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Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Survivors Review

In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. 

Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all...HOW DO YOU KILL A SURVIVOR? 

The Survivors will steal your heart and invade your mind. Fall into the pages of Sadie's life, a world so frighteningly similar to your own, you'll find yourself wanting to go to the Montana mountains to find the Survivors for yourself.

And it is only the beginning.

Review: First of all, I have to give some serious cover love to "The Survivors."  It feels similar to Erin Morgenstern's Night Circus cover, which gives me happy giddy feelings. 

Secondly, I LOVE a good witch story.  The Survivors by Amanda Havard is completely engrossing and fantastic.  Spun off of the Salem Witch Trials, I was thrown right into the story.  I felt the injustice of the exiles story, and intrigued at their cult like separation from society.  The historical points woven throughout the story serve to enhance it's richness in plot and story. 

Sadie was an interesting character right from the start.  Her aversion to touch, and exhaustion from pretending to be human was really interesting from me.  She's a complete paradox in that she wants to be human, has to act like a human, is exhausted by acting human, but is definitely not human.  Did you get all that?  When she meets a human who clouds her judgement, she bolts.  Then she comes across someone else entirely, who is entirely too much like her. 

Amanda Havard created a really unique story in The Survivors that sucked me in.  I managed to read all three books that are out in one day.  The characters were all done very well, and there was just so much richness in the story that drew me in.  From the weird Puritan culture that birthed Sadie, to the warmth of the Winter's family, The Survivors has a myriad of detail and plot drivers that will draw all paranormal lovers to read. 

With that said, so much happens in this book.  It is an insane journey of discovery that takes Sadie to each corner of the Earth.  Havard has done a very successful job of laying the foundation out for a complex and captivating world that will keep a reader on their toes. 

Nothing went how I expected it to.  Now, for those who are not fans of love triangles, The Survivors has one.  Well, kind of.  I can't give too much more of that away because it's one of those you have to read it to get it scenarios.  Let's just say I loathe angst-y love triangles and I could read The Survivors without wanting to throw my Kindle outside of a window. 

With all that said, I implore you to start reading this absolutely fantastic series.  It's clean romance wise, but it does have some gruesome subjects in it.  I would mainly say stay away for younger YA, unless they're really mature.  Highly, highly recommend The Survivors to you guys! 

4/5 Oh Yeah I liked it a lot!
Oh guess what guys?  It's totally free on Kindle right now!   Go download! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Found Review!

This post has me SO excited guys!  I just had the pleasure of beta reading found for my good friend Alyssa Rose Ivy and it was AWESOME.   For you Crescent Chronicles lovers out there, this book is going to blow your minds! ;)

Levi might be hot, strong, and have a cool set of wings, but it's not enough to make up for keeping Allie in the dark.

Allie's tired of being left with more questions than answers. She's tired of loving a guy who refuses to level with her. Most of all, she's tired of her life spinning out of control.

Desperate to save Jess no matter the personal cost, Allie has to face the possibility that the only one she can trust is herself.

Review: So crazy stuff happens in this book.  Seriously guys.  I can't even begin to wrap my head around every event that goes on.  Crazy, intense, edge of your seat things are going on in Found,, people, and it is so much fun. 

Oh and for you Allie and Levi lovers, there is so much good stuff going on with them in Found.  Let's just say they're getting pretty hot and heavy.  Emphasis on the hot.

I've been saying this over the entirety of the series, but I completely adore the way Alyssa Rose Ivy can portray close friendships between the characters in her stories.  I always feel like I am right there in the room with Levi, Allie, Haily, Jared,  and Owen.  Their friendships and banter are so fun and realistic. 

I think what is most intriguing about Found is how Alyssa Rose Ivy pushed the plot until I was gaping. I really was not expecting the outcome of the book.  The resolution was incredibly great, but definitely did not happen how I thought it was going to.  

Now, I must talk about darling Levi.  He's still as abrasive as ever, but in Found there is an extra wonderful scene between him and Allie that will just make your heart melt and fall in love with him all over again.  And I do feel that he has gotten better about making sure that Allie gets what she wants, and isn't being forced to settle. 

Now, I must talk about the other wonderful characters in Found.  Toby I had mixed emotions about.  I felt that he was finally redeemed, but man was he creepy at parts in the series.  I do feel sorry for him now though and I'm curious as to what he'll be up to in his new promotion.  Owen and Hailey are always great characters to read about.  I love their sibling banter, and it makes me happy that they are never looked down upon by Levi or Allie because of their "inferior" Pteron births.  I had to save the best for last.  Alyssa knows that I have an insane obsession with Jared, and I'm not even ashamed to admit it.   I could write a whole page on why I love Jared and why he should have his own spinoff.  But, instead of doing that and having Alyssa write me hate mail, I will say that Jared I hated in the first book of the series.  But, somewhere down the line he became a truly wonderful friend and person.  He loves Allie and Levi and would literally die for them.  I think in Found he was the perfect dose of comedy to lighten up the intensity of the plot.  #TeamJared

Found was completely epic in my book.  I feel so honored to have gotten to participate in beta reading for Alyssa because I absolutely fell in love with book one, and to be able to read the second and third before a lot of people and get a taste of Alyssa's creative genius is just awesome.  

So people, please pick up Found if you haven't already.  It is insanely fantastic, and Alyssa Rose Ivy completely outdid herself.  I really can't wait to see what the spinoff series, The New York Chronicles, will bring!  

5/5 OH YEAH I LOVED IT" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Alyssa Rose Ivy:

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to
write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.


The Found playlist is different from the Flight and Focus lists. Maybe it's because my husband started 
this list for me, but it’s got less of a pop feel this time. I think the mellower feel fits well with the more romantic side of Levi we see in Found, and in the end it worked perfectly for this book. This is one of those playlists I keep coming back to even though I finished writing the book.   

Some of the most played songs are:

I Will Wait by Mumford and sons (This is by far the most played song on this list)

Madness by Muse 

Anna Sun by Walk the Moon (Loved listening to this one when I was gearing up to write)

Trojans by Atlas Genius

Need Your Love by Calvin Harris and Elle Goulding 

 Spotify list: 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

True Connections Blog Tour

'It's going to take a fight, I know that. But it's more than just a fight for my life. It's a fight for my soul and my soul mate.'
Jazzy Williams is not your average coffee-loving teen. She's struggling with her grief, her famous uncle’s fans, an overprotective big brother, and a depressed mother, all while trying to make friends at her new school. In the first week, she meets a gorgeous green-eyed hottie who turns out to be more than just some high school crush - he's more than human. And she unknowingly enrages a very dangerous breed of immortal who wants her soul or life as payment. With the help of supernatural friends and protectors, Jazzy thinks she's safe until what remains of her family is put in danger. Does Jazzy have what it takes to save her family, life, soul and soul mate, or will all be lost?

*Warning* Mature Content. This contains some profanity, mild sexual situations, innuendoes, and violence. Recommended for ages 17 and up, depending on maturity level.

Review:  From the synopsis of True Connections I was really excited to get into the book.  I've been gorging myself on New Adult contemporary books lately, and figured some paranormal should spice up my shelf quite nicely.  

I really liked the concept of True Connections.  I think the paranormal scene that Rachel Walter has created is really fun and unique.  When I first started reading, it was a little hard to get into the action, only because I felt like the plot jumps around a lot and I couldn't really get grounded in the story.  However, about a quarter of the way through when the mythology of what paranormal creatures True Connections unveils itself I was hooked.  I really, really love it when authors go outside of the norm and create something completely unique and I think that was something that Rachel Walter nailed. 

I also really liked Jaz's interactions with her brother Henry and his friend Barry.  I thought that the nice non-romantic dynamics were executed in a really fun and comedic way, that I could easily picture in my head.   Henry was just a really fun brother, and his and Jaz's close relationship was really sweet.  Jaz was someone that I struggled with at points in the book.  Granted crazy stuff was happening to her throughout the plot, but it felt like she wasn't taking what was happening to her seriously.  I understand the whole being selfish point of view, but how she handled the events in the book gave her an unflattering naiveté in my opinion.  Her relationship with Seth made me cringe at first, but I was really happy with how their story unfolded.  

Seth was another really great character for me.  He wasn't a brooding bad boy, but I definitely could tell he cared for Jaz without him being a complete jerk to her.  As far as raciness, there are kissing scenes in True Connections, but nothing graphic.  I honestly would say that it would be ok for upper-YA readers since there wasn't really any raunch. 

Overall, I enjoyed True Connections.  It's a really easy and fun read for anyone who loves their PNRs. I am really excited to see where the next story is going to go, since we will get Henry's story! 

3/5 Oh yeah I liked it!


Rachel lives in Central Pennsylvania, is a stay at home mom, has a wonderful husband, total of 4 kids, 3 of which are step kids. She’s a true Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers fan. She’s an insomniac that loves coffee, Johnny Depp movies and bonfires, dislikes driving on the interstate, bugs of any kind, and a too quiet house. When she’s not playing with the people inside her head, making her family think she belongs in the loony bin or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, finding new music, new books, helping someone or plotting something equally crazy with her Critique Partners.

Find Rachel Here!