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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Rival Love



Title: Rival Love
Author: Natalie Decker
Genre: Erotica, BDSM
Release date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Source: Blog Tour Host


Summary from Goodreads:
Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.

But it now on Amazon

About the Author:
Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
Website |Goodreads | Twitter Facebook

Review:


★★★★

Three and a half stars, rounded up.

---

Rival Love is a book that I sped through in a day. It was a gripping and entertaining tale of young love that isn't always as easy as the television and movies seem to be.

A large reason of why I liked this book is Caleb. He's the star quarterback and is a pretty alpha-minded young man. He is both protective and insufferable, while managing to have just the right amount of teenage angst. I feel this way largely about Skylar as well. At first I thought she was really whiny and annoying, but I grew to like her the more I got inside her head. I loved seeing what would happen next, and how this forbidden high school romance would come to be. This book offers sides of both characters' stories, so you get a well-rounded opinion as the plot unfolds.

A plot that I really liked, from the get-go when I first read the summary. I really, really like the idea of this book. This is probably in large part to the fact that I was in a school district where loyalty was pretty fierce. The other school was the "rough school", and it would have been horrid to go there. (I am sure it was lovely and all, but pride is pride.) I think a lot of readers will relate to this idea of rivalry.

That being said, I do feel like this die hard high school loyalty is a bit extreme, to the point of violence. So were her old "friends" and boyfriend. It felt a bit over dramatic, which annoyed me a little bit. But really, it's high school. Don't we all think we're the kings of the world when we're there, before we're out in the real world? High school is full of drama, so while annoying it is not entirely unbelievable.

Another thing that hung me up about this book a bit is the use of slang/profanity. I have no issues with either clean reads, or ones that are rather colorful. But I felt that in Rival Love that it was a weird blend of the two. Sometimes swears were greatly avoided, like hitting Caleb in his "bad area". But other times, f-bombs were dropping. It just didn't gel quite right, and it was something that I noticed.

However, even with these hang ups, this was a pretty good read for me. It had a good sense of humor to it but also addressed some relatable, real issues like bullying and divorce. This is a great read for anyone currently in high school, especially for the athletes or those in schools with notorious rivalry. As mentioned earlier, this book does contain some language and bullying content, so be aware of that.

I was given a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaway:


$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Rival Love (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: In the Rearview by Maria Ann Green


Check out Maria Ann Green's In the Rearview promo event hosted by Itching for Books. Continue for an excerpt and enter the giveaway:






22877564
Release date: August 19th 2014
Publisher: Astraea Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N






Synopsis via Goodreads:

When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.

Meagan's problems aren't like every other adolescent's no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They've pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it's apparent that there's no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn't understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn't last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.

While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.






Maria Ann Green

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Green currently lives in Minnesota, despite its bitter winters, with her husband. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. When she isn’t writing, Maria loves to read with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet wine, craft, and spend time with her family. This is her first published novel. 


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK







EXCERPT
===============



 Meagan stared down at her desk. Her focus moved beyond the assignment in front of her without actually seeing what she was looking toward. There were lines, spaces of white, and blobs of writing, but nothing seemed important enough to consider closely.  Truthfully she didn’t care. 




 She didn’t feel the need to focus. 
 Her gaze slowly moved up to the front of the classroom, and again she fixated on a point past what was before her. She did not concentrate on the teacher. There was a face, a moving mouth, but she didn’t connect it with the sounds struggling slowly, like sticky sludge past her ears. She didn’t hear the instructions being uttered; each word fell on deaf ears as she mindlessly doodled. 


 Twisting her hair around her finger, she thought about how nice it would be to be at home, in bed, with the curtains closed instead of in this loud and hyper school. It seemed her classmates had recently started caring too much about what was going on around them. There was too much drama, too much noise, too much concern jumping all around her. It was all so taxing. 




 It was such a bother. 
 Meagan, in contrast, was usually in a world of her own. Her head felt fuzzy most of the time, and unless she used a lot of energy, most conversations sounded muffled, like there was cotton in her ears. She didn’t feel the need to engage anymore. Her desire to try so hard just to do what had once come easily had dwindled to nothing. At first she’d tried, but not now. Not anymore. It had become too difficult to care. 
 And that was her biggest problem. Meagan didn’t care much about any of these changes. She was fine walking through school without any effort. Her feet felt a little heavier as each day passed, and her head felt a little more under pressure of a crushing fog that numbed her, but she pushed through it all. She didn’t mind neglecting what used to bring her excitement. In fact, it was just easier not to give a crap. 
 Everything was distinctly lackluster these days.













Mini Review: Captain Underpants #11


Title: Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000
Author: Dav Pilkey
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: August 26th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Scholastic



★★★★

Four stars.

---

Holy nostalgia, Batman. I used to gobble these books up when I was in elementary school. I hadn't even known they were still being written. That is, until I saw it listed on Netgalley. Though I tried to resist it, I had to give it a click. I'm happy to say, that this is every bit like I remembered.

The Captain Underpants series chronicles two boys' adventures alongside their elementary school principal, who thanks to a bit of hypnotism turns into the superhero Captain Underpants at the snap of fingers. Of course, this only lasts until he is doused in water, and then he turns back into their grumpy old principal.

This is a great read for elementary school age children. I'd recommend it more for boys than girls, but of course that's just opinion. This book will make any kid who is still young enough to appreciate toilet humor giggle out loud. The illustrations are great and the text fairly easy. If evil turbo toilets, time traveling squid space suits, and a pudgy man running around with his waistband utility belt in his underwear, saving the world sound like a good time, then this is the book for you.

It was a bit confusing at first, I admit, since I haven't read a large chunk of the books since the time I was a kid. While I recommend that you read them in order, you can dive in at this point too- just be a bit patient at the beginning.

Thanks for the blast from the past, Scholastic and Netgalley, who provided me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Big Book of Submission



Title:The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales
Editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Genre: Erotica, BDSM
Release date: July 15th, 2014
Publisher: Cleis Press
Length: Paperback, 364 pages
Source: Rachel & Cleis Press


Book Description via Goodreads:

Submission takes many forms in this collection of 69 short stories, from straining in bondage to taking a spanking, being put on display, and beyond. By turns bratty and worshipful, these submissives will go to great lengths to fulfill their naughtiest fantasies and are rewarded splendidly by their masters and mistresses. A student returns to show his former teacher who’s really in charge, a photo shoot becomes an opportunity for erotic games, and a man revels in his wife’s past as a former dominatrix. These brats, masochists, and hungry-for-sensation subs go above and beyond for the ones they adore, pushing themselves to new limits while their devious dominants put them through their paces. Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, these short stories sizzle with the tension of erotic power play, commands followed, and service willingly performed.

Excerpt:




From Lariat by Michelle Augello-Page

I couldn't move. Pain flashed through my body. The stretch in my arms and legs were severe. He didn't touch me. He just looked at me. His face was sensuous and cruel as he circled me. I was helpless, at his mercy. He could do anything he wanted to me. He had me knotted tightly and bound, completely exposed to him.

"Do you really want this? This is how it is with me."

He walked around the bed, holding a crop, never taking his eyes off me. The lashes from the crop stung my skin. He was hurting me. I wanted him to hold me. I wanted him to touch me. Tears sprang to my eyes. Waves of sensation rippled across my skin. Then the lashes felt like little bites, sharp kisses. I realized that he was already touching me. Intensely. I realized that he was already holding me, more securely than I had ever been held in my adult life.

"Yes," I said through my tears. "This is what I've always wanted."

He freed me, released the ropes binding me, then gathered me into his arms as I cried. "You are mine," he said softly, keeping me bound in his close embrace. Then he kissed my tears, pressed his body against my body, and encircled me with his ruthless and protective love.




Buy it now on Amazon:

Review:


★★★★★

Four and a half stars.

---

It has gotten to the point in my erotica reading career that when I see Rachel Kramer Bussel's name in my email inbox, I quiver in anticipation like a kid on Christmas, eager to unwrap whatever she has next. I was so excited when Rachel and Cleis Press sent me a copy of this book (in exchange for an honest review of course), and I ate it up right away. Why this particular title, you may ask? Well, I identify as a submissive. Ever the bratty little narcissist, I was enamored with the idea of a book of erotica short stories celebrating me!

This anthology is a thick book consisting of 69 hand-plucked kinky tales that all deal with submissives. However, that is the only trait they share. This book has stories and relationship pairings to suit every level of desire and each sexual orientation. There are softer stories, and there are ones that made me wince in the best kind of sympathy pains (I've been there, fictional submissives. I feel your pain). There are stories that contain heterosexual couples, lesbian couples, male/male pairings, and combinations of the bunch. Whether your fantasy is leather, ropes, voyeurism, Femdom.... You like it? The Big Book of Submission has a story waiting for you.

The Big Book of Submission is one of the best erotica collections that I have had the wicked pleasure of enjoying. I'm not going to go into a break down of each of the 69 stories, but I will say that "Sunday in the Art Gallery with George" by Elizabeth Coldwell and "Dear Sir" by Kay Jaybee deserve a special shout out. Coldwell's story is about a bratty submissive who gets punished when she cannot behave herself at an art gallery, and Jaybee's story is written as a letter from a 40 year old submissive to her Dominant, expressing herself beautifully about her feelings about an escapade the two (and a guest) had had.

If I didn't enjoy a short story as much as another, it was simply because I either wasn't feeling the point of view, or it was written about something that is not my particular fetish. I can't win them all.

Another great thing about this collection is that these short stories are not related at all, other than the central theme. This means that you can stop reading at whatever point you'd like. You can jump around and skip stories, because they are each independent. This is great for when you just want a quickie read, say in between classes (like myself).

And though this has absolutely no reflection on the writing inside, I adore the cover of this book. Look at it! Yum.

I would recommend this anthology to anyone who is interested or turned on by BDSM relationships. The heat level is sizzling and the variety of tales is wide. Obviously, this book deals with sex and BDSM themes, so if those types of things bother you, than this is NOT the book for you. Thanks again to Rachel & Cleis Press for my copy in exchange for my honest opinions.

Follow the rest of the blog tour for more teasers and fun by clicking here.

Giveaway:


Rules:
-This giveaway will run from August 26th to September 2nd, 2014
-This giveaway is US ONLY
-This giveaway is open to those 18+
-It is open to anyone over that age who can legally enter, receive, and use their prize.
-One (1) winner will win a copy.
-This giveaway is sponsored wholly by the publisher. I am not responsible.
-This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity.
-Winner will have 48 hours to reply, or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen using random.org.
-Invalid entries will be removed, so please don't cheat.
-Void where prohibited. Odds will vary. No purchase necessary.
-My opinions are my own. Information will not be stored or sold, and will be used only to contact the winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Boo's Review: Feral by Holly Schindler


Every once in a while on here, I'll be posting my girlfriend Emily's reviews on here. She doesn't blog on her own, but sometimes she needs to let her book feelings out in the world, and that's where Bitches n Prose steps in. (She also drew that banner. Ain't she cute?)


Title: Feral
Author: Holly Schindler
Format: ARC
Pub. Date: August 26th 2014
Source: Holly Schindler



★★★★★

Five stars.

---

How far would you go to escape the horrors of your past? To regain the life you had before? Well, for junior journalist Claire Cain, moving states away wasn't far enough. Danger and mystery follow her from Chicago to Peculiar, Missouri where she stumbles upon the corpse of a missing high school student in the woods behind the town's school, and it's up to Clair to figure out the truth behind the girl's death.

Wow guys. Wow. This is probably the fastest I've ever finished a book of this size (apart from the Harry Potter series) I literally could not put it down. The synopsis did not lie when it said "The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan". I could see influences of both stories and how they came together beautifully to create this psychological thriller.

It's been a while since I've yelled at the pages like one would yell at a movie screen; asking who did it, voicing my opinions, pleading to be right or wrong, shouting out in fear or surprise. I must admit I let out a string of "oh god oh god oh god"s and a generous amount of colorful swears more than a few times during my read.

Feral is not just the name of this book, it's a theme that resonates throughout the story. Feral are the cats that overpopulate the small town of Peculiar. Feral are the nightmares that haunt Claire. Feral are the scars left behind by her attack, and the attackers themselves.

I absolutely loved all the characters in this book, even the ones I thought I shouldn't. They were all written fantastically, and their personalities were really set apart. No one really blended into the other, and it made it very easy to distinguish who was who.

Another thing I loved was that there was no love interest with the main character, Clair, as I feared there would be when she first meets Rich Ray in Peculiar, Missouri. Nothing more than friendship blossoms between them, and that is SO refreshing to see. There was nothing to distract from the main plot of the book, and that, I think, was what helped me fly through it so fast. There was no side distractions, every turn of the page brought me closer to knowing the truth.

One of the greatest things about this read was that I was never sure about who the killer was until the very end. I jumped from character to character and back to a previous character- I probably suspected everyone at one point or another, and the reveal still surprised me.

The only tiniest issues I had were two things. Claire's over use of "ground beef" to describe her body after her beating in Chicago- the scene haunts her so she goes back to it frequently, and for me, there was just too much ground beef, but not enough to hinder my enjoyment of the story. And sometimes sentences seemed either lazy or incomplete to me. An example being something like " "I don't know." he grunted, turning the keys in the ignition." " To me it just seemed like there should be more to the end of the sentence. But again, in no way did it hinder the flow of the story or my enjoyment.

All in all, this was a brilliant read, and I so enjoyed how enthralled I got reading it. It's rare for me to be completely submerged in a book from page one. And I hope you all find the same enthrallment as I did. I definitely recommend this book to fans of The Lovely Bones, Black Swan, Stephen King, and M. Night Shyamalan to name a few.

Thanks so much to the author, Holly Schindler, for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved it, as you can tell.

Review by my boo, Emily.

Review: Upside Down by Lia Riley


Title: Upside Down (Off the Map #1)
Author: Lia Riley
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: August 5th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Forever



★★★★★

Five stars.

---

I will be the first one to admit to you that this review may continue onward to be a fangirling mess, but I will try my best to remain professional. I have only just finished this book, I need to write this review before all my gushing praise goes away.

I'll start with the beginning thoughts. First thing is first, I loved this cover. The coloring is striking and bright, and got my attention. And then I heard "Australia" and "biceps" mentioned in a Twitter conversation about Upside Down. I then had to usher this book to the front of my queue because I needed it. I am so glad I did.

I love the characters in this book. All of them are flawed, but it makes them more relatable and less predictable, in my opinion. The main character, Talia, has some skeletons in her closet. She travels to Australia in order to get away and start over for a little while, to make a Talia 2.0. One that doesn't have OCD freak outs and who graduates on time. Slight interruption here, this is the first time that I've read about an OCD character, and it made Talia stick out to me (in a good way) as a character. She's trying to figure out herself and her life. And then she meets Bran, an intense looking, gorgeous Australian with beautiful eyes and a look that's hard to figure out. He turns her world completely upside down (see what I did there?). But he's no prince charming either, and his closet has more skeletons than a haunted house in October. He doesn't want to love again... But how can he resist a girl like Talia? I love them apart. I love them together. I just love them. The heat that builds between them is incredibly steamy and well written, and I was cheering them on throughout the entire novel.

That said, I don't just love the main characters. In an incredibly rare literary moment (the equivalent of finding a unicorn), I liked the way the side characters were written as well. That's not to say I liked THEM per se, but they fulfilled their purpose in the plot, and had depth. From Marti, Talia's French-speaking lesbian roomie to Jazza, the dumb, hunky surf jockey, each character brought a unique touch to the story.

Another thing that I loved that I wasn't expecting was the amount of humor in this book. More than once, I laughed out loud. I've never read Lia Riley's work before, but she has a quirky, hilarious, pop-culture filled way of writing that I am positively adoring. She's definitely made a fan out of me. There were so many serious parts too, but the happy and the sad seemed to blend and ease into one another, making it seem emotionally flawless to this reader. It felt real.

Similarly, I love the attention to details that made this book so... Well, Australian. The setting was beautifully described in such detail that I feel like I have actually visited there. And the slang/dialect of the characters was a very helpful reminder as to where the book was set, and how I should be reading their voices (which just makes Bran hotter, let's be honest).

The book covers both POVs, though Talia does have far more chapters to her view than Bran does. It never gets muddled or confusing, and I was always very aware of whose POV I was currently reading.

All in all, I loved this book. It is the one that has successfully pulled me out of my reading slump. I will 100% be continuing onward with this series, and pretty much anything else that Lia Riley publishes. Fans of New Adult and romance, Australia, or good humor will be as smitten as I am. Be warned that this book contains sex, alcohol, and death themes.

Thank you to Netgalley and Forever for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Excerpt, Review, Giveaway: Unrequited


Unrequited
by Emma
Grey
 
Release Date: 05/26/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Kat
Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world's biggest boy band. Is she the only girl
in Sydney who can't be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden?



Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.



Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could
be Douglas Booth's twin! Perfect formal partner, much?



But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get
complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in
the musical and a mum who just doesn't get it—and where is her best friend?



When did life get so crazy? Kat's just an ordinary schoolgirl.



Isn't she?
About the Author

Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of
businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline. Her first book, 'Wits' End
Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum' was published in 2005.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png







GIVEAWAY:
3 - $10 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway





Excerpt:



Is he going to kiss her? How would she know? She’s never done this before. Not with anyone. Pop star or otherwise …
He is. He’s going to kiss me. She thought they couldn’t get any closer on this piano stool but she was wrong. His face is near hers now, his green eyes intent. He touches her cheek with his fingers and traces a line to her chin, which he lifts, gently, almost like he’s done this a million times before.
His breath is on her lips and she can actually hear her own heart thudding. She’s sure he can, too, particularly when his other hand finds the curve of her waist and pulls her closer.
There’s nothing rushed about this manoeuvre. Yep. He’s definitely done this before. Maybe two million times. Maybe three million. After all, he’s got at least twenty million followers on social media …
‘Kat,’ he whispers. ‘Turn your brain off.’




Book Blitz Organized by: