Friday, May 30, 2014

Behind the Screen (27)

Happy Friday!


There has been lot of changes for Me and Reading, so let's start with the news!

News:

Due to my own mistake, I lost my previous domain ingasilbergbooks.com. That means, I had to register a new one and that's why Me and Reading has moved can be found at http://www.ingasilberg.com.

You can read all about the domain change and the reason behind HERE and HERE. The first of the posts is about the change and the second one is why I had to change the domain. If you want to learn from my mistakes then the second link is definitely useful.

While blogging:

Changing domains means a lot of work for me, because my blog has always been known with the previous address and now I need to inform and "educate" my readers, where my blog can be found.

It hurts to lose the domain! Especially when talking about statistics and numbers. You can see how the change of domain has affected the blog page hits. Once again, register your domain and make sure you renew it on time!

It will take a lot of effort from my side to get back to "good old times", but I don't mind that! I love blogging! It has given me determination and new purpose and I have gotten a reminder to never take anything for granted, not even your blog. It also means there will be slight changes in the blog. It will all be implemented during the summer, but it will include added services for authors and the structure of the pages will look different and I will be organizing again lots of giveaways. More about them below.

On a positive note, Me and Reading's Facebook Page has taken a hop and so has my Twitter account. They are both growing! Look at the reach and number of new followers!







Attention authors!

Since I have participated in more than 100 blog tours and since I have helped organizing authors different types of events in multiple times, I thought it's time to take Me and Reading to next level and as of beginning of this week, authors can book Blog Tours, Release Blitzes, Social Media Events organized by yours truly.

I do have the experience, I do have necessary contacts to do that and I'm good at what I'm doing and last, but not least I know how bloggers work, so here it is!

You will find more information HERE!

Facts and numbers:

I posted the last numbers in mid-March, so it's time to take a look!

Page views during the last month was 9845.

The most popular post this week has been An Escape Artist Or A Story About Evil Fight For The Magic Of Books And Words with 62 views. It's a fairy tale written by me. The second popular post is a review Goddaughter by Melodie Campbell with 59 views. The third popular post is The Release Day Blitz - The Space Beyond by Kristie Cook with 48 views.

GFC followers is 3556 and for the first time in the history it has dropped with -3 since March. Linky links follower number is 604, so it has remained exactly the same. Networked Blogs has 319 followers and has increased with +1. Google+ shows that I'm in 517 circles.

And now to the real good numbers! Me and Reading FB page has 3532 likes, which is an increase with +141 likes! Twitter follower number shows 4476 and that means it has increased with +38 people. Yay!

When looking into the geographical map of the blog, then it's still pretty popular internationally. The biggest number of visitors came like usually from US with 623 visits, on the second place there is Ukraine with 142 visits and followed by UK with 135 visits. Three Us!

There were visitors from 19 different countries!

Time history shows 453.225 views.

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Happy reading!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Escape Artist Or A Story About Evil Fight for The Magic Of Words and Books!

Every righteous fairytale starts with these words: Once upon the time..

So does this! This fairytale is based on true events, so consider it non-fiction fairytale. Read the fairytale and I promise, the translation is available in the bottom of the post.

An Escape Artist Or A Story About Evil Fight for The Magic Of Words and Books

Once upon the time, far far North, behind the Seven Seas and Golden Mountains, there was a beautiful Country. In this Country far far North, the winters were cold and bitter and summers warm and flourishing, there was a mysterious woman who lived and loved every single day given to her. The Cold Country was her home.

Her name was Ms. Blogger.

Ms. Blogger loved her life, her hobbies, her friends and her little cozy apartment. She spent her days working hard, but during her nights... During her nights she shifted into a different being - an Escape Artist. Escape Artist was a title given only to very few people who knew and managed to master the Magic of Words and Books.

Ms. Blogger had worked years and years to get the title, because becoming a titled Escape Artist wasn't something which was easy to do. Ms Blogger had used hours of learning the Art, mastering it step by step, reading hundreds of books, studying thousands of magical beings called Authors and challenging herself with different types of Wordbindings, called Blog Posts. Blog Posts were cream de la cream. If you could combine the Magic of Words with the Magic of Books and if you were lucky, you finally were able to get the title of an Escape Artist.

One lovely spring day, when Ms Blogger was about to connect to her best servant, Mr. Internet, Mr. Internet announced her proudly: "Ms. Blogger, my dearest lady, you have got a Mail!". Mail was something which always peaked Ms. Blogger's interest, because receiving Mail meant news. Ms. Blogger was outrageously curious, so she loved Mail.

Unfortunately, just like the news could be both bad or good, Mail, being otherwise a pleasant species, could also be a scary beast!

Mail opened his secret folder and showed it to Ms. Blogger.

It said:

Dear Ms. Blogger. With the big regret we must announce you, that you have hereby been ripped the rights of using the basis of your Wordbindings. If you don't pay the amount of BigLotsofMoney to me within ThisandThatDate, you can kiss your basis of Wordbindings goodbye! Hatefully yours, Mr. Big Fat MoneyMaker.

The note was short and shocking and Ms.Blogger was quite familiar with Mr. Big Fat MoneyMaker to know, that Mail meant trouble. The scary beast was out and Ms. Blogger felt the chills running down her back. This could not be good!

Trying not to panic, Ms. Blogger set herself into action. She denied being a Damsel in Distress and decided to take the matter into her own tender hands. Mr. MoneyMaker wasn't about to threaten her Escape Artist title, no matter what! No-one would take that away from her! Ms. Blogger had heard about Mr. Big Fat MoneyMaker,but managed to stay out of his way and more importantly,away from his Money Magic.

Ms. Blogger immediately asked Internet to use his connections with The World Wide Web and only few minutes later, Ms. Blogger was feeling like a fish in the deep waters. No, she felt like a Shark and she was going to use her wits and teeth to get what she needed. She was no chicken to run away from trouble. She was set for using whatever needed to make sure, that her basis of Wordbindings should remain in her hands - one way or another!

Mr. Internet and Mr. World Wide Web organized quickly a meeting with the ladies of the famous KC. KC was a fine club for noble ladies like Ms. Blogger herself. All these ladies excelled a specific form of the Escape Art. They were masters of the Magic of Words and Book, but besides that, every single one of them held a knowledge and extraordinary skills which ere quite unknown on some parts of the world. There was a lady known as Master of the Ceremonies, the lady known as Master of the the Marketing Beast, the lady known as the Master of the Bitches and even a Matriarch! Yes, a Matriarch!

There were many other ladies in KC, but this time Ms. Blogger needed a specific sets of skills which were owned by the Master of AllWhatsNerdy. Only Ms. AllWhatsNerdy could make necessary arrangements for Ms. Blogger to show Mr. Big Fat MoneyMaker,that she could survive without the basis of Wordbindings and still keep her Blog Posts.

Ms. AllWhatsNerdy was the kindest of them all, especially when it came to taming creatures like Domains, HTML and other weirdly called animal like beings which controlled and managed the Wordbindings and which Ms. Blogger was little afraid of. She was simply unfamiliar with their type of magic. Ms. Blogger explained the distressing matters to Ms. AllWhatsNerdy.

Ms. AllWhatsNerdy listened to Ms. Blogger, reached out her hand through Mr. Internet, winked to Mr. World Wide Web and said playfully: "Not to worry, dearest, we will set these matters right!"

With these words she used the Magic of AllWhatsNerdy and few hours later Ms. Blogger could breathe easier. The Wordbindings were safely moved to another secret place, out of the reach of Money Magic and Mr. Big Fat Money.

Next day, when the sun was shining again upon the Cold Country and upon the Magic of Books and Words, Ms. Blogger asked Mail to send a message to Mr. BiG Fat MoneyMaker.

The message said:

"Dearest Mr. Big Fat MoneyMaker. You can graciously shove the BigLotsofMoney right up to YourFancyFatAss and kindly be hereby informed, that we no longer need your services. The Magic of Books and Words has been dazzled upon you and the basis of Wordbinding has been removed from your reach. Magically yours, The Escape Artist"

------------------

Translation:

The domain of Me and Reading was unknowingly to me put to an auction. To make the long story short, I changed my credit card and that meant my domain contract was not automatically updated. The domain went to a big international domain company who set it to sale. I got an email from a man who told me where to find the auction of ingasilbergbooks.com. and he suggested that I took a look because I have put a lot of time and efforts to build up my blog.

I had to pay to participate in the auction. When I tried to bid, I was out-bidded automatically. It was their way to increase the sales price. Someone was obviously interested in pushing the price as high as possible. I made few more bids which were again out-bidded automatically. Then I decided, that I don't want to play that game anymore.

 In the meantime, I asked help from a group of people who are all connected thorough the love for reading, blogging and supporting authors. A good friend of mine from that group, who is daily working and operating with domains and building web-sites helped me out. We registered ingasilberg.com as a new domain.

I was mostly worried about the content. Of course, ingasilbergbooks.com is well-known and it's a loss for me starting from scratch and building up the new audience again, but this is something I don't mind doing. I have readers and friends and authors who have already supported me by spreading the news about my new domain address and I am very grateful to them. It's heartwarming to know that people care and want to help.

Thanks, Claire,  and all the other ladies of KC for your selfless support! Love you for that!

It's extremely important for me to keep the blog up and running and i don't mind that work at all. I enjoy blogging. I just keep blogging.

What I don't understand is, that what will the new owner of my old domain do with that domain? There's no content whatsoever and it shows an empty site. My guess is, that they will contact me and try to sell it back to me.

Morale: 

So, bloggers, make sure, that you have automatic renewal of your domain turned on and make sure, that when you change your credit card, also change the details there where your domain is hosted. don't let the same happen to you! I had to learn the hard way.

The King is dead! Long live the King!
ingasilbergbooks.com is dead! Long live ingasilberg.com!

Happy reading and keep blogging!


Surprise! Surprise! Sexy Six Pack is here!

Happy Wednesday!

I just came home to an awesome surprise! And I adore surprises!





I will let pictures tell the story.

First, I finally received the paperback of The Space Between by Kristie Cook. I loved the book inside and out, I really like how it is designed.

Then, the book was signed and personalized. It says:





To Inga. I "heart" you so hard! :)
Thank you for all you do, but most of all for your friendship!

Love you,
Kristie Cook

Next up - I think the black and white pages in the beginning of chapters are just nice!






And of course, being mentioned in the acknowledgements, is an honor.





The Sexy Six Pack included wristlets with: Stories with heart, soul + bite! There was a coffee mug, book marks of all Kristie's published books, postcards, fridge magnets, post-it notes, pens.




That also means, that whenever I feel organizing a giveaway, there will be lot of beautiful swag to give away! I do have a FB giveaway running on Me and Reading's Facebook page and there will be more interesting events and giveaways soon.








The bottom line is, that I love the swag! I have always had a heart for everything book related and I am happy, that I can share this love with you, too!





 Wouldn't you be happy to come to that! I definitely was and still am!

Happy reading!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

News - Me and Reading has moved! New Registered Domain!

Hello everybody!

I have some news.

Me and Reading has moved from ingasilbergbooks.com to a new place - http://www.ingasilberg.com .

The reason behind it is, that the old domain was bought up and sold on an auction to an unknown owner. It's a long and interesting story and I will probably blog about it during the upcoming week, because I believe that others might learn from my mistakes.

I don't understand why would somebody want a page with my name, pay a lot of money for it, but that doesn't matter anymore. Only time will show.


What matters now is, that this new place is registered and that I keep blogging.

Welcome to http://www.ingasilberg.com !!!

Yours truly,
Inga

 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Facebook Takeover! Author Kristie Cook will visit my FB page!

Happy Friday!

Just wanted to share some news with you.

A friend, and an author Kristie Cook is taking over Me and Reading's Facebook page for a day. I would be delighted if you would come and join in!

Just click on the image below and it will take it directly to the FB page event. It's going to be fun, there will be surprises, giveaways where Me and Reading will be contributing to and lots of other things you won't want to miss.

Kristie on the left and me on the right. London 2013

The event starts tomorrow, on Saturday, May 24, at 8AM - 5PM ET (US time). In European time it would be 3PM - 12AM EET and/or 2PM - 11PM CET.

You don't want to miss it! :)

Be there!




Monday, May 19, 2014

Cover Reveal - Fallen for Rock by Nicky Wells!

Happy Monday!

Another favorite author of mine is having an important day today. Nicky Wells is revealing a cover of her new book  Fallen For Rock! I have read and reviewed all Nicky's books so far and honestly, I can't wait for this one!

So, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the cover of Fallen For Rock!


 
Fallen For Rock

‘A thrilling and delicious story of love and self-discovery woven around a broken romance that will make you turn page after page and cheer to the end.’

Love, life, loyalties. Nothing stays the same when Emily gets drawn into the world of rock.

Glossy and sophisticated professional high-flyer Emily has no time for nonsense such as the rock music her ex-boyfriend Nate adored so much. Yet when she unexpectedly comes into possession of VIP tickets—access all areas—for new rock band phenomenon, MonX, she can’t resist the temptation.

The fateful gig turns into more than one night, and Emily finds herself strangely drawn to this new and unfamiliar glittery world. However, only weeks later, MonX and her own universe fall apart with devastating consequences for all. When MonX lead singer Mike appeals for her help, she reluctantly embraces a new opportunity. But she soon discovers that while she may be a rock chick after all, a groupie she is not… Or is she?

Just exactly where do her loyalties lie? And what direction will her life take now that she’s left behind everything she treasured?

Warning! Fallen For Rock contains some explicit content and strong language that may not be suitable for readers under eighteen years of age.


Fallen for Rock will be released later this year, 30th of June!


About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Nicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, she writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door… because there's no better romantic hero than a golden-voiced bad boy with a secret soft heart and a magical stage presence!

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous romance with rock stars—imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! Ifyou’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity, you’ll connect with Nicky’s heroes and their leading ladies.


Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor at Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!
***Fallen for Rock—Coming 30 June 2014!***

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest
Did you know? There’s a single out now by Nicky’s fictional rock band Tuscq come to life! “Love Me Better” is available for download from Amazon, iTunes and many other places.  

Happy reading!

 

Release Day Blitz - The Space Beyond by Kristie Cook! Giveaway!


Happy Monday!

Yay, today is an import day for my friend and author, Kristie Cook. Her newest book, The Space Beyond is coming out today!

I have already read and posted the review and in case you are interested, you will find the review of The Space Beyond HERE and review of the first book in the series, The Space Between HERE.
 

Release Day Blitz!

Today is release day for The Space Beyond (Part Two in the Book of Phoenix) by Kristie Cook!! If you haven't read The Space Between (Part One in the Book of Phoenix), it's on sale for 99c! (Links below) - Join Kristie, along with author Lynn Rush, whose book Absolute Zero releases on May 21st! It's an ongoing DUAL RELEASE CELEBRATION starting TONIGHT with several guest author appearances! https://www.facebook.com/events/509122122526573

We also have a GIVEAWAY to share with you!! Look for how to enter down below!

The Space Beyond 
Part Two of the Book of Phoenix
Author: Kristie Cook
Release Date: Currently Available
Where: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo (all countries) | Read Our Writes




Hearts break, souls shatter, love lies in The Space Beyond...

As members of the Phoenix, Jeric and Leni are thrust into their new lives, expected to lead Earth’s Guardians. But Leni struggles with trusting her own soul, and Jeric is more concerned about keeping Leni safe than meeting others’ demands. When Darkness swarms Lake Haven, they embark on their first mission with little preparation and no idea which soul the Dark hunts.

Born and raised in Lake Haven, Bex hopes to escape her small-town life, ideally in the arms of her soul mate. She knows he exists, and her heart aches with the need to find him. When her long-lost mama calls to announce she's knockin' on death's door, Bex reluctantly makes the trip to see the uncaring bitch (bless her heart), only to be knocked off her feet by the sexy and charming Dr. Mason Hayes. Is he really The One?

Leni’s soul felt an instant connection to Bex, but if Bex found her soul mate, she isn’t their mission. So who is, and why does Leni instinctively feel drawn to her? Can Leni even trust her intuition? And will Jeric step up and lead when the time comes or continue to hold them back?

If they don't learn to trust themselves and each other quickly, Darkness will claim them all…along with the rest of Earth’s souls.


Other books in the series:
The Space Between
Part One in the Book of Phoenix
Author: Kristie Cook

Currently Available

Where: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBookstore | Kobo

When life falls to pieces, answers lie in The Space Between...


Leni Drago can't make a smart decision on her own, according to her mother anyway--the few times she's tried resulted in disaster. When her uncle sends her on a dance tour in Italy to find her real self, she returns to an empty home and any evidence of his existence wiped out. Then things get even stranger, like the mysterious appearances of Jeric Winters--inked, pierced and a hit-'em-and-quit-'em type. He's one decision that should be easy for Leni. Or is he?


Jeric doesn't do girlfriends. Unless they're someone else's. He left the fighting cage and modeling for a reason, and girls who want more than a night of fun are distractions he doesn't need. Especially when they come with as much baggage as Leni carries. But he can't shake the gut feeling that he needs to know her. All of her.


To discover the truth behind their connection and their ties to a journal from 1989, they must face painful secrets from their pasts. And they must do so quickly because their own existences are falling to pieces.


This first part of The Book of Phoenix takes you on a heart-wrenching ride as you discover the answers that lie in The Space Between.



The Space Within

Part Three in the Book of Phoenix

Author: Kristie Cook

Release Date: July 14, 2014

here: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo (all countries)


When Darkness threatens, what matters most lies in The Space Within...
Completing a mission that reunites Guardian Twin Flames turns devastating when the Book of Phoenix throws Leni and Brock into a Dark world, leaving Jeric and Asia behind. They count on their other halves to rescue them, but when that doesn’t happen, they must fight through the Darkness and find a Gate that will take them home.

Except all of Earth’s Gates are sealed.

Enyxa, ruler of Darkness, and her horde of Dark souls storm the Gates to push their way through to Earth. While Leni and Brock fight Enyxa on their side, Jeric and Asia must figure out how to save their Twin Flames without jeopardizing all of Earth’s souls. Through it all—and with a little help from Enyxa—Brock and Asia begin questioning their relationship and whether they’re truly meant to be together…or if they’re two Lost souls forced to become one.

If the Broken dyads don’t find each other fast, they’ll be lost to the Dark forever. But to reunite means choosing themselves over all of Earth’s souls. Can Jeric make that decision? And will Brock and Asia find the love they both desperately crave? Or are they all doomed to perpetual Darkness?

Discover how it all ends in The Space Within, the explosive conclusion to The Book of Phoenix trilogy.


About the Author:
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance / contemporary fantasy, with Promise, Purpose, Devotion, Power, and the latest release, Wrath, book five, available now. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, which details the compelling history of her Soul Savers mythology. Over 300,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promisepeaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.

Kristie’s second series, The Book of Phoenix, is a New Adult paranormal trilogy. The Space Between is currently available, and The Space Beyond is releasing May 19, 2014, andThe Space Within will be available Summer 2014.

Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three sons, a beagle, and a puggle. She can be found at:

Author's Website & Blog: http://www.KristieCook.com

UK Fan Site: http://www.kristiecookfansite.co.uk
The Book of Phoenix Website: http://www.TheBookofPhoenix.com
Soul Savers Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/kristiecookauth


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Thanks for coming by and happy reading!



Friday, May 16, 2014

Movie Review: La belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast)

Hi all!

A movie review this time for a change :)




Title: La belle et la bête
Director: Christophe Gans
Writers: Christophe Gans (screenplay), Sandra Vo-Anh (screenplay)
Release date: 9th of May 2014 (Estonia)
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Fairy tale
Stars: Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux, André Dussollier

Summary:

An unexpected romance blooms after the the youngest daughter of a merchant who has fallen on hard times offers herself to the mysterious beast to which her father has become indebted.

Review:

Why are there so little fairy tale live action movies? It sad and a grave injustice to the whole world (and, especially, me)! Luckily, this move suddenly popped up in my move theaters and my plea was finally hear. Although, Beauty and the Beast isn’t my favorite from the bunch, it’s still better than nothing.

This French adaption of the popular fairy tale was, first of all, visually gorgeous and beyond my expectations. From the wardrobe to the locations to the condition and characteristics of the castle to the visuals of the characters themselves to… I thought this movie genuinely excelled in the looks department. The beast was the only one I would slightly whine about, because he could have been more scary and at times he was slightly costume-y. Still, the movie is a feast for the eyes, colorful and magical.

When imagining this particular fairy tale, the Disney version is the first to come to mind and you automatically assume that that was also how the original source material was, but in reality, the original was a lot different, especially in detail, for example: Belle had two other sisters, her father lost his fortune as a merchant to a storm destroying his ships, Belle dreams of the prince whilst in the castle, there was no Gaston the troublesome suitor, etc. This new move version certainly is more closer to the initial tale, but in some parts completely different again, eg. the prince's wife. Whenever a new version adds aspects, removes some, interprets others in new ways, adds characters – it all makes the adaption more enjoyable, because how many times can you create the exact same things in context? And these changes in the movie definitely helped give depth to the story, especially regarding the background of the beast.

I also liked the somewhat different ending to the couple. It seemed quite appropriate considering all said and done.

Con: It’s not really the fault of the movie or even the original material, but I didn’t feel that Belle and the beast really knew each other too well or had spent enough actual time together to truly be in love with each other. In the Disney version, it’s better handled and you can definitely imagine such feelings being developed, but in the move the lack of contact and, seemingly, little time spent in each other's company was something I didn’t appreciate. Yes, it’s a fairy tale and feelings come with the snap of a finger, but insta love isn’t something I’m fond of, even in fairy tales.

Characters:

Wow, the actress playing Belle was such a beautiful girl, she looked so gorgeous in the fancy gowns and the whole styling was spot on for the role and absolutely complimented her beauty. Belle herself was innocent yet had attitude. She is overall always quite likable so I was quite fond of her character this time again.

The prince wasn’t my style, but in regards to doing justice to the character he had to portray, he was definitely convincing and evoked all the right emotions in the viewer.

Regarding the princess, it was a pleasant surprising to see a German singer that I know and have listened to in the past take up that role.

Overall:

If you are a fairy tale lover and have a chance at this coming to theaters near you or watching it on DVD or or or… then please book a date already! One of the most gorgeous fairy tale adaptions I’ve seen in a looooong time... or maybe ever.

5 stars!

Enjoy the trailer!




LIIS


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hi all!

Quite a new book this time as well.




Title: Don't Look Back
Release date: 15th of April 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Mystery
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 368 in paperback format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Summary:

What if you had the chance to start again...but only if you promised never to look back? Samantha is popular, rich, and seemed to have it all...until the night she and her best 'frenemy' Cassie disappeared and only Sammy resurfaced, with no recollection of who she is or what happened.

Sammy's a stranger in her own life - a life she no longer wants any part of. Losing her memory is a chance to start again. Then Sammy begins receiving mysterious notes warning her about that night, urging her to not look back. But she can't let it go. As she starts poking around in her past she begins to remember...and something sinister begins to surface.

Review:

I took this up mainly because of the blurb, due to it sounding really exciting, dangerous, mysterious and full of twists. In the end, I did get all of that, but at a lesser degree than I was expecting.

Let’s start with the aspects I enjoyed:

The story was more mature than your average YA in regards to sexuality amongst teens, so from my side, this is always a plus when I feel that high-schooler’s are portrayed realistically in that regard. 

Always a plus, unless I adore the story to bits, is that the book is a standalone.

It doesn’t always seem like a huge deal, but when the pace of the book is great and the excitement and tension is divided appropriately in a story, then it can be a big plus in enabling the book to really reach the reader and pull them in without giving any longer than necessary breaks from the gripping atmosphere. I liked how this was created in this.

The romance was also something to appreciate, especially the fact that it wasn’t in center stage and didn’t overshadow the mystery and Samantha’s quest for making sense of her past. Carlson was a nice support storyline who provides her guidance, boosted confidence and was the second participant of some sweet and swoony moments. In addition, friends to lovers romance is the best.

I also really liked Samantha’s brother, he came across a simply cool guy who supported his sister whoever she was, but was also honest and didn’t take her drama.

Things that didn’t impress:

I had figured out who the villain was already halfway in, so the mystery itself didn’t really engage me that much anymore after that. Instead, I was just interested in seeing how things would unfold. There were many hints to the identity of the person and having watched too much Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, it wasn’t that hard to put two and two together.

Why does the popular crowd always have to be mean, shallow and, often as well, dumb? Just something that has started to slightly annoy me, having this cliché in too many YA books already. 

Maybe it’s just me, but the change from the old Samantha to the new was bothering me a bit. How can someone be so evil and then suddenly so good, isn’t there still some pieces of your character left in your unconsciousness that should reflect through, not only the good? Or is it a clean slate you get? I’m no doctor, but she went from one extreme to another and it didn’t fully glue together for me. 

Characters:

Samantha was pretty bad before the amnesia – the kind of person you love to hate and who embraces the hate because that means fear and fear means power – and getting to know her previous self didn’t make her a fan of herself, so she decided to act the opposite. While the 180 degree character change was hard to buy, she definitely deserves credit for trying to right the wrongs.

Overall:

While I did like the book and this new route the author is taking compared to her previous YA novels is more than welcome, this story is more on the 3,5 side that a full 4. There were a couple of cons, which I can overlook if I absolutely love a book, but here they played a bigger role regarding me enjoying the story this time, so I can’t just toss them aside. But this is just me, I’ve read that the overall consensus is that this story rocks!

4 stars!

LIIS

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Space Beyond by Kristie Cook - Review and Excerpt!

Happy Wednesday!



Time to post a review of a wonderful book from a very good author!

I am participating at the blog tour of The Space Beyond by Kristie Cook. The Space Beyond is the second book in The Books of Phoenix Series. Besides the review you will also see the expert from the book. Enjoy!


Title: The Space Beyond
Author: Kristie Cook
Series: The Book of Phoenix
Publisher: Ang'dora Productions
Publishing date: 19th of May 2014
Pages: 291 pages in PDF ARC
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Source: From the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary:


As members of the Phoenix, Jeric and Leni are thrust into their new lives, expected to lead Earth’s Guardians. But Leni struggles with trusting her own soul, and Jeric is more concerned about keeping Leni safe than meeting others’ demands. When Darkness swarms Lake Haven, they embark on their first mission with little preparation and no idea which soul the Dark hunts.

Born and raised in Lake Haven, Bex hopes to escape her small-town life, ideally in the arms of her soul mate. She knows he exists, and her heart aches with the need to find him. When her long-lost mama calls to announce she's knockin' on death's door, Bex reluctantly makes the trip to see the uncaring bitch (bless her heart), only to be knocked off her feet by the sexy and charming Dr. Mason Hayes. Is he really The One?

Leni’s soul felt an instant connection to Bex, but if Bex found her soul mate, she isn’t their mission. So who is, and why does Leni instinctively feel drawn to her? Can Leni even trust her intuition? And will Jeric step up and lead when the time comes orcontinue to hold them back?

If they don't learn to trust themselves and each other quickly, Darkness will claim them all…along with the rest of Earth’s souls.


My review:

Kristie has done it again! I have loved all her published books and she keeps surprising me. Whenever I think I've seen it all, she truly takes the story to the next level.
When the first book in The Book of Phoeniz series, The Space Between, came out, I was excited and I really waited for this one,for The Space Beyond. It's well-written, heart-wrenching, thrilling, captivating and has great developed characters.

Plot:

The Space Beyond takes off from where the first book ended.
Jeric and Leni have still lot to learn about what it means to be the Guardians and there are so many unanswered questions. The Book doesn't give any obvious answers to them and neither do their guides. It comes out, that Leni and Jeric are to lead the Guardians and the Phoenix, but Leni is insecure and Jeric doesn't really want to lead others. He just wants to be with Leni and make her happy.

When Leni and Jeric go back to the place they have once visited, Lake Haven, they meet with Bex, Ty and Dr. Mason Hayes. Leni has doubts if Bex is the one the Guardians are supposed to protect, but there are signs which refer to that. What is even more complicated is the process of finding out who is her other half, her Twin Flame.

What I loved about the book:

I loved the beginning of the story, the way the author refers back to the first book to fresh up the readers memory.

I loved the serious topics Kristie handels with care. There are emotional parts in this books which are very hard to read. It's not because of the writing, but it's because it deals with domestic abuse.

I loved how the author doesn't give everything away right from the beginning, so I kept guessing about the Twin Flames and generally, about how the story will end. I love surprises and that the plot wasn't obvious. It was well composed. And trust me, there's lot of that!

I think different point of views from different characters were well-written. Every POV was recognizable and had its own voice.

I enjoyed the writing style, the descriptions of the places, feelings, emotions and people were very good. The author made you feel pain, love, anger.. it was again the true art of writing which Kristie seems capable of delivering every single time she writes something. She is one of the authors whose writing I call art! She doesn't just tell you, she shoes you!

I loved the ending of the book. I did not see that coming! Kristie masters the art of cliffhangers, so be warned!

I loved the characters!

Characters:

Bex was my favorite! Her point of view (there are several of them) was the most significant of them and most fun to read. Bex is a girl you will love. She didn't have much of a childhood and she had to learn from very early years, how to take care of her sister, so she was hard working fun having woman. Work hard, party hard! When taking care  of her younger sister and having three jobs to manage everything, she had forgotten about herself. She needed to love and to be loved,she was desperate for it and that made her making some mistakes, especially with men. I loved seeing her grow, becoming more self aware and getting higher self esteem.

I loved that Jeric had his hearing back and that he was slightly confused by all the emotions created by the sounds around him. I enjoyed, that Jeric didn't like the idea of leading somebody. It's very him, wanting to protect Leni more than anything.

Brock and Asia. You meet them very briefly in the first book, but here in the second book, they have an important role to play. I kept wondering about Asia's and Brock's relationship because it wasn't the typical Twin Flame love. The author left quite few questions open for the reader to guess. Asia was fierce, stubborn and easily lovable. I can't give much away about Asia and Brock without giving away spoilers, but trust me when I'm saying, that there are scenes in the book where you want to applaud for Asia!

You will meet two interesting male characters in the book and both of them had an interest in Bex. Tyson is a local guy, coming back from the military. He is hoping to win back Bex's heart. Mason wants to take Bex with a storm and he is quite convincing.

Generally:

Reading The Space Beyond is an exciting ride to take! The author captured you from the first chapter and keeps you literally in her hands until you have turned the last page of the book! I can't wait to read the last and third book of the series! I highly recommend it!


5 Flowers!

5 stars!


Thanks goes to the author for providing me with the review copy!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, here is a small excerpt, from Bex's point of view. Enjoy!


Excerpt:

~~~

From Bex, in The Space Beyond:

Ty stared at me for a long moment as multiple emotions passed through his expressive eyes. Then he pulled his cap down further over his forehead, threw some money on the table, and strode out the door. I stood there for a moment, trying to pull myself together. Hopefully, that was the end of the suck for the day. I’d had enough, and I needed it all to follow him out that door. But if it did, it blew right back in with the next person to walk through. Sissy.

“Ty Daniels?” she asked as she looked over her shoulder at the old, beat-up, black Ford truck leaving the parking lot. She turned back to me with her dark brows raised over big blue eyes that were just like mine. Her raven hair was pulled back in a clip, and she wore little makeup, revealing the purple half-moons under her eyes. I couldn’t believe she was out in public like this—that wasn’t the Sissy I knew. She looked as exhausted as I felt. She may have been younger than me, but she’d always had an old soul, and right now, no way did she look only nineteen years old.

“Yeah, he’s back home, but don’t worry. I sent him packin’, at least from me. You look like hell.” My sisterly way of trying to change the subject.

She didn’t take my eggin’, though. “He’s probably the best thing for ya, sis. You probably shouldn’t let him go a second time.”

My eyes narrowed at her as she stepped to the table nearest the door and hesitantly sat down. She’d seen the hot mess I’d been when Ty left. She’d claimed to hate him as much as I had.

She looked up at me and rolled her eyes at my expression. “Oh, come on, sis. Settlin’ down with Ty is a lot better than you runnin’ around and gettin’ it on with a different guy every month. Aren’t you tired of that yet?”

My nostrils flared as I blew out an angry breath before yanking out the seat in front of her and dropping into it hard. I crossed my arms on the table and leaned toward her.

“I do not get it on with a different guy every month! Quit makin’ me sound like a two-bit whore!”

She only stared at me with her brow raised again.

“Four guys, Sissy. I’ve been with four guys since Ty left me three years ago.”

She still stared silently. I squirmed and leaned back.

“Okay, maybe it was five. That’s still a long shot from one a month.”

“And is that countin’ the carnie from Atlanta?”

“I didn’t get it on with him! We made out a little, but that’s all. He kissed like a fish attacking a worm on a hook.” I shuddered at the memory.

“Still another man. And what about the surfer from Daytona? The cowboy whose truck broke down on the way to the PBR finals? Oh, and let’s not forget Punk Roberts.”

I sighed. If she counted them, her list could go on, but I’d actually slept with Punk. I really thought he’d been The One. He’d graduated as Michael Roberts several years before me and went off to become a nearly famous rock star. No doubt he would be there one of these days. He’d come home for a break for a couple of months, and we’d hit it off right away. I’d never told Sissy because she would have talked me out of it immediately, but I’d been ready to pack my bags and hit the road with him, glad to say goodbye to this Podunk town forever. Until I found out he’d succumbed to the typical rocker lifestyle on the road, fueled by drugs that hyped him up and more that forced him to sleep. I’d had enough of that bullshit in my twenty years at the time. I wasn’t about to go there with him.

Sissy fell silent, and when I looked up at her, sadness filled her eyes. She reached out for my hands and took them into hers.

“I’m sorry, Be—Bex.” That was the first time she’d called me that, so she must have meant it. “I didn’t come here to pick on you. I’m just worried about you, is all. And I know you hate Ty for what he did to you, but maybe you can find it in your heart to love him again.”

The problem was I’d never stopped loving him. But only as a friend. He’d been the rock in my life, but now I couldn’t count on him anymore. Maybe that was it—I couldn’t trust him. And if there’s no trust, there’s no relationship.

“So you knew he was comin’ back home and you didn’t tell me?” I asked, bitterness filling my voice. I yanked my hands away from her. “Left Mama’s side and came all the way here to convince me to take him back? Did he put you up to this?”

Sissy pressed her hand to her chest and shook her head. “I had no idea he was back, I pinky swear. I just saw him and thought he’d be good for you. He’s always been a good friend to us, and we kinda need that right now.” She folded her hands on the table and dropped her gaze as she picked at her fingernails. “But no, there’s somethin’ else. Did you get my message this mornin’?”

“Yeah, Liz’beth told me. I was goin’ to call you back before I went to my other job.”

Sissy’s face lifted, looking even more exhausted than she had before, and I felt bad for my jab at her. Sorta bad. I thought she sometimes forgot who was working her ass off to support us and pay for at least some of Mama’s medical bills. Someone had to do it after all, and sometimes she became quite the martyr, never letting me forget who does the caretaking of Mama.

“You need to see her,” Sissy said, her voice soft and quivery.

“I’ve got no need to.”


“Beth …” She sighed. “Bex … she only has a few more weeks. Maybe a month or two, but the doctors reckon it’ll be shorter.”

..............

About the author: 

Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at www.KristieCook.com.


Thanks for coming by and happy reading!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hi all!

Something for Sunday evening.




Title: What I Thought Was True
Release date: 15th of April 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Dial
Pages: 416 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to My Life Next Door is a magnetic, push-me-pull-me summer romance for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her idyllic Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past--or the island--Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true--about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself--with what really is.

Huntley Fitzpatrick delivers another enticing summer read full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions, and a romance that will make every reader swoon.

Review:

This was in a way a really unusual book, because many of the clichés I would expect from a typical rich-boy-poor-girl romance weren’t there and I was caught off guard in a pleasant way. For example, I was anxiously waiting till the parents or even friends would mix themselves in the relationship and the typical he’s-too-good-for-you-or-she-isn’t-on-your-level rubbish would start being thrown all around. Or, how there is this final confrontation where the guy has to reject the ideals of his rich upbringing and make a choice in a grand gesture that he would give anything up for the girl he loves. Refreshingly, no such melodrama happened here. It was all considerably realistically handled and portrayed.

The lack of familiar scenarios wasn’t the only aspect that made this story somewhat unusual in the best of ways. The way the topics of sexuality and having sex was handled in the case of Gwen was unique and not really on the same page compared to other YA books. It wasn’t scandalous or abnormal that Gwen enjoyed sex and, well, did it with some people the reader wouldn’t necessarily approve or understand. There was, of course, different levels of condemning from people around her, but she herself didn’t make a number of it and I liked that about her. Also, in general, sex wasn’t just the representation of love in this book, the story highlighted various reasons behind having sex – it was interesting to read about it in a YA book.

The book was also different in a sense that there were crucial parts of the complicated history between Gwen and Cassidy hidden from the reader and not laid out right away. Due to that I couldn’t really figure out either of them or what their motives or relationship status was. Bit by bit their past rift was revealed and while the mystery was somewhat interesting to see unfold, the not knowing also bothered and confused me a bit.

The secondary relationship of Nico and Viv had interesting issues, but wow, I didn’t expect that from the end. What a blow in the face for one of them.

I wasn’t that happy about the fact that most conflicts in the book could have been completely avoided and were textbook definitions of miscommunication and misunderstandings. It kind of annoyed me that they would have been so easily resolved if people would just talk.

Characters:

Gwen was an overall ok heroine, I liked her somewhat free spirit in the socially confined position she was stuck in and her attitude towards her relationship with guys. I also liked her devotion to her broken and colorful family (and memorable it definitely was, plus, it was great to see parents and family so intertwined to the story in a YA romance). In all other aspects I found her a bit bland.

I thought Cassidy was a likeable hero. The fact that his wealth and family background wasn’t flaunted all the time and he actually blended in with the other workers and felt quite natural in his role as a yard boy was a nice change from books where the rich guys usually ooze money and class in every sentence written. He came across as this simple, easygoing, pleasant, good-natured, helpful and very patient (regarding Gwen) cute boy-next-door.

Overall:

This book surprised me in various ways, I was expecting something on the standard line due to the topics explored, but the result was something completely different. So I have a quite high opinion of this story and will definitely check out other books from the author, if for nothing else, to see how she makes other possible typical storylines her own and gives them a new viewpoint.

4 stars!

LIIS
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