Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking Chances Review and Giveaway Blog Tour

Taking Chances         
By Loni Flowers
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1468184587

Number of pages: 382
Word Count: 86,000+

Amazon          Barnes & Noble       Smashwords  

Blurb/Book Description:

At age twenty-three, Alex has had a hard life. His parents died when he was quite young, leaving his grandparents to raise him. Right before his high school graduation, his grandparents passed on too, leaving him all alone.

After losing everyone he's ever loved, Alex turns to the streets in a self-destructive pattern until he finally ends up in Springhill, where he tries to make a new life for himself.

Clair’s childhood was normal until age thirteen, when her father left the family and she never heard from him again. Consequently, her mother went into a deep depression, forcing Clair to grow up quickly.

After finishing high school, Clair’s heartache over her father’s absence as well as her unbearable mother drive her to strike out on her own. But having nowhere to go and no family to speak of, Clair wanders aimlessly from town to town, homeless, and without purpose. Looking for work wherever she goes and living hand to mouth on the streets is tough, Clair discovers, but living with her mother is worse.

Now twenty-one years old, Clair has found her way to the last place she and her family took their final vacation as a family--Springhill. While in town, she crosses paths with Alex and their ensuing relationship grows faster than expected. Soon Clair wonders if coming back to Springhill and meeting Alex was the best decision or the worst decision she ever made.

My Thoughts:
First I have to point out that Taking Chances is NOT a Young Adult novel. I feel like the cover leads you to believe that it is and I just wanted to be clear that it isn't. You could probably consider this one a New Adult with plenty of sexy times (nothing overly graphic). 

OK, that being said let's move on to the story.  I felt like Taking Chances started out really strong. After a while though Clair started to bug me a little and then a lot actually. However, I really liked Alex, he definitely carried me through this novel. Alex is a great character. A man with compassion, honor, and is quite sexy to boot. 

Clair comes to town basically as a vagabond, after having dinner and intending to move on through the small town she is attacked by some local losers. Alex steps in a saves her before things get as bad as they could. Clair and Alex discover that neither of them have had the easiest time of it in their young lives. Clair is hesitant to let anyone into her life, even sweetheart Roz, the town's diner owner. Roz was a wonderful character and I really hope/wish every town had a Roz. Clair's distrust of everyone really started to wear a bit thin and then the choices she started to make really bugged me. 

I really enjoyed reading Taking Chances and my lukewarm feelings toward Clair didn't keep me from getting into the story, you can't like everyone. I really liked Flower's writing style. She kept the book moving along nicely and did a great job of writing alternating points of view. 

 Want a chance to win your own ecopy of Taking Chances? Enter Here:

Author Bio:  
Loni Flowers lives in Eastern North Carolina with her husband; two wild toddlers, who never slow down for a second; and three couch-potato dogs, who only raise an eye when foods around. She spends her days working full-time for a well-known bank. When she's not playing on the internet or chatting on Twitter or Facebook, she spends her free time with friends and family waiting for the next big idea strike.

She enjoys reading most anything, but is a sucker for a good romance story. Contemporary romance is her writing genre of choice but isn't opposed to writing something different should an excellent idea hit.

Some of her favorite authors include: L.J. Kentowski, Stefne Miller, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Karen Marie Moning, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult... just to name a few.

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today and for allowing me the opportunity to share a little about myself.
Today I thought I give you some insight on the places I hope to visit sometime in my lifetime. There are so many more than what I have here, but there are the few that instantly popped into my mind.
Here they are, in no particular order:

The city of lights, the city of love… I’ve always wanted to visit here. I want to stay at a grand hotel, with a balcony when I can stand outside at night and take in the city and its light. I want to see the Eiffel Tower with easy from my room and walk hand in hand through the city streets with my husband. Visit the Musee du Louvre- the world’s largest museum. See the Notre-Dame Cathedral. There is just so much to see here!
Paradise! Exotic beaches, beautiful ocean front resorts, the lush landscape, sand, tropical breezes, Hawaiian cuisine. What else is there to love?
This island in Greece is so beautiful. It has ancient ruins and gorgeous beaches. It just looks like a beautiful place to visit. 
       Sydney, Australia
 I’ve always wanted to visit here. Traveling all the way across the world though does frighten me a bit but it’s just the price I’ll have to pay to see this city. I’d love to visit the Sydney Opera House, see the Harbour Bridge, visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, and catch some sun rays on one of their beaches.  
         Bora Bora
      There isn’t much sightseeing here. With an island that is only six miles long… there really isn’t much to do, which would be fine by me. Relaxation on a beach surrounded by lush jungles that stretch into sky high volcanoes (extinct volcanoes)… sounds amazing doesn’t it? 
      The Vatican Museums, the Colosseum… home to fettucine, ravioli, bruschetta and cappuccino! Sign me up NOW. I love pasta, enjoy the Roman architecture and art that dates by centuries. It’d be a dream to visit this place some day.
There you have it! Are any of these places you with to visit? Have you been to any of these before? I’d love to hear about it.
Thank you again for spending a few minutes with me today. I had a great time!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This guy was perfect. He didn't make fun of me like Daemon had over the whole blog thing. Cool points for Blake. I took a sip of my drink as I glanced out the window. Dark, thick clouds blanketed the sky. "When I first saw you, I had you pegged for a surfer. You have that look."

Teaser from page 50.

I finished Onyx last night and if you haven't read it yet then you need to go right now and pick it up because it will blow you away!!!!

Miz B hosts Teaser Tuesday every week, check her out for the official rules.  I never seem to be able to stick to the rule about only 2 sentences.
I love reading teasers so let me know where I can view yours in the comments. Have a great day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey 

Hey everyone, happy Monday! I'm reading Onyx right now and I'm loving it so much that I think it may be the reason for my extra good mood right now! It could also be the heavily caffeinated coffee that I am indulging in today:)  Thanks so much for stopping by to check out what I've been up to. So what have you been reading lately? 
Oh and by the way if any of these book covers make you want to know more just click on the title and you will be taken to their goodreads page.
Happy Reading!

Last week I read

Confessions of An Angry Girl by Louise Rozett (I liked this one more than I thought I was going to)

Speechless by Hannah Harrington (SO good!)

Six Degrees of Lost by Linda Benson (If you're looking for a really great middle grade book, this is it)

Taking Chances by Loni Flowers

I Also Finished Listening To

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 

Right Now I'm Reading

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout (Loving this by the way!)

Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby (just started this one)

I'm Listening To

Enclave (Razorland #1)  by Ann Aguirre

Next Week I'm Planning To Read

Reflection by Jessica Roberts

Chasing McCree by J.C. Isabella

 The Fault In Our Stars by John Green


Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Butterfly Porcupine (Aintree Tales Book 1)

Butterfly Porcupine (Aintree Tales #1)
Author: Susan Fancis
Publisher: Self Published?
Release Date: March 14, 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Sent to me from the other through Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
Kai is an extravert. He likes making friends and hangs out with the close-knit group of teenagers who live in Aintree Court, West London, most of whom have grown up together and attend Aintree High School. At the end of the school term Kai's summer was all planned out: party, date the hottest girl around, play football, play basketball and pursue his hobby, taking pictures with his camera. He lands a job working for a professional photographer, and gets to spend the last weekend of summer at the Reading Music Festival.

Life is good. That is, until a new arrival to Aintree moves into the house across from his....

If Tasha could pick a superpower, she wouldn't have to think about it. It would be invisibility. Tasha is not a people person. At the end of term she leaves her old school, her mother and her friends behind and moves to Aintree to live with her estranged father, his second wife and their son, Marc. Tasha’s summer was all planned out too: settle in her new home, bond with her father’s family and (hopefully) keep a low profile. She soon discovers that not everyone in Aintree is thrilled to have her around.

Homesick and unable to fit in, life is not exactly great. That is, until she receives an unexpected, genuine offer of friendship… or is it?

My Thoughts:
First, I enjoyed the second half of this book much more than the first half. The first half was a bit hard to get through. There was a lot of information dumping, and I had a hard time connecting to Tasha. I realize that everyone had a hard time connecting to her and that she is one of those people who are hard to get to know. So I guess as that kind of character she was written pretty well. However, I just found her to be judgmental and annoying much of the time. I enjoyed reading about Kai and his group of friends much more. Honestly, I couldn't figure out why Kai kept trying with Tasha. This is one of those instances I guess where love really is blind. Luckily this book is written in alternating points of view so every other chapter was about Kai. Like I mentioned the second half of Butterfly Porcupine was much better and I found myself enjoying it at that point.

Also a pet peeve of mine is when an author writes a book and doesn't or rarely uses contractions. That is very distracting for me. I think with a bit more editing this book could have been quite a bit better. 

OK, I'm done complaining now. The overall story was pretty good. It follows a pretty classic romance formula and I enjoy those. I wish I could have given this book a higher rating, but I guess you can't love them all. With all of this being said I may read the next book if it is about some of the other characters that were in this book. Mostly because as I said the second half of this book got much better. I have high hopes that Francis' writing will just get better and better.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Release Day Blitz: Flight (The Crescent Chronicles Book 1)

By Alyssa Rose Ivy
The Crescent Chronicles, Book 1

Genre: Mature YA/New Adult Paranormal Romance
Number of pages:  250

Book Description:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

Author Bio:

Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write.!/alyssaroseivy 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (8/15/2012) Through to You

Author: Emily Hainsworth
Expected Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary from Goodreads:
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

Do you remember that show Sliders? I loved that show and anytime I see a show or a book about parallel worlds I get excited. Can't wait to see if this one will add to my passion of parallel world stories.  

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. So what book are you excited about right now?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oh What A Day! Teaser Tuesday and Author Guest Post by Linda Benson

A teaser from Olive's Point of View
I'm not sure how long we're on the bench together. My head deops over sideways, and I think it might even lean on David's shoulder. He doesn't move. 

A teaser from David's Point of View
Then I think about Olive, and how she leaned her head on my shoulder and how good she smells. I smile, and for a little while, I forget all about the load on my back.

Miz B hosts Teaser Tuesday every week, check her out for the official rules.  I never seem to be able to stick to the rule about only 2 sentences.
I love reading teasers so let me know where I can view yours in the comments. Have a great day!

 Writing in Two Voices
By Linda Benson

When I first started to write SIX DEGREES OF LOST, I had two characters floating around in my head. One was Olive, a thirteen-year-old girl who is shipped off to Washington State to live with an aunt who runs a foster home for homeless dogs, cats, and horses. With a mother in jail, an absent father, and a brother who just joined the Army, Olive is left with no choices. The other character was David, a fourteen-year- old boy who feels like all of his choices in life have been decided already: take advanced classes, apply to the Air Force Academy, and then serve his country like his brothers before him.

Because I wanted to try something new as a writer, and because both of these characters were speaking
to me so strongly, I decided to let them each narrate alternate chapters. So SIX DEGREES OF LOST is
told from two viewpoints: Olive narrates one chapter and then David narrates the next. Olive and David
meet early in the story, and they both have their own challenges in life, but at one point their friendship
is tested, when one springs into action to help the other. It was a fun and challenging novel to write,
because I cared deeply about both of these characters, even though it was sometimes a bit of jig-saw
puzzle deciding who would narrate which part of the action.

I’ve been told that SIX DEGREES OF LOST reads like young teen fiction, and I believe this is true. While much of the story involves animals, family dynamics, first crushes, and could easily be enjoyed by
younger readers, there are also a few intense situations involving teens making bad choices that set it
apart from straight middle grade. Is there anybody else out there who believes young teens deserve
more realistic fiction written just for them?

Sometimes you have to take a journey to find out where you really belong.

Olive’s mother is headed to jail and her brother to join the Army, so thirteen-year-old Olive is
uprooted from sunny California and dumped in Washington State like a stray. That's exactly
what she feels like surrounded by her aunt’s collection of homeless dogs, cats, and horses.
Fourteen-year-old David’s future is already carved in stone. From a military family with two
brothers serving overseas, he’s been pointed towards the Air Force Academy his entire life -
but a rafting trip gone awry might ruin his chances. When a runaway dog is almost hit by a car,
the search for its owner leads Olive and David, two teens from entirely different backgrounds,
to an unlikely bond. Will their growing attraction to each other be enough to keep Olive from a
foolhardy journey to find her mother? Will David risk his family’s plans to save her?

Book Links

Linda Benson is the author of several middle grade and young adult books, including Six Degrees of Lost, The Girl Who Remembered Horses, Finding Chance, and The Horse Jar (which has been translated into Spanish.) Watch for a new release in Sept. 2012 from Musa Publishing called Walking the Dog.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a variety of animals. Her passion for nature and animals often finds its way into her writing. She has been a veterinary assistant, zoo keeper, race track groom, realtor, children’s librarian, and owner of both a native plant nursery and a saddle shop. When she's not petting a dog, cat, horse, or donkey, traipsing through the woods, or enjoying a good glass of wine, she's most likely working on her next book.
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