The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

The Gender Game by Bella ForrestThe Gender Game (The Gender Game #1) by Bella Forrest
Format: Audio
Narrator: Rebecca Soler, Zachary Webber
Series: The Gender Game
on October 28th, 2016
Genres: YA, Dystopian
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

PREPARE TO ENTER AN ALL-NEW WORLD...

A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender. Women rule the East. Men rule the West. Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus...

Ever since the death of her mother, Violet's life has been shadowed by bad luck. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now after two unfortunate incidents resulting in womanslaughter, she has been sentenced to death.

But one decision could save her life.

One decision to enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit.

Everything about the patriarchy defies Violet's identity, but she must sacrifice everything if she wishes to survive the forbidden kingdom... including forbidden love.

How much of yourself could you give up to keep yourself alive?

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

I have been meaning to read a Bella Forrest novel for a while. I know she has the Shade of Vampire series, but I’m really picky with vampire stories so I never checked them out. To be honest, I didn’t go into The Gender Game with high expectations because I know Ms. Forrest pumps out books like crazy (like 4-5 books a year). I have found with other independent authors who crank out books that quickly that sometimes editing is sub-par, but as long as the story is good I generally don’t mind. With that being said, the book was better than I expected. Yes, there were a few issues: the letter at the end (don’t want to spoil it) felt too convenient and disingenuous to the story, some characterization for a major character in the book was a little underdone, and the world building left me wanting more. However, The Gender Game also had some great elements to it: 

-Strong and likable female lead character
-Unique dystopian world in a genre overflowing with unoriginal ideas
-Lots of action
-Quickly paced
-Just enough romance to tease you, but not to overpower the narrative
-Also, The author clearly did research on MMA fighting and the fighting scenes never felt forced
 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and will be continuing the series. I will likely not do reviews on this blog for the following books, but I will review on Goodreads, as I find doing reviews here for sequels not very helpful.  

Review of the audio:

I’ve been a fan of Rebecca Soler since listening to the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I thought it might be difficult to separate Cinder’s voice from Violet’s, but I found it relatively easy as I was drawn into the story. Rebecca Soler remains to be one of my favorite narrators, as she brings life to characters through her superb voice acting abilities. Zachary Webber only did a small portion at the end of the book, but I have also listened to him before and enjoy his voice. 


 

The Gender Game is part of the Kindle Unlimited program, which I highly recommend if you’re not already a member. It’s only $10 a month and soooo worth it! There are even a lot of books with audio included! Click below for more details about the Kindle Unlimited program, if you’re interested.


four-stars

Bad Bloods: November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Rain by Shannon A. ThompsonNovember Rain (Bad Bloods, #1) by Shannon A. Thompson
Format: Audio
Narrator: Jonathan Johns
Series: Bad Bloods,
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on July 18th 2016
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.

Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

November Rain starts off with a bang, as Serena, our main female protagonist, is being marched to her own death. A stranger sets a plan in motion for Serena to escape and she becomes the first person to ever escape this particular “Bad Blood” camp. a Bad Blood is someone who has undergone a mutation that gives them superhuman abilities (similar to X-men). The society in which this is set does not recognize Bad Blood as being equal and therefore seeks to find and eradicate all of them. 

The story is full of action while still leaving room for character development and a steady story-line progression. November Rain is told from the POV of Serena and Daniel, another Bad Blood. The book is actually set over a period of only 8 -9 days, but the multiple POVs keep the story moving. 

If you are looking for a clean YA book that has lots of action, a great story, strong and loyal characters, and is a quick read – I recommend picking up November Rain. 

Review of the audio:

Johnathon Johns does a great job transitioning between Serena and Daniel’s POV without making it seem jumpy or disjointed. He has a smooth cadence that was truly enjoyable to listen to. 

Next Books in the series:


Giveaway!

November Rain Giveaway: Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box


Author Interview

 

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

My favorite (and first) part about turning Bad Bloods into an audiobook was discussing my book with the narrator, Jonathan Johns. I let him know some exclusive behind-the-scenes info that never made it into the book but was essential to understanding the characters. He was really receptive to it, and he truly understood what each person and scene represented. After he recorded, I listened to each scene and provided more notes. Then he recorded more, and now, we have an audiobook!

  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?

Yes, I think it’s absolutely possible—not to mention that there are readers who NEED audiobooks in order to access novels and other pieces of text, so audiobooks are extremely important.   

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?

Yes and no. I always loved the idea of an audiobook, but I didn’t let it change my writing style. However, I always read all of my books out loud in the last editing phase to check the sound and overall flow, so that’s very similar. Sound is important.

  • How did you select your narrator?

My publisher sent me a few auditions, but Jonathan Johns stuck out the moment I heard his voice. He captured both the dark essence of the story and the characters’ individual voices. From the beginning, I felt as if he understood it more than anyone else, and he truly brought it to life.

  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?

Yes! I provided pronounciation for any words or names that might be difficult, but I definitely gave him insight into each character. Bad Bloods is very character heavy (and a character-driven story), and it was important to me that they were distinguishable and matched what I pictured when writing. He learned facts that will never even make it into the series. Why? Because those details often shape characters, but they might also be unseen details. I needed to know those details to create the prose, so I thought Jonathan would need to know them in order to create the audio. He absolutely nailed it!

  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

I think there is truth in all types of writing, including fantasy. For me, I originally wrote this book shortly after my mother died very suddenly. I was eleven, so I had a lot of anger and depression and confusion about how terrible things can happen to very young people. Those feelings are scattered throughout Bad Bloods, and to this day, Bad Bloods still feels like the closest books to my heart—probably because writing these books saved me when I was young.  

  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

I get burnt out all the time! I try not to, but I work full time (and often overtime). Writing books while working full time is hard, especially when you’re on a deadline, so I absolutely get burnt out. But I never lose my enthusiasm. No matter how difficult life gets, I always love writing, and I try to keep that in mind when I’m feeling down.  

  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

Actually (eek), I’m not. I have a difficult time remembering anything when it’s in audio format. Even when I was a kid, I struggled to learn from lectures. I’ve always taught myself by reading materials. (Maybe my dad was right when he said I was a bad listener. Ha!) But I’m so glad it exists for those who need and love audiobooks.

  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?

Jonathan Johns added some sound effects (wheezing, sighing, breathing) that helped bring the dialogue alive in very particular spots. I loved it!

  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?

YES. I would love to see the Amarna Period in Ancient Egypt, mainly because my soul is submerged in that time period for research right now. But there are lots of places I’d love to see. The future would be neat, too!


Tour Schedule

Nov. 19th:

The Audiobookworm

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Crazy Beautiful Reads

Nov. 20th:

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog

Books, Dreams, Life

What Is That Book About

Nov. 21st:

Chanda Reads

Hall Ways Blog

Nov. 22nd:

Buried Under Books

Jazzy Book Reviews

Nov. 23rd:

Lomeraniel

Lilly’s Book World

Nov. 24th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Loves Great Reads

Nov. 25th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

The Book Slayer

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four-stars

Haven by Mary Lindsey

Haven by Mary LindseyHaven by Mary Lindsey
Format: Kindle
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 7th 2017
Genres: YA
Pages: 371
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

(Former title: Hide from Me.)

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


 Review:

I was really surprised by Haven. I went into the book not knowing what it was really about, but that it involved werewolves. I wasn’t expecting the grittiness, romance, and suspense that Haven delivered though.

Aaron “Rain” Ryland comes from a life on the streets with his drug and alcohol addicted mother. When his mother fatally succumbs to her addiction he is sent to live with an Aunt he didn’t even know existed in a small town, very unlike the streets of Houston he is used to. A hard city kid is sure to be safe out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of country bumpkins, right? *insert maniacal laugh*

I won’t delve into the plot any more than that because I think the reason I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was because of the twists and reveals I experienced while reading.

What I can tell you: This book is full of strong and fully developed characters, lots of romance (and less “fade to black” sex scenes, but still YA appropriate), plot twists, suspense, and of course: werewolves and magic. 


four-half-stars

Rimrider by L.A. Kelley Book Tour

Rimrider by L.A. Kelley Book TourRimrider by L.A. Kelley
Format: Audio
Narrator: Cassandra Richardson
Series: Rimrider Adventures,
on Aug. 22, 2017
Genres: YA, Science Fiction
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Orphan, pirate, spy.

Awakened by her father, teenager Jane Benedict is ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company's murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father's last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew's fight for freedom, Jane saves the life of young smuggler, Mac Sawyer, and learns her father's code identifies a secret cargo shipment. The trail leads to the planet Rimrock and the massive prison complex of Golgotha. Undercover as a spy, Jane stumbles into a conspiracy that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race. Can she escape the prison confines and deliver a warning before it's too late?

Piracy, intrigue, romance, space battles, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the galactic rim. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose, or is death for high treason her fate?

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

Rimrider is about a young girl (Jane) and her little brother (Will) who have become orphans within the first chapter of the book and their fight for survival and what family means for them. Jane and Will escape their parent’s killers (the government) by boarding a space ship and getting involved with space pirates, rebels, and spies. 

This book was difficult for me to get in to until about 20%. I think part of the reason is because I couldn’t connect with Jane. She is very young, and quite immature for the YA genre of heroines. Now, I will say that sometimes I forget how young YA heroines are because so much seems to get piled on them and they are often thrown into very adult situations, but Jane was hard to like in general . Her disposition was a little whiny and she lacked emotion for things like her father’s death. She does seem to grow up quickly though and becomes decidedly more likable as the book progresses. 

With that being said, I did enjoy the book about 20% in and after. The world building was interesting, but not confusing and so big as to distract from the story. Secondary characters really held their own (Gem is the best) and the plot of the book was interesting and fun to read, albeit a little predictable at times. The book ends by setting up for the next book, but with no major cliffhangers. I would rate the story 3.5/5 stars. 

Review of the audio:

I’ve never listened to any of Cassandra Richardson’s narrations before, but I think she did a pretty good performance. Her characters were easy to distinguish from one another and her male voices were believable. I will say, sometimes her voice for Jane got a little whiny, but honestly that could have been intentional. I needed to keep reminding myself that Jane was a sheltered 15-16 year old who would likely have reason to be whiny sometimes, so it wasn’t really a mark against the actual narration. Overall the narration itself was 4/5 stars. 

Next Books in the series

four-stars

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn SkyeThe Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Format: Audio
Narrator: Steve West
Published by HarperAudio on May 17th, 2016
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters - the only two in Russia - and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown's Game, an ancient duel of magical skill - the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar's most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter - even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown's Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with - beautiful, whip smart, imaginative - and he can't stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai's best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love...or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear...the Crown's Game is not one to lose.

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

This was a book I was pleasantly surprised by. I actually really hate when books are compared to best sellers like The Hunger Games or other popular books like Red Queen. I think it sets unfair expectations on what the book is about, which was the case for The Crown’s Game for me. Sometimes I feel like any book that has the word ‘game’ in it is going to be compared to The Hunger Games, but The Crown’s Game was nothing like THG, in my opinion. THG was raw, violent, and dark. The Crown’s Game has a few dark moments, but is a bit more light than THG. 

As for the competition, it was definitely not what I expected. I was expecting a deadly game of magic and sorcery, but the game in this book is slower paced, and more of a poetic show of talents. While the story did seem to creep along at some points, I was intrigued by the story-line and never felt bored. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat and nearly in tears, so I’m really looking forward to the next book!

 

Characters 

There is a love triangle, kind-of. I really hate love triangles, but I promise this one isn’t bad. The story is not consumed by the romance (which is actually my thing, lol, but if it’s not you’re in luck) and one part of the triangle is one-sided. I thought the theme was less about romance and more about friendship and platonic love than anything. The character development in this book was remarkable. Vika is a sassy and strong heroine that doesn’t need to depend on romance or supporting characters to shine, ad Nikolai and Pasha stand well on their own as well. I even found myself caring for (and despising) secondary characters as well and wasn’t annoyed when the POV switched to them because I genuinely cared what happened to them.

 

There is not a traditional “villain” in this book, but I think Skye did a wonderful job with the complexity of this character. I felt my heart breaking for her, even as she carried out terrible acts against some of the characters I loved. She will definitely be playing a more pivotal role in the next book so I am torn between understanding her motives, and wanting her dead before she can hurt anyone else. 

I’m including this fan art made by Charlie Bowater because she’s amazing and I’m obsessed with her art, especially her vision of Nikolai! Click here or on the picture below to be taken to Epic Reads, where this art was originally shared. 

 

Review of the audio:

Steve West was easy to listen to and did a beautiful job with voice distinctions and transitions. I would listen to another book he narrates based off this performance. 


four-stars

Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney Review and Giveaway!

Black Dawn
Mallory McCartney
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult

The end of an Empire. The rise of a Queen.”

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life that is until two mysterious, and dare I say handsome soldiers show up at her apartment doorstep and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Coming from the magical and ravaged world of Kiero, Emory is brought back not realizing that both men are darkly woven in her past. Discovering she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line Emory is thrown into Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne. With both lives clashing Emory uncovers hidden secrets from her past, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Review: 

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s pretty short at less than 200 pages so with the length and quick pace it was a pretty fast read for me. The premise really intrigued me because it’s basically every young girl’s fantasy, lol. A young woman in her 20’s is swept away with two hulking handsome strangers to a world where she is supposedly the princess and needs to help save the entire world? Uh-yes please! 

Emory was a very likable protagonist to me. She wasn’t some dim witted girl who trusted a guy just because he was smoking hot. She also wasn’t a bitter spinster who was jaded to the world and refused to believe what was right before her. I also really liked Memphis and Brokk, with each posessing a hint of vulnerability and loads of charm to make loving each one easy.

I would say the only thing that I didn’t love in this book was how often the POVs changed and that sometimes I forgot who I was reading about. Other than that I really enjoyed this book and would read more from this author based on my experience with Black Dawn. 

Rating:


Author Bio:

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
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Scythe of Darkness by Dawn Husted

Title: Scythe of Darkness
Author: Dawn Husted
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook, ARC provided by author
Description
(Source: Amazon):

 

For Mia Hieskety, surviving high school meant focusing on exams and avoiding stupid parties. After breaking up with the only boyfriend she ever had, dating was off the agenda. That is, until Thanatos came along. Inexplicably drawn to Thanatos, she’s determined to find out who he is and why he insists on wearing gloves to school. Something is off about him. And it’s as if she can feel him when he’s near. Without warning, she’s thrust into a sinister world and discovers a truth that she never expected. When a supernatural connection puts Mia’s life at risk, she doesn’t know who to trust—especially Thanatos. But what if she’s in love with him?”


Okay, so first I need to apologize to the Author. The author so generously provided me with this book as an ARC, but with my recent health problems I have gotten so far behind all my posts and reviews. I’ve actually read about 12 books and haven’t written a single review in the last month about them because I’ve been feeling so sick. I do not see this changing for at least another month, so please bear with me if you follow my blog. I may have a little announcement in the next few weeks 😉 . 

Review:

Alright, onto the book. Scythe of Darkness is about Mia, a teenage girl who was abducted (and escaped) when she was a little girl. Mia is a relatively normal girl, despite her traumatic past. Mia runs into (literally) a boy named Thanatos with whom she shares an immediate and intense connection with. As you can probably tell from that last sentence, this is an insta-love story. It’s well done, but if you’re not into that you should know now. 🙂 Shortly after meeting Thanatos Mia’s world is turned upside down. Thanatos and his family are not what they seem and Mia discovers that she has been the center of a sinister play for power for years. 

The book itself was well written and kept a pace that moved quickly, but not rushed. I really enjoyed the writing style and the development of Mia and Thanatos. I’m hoping for even more character development from Mia’s character in the next book, because that ending left room for a lot of growth from Mia!

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:

That. Ending. 😱😱😱😱😱


Book Blitz – Amnesia by Cambria Hebert

I don’t normally do Book Blitz posts, but I knew I had to read this book as soon as I read the synopsis. I already picked up my copy, get yours here today!



Amnesia
Cambria Hebert
Publication date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I washed ashore in a little lake town.
A place where everyone knows everyone, yet…
No one knows me.
I don’t know me.
If a woman doesn’t know her own name, does she really exist?
I don’t know my natural hair color, my birthdate, or where I live.
I am invisible.
To everyone, to everything, even to myself.
Except to him.
I see the recognition deep in his stare, the way it lingers on my face as if I’m a puzzle he’s desperate to put together.
I just want answers, the truth… knowledge.
His lips are sealed. Still, his eyes beguile me.
I can’t trust anyone, not even myself. Someone wants me dead, the same someone who tried to bury me in a watery grave.
They’ll come for me again… I won’t know their face.
I don’t even know mine.
I am amnesia.

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

Slivers of light pricked my eyelids, which up until this moment seemed far too heavy to lift. As I lay against something soft at my back, thought and awareness barely registered.

The gritty feeling as I struggled to raise my eyelids scraped and burned over my eyeballs as if warning me it wasn’t a good idea. Swallowing past the sandpaper in my throat, I stopped working and lay still. Cognizance slowly came forward in the form of something weighing me down and the echo of footsteps nearby.

Adrenaline jackknifed through me, and my body arched upward with the force of my gasp. The weight of whatever held me caused severe panic to fill me, and I began to fight against it.

“No!” I screamed, flailing about, trying to escape the binds. “Let me go!”

High-pitched beeping filled my ears, and the footsteps I’d heard grew more insistent and much closer.

He was coming!

“No!” I screamed.

Strong hands grabbed my arms and pinned me down. I tried to fight back, but they were much stronger than me. Kicking my legs, I tried to free them, but even more weight came down, holding them still until I was gasping for breath and ready to beg.

“Please!” I pleaded as wetness coated my cheeks. It made me realize the grittiness under my lids was rinsed away, and my eyes sprang open.

A man was leaning over me. He had graying hair and wore some kind of white shirt. The scream that ripped right out of me scared us both.

More hands and voices came out of nowhere, and I thrashed around again.

“Miss!” the man yelled. “Miss, calm down.”

“Get away from me!” I screamed again.

“Miss!” another voice yelled, a woman this time. Turning in her direction, I saw a pair of kind brown eyes staring at me. “We aren’t trying to hurt you.”

I calmed some, but the thundering of my heart made me feel as if I might spiral out of control. “You aren’t?”

“No.” The woman, who was also dressed in white, spoke. “You’re at a hospital. You were in an accident.”

“W-what?” I stammered, collapsing back against the bed, no longer straining against the binds.

“You’re at a hospital.”

“You’re trying to hold me down!” I accused.

“We don’t want you to hurt yourself.” the woman explained. The hands, even the man’s, remained.

“I don’t like it,” I admitted, recoiling.

The man straightened, stepping back. The nurse was slower to withdraw, but she did so after a few seconds.

“My legs,” I rasped. Suddenly, my throat hurt.

“It’s just the blankets.”

A quick glance down proved I was covered with blankets. Between suspicious glances at the people crowding my room (there were four), I gazed around, concluding I was in fact in a hospital.

“I don’t understand,” I admitted, all my weight pressing into the bed.

“It’s okay,” the man replied. He was a doctor, with a name badge and a stethoscope. “It’s completely normal and expected to be confused after the ordeal you’ve been through.”

“What ordeal?” I asked instantly, anxiety pressing in on my ribcage.

“We were hoping you could tell us,” the doctor said.

“What?” My brows furrowed.

The nurse leaned close, over the side of the bed. I noticed the railings were pulled up on each side. It made me feel as if I were in jail. Instantly, I hated it and began shoving at the bars, trying to push them down.

“Okay, hang on,” the nurse said and put the rails down. Once it was done, she pinned me with an insistent stare. “You have to stay still. You can’t thrash around. You’ll rip out your IV and reinjure yourself.”

“What happened to me?” I asked for what felt like the fifteenth time. I looked around at the four people in the room, hoping one of them would just spit it out.

The doctor motioned to two of the nurses and then quietly left the room.

I glanced back at the nurse. “Can you tell us your name?” she asked.

“My name?” I nodded once, then opened my mouth… only nothing came out.

Anxiety spiked in me again; I started to become agitated. “I… don’t know.”

“Calm down.” The nurse reminded me.

How dare she tell me to calm down? I couldn’t even remember my name.

Oh my God, I didn’t know my own name!

“I don’t remember!” I gasped, jerking up into a sitting position. “Why can’t I remember?”

Before I could fling the covers off and jump out of bed, the doctor was there, pinning me back down. “If you don’t calm down, we’ll have to sedate you. I don’t want to do that. You’ve been out long enough.”

I stilled. “How long?”

“A while.” The nurse hedged.

I ignored her. She was terrible with questions. “How long?” I demanded.

“A little over two months,” the doctor replied.

I gasped. “What’s my name?” I yelled.

I’d been here for two months and they were asking for my name? Shouldn’t they know it?

The doctor wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at the nurse, giving her a curt nod. She rushed out of the room.

“No!” I shouted. “No drugs! Please! Tell me my name. I just want to know my name.”

“You need to calm down. You’ve had a great deal of trauma, miss.”

I dropped back against the pillow, boneless. He called me miss. “You don’t know my name, do you?” I asked, meek.

Sensing all my energy was drained away, he moved back. A frown pulled at his lips. “You were brought in with no identification.” He began.

Fear unlike anything I’d ever felt wrapped around my heart and squeezed. I searched every corner of my mind for something. Anything.

There was nothing.

“I don’t remember…” I whispered.

The doctor seemed to soften. “I know this must be very scary, to wake up and be so disoriented.”

I laughed, but it wasn’t a humorous sound. I wished I were disoriented right then.

“You’ve been through a lot. Give it a few days. Now that you’re awake, your mind will catch up and you will remember.”

“I will?” I asked.

“There’s a good chance.”

Disappointment speared me. “If I don’t?”

“Let’s take it one day at a time.” He placated me.

“Easy for you to say. You know your name.”

A ghost of a smile appeared on his face. “Time.” He reminded me.

The nurse came through the door, holding a syringe, and I cringed away.

“I don’t think we’re going to need that,” the doctor told her.

I let out an audible sigh.

He glanced around again. “Now that you’re awake, I’ll get you down for testing.”

“What kind of testing?” I asked.

“Routine stuff for someone who’s been in a coma.”

Nothing about this was routine. I was in coma… for two months. And I didn’t even know my name.

When both the nurse and doctor were gone and I was alone, my eyes overflowed with tears and a formidable feeling of dread crowded inside me. The doctor said there was “a good chance” I would remember my name very soon.

The problem was it wasn’t just my name I needed to remember…

It was everything.

 

Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

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Heartborn by Terry Maggert Book Tour-Review and Giveaway

I’m posting this later than I expected due to some health issues that have come up over the past weeks. I apologize for not being as present as I wish I could be lately. 🙂

 

Title: Heartborn
Author: Terry Maggert
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: Audio
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Description
(Source: Amazon):

Heartborn by [Maggert, Terry]

Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a world where violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.”


Review of the story:

Heartborn starts out introducing Keiron and his brother in the sky (or kind of alternate universe) where the angels live. Right away tragedy strikes Kieron when his brother brutally injures him and pushes him toward Earth. I really love when books start off with so much action right out of the gates, it usually sets up an action packed story that I can’t wait to unfold. 

I really liked Kieron’s character, but Livvy fell a little flat for me. I think sometimes her character was a little contradictory and whiny, plus she cries a lot. Because I couldn’t connect with her character I was not particularly won over by the romance in this book. I am not averse to insta-love when done correctly but this felt a little forced at times for me. 

I will say, while Livvy’s story line wasn’t what I had hoped, there is another story line in the clouds that runs parallel to Kieron’s and Livvy’s and it was great. I found myself anticipating those scenes of the impending war and house Windhook more and more as the book progressed. Kieron’s family (House Windhook) was really interesting to read about and Cressa was a really complex and likable character. 

The ending was maybe a little predictable, but satisfying nonetheless. It left the book open for more in the series, but provided enough closure to wrap up major loose ends. 

Review of the audio:

I am convinced that Julia Whelan could narrate a book about harvesting corn and I would still listen with rapt attention. If you haven’t heard any of her work you need to go check her out now! She has narrated over 230 titles on Audible, so if you are new to audio books I would highly suggest starting with a book that she narrates. 

Rating:

    –rounded up from 3.5

Final Thoughts:
– Overall, the book was pretty good, despite some issues I had with the love story. I would probably recommend to younger audiences or people who really love insta-love stories. 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.



Heartborn Giveaway


Jun. 1st: The Book Junkie Reads Indie (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Top 10 List, Giveaway)

Jun. 2nd: Lilly’s Book World (Review)

Jun. 5th: Dab of Darkness (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Chanda Reads (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 6th: CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 7th: Lomeraniel (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 8th: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Spunky-n-Sassy (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 9th: The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 12th: Life As Freya (Review)

Jun. 13th: terriluvsbooks (Review)

Jun. 14th: Shh I Am Reading (Giveaway)
The Page Unbound (Review)

Jun. 15th: Haddie’s Haven (Review, Dream Cast & Giveaway)

The Missionary Book (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Dream Cast, Giveaway)

Jun. 16th: Ronelle Antoinette (Review, Top 10 List & Giveaway)

Jun. 19th: Wicked Readings by Tawania (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 20th: The Book Addict’s Reviews (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

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When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed book tour and Giveaway!

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Title: When Planets Fall
Author: Abby J. Reed
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Description (Source: Amazon):

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Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.”


Review:

When Planets Fall just skyrocketed to the top of my favorite reads of 2017 list. The book follows three different characters, Breaker, Melani, and Luka. As said in the synopsis, the world this is set in is divided by three different species who have either blue (the Eliks), red (humans), or green (the Hurons) blood.  I immediately fell in love with both Breaker and Malani’s characters. Breaker is a superstar mechanic who also happens to be an amputee, due to something that happened to him in his childhood. I think the struggles of Breaker dealing with his disability are really well written, and not very common to read about in this genre. Melani is a complex character. While she shows strengths in some moments, we are also reminded that she is a scared child in others. Melani has PTSD from her kidnapping as a child, which again, is written very well. I didn’t immediately like Luka, but he really grew on me and actually become my favorite character as the story progressed. 

The story line itself was great and had all the markings of a fantastic Sci-Fi : world building, lots of action, and plot twists! The ending was 😱😱😱. I truly did not dislike anything in the book, but I should warn of a couple things:

  1. cliffhanger at the end 
  2. graphic violence, some involving children 

Again, these things did not bother me, but you should be aware. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
–I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one! 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it.


Click here to see the rest of the book tour over at Xpresso Blog Tours!


Author Bio:

Displaying Abby.jpg

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, was published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.
Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at www.abbyjreed.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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