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Friday, April 27, 2012

#28 Book Read in 2012
After Ever After (YA)

Jeff had cancer at a long age.  Due to side effects of his cancer treatment, he has a learning disability, especially when it comes to Math.  New educational regulations are now requiring all students in the state to pass a standardized test before being promoted to high school.  Jeff is convinced but his friend Tad makes it his mission to tutor Jeff.  Tad also had cancer when he was a child and is in a wheelchair.  Jeff decides if he's going to get tutored by Tad, he will work on getting Tad to walk across the stage at 8th grade graduation.  Jeff does not realize that Tad has some more pressing issues to handle. 

This book was a great, quick read.  The characters were well developed and this book had a lot of humor in it.  There were also tearjerker parts.  This book also had a romance aspect to it when Jeff falls for the pretty new girl.

I really enjoyed this book.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It Takes a Witch

#27 Book Read in 2012
It Takes a Witch

This is the first book in a new cozy paranormal series.  Darcy and Harper move in with their Aunt Ve to a magical village--literally.  Darcy is a Wishcrafter and can grant people's wishes if they are made by those pure of heart.  A local shop owner is found dead in an alley shortly after their arrival and Darcy begins to look into the murder.  She is helped out along the way by a host of interesting and well written characters.  There is mystery, action and romance potential.  This book also had a lot of humor in it.

I enjoyed this book a lot.  Darcy was a great main character; she was smart, realistic and funny.  I liked the potential of a romance between her and Nick.  The secondary characters were great as well.  I enjoyed the animals in the book, especially Pepe.  I would recommend this book to cozy fans.  I cannot wait for book #2.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crossed (YA)

#26 Book Read in 2012
Crossed (YA)

This is the second in a young adult dystopian series.  Readers definitely need to read the first book, Matched, because Crossed picks up right where Matched left off.  Cassia is on the hunt to find Ky and she gets herself assigned to a work camp near where she believes she will find him.  Cassia connects with another girl, Indie.  In the meanwhile, Ky is burying bodies with Vick and Eli.  The three boys decide to make a run for the Carving, a range of mountains where they believe they can hide.  Eventually the girls and the boys connect and join forces.  

This was a good read.  Crossed focused more on the action and the search than the romance aspect of Matched.  This book leaves off in an interesting place and I look forward to the third book, coming out in November, I believe.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Due or Die

#25 Book Read in 2012
Due or Die

This book is the second in a cozy mystery series.  In this book, the new President of the Friends of the Library is a murder suspect after her husband is shot and killed.  Lindsey does not believe that Carrie murdered her husband so she begins her own investigation.  The cast of characters return from the first book with some new additions--notably Heathcliff, Lindsey's new puppy, found in the book drop box.  

This book is another great cozy mystery.  The characters are interesting and well developed.  I loved the addition of Heathcliff.  The mystery was well crafted and well executed.  I enjoyed the book talk and the setting of the library.  The romantic aspect between Sully and Lindsey is moving along at a good pace.

I recommend this book.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Demon Lover

#24 Book Read in 2012
The Demon Lover

Callie lands a job at Fairwick College.  Callie has written a paranormal book and is researching a paranormal author.  Things become a little too real for Callie when an incubus (demon lover) begins to visit her in her new home and begins to drain her energy.  What Callie does not realize is that other professors at this college are paranormal beings and that she herself is a Gatekeeper.  As she begins to explore this new side of herself, students at the college come down with a mysterious illness.  Has her incubus begun to drain others as well?

This book reminded me of "A Discovery of Witches", which is a good thing because I loved that book.  "The Demon Lover" is well-written, with a gothic feel to it that is well done.  Callie is a complex main character--she is not perfect but is brave, human as she follows her heart but is aptly able to handle the consequences of doing so--and I enjoyed her.  

I recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance especially.  It was a good read.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Please enjoy this excerpt from Sykosa, a YA novel (for 18+ readers), by Justin Ordoñez. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

First period. American history.

Who knows which is worse. At this hour, it’s too early to care. Luckily, it’s never too early to bitch and moan. And she would do so, save her teacher is already on it. He’s up at the board—in shock that not a pupil noticed how his cuff smudged all his bullet points. Like wrist trajectory were her problem. That’s a math problem. And math problems aren’t her problem for another two hours. Yawn. He’s still going on—something about full attention being on…

Her fingernails.

Fingernails, you see, are better than lectures.

Particularly these lectures. Particularly this class.

She wishes nail polish didn’t break the Academy’s Personal Code, then her fingernails could be pretty colors, and she’d feel like a pretty girl. They should let her do her nails in class. It’s no different from doodling. It also increases hygiene, and in high school, that’s nothing to scoff at. She may paint her fingernails this afternoon, just for fun, then remove it and—

Hang on. Her teacher said something will be on a test.

Never mind, she already knows it.

Anyhow, if she does do her nails, she has a problem. She doesn’t know what to do. However, she does know she doesn’t want to do something she’s already done. If she’s gonna do her nails for one night, then it’d be nice if it were a departure of some type. Alas, her brain has no ideas. Being pretty is hard! Yet, she likes it so very much. That does it. She needs to talk to Niko. For one, Niko’s her best friend. Two, Niko’s gifted in the department of being glamorous. And luckily, Niko’s her neighbor, so she drafts a note that she passes across the table.

What should I do with my fingernails?

Niko reads the note in delight, then dies of boredom.

I thought you were gonna share good gossip or something.

No, I want to do my fingernails.

Do something slutty. That’s always good for a thrill.

That’s a good idea.

Niko always has good ideas. Niko’s brilliant!

She wishes she were Niko.

And Niko wishes she were Sykosa’s breasts. That’s me, Sykosa! Well, technically, it’s my breasts. Breasts are an urgent topic for Niko, seeing as her prime puberty years have passed, and to Niko’s horror, she’s all As in the bra and all Ds on her report card. That’s harder on a girl than people think. And it’s why Niko collapses her cheek on her hand, then inconspicuously stares at those far-bigger boobs. Niko thinks she does it for a second or two. In reality, it’s seven or eight. Now, before anyone makes any assumptions, Niko’s not gay. She’s about as boy-crazy as a girl gets. To the point that she collects boyfriends as if they were Girl Scout badges.

And to be fair, this breast-staring is harmless.

Though every girl has her limits.

Hers have been exceeded. Not by Niko, but by Tom. He also has his cheek in hand, his eyes overcome by her chest—for what is maybe ten or eleven seconds.

Unlike Niko, he’s thinking of her as if she were some toy.

He may be right.

In the only snowstorm of the year, as the Academy froze under the sickly sweet smell of a dysfunctional oil furnace, she retreated behind the two bell towers of the Academy chapel. And on that very day, this very boy—in his ski jacket laden with those sticky tags they put on bags at airports—stumbled onto her smoking self and put his tongue in her mouth. It was a bold move. And it impressed her. They didn’t need to “talk.” Besides, it woulda fucked up the moment. I get shy fast. Accordingly, she kissed him until her heart beat so hard she became faint. It meant something. This feeling. She caught her breath. They sat beside each other. Seconds later, she wished they hadn’t stopped, so they restarted, then kept at it.

This time without the tongue.

Niko steals the note, then writes a new one.

Why is he looking at you like that? Only I’m supposed to look at you like that!

Niko’s the type who admits her faults shamelessly. While it’s slightly backward, Niko does so not as a deterrent from such behaviors, but to enable them. She rarely complains. Because that’s Niko. And somehow that excuses everything Niko does. That said, she supposes she’s predisposed to Niko’s jealously over her body, perhaps to the point of flattery. You see, this Tom-thing is nothing. Or if it is something, it’s certainly not enough of something. Not enough for her to buy a prom dress.

Why do you think he is looking at me like that?

Because you * him.

Not to delve too far into the well of note-passing dynamics, but she—and the Queens—use secret codes in case of confiscation. “*” means fuck, in all forms and conjugations. She has not * Tom. She has not * anybody. Her lips quiver at the *. It feels like something she’ll put off until she is thirty. Simultaneously, she also feels like it could happen in the immediate future.

Sometimes she just “knows.”




But, she is afraid. Everything is too complicated. It should not have to be. She goes behind the chapel. He goes behind the chapel. They make out. Simple, right? It’s not. Regardless, if even that must be complicated, then certainly the concept that she wants to go to Prom, thus he should ask her to Prom and then they should go to Prom is simple, right? It’s not. You see, he has this best friend, this confidante, this main focus, this everything—and her name is not Sykosa, but Mackenzie.

Or as you will soon find out: “M.” That’s what he calls her.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Sykosa eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of Sykosa for just 99 cents
  3. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  5. Visit today’s featured social media event
  7. BONUS:  Leave a comment on this post*

Leave a comment, win $100:

One random tour commenter will win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just leave a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win. For a full list of participating blogs, check out the official tour page. You can enter on just my blog or on all of them. Get out there and network!

About the book: YA fiction for the 18+ crowd. Sykosa is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. Set at her best friend’s cottage, for what will be a weekend of unsupervised badness, Sykosa will have to finally confront the major players and issues from this event, as well as decide if she wants to lose her virginity to Tom, her first boyfriend, and the boy who saved her from danger. Get it on Amazon.

About the author:  Sykosa is Justin Ordoñez's life's work. He hopes to one day settle down with a nerdy, somewhat introverted woman and own 1 to 4 dogs. Visit Justin on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Melissa's March Reads

Melissa's March Reads:

1.  Wrapped (YA) 4/5
2.  One Crazy Summer (YA) (4/5) library book
3.  The Berlin Boxing Club (YA) 4/5
4.  Showstoppers (3.5/5) Kindle
5.  A Deadly Cliche (5/5) 2nd in series
6.  Matched (YA) (4.5/5) 1st in series

Year to date:  22 books read

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Turn of Mind

#23 Book Read in 2012
Turn of Mind

Jennifer White is a retired orthopedic surgeon.  Her neighbor and friend, Amanda, is found murdered with her  fingers on one hand surgically removed.  Jennifer is now a suspect but she is being honest when she says she does not remember anything; Jennifer has dementia.  This book details the spiral into absence of memory while telling a murder mystery at the same time.  This book was an interesting read.  I think it accurately detailed what a descent into dementia would be like.  The murder mystery was secondary, really, to that detail.  Jennifer was at times a character hard to like, at times a character to be pitied and at times an evil force to despise.  This book was well written.