Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)

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I’ll be honest, I knew right away I did not want to finish this book. You know when you start reading something and you realize fairly quickly that this book isn’t for you? Well that’s what happened. Except instead of putting the book down, I kept reading hoping I would see what other readers are raving about. I’ll let you in on a secret, I never saw it..


Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Published: August 31, 2010
Pages: 335

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Review:
Evie is a teenager who can see through glamour. She is young and has been raised as a human by the government. Since she was eight, she has had the same job – bag and tag Paranormals. Her life is a bit sad. She doesn’t have any friends, zero family, and hardly ever gets to go out in the real world. But as the story progresses, she slowly pieces information together and things get a little clearer. 

Then Evie meets Lend, a Paranormal she caught but will end up helping. He is her age and wears the glamour of other people instead of his true face. His true form is difficult to make out but needless to say, our lead heroine finds him attractive. Unfortunately she also has to deal with Reth, a faerie who is determined to have her. Being both good and bad, Reth gets his hands on Evie and she begins to change. Both Reth and Lend hold secrets, are mysterious, and attractive. But it’s easy to see which one she puts her trust in. 

The writing style and plot is geared towards a younger audience. I couldn’t say the plot was bad, it just didn’t hold my interest enough. Besides the plot was somewhat typical- clueless girl desperate to be apart of anything while trying to figure out some big secret. Yet refuses the help of those who are actually trying to help her because she is scared and irrational. Evie’s character comes across as the perfect teenager and I think that immaturity was what made this book difficult for me to enjoy. In the end, I never finished the book. I just couldn’t do it. But I honestly think if I was younger, I would enjoy this book more. So please keep that in mind when reading this review and choosing whether you want to read this book or not. But for now, this book will end up in my DNF Graveyard.

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A year from Hell..

This has been a year from hell..

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Lets take a walk in my year. Not even one month into 2017, I get in a devastating crash.

car

Almost one year later and I am still going through therapy, still suffering a concussion, and still not able to live the life I once had. Running is out of the question and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. I continue to have to wear prism glasses to trick my brain and eyes into working together. I am trying to come to terms with having to do a maintenance plan (a.k.a. eye exercises) for the rest of my life. And I continue to struggle concentrating while blocking out external stimuli. A car accident that wasn’t even my fault has caused devastating changes.

Diagnosed in September of 2016, my Father-In-Law continued to suffer from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

grandpa-and-ash

My Father-In-Law passed away in November. I miss him so much! He wasn’t perfect but he was a wonderful man.

My Step-Mother passed away Saturday, December 23… She was sick and the last couple years have been extremely difficult, especially on my day. But my heart is broken and I mourn per passing. I more the companion my dad lost. My Step-Mother has been apart of my dads, my life, for over 20 years. And even though I’ve known she was sick, I thought I had more time. At least time to say goodbye.

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I talked to my Dad earlier this week and he told me he didn’t think Linda would make it to summer. And I thought – I really need to tell her how I feel, how I appreciate everything she’s done and who she is to my Dad. But that thought was quickly followed with not wanting to do it over the phone and this stupid idea that I had time. I would get through this week of work, get through Christmas and then I would drive down to see her and the rest of my family. I honestly thought I had time. I always forget we are not promised tomorrow. I should have called and talked to her.

These are only three examples of what has made this year horrible, but they are strong and carry so much pain. This has been a year from hell.. I honestly hate 2017. All this grief is overwhelming and heavy.

2018 can’t get here fast enough…

 

Author Spotlight – Tamara Sloan: Make It Count

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This book was scheduled to release on October 10, 2017. This Young Adult book sounds just as enticing as the cover looks. I wish I could read this book. Until then, I leave it to my readers. Comment if you’ve read this book or want to!!


MakeItCount

Published: October 10, 2017
Pages: 361

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Synopsis
:
He’s irresistible…but she’s the one person who knows his days are numbered

Casey’s touch can reveal the one thing a person would never want to know — the number of days they have left to live.

By the time Casey turns seventeen she’s learnt to withdraw. But the phobia she fakes in order to avoid human contact is sorely tested by hot, persistent, motorcycle riding PJ. For a girl who craves contact, maple eyed PJ is impossible to resist. When the inevitable happens, when hands, bodies and lips collide, Casey sees PJ’s number, one that can only be seen as a cruel twist of fate.

Now she must decide. Will she continue counting the days of her life, or start living a life that counts?

With the memorable writing and humor of writers such as Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun blended with the attitude, chemistry and unexpected plot twists of Katie McGarry’s best sellers, Make it Count is a romance that will leave you swooning and smiling.


Excerpt:

A few steps down the path I slip the brownie from my sleeve. There’s no way I can wait to get out of the front yard before I taste this square of temptation. I should be sainted right alongside Ari’s grandson for not wolfing down the whole platter.

There’s a mega-sized tree in the front yard, so I head around it, lean back against its bark watching the brownie’s slow approach to my mouth, savouring the moment. I smell the chocolate, the sugar, the awesomeness. I bite down and my eyes flutter closed. Oh. My. Heaven-loving-tastebuds. Galaxies of spun sugar dissolve in my mouth, symphonies drowned out by the roaring in my ears. My body mirrors what’s happening in my mouth; I’m slowly, deliciously melting into a gooey, thick puddle.

The roaring stops.

“If you like my cooking, you’d love how I make breakfast.”

Everything stops. Every cell goes from puddly and quivery to upright and alert. I know that chocolately voice. I’ll never forget that warm, rich timbre.

I open one eye, then two.

PJ is sitting on his motorbike, helmet on his lap, that grin glinting in the sun. He hangs the helmet on a handlebar, swings a long denim leg over and swaggers towards me. And I mean a hip swaying, shoulder swinging swagger that evokes images of yellow-striped, denim-clad butts.

The moment he’s close enough for me to focus on his eyes the brownie turns to bread in my mouth. It could never compete with the symphonies and stars in those molten maple pools.

“They’re a family recipe.”

My brain clicks out of brownie-PJ heaven and into gear. Hang on a sec. I look over my shoulder at the door, the door that was just closed by a woman the colour of brown sugar. I look back to the very white, hot guy in front of me.

“Family?”

The moment PJ stops I take a step back, out of arm’s length, and out of smell’s reach. His eyes narrow ever so slightly as he notes my movement. He crosses his arm. “Yeah, family.”

I wait, but it seems someone else in this town took the course on stubborn silence. Instead he grins again. Man, I wish he’d stop doing that. Here, in the sun, it’s blinding. “I’m flattered.”

I raise a brow.

PJ shrugs, and somehow the movement seems to bring him a millimetre closer. Moving again would be rude and weirdo-whacky so I stay put, choosing to breathe through my mouth.

“It takes some effort to find out where a guy lives.”

My jaw slackens. Ego much?

“Hmmm.” I step to the side and head to his motorbike. “I’m glad you brought a second helmet.”

PJ turns and follows me, I step around the bike, using it as a barrier.

He places a hand on the leather seat. “You wanted to come for a ride?”

Eyes wide with mock shock connect with molten maple. “Don’t you need it for your ego?”

Instead of looking insulted, PJ grins. A wide, teeth-glinting, eye-wrinkling grin. “I think I might; it just got one heck of a hit.”

I cross my arms, glad I can do it safely this time thanks to my Personal Protective Equipment.

PJ brings one hand up to stroke his chin. “So you’re not here to see me.”

“Difficult to imagine, isn’t it?”

“What else would bring you here?”

Those delicious lips twitch. He knows exactly why I’m here. I’m not much of a blusher, but being here, for a therapy group for a phobia I don’t have, wearing the freaky lengths I have to go to avoid touch seems like a pretty good time to blush.

But I didn’t wear a balaclava, so instead, I own it. “I have ablutophobia.”

PJ’s eyes stray to my lips. “Well, it’s not a fear of brownies.”

I resist the urge to lick their suddenly dry surface. “Or the repeated use of pick-up lines.”

PJ chuckles, and it’s a sound that reminds me of crème brûlée, smooth and moreish. “Maybe it’s a phobia of stepping up to a challenge.”

That has me straightening. Everything in my impulsive but necessarily inhibited personality loves a challenge. PJ quirks a brow, and leans forward, placing both hands on the seat. The position pushes his shoulders forward, focuses my attention on those biceps. Mr. Sexy-Comes-Naturally is waiting for me to pick up the gauntlet.

Sensations and sights sharpen. Those molten maple pools watching me. The heat pressing against my body. Those Adonis lips parting on an inhale. The bead of sweat raking down my spine.

I lean forward, and my eyes widen the moment my next sense registers something. A scent, the kind of scent that has your head tilting reflexively, your mouth opening just a touch to see if it will land on your tongue.

I don’t know what amber smells like, but I think this could be it. Woodsy, spicy…tempting…moreish. It’s the kind of smell that makes you wish you could spend more time breathing in than out. One hand reaches out to the red plastic fender rising from the back of the bike. The moment woven cotton presses into my fingertips, rather than smooth plastic warmed by the sun, I stop. It’s all I need to return me to reality.

I take a step back, having to mentally force my nose to follow. PJ was never meant get close enough to smell, because exactly what I thought would happen just happened.

He smells as good as he looks, and I don’t need any more temptation to fight.

I take another step back. “You’ve got the wrong girl, PJ.”

PJ exhales, possibly because of the pent-up tension, but probably out of frustration. “It seems we have one thing in common, Casey.”

With another step back I decide it’s safe to ask. “What’s that?”

PJ straightens, his eyes twinkling. “We both love a challenge.”

I start to walk backwards, shaking my head. “The difference is I can pick a lost cause.”

I turn and start creating even more distance between us. I walk away from hot, sexy, available maple, knowing this is what I need to do. Telling PJ, with everything I can, he’s wasting his time.

“See you at mini motos.”

I keep walking. The tenacity is admirable and flattering, but wasted. “I’m not going.” I call over my shoulder.

“Don’t forget to bring your little brother.”

I shake my head, glad PJ can see that and not my smile. Sure, I love to look, I like the flirting, and I’d love to be someone that could go there.

But PJ is the last person I plan on touching.


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A school psychologist by day, Tamar channels her passion for books into creating young adult stories about discovering life and love beyond our comfort zones. She is the award-winning author of the Prime Prophecy and Touched by Love Series. Tamar is also the author of PsychWriter: where psychology meets writing, a blog that supports and extends writers.

When not reading, writing or working with teens, Tamar can be found with her ever-patient husband and two beautiful sons enjoying country life on their small acreage in the Australian bush.

Tamar finds it deeply rewarding to share her stories and she loves to hear from her readers and fellow lovers of all things book related.

You can find her at www.tamarsloan.com or on  Facebook or Twitter.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

There are a lot of good reviews for this book, so I don’t plan to go into too many details. I recommend reading the book but I’m still up in the air about the series.


Daughter of smoke and bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: September 27, 2011
Pages: 422

Stars: 3.5 of 5

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Synopsis:
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Review:
It took me a bit before I figured out what was happening in the book. And then it took me till I was half way through before I truly understood. Karou is strong, compassionate, and cares deeply, but has no idea who she is. And when faced with love or finding out her identity and saving her family- is there any question on what she will choose…

Akiva knows only death and war. A long time ago he lost the one person he loved, Madrigal. And recently he meets someone who is no closer than a stranger yet as familiar as Madrigal. What will Akiva do when faced with a second chance, will he choose an old love or family?

I thought the characters were creative and the plot was familiar yet unique. I really enjoyed Brimstone’s character. The plot surrounds themes such as oppression and forbidden love. And so much pain.  

I didn’t really like how the story kept going from present to past without much if any transition. And at times, I felt like the plot dragged or I was reading information that didn’t add anything to the plot. Overall, I enjoyed the book enough to want to read the second. 

Life, Survival, and Death

Hi, it’s me. It has been a while since I have been able to get on here. Most of that is because my heart has been broken and life just never seems to slow down.

For those who don’t know, I was in a bad car accident at the end of January 2017. If you haven’t ready the post – Surviving the Accident – check it out. I’m still recovering and thankful that I am continuing to get better. Since the last time I’ve check in, I have fired my previous vision therapist and hired one who believes I can still get better.

I struggle to fit in all my therapy appointments while working full time and raising two active boys. But I’m doing the best I can.

Life in my family has changed and I am still processing how that looks. Cancer is such an ugly thing. Check out my first post, Life Interrupted, The Family Battle with Cancer., to see the beginning. But my father-in-law passed away a month ago from today. I still don’t have the right words to say and I don’t even know what to say. But my heart is broken and I miss him so much! My family and I have been grieving and trying to get back to life as it is now.

Please understand and be patient during this time. The holidays have been so difficult, everything has been difficult. Finding the time and energy to get on my blog has been near impossible.

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)

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I have been looking forward to reading this book. Usually I Ilona Andrews work is impeccable. But this book fell a little short for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it and would buy the next book. But one thing that is interesting is how there is not one (okay, maybe one but you get the idea) character introduced in this series that doesn’t come back around. There aren’t a lot of books like this and I can see why. In many ways, this series doesn’t appear to have small characters. And because of this, each character is thought out and comes with a complex background. I absolutely love Ilona Andrews work!


 

One Fell SweepAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: December 20, 2016
Pages: 257

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

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Other books in this Series:
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)
Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)

 

Synopsis:
Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

Review:
One Fell Sweep is similar to the previous books in this series with the constant action and detailed description of what everything looks like and what’s happening. I will be honest, there were parts of this book that I skimmed. I never thought I would say this but Ilona Andrews took her descriptions a bit far. At times I fought boredom and just felt like some of it was an overkill. 

Like I said above, this book starts with action and ends with not so much a cliffhanger but something close enough. I’m not going to tell you every action packed detail of what happened through this book. But what I will say is there is heartache, love, death, bad omens, and potential. The ending of this book, possibly the last third of the book, was the most captivating. I couldn’t put the book down even if I wanted to. I needed to figure out what happened next. 

Overall, this isn’t my favorite series by this author and the book isn’t perfect. But it’s still a good series/book. Knowing this, the book is still highly entertaining and a fun read. Ilona Andrews provides a world that is hard to imagine with deadly flowers and different dimensions. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.