Movie Review: Love, Simon


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2018: Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

My Thoughts

Based off of the book Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, which I have not read but the trailer drew me to the movie and I have heard a ton of great reviews so I just had to see it!

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Oh, this movie! All the feels and then some! Since not having actually read the book, I can only comment on how much I adored this movie! The cast seemed perfect and I really loved the the main character of Simon.

Simon knows that he is gay and has a major fear of coming out of the closet. When a fellow school mate makes an anonymous post on a chat room, it leaves Simon wondering who it is and feeling a little relieved that there is someone else out there that feels the same way he does. So he starts emailing this anonymous person that he calls Blue. The emails are beautiful and on point and actually show the struggles that today’s youth go through when deciding whether to take the leap to “come out”.

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The movie had a ton of hilarious parts and some very emotional ones as well. This movie is not only about a gay kid trying to come out. It is about relationships between family/friends, it is about bullying and how it is not okay, it is about coming to terms with yourself and being okay with whom you really are as a person and not being afraid to share that with the world.

All I can say is that I LOVED it! My favorite character would have to be the drama teacher031318-Love-Simon-Review-Natasha-Rothwell and while watching, my daughter actually said “I wish she worked at my school” because she was no nonsense and quite hilarious but not afraid to put the students in their place.

This movie made me laugh, cry and get all kinds of emotional. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and not a ferris wheel. (you have to see the movie or read the book to actually get that reference) When we finally get to find out whom Blue actually was, I was sobbing!

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If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it! Definitely the best teen drama I have seen this year!

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The Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman


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Synopsis

The Door Is Open . . .

For young widow Ellen Wood, her Victorian home is a refuge—a place to feel safe with her eleven-year-old son, Charlie. But when money grows so tight that Ellen could lose the house, her sister, Hannah, makes a radical suggestion . . . rent out some of the rooms. Soon Ellen has three lodgers: Sabine, a German coworker of Hannah’s, recently separated from her husband; Allegra, an eccentric but wise novelist; and Matt, an up-and-coming young journalist in search of his voice, who has just landed a plum job in London. Ellen thinks three strangers are the last complication she needs, but they make her realize just how isolated she has become. Their presence exposes a secret she’s been keeping hidden, as well as a conflict with her sister that is both shocking and revealing. And while a love affair with a younger man seems like a fantasy powered by her imagination, Ellen can’t deny her deep connection to Matt, or the changes he inspires in her and her relationship with Charlie. Outside her home’s sheltering walls lies a world of opportunity as well as danger. Now that she’s had the courage to open the door, does Ellen dare step through?

Witty, moving, and deeply insightful, The Home for Broken Hearts celebrates everything that makes life worth living, from an author who knows just how to speak to the heart.

My Thoughts 

Honestly, I just wanted something light in between my spooky reads. I just wanted something light, and sweet, what I got instead was a book that made my blood boil. I wanted so desperately to jump into the book to slap someone. I have never in my life encountered a book that made me this angry. It started out just fine.

The main character Ellie’s husband has recently passed away in a car accident. Her husband and her son are truly her whole entire world. Ellie has been housebound since she got married, though it became much worse after her husband died. Her behavior is worrisome, but it was behavior that her husband almost encouraged. Anyway, Ellie eventually makes the decision to rent out the rooms in her house after the bullying of her sister. Which then brings in a whole new cast of characters who shake up Ellie’s life.

To Ellie, her life and marriage was perfect. But, as you learn through the narration, Ellie tends to see things through rose-colored glasses and wasn’t able to see or refused to see the writing on the wall. This was something that I found absolutely frustrating, she was constantly making excuses or rationalizing deplorable behavior and actions. But my anger wasn’t toward her. No, Ellie though frustrating was the type of person, I found myself wanting to protect. Her describing the safety of her home, her insecurities, her motherhood, her relationship with her sister, her husband; I just wanted to protect her. And fight the people who hurt her.

I should also mention that I didn’t finish this book, I actually couldn’t finish it I was so upset. To be completely honest, within only a few chapters I had figured out the “twist”, it was just a sentence, and facial expression and then I knew, and once I found out I was livid. The twist is horrible and heartbreaking. And it ruined the whole book for me because I was trying to convince myself I was wrong. But it just became more and more obvious, and then the interactions and behavior started to make more sense. It truly felt like I was being tortured, and Ellie was just so clueless. I started to skim because I had to know if I was right. I was, and I was done. The anger, but also the sadness was explosive for me. I went to bed angry and woke up angry. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t read it any longer.

I don’t know guys, this book messed me up and not in a good way. I just feel so bad, for people who don’t even exist.
1 star
sam

Very Mini Review: Forbidden by Syrie & Ryan James


ForbiddenForbidden by Syrie James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read this book again to get ready for the sequel, Embolden. (which comes out on 10/31/18…just sayin) If you would like to read my original review, it can be found HERE! There were so many years in between the first book and the second that I could not even think about jumping right in without refreshing my brain first!

So, I still enjoyed it! Maybe not as much as the first time when the story was fresh and new and exciting! But, I still enjoyed the characters and the story line. I never got bored! Although, I did heart Alec a little less reading the second time through. He is an all around truly nice guy but….I love ’em bad! And he was just too nice for my taste.

I am currently reading the sequel and really enjoying it! Look for my review coming soon!

“The feel of her body against his was exhilarating, driving all rational thought from his head. “All right, prepare
yourself, Claire Brennan.”
She looked up at him curiously. “Prepare myself for
what?”
He gazed at her affectionately. “Repeat your mantra, or
whatever it is you do. Because I’m about to kiss you.”
Syrie James, Forbidden

View all my reviews

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Renegade Blog Tour by Mallory McCartney!


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Renegade by Mallory McCartney

(Black Dawn 0.5)

Published August 21st 2018 by Clean Reads Publishing

“The time for Kiero’s reign in prosperity is over.”

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Six years before the Black Dawn Rebellion, Adair Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted. The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems. An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath- for the first time in years, they demand the Fae’s listen to their proposition for a new treaty, holding the news of Nei’s father’s abrupt death over them. Caught in the middle of politics- Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis search for the one thing that matters most- finding out the truth. In this gripping prequel to Black Dawn, their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made. War ravages through Kiero and is torn apart by acclaimed Kings. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision- to fight or to bow to the darkness within him.

About Mallory

Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three thumbnail_30728044_10155146206687237_7146824292053811200_ndachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Social Media Links:

Instagram|Facebook

Excerpt

He collided back into the present so hard he rolled over and emptied the contents of his stomach. Gasping for breath, he threw up his iron walls, sealing them tight, and the well of voices quieted until it was just him, only to notice how silent outside the tent was. The hairs on his arm rose as he silently stood, slinging his pack over his shoulder and unsheathing his weathered sword. Everything made sense. How hard Tadeas pushed them to reach the capital, how loud they were being. It was practically ensuring Cesan would come sniffing. To fall into the king’s trap. Only for Tadeas to kill him with no chance of justice. To hear both sides.

Rage ripped through him of how fast Roque had risked them all, had bent to the claim of being King. What did Cesan know? What was Roque afraid would be found? Cold sweat soaked through his shirt as he pushed the thoughts down for now. The firelight danced outside, and he could see Brokk and Alby’s silhouettes, their voices a low murmur. That’s when he heard the howling. Distant at first, like a humming in the night. Then drawing unnaturally closer, faster, the sounds of hundreds. He shot out of the tent, taking in his friends bathed in the glow from the fire, all of them frozen. It was the same effect as losing all sense of clarity. The lurching panic, and then helplessness, as you grappled to hold onto anything.

The screaming started first at the north end of the camp. Brokk stood, all color draining from his face. Memphis spun, taking in the nightmare forming. Their bodies were like sleek armored plates, gleaming and muscular. Their elongated torsos were like serpents, twisting and flexing as they propelled forward with long black legs. Their bald bodies shimmered like water against the firelight, reflecting their drooling maws and inky teeth. Their orange eyes gleamed with madness as they cut down through tents and bodies. He had heard of creatures of dark ancient magic before. Ones that were told to children to keep their fears heightened and curiosity in check. But as he saw the first monster rip the throat out of one of Tadeas’s men, this was the farthest thing from bedtime stories of old.

Utter chaos broke out as Brokk threw himself forward, shifting in one motion, as his colossal paws thundered, shaking the earth. Alby drew his sword, and immediately became invisible. Roars rose from the creatures as he assaulted them, unseen. Heart thundering, Memphis drew his own. Everything moved in slow motion. He felt himself take in the numbers of the monsters as they poured into the camp, their rage and their might crashed into their own. It was a battle of tyrants. Yelling, he bounded forward, his ability already two steps ahead of him, reacting in his fear. His talons exploded, slashing their dark minds, grasping their will, their bodies, holding them still as Brokk made his landing blow. He ducked. Slashed. Growling, thrusting his blade forward. His ability cut and unbound the creature’s minds. He was a darkened duet, of body and ability, the two forces creating a lethal harmony. Their inky talons, and severed bodies filled his senses as he heard The King of the Shattered Isles roar.

Giveaway

Two (2) winners will receive a signed copy of Renegade by Mallory McCartney (INT(

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour HERE!

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Cover Reveal: To Whatever End by Lindsey Frydman


 

To Whatever End
Genre: YA Contemporary Paranormal
Release Date: January 8th 2019
Entangled Teen
 
Summary:
Quinn Easterly is cursed. With one touch, she can see the end to someone’s life. Everyday deaths, and ones that haunt her in her daydreams. Ones that have always proven impossible to prevent. She has finally learned to go about life as usual until she meets Griffin.
With one touch, she sees a death she simply cannot ignore. Not this time. Not when, dying in her arms, he whispers three simple words that change everything.
Even if Quinn can’t change the future, can’t save him, she at least has to try. Even if it means taking the bullet meant for him.
 
  
 

Pre-Order a copy HERE! 

 

About the Author

Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance, though sometimes there’s an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that serves as inspiration (and not much else). When she’s not crafting YA and NA stories, you’ll likely find her spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or performing in a burlesque show—because she enjoys giving her introversion a worthy adversary. (Plus, it’s the closest to Broadway she’ll ever get.) Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.

Author Links:

   

 

Cover Reveal Organized by:
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Favorite Book Boyfriends!


I decided to do a discussion post today since I have not done one in a really long time. I love these kinds of posts because I feel like you guys can get to know me a little better and not just what I enjoy reading:) So here we go……

My Top 5 Favorite Book Boyfriends!

I’m hot, you are hot. Let’s get it poppin’

#5 Edward Cullen

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

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“No measure of time with you will be long enough, but we’ll start with forever.”
Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn

Of course I adore Edward! Twilight was the book that started my fascination with reading to begin with and I must say that I really did try to put it off. I am not one to get aboard the hype train. I usually fight it with all of my might until I start to wonder “what the hell is everyone raving on about?” Then I have to find out for myself and wow oh wow, did I ever!

As much as I loved the story line, I really adored Edward. He was old school and had every intention of keeping Bella’s virtue in tact. I loved how shy he could be at times and the fact that he was a “good” vampire, well that just intrigued me more!

Although the hype is over, I am still loving all things Twilight and probably always will!

#4 Patch Cipriano

Hush Hush Series by Becca Fitzpatrick

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“You possess other people’s…bodies.”

He accepted that statement with a nod.

“Do you want to possess my body?”

“I want to do a lot of things to your body, but that’s not one of them.”
Becca Fitzpatrick, Hush, Hush

If Edward is my sweet old school boy, then Patch is the exact opposite. I loved Patch from the very beginning of Hush Hush! He is snarky and domineering and I adore his little quips. He is definitely one of my favorite hotties! I adored the entire series and may have to do a re-read soon!

#3 Christian Grey

Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James

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“I don’t know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living shit out of you.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades Darker

I have to add my boy Christian in here somewhere because I was so fascinated with him for so long! He is Hot with a capital H and the things he uses his imagination for…phew weee!   I really enjoyed his and Ana’s story and probably read it through three or more times. I did enjoy the movies but felt that they do not do the books justice and I really love the books more, although during my last re-read, I felt that Christian was just an all around a$$! I guess the honeymoon is over, but that will just make more room to add more boyfriends to my arsenal!

#2 Daemon Black

The Lux Series by Jennifer L Armentrout

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“Air punched out of my lungs. I held her tight, and I knew right then I would burn down the whole universe for her if I had to. I would do anything to keep her safe. Kill. Heal. Die. Anything. Because she was my everything.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout, Onyx

I absolutely ADORE Daemon Black! I love that he & Katy had a love/hate relationship in the beginning. I love how he fell so hard for her and is not afraid to show her his vulnerable side. I also love how she doesn’t take his shit and he just dishes it back to her. He is great with the one liners and I honestly cannot get enough of him! I really wish we would get a Lux movie! I would be all over that:)

AND #1 Travis Maddox

The Beautiful Series by Jamie McGuire

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“To douchebags!” he said, gesturing to Brad. “And to girls that break your heart,” he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. “And to the absolute fucking horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.”
Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster

“You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!”
In the second it took him to turn and face me, his
expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward
me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face.
“WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck
bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even
flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.”
Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster

“You just want me to hold you until you fall asleep?”
I didn’t answer.
He shifted to look straight into my eyes. “I should say no to prove a point,” he said, his eyebrows pulling together. “But I would hate myself later if I said no and you never asked me again.”
Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster

(I couldn’t keep it to just one!)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with Travis Maddox and Beautiful Disaster. I first read this book way back in 2013 and could not stop talking about it. I recommend it to everyone I know and have probably read it somewhere around 6 more times since then. I know the relationship between Travis and Abby is so messed up but that is why I love it so! It is real. Real relationships take work and they are messy. Travis can be a real dope but when he loves, he loves with his whole heart and being. He may have a lot to learn but he will get there and as long as Abby stays by his side, he will be fine.

Well, there you have it! As you can see, I adore the bad boys! Whom are your favorite book boyfriends? Do you like some of the same?

Now I have to go get a cold shower:)

Hot weather feels like

Thanks for reading!

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Spotlight: After the Fire by Will Hill w/ Excerpt & Giveaway!


thumbnail_9781492669791-300RGB.jpgTitle: After the Fire

Author: Will Hill

ISBN: 9781492669791

Release Date: October 2nd

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

·        Praise for After the Fire:

“This offers a fascinating look at emotional manipulation, calculated lies, and physical intimidation and punishment…Hill treats his story, based on the true events of the Branch Davidian religious sect near Waco, Texas, with respect and dignity” —Booklist review

“An astonishing saga of suffering and joy, guilt, evil, redemption and truth.” —Kirkus, STARRED review

“Genuinely different…thrilling and spellbinding!”—Patrick Ness, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“The gripping story of survival and escape…It will keep you up late until you get to the very end.”—Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of Truly Devious

·        Summary:

The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.

But there are lies behind Father John’s words. Outside, there are different truths.

Then came the fire.

·        Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37789683-after-the-fire?from_search=true

 ·        Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NADrDz

                Barnes&Noble: http://bit.ly/2NBUoxI

                BooksAMillion: http://bit.ly/2NBrw8L

!ndigo: http://bit.ly/2NDmnge

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2NxqElv

 ·        About the Author:thumbnail_will hill.jpg

Will Hill grew up in the northeast of England and worked as a bartender, bookseller, and in publishing before quitting to write full-time. He lives is East London. Visit him at willhillauthor.com.

·        Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.willhillauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillHillauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/willhillauthor1/

·        Excerpt from After the Fire:

I sprint across the yard, my eyes streaming, my heart pounding in my chest.

The noise of the gunfire is still deafening, and I hear—I actually hear—bullets whizzing past me, their low whines like the speeded-up buzz of insects, but I don’t slow down, and I don’t change course. The Chapel is burning out of control, its roof engulfed by roaring fire and sending up a huge black plume of smoke, and the amplified voice of the Government booms across the compound, repeating its demand over and over again.

“Put down your weapons and come forward slowly with your hands in the air!”

Nobody is listening. Not the other Governments, and definitely not any of my Brothers and Sisters.

In the distance, back near the Front Gate, the tank rumbles forward, crushing the flimsy wire fence and churning the desert floor. Somewhere, over the engines and the endless rattle of gunfire, I can hear screams of pain and pleading shouts for help, but I force myself to ignore them and keep going: my gaze is fixed on the wooden cabins at the western edge of the Base.

I trip over something.

My feet tangle, and I go sprawling onto the cracked blacktop of the yard. Pain crunches through me as my shoulder hits the ground, but I grit my teeth and get back on my feet and look to see what I fell over.

Alice is lying on her back, her hands clutching her stomach.

Her shirt has turned red, and she’s lying in a pool of blood that seems too big to have all come out of one person. She’s still alive though. Her eyes are dim, but they find mine, and she looks at me with an expression I can’t describe. There’s pain there, a lot of pain, and shock, and fear, and something that looks like confusion, like she wants to know how things ever came to this.

I hold her gaze. I want to stay with her, to tell her it’s all right and that she’s going to be okay, but it isn’t all right, nothing is, and I don’t know very much about bullet wounds, but I don’t think she is going to be okay.

I’m pretty sure she’s going to die.

I stare at her, wasting seconds that the still-functional bit of my brain screams at me for wasting, then run toward the west barracks. Alice’s eyes widen as I start to turn away, but I don’t see anger in them. I think she understands what I have to do.

That’s what I tell myself, at least.

A figure emerges from the swirling smoke, and I skid to a halt, my hands raised. But it isn’t one of the Governments, with their black helmets and goggles and guns. It’s Amos, his eyes red and puffy, one arm limp at his side, a pistol trembling in his good hand.

“Where’s Father John?” he asks, his voice hoarse and torn. “Have you seen him?”

I shake my head and try to circle around him, but he grabs my arm and pulls me close.

“Where is he? Where is The Prophet?” he rasps.

“I don’t know!” I scream, because the tank has reached the yard, and the gunfire is heavier than ever, and the fire is leaping from building to building faster than I can follow.

I push Amos as hard as I can, and he stumbles backward. He swings the pistol at me, but I’m already moving. I hear shots behind me, but none of them find their target before I plunge into the smoke.

It’s instantly hard to breathe. I clamp one of my hands over my mouth and nose, but the thick, bitter smoke slips between my fingers, and I start to cough. I see my fallen Brothers and Sisters all around me as I run, dark shapes I stagger left and right to avoid. A few are moving, dragging themselves across the ground or twitching and spasming like they’re having a fit, but most of them aren’t.

Most of them are still.

The west barracks appear in front of me, their walls and flat roofs wreathed in acrid smoke. The gunfire is constant behind me, and with so many bullets flying through the air, it feels like a matter of time until the inevitable happens. As long as I unlock the cabins first, I don’t care.

I really don’t.

I stumble out of the worst of the smoke and toward the nearest cabin, fumbling the skeleton key out of my pocket. I grab the padlock hanging from the door, and there’s a sizzling sound. I don’t understand what has happened—until pain explodes through me, and I wrench my hand away. Most of my palm stays stuck to the metal lock. I fall to my knees, clutching my ruined left hand against my stomach, and a scream that doesn’t sound human bursts out of my mouth.

It’s overwhelming. The pain.

It feels like someone has pushed my hand into a jar of acid and is holding it there, and as my brain tries to process the agony, everything else fades away: the smell of the smoke, the heat of the fire, the noise of the guns. Gray creeps in from all sides, like the volume of my senses is being turned down. Then something shoves me from behind, and everything comes hurtling back as I tumble to the ground.

A Government is standing over me, its face hidden behind its mask, the gaping muzzle of its gun pointing between my eyes.

“Hands where I can see them!” It’s a man’s voice. “Show me your hands!”

They tremble as I hold them up. “Please,” I say, my voice a raw croak. “Children. There are children in these cabins. Please.”

“Shut up!” he yells. “Not another word!”

“Please,” I repeat. “In the cabins. You have to help them.”

The Government glances at the buildings. My head is spinning, and my stomach is churning, and I feel like I’m going to pass out from the pain screaming in my hand, but I force my eyes to stay open, force my reeling mind to focus on the dark figure above me.

“Padlocks,” I whisper, and hold out the skeleton key. “Please…”

My strength fails me. The Government looks at the cabin. Looks down at me. Looks at the cabin.

“Shit!” he shouts, then grabs the key from my hand and spins toward the door. I watch him grip the padlock with his gloved hand and slide the key into the lock, and I wonder for an awful moment whether this is all going to have been a waste of time, whether there are some locks that even a skeleton key can’t open. Then the cylinder turns, and the padlock springs loose. The Government hauls the door open, and my coughing, spluttering Brothers and Sisters come flooding out, their eyes red and streaming with tears.

“Go to the Front Gate,” I manage to croak. “Stay together. Put your hands up…”

At the back of the crowd, I see Honey, and I feel something in my chest that overwhelms the pain in my hand. Her eyes are swollen and puffy, and her skin is pale, but her mouth and jaw are set in familiar lines of determination. She’s breathing, if nothing else.

I wasn’t sure she would be.

She helps the last few crying, panicking children out of the cabin and leads them south, toward the Front Gate. The Government races to the next cabin, shouting into his radio for backup. Something breaks loose inside me, a surge of relief so powerful it’s almost physical. It breathes new life into my exhausted muscles, and I drag myself into a sitting position.

The children make their way across the yard, their little hands raised in surrender, until a rush of Governments come sprinting out of the smoke and scoop up my Brothers and Sisters and carry them out through the gaping holes in the fence. I can hear them crying and shrieking for their parents, and my heart breaks for them, but they’re alive, they’re still alive, and that’s all that matters, that’s the only thing that matters as the world burns.

I hear a scream, loud and high-pitched enough to cut through the gunfire and the roar of the inferno, and I turn my head toward it. Near the blazing ruins of the Chapel, two of the Governments have caught hold of Luke and lifted him off the ground by his arms and legs. He’s thrashing in their grip, howling and bellowing for them to put him down, to let him go with the others, to let him Ascend.

His voice, full of fury and fervor and desperate, frantic panic, is the last thing I hear before everything goes dark.

After

…I drift…

…my hand feels like it’s wrapped in fire. My eyes open and everything is white and there’s a beeping noise and something that has no face looms over me and I try to scream but nothing happens. I’m so scared I can’t even think. My eyes roll back and…

…a man looks down at me, and his face is just eyes above a white mask. He shows me a huge needle, and I just stare at it because I’m too scared to move, and when he pushes it into my arm I don’t even feel it because the pain in my hand is still so huge that it blocks everything else out. I know what doctors are from when I was little and TV was still allowed, but I’ve never seen one in real life until now. The Prophet is screaming in my head that doctors are agents of THE GOVERNMENT, that every one of them is a SERVANT OF THE SERPENT, and his voice rattles and shakes my brain, and my stomach churns, and I’m so scared I can’t even breathe while the doctor tapes the needle that’s inside my arm to my skin and connects it to a tube that leads to a bag of milky white liquid. He says something I don’t understand, and then the liquid starts to flow. I watch it creep down the tube toward my arm. I can’t move a single muscle, but I manage to form a thought over the noise of Father John howling in my head: I wonder what is going to happen when the white liquid goes inside me, and I wonder if I’m still going to be me the next time I wake up…

…the lights above me are blinding, but the pain is much less, and the plastic bag at the end of the tube is empty. I can just about raise my head far enough to see the big mitten of bandages that has been wrapped around my left hand. Sometimes a doctor stands next to my bed and stares at me and sometimes I hear raised voices in the distance and sometimes I start crying and can’t stop. I’m too hot and too cold and everything is wrong and I really want to go home, because even that was better than this. A man wearing a hat and a uniform asks me my name, but Father John roars in my head, so I don’t answer. He asks again, and I don’t answer again, and he rolls his eyes and walks away…

…a woman in a uniform tells someone to sit me up. Hands reach underneath me, and fingers press into my skin and drag me along the bed until I’m propped against a pillow. The woman in the uniform says, “That’s better,” and I almost laugh because nothing is better, nothing is even remotely close to better. “Can you tell me who started the fire?” she asks, and I shake my head. “Who handed out the guns?” I shake my head. “Did you see John Parson after the shooting started?” I shake my head. “What happened inside the main house? What did you do in there?” I shake my head. She stares at me, and when she speaks again, her voice is cold. “People are dead, girl,” she says. “A lot of people. You need to start talking.” She leans over me. I don’t know what’s she’s going to do, so I turn my head away. I see a gold badge on her belt stamped with the words Layton County Sheriff’s Department, and my heart stops dead in my chest and then I hear myself screaming, and the woman in the uniform jumps back, her eyes wide with shock. I hear running footsteps, and my heart starts back up. I thrash on the bed and scream and scream. I feel hands pin my arms and legs, and a doctor lowers another needle toward me, and…

…the faces of my Brothers and Sisters swarm out of the darkness, people I’ve known my whole life, their hair on fire, their skin melting off their skulls, and they’re screaming two words over and over and over again: Your fault your fault your fault your fault YOUR FAULT. I turn away from them and try to run, but the ground turns to quicksand beneath my feet. I sink to my ankles as fingertips brush my shoulders and the back of my neck and I’m terrified, but I can’t scream because my mouth won’t open. All I can do is wade through inky blackness, dragging myself forward, trying to find the way back…

…a man wearing a dark suit stands beside my bed. I’m soaked with sweat, and my hand really hurts, like it’s covered with biting insects, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired. My body feels like it is made of lead and concrete, and my eyelids are the heaviest things in the whole world. The man tells me I’m being moved and I try to ask where, but all that comes out—as Father John bellows in my head Never talk to Outsiders, not under any circumstances—is a rasping whisper. The man says he doesn’t know, and I summon every last bit of strength I have left and ask him who made it out of the fire. He grimaces and walks away…

…there’s a paintbrush in my hand, and it’s dripping with cornflower blue. I know I’m dreaming, but I don’t care because I don’t want to wake up. I paint the wooden wall in front of me, and I hear the distant crash of waves at the base of the cliff, and I smell smoke as it rises from the chimney, and I know that if I look down, I’ll see green grass beneath my feet, but I don’t look down. I paint the wooden board in front of me and the one next to it and the one next to that…

…a different man in an identical dark suit reads a list of names from a piece of paper. I hear Honey and Rainbow and Lucy and Jeremiah, and I burst into tears of relief. The man gives me the first smile I’ve seen since I’ve been lying on this bed, and he carries on reading names, but not for long. My relief gives way to grief, and my tears keep coming because the list is so very, very short…

…the ceiling slides by as two doctors wheel my bed along a corridor and into an empty metal box that shudders and rattles and makes my stomach spin. I try to reach out for the walls to steady myself, but one of the doctors pushes my arms back onto the bed, and my left hand howls with pain, and I cry out. The doctor says, “Sorry,” but his eyes are cold, and his mouth is hidden behind his mask. There’s a beep and a jolt and a rush of cool air, and then I’m moving again. I see a sliver of sky, as blue as the wall in my dream, before I’m lifted and rolled into another metal box, although this one has shelves full of boxes and bottles and machines I don’t recognize. There’s a rumble beneath me as an engine starts up somewhere close by, and it sounds a bit like the red pickup that Amos used to drive, but it’s much louder, and it sounds angry…

…a woman with a kind face wearing a white uniform helps me up from the bed I’ve been lying on ever since I woke up and gently lowers me onto a different one in a square white room with a window set high up in one wall. She tells me to press the orange button next to the door if I need anything, and a lump fills my throat. I ask her not to leave me, and she hugs me, and I start crying again. The voice in the back of my head gets really angry because I haven’t cried this much since I was a little girl, but I can’t help it. The woman with the kind face shushes me and strokes my hair and tells me it’s okay, everything is going to be okay, she’ll be right there if I need her, then gently slides out of my arms and gives me a smile before she walks out of the room, closing the door behind her. I lie down on the bed and I hear a heavy metallic thud as a lock slides into place…

…I drift…

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 Copies of After the Fire

Runs October 2nd -31st (US & Canada only)

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My Halloween TBR!


I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been dying for October to come! It’s my favorite month,  it’s my birth month, Autumn is in full effect, and HALLOWEEN! I love everything about Halloween, so I thought I would share some of the books I’m hoping to get through this month! The books I picked, that sounds creepy and scary and I truly hope they are, but also threw in some that are little more lighthearted. Click on the covers to take you to their Goodreads page if you want more info. Enjoy!

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This book sounds like it’s going to give me nightmares and I’m so excited. The main character Greer is a student at a boarding school, nicknamed S.T.A.G.S., Greer gets an invitation to spend a weekend at the manor of the most popular boy in school to partake to hunt, shoot, and fish. When she gets to the manor she finds that there are no adults, just students. And they won’t be hunting wild game.

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I’ve wanted to read this book since February. It was marketed as Alice in Wonderland meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Our main character Alice is a warrior who is trained to fight monsters in a dream realm known as Wonderland. Who then has to venture deeper into Wonderland then she ever has before, when her mentor is poisoned. I’m so excited to read this! Also, it sounds a bit more lighthearted which I’m going to need because S.T.A.G.S. sounds crazy.

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Just the cover of this book creeps me out a bit. What I get from the description is that this book follows two kids, Connor and Gwen. Connor’s story takes place in the past when his family just moved into Amity a secluded house in New England. Connor soon after moving in starts having gory dreams about demons, destruction, and revenge. Dreams that Connor kinda likes and could make real with Amity’s help. Ten years later, Gwen and her family move into Amity and the dreams start again. 

 

Honorable Mention

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I don’t know if I’ll get to this one this month. I mean I’ll probably end up watching the movie at least 30 times this month alone so I don’t know if I’ll bother to read the book. But I’m interested to see what the sequel entails, especially since to focuses on Max and Allison’s daughter. I kinda hope Binx is in it. 

What are you guys planning on reading this month?

sam

Tour: Returning to Eden by Katy Ames//I had to take a cold shower!!


Returning to EdenReturning to Eden by Katy Ames

Expected publication: September 28th 2018

Synopsis

A conversation I was never supposed to hear.
A bargain I had no right to make.
A promise I couldn’t break, no matter the consequences.

It cost me what I love most.
Her.

I know Eden thinks it’s all my fault.
And it is.

But it’s hers, too. Because she ran, vanished, before I had a chance to explain.
Before I had a chance to tell her the one thing that could’ve saved us.

Now she’s back and I’m determined to make up for all the years we lost.
Determined to win back the woman who’s always been mine…

Consequences be damned.

My Thoughts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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“A piece of me died that day and, honestly, I’m not sure it can ever be revived. But that’s the thing about destruction – you can either let it kill you or you can decide to keep living.”

I adored Eden from the very beginning with her snarky attitude and her determined mind. I hated Jude and learned to fall in love with him as the story progressed.


Why you ask?

Because along with Eden we found out the truths that had been hidden away for 15 years. Ones that broke Eden’s heart and forged her to fled and never turn back. She left her friends, her family and her home to just get away from it all and vowed to never return until fate forced her hand and she had to. But it had been 15 long years and although she still had a small smidge of that teenage girl, she had grown up and seen horrific things, Jude had to earn her back and try to convince her to stay for good.


Hey Jude….

Even though I was not a fan of Jude’s from the beginning, I adored him by the end! He really and truly is a genuinely good guy. There were so many secrets that he kept from Eden and although some of them killed him to tell her, he had decided that this time, he was going to lay all his cards out on the table and not let her leave again. His love for Eden amazed me and really sent my heart soaring. Especially since he was so young himself when he made life altering decisions that proved his love for her.


Bow chicka wow wow

The love scenes were so steamy, even I needed to take a cold shower. Ms. Ames has mastered the art of leaving the reader feeling breathless with their heart pounding right along side her characters. The whole book was not filled with smexy time but what there was, was HAWT! Phew wee! Break out the fan ladies!


Would I recommend?

Absolutely! I found it a little slow going in the beginning but once I got through the first couple of chapters, I really didn’t want to put the book down! This story is about long lost teenage love and what happens when you risk everything to save the one you love. It’s about holding a grudge and keeping fear inside you for so long that you miss a whole lifetime of being close and making memories with those you adore and do not figure it out until it’s too late! This dual POV love story is highly recommended. It was a short read that kept me on my toes and wanting to come back for more!

View all my reviews

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Excerpt

Copyright© 2018 RETURNING TO EDEN

Katy Ames

I blame it on jet-lag. On lack of sleep and food. On grief. On the simple fact that I’m back in this goddamn town, facing down all these tired ghosts. Any or all explain why I’m seeing things.

Seeing him.

For a split second my memory supplies a snapshot of the boy I grew up loving. I see the curl of hair on his neck, that one that would never straighten, no matter how many times he smoothed it. I glimpse his newly-muscled shoulders, too broad for his teenage body and the reason why his arms hung slightly away from his sides. And there’s the shadow of stubble dancing around his mobile lips, the ones I dreamed about for more years than I dare count. The image is so clear, so perfect, so forbidden, I have to haul in a breath. And, God help me, I swear I catch a hint of grass and sun-baked sweat and sweet summer air.

My knees buckle under the sheer joy that memory evokes. But it’s the realization that it’s a mirage, a long-lost dream, that almost sends me crashing to the sidewalk.

That boy is long gone. As is the girl who worshiped him. Here, now, we’re just two people in the same place.

Eyes wide, lungs tight, I watch Jude, all long limbs and powerful body, stride across the gallery before stopping in the center. His back is towards me, his head turned as he scans the photographs lining the wall.

It doesn’t matter how many times I blink or how many times I curse, he doesn’t disappear. A battle blazes to life inside me. One of foolish hope and familiar despair. My feet

demand I leave as fast as possible. But my traitorous fingers beg to get closer, to slip into that thick mahogany hair, longer than it once was, and see if it’s as soft as it used to be.

However fierce a fight my body is waging, my mind is unhelpfully blank. A problem, I realize, when Jude begins to turn towards me and I have only seconds to decide if I’m going to flee. Or if I’m going to stay and face the man who made me run away from home.

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About Katy Ames

Katy Ames has spent most of her life on the East Coast and hopes to spend more of it inthumbnail_Katy Ames Author Photo the UK, primarily so she can indulge in her serious plaid obsession. There isn’t a teenage drama or a period British TV show she hasn’t binge-watched at least twice. And she can be persuaded to do almost anything with the promise of bourbon, chocolate, or a nap (not necessarily in that order).

Katy is mom to a small human who has an obscene amount of energy and a blissful ability to ignore swear words, and wife to a man whose reading habits are way too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city she where never intended to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about it for hours. Just ask.

Katy writes contemporary romances with heroines who aren’t afraid to be kickass, heroes brave enough to love them, and stories that get a little messy before they end happily ever after.

Connect with Katy: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Giveaway

Katy is offering one lucky Grand Prize Winner a $20 Amazon Gift Card and eCopies of After the Island, After the Fall, After the Storm, and Returning to Eden. One lucky Runner-up will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card and an eCopy of Returning to Eden. Another Runner-up will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card and an eCopy of Returning to Eden. To enter for your chance to win one of these awesome prizes,

please fill out the Rafflecopter link below:

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4 stars

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Blast: Death By The River by Alexandra Weis & Lucas Astor w/ Excerpt & Giveaway!


thumbnail_Death by the River.jpgSYNOPSIS

Some truths are better kept secret.
Some secrets are better off dead.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse which could be upsetting.

 

Praise for DEATH BY THE RIVER

“… a thrilling psychological work … Catching the current vogue of teen psycho and revenge tales like Bates Motel and 13 Reasons Why … a horrifically brilliant book … Beau Devereaux could have easily been a clichéd psycho, but the plot constructed around him and his development during the novel really shone as a masterpiece of character creation … much in the style of Dexter or Hannibal.” ―K.C. Finn, Multi-Award-Winning Author

“Rare is the story that simmers and rises to a boil so naturally and constantly that the reader manages to be repeatedly shocked … a full-speed rollercoaster that doesn’t slow down until the final page. Employing an evocative setting, powerfully defined characters, and taking along hard look at the darker side of human desire, this novel will catch your breath and hold it until the very end. RECOMMENDED” ―Michael Radon, US Review

“While the authors have written a chilling story here, there’s more to Death by the River than thrills. It’s actually a fascinating study into the effects of good and bad parenting on children. Do it badly and parents, children and society as a whole pay the consequences. This book is not just an exciting read; it’s a sobering one.” ―Viga Boland, Retired high school English teacher and Author of No Tears for my Father: Viga’s true story of incest

“While the story follows compelling characters, it also plunges readers into an intriguing setting. It is ironical that the horrors are taking place along the river that runs so close to a seminary, an establishment that should evoke a powerful sense of God and reverence for life. The characters are sophisticated and readers will learn to honestly hate the villain of the story — he is well imagined and developed with skill. In a subtle way, the authors allow his crooked mind to reveal itself. Like most serial killers, he is a charmer and an intelligent young man, but beneath the cool surface is a cauldron of simmering evil. Weis and Astor have written a riveting crime tale with strong psychological underpinnings. Death by the River is ingeniously plotted, written in gorgeous prose, and featuring a strong conflict that propels the narrative forward. The suspense intensifies as the story moves on, with the reader always feeling as though something awful could happen at any moment, and this feeling grows in intensity until the explosive climax. A real thriller!” ―Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite

“A suspense-filled thriller steeped in equal parts atmosphere, insanity, and revenge.” ―Mary Ting, Award-Winning Author of ISAN: International Sensory Assassin Network

“Weis and Astor have created something so dark, edgy, and gritty, it will stay with you long after you close the book.” ―Julieanne Lynch, Dragon Award Finalist: Horror (2018)

“… a crime thriller that pulls readers into the twisted mind of the protagonist and holds them engaged till the exhilarating finish. The writing is flawless … Death by the River is psychologically engaging, emotionally rich, and utterly absorbing.” ―Christian Sia  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi award-winning author of over thumbnail_Alexandrea Weistwenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance.

thumbnail_Lucas AstorLucas Astor, Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.

 
PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALEXANDREA WEIS AND LUCAS ASTOR

WEBSITE: http://www.alexandreaweis.com/
TWITTER: @alexandreaweis  
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211671.Alexandrea_Weis
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexandreaweis/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/alexandreaweis/

EXCERPT

Beau froze, almost afraid to move when he spotted him. Gage Devereaux rested his hip against the black granite countertop. Except for their height and physical prowess, Beau felt he had nothing in common with his father.

He attempted to relax by shifting his book bag on his shoulder. “Didn’t expect to find you still home.”

Gage set his coffee mug on the kitchen counter. “I wanted to speak to you before you left for school.”

The hint of condescension in his father’s voice tightened his chest—it usually signaled a lecture.

“I got a call from Ms. Greenbriar yesterday afternoon. She said you visited her office after a run-in you had with Carol Foster’s boy.”

Beau’s fingers twitched, the way they did when his aggravation got the better of him. Great. The idiot woman had called his father. The last thing he needed was Gage Devereaux up his ass.

“Derek is dating Dawn’s sister, so I often see him at school.” He tempered the irritation in his voice, not wanting to annoy his father. “I was talking to Leslie when Derek walked up. I accidentally caught him with my elbow when I turned around. I apologized and everything is fine.”

He waited, analyzing every move his father made, searching his hard eyes for an inkling of his mindset.

“I’ve spoken to you before about this.” Gage came around the breakfast bar. “This family is in a precarious position with everyone in town. I don’t want your actions threatening our business or our good name.” He gripped Beau’s shoulder. “What have I always told you? What is our rule?”

Beau cringed as the words he’d spent a lifetime dreading screamed through his head. He faced his father, standing at attention. “Self-control in all things. Never let anyone see who you really are.”

Gage leaned closer. “No matter what anyone says, no matter what they do, you walk away. This includes your girlfriend. Do you understand?”

Beau stiffened at the low, menacing tone in his father’s voice. “Yes, sir.”

Gage lifted the left side of his mouth ever so slightly. “Go to school.”

Beau stood by the breakfast bar, not moving a muscle as his father headed to the garage. The door clicked shut and a trickle of sweat ran down his temple. His jaw muscles cramped from clenching, his heart rate slowed, and he glanced at his fists. His father’s warning spinning in his head, Beau slammed his hand down on the copper bar.

Anger like molten lead ran through him. Beau sucked in deep breaths to calm himself—something he remembered from a long-ago therapy session. Then he relaxed his hand on the bar, checking the indent he’d left in the copper. He wiped the smudge away, stepped back, and raised his head.

I am the master of control.

Copyright © 2018 by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

GIVEAWAY

–  1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of DEATH BY THE RIVER by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor    
–  1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.    

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Check out the rest of the Blast HERE!

 

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