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Blog Tour & Review!!! – Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

HappilyEverNinja_Tour

Happily Ever Ninja

by Penny Reid

Publication Date:

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor

cover

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in

the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

About the Author

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like

thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Review:

Penny Reid – You will never ever be bored reading any story of hers. Any chance you think you’ve been there, read that? Then it’s probably time to give a Penny Reid book a go. I can be a fickle reader at the best of times… At the worst I’m downright schizophrenic, however these books have never failed to keep me loyal…

Happily Ever Ninja is the latest instalment in the Knitting in the City series… The series follows the love lives of a group of women united by the love of knitting/crocheting/generally being awesome. I’ve personally been waiting for this book with a lot of curiosity… The character Fiona has been married to her husband Greg for a long time… long enough to already have a couple of kids… So I was so interested to see how you could approach a ‘romance’ where the 2 characters were already signed, sealed and delivered!

Turns out you can make this one of the most interesting stories in the series to date. It doesn’t rely on just one formula, instead it very cleverly mixes the mundane realities of married life with kids with the more intriguing and unexpected realities of current events and global issues that to be honest, you will never ever expect. It takes a clever touch to try and meld these together and I’m not sure that it would work every time… But under Penny’s careful guidance it just does. It works. It’s interesting, and interesting will always get my vote.

I’m not going to give away the plot, it deserves to be read and discovered. However I will say, before you read this book you really should take the time to read the short story about Greg & Fiona’s meeting (Ninja at First Sight). It will add so much more to the story if you do.

This latest offering is yet another example of everything that is good about authors who love to write different stories and push the boundaries. I love that every time I start a new Penny Reid book I never quite know what to expect. Long may it continue!

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Ring In The New Year With An Awesome Giveaway!!

explosion-firework-new-year-s-eve-december-31

Happy New Year from all of us at Once Upon a Book Blog!! We wanted to say a special thanks to each and every one of you for all of you love and support this year! As a special thank you, we wanted to do a little giveaway to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016! One lucky winner will have the chance to win! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • 1-Signed Copy of Until I Met You by S.L. Scott (US Only)
  • 1- $10 Amazon or B&N Giftcard
  • 1- E-Book of winner’s choice up to $5.99 in value.

What do you have to do to win?

Easy, just go to our Facebook page and find this giveaway post:

Like this post

Comment with what you’re looking forward to in the new year

Tagging and Sharing is not required, but it definitely appreciated.

Contest will run from 12/31/15 until 1/7/16. Winner will be chosen at random and will have 48 hrs to contact us to claim their prize!

Good Luck Everyone and Happy New Year!!

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Our Top Reads of 2015!!

Our Top Reads of 2015!blur-old-antique-book

Amy~

I’ve read so many amazing books this year, and trying to narrow down my favorites to just 10 has been an extremely difficult task! That being said, here’s what I came up with:
  • Life After Falling by Alyssa Rose Ivy

As a fan of Alyssa Rose Ivy’s, this book totally blew my mind. The writing was smart, the characters fresh and entertaining, and was a total feel good romance!

  • Until I Met You by S.L. Scott

This is probably one of the most unique books that I’ve read all year. Not only was it different than anything I’ve read by S.L. Scott, but it also took me on one unexpected journey!

  • Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

It’s the end of an era and as sad as I was to say goodbye to this series, this book gave me the absolute best ending I could imagine!

  • Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

It’s KA!! Alpha’s, Angst, and Good Romance. Do I need to say more??

  • The Air He Breathes by Brittiany C. Cherry

So, so many feels with this one!

  • Bright Side & Gus by Kim Holden

My top “Ugly Cry” book(s) of the year!

  • A Lover’s Lament by K.L. Grayson & B.T. Urrela

This was an amazing collaboration that not only left me speechless, but stole my breath with it’s beautiful writing. I can’t wait for more from these two.

  • After The Storm by Faith Andrews

This was an emotional and swoon-worthy read. A great second chance romance!

  • Give Me Yesterday by K. Webster & Elle Christensen

Speaking of second chance romances, this was the collaboration that I was waiting for. These two ladies make magic when they write together. This was another “Ugly Cry” for me.

  • Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivec

This book rendered me totally speechless. I can’t even put my feelings into words for this one!

Kristal~

  • The Consolation Duet by Corinne Michaels – Aaaaaall the angsty feels! My heart!
  • The Mason List by S D Hendrickson – An absolutely epic coming-of-age romance.
  • Love Hacked by Penny Reid – This was new to me this year but I’m going to say it is one of my favourite books EVER and not just of the year.
  • Paper Hearts by Claire Contreras – I don’t even have all the words to describe how much I love this book. It is perfection. 
  • Corrupt by Penelope Douglas – This was a little out of my comfort zone. I don’t usually like books that are quite so mean and dirty but for whatever reason, I was utterly spellbound from start to finish.
  • Magic Shifts and Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels world. Enough said.
  • Art and Soul by Brittainy C Cherry – Brittainy C Cherry can write no wrong. I would read her shopping list. Heavy subject matter but so well written.
  • Interim by S Walden – Very controversial subject matter but a beautifully told story.
  • The Chosen Thief (Forever Evermore Book 4) by Scarlett Dawn – I love this series! Magical prodigy’s! This series has the potential to either become one of my favourites or ruin me for life. I’m scared.
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons  – Charm and I read this together for the first time this year. Such an incredible EPIC story.

Charmaine~

  • Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews

I was introduced to this series by Kristal and I literally cannot get enough of Kate, Curran and their insane world!

  • Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

The Winston Brothers series is fast becoming one of my favourites series ever. Second book in and these brothers have me by the heart.

  • Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts #1) by Claire Contreras

My absolute favourite random find read this year. This book had EVERYTHING I love to read in a story. Highly recommended!

  • Paper Hearts (Hearts #2) by Claire Contreras

I obviously couldn’t stop at one book in this series… This is a beautiful read. Please read it!

  • The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1) by Paullina Simons

Kristal and I had to buddy read this at the start of the year… As everyone who told us to read said, it really has stuck with me throughout the read. A classic book that should be read by everyone.

  • Ties that Bind (The Veil Series #5) by Pippa DaCosta

The final book in this series… I was absolutely entranced from the first page to the last. Such a fitting end to an awesome all encompassing series.

  • The Consequence of Loving Colton (Consequence #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

This book had me laughing out loud from the start! The first book I’ve read by Rachel Van Dyken and definitely not the last. So entertaining, I would absolutely re-read!

  • The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn

Another book recommended to me by Kristal. This book had me cracking up the WHOLE way through. One of my absolute favourite reads of 2015. Please, please READ THIS BOOK! You won’t regret it!

  • Eighth Grave after Dark (Charley Davidson #8) by Darynda Jones

This series has been going for a while but I just can’t not stay loyal. Charley never loses her wit, charm or ability to get herself into some of the most ridiculous situations I have ever come across. Love.

  • Ninja at First Sight (A KitC Novella) by Penny Reid

What can I say… It’s Penny Reid and she’s ventured back to the Knitting in the City series. This novella is the perfect easy read to keep me satisfied until Happily Ever Ninja is released in January 2016…

Thank you so much for letting us share our top reads of the year with you. It’s been an amazing year for books and we can’t wait to see what good reads 2016 will bring us!

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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

Truth or Beard

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

I have been acting like some next level creeper-stalker person over this book… Ever since I read the excerpt for this story in the Shiver Anthology last year I’ve been counting down the months until I could get my hands on ALL of the story. So when I finally got hold of it last week I was a very VERY happy human. Since everyone knows my Penny Reid fan status (Big, HUGE fan) I’m going to try and keep this review less on the fan-girl side and more on the explaining why I’m fan-girling so much side…. So here goes!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters most, in the end” – Ernest Hemingway

Truth or Beard is the first instalment in the series that Penny Reid has dedicated to the 6 Winston brothers who were first introduced to us in Beauty and the Mustache. I love this idea, I love how this series connects with the Knitting in the City series. I love how we are going to get a (much) more in-depth look at each brother and his story, because they were so intriguing in BatM. And most of all I love how I just know that Penny will take each brother and create a story that is as unique as he is. Starting here, with Duane.

I love Duane! Yes, he comes across distant and broody on the outside, but once I got into his head he was so much more. The depth of his feelings made him a complex character. For a lot of the book he was battling his own emotions as much as he was battling Jessica’s. He had big plans for the two of them and no matter what he wanted to make sure everything was planned and executed to perfection so that he could give her everything that he felt she deserved. However, what Duane didn’t take into account was that life can’t be organized perfectly, sometimes you just have to live and chase your dreams. He was so busy trying to do the right thing by everyone that he almost missed out on his own dream in the process.

He nibbled on my ear, whispering my name like it was a dirty word – but not a curse word – a dirty word. Something erotic and scandalous. I had an odd thought then, that I liked my name on his lips more when it was whispered.

Jessica was instantly likeable. I loved that she was busy obsessing over travelling and experiencing the world rather than obsessing over finding a husband and a white picket fence. She had long dreamed of all of the places she would go and she was determined. So determined, that when her heart started to travel on it’s own path she had no idea what to make of it or how to reconcile the fact that even if she hadn’t planned on love, it may have found her and if it had found her, then how on earth was she going to be free to embark on her childhood dream?

Penny Reid is super duper talented at dual POVs. She knocks it out of the park every time. The tone, the subtle details, these things really make all the difference when you’re the reader. She always gets it right and this book is no different. So I LOVED having the book set up like this, the story called for it. It really added to the back and forth between Jessica and Duane. The angst of not knowing what to do next with their feelings, the hotness of the hot looks, the intricacies of their relationship and themselves… All of these things were magnified from being able to look through both sets of eyes.

…I wanted to hold on to this moment for as long as possible, because it was the first time – and maybe the only time in my life – I felt truly seen, known and understood. And I wanted to give him everything in return. I wanted him to know I saw him. I knew him, too.

So! Like I promised, fan-girling moments aside… I  FREAKING loved this book! Penny Reid is an exceptionally talented writer who never shies away from writing exactly the type of story she feels like she needs to write. I’m positive this is why her books always hit the mark and why every time I read a new one I find it harder and harder to have a firm favourite. This is a definite must read whether you are familiar with Penny Reid’s work or not. This book… This freaking book It’s definitely made it into my top reads of the year that’s for sure,

ARC received in return for an honest review

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Book Review – Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

I have been in a reading/reviewing abyss. Sure I’ve read this and that, I’ve even read some pretty great books. But I haven’t read anything a quite a few weeks that has had me needing to review it…. Until now. Kaleidoscope Hearts has broken my book slump! Hurrah!

kaleidoscope hearts

He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.

One of us did.
One of us left.

Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it

This story devoured me. I was hoping for heart squeezing intensity and I got that and more. The last time I had such a major case of the FEELS over a book was when I read BATM by the super talented Penny Reid…. So for this book to take me to that place was beyond expectation.

The first boy I fell in love with used to regale me with stories about kings and queens and war and peace, and how he hoped to one day be somebody’s knight in shining armor. I lived vicariously through his late night adventures, watching the way he swung his hands animatedly as he told his stories, and loving the way his green eyes twinkled when I laughed at his jokes. He taught me what it feels like to be touched and thoroughly kissed. Later, he taught me the pain one feels at the loss of someone that you’ve grown attached to. The one thing he forgot to teach me was how to deal with the way my chest squeezed after he broke the ghost of what heart I had left. I’d always wondered if it had been a missed lesson. Now I wonder if maybe he’d been trying to figure it out for himself, or if he just never felt anything at all.

I loved LOVED LOOOOOVED these two main characters, Elle and Oliver. These two have possibly ruined me for this genre for a wee while… Elle has been through a lot, she’s suffered loss and heartbreak, she’s not all together whole. She is perfectly broken, endearing in all of the right ways. I commiserated with her, I was angry and sad with her, I felt her hope and her passion, I felt her happiness and above all I felt her reawakening. This is a female character worth investing in. No attention to detail was spared when the author sat down to write about Elle and her story and I really appreciate this, if you’re going to read about a character who has been through so much and has so much emotional cleaning out and organizing to do you want to be able to buy it…

Oliver was written in much the same careful way, whilst maintaining that mysteriousness that we all love to see in our leading men. This guy has joined my super selective book boyfriend list. How could he not? A paediatric doctor who I’m sure leaves drooling women in his wake while being his effortlessly cool self, no he’s not without his quirks and not so fabulous bits, but it wouldn’t be a novel if he was perfect would it!

Life is short, and brutal, and painful, and it takes loved ones away from us as quickly as it brings them into our lives, but it’s also beautiful.

I think a big part of why I felt I got such a well rounded complete picture of these two characters and their story is the clever use of flashback chapters… These little gems were carefully sprinkled throughout the story and the combination not only provided a complete timeline of their romance, but also their own personal stories of growth and discovery. Love doesn’t need to be completely co-dependant, there is a beauty to watching characters grow and change and come into themselves as adults before the strings of a relationship start to pull tight.

So as you can tell I completely and utterly fell in love with this book. I would definitely read this again, and probably again after that! This book was a very lucky random find on one of my endless Amazon browsing missions. Claire Contreras can expect me to be reading pretty much anything she puts out next and I intend to go through her prior releases while I’m at it. So get ready Claire… There’s a new fangirl around and she’s super grateful to you for ripping her out of her book slump!

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Book Review – Attraction (Elements of Chemistry #1) by Penny Reid

ATTRACTION

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

I actually read this first instalment of the Elements of Chemistry series twice. I’m not usually a huge NA reader, in fact I find it quite hard to find a book in that genre that really captures my full attention so pre-Attraction I was a little unsure… Also to be honest, I didn’t know how I felt about the name Martin?  But very quickly I was totally immersed in the world of Kaitlyn Parker and Martin Sandeke AND I realized that actually Martin as a name was more than fine, also more specifically, I was super excited to discover that even when Penny Reid ventures into the NA genre she still creates characters that you can’t help becoming infatuated with.

Kaitlyn (Parker) is quirky, freaking hilarious and everything that is amazing about Penny Reid creating characters. She is more than just a quiet nerdy type college girl. She is sweet but feisty, she is inherently good, she is instantly likeable, yet she still is a bit of a puzzle, even to herself at times. Parker does her best to keep out of the way of pretty much everything going on outside of classes at college. Until she is unwittingly privy to an ugly plan which could really hurt her lab partner Sandeke… And you know, being inherently good and all that, Parker knows she needs tell him what she knows.

In hindsight, I realized I’d been acting like a crazy person. Proximity to Martin made me lose my sense. I’d been senseless. Without sense. Not any sense. No sense. Nonsense.

But what she doesn’t know is Sandeke has had her on his radar. Martin Sandeke is someone who is used to getting exactly what or who he wants. Hot, popular, domineering, charismatic and completely in control (seemingly) he isn’t used to girls being unaffected by him, in fact, he isn’t used to a lot of what Kaitlyn is all about. But the heart wants what it wants and by sheer determination he manages to convince Kaitlyn to go away over spring break with him.

What follows is a week of so many things. SO MANY THINGS! Kaitlyn is convinced that there is no way on this earth they would ever work together, so Martin really has his work cut out for him. Cue all of the ups and downs you would expect to follow when a bunch of college students are on a luxurious island… What prevents this from reading like another non-descript NA is the quirk, not enough can be said about the importance of being truly original. When the main character is talking about a (figurative) Bunsen burner in her pants you know you’re reading pure Penny Reid!

As long as I live and breathe, as long as I have a shred of humanity left, as long as I have it in me to care, I will be here for you. Always.

So while this book does contain a lot of the ‘usual’ NA type plot points, it didn’t read as though it did and I certainly didn’t eye-roll my way through it. I really appreciate that Penny Reid has made an effort to mix it up and challenge what we think of particular genres, I for one know that’s what I needed. My only serious complaint is I seriously felt like angry slapping a certain someone at the end…Rarrrrr!!!

ARC received from author in return for an honest review ❤

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

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!