Release Day Romp: Giveaway and Review: A Beautiful Purpose by Alicia Rae

Beautiful Purpose


22725782Title: A Beautiful Purpose (Beautiful #6)
Author: Alicia Rae
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+

Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Blurb:

*Book 6 in The Beautiful Series or Standalone*

All Blake Johnson knows is the life of a Marine. After serving his country for eight years, he returns to his family for some rest and rehabilitation. Fighting an internal war, he battles sleepless nights as images of his former military days haunt him. From the moment Audrey Hampton walks into his life, he is drawn to her. Her beauty leaves him breathless and weak in the knees. She kindles a spark of hope deep within his soul, igniting a part of himself he feared was missing. Her never-ending compassion for others opens his heart in a way he never dreamed. But Audrey is hiding wounds of her own. Returning to Lake Tahoe to care for her ill mother triggers painful childhood memories of her parents' loveless marriage, reminding her there is no such thing as true love. Will Blake's resolve be powerful enough to open Audrey's sealed heart? Or will Audrey fear the past and risk losing the man who could give her life a newfound purpose? Can two wounded souls become one?

Kayla's Thoughts:

I have to admit that I was a bit torn throughout the beginning of this book. You see, sometimes when I read a story I envision the characters' personalities differently than the author has written them. Sometimes I feel that in order for the story to flow a little bit better a character needs more of a certain quality or characteristic. And that is exactly how I feel with this, or at least that is how I felt before finishing this book. 

While both main characters are so perfect for one another, and some of their scenes were so heartfelt and funny and just made me grin to no end, I felt that their relationship could have been delayed a bit more. And by that I mean that I kind of wish the hesitancy on both ends would have lasted a bit longer. I wish that on both ends they would have resisted a bit more due to their own personal demons. It would have made their budding love so much sweeter, Audrey's rejection so much more heart-wrenching, and their ultimate realization that neither would be anything without the other all the more wondrous and joyful.

That said, while I do believe it could use a bit more finesse, the storyline itself is beautiful. Two souls tortured by different events coming together as one. Finding love when love does not seem a possibility. And while I do say that I had a bit of a conundrum regarding the beginning of this book, from the moment the paintball event occurred, I was immediately hooked from the first giggle that left my lips.

While Blake and Audrey are the main focus of this book, I love how each character brings their own quirky lives to the table. Well, that is in the case of Blake's brothers, their women, and his cousin and her man. I love stories where all the characters are interconnected and know each other in some way, especially when the book is a part of the series where each character is allowed their own life to be delved into.

Verdict:

This book is not perfect, but its story is. I definitely will read the other books in this series, and will probably remember Blake and Audrey's story for months to come. It is completely worth buying this book just for the happy ending, and I recommend it to any and all fans of this genre.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.

"Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. XO Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you. Believe in yourself and follow your dreams..."
Links for Author:
Twitter / Goodreads / BlogFacebook / Amazon


Giveaway:
$20 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Starbucks Gift Card

Book Review: Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen by Marlene Wynn

Title: Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen
Author: Marlene Wynn
Publication Date: September 22, 2014
Genre: Fantasy

Blurb:

Chandrea Averill thinks she's just like any other normal young woman. But on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.

Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue, Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she's ever known. But the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power -- both magical and political -- to save the people of Lyrunia. Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?

Kayla's Thoughts:

I do not normally like the urban fantasy genre (I know Amazon says Epic Fantasy, but this feels like urban fantasy to me, and I tend stick to my guns about genres). And before some of you say, "But you've reviewed and loved urban fantasy before!" I need to clarify that statement. It takes a very strong storyline and amazingly written characters for me to absolutely fall in love with this particular genre. For me, fantasy is a way of getting away from reality, and urban fantasy sometimes bothers me because of the fact that it starts out or is based in reality. Or at least the reality we know of.

Now I do have to say that this story does have a very good direction when it comes to what is going to happen throughout the book. The author obviously knows where her characters need to go and whether or not there will be detours along the way. That said, however, this book partially portrayed what I do not like about urban fantasy. Albeit I didn't mind some of the reminders of where Chandrea came from, the mirror thing was actually pretty cool, but when she kept talking about electricity and was freaking out about being in a "back-woods society" without modern medicine and amenities, it kind of annoyed me. I mean, I wasn't thinking at all that she would just immediately accept being in another world -- on the contrary, I am glad she didn't -- but her brooding kind of made me want to stop reading.

However, I am quite glad I did not. Actually it was a little more than halfway through the book when the dragons came into play that I actually started getting into the story more. Dragons fascinate me, so if an urban fantasy author can slip one or two, or even more than that, into their story, that definitely captures my interest.

Verdict:

All in all, I love that there are multiple points of view: that of the antagonist Queen Leilah, her "son" Ayden, Chandrea herself, and the various people that are either out to get her or help her in her given quest to save the world she was born in. Even though sometimes the points of view felt a bit muddled to me, or at least their placements in the story, it was a great way to keep track of the various characters and their particular loyalties. I also wish some things had been put in the story, such as Jeida meeting with the Dark Fairy before they began their trek into the wilderness to set the trap of the gold fog. I do wish my attention would have been grabbed from the very beginning, but I did like this first one enough that if given the opportunity to read the second one I probably would. I was just disappointed this book didn't wow me more.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Marlene Wynn is a Utah native -- fondly referred to as "Utonian" by a friend. She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia, and has been there ever since. Though she has worked in the benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.





Links for Author:

Book Review: Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

Title: Ice Massacre
Author: Tiana Warner
Publication Date: September 18, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Blurb:

A mermaid's supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid's allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that's haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai's Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people's freedom on the Pacific Ocean's deadliest battleground.

Kayla's Thoughts:

This book is probably one of the most intense and action-filled books I have read in quite a while. Even during the times where the girls are not fighting mermaids, which by the way are not your average mermaids. They are just as battle-hardened as these girls, with long sharp fangs, blood-red eyes, and the strength of I don't know how many men. This does not count the ability to allure their victims, which really cannot be considered during this Massacre since the girls don't really fall for that. But let us start at the beginning.

Eriana Kwai, which reminds me of Hawaii, has been forced to fight for their livelihood and overall survival over the years due to their waning fish numbers. Why are the fish numbers waning? Because the mermaids which live in the waters are preventing them from actually getting any. They are brutally killing any and all that they can who even attempt to fish in their waters. And because of the people's inability to fish, they are unable to trade with others, thus they are unable to actually get the necessities they need to thrive. So, the Massacres started.

Many lives are lost each year, both mermaid and Eriana Kwai warrior, and for the past five years, the time it takes to train each new batch of warriors, none have returned from the journey. Well, in Meela's time, the people of Eriana Kwai believe these girls have a (pun intended) fighting chance of finally, since Meela's father's time, making a true dent in the mermaid population and returning home.

But it is not going to be so easy. Besides dealing with flesh-eating demons such as the mermaids, the girls will deal with warring factions in their own ranks, the sanity, or insanity mind you, of one of the crew, murder, and mutiny. And the main character, Meela herself, will have an internal battle when her secret from childhood causes her to question if what they are doing, the war they are fighting, is even right? Or can the freedom of the people of Eriana Kwai be found another way?

Verdict:

I absolutely positively want the next book to be here tomorrow. I am completely serious. The story itself is heartbreaking and joyful, very rarely but it's there, and breathtaking and just so amazingly written. I am literally on the edge of my seat, or beanbag since they are so cool, waiting for Meela's story to continue. She is just so strong and fights for what she completely believes is right in her heart, even when no one else believes it. She is such an honorable girl and I have to know that she will get the ending she so rightly deserves. Peace between species, and the one she loves.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Tiana Warner was born and raised in British Colombia, Canada. She spends her free time riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare.

Links for Author:

Book Tour: Giveaway and Review: Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins

Title: Legally Undead (Vampirarchy, Book 1)
Author: Margo Bond Collins
Publication Date: May 14, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: World Weaver Press

Blurb:

A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree had her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she'll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire draining the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs -- not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire's heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg's body is gone -- and her perfect life falls apart.

Kayla's Thoughts:

I love writing about vampires. More specifically, vampire hunters. And one of my favorite scenes I have written involves a kickass heroine, a seedy bar, and some snide comments from her band of fellow hunters, a group of men who don't seem to have ever really grown up. I love this character, she has a special place in my heart and always will. So it was really cool to read a book starring a main character that reminded me so much of my own.

The dialogue in this book is so wonderfully written. Elle is just plain sassy. What else can you call a girl from New Orleans? She makes the story worth reading, and her first three vampire kills are almost eye-rollingly funny. I mean, I wanted to yell at her for doing what she did in both, but she's so effective that in the end all I could think was "Hey, it worked, can't fault her for that." And the snark from the rest of the characters throughout the story is entertaining as well.

I thought it was quite ingenious to make blood-sucking leaches kill blood-sucking leaches. Okay, so I really have nothing against lawyers, but I thought the concept was truly hilarious and just couldn't stop laughing every time it came to mind.

All I want to add is that Elle is lucky her fiancé was bitten, then changed, by a vampire, because at least after that she was able to see what a jerk he was. I mean, most people have to marry the person to find out their true personality. Or at least the undiluted version of their personality that they kept dimmed down until the rings were put on. Hey, at least I am finding the whole light in the dark with this whole fiancé eaten by vampire thing, right?

Verdict:

There was a sense of surprise when I found out the release date for this book, because I thought I had definitely seen it out before then. I mean, this book has all the makings of the beginning of a bestselling series that you see in bookstores and talked about on daytime or morning talk shows. It is reminiscent to me of Kim Harrison a little bit and just has that special something about it that made me at least instantly love it. It makes me want to read every single book that comes out after this one because it is just that good.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets.

She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

Links for Author:

Blog Tour: Giveaway and Review: Charming by Krystal Wade

 


Title: Charming 
Author: Krystal Wade
Publication Date: October 6, 2014
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Blurb:

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and that's great...as long as you don't die.

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother's name are all she has left.

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father's footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.

Little do they know someone's determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

Kayla's Thoughts:

From the very beginning of this story, the moment Haley begins talking about her family, her father, his abuse, her mother's death, before she even steps into the house, I completely felt her tension and fear. From the moment her father said his first word to the daughter he completely ignores unless it's convenient or he wants to hurt her, I felt that ball of terror in my own gut. And from the moment Chris Charming said two words to Haley, I knew I was hooked.

You see, Haley once had everything Chris Charming has, the perfect family, the perfect life, her mother's business, until one accident took first her father's loving personality away from her, and a second, her mother's life, leaving her to protect the sister who has no clue what Haley deals with each and every day. She takes punch after punch, be it emotional or physical, just to keep her sister in the dark. Her past life is a mere dream now. And it looks like happiness is far, far away...

But then one night, one magical night, she is allowed to smile, to laugh, to dance and let her guard down...until midnight, that is. Her curfew. Wow, this author was right, it is like Cinderella, if Cinderella came back home and found her father missing and her sister acting weird and then just a couple days later is sent a envelope containing a severed finger. Turned on ya, didn't it? 

Haley will have a dilemma on her hands when a psycho starts threatening the family she has left if she doesn't cooperate. And by cooperate, she must keep Chris Charming away from his own house so that Mr. Charming, his father, will be easy pickings. Should she just tell someone? Or should she just do as this mysterious person says in the hopes that her family, no matter how bad they treat her, is returned safe.

Things will definitely escalate, and Haley will suspect everyone as she attempts to find out who this terrifying person is who seems to know her every move. 

Verdict:

I loved that Haley finds her voice in this story. Even though obviously the person who took her family is just a tad crazy, okay, more than a tad, he or she represents the man she is so afraid to stand up to for fear her sister's life will be shattered. A lot of the things both do are similar, from the way they speak to her sometimes when she does something wrong to the way they know everything she does, or at least seem to, and it is nice that throughout the story, Haley finds her fight again. And on top of that, she finds something, someone, worth fighting for. The ending made me laugh and almost cry and, wow, it is just a really good read.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don't gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives Krystal plenty of time to zone out and think about her characters in full, brilliant details (she's a safe driver; don't worry). Stories give her a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to her on the fifty mile trek into town (she picks up hitch-hikers every day. True story. Check out http://www.slug-lines.com/ if you don't believe us).

Krystal has been a part of organized hitch-hiking for nearly fifteen years, but that's just one small aspect of her oh-so-large life. When she's not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find her outside talking to her chickens like they're the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can't that be 100% of the time?).

Links for Author:
Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook / Website

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