Forever Me by Thomas Amo

FoeverMe2Hannah Richards isn’t your typical 16 year-old at Wichita Falls High. Fashions, trends, cosmetics and style are unimportant to her. An avid reader, guitar player, classic movie and television buff, Hannah marches to the beat of her own drum. Visible only to her Father the town Sheriff, and her two best friends. Hannah lives a simple, un-pampered life as an “Eastie.”

After coming to the aide of Taylor Monroe, a popular member of the ultra snobby “Stilettos” at school, Hannah’s life beings spiraling out of control. As she starts spending more time with Taylor, her best friends abandon her, after a series of misunderstandings, causing Hannah to re-invent herself.

Hannah quickly gets caught up in a life much different than the one she knows, where status, glamour, makeup, appearance and acceptance become her masters. And what of the dark secret that haunts the streets of Wichita Falls?

Can Hannah survive the lies, deceit, jealousy and rage that are now waiting for her behind every corner? Will she succumb to the pressures of popularity? Or will she be crushed under the heels of the “Stilettos”?

~High school is hard enough just being yourself, let alone being someone you’re not~

One thing I have learned about Thomas Amo is that he takes things to extremes. In Let’s Get Lade he took slap-stick humor and just plain silliness to the extreme. In An Apple for Zoe he took a murder investigation to such an paranormal extreme that I’m still reeling from the outcome (and not so patiently waiting for the next installment of The Forsaken series.) For those reasons, the extreme twists, turns, betrayal and life changing events that the characters experienced in Forever Me shouldn’t have surprised me in the least, but they did. I’m not sure what I expected from this teen drama, but I definitely got more than I bargained for.

Hannah was basically an average teen. She wasn’t overly popular, but she had friends and everyone knew who she was because she was the Sheriff’s daughter in a fairly small town. She was the kind of girl that anyone would want for a friend. Then one seemingly insignificant incident turned almost everyone’s world upside down.

Wichita Falls was a town that was saturated with prejudice. The prejudice wasn’t about color or race as much as it was the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Those lines were drawn in every aspect of their small society and the lines didn’t cross. Hannah was on the side of the ‘have nots’ and she inadvertently crossed it. Not because she wanted what the others had or because she thought she was better than anyone else but because she reached out to help someone who needed it. That one act escalated into a chain of events that turned everyone’s world upside down.

I’m not going to give anything away, because it’s something that you are going to have to experience as a reader all on your own. Let’s just say that nothing is as it seems and Hannah came to the same realization during the course of this book.

The bad guys were beyond bad, the parents were mostly over the top clueless or cruel (there were a few exceptions, especially Hannah’s Dad who I loved) and the ‘Stilettos’ were a group of girls that I hope and pray no high school is ever subjected to. Yeah, they were that bad… *shivers* Lessons were learned… some very hard lessons… hearts were broken and fences were broken and mended, but all of it came with a price. Did Thomas Amo take this teenage coming of age story to too much of an extreme? Maybe, but sometimes the extreme is what it takes to get people’s attention.

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I received Forever Me as a free download from Amazon on February 6, 2013.

The Warlock King (The Kings #3) by Heather Killough-Walden

WarlockKingJason Alberich wears the crown of the sovereign of the warlocks, a dark breed that uses darker magic. He wears it well, skillfully wielding a power that would corrupt others. Yet he has paid the price for his control, bearing the scars of a time when his power had control over him. He is haunted by the regrets of a shady past and now lives each day and night with an isolated soul. 

Chloe Septeran is an Akyri like no other. A member of a race that must depend upon warlocks for sustenance in exchange for servitude, Chloe runs from the dark magic users, choosing instead to live free of their hold. She has existed empty and “hungry,” but stubbornly free of the warlock’s dark embrace. However, now the fates have chosen to bring her running to a halt, as the 13 Kings each discover their queens – and the Warlock King discovers his.

A mighty power is awakening, wreaking havoc on the supernatural world. The 13 Kings, their queens, the werewolf nation, and the witch covens with their high leader, Lalura Chantelle, must band together and stand strong in the face of a dawning nightmare that threatens the very fabric of all they hold dear… and from which none may escape.

Jason was first introduced to readers in Heather Killough-Walden’s Big Bad Wolf series. He wasn’t an endearing character in The Spell. As a matter of fact, he was the bad guy… and a very sinister one at that. He did everything in his very dark power to keep Dannai away from her mate, Lucas. Of course he didn’t succeed, but he obviously wasn’t destroyed either. In true Heather Killough-Walden fashion, his character was given a chance at redemption and by the end of The Hunt Jason had turned into a hero. I love it when that happens… *sigh* Of course there are some that still don’t and probably never will completely trust Jason. That just keeps things interesting though.

Chloe falls on the side of not trusting Jason. Understandable, since she doesn’t trust any warlock. Finding herself drawn to him as strongly as she wants to run from him makes it even harder. The pull that these two have toward each other can’t be fought, and Jason has no intention of letting Chloe get away. Chloe doesn’t make it easy. Like all the other queens, she is strong and won’t bow to Jason immediately, King or not. She discovers all on her own that Jason isn’t who he seems on the surface.

I’m really enjoying this series so far. It’s pulled me in just as fast as the Big Bad Wolf series did. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that some of my favorite characters from that series make frequent appearances. The world of the Kings and the Wolves are intertwined and whether they like it or not, they need each other. One of my favorite characters in both series is Lalura. She is spry and feisty and she has no problem at all putting both the Kings and the Wolves in their place. The fun part is that when she speaks, they pay attention and the respect goes both ways.

A lot happened in The Warlock King beyond just the romance between Jason and Chloe. Danger is lurking everywhere and not even the found queens are totally protected from it. A few more mysteries were solved in The Warlock King, but there are still more that need to be solved. Things aren’t necessarily as they seem and just when you think the danger has passed… Did I mention that Heather Killough-Walden is also notorious for the occasional cliff hanger? Yep, I never saw that one coming…. 🙂 This installment of The Kings definitely took everything up a notch.

TheBigBadWolfCompilationEven though The Kings is a stand alone series, you should really treat yourself to the Big Bad Wolf series as well. The Warlock King made me want to start the series over again… at least from The Spell (which happens to be my favorite, by the way.) They aren’t all available independently any longer, but you can still pick up The Heat, The Strip, The Spell and The Hunt in a 4-book compilation from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Let’s Talk! (Week #17 – 2/22/13)

We’re up to week 17 of Let’s Talk! It’s sparked some very interesting and lively conversations and given us all something to think about. That’s always a good thing. Here’s what Smash and Kt have to tell us about the weekly meme.

Originally hosted by Melissa from i swim for oceans, Smash & Kt took her original inspiration, and made it their own, expanding it to more than just books. Let’s get personal (but respectfully so) and learn more about one another!  Each week, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses. This meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. So, Let’s Talk!

And here’s Today’s Question:

If you could be part of one fictional family (book or screen), what family would you choose, and why? Would you choose to be a current family member, or a new one? (Thank you, Ashley/The Bibliophile’s Corner!)

Wow… this is a really hard one for me. Mainly because there are so many worlds that I wish I could be whisked away to when I read. Harry Potter seems to be a popular answer to this week’s question and I can totally see that. I’m thinking any magical place would do for me. As far as characters go, there are several families I’d love to be adopted into. I’m more of a sidelines kind of person so I think I’d rather be a new member of the crew. Which books or worlds come to mind? Let’s see…

  • In Harry Potter’s world, the answer is easy. I’d be a Weasley. They are the definition of ‘family’ in my opinion. They’re warm, loving, beyond fair and understanding, fun and just the right amount of quirky.
  • I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that a part of  me would love to spend some time as a member of the Brotherhood household. There’s just something about those males, their females and even the Doggen. Of course when I picture myself there I would probably be a Doggen, but they’re all one big happy family anyway so I could deal with that. Heck, I could probably picture myself as George or Boo and still be perfectly content there. *sigh*
  • Then there’s Gin and company in the Elemental Assassin books. Not that I would want to live in her world for long, it’s just too intense and dangerous, but if I had to spend time there I’d definitely want to be a member of her tight crew. Who wouldn’t want Finn for a big brother?

I’ll stop there, because I obviously could go on forever. Every time I think of another book another scenario pops into my head. Such is the life of a book addict.

So what about you? Have you ever fantasized about being a family member in one of your favorite books or series? Join this week’s discussion and Let’s Talk!

Entwined (Eternal Guardians #2) by Elisabeth Naughton

EntwinedZANDER—The most feared of all the Eternal Guardians. It’s rumored he can’t be killed, and he always fights like he has nothing to lose. But as a descendant of the famed hero Achilles, he’s got to have a vulnerability…somewhere. 

Forces of daemons are gathering and have broken through the barriers of the Underworld. Now more than ever the Eternal Guardians are needed to protect both their own realm and the human world. Zander can’t afford to think about what might have been with the bewitching physician he once regarded as his soul mate. But with eternity stretching before him, he also can’t fathom spending his life without the one woman who makes him feel most alive. Perhaps he’s found his weakness, after all.

Everything that I loved about Marked, the first book in Elisabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardians series, was still an integral part of Entwined. There was magic, mythology, romance, danger, loyalty and even betrayal. And then there was the curse. It seemed a cruel twist of fate in Marked when it seemed destined to tear Theron and Casey apart. The odds were stacked even higher against Callia and Zander.

It was obvious by the end of Marked that there was something between Callia and Zander. This couple had my heart in knots from the beginning of this book. Readers knew that something awful had happened, but were kept in the dark for a while before the actual circumstances were revealed . The events that brought them to the point of both loathing each other and drawn to each other were beyond heart breaking. Callia had both physical and emotional scars that she kept hidden from everyone. Zander was an immortal who felt he had nothing to live for. One seemingly noble decision was the catalyst for a chain of events that there was no escape from.

The pain that they had both endured brought this romance to a whole new level for me. It was so intense and emotionally overwhelming. The awful part was not only that they both had every right to feel the way that they did, but they had both been lied to and there were other lives that were as destroyed as theirs were because of those circumstances. Yeah, there were tears and they weren’t just shed for Zander and Callia.

The supporting characters had as much depth and held my interest just as strongly as the couple this book was centered around. Readers learned more about the other Guardians as well as the characters surrounding them. Isadora went back and forth as a character I was either impressed with or as one who I wanted to smack. Atalanta was beyond evil in Entwined. I can’t even begin to explain why, just trust me. Evil doesn’t even begin to cover it. There were also the characters that I can’t wait to get to know better. The stand outs for me were Orpheus and Titus. Orpheus because of the mystery that surrounds him and Titus because of how impressed I was with his interactions between Zander and Callia. There’s so much more to both of these characters than readers can even guess at yet.

EntwinedThe world building in the Eternal Guardians is as much a part of the story as the characters at times. The circumstances that these characters live in, the codes and laws that they are expected to abide by and the Gods that pull their strings all shape their actions and reactions. It’s a complicated web of hierarchy with the balance of power hanging by a loose thread.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat until the final page. Nothing was predictable and not everyone was safe and sound at the end. I seriously can’t wait to pick up Tempted. I can’t even reveal in good conscious who the couple is in the next book. I never saw that one coming. This is one series that I’m going to have no trouble plowing through.

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By creativedeeds

Love, Hypothetically (Theta Alpha Gamma #2) by Anne Tenino

Case7.0x10TemplateKey.inddPaul’s been called many things-graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke-but “forgiving” isn’t one of them. When the new women’s softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul’s forced to put aside his strict “no athletes” policy for the sake of his paycheck. Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one-the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance. There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on. This title is part of the Theta Alpha Gamma universe.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh these Theta Alpha Gamma boys. I loved Sebastian and Brad’s story in Frat Boy and Toppy. Their book was funny and both boys were charming on their own. As a couple, they were adorable. Readers were also introduced to Paul in the first book. When I found out that Love, Hypothetically was Paul’s story I was wondering exactly how Anne Tenino was going to pull it off. If you haven’t read Frat Boy and Toppy, let me explain. Paul was one of those characters that you despised from the first time he opened his mouth. He was mean to the point of being down right cruel and he made no apologies for any of his actions. I had no idea how this character could be turned around enough for me to sympathize with him at all. I love it when an author can totally change my attitude – and amazingly, it happened within the first few pages of Love, Hypothetically.

I should have known that there was a reason behind Paul’s attitude. In his own strange way, he was trying to protect Sebastian from heart break by being so mean to Brad in Frat Boy and Toppy. He knew first hand about jocks, how cruel they could be and how impossible it was to trust them, especially with a fragile thing like a heart. It was still no excuse for how he acted, but his experience explained so much and made me really like him. I never saw that one coming. Even though Trevor was supposed to be the bad guy in this one, I liked him from the start. He had a lot to make up for, but he had his reasons for his actions too.

This was more of a novella than a book – it was almost half as long as Frat Boy and Toppy, but it packed a lot within those 100 or so pages. I think what is really making me enjoy this series is the supporting characters. Some of my favorite scenes in this book were Paul’s interactions with his friends. His ‘Hypothetical’ conversation with Toby was hilarious. It made me really want to get to know Toby better. Paul’s phone conversation with Josie and his breakfast with her and Callie (the Parasite) were priceless and so adorable. I also really loved the talk he had with Brad and Sebastian (these two were still adorable together by the way.) Watching him work through his feelings and explain things out loud to his friends were a huge part in turning him into a character that I could really like.

The Theta Alpha Gamma series is one that I am so glad I picked up. I haven’t read any of Anne Tenino’s other books, but this series has definitely made me want to see what else she has to offer.

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Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed #1) by Lara Adrian

KissOfMidnightINSATIABLE DESIRE. ENDLESS SEDUCTION. ONE TOUCH IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night–or this man–is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed–a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.
Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind–and the unwitting humans existing alongside them–from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.
Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all.

I’m really, really late picking up this series. What’s worse is that I’ve had it on my TBR list forever, but I just hadn’t picked it up. Last month I found the Kindle version on Amazon for only 99¢. How could I possibly say no to that? Now I could kick myself for waiting so long. Kiss of Midnight was a great series opener.

As tortured souls go, Lucan was the perfect example. He was a loner and he planned on staying that way. He needed no one and kept his secret torment hidden from all his warriors and their mates. He had one goal and that was to protect by destroying his enemy. Nothing else mattered. Until he met Gabrielle.

Gabrielle fell into the world of the Breed the night of the murder, but her connection with them started way before that. She couldn’t explain her attraction to Lucan but she couldn’t fight it. Even when she knew she should.

These characters drew me in from the beginning. As strong as Lucan was, he knew he wasn’t worthy of Gabrielle and as scared as she was of the world she was thrown into she couldn’t deny her attraction to him. The inner turmoil that these two put themselves through was heartbreaking but the outcome was worth the tears.

Along with the romance there was also a bit of mystery and a lot of danger and suspense. I love a book that never lets you be 100% sure exactly who you should trust and Kiss of Midnight definitely delivered in that department. There were a lot of ‘huh?’ moments, for me at least. The mythology surrounding Lara Adrian’s vampires is also unique. I loved her take on the ‘whys’ and ‘hows.’

The other characters stood out in Kiss of Midnight as well. I can’t wait to get to know the rest of them better as I plow through this series. Kiss of Crimson is next and it features Dante. Stay tuned because now that I’ve added the Midnight Breed to my Seriously Series reading list there is no turning back.

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By creativedeeds

Clockwork Prince Read-A-Long

CPReadALongI can’t believe that it’s almost time for Clockwork Princess to be released. It’s still a month away though, so to help pass the time and to get us even more excited than we already are, Mundie Moms is once again hosting a Read-A-Long. It runs from February 20 – March 15. What better way to pass the wait time than to read and discuss Clockwork Prince a chapter a day? If you haven’t already signed up, just follow the link to Mundie Moms site. 😉

CPRead-A-LongButton1Just in case you want to join in on the fun, you can grab the button on the right. Just follow the link after you copy it and link it back to Mundie Moms when you put it on your site. Enjoy!

By creativedeeds

Cover Reveal for Fairy Vision (Songs of Magic #5) by J.L. Bryan

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I love sharing pretty new covers, especially when they are this mysterious and gorgeous and, most importantly, are for books that I’ve been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for. 😉 J.L. Bryan’s Songs of Magic series definitely falls into that category. Isn’t it pretty? And just in case you’re wondering what’s in store for Jason and the rest of the Zebras, here’s the book description:

Jason, Erin, and the other Zebras go on a world tour with their enchanted instruments, only to encounter the mysterious supernatural Folk of India and the Far East. While they tangle with their record company, Erin tries to avoid dealing with the secrets she’s learned about herself, while Jason pieces together a mystery surrounding a very special golden guitar called Caliburn.

In Faerie, Aoide the Lutist and her troupe finally return home from their long adventure. They’re struggling to get new gigs, but Aoide senses opportunity in the form of special new magic mirrors that can broadcast concerts, plays, and other entertainment all over Faerie.

The stakes get higher, more mysteries are revealed, the characters get wittier and the adventure gets more intense with each installment. I can’t wait to dig into this one. Stay tuned for my review and be sure to hop around all the other blogs that are showing off the Fairy Vision cover today.

If you haven’t checked out the Songs of Magic series, click on one of the links below to find out more and pick up the first book in the series, Fairy Metal Thunder, FREE! You can also check out J.L Bryan’s Paranormal series. The first book, Jenny Pox, is also FREE and I guarantee after you read it you’ll want to pick up the rest.

J. L. Bryan is the author of the Paranormals series (Jenny PoxTommy NightmareAlexander Death, and Jenny Plague-Bringer) and the Songs of Magic series (Fairy Metal ThunderFairy BluesFairystruckFairyland, and the new book, Fairyvision). Fairy Metal Thunder is free on KindleNookAppleSmashwordsSony, and KoboJenny Pox is also free on KindleNookSmashwordsAppleSony, and Kobo. He’s on Twitter and Facebook, and has a website and blog and all that.

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By creativedeeds

Michelle Muto’s The Haunting Season Gets Brand New Swag!

HauntingSeasonBMFrontFinalWhat better way to celebrate a new book than to show it off with something bright and shiny? I love spreading the book love, and it’s even better when I get to help create a way to spread it even more.

The Haunting Season is a New Adult horror story that will have you turning on all the lights and covering all your mirrors. It’s such a great book! If you haven’t checked out any of Michelle Muto’s books, treat yourself to one today. You can thank me later 😉

Book of Lost Souls My ReviewAmazon

Don’t Fear the Reaper (There’s a Book Tour and Giveaway Going on right now – check out Michelle’s Facebook page to learn more) My ReviewAmazon

The Haunting Season  My ReviewAmazon

Michelle Muto’s Blog

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By creativedeeds

Rapture (Fallen Angels #4) by J.R. Ward

RaptureMels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they’re over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too …As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover’s memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you’re trapped in a no-holds-barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mels’s heart at risk, what in heaven – or in hell – will it take to save them both?

After reporter Mels Carmichael hits a disheveled man with her car outside the local cemetery, she pays a visit to the stranger in the hospital. The only thing he remembers of his past is seeing a name written on a headstone: that of Jim Heron—a fallen angel charged with rescuing souls from the seven deadly sins. Now, as Mels struggles to help this mysterious stranger rediscover himself, Heron himself returns to prepare for a battle between good and evil.

Talk about an emotionally packed read. Wow! Each time I read one of The Fallen Angels books I think that J.R. Ward couldn’t possibly make me love these guys more, but I should have known better.

Envy was an emotional nightmare and throughout Rapture our beloved angels are still dealing with the fallout from those events. Seeing how broken Adrian is throughout Rapture is painful, but I never expected to become emotionally attached to the characters that this story centers around. As you can tell, this is a hard review to write because I don’t want to give anything away, especially if you haven’t read Envy yet. Just take my word for the fact that I knew that J.R. Ward would have her work cut out for her before I started reading Rapture. I love it when authors take a character that they have made you despise and turn them into someone you want to protect.

More than once these characters had me on the verge of tears. The emotion was raw and the attraction between the two main characters was strong, yet the relationship was impossible and doomed from the start. It pretty much had me on the edge of my seat from the first chapter. And then Adrian…. well, you’ll just have to read it to find out. To be fair, Jim had me shaking my head a few times too.

Jim was as strong and determined as ever, yet he faultered more than once. Nialls was as vaguely annoying as usual and Devina was her spiteful, evil, mentally unstable, messed up self. There were also some nods to the BDB series, which I always look forward to. There was a lot packed into this book and there were a lot of turning points and altering decisions made. Some of them were more drastic than others, but they will all have a huge influence on what happens next. I’m almost afraid to find out, but I know I won’t be able to stay away. I love these guys too much to abandon them now. I just hope J.R. Ward takes it a little easier on them in the next installment. (Yeah, I know, it’s never gonna happen – she loves to torture us too much *sigh*)

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