarceration is a ruse, because if he truly is at the mercy of the Institute, she must choose which side she’ll fight for. Human or demon?

The princes are coming. Valenti, Muse’s immortal half-brother, leads the charge. The Institute is not ready, the people of Boston are not prepared, but one man is. Stefan knows what it will take to beat back the netherworld. Will his demon allow him the freedom to right his wrongs?

Muse’s loyalty will be tested. To save those she loves, she must give up that which she cherishes most. Her humanity.

The Mother of Destruction is about to go nuclear.

Can we please just take a moment to relive the amazingness that was that prologue…

…The things she’s doing to me. I am not this man. I am demon. And yet this impossible woman undermines everything. Undermines me. Burrows deep. Deep into shadows, into darkness, into facets I’ve refused to acknowledge.

Oh my LIFE Akil. The prince of Greed is seriously off kilter, it’s unsettling, especially for Muse. Common sense tells her that he is deluding himself thinking that he feels something for her. But she can’t seem to get away from the fact that his actions are trying to prove otherwise. Welcome to the very complicated world half-blood Muse. Right from that prologue I knew that I was going to be lost to this book. I have been an avid follower of this series and as the story has twisted and turned into hell and back I have had my emotions wrung out too many times to count. That doesn’t change here in book 4, in fact I think my heart was lucky to survive this instalment.

 

We land in this story right as the Institute makes their biggest move yet and captures Akil AKA Mammon. Muse is horrified, Akil needs to be out in Boston helping them fight the demons and Princes that are heading Boston’s way, but no one is listening to her.  Muse knows she has a limited amount of time until chaos claims her and she wants to do everything she can to prevent the two worlds from colliding. This is where Stefan comes in. He’s back and it seems that he and his demon are wanting very different things.

I don’t want to say too much more specifically about the story because you really want to be able to feel shocked, stunned and spun-out as the story demands it. Because that is one of the strengths of this series, these demons really keep you on your toes! I’m still unsure where each demon stands exactly in relation to Muse and humanity. I am in love AND hate(!) with parts of both Akil and Stefan, which is completely owing to the care Pippa DaCosta takes in her character building. Demons by their very nature should be confusing to our human sensibilities and that absolutely is achieved. I don’t know half the time if I want to love these guys or kick them! So yes, I’m conflicted. I don’t know if I should be, but I am. 

Meanwhile Muse is still the badass chick I have come to expect. Even at her darkest hour, even when she feels her control slipping away. Even when she’s not sure she has anything left to give or to fight for, she pulls out the biggest guns that she can and she hits full throttle. Every. Single. Damn. Time. You can’t beat an epic female character and Muse definitely delivers.

So you need to read this book. Like you seriously need to read this book. Obviously if you’ve been following this series then you’ll already be one step ahead and will be currently reading this book… But if not then get onto it! If you’re new to this series then you REALLY need to get onto it and read all of the books! I will end with one word of warning… The ending of this book… it almost killed me, mostly from multiple heart attacks, but also from knowing that I now have to wait until APRIL to find out what on earth had just happened! (In more ways than one) I’m still slowly coming to terms with Drowning in the Dark (can you tell!) I need closure…. So I swear nothing is coming between me and the final book in this series…

ARC kindly received in exchange for an honest review

Loves & Loathes – 22 February 2015

Loves

1.  Sometimes you just need a break from angsty same-same romance and read a sweet and fun chicklit. Chicklit always reminds of everything I love – best friends, chocolate, rainy days and warm blankets. If the book is set in the Cotswalds it’s even better.  I DNF’d a bunch of books recently before deciding to go for Jill Mansell’s Three Amazing Things About You. LOVED. IT. Book funk = officially over. Thanks, Jill Mansell! Always a winner. – K

2. Only 2 More Weeks Until Austin Book Festival!!! -A

3. Dakota Johnson. Didn’t love the Fifty Shades of Grey movie but loved Dakota Johnson as Ana. She saved that movie from being a total dog. That board room ‘negotiation’ scene? She killed me! – K

4. I’m currently reading the newest installment of the Beyond the Veil series by Pippa DaCosta. I LOVE these books! Whether you’re an Urban Fantasy lover or if you’re new to the genre I bet you’ll love them too! – C

5. Kristal’s Chicken Pie recipe. So easy and SO delicious! – C

 

Loathes

1. Cliffhangers!!!! This is actually a love and loathe for me. I love a good cliffhanger, but loathe the wait for the next book to come out! -A (Oh I’m with you on that one Amy! -C)

2. The Fifty Shades of Grey movie. See above. That ‘laters baby’ line actually made me cringe. Cringe. – K

3. I’m right handed… my kid is looking to be left handed. I can NOT for the life of me understand how to teach him how to hold a pen! Argh! – C

4. Hanging baskets. They look cute, so cute, but they die. And then they look hideous. Mines off for a visit to Grandmas house. Maybe she can revive it. – K

5. Charm and I are starting the Kayla Itsines bikini body guide next week. We have to do it for 12 weeks. 12 whooooole weeks. Maybe even longer if it all goes well. We’re are not hoping for bikini bodies out of this (HAH!) but more a general tightening and toning. I’m 1/4 excited and 3/4 dreading the food part. It all looks so….boring. Check it out here and feel free to join us! http://www.kaylaitsines.com.au/ – K

Book Review – Cardinal (Citizen #2) by Nicola Claire

Have you been a model Citizen today?

Lena Carr is a Citizen who does not exist. Being invisible can have its advantages, but not when the Chief Overseer knows what your alias is. She can no longer use the gift her father left her.

But she also can’t walk the streets as the Elite she was born to be…

The Cardinals are closing in, and one in particular has Selena in his sights. With revolution on the Citizens’ minds and hope in the form of a rebellious Elite exhibiting non-model behaviour, the Overseers crack down on dissension. Causing chaos on the streets and blood to flow.

For his “Zebra” Trent Masters would do anything. Risk his life. Face the increasingly sentient drones head on. Kill. But there’s one thing he will never do – jeopardise the rebellion. Funny thing about love though, sometimes it can make liars of us all.

But that’s not his only dilemma. Selena’s up to something, and if Trent knows his Elite, he’s sure it’s going to be reckless. Throw in a manipulative benefactor and a decimated revolutionary base and Trent can’t tell which way holds more danger. But the Cardinal, hell bent on his destruction, sure looks like he’s in the lead.

Citizen versus Cardinal. The battle has begun.

As we’re thrown back into the building rebellion in this unsettling dystopian world, it’s becoming clearer and clearer than man is no longer pulling all of the strings in this place, it’s a terrifying thought. Trent and Lena KNOW they need to fight on for change, their numbers are down and they are the most wanted citizens of Wanmei. But they need to keep going. There is a shift coming, more and more they see how there are many who in growing dissidence are willing to make a stand. Black and white hair-dos here, a zebra painted there…

I enjoyed this book even more than I did the first, I think a big draw for me in this one, was that I was beginning to see more of the relationship growing between Trent and Lena. I love these two together, their chemistry was always there sizzling away under whatever situation they were in, they were prickly as a couple of homicidal hedgehogs half the time, but slowly they are beginning to open up to one another… I loved watching this relationship unfold amongst the heart racing action they were constantly thrown (and throwing themselves) into.

Lena still kicks total butt in my opinion. That girl can do no wrong, she is awe inspiring even to the most hardened guys in their team. She knows what she needs to do, so she goes and tackles it head on, ok so sometimes she should take that advice for her personal problems… and once in a while she should probably stop and clue someone in on her plans, but that is what makes her so fantastic in my opinion. She is SO ridiculously clever. I’m all about female characters being self-sufficient and able to do anything anyone else can and she totally nails that and then some… I really loved how we still are learning more and more about her past and her secrets, the more I learn the more I’ve been able to flesh out a complete picture of her in my mind.

I have to make special mention of Trent here because I LOVE him. When he gets so frustrated with Lena you can feel it vibrating off him. When he follows her into every life threatening situation and backs her up completely you 100% believe his resolve… And in amongst all of the rebellion leader stuff you see the glimpses of the man Lena is falling for. He proved himself to her more than once, and trust me when I say you’ll almost have a heart attack at the end of the book over these two.

Nicola Claire definitely has a knack for keeping the story rolling at a steady pace, while managing to include all of the conversations and private moments that make this so much more than just characters being bounced around in a world of action. The storyline pulled me in, but the two main characters have kept me absorbed. I enjoyed the first book, I’ve loved this second book… I can’t wait to get my hands on the third instalment, I bet Lena and Trent still have a ton of tricks up their sleeves…

Loves & Loathes 15 February 2015

Loves

1. We’ve reached 1000 Facebook Followers!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! Keep your eyes peeled for a little giveaway for being such amazing readers ❤

2. My baby turns 4 on Wednesday!! Wow, has time flown by!- A

3. Girl movie nights! Ok so we might not always see the most amazing movies, but going out to the cinema and stuffing ourselves full of popcorn is super fun no matter what we see, we always end up entertained! – C

4. Movie theaters that actually show independent films. -A

5. Happy Chinese New Year everybody!! This year is the year of the Sheep/Goat, so enjoy your amazing year ahead  sheep/goats!  

Loathes

1. After weeks of Spring like weather, Winter has returned 😦 -A

2. People who don’t share cupcakes. Ahem. – C (whaaaat?! someone didn’t share their cupcakes??! That’s rude…  – K)

3. WOW. It’s totally my fault this L & L list is a week late. WTF is wrong with me, honestly….I have no excuses. Sorry everyone!! – K

4. Why can I not easily convert a file to go on my kindle! I NEED to read this book! Can anyone help me pleeeeease?! – C

5. I busted up my hand at netball at the start of the week. It’s driving me CRAZY. It’s my right hand and I can’t do bloody anything. I have started physio but in the meantime I’m going to be a grumpy troll. – K

Blog Tour & Review – The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

New York’s Finest
Blogging as *The Socialmedialite*
April 22
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!

You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.

Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT

Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER

Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN

When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW

I was both super excited AND a wee bit nervous when I sat down to read this book… I LOVE me some Penny Reid…LOVE her, but I haven’t read any L. H. Cosway, so a mixture of the two was a bit of an un-known for me. Well there was no need to worry of course, everything was firmly under control. This pairing worked really well, the story flowed and was completely cohesive, while at the same time giving me plenty of glimpses of pure Penny Reid.

The story follows social media whizz Annie, a quiet, unassuming wallflower in her public life, while in her private life she is avid online personality Socialmedialite. Her blog is a big deal and she values her anonymity more than anything when it comes to it. She at the start comes across as extremely stand-offish and absolutely terrible at anything that requires her to interact with people in person. As the story progresses you do find out a lot more about why she is like this, her backstory is actually pretty heavy, but it does go a long way to explain why she’s like how she is. Her complete lack of friends did make me feel all kinds of sad though, every girl needs a bestie or two! However, on the flipside Annie online in her Socialmedialite persona is COMPLETELY different, which in this day and age is a very appropriate storyline. She blogs about celebrities and employs a cutting humor to get her point across, no matter who she could potentially offend. In her mind she can be what she describes as ‘her true self’ knowing that behind the computer screen no one can get under her skin…

Until, that is, an Irish rugby player by the name of Ronan comes along. Pretty soon the bad boy of rugby is rocking Annie’s safe little world. And OH he does it well! I loved Ronan. He really was the epitome of everything male. I LOVED his confident swagger, in fact his swagger dominated the book for me. (Which was a VERY good thing) The two characters balanced each other out really well, because without Ronan and his brash manliness I think the book would’ve been slower and not nearly as electric. He needed to be the in your face Irish guy to be able to drag Annie out from behind her keyboard and into the real world, and in fact it does take him more than a few tries to do so. I loved the banter and spark between these two, from the very first time he saw her eating pastry you just knew there was going to be chemistry leaping off the pages, and the way he approached her right there and then. Honestly, this is what I mean about him and his swagger.

The storyline was really entertaining. You expect there to be drama in this genre and there definitely is here in this story. I always love to see how the boy meets girl storyline can be turned into something different, which was definitely achieved here with barely a complaint from me. I have to say though, at one point near the end, while they were in Ireland I do remember feeling completely frustrated, more at Annie than Ronan, but generally at the both of them. It was just a flickering irritability, but it goes to show how fine the line is between acceptable levels of drama induced frustration and maybe a little too much drama induced frustration. Overall I found this book to be super entertaining and full of great humor. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes their menfolk a little rougher around the edges and their story to be full of wit and clever writing. If Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway ever write together again I’ll definitely be checking it out.

Thank you to the amazing Penny Reid for providing an ARC in return for an honest review

The Hooker and the Hermit

By L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid