Book Review: The First Bite is the Deepest by Elisa Catrina

thefirstbiteisthedeepest-2015-10-04Title: The First Bite is the Deepest by Elisa Catrina
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 462 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: October 31, 2015
Rating – 4/5 stars

Stella Ortiz has a loving family, great friends, and a promising future. The only thing she doesn’t have is a boyfriend. But when she starts dating mysterious transfer student Sebastian Weber, her friends become determined to break up the fledgling pair. It’s just not a good idea to go out with a guy who misses tons of school and day-drinks something that smells like pennies, right?

What starts as a simple intervention turns deadly when Sebastian initiates the process that will change Stella into a vampire. Suddenly, the clock is ticking—and to make matters worse, Sebastian’s vampiric family comes to town, bringing their own drama and complications. Stella and her friends have to find a cure for vampirism, stay one step ahead of Sebastian’s sinister maker, and somehow survive high school. And there’s one more wrench in the situation: As the friends quickly discover, most legends agree that there’s one cure for a vampire-to-be … killing the vampire who turned them.

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Happy Halloween everyone!!! As a special Halloween treat I am excited to share my review of The First Bite is the Deepest by Elisa Catrina which released today! Thank you to the author for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

This book is about Stella who like any normal teenage girl loves hanging out with her best friends, busies herself with extracurricular activities, and reads trashy vampire romance novels. One night as she waits for her parents to pick her up after practice, she ends up meeting a dark and mysterious stranger who is also the new student who just transferred to her into her senior class. He also ends up being a little more than she bargained for.

When the author contacted me about the possibility of reading this book for review, I pretty much jumped at the chance to review this book. It has literally been ages since I have read a YA paranormal novel about vampires. This book basically catapulted me into wanting to devour more vampire books since it has been so long! I really enjoyed my reading of this book and am really happy that I got to read it around Halloween. It was a perfectly creepy read for the season.

While I found the romance lacking at the beginning of the story, the more I read into it the more I realized that I appreciated not being given a really big romance at the beginning as this story centers more around the actual breakup of the couple and the events that follow it. I think I would have enjoyed just a tad bit more on the romance angle at the beginning though but one thing I REALLY enjoyed about this story were Stella and her friends. They were so funny and were some of the most believable, real friendships I have encountered in a YA book to date. I thought this book was fun and funny and even though the page count was a bit on the higher side it never actually felt like it because I enjoyed reading it and didn’t want to put it down so it actually went pretty fast for me. I read it in a day. I ended up giving this book a four out of five star rating since I enjoyed it so much. It also had a bit of cheesy moments that I have come to expect and love from YA vampire novels which for me just added to it’s charms. I enjoyed the story quite a bit especially where it starts to pick up towards the middle where the friends start to research their vampire lore and the conflict with the family begins. So fun! I also REALLY loved the fact that the main character is obsessed with trashy vampire hunter romance novels, that was so much win in this story.

I would definitely recommend this to fans of YA vampire novels. You can purchase your very own copy of this book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/First-Bite-Deepest-Elisa-Catrina-ebook/dp/B015VKN61I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446332149&sr=8-1&keywords=first+bite+is+the+deepest

Blog Tour Book Review & Giveaway: Smorgasbord by Jagjiwan Sohal

Smorgasbord PicTitle: Smorgasbord written by Jagjiwan Sohal
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Comedy Horror
Publisher: Mythos Press (Imprint of GMTA Publishing)
Page count: 179
Format: Ebook (read on Kindle app for Microsoft Surface)
Released: March 2014
Rating – 5/5

When Anna Lopez’s zombie attack video goes viral, no one could believe that the high school cheerleader had taken a bite out of the undead monster – and liked it! Now nothing will ever be the same for supernatural beings…because humans have discovered they taste freakin’ DELICIOUS!

 

And when a zombie boy gets in the crosshairs of a gang of hungry-human hunters, Julie, a young vampire loner, jumps in for the rescue. But now Julie’s got more than she bargained because taking care of a rambunctious undead creature who only knows one word (“brains”) is NOT easy. And when Julie and her zombie pal stumble upon on a crazed soccer mom, they find themselves on the run from a trigger-happy family who want nothing more than to grill them up for a neighborhood barbecue bash!

I knew I had to read this book when I caught a glimpse of the cover. It just looks like it would be a fun book to read (who doesn’t love a good zombie story?) and I’ve been trying to hunt down books that my ten year old niece may enjoy as well.

Smorgasbord is a totally unique spin on what could happen if the Zombie Apocalypse were to occur that features a zombie apocalypse gone wrong. Instead of the traditional uber scary, uber panic driven zombie attack on mankind, this story presents us with a zombie apocalypse in which, through an accidental bite, humans discover that zombies (along with other paranormal creatures) are fingerlickin’ good. It is the zombie apocalypse gone awry where humans are now doing the hunting while zombies and other paranormal creatures are doing the running.

The story is original and fresh in a market that seems at times a bit oversaturated with zombie novels, but Smorgasbord is not your “run of the mill” zombie story, it is a fresh of breath air. I couldn’t put this book down it was so fun to read. Lately I’ve been reading some pretty serious books so it was great to take a break from that and just go on a fun ride that suprisingly had me rooting for the paranormal creatures instead of the humans.

It had sort of a Shaun of the Dead type of humor vibe for me, except our protagonists are from the other team, which was great and it’s a story that is suitable for older kids and teens as well. I enjoyed it as an adult and it actually made me seriously think about how mankind might react to zombies and paranormal creatures if we somehow gained the upper hand…would we find a way to exploit them?

I hope to read more from this author in the future as I really enjoyed his style of writing, the dialogue he created, and the characters he created.

If you like zombie themed books or are looking for a  light, fun read where you might find yourself siding with the zombies and not the humans…Smorgasbord may be just the book for you! I have twenty copies to give away for free so leave a comment and let me know you are interested!

I’d like to thank GMTA Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review this book!!

Also check out this rad playlist for the book! I love it!

photo 1About the Author

Born and raised near Toronto, Canada, Jagjiwan Sohal works in the Canadian film and TV industry as an up-and-coming screenwriter and producer. His short stories have been published by The Horror Zine, Scribal Tales and Hello Horror. Smorgasbord is his first novel.

 

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Book Review: Nameless by Mercedes M. Yardley

namelessTitle: Nameless: The Darkness Comes (The Bone Angel Trilogy) written by Mercedes M. Yardley
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ragnarok Publications
Page count: 227
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface using Nook App) Rating – 4/5

 

Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.

Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’

After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end. (Goodreads)

I received Nameless from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Nameless was definitely a different spin on a young adult fantasy than I have ever read so it was a great change of pace for me. It was very dark, a little gritty and sometimes downright spooky. Like most books there were small things about the main character and the story I could pick out that I didn’t like (like Luna falling in love with Reed so fast although I guess when you know you just really do know maybe?). For some reason that really bothered me. Otherwise I thought this book was great…it was a really interesting and fast paced read. I especially enjoyed the action scenes where Luna has to battle some of the demons she sees, let’s just say I really wouldn’t want to be her.

I really love Luna as a character. I feel like she’s a pretty strong female character (except for when it comes to Reed) and I love that she seems like more of a tragic hero. She’s definitely very flawed but has this amazing compassion and loyalty to her family, seems to draw strength from inside herself and just doesn’t give up no matter how hard the going gets…and for her it seems to be plenty hard. She also has this pretty awesome ability to see and interact with demons…which is kind of freaky but equally cool. It’s always interesting to think that there may be some sort of different plane of existence where beings of some kind are walking amongst us and other similar theories. I think this book did such a great job of making a world like that seem possible.

I would love to read more from this series and I am hoping that we get to learn more about Luna and her family background…maybe see if there is any particular reason that this ability seems to be genetic. I loved the ending to this book, although I was hoping that the book had a different ending for Reed…it really makes me think that there could be some sort of tragic romance brewing between Mouth and Luna. I’m very interested in continuing to read this trilogy…if you are a fan of paranormal fantasy I would definitely recommend this book!!

Lastly, how cool is the book cover? It’s definitely fitting and what I would imagine Luna looking like!

Blog Tour Book Review & Giveaway: Tempus by Holly Lauren

TempusTitle: Tempus written by Holly Lauren
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
Published by Libertine Press
Page count: 358
Format: Ebook (read on MS Surface Pro using Freda)
Rating: 5/5

Chapel Ryan isn’t crazy. At least, that’s what she’s been trying to convince herself of for most of her life. But after being hallucination-free for three years, Chapel finds herself facedown on her English classroom’s gritty linoleum floor. When she looks up, everyone around her is suspended in animation. Mouths hang open mid-yawn, feet hover mid-cross, Ms. Freeman’s arm flexes mid-sentence diagram. It’s another hallucination. Or, is it?

Chapel prepares to tear herself back to reality when something happens. Something that has never happened before in any of her hallucinations–someone moves. And not just any someone—it’s the new guy with a scar over his lip and a reputation as black as his perfectly styled hair. And all of the sudden Chapel’s white-knuckle grip on her life has slipped, and with it, her assurance that what she’s experiencing isn’t real. (Goodreads)

Hello everyone and I’m happy to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Tempus! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

Tempus is certainly one of those books that I just HAD to read after having read and being pulled in by the synopsis. It also has a great book cover which I feel is beautiful but actually doesn’t do the story enough justice.

After that statement, it’s needless to say that I loved Tempus. Although I read the description I felt blindsided by how great the plot was. I loved all the characters in this book and the story itself had this sort of X-men type feel to it which a few characters in the book make light of as well so that was fun. I don’t want to reveal too much about the story and the characters because I think you should check it out and I don’t want to spoil anything. I will say though that there are some pretty cool powers in this book and I love that there are different groups of these humans with extraordinary abilities that have these rivalries amongst themselves. This fact and the ending sort of makes me feel like we might be seeing a lot more action in subsequent titles in this series (at least I hope so because I really liked the action pieces in this book). The first half of the book, although still dealing with Chapel’s ability, centers and lays the foundation for Zay and Chapel’s relationship and feelings towards each other. If it weren’t exciting I would have gotten tired of them but I didn’t mind at all in this book, it really just made the rest of the book better for me.

I felt like this book had everything that I look for in a young adult novel…romantic conflict, a relateable main character, strong/and some not so strong friendships, excitement, action, parent drama, a swoon worthy romance, super human powers…need I go on?

It wasn’t hard at all to get into this book, I was into it from the very first page and it kept my attention and interest throughout. Although there were various spelling and grammar errors I didn’t even care because the story was just that good. There was a lot that happened in the story that I just didn’t see coming and was completely surprised by where the story ended up, the ending just floored me. My husband always knows when I have read a good book because I always close it and say “well that was good or I talk to the book (for example, oh my god seriously, that’s how you’re ending! Wow) It was awesome. I am definitely going to be recommending this to my friends and family that love a good YA novel.

When I immediately finished this book, I went in search of the author’s blog to see if this is going to be a series because well with that ending I was sure of it and YESSSSSSSS it is most definitely a series and I could not be happier. I can’t wait to spend more time with these characters, see more of the romance between Zay and Chapel, learn more about her father and get a closer look at  not only Chapel’s power but other character’s powers as well. Also she has written chapter one in an alternate perspective which you can find on her blog, and you better believe I set to reading that right away and ugh my heart…that’s all I can say. Please do yourself a favor and read this book…it was so good! 5 out of 5 hands down. This is a debut novel so we can be expecting some really great things from Holly Lauren and I am looking forward to it!

HC-HeadshotHolly was born and raised in a small town in North Georgia. The third of four children, Holly grew up telling stories to get herself out of—and her siblings into—trouble. When she was eight years old, she penned her first publication: a newspaper called Sunny Dayz News. While she didn’t sell any actual copies, her sympathetic grandmother did peruse through the edition at least once.

When Holly isn’t dreaming up new plotlines for her next book, she enjoys breakfasting at Picnic Café in Dahlonega, Georgia with her (handsome) husband and their two (adorable) daughters. To connect with this author visit her twitter, facebook or her blog!

Lastly, because GMTA Publishing and Holly Lauren are awesome, they are letting me give away 20 copies of Tempus. Exciting stuff right? Just enter in the Rafflecopter contest below (simply click the link to be taken to the giveaway, my wordpress doesn’t support Java sorry!). Good luck and happy reading!

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Cover Reveal: The Dark King by C.J. Abedi

Hello everyone!! Today I am excited to be participating in the cover reveal for The Dark King written by C.J. Abedi and published by Diversion Books!  Thank you to both C.J. Abedi and Diversion for allowing me to be part of this reveal and the wonder that is the Fae series. The Dark King is the second book in a trilogy – you may or may not remember my review of the first book Fae but you can find it here: My Review of Fae by C.J. Abedi. I loved the book and am excited that the second book will be released on May 6, 2014 on ebook and paperback ( so be excited people!!). Also, I’d like to congratulate the authors because it was just announced that Ridley Scott has purchased the film rights to this trilogy!!! SUPER exciting news!! You can read more about that here: Fae movie. Without further ado, I present to you the beautiful cover and synopsis of The Dark King!

The Dark King (Medium)Darkness descends over Roanoke Island in the sequel to the young adult bestseller, FAE.

Devilyn Reilly has crossed over to the sinister world of The Dark Fae, reigning over the realm as its King.  He is to fulfill a prophecy–to unite the Light and Dark Fae once and for all, but those who love him now fear that he will never be the same again, that he can no longer be trusted, that every trace of the Light he once had is gone forever.

Caroline Ellis, the final heir of the Light Fae, must learn to survive without the protection of her one true love.  She must come to embrace her own strength to evade those in the Dark court who seek her destruction—for the power is within Caroline to use Light to change Fate itself…

Caroline and Devilyn’s chemistry is undeniable. Their destiny together inevitable if only they have the will to overcome The Darkness and The Fates.

THE DARK KING, the second installment of the stunning Fae trilogy propels readers into the mystical and magical world of the Light and Dark Fae, where star-crossed love ignites a battle between two powerful kingdoms, one that can consume everything that stands in its path.

AHHH! So if you haven’t read Fae, you should definitely consider picking it up before the second one comes out. If you have read it and remember where the book ended I’m sure you are as excited as I am to pick up where we left off!! Happy reading everyone!!

 

 

Blog Tour Book Review: Keeper of the Lost Souls by Kristy Centeno

Welcome to my stop on the Keeper of the Lost Souls blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Keeper of the Lost Souls

Keeper of the Lost Souls written by Kristy Centeno

Summary from Goodreads:

Bryn McCaskey is young, naïve, and can talk to ghosts. Like her mother and grandmother, Bryn is part of a breed of witches called The Keepers of the Lost Souls, whose main purpose is to guard those spirits which are permanently or temporarily grounded in the world of the living.

Because Bryn is a witch, she’s fairly comfortable dealing with all sorts of threats, which she does with ease and confidence. Handling supernatural creatures is as easy to her as baking a pie. Dealing with people however, is something she is yet to learn how to handle. Unfortunately, as her 18th birthday approaches, and the time for her to take on her first assignment finally arrives, Bryn is forced to confront her inability to communicate with others in an effort to save the one soul that can mean the difference between life and death for mankind.

Johnny Shaw is a lost soul with a personal vendetta against witches. A vendetta he has carried on even after death. However, as much as he might hate them, in order to stop a century old threat, he must join forces with one. When fate brings them together, not only will they be forced to learn how to work as a team, but they will have to depend on each other to stop an evil witch carrying a six hundred year grudge.

My Review:

Rating: 4/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #35

First of all I just wanted to say thank you to Kristy Centeno and YA Bound Book Tours for allowing me the opportunity to take part in the Keeper of the Lost Souls Blog Tour!

I really liked Keeper of the Lost Souls! I was really intrigued by it because of the book description and the absolutely gorgeous cover. Also, the title of the book just sort of pulls you in as well, it’s super interesting.

Keeper of the Lost Souls is a YA Paranormal fiction story that deals with witches, elementals and demons…all things that usually make for an irresistible read.

I love when narratives are delivered to readers through more than one perspective and this story is told from two perspectives:  keeper witch Bryn and her charge Johnny Shaw (one of the lost souls she is in charge of “keeping”)

I really liked the main character Bryn. I really would have liked to know more in depth detail about her powers but I thought what we do find out about her powers is interesting. I think what I really like about her is that although she has these amazing powers and has this amazing strength she is a really human character. She is a normal teenage girl except it so happens that she is special…she has these deep insecurities that many teenage girls have and she hasn’t let the fact that she has these powers and can basically do anything to anyone, go to her head. She doesn’t use those powers for bad or to manipulate people. She takes her powers seriously, which I think is something that a lot of stories about teenage girls who have powers similar to these lack.

I also like the distinction that is made between witches and the keeper witches. I thought this story was really creative in that aspect and puts a different spin on ghosts and witches that we have not previously seen which is always a plus!

There is a romance in this book that I found really sweet, especially since it’s really a first time romance experience for Bryn, it calls to mind your first crush, your first kiss, etc. I think the author did a really good job working this romance into the story and at first we don’t really see this coming. For some reason I originally thought of Johnny as much much older than Bryn but I think that’s because of her calling him Mr. Shaw at first. I’m glad he turned out to be her age though! I liked seeing their relationship unfold and how they were able to overcome their familial histories.

I would recommend giving this book a read if you are a fan of YA Paranormal stories especially those involving witches and demons! I’ve always had a fascination with witches so this book was a real treat for me to read. Read it!

Available from:

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About the Author

kristy centeno

As a child, I used to lose myself in an imaginary world by the means of a good book. Now that I’m all grown up, I get to create my own fictional realms and make them come to life in ways that most readers might not expect. I’ve always had a passion for writing but never had the opportunity do so until now. After trying out numerous options I realized that writing was what I loved the most so when I found myself with some free time on my hands, I decided to give it a shot. As it turned out, my very active imagination helped me achieve my goals of creating believable plots with some ordinary, and some not so ordinary characters that helped the stories move along in one way or another. As I keep moving along in achieving my dreams of becoming a published author, I divide my time in between my four children and my very understanding husband.

Author Links:

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***GIVEAWAY***
3 e-books of Keeper of the Lost Souls, Open Internationally!
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Blog Tour Book Review: Awaken by Jamie Guerard!

 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Three things run through my mind at this very moment…
ONE, my life as I once knew it will never be the same.
TWO, the person I’m in love with might not even exist.
THREE, the deception that has unfolded before me has the power of life and death.
Sixteen year old, Breanna Davis, has heard the saying; life isn’t always what it seems…well, that saying rings true now more than ever. As horrifying visions appear before her, revealing tragedies that will forever change the fate of those she loves, she realizes that she may be the only person who can stop them from becoming reality. 
Amongst the chaos of this new discovery, Bre is faced with a stranger, Eve, who moves in on Bre’s friends and begins to follow her every move. As Eve’s true motives begin to surface, Bre must fight against, not only the visions, but the dangers Eve holds close. 
There is another secret kept- Collin, a boy held captive in Bre’s dreams, the boy she is secretly falling in love with but isn’t sure he even exists. As she tries to make it work with Austin, an old friend who could possibly be more, Bre battles against her feelings for Collin. 
Bre is faced with an almost impossible decision, to choose her life or follow her destiny. If she doesn’t intercede, people will certainly die. If she does, her own life could be at stake. In the end, if she fails, she’ll lose everything.
 
Released: March 2013
Purchase: Amazon
About the Author

Jaime grew up in a small town in Northern California. Having a passion for dance and music, she never would have thought herself to become an author.
 
In late 2008, Jaime found the pieces of her novel beginning to take form and a story was born. Soon she had a full novel in her hands and a writer was developed. Awaken is Jaime’s first published novel. With many features still in the works, this debut novel is just a taste of the action-packed romantic thrillers to come from this aspiring new author.
Jaime now lives in Nevada with her husband and three boys. Loving life, and living a dream.
 
 

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Hello all! Welcome to my stop on the Awaken by Jamie Guerard Blog Tour! I am really  happy to have been able to take part in this blog tour and would like to thank both Jamie Guerard and Shane Morgan for allowing me to be part of it!

I loved Awaken! I was really excited to read it because the synopsis just sounded so different from anything I’ve read lately (plus I love me some good YA books!).

One of the things that first captured me about the story was the main character Bre (super cute name by the way). I really liked her as a character right from the start. She is one of those great characters that you instantly like and is very relatable and real. I think this is really great because it made me feel like I was experiencing this story as Breanna and not just reading it from the outside looking in which is something that not every author can do so it’s great when I find a book that is like that.

The story itself was awesome. There is so much going on and so many different aspects to the story that it never fails to be interesting. I was on the edge of my seat for most of this book and once I got reading it was really hard to put this book down because I just had to know what happened next. Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book that makes it really stand out in a crowd is that it is NEVER predictable which is awesome!

I love also the romantic elements in the story and how well they are worked into the main plot. As a reader, I just felt so torn along with Bre. Sometimes when there is a love triangle I am just so sure of who I want the character to pick and I think Bre has some really great choices so I hurt alongside her which is really surprising in a good way! One thing I liked looking into during my read of this book were the relationships. I think the relationship dynamics between characters are so interesting in this book! Not only the love triangle aspect of it (which is super interesting and had me just swooning, heartbroken and happy at different moments of the story) but also to the mother/daughter, father/daughter, best friends and frenemy relationships too it was all so interesting.

The story just flows really nicely and the timing of it is perfect. It’s not a light read, I consider a light read to be under 200ish pages and Awaken sits at over 300 which is great for this book. It’s definitely a good thing because it’s so interesting and once again, the pacing is perfect. Sometimes when I am reading a long book that I’m not super invested in I catch myself looking forward to the ending (which is not too often but it does happen) and I NEVER once caught myself doing this during Awaken.

I have some unanswered questions about the story but I’m sure it was designed this way because yes everyone this is the first book in a series, yay! This is one of the books where I don’t mind at all about having unresolved questions because the story is so good and we are promised more story especially with that awesome ending! The ending is a total cliffhanger which if you’re already at the edge of your seat you will absolutely fall over! It was brilliant and the ending was crazy!!!

Lastly, I did want to mention the cover because I love the cover to Awaken. I think this cover is just so perfect for the book. I especially love that it shows the roman numerals around her pupil illustrating the race against time which is so exciting and heart pumping in the book. The color scheme is really beautiful as well with the contrast of colors, the brightness of the yellow against the muted colors is shocking and breathtaking. Definitely an attention catcher!

I, like I’m sure most of you will also, will definitely be waiting to read the second book because I absolutely need to know what happens next! I gave Awaken a 5 out of 5 rating because that’s how much I enjoyed the story and how much it kept me interested in the story from the very first page to the very last sentence. This is definitely a great read and I recommend picking it up especially for fans of YA Paranormal!

Favorite Quote from Awaken: “He was like an addiction to sweets; no matter how bad they were for me or how hard I tried to stop eating them, the craving returned, that much stronger, overriding all sense of reasoning and will.” H-O-T, hot!