Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: The Rose and the Dagger


In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.




Rating: 5 Stars

Book Title: The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: April 26th 2016

Pages: 420

Publisher:G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers


But, if you ask me, the best way to go about flying is to cut the strings tying you down…

After watching the city burn in the ending of The Wrath and the Dawn, the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, picks up right in the aftermath. Now that they are separated from one another, Shazi and Khalid have to figure out what to do next. For Shazi, she knows she needs to find a way to break the curse on Khalid before she returns to him.  What I loved about her decision to do so in the book was that she wasn’t doing it solely for the safety of the city’s citizens.  She also knew she needed to break it for Khalid’s sake, because he would never be truly happy living in his city with her while his people suffered for his decision to do so.  By ignoring the curse Khalid was able to save Shazi’s life and be with the woman he loves, but he did so at the expense of his city and the guilt was slowly building up in the first book. I thought it was a testament to Shazi’s connection with Khalid that she was able to recognize this and force herself to stay away from him until she could find a way to fix it.  What broke my heart was knowing that Khalid did not know for sure what her leaving meant and that she had no way of telling him until she was able to return.

All of these acts of selflessness made me feel guilty about wanting Shazi and Khalid to be back together again! Reading the chapters from both of their point of views after they are apart was frustrating initially, because I wanted to see their stories intertwined again.  And even though I knew Tariq was doing what he thought was right for Shazi, I couldn’t help but resent him for bringing her to the camp with him. Especially after seeing some of the scenes take place in the camp where Shazi was treated as an outcast by many for her relationship with Khalid. 

One of my favorite bits about The Rose and the Dagger was getting to see how some of the relationships played out between the main characters once they all started working together.  Although we got to read about Tariq, Rahim, and even Irsa in book 1, the scenes they were included in were small.  I loved watching Irsa develop into a stronger woman in the absence of her sister, and my heart broke for Irsa during some of the tougher scenes in the book.  Getting to see more of Irsa was by far my favorite aspect of The Rose and the Dagger, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at her interactions with Khalid when she meets him for the first time. 

Despite my worries about this series being a duology, I actually ended up loving how it turned out.  I think a third book would have drawn out the action too much and made book 2 feel like more of a filler.  As it was, the book was perfect in the amount of action and the chain of events that took place after the conclusion of The Wrath and the Dawn.  I was not disappointed in the least with the conclusion in this series, and I doubt fans of book 1 will be either.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes

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An action packed read with a dash of computer hacking!
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes
presented by Entanged Teen!
Check out the newly designed cover for Olivia Twisted too!
 
OLIVIA DECODED 1600x2400
 
Olivia
This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.
This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.
Olivia’s spent the past year trying to get her life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted her into his life and his hacking ring, stole her heart, and then left her—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one resurfacing in Liv’s life.
Jack
If there was any part of her that still wanted me, even a little, I’d never be able to let her go. But I couldn’t do that to her. She deserves better than a criminal like me.
When a stalker hell-bent on scaring Liv and framing Jack enters Liv’s life, Jack and Liv will have to work together to find out who it is before someone gets hurt, or worse. But can Liv learn to trust Jack again, when he can’t—or won’t—give up his life of hacking for good?
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Book Title: Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted, #2) Author: Vivi Barnes Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016 Genre: YA Thriller
 
And check out the new cover for Olivia Twisted!
 
OLIVIA TWISTED 1600x2400
 
Olivia He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.
At least at this moment, I don’t care.
Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Liv might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Liv and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…
Z I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta. It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.
Except that she’s not.
Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.
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About-the-Author2
Vivi author photo
 
Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. After college, she convinced her supportive husband to
move with her to be part of the sunshine and magic in Orlando, Florida. On a good day, she manages to divide her time writing, working, reading, goofing off with her three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. Vivi is a proud member of SCBWI and attends conferences whenever she can.
 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Blast: Asleep by Krystal Wade

AsleepBlast
 
Hello readers!
Are you looking for your next read?
Well, let us help make things easier for you!
Welcome to the Book Blast for
Asleep by Krystal Wade
presented by Blaze Publishing!
Check out the teaser below, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
As a special treat, we've got another book that may tickle your fancy... What is it? Read on, dear reader, read on!
 
AsleepCover
 
"To cure fear, you must use fear."
Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.
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Asleep by Krystal Wade Publication Date: February 16, 2016 Publisher: Blaze Publishing
 
What Readers Are Saying:
 
"This was hands down one of the best thrillers I've read in a long while." - Martina McAtee, Author
 
"It's amazing how this book can bring so many emotions out of me and leaves me being a sobbing mess in the end!" - Gina, A Thousand Books
 
" It is 100% a book that you need to experience completely for yourself." - Lauren, Wonderless Reviews
 

excerpt
Asleep Teasers
“Hey,” Rose said, feeling stupid and idiotic for even trying to start a conversation with someone in a mental institution. “My name’s Rose.”

The guy didn’t respond. He merely stared at her the way she would a model in Life Drawing class, his intense brown eyes hooded by his forehead and lined by thick black lashes, soaking her in, memorizing her, making Rose feel raw and exposed. Every now and then his jaw clenched and popped. So much emotion simmering just below the surface, so much insanity. He’d make a perfect model himself with all that silent misery, hair swept to the side, broad shoulders and muscles stretching the sleeves of his white, cotton shirt, muscles he’d never get to use because he was stuck in here. Rose could almost envision him in one of her drawings, this guy standing in the background, still, hands in his pockets, staring at a girl in the foreground.

Shaking her head, Rose snapped out of her daydream. Drawing was part of the past that no longer mattered.

“Lights out,” Nurse Judy called, startling them both so badly they bumped into the table and left it quaking. She laughed. “Didn’t mean to scare you, dear.”

“It’s okay,” Rose said, rubbing her sore knee. “Keep it up, though, and I’ll have bandages everywhere.”

“My eldest daughter Isabel tells me I’m always sneaking up on her too. I insist she must have a guilty conscious to be so jumpy, but with you, I’m not so sure.” The nurse smiled again, kindly, her eyes glazed over, and Rose knew the woman was thinking about her daughter. “Well, I’ll try to be more careful in the future. But for now, off you go, to your room.”

“Good night,” Rose said to the guy.

But he didn’t respond, not that she expected him to. He gave Judy a long, hard glance, then got up and marched to a door on the opposite side of Hall A. Judy didn’t pay any attention to him as she wrapped her arm around Rose and ushered her off to bed, holding out a pill cup. 

“Here you go. Meds and rest, Rose. Meds and rest. The best thing for you, aside from being open and honest with Dr. Underwood.” The nurse smiled in a way that said she knew open and honest hadn’t occurred earlier today.


Teaser 2:
Closing her eyes, she brought up the image of Phillip on the rooftop, where the moon showered him with its glowing essence, where his expression was sadly stoic as he stared out into the lawn, hands in his pockets, shoulders broad and strong. Rose set her charcoal to the canvas, prepared to draw the moon as a melting clock, Phillip’s face, the tree’s rounded, naked branches as well. But she couldn’t give this up. This image was too beautiful, too personal.

This image belonged to Rose, not to this institution.

“Draw.”

She turned her face toward the ceiling and shouted, “No.”

Something warm and wet splattered onto the canvas, something red. Rose jumped up and backed away from the easel, trembling with each step that brought her closer to the wall. She tripped over the tray of food, scattering bits of eggs and bacon all over the floor, then backed into the door knob. She pulled on it, banging and shouting and screaming for someone to help her.

To get her away from the blood. That had to be blood.

“Please, please help me!”

No one came. Nothing but the sounds of the baseboard heater and the occasional drip of more red fluid reached her ears.


Teaser 3:
That was the first time he’d spoken her name, and she would have celebrated the fact she’d made a connection with someone—anyone—had her world not been spinning.
“Betty just gave me something before I came outside.”

“Something’s changing, something big.” He nodded once, agreeing with himself most likely. “You’re like me.”

The sounds of the door opening and closing, the women squabbling near the oak tree over who drew the better picture in the dirt, and people’s feet crunching on the gravel path leading to the door all felt trapped inside her head, loud and somehow touching her, upsetting her system more. God, even the smell of antiseptic made it out here and into Rose’s nostrils... 

“I think I’m going to throw up.”

“You are.” Phillip gently placed his hand on her back and rubbed small circles. “And they’ll get you.”

“I don’t understand. What’s changing? Why do you keep saying I’m like you? Who’ll get me?"

He was paranoid. Crazy. Unpredictable. Yet part of him seemed to know things, to understand, to want to help. How much of what he said was real? How much was just crap made up in his head?

“Different. Everything’s different. Except it’s not. And you . . .” He fell to the ground with Rose as she began vomiting. Phillip held her hair back and talked softly, the lunatic whispering, “It’s okay,” a couple times and touching her raw wrist before continuing, “I wish you never had to fall asleep again.”

 
About-the-Author2
Krystal Wade
 
I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.
The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe me). I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my 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?). I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.
 
YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO CHECK OUT...
 
Because I Love You
 
Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.
Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil Donaghue, a dark-haired, blue-eyed player. With him, she finds comfort and the support she desperately needs to make the hardest decision of her life: whether or not to keep the baby. Then a tragic accident leads Andie to discover Neil’s keeping a secret that could dramatically alter their lives, and she's forced to make a choice. But after hearing her son’s heartbeat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to let go.
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Because I Love You by Tori Rigby Publication Date: May 17, 2016 Publisher: Blaze Publishing
 
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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
 
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