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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review: The Haunting Season

I got a beautiful Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas (with an awesome two year warranty thanks Aunt Jill!) and I have gone literally book crazy on Amazon.  Literally, it's starting to become like crack to me, but I just don't care.  Well, while I was on this little shopping spree (yay gift cards!) I came across Michelle Muto's new book The Haunting Season.  I read her first book, The Book of Lost Souls, right after she released it about two years ago, and I really liked her style!  So it was a nice reunion when I discovered that The Haunting Season was just released.  So first I want to start off with the blurb:

Be careful what you let in…

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead. 

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

I really wasn't expecting this book to be scary.  Sometimes blurbs lead you to believe that the book you just bought will be scary, but they really aren't.  This blurb is deceptive because this book is freaking scary.  I'm not lying, I actually read half of it before going to bed and I kept dreaming about ghosts in the walls.  I am one of those individuals who has to physically see the scary event to have it infiltrate my dreams, but dang this book really accomplishes it.   The Haunting Season has all the ingredients to make a good horror novel, and the way Michelle Muto creates a plot that makes it a great horror novel. The idea of a possessed house is something that I feel is used a lot in paranormal lore for horror, and creating something original and truly scary with this idea is a great feat, one that I feel is achieved in The Haunting Season.  

The characters in The Haunting Season are completely different and simultaneously likable.  Jess is someone I would hope to act like in tense situations.  She looks for the positive in situations, and tries not to take anything at face value.  But, I mean if I were in a haunted house I know I would be freaking out like Allison "the girl possessed."  At parts of the book I wanted to yell at her, "You are being RIDICULOUSLY dramatic" but I probably would be freaking out right along side her.  Gage's backstory was really interesting, and he definitely grew on me while I was reading.  At first I wasn't really sure what to make of him, but I genuinely liked him by the end of the book.  Bryan, the last of Jess' peers was adorable.  You couldn't help but just love him during his scenes.  Now, I must get to the Siler House.  Michelle truly makes the house a character in the book, and it is a creepy one.  Nothing will make you feel paranoia like knowing a house is keeping tabs on where you are and what you are doing.  There are of course more characters in the book that are truly terrifying, but what fun would it be if I revealed them to you? *cue evil laugh*

The Haunting Season is well put together and satisfying.  I think it sticks to the horror genre well, and the ending really surprised me.  It's not often that I am surprised at the end of a book, and this one legitimately got me.  Did. Not. See. It. Coming.  Michelle Muto in my opinion is proving herself to be a great paranormal story teller.  I honestly am really excited to see what else she has up her sleeve.  I definitely could see this story on the big screen.  It should be made into a huge horror movie in my opinion, because if the book scared the crap out of me; I can only imagine what would happen if I saw this in movie form.  If you are a fan of ghosts, campfire stories, goosebumps, or things that go bump in the night this one is definitely for you.  

Oh Yeah Count:


Saturday, December 22, 2012


So you may be familiar with this author if you happen to take a gander on this blog every once in awhile.  I post about her books so often, it might seem like I'm becoming obsessed, (jk, I've been obsessed since the first book I read by her).  Well today I am reviewing Alyssa Rose Ivy's most recent release Veer.  If you haven't already checked out the first book in the Clayton Falls series, read THIS review of book one, Derailed first.

Ok, with that being said let's get to the good stuff!!

Veer Blurb:

Only when you let go can you learn to live.

Between the death of her mother and pushing through law school without her best friend, it's been a tough year for Becca. Needing a break from Boston, she moves to a tiny coastal North Carolina town for a relaxing summer. After bumping heads repeatedly with a local cop, she realizes her summer will be anything but quiet.

Three years after a career ending injury ruins his chance to play Major League Baseball, Gavin has a distrust of northerners and lately girls in general. He wants nothing to do with a girl who is only in town for the summer.

When the two give in to their impossible attraction, they realize that they may just have found the key to freeing themselves from the ghosts of their pasts.

Review:  While I was reading Derailed, I was immediately drawn to Gavin as a secondary character.  Becca, not so much, and she really surprised me in this book.  Girlfriend's life has sucked with a capital S.  Her decision to go to Clayton Falls for the summer is turns into an immediate crap fest when she meets Gavin who is a complete jerk to her.  For a good half of the book I wanted to kick Gavin's face in because he was being a typical alpha male jerk.   But, then Becca knocks some sense into him, and viola, we see the Gavin from Derailed, who is wonderful, sweet, and swoon worthy.  

This book was really fun to read because we got to reunite with some loved characters from Derailed, and get to know a couple more that only made minute appearances (cough...Jake... cough).  I think Alyssa did a fabulous job in creating a town that is small enough that you sort of get a feel for who everyone is, and what role they play; but also big enough that people can come in from the outside and not be labeled as an outsider.  

A theme that really resonated with me while I was reading the book was building trust.  Becca has really had some horrible luck in her life, and in building a relationship with Gavin, she has to share what has happened to her in the past, and that truly scares her.  I think Alyssa Rose Ivy does an awesome job at capturing the emotions of what those moments are like in a new and meaningful relationship. 

Now, I must get to the romance part of the book.  I don't know how she does it, but Alyssa Rose Ivy manages to create characters that just worm their way into your heart.  I am one of those "experience every emotion in the book" readers, and when a book makes me feel things, that's when I know I have a winner.   Veer was fantastic in this area.  Becca and Gavin's relationship does have its ups and downs, but it is a very real relationship.  I think the realness of what is happening to them comes across very well, and that translates into some hot/gut wrenching/wonderful scenes between these characters. 

Personally I think everybody should go out and buy this book.  It's awesome, and Alyssa Rose Ivy is super cool too.  So in my opinion it's a win-win.  Buy an awesome book, help support an Indie author so we can have more awesome books!  Definite Recommend!! 

Oh Yeah Count: 5/5  (shizz rocks)


Contact Alyssa!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wrecked Cover Reveal!

I am so excited to share this with everyone!  I got to have a sneak peak at this awhile ago and I CANNOT wait for Wrecked to come out!  I've had a love affair with Jake since Derailed and I am so stoked he is getting his own book.  Plus I think this cover is sweet and totally represents how I think Jake is.   So without further ado, check out what Alyssa Rose Ivy has in store for us next!! 

When your past catches up, it's time to stop running.
Jake Mathews messed up yet again— but this time his misstep lands him in the hospital. He wakes up to find the girl of his dreams and the memory of having his deepest secret revealed.
Emily Taylor needs a break. She's been working double shifts as a nurse just to pay the bills while trying to heal a broken heart. The last thing she needs is to fall for a patient.
Strapped with community service and the knowledge that he's disappointed everyone in his life, Jake is determined not to let Emily slip through his fingers. Emily wants Jake, but can she really open herself up to heartache again?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden

So, I admit it.  I really lucked out on getting an ARC of this book.  I really, really wanted to read it and as fate would have it,  I managed to score one from Jessica Sorensen (yay me!).  So first of all if you haven't seen the gorgeous cover of the book, let's give you a taste of what is to come.

There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.

Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.

For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.

Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.

(New Adult Contemporary)*Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

Ok, I must admit I went into this book thinking I knew what I was going to get.  But, boy, I was really freaking wrong.  This book broke the mold of every expectation I had for it, and it was good.  Oh boy it is so GOOD.   I have mentioned in previous posts that I am a sucker for characters that are crafted extremely well, and Jessica Sorensen has created some fantastic characters in this book.  It's not even just Callie and Kayden I loved, but some of the secondary characters were wonderful and people that I wanted to be friends with in real life.  The relationships between these characters is absolutely fantastic, and I love that Jessica Sorensen tackles a multitude of social issues that we see in everyday life. 

As far as the plot of the book, if you read the blurb you know that Callie and Kayden went to high school together and now are at the same college.  From the blurb I expected Kayden to be full on pursuing Callie and kind of forcing her to come out of her shell.  What we get in the book is definitely better than what is described.  The relationship between Callie and Kayden is believable amongst the backdrop of college.  It is a gradually building relationship that you honestly don't know where they are going to end up.   Jessica Sorensen creates this very real portrait of two individuals trying to become free of past torments, but she does it in a believable way.  I think that it is very human of people to fail at points in life, and I think that this idea is demonstrated beautifully in this book.  The story of Callie and Kayden is meant to be savored like every new experience that you have in your life. 

I don't want to address to much more of what goes on in the book because I am trying to make this a non-spoiler review because this book is really meant to be enjoyed as you read it.  But, what I will comment on is the multitude of real life issues that are addressed in this book.  These events are tragic and scarring, the characters who have experienced these issues do not magically become better by trying new things or making new friends.  These experiences linger and need to be worked through, and I think that this is done beautifully in this book.  It is very real, and I think that it is great that these issues are addressed.   I think what solidified my absolute love for this book was the end.  No, I promise I won't give anything away, but damn that was a great ending.  It reinforced so many themes that we see through the book and is a total, "OMG what is happening right now!?!" moment.   

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden is fantastic.  Seriously, the 14th needs to be here now because everyone needs to be reading this book!  Job well done Jessica Sorensen, job well freaking done.  Can't wait for more.  ;)

Oh yeah count 5/5!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shadow Slayer Blog Tour!

Shadows will do anything to become human. You see their influence everyday. You say things you don’t mean or do things that aren’t like you. You look, different. Friends you’ve known forever suddenly never call.

As a freshman, Roxie just wants to fit in which is impossible because she barely runs into her friends at her huge high school. Adrianne’s disappearance and Hayden’s attention rock Roxie’s world. But nothing rocks it like the most gorgeous guy at school, Drew. And nothing is more important to Roxie than astral projecting back to Planet Popular to solve the mystery of the map. But that changes when Drew invites Roxie to Homecoming. Hayden warns her that something’s wrong. Why would a guy like Drew like Roxie anyway? Drew must want something. Hayden’s right. Drew is...different. Planet Popular was just the beginning. Part of a bigger world, the Shadow World. There’s a war brewing between the world of humans and the world of shadows. When the shadow invasion begins at Roxie’s high school, she’ll not only fight for her life but the lives of her family and friends, when she discovers she’s the Shadow Slayer, the one human who can save Earth from the shadow onslaught. But, Roxie can’t even kill a spider. Oh yeah, there’s an evil English teacher, an enchanted play, a sword of Sandonian steel, a homecoming of horrors, and seven magic words too.

Review:  This book is a nice breath of fresh air and really reminds you what YA is about.  Sometimes there is so much emphasis on the older set of the YA crowd, that a lot of books geared towards younger readers get lost in the background.  Shadow Slayer is a book that greatly captures what teenage life is like right now.  Laura gives a superb teenage voice to main character Roxie that comes across as very realistic.  Her other supporting characters really added to the voice of the novel to create a realistic portrait of high school relationships.  

The idea for this series is really cool.  Reading Halloween, the first book in the series, you literally get plunged into a different state of play (literally) and what ensues is pure genius.  We are thrust into the shadow world, and at the conclusion of Halloween we return to normalcy.  But, can anything ever stay normal for Roxie who has just attained her dream of the perfect boyfriend?  The answer to that of course is no. 

As she is pulled back into the Shadow world she finds out what her true destiny is, and that people she may trust implicitly are not worthy of that trust.  This book is a great building block onto what Roxie's last journey was and you can see the transformation she goes through as a young adult.  

This book is a really fun read and the series is so great!  Go  check it out!  
Oh Yeah Count: 4/5

About Laura A.H. Elliot
I love writing about enchanted road trips, shadow worlds, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. I live with my hubby and Oso, our aussie shepherd, in our tree house on the central California coast. After twenty-plus years as a freelance graphic designer/animator with clients including E! Entertainment Television and The Los Angeles Times, I crossed over into the world of publishing non-fiction and followed my heart to the world of fiction.

I'm the author of the Shadow Series & the Starjump Series. I'm really excited about Shadow Slayer because Roxie is one year older and finds fitting in at high school nothing compared to saving the world from the shadow onslaught. Transfer Student (Starjump Series #1) is an intergalactic tale of beauty and the geek. This book is near and dear to me because it explores the greatest mystery in the galaxy––what do boys think about girls? And, vice-versa. Ashley & Rhoe solve this mystery by swapping lives. I'm the author of a couple stand-alone novels too. Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale is inspired by my life-long love of a little-known town and my equal love of enchanted teenage road trips. I love this book because Ginny awakens to her own intuition and learns to trust her gut. The Seven Caves & Other Spine-Tingling Short Stories is a compilation of my most popular ghost stories.

To find out more about my books visit: or find me on Facebook. @Laurawriting

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Impossible Blog Tour!!


Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.

Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.

The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.

Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible.

Review:  So right off the bat in reading the blurb for this book I really wanted to read it.  It's got the make of an epic 90's teen drama, and I'm going to come out and say it, but I really miss those wonderful teen dramedies from the 90's.  But, back to the book, the blurb definitely peaked my interest, and I am so glad I gave this book a read!  It was fun and simultaneously dealt with gritty real life stuff at the same time.  

So at first I absolutely HATED Ashton.  She was written perfectly.  She was bratty and a complete bitch.  While I was reading I kept wondering, man am I ever going to actually get to feel sorry for her.  These events would happen to her, and I would be like oh man, that sucks Ashton maybe now you'll wake up and be a better person, and then she would go and do something ridiculous.  In this instance though, Ashton's characterization furthers the plot in a good way.  She really does have to fall to rock bottom in order to find her way back to the person she once was.  Now, on the opposite side of the spectrum, we have sweet and charming Luca.  Even though Ashton and Luca are equally responsible for the disintegration of their friendship, you can't help but just love sweet Luca, and at some points hate Ashton because of how she treats him.

The plot in this book wasn't anything that shocking.  It was a sweet love story about former friends finding their way back to each other and themselves.  I definitely felt Komal Lewis did a great job characterizing high schoolers.  She made them the right mix of ridiculous and lovable.  Plus there are some scenes between Ashton and Luca that just make your heart melt. 

I definitely recommend this book.  It's an easy read that is not too dark and enjoyable.  Overall a great first debut into the literary world.  Can't wait to see what else you have for us Komal!  Recommended for people who like love stories, first loves, reuniting friendships, and healing hearts. 
I give it a four out of five oh yeahs!

And now we have Komal Lewis hanging out with us for a bit!
So Komal, What are your favorite Video Games?

This is such a great question! I love that I get to take a break from talking about my book so I can talk about video games. Since this is one of those topics where I could go on and on and on, I thought it was best if I only listed my Top 5 favourite games. Ya know, ‘cos’ sometimes I tend to ramble.

1. Final Fantasy 8 (and the series in general)
The plot of FF8 is too complex to condense into a paragraph. All I can say is that the story is epic and that Squall and Rinoa are one of my favourite couples EVER. You’ll just have to play the game (or Google the summary at the very least) to find out why. I also love the side characters and how they are all connected.

You can expect sorceresses, an academy that trains special agents, a romance, great FMV scenes, an excellent plot, going into space, and kidnapping a President. Only in FF8 could you do all these things! Final Fantasy 8 is probably my favourite video game ever.

2. Pokemon
Pokemon is about a young Pokemon trainer who embarks on an adventure with their Pokemon so they can become the greatest Pokemon trainer in the region. On the way, they encounter Team Rocket (or Plasma, whatever it is these days), fight many battles, and try to collect as many Pokemon as they can.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I have been playing the new game on my writing breaks and am slowly making my way through it. My favourite version is the original one, even though the graphics weren’t great, and Emerald version because there is so much to do in that game. It can keep you entertained for hours even after the original storyline is completed.

3. Dino Crisis 2
Dino Crisis is a fun shooting/action game where two agents (I forgot what they work for) are sent to an island to contain an outbreak of dinosaurs. It’s a lot of fun and you get to upgrade to awesome weapons. The plot twist at the end is MAJOR. I loved it.

I am obsessed with dinosaurs. I have been since I was five. If you want to sell me something, just add in the word “dinosaur” and I’m sold. Thankfully, Dino Crisis 2 was a great game. The plot was great, the gameplay was great, and I enjoyed the altering POV. In fact, I may go and play it now.

4. Halo
Halo is a science fiction game with aliens! Whatever explanation I give you won’t do the game any justice. If you want to know why the game is called Halo, you’ll just have to play it to find out. It’s one of those ones that you have to play to love. Believe me, you will LOVE it.

I have loved this game since I first played it in early 2002. If you’re a serious gamer and you haven’t played this one, then you need to get on it A.S.A.P! Halo is definitely one of the best games ever made. Halo 4 just came out and I have had to use every ounce of willpower not to buy it, otherwise I will never get any writing done!

5. Yoshi’s Island
I loved this game as a kid and I still love playing it now. It’s one of those games that stay with you through the years. The concept is simple, but the game was executed so well. Basically, Baby Mario is separated from his brother, and it’s Yoshi’s job to reunite them.

There are great boss battles to be had and lots of fun side quests and mini-games to enjoy. The levels get trickier and trickier, and it’s so much fun trying to figure them all out. It’s a great game for kids (and adults who act like kids)!

There are so many other great games that I love like Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart, Mortal Combat, God of War, Assassin’s Creed, etc. Let’s be honest, I could go on naming fifty other games that I love, but I’m just going to leave it at that.

And since this guest post was originally supposed to be about my favourite video games and comic books, I’m just going to put it out there that I love Spiderman comic books, preferably The Amazing Spiderman series.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

Title: Impossible
Series: With Me, #1
Author: Komal Lewis
Release Date: October 26, 2012
Pages: 254


Komal Lewis is an author who writes both Young Adult and Adult novels in the Contemporary and Fantasy genres. Her debut novel IMPOSSIBLE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance about a girl who will do anything to become popular, and the rocker boy-next-door.

Komal lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and one too many dogs and cats (although she never seems to think they have enough). She is overly enthusiastic about video games, comic books, Batman films, Byronic heroes, baking, reptiles, and pretty shoes.