Thursday, 26 April 2018

Birthday Girl Blog Tour

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Title: Birthday Girl
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: April 17, 2018




Synopsis:


JORDAN
He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.
He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.
He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.
I have to stop this. It can’t happen.
My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.
Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
I am.


PIKE
I took her in, because I thought I was helping.
She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.
As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.
The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.
But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.
And her boyfriend’s father.
Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.



*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+







My Review:


I gave this book 4 stars. This was so different from what we usually see from Penelope Douglas. This book was a lot softer and generally more romance based than her usual books. This book was soft where her other books were hard. I loved how Pen displayed her ability to change things up.

This book follows Jordan, a 19-year-old trying to figure out what to do with her life along with trying to figure out how to make it work with her boyfriend. Jordan is sassy and a little unsure of herself at first, but she really grows with the book and I personally think she grew into herself.

The love interest in this book oddly enough isn't actually Jordan's boyfriend, Cole. It's actually Cole's father Pike who Jordan wants to be with. Pike can be a bit old-fashioned at times, but whenever he does something that isn't quite right he does try his best to make things right. Usually, whenever a book is about a girl with a much older man I find that the story is pretty much all sex and nothing but sex, but this book had a perfect blend of everything. There was a great build up, lots of chemistry, and perfect timing.

Cole, Jordan's boyfriend, is really troubled throughout the book and does a lot of shit that just is not okay, but I couldn't find it in myself to truly hate him. He was a troubled kid who had a shitty mother who pretty just used him for money. He was honestly a puppy dog and so whenever he did something awful I couldn't be mad at him.

Although this isn't my favorite Penelope Douglas book, I can still say this was a really good book. I would suggest reading this if you like her novels, it really shows a whole new set of skills. Also, if you want a little glimpse of Penelope Douglas's book, Motel, that's coming soon, one of the characters (or possibly several) do make an appearance.





Excerpt:


Jordan is working at a bar, and Pike comes in to meet friends.

PIKE

“What the hell is she wearing?” I grumble, sliding into the booth.
Dutch turns his head toward me, his drink inches from his lips. “It’s the lingerie show,” he tells me. “They have it every Thursday night. The bartenders and servers don nighties or corsets and serve drinks and food. It’s fun.”
No, not really.
But I look around and see a few other ladies carrying out appetizers and bringing drinks, some of them in very thin attire. At least Jordan’s corset looks as thin as armor.
“But Jordan’s never done it before,” he goes on. “That’s what shocked me. Thought you should know.”
“Why the fuck would I want to know?” I pull a beer out of the ice bucket on the table.
“Yeah, sorry.” He turns away, mumbling into his glass, “You seem like you couldn’t care less.”
I shoot him a sideways look, hearing the laughter in his words.
Sticking the beer back in the bucket, untouched, I rise and head to the bar. I hear a snort behind me, but I don’t care. She’s kind of my responsibility, and I don’t want her doing things like this, because she thinks she needs money.
There’s only one bartender besides Jordan. The owner, Shel. I’m sure she hasn’t forgotten me, so I veer to the opposite end and catch Jordan’s attention as she pops the tops from a line of six bottles of beer.
“What the hell are you wearing?” I lean in, speaking as quietly as I can.
She jerks her head toward me, meets my eyes, and quickly turns away again like I’m the last person she wants to deal with right now.
She hands over the beers, collects the cash and spins around, punching the screen in front of her. “It’s fine,” she assures me. “It’s just a corset, Pike.”
“They are all looking at you.”
She nods, smiling sarcastically. “That’s the point.”
“Jordan,” I sigh, trying to whisper as I squeeze around some old dude at the bar. “This is a small town. What if your father were to walk in?”
“He doesn’t come in here,” she says, closing the register drawer and finally looking at me. “And neither do you, normally.” A blush crosses her cheeks. “Besides, I’m not stupid. I wouldn’t take part in something I thought would humiliate me.”
She turns and hands the change back to the customer, but he waves her off, letting her keep it. She smiles and turns back around, dropping the bills into an already overflowing canister.
“What are you even doing here?” she says, starting to mix another drink. “I thought you were sitting the bachelor party out, because…” She sets the bottle down and does air quotes as she imitates my growling voice, “‘there needed to be at least one sober person at work tomorrow’.”
I arch a brow at her. I don’t sound like that.
Reaching into my pocket, I pull out the flyer and push it over the bar at her.
She stills, and her face goes ashen. “Where did you find that?”
She grabs it and dumps it somewhere under her. To a trash can probably.
Taking a napkin, she sets it in front of a customer and gives him the fresh drink she just made.
“If you need money,” I tell her, “I’ll lend you whatever you need, okay?”
And she stops, slowly turning her eyes on me. Her gaze sharpens, angry, and she looks like she wants to yell at me, but she doesn’t. Instead, she whips around and barrels down the bar and through the partition, turning only enough to crook a finger at me before she twirls back around and heads down the hallway.
My stomach sinks. I really don’t mean to piss her off as much as I do. What did I say now?
Veering through the crowd, I make my way down the empty hallway, finally coming to the same room she was crying in when I pissed her off the last time.
Entering through the open door, I see her standing with her hands on her hips and her head cocked at me.
“I would rather eat from a dumpster than take money from you,” she bites out.
I should shut up. But God help me, I can’t. “Hate to break it to you, but you already do,” I tell her. “You live in a house where you pay no rent or utilities, young lady.”
“I cook and clean for you!” she shouts, but I doubt anyone can hear us back here and through the music. “I pay my way, you arrogant prick!”
“Alright, alright,” I growl, blinking long and hard. “You’re right, okay? But, Jordan, men will get ideas. They’ll think they have a free pass and they can touch what belongs to my son. You’re embarrassing him.”
“Your son?” she mocks, laughing. “Well, you just missed him, actually. He already saw me, and he doesn’t care, Pike. He thought I looked good, and then he left with his friends. He doesn’t care!”
“Well, I care!”
The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them, and I freeze, almost too afraid to breathe.
Oh, shit. What did I just say?




About The Author:

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.
Subscribe to her blog: Click Here
Be alerted of her next release: Click Here


Follow Her Here:
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest


Pen is hosting a giveaway on her Facebook if you guys want to check it out!

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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

From the Earth to the Shadows Blog Tour + Excerpt/Giveaway





SUMMARY:

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.

While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies--and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she's never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it's too late?


My Thoughts:


I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review

I gave this book 3.75 stars. As far as second books go, this wasn’t my favorite. Of course, I still enjoyed it, it just wasn’t as good as I found the first one, or at least, it didn’t surpass it as I would expect out of a sequel. 

This story follows a teenage bisexual valkyrie, Malin, and her quest to right her mother’s past mistakes. Now since this is the second book I won’t give to much away about it other than what we’ve established in the first book. If you haven’t read the first book yet maybe don’t read this.

While there were so many interesting aspects of this books and the previous book, there were times where I found myself zoning out a bit. We get introduced to some new characters that we don’t really get a connection to. 

Despite some of the negative things I’ve said about this book I still think it’s worth a read. I still think that there are so many incredible aspects about this duology. Also, I must say once again, I think this is the only realistic love triangle ever to exist in literature. 

I wanted more Asher, but it was part of the plot for him not to really be around, but dammit I wanted more. I felt like I was being deprived of him during the long stretches of his absence. 

I loved how the twists in this novel forced the protagonist to question everything she knows. To question everything she had been led to believe her entire life. I love the trope of characters breaking out of the mold and thinking for themselves.


Overall, I think that if you have read the first book it would be worth giving this book a read instead of leaving things where they were with the last book. 

AUTHOR BIO: 




Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Buy Links:

Social Links:
Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking


Excerpt of the book (Just in case you didn't know this is the second book so don't read unless you want spoilers that won't make sense:


ONE


The air that fogged around me was thick enough that I could taste it—earthy and wet, with a trace of salt. It stuck to my skin, which was already slick with sweat, and that only seemed to attract more insects. They buzzed around me, leaving burning little bites in my flesh. I wanted to swat them off, but I couldn’t. I had to stay perfectly still, or the Kalanoro would spot me too soon.

The oversaturation of green in the jungles of Panama had been a strange adjustment from the smog and bright lights of the city. Out here, it was an endless emerald sea: the plants and trees, the rivers, were all varying shades of green—even the sky was blotted out by a thick canopy of leaves.

This wasn’t where I wanted to be, crouched motionless in the mud with a giant millipede crawling over my foot. Not when Asher was still gone, held captive in Kurnugia by the underworld goddess Ereshkigal and her mad centaur boyfriend, Gugalanna. Not when the fate of the world felt heavy on my shoulders, with Ereshkigal attempting an uprising that would unleash the underworld on earth.

It had only been three days since I’d gone to the Gates of Kurnugia, along with Oona, Quinn, Asher, and Atlas to aid me. I’d wanted to avenge my mother—and I had killed the draugr that had killed her—but all of that may have set off a chain of events that would bring about the end of days.

And I had lost the guy I … well, not loved. Not yet. But I cared about him. All I wanted to do was rescue him. But I couldn’t. There was too much at stake. I couldn’t let my heart get the best of me. I had to hold it together, and follow my orders.

After Gugalanna had pulled Asher down into the underworld where I could not follow, the rest of us had gone to Caana City in Belize. It was the safest city near the Gates of Kurnugia, and Oona needed medical intervention to survive. She was on the mend now, and that’s why I had left her behind, with Quinn and Atlas.

I didn’t want to risk losing them the way I had Asher, and I was on a special assignment, coming directly from the Valkyries’ highest authority—Odin.

Odin had found me outside of the hospital where Oona was being treated. I had never met him before, and, like most of the Vanir gods, he changed his appearance to suit his needs, so I hadn’t recognized him.

He towered over me in his tailored suit, with his left eyelid withered shut. He had a deep rumble of a voice, with a softly lilting accent, and a grim expression. His large raven, Muninn, had been watching over me, but when I tried to press him for a reason why, he had told me that there wasn’t time to explain.

“I need you to go deep into the heart of the jungle, where no man dares to live,” Odin explained, as we had stood in the eerily silent parking lot in Caana City. “You must retrieve something for me.”

“Why can’t you retrieve it yourself?” I asked bluntly. I wasn’t being rude, but the reality was that Odin was a powerful god, and I was just a young mortal Valkyrie-in-training. He had far more knowledge and power than I could ever hope to have.

“I’m not allowed to meddle in the affairs of humans or any of the other earthly beings,” Odin clarified.

“But…” I trailed off, gathering the courage to ask, “What is this you’re doing now, then? Isn’t directing me to get something for you the same as meddling?”

A sly smile played on his lips, and he replied, “There are a few loopholes, and I think it’s best if I take advantage of one now. If you want to save your friend, and everyone else that matters to you, you need to act quickly.”

“What is it that you need me to get?” I asked, since I didn’t seem to have a choice.

“The Valhallan cloak,” he explained. “It was stolen centuries ago by a trickster god—I honestly can’t remember which one anymore—and he hid it with the Kalanoro of Panama.”

“The Kalanoro?” I groaned reflexively. Having dealt with them before, I already knew how horrible they were.

If piranhas lived on land, they would behave a lot like the Kalanoro. They were small primate-like creatures, standing no more than two feet tall, and they vaguely resembled the aye-aye lemur. The biggest differences were that the Kalanoro were tailless, since they lived mostly on the ground, and they had razor-sharp claws on their elongated fingers and a mouth of jagged teeth they used to tear apart the flesh of their prey.

“What is the Valhallan cloak, and how will I find it?” I asked Odin.

“You’ll know when you see it. It’s an oversized cloak, but the fabric looks like the heavens. The rumors are that the Kalanoro were attracted to the magic of the cloak, though they didn’t understand it, so they took it back to their cave,” Odin elaborated. “They apparently have been guarding it like a treasure.”

“So I have to go into the treacherous jungle, find the man-eating Kalanoro, and steal their favorite possession?” I asked dryly. “No problem.”

Which was how I ended up in the jungle, alone, in the heart of Kalanoro country—at least, that’s what the nearest locals had purported. In front of me, on the other side of a very shallow but rapidly moving stream, was the mouth of a cave. The cave I hoped was the home of the Kalanoro, but I was waiting to see one for official confirmation.

Sweat slid down my temples, and a large dragonfly flew overhead. The trees around me were a cacophony of sounds—monkeys and frogs and birds and insects of all kinds, talking to one another, warning of danger, and shouting out mating calls.

Back in the city, beings and creatures of all kinds lived among each other, but there were rules. The jungle was not bound by any laws. I was not welcome, and I was not safe here.

I heard the crunch of a branch—too loud and too close to be another insect. I turned my head slowly toward the sound, and I saw movement in the bushes right beside me. Tall dark quills, poking out above the leaves, and I tried to remember if the Kalanoro had any quill-like fur.

I didn’t have to wonder for very long because a head poked out of the bushes, appearing to grin at me through a mouthful of jagged fangs and a face like an alien hyena. The leathery green skin, mottled with darker speckles, blended in perfectly with the surroundings, with a mohawk-like row of sharp quills running down its back.

It wasn’t a Kalanoro—it was something much worse. I found myself face-to-face with a Chupacabra.

TWO

The Chupacabra—much like dolphins, dogs, and quokkas—had the uncanny ability to appear to be smiling. Unlike those contemporaries, there was nothing adorable or friendly about this Chupacabra’s smile. It was all serrated teeth, with bits of rotten meat stuck between them, and a black tongue lolling around his mouth.

“You don’t want do this,” I told the beast softly, even though he probably didn’t understand English.

I kept my gaze locked on the Chupacabra, but my hand was at my hip, slowly unsheathing my sword Sigrún. The name came from my ancestors, as had the blade itself. It had been passed down from Valkyrie to daughter for centuries.

Sigrún was a thick blade made of dark purple crystal, so dark it appeared black, but it would glow bright brilliant purple when I was working. It was short and angled, like it had been broken off in battle. Maybe it had—the full history of my blade was unknown to me.

But the handle was a black utilitarian replacement. It had been my mother’s gift to me on my eighteenth birthday. Her final gift to me, well over a year ago.

The Chupacabra stared at me with oversized teardrop-shaped eyes and took a step closer to me, letting out a soft rumble of a growl.

Valkyries weren’t supposed to kill anyone or anything they were not specifically ordered to kill. The one exception was self-defense. Since I was on an unsanctioned mission into territory I had no business being in, this would all get very messy if I had to kill a Chupacabra.

But the hard truth was that I was beyond worrying about my career as a Valkyrie. I would do whatever I needed to do.

When the Chupacabra lunged at me, I drew my sword without hesitation. Since this wasn’t an official “job,” my blade didn’t glow purple, but it sliced through the leathery hide as easily as I knew it would.

I didn’t want to kill the creature if I didn’t have to—after all, he was merely going about his life in the jungle. So my first blow was only a warning that left him with a painful but shallow cut across his shoulder.

He let out an enraged howl, causing birds to take flight and all sorts of smaller animals to go rushing deeper into the underbrush. From the corner of my eye, I spotted several Kalanoro darting across the stream back toward their cave. They had been watching me.

The Chupacabra had stepped back from me, but by the determined grin on his face I didn’t think he was ready to give up yet. He circled around me, and I turned with him, stepping carefully to keep from slipping in the mud.

“This is stupid,” I said, reasoning with the animal. “We should both go our separate ways, and you can go back to eating … well, I think you mostly eat the Kalanoro and birds.”

Apparently growing tired of my attempts at talking, the Chupacabra snarled and jumped at me again. I dodged out of the way, but he kicked off of the tree behind and instantly dove at me. I didn’t move quick enough this time, and he knocked me to the ground.

Fortunately, I fell on my back, with one of his feet pinning me and his claws digging into my shoulder. I put one hand around his long, slender throat, barely managing to hold him back as he gnashed his teeth.

With one of my arms pinned, he was too strong for me, and I wouldn’t be able to throw him off. As his thick saliva dripped down onto me, I knew there was only one thing I could do if I wanted to survive.

I drove my sword up through his breastbone, using all my might. He howled in pain, but only for a second, before falling silent and slumping forward onto me. I crawled out from underneath him, now covered in mud and his thick green blood, along with my own fresh red blood springing from the wounds on my bare arms and shoulder.

In the mouth of the cave across from me, two dozen or so beady little green eyes glowed. The Kalanoro were crouched down, watching me. So much for the element of surprise.

My hair had come free from the braid I’d been wearing, and it stuck to my forehead. I reached up to brush it back, and the Kalanoro let out a squawk of surprise, and one darted off into the woods.

That’s when I realized the Kalanoro were afraid of me. I glanced over at the Chupacabra—the Kalanoro’s number-one predator, and I had left it dead and bleeding into the stream. They were right to fear me.

I tested my new hypothesis and stepped closer to the mouth of the cave, and the Kalanoro screeched and scattered. Most of them ran into the woods, but a few went deeper into the cave. My fight with the Chupacabra had left them far more skittish than I had anticipated, and I doubted that I would need my sword for them, so I sheathed Sigrún.

I unhooked my asp baton from my hip and pulled my flashlight out from my gear bag. I took a deep breath and walked toward the cave, hoping that this wasn’t a trap where they would all pounce and devour me the second I stepped inside.

As I walked into the cave, I heard them chittering and scurrying, but it reminded me more of a rat infestation than man-eating primates. Once my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, I shone the flashlight around the narrow cavern. The beam of light flashed on a few pairs of eyes, but they quickly disappeared into the darkness.

The entrance of the cave stood well over eight feet, but as I walked, the ceiling height dropped considerably. Very soon I had to crouch down to venture farther.

The ground was slick with Kalanoro droppings and bat guano, and it smelled like a musty cellar that doubled as a litter box. Tiny bones of partially digested meals crunched underneath the heavy soles of my boots.

My flashlight glinted on something, and I crouched down to inspect it. It was an old pocket watch, the face broken and the gears rusted, but it had once definitely belonged to a human. Near the watch was another trinket—an old walkie-talkie.

That’s when I realized it was a trail of treasures, piling up more as I went deeper into the cave. Old car parts, a titanium hip replacement, and even what appeared to be a wedding band. The Kalanoro apparently loved hoarding shiny things.

On the ground a few feet ahead of me, I spotted something particularly sparkly. It looked like stars, shimmering and glowing from a puddle on the floor. By now I had to crawl on my knees, since the ceiling was so low.

As I reached for those stars, a Kalanoro leapt out from the darkness. Its rows of teeth dug painfully into my right arm, and I beat it back with my asp baton. It took three hits before it finally let go and ran off screaming.

I grabbed at the stars, picking up a satiny fabric. The way it glimmered, it looked exactly like the night sky, and I now understood what Odin meant by looking “like the heavens.” This had to be the Valhallan cloak. I hurriedly shoved it into my gear bag. The Kalanoro couldn’t be happy about me stealing their treasure, so I had to get out fast.

I raced out of the cave and gulped down the fresh air. Around me, the trees had changed their tune, from the normal song of the jungle to something far more shrill and angry. I could hear the Kalanoro growling and screeching at each other, sounding like high-pitched howler monkeys. They were enraged, and they were chasing after me.

It was a ten-kilometer hike downhill, through thick forests, to the nearest village. There I would be able to clean up and catch the hyperbus back to Caana City. Back to meet Odin. The Kalanoro were now alerting the entire jungle to my presence, and even as I hurried ahead, deftly moving through the trees, I could hear them following me.

I ran down the hill, skittering through the mud and branches, swatting back giant bugs and the occasional surprised snake. My legs ached and my lungs burned but I pressed on, running as fast as I could. I had to make it to the town before dark, because I doubted the Kalanoro would let me out alive.


Copyright © 2018 by Amanda Hocking in From the Earth to the Shadows and reprinted with permission from Wednesday Books.

Giveaway:

Rules:


  • The giveaway is only for the U.S.
  • The Giveaway will run from April 24th to May 1st
  • You must be 18 or have parental permission to enter
  • The prize is one finished copy of From the Earth to the Shadows

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Top 5 Ideal Book Mash Ups


I was really excited to do this post this week because this is actually something I think about quite a bit. Now I know I couldn't get all of them, there are so many others I would love to include, however, these are the top 5.

1.  Harry Potter / Percy Jackson


It’s mandatory that I put this on this list because I’m pretty sure everyone’s thought about it at one point or another. It would just be really fucking cool. I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’d really love to read it.

2. Fall Away Series / Devils Night Series



This one is different than the others on this list because both of these series' are written by the same author, so theoretically it could happen. So many heads would but, and maybe, just maybe, it will happen in the Fall-Away spin off series. Their children could get together. There will probably be fist fights. 

3. Black Dagger Brotherhood / IAD



I just really like both of these series’s and I binged the fuck out of both of them and they could work. I don’t know how they would incorporate them, but I’m sure it would be fucking awesome. 

4. Throne of Glass / Shadowhunters



I really just want to see Celaena interact with some people. Mainly Jace and Magnus. You can’t tell me this wouldn’t be a hilarious and badass crossover.





5. IAD / Lords of the Underworld



See this one is probably the most likely to happen because if I recall correctly, there was a reference to the Lords of the Underworld in one of the IAD book from Nix. Also, I’m pretty sure the two authors are really good friends and I feel like they’ve been hinting at doing it. They really need to stop teasing me, I want to see it.

What mashups would you guys love to see? 

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Birthday Girl Release Blitz + Giveaway

Title: Birthday Girl
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: April 17, 2018



Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Gp74DE
Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/penelopedouglas/birthday-girl-2018/

Synopsis:

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.
He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.
He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.
I have to stop this. It can’t happen.
My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.
Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
I am.

PIKE

I took her in because I thought I was helping.
She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.
As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.
The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.
But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.
And her boyfriend’s father.
Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.




Buy a Copy Here



About The Author:
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Subscribe to her blog: Click Here
Be alerted of her next release: Click Here


Follow Her Here:


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Monday, 16 April 2018

The End Book Tag (Original)


I was at my volunteer job working away and for some reason whenever I'm there I think about The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz, specifically the ending. I don't know why it is that I always think of that book while I'm there, just that I do. Today I just had the best idea for a book tag. Naming the different types of book endings and choosing a book for that specific ending. I should probably give you a bit of a spoiler warning because even though I'm not actually getting into what happens I am giving away the type of ending the book has. So if you're very sensitive to spoilers I would suggest not reading this one.


The WTF Ending - A book that made you scratch your head 



The Catastrophic History of You and Me. I'm honestly still confused by what happened at the end of the book. I really don't understand what happened. If anyone would like to explain it to me please do.

The Cliffhanger - A book that left you on the edge



Darken the Stars. The worst part about this cliffhanger is that this is the last book in the series. At least with every other book that has a cliffhanger, you get some reprieve when you get to the next book. BUT THERE IS NO NEXT BOOK WITH THIS ONE WTFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!

The Sad - A book that left you in a puddle of tears



A Dog's Purpose. This book is the reason I'm no longer allowed to read books about animals. I get way too invested and I cried the entire time I was reading it and the ending was just too much for me. I was on the verge of having a mental breakdown.

The Epic Ending - An ending to a book that absolutely blew your mind



A Court of Mist and Fury. Do I even need to say it? Everyone who has read ACOMAF knows just how epic that ending was. Sarah J. Maas has written a million amazing endings to her novels, but this is by far the best one yet. 

The Happy End - A book that gave you the warm and fuzzies when it was over



Cracked Kingdom. This book ended off with the cutest epilogue ever. So many ends are tied up and there are things that left for the reader to imagine. I find it funny that this has a happily ever after considering the entire series is about Royals.


The Epiphany Ending - A book that made you look at the world differently when you finished it



I'll Give You The Sun. This book made me realize that no matter how bad things get, it'll get better. The sun will end up shining and you're going to be happy again.

The Triumphant End - A book that made you think "hell yeah" when you finished it



Ignite Me was a rollercoaster ride. The ending was so incredibly badass. The entire book was pretty badass, but the ending really took the prize. I honestly think the author could have ended the series at that point perfectly, however, I'm still happy she decided to continue the series.

The Bittersweet End - An Ending that was both happy and sad



The Bourbon Thief was the reason I made this post so it seems only fair that I include it here. The Bourbon Thief has a very bittersweet ending, justice is served, but there are also some pretty sad things that we find out about the current day. I won't get into the details cause I actually really want you guys to read this book for yourselves. Just know that for every sad moment is another happier moment to counteract it.

I always feel like the team captain choosing players in gym class whenever I do a tag because I don't want to leave anyone out. I don't like picking favorites, therefore, anyone who wants to do the tag can do so. 


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Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Secret of Ella and Micha Review


The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1)
The Secret of Ella and Micha
by Jessica Sorensen



SPOILERS

Synopsis:

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. 

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.


Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes. 

My Thoughts:

I gave this book 5 stars. This is one of my favorite books of all time. It's taken me some time, but I've finally gotten around to writing this. As with a lot of my favorite books I've found it a bit hard to get out the exact words I'm looking for. It's taken me time to think of what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I'm happy to say I'm finally here. And since I'm posting this on a Sunday, I'm gonna count it as an honorary Sunday Favorites post.  

This was one of the first real romances I read. I think I was around 12 when I read this, pretty young, but already really into books I shouldn't have been reading. This is a New Adult Romance, so you can count on parts being racy, but not to the extent of bodice rippers. It has lots of build up. We really focus on our main character and how she has become who she is. We get glimpses into her past and what went down with Micha all those months ago. 

Ella was a truly flawed character and I loved that. She wasn't annoying to read about. There were definitely holes in her justifications about things, but it felt very human of her. She had lots of battles to get through. She tried so hard to tamp down her feisty nature, but some of it always managed to sneak through. You guys know how I love a feisty main character. It was also so satisfying to see her eventually figuring out who she was and not just that image she thought would save her.

Now don't even get me started about Micha. He no doubt has his own issues, but I can't help but love everything about him. He's cocky, sweet, absolutely adorable, and refuses to let Ella forget who she is. His flirtiness with Ella legit almost ended me. I'm just not convinced that people like Micha exist in real life which is horribly inconvenient because I don't think I could settle for anything less.

The novel is mostly character driven. The plot is all about the characters, not huge events. It's all about how the characters feel and react, rather than being overly action-packed or adventurous. This novel, in my opinion, is the darkest a romance can get without being labeled a dark romance. The two characters have pretty fucked up pasts and they are still currently dealing with all the backlash and current problems. It's a pretty intense and dare I use the word 'edgy'. 

I'm glad that we had a few side characters, but the story wasn't oversaturated with people and names that we would eventually forget. The characters were never just mentioned and then forgotten, they all served some sort of purpose to the story. 

I really hope you guys give this book a chance because I do really love it. I don't think I can really tell you just how good it was, so you should probably read it so you can see for yourself.

Quotes:

“I love you, Ella May and nothing will ever change that. You can push me away -run away – and I will still love you.”  

“When it all comes down to it, it’s just me and her against the world. Always has been.”  

“You've always had a good grasp on what's right and wrong. You just have a hard time admitting that sometimes you choose the wrong.”  

“Pretend all you want, pretty girl. You and I know that deep down you’re secretly glad to be pressed up to my body.”  

“Stay here, baby … Trust me, okay? Don’t run.” 



Saturday, 14 April 2018

Recommendations: Magical Realism


I personally think of Magical Realism as novels where magic just exists. There is no explanation or fanfare, it’s just there. So I actually only have three on this list today. Obviously, there are tons out there and I’ve been known to read a few of them, but these three are the very best of them and I wouldn’t feel right about just throwing in a couple of others I didn’t feel as strongly about just to make this post a bit longer. Obviously, there will be mild spoilers.

Practical Magic



This along with the prequel, Rules of Magic, are two of my favorite books. Neither of these books is solely about magic. Magic is more of a circumstance than a plot line. We really get to care about these characters and their lives and their love lives. I cried during both of these books because they were so emotionally impactful. The magic is just so beautifully woven in. It’s a very character driven book and heavy on the romance. If you’re interested in those two things this would be a good fit for you.

The Night Circus



Now this one is all about the magic. I can’t decide if the magic is the subplot or if the characters relationships are the subplots because both are incredibly prominent. This story wouldn’t be what it is without the mix of both. The Night Circus is about two gifted performers trying to outdo each other with their magic and falling in love when they shouldn’t. It’s set in our world and there is absolutely no explanation for any of it. It’s very mysterious and a very good read.

A Monster Calls




This one is a bit different from the other two because the “magic” is all in the mind. The “magic” is there to convey the process of grief and healing. It was a very unique way of storytelling and this book also made me cry. Like a baby. While there were people around. The magic itself is alive, embodying itself as a character. The magic is there to tell the story, to embellish it. The magic is what differentiates this book from others with similar plot lines.

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Friday, 13 April 2018

Rant: Random Fainting


The occasional fainting spell is a normal occurrence in real life so I wouldn’t be that angry if it just happened once in a while, but the amount of times it’s used in books drives me crazy. Often times an author will use being knocked out or fainting as a way to move on to the next phase of their story. They’ll end off chapters with that to try and add suspense and let me just tell you it drives me up the fucking wall.


The book that comes to the forefront of my mind when I think of pointless fainting is The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen. I love Jessica Sorensen and I love her books, but my god, there had to be at the very least, 5 chapters that ended with the protagonist fainting. This bitch just could not stay awake. She might as well have been named Aurora.

I know I say this a lot but this trope, to me, feels like lazy writing. Instead of getting the character through the difficult situation they are in at the moment, the author chooses to glaze over it. 

There is definitely a time and a place for a character to pass out. I just hate when a character passes out for no apparent reason. If you’re going to make a character pass out you should explain why the fuck they are passing out. Not just having the character pass out because they were overwhelmed.


This is a shorter rant, but it’s still something I feel pretty strongly about. What do you guys think? Do you have issues with characters randomly fainting?

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