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Saturday Series: The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg


Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I went completely blind into this story. All I saw was the pretty cover and my mind went "must have." I didn't even read the synopsis, I just started reading the story. Therefor I don't want to give too much away about the plot as I recommend you do the same as I. It will turn out to be a delightful surprise.

It's a tale about a paper magician and his apprentice. He's quite peculiar in her opinion and I fully agree. She needs to loosen up a bit. Yes, magic is serious business, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it.

Still this tale will take you into an unexpected world, teaching you the wonders of paper. It really is more exciting than it sounds, and that's what makes it so wonderful. At times almost whimsical, filled with pleasant surprises it will take you on a journey you couldn't even dream of.

All that positive of course needs to be balanced with something a little more evil. Not all magic is good and neither are people. With an act so cruel I had to reread it three times to believe it, wer are taken on another journey. I really feel like we almost get two stories. One about love and one about adventure. If you want to read an uniquely magical tale about love, the Paper Magician is one for you.



The Paper Magician Trilogy - Reading order and purchase links

  


The Author
Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. In addition to writing fantasy novels, she is also a freelance editor. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. She currently lives with her family in Utah.

Connect with Charlie N. Holmberg:

Excerpt & Giveaway: My Ex From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #1) by Tellulah Darling



Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:

a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.

Literally.

This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.
Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a YA romantic comedy, Greek mythology smackdown. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book one of this teen fantasy romance series. Compared to Kai and Sophie, Romeo and Juliet had it easy.



My Ex From Hell will be on sale for 99 cents from November 28th to December 12th!




When the going gets desperate, the desperate send email 

          To: ????
          From: bloomingoddess@gmail.com
          Subject: Seriously?

          Dear Your Royal Imperialness Demeter, Goddess of Grain and Fertility, Preserver of Marriage, and Bringer of Seasons,
          Or can I just call you Mom?
          Bet you never thought you’d be hearing from me. Sorry for not having written sooner, but until about twelve hours ago, I didn’t know you existed. Nothing personal.
          See, yesterday, I was plain old Sophie Bloom. My life sucked in your typical 16-year-old ways. I was stuck here at Hope Park Progressive School on probation again (“mouthy behavior”), dealing with cliquish poseurs, rampant hormones, blah blah blah.
          Then I met a guy. I know that’s the worst clichĂ© ever. But sadly, it’s true. And of course, me being me, he couldn’t be just any bad boy. No. He had to be Kai, son of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Anyway, he was really hot and there was this bone-melting kiss and … whatever. The point is, before he showed up, I thought I was human. Afterward, well, let’s just say everything changed. Who knew when I was cramming Greek mythology for my English final, I was studying the family tree?
          They say when you die, your whole life supposedly flashes before your eyes. When Kai and I kissed, here’s what flashed before mine—Mount Olympus, Zeus, the Underworld, Hades, and you. But that wasn’t my life. Or was it?
          Here’s the Wiki version. (Do you have Wi-Fi on Mt. Olympus?) Turns out I’m Persephone. Me, Goddess of Spring and Embodiment of Earth’s Fertility? Ew! Which makes me your kid, Hades’ target, and totally screwed. In the myth version, I’m the innocent maiden, you’re the grieving mother, and we’re reunited with great joy. Guess that’s why they call it a myth.
          I know I sound like a nut bar. And maybe I’ll wake up in a padded room restrained for my own safety. But in that moment with Kai, it felt real. Like I knew who I was. Or used to be. Those were my memories flashing before my eyes—not some fantasy or hallucination. Part of me remembered those moments. But where do I go from here? And is there an online tutorial I can take?
          I don’t exactly have your email. But if you’re a goddess, maybe you’ll know I’m writing. That I really need my mom right now. And if not—well, I guess I’ll save this for my obituary. Which I’ll probably need pretty soon because of the gods-wanting-me-dead thing.

          Take care.
          Sophie
          a.k.a. Persephone
          a.k.a. Goddess of Spring
          a.k.a. Your Daughter

The Blooming Goddess Trilogy - Reading order and purchase links

  


  






Tellulah Darling

noun

1. YA romantic comedy author because her first kiss sucked and she's compensating.
2. Alter ego of former screenwriter.
3. Sassy minx.
Geeks out over: cool tech.

Squees for: great storytelling.
Delights in: fabulous conversation.
Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues.

Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?





Hosted by Good Choice Reading Blog Tours

Review: Zoey And The Nice Guy (Big Girl Panties #1) by Carter Ashby


For Zoey Odell, the definition of family is her two best friends, Maya and Addy. So when Maya makes the decision to leave her abusive husband, Zoey is only too happy to lavish her with support and a temporary home. Unfortunately, taking in her best friend also means seeing more of that no good do-gooder, Kellen Bradley.

For Kellen, the definition of family has just been shattered. After finding out that his brother is an abusive monster, he can't help but question himself and his parents. The one thing he knows for certain is that he'll do anything to take care of his sister-in-law and her children. For them, he would walk into gunfire, pass through the flames of hell…even go head-to-head with Zoey Odell.

Zoey has no intention of letting him in, but Kellen is done taking her crap. Life has just gotten real and he’s more than ready to shed his nice-guy image. When he finally stands up to her, Zoey starts seeing him in a new light. As the attraction turns mutual, she finds it more and more difficult to hide behind her carefully formed walls. And Kellen is finding himself more and more driven to tear those walls down.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

No guy wants to be the nice guy. Nice guys finish last and all that. Though with Kellen, that reality hits him real hard when friends gladly give him their sisters' numbers, because they know he will take care of them. This never used to bother him. He likes being nice and friendly, it's just that girls don't seem to want that, not really. Definitely not Zoey, she eats nice guys for breakfast.

Zoey can be a witch. The woman has no filter, curses worse than a sailor and tends to speak her mind with no regards to other people's feelings. Honestly if she's not your friend you probably won't like her. So it took some time for me to warm up to her. There was absolutely no reason to behave so badly towards Kellen all the time. The guy is not his brother, and has been nothing but supportive when it comes to his sister in law Maya, even rejecting the rest of his family in the process.

Now the thing is that Zoey is very protective when it comes to her friends, so letting in Kellen is not easy and she doesn't like it all. Well that's just too bad, because she will just have to deal with it. Zoey really manages to bring out the worst in people. Sick and tired of her hostile behaviour, Kellen finally shows he's not a wimp. The guy knows what he wants, he's just not into the heavy drama, normally. The attraction between these two is sizzling and no matter how hard Zoey tries to fight it, she is going down.

Overall a very fun romantic novel. Zoey does get tiresome from time to time. I don't mind some drama, but coupled with her anger issues it gets a bit too much sometimes. Certainly when her mum enters the picture, then all sanity just flies out the door. She turns into a completely other person, being more of a witch than usual and catering to the woman's every need. Truly bizarre. Honestly there were moments when I believed Kellen deserved better. Yes, he's a nice guy and he deserves someone who can appreciate that fact about him, which Zoey did not, a lot. The other characters were pretty great. I really liked her two best friends and I'm totally into the setup of their own stories. I think I will be reading those, as hopefully they will be way less dramatic, but still fun.





The Author
When I got my first email from the man who would one day be my husband, it was very clear that he did not want to email me. Friends had set us up and he was obviously bowing to their pressure. His email consisted of a numerical list of facts about himself that he clearly meant to be the end of our correspondence.

My snarky response was a numerical list of facts about myself, and for some reason, he liked it. So that’s what I’m going to do here, since I’m not so good at writing about myself.

Carter is not my real name. Imagine how you would feel if your strictly right-wing religious family and friends found out you wrote stuff with sex and bad words in it.

I’ve been married 11 years and have three kids and two dogs.

I like to garden but I DO NOT like to talk about gardening. So please, let’s not talk about gardening.

I’m deeply introspective and welcome anyone who wants to bitch-slap me back into reality, should I float away a little too far into my own thoughts.

I think fiction is a basic and essential element of our existence as humans. I think it’s part of what makes us human. And I think we relate better to each other through stories than we do through fact–bitch slap me now, I’m getting introspective.

I’m a little flighty about hobbies. Reading, writing, and bread baking are the only ones that have stood the test of time. Current hobbies include mixing drinks, making mead, gardening, fermenting stuff from the garden…I think that’s all at the moment.

I’ll read anything. Most of my loved ones stick to their favorite genre, so I will go read what they’re reading so we can have stuff to talk about at the dinner table.

I homeschool my children. Not because of religious reasons. Not because I hate the system (although I’m not overly fond of it). But because I just want to be with them. And playing school is fun. Remember that? Playing teacher and making your younger sister do a bunch of homework? Was that just me?

Last one: The first time I dropped out of college was because I was having one of those existential crises teenagers are so fond of having. When I went home, I found stacks and stacks of notebooks in my closet full of unfinished (and god-awful) stories. I didn’t even remember writing them. But that’s when I realized that I was a writer. Because I have to do it. It’s who I am. The publishing thing is virgin territory, but I have always, and always will, write. Because I have to.

Connect with Carter Ashby:

Review: Sugar's Twice as Sweet (Sugar, Georgia #1) by Marina Adair


He's trouble she doesn't need . . .

Thanks to a cheating fiancé, Josephina Harrington's perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will-by turning her great-aunt's old plantation house into a destination getaway. She's just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on-and so totally irresistible.

. . . but everything she wants

Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet 'n sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn't know a nut from a bolt and before long, he's renovating her house . . . as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he's ready for forever?

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Usually I'm a very big fan of stories involving small towns, because it always feels like being part of a big family. Now this might be the first time where the small town might actually scare me. Do not underestimate the old ladies, they are the worst.

The last time Josephina was in Sugar, she was a lot younger and therefore the town now sees her as an outsider. Her life has come crashing down and all Josephina wants to do is start over and where better than in Sugar. The little town holds nothing but good memories for her, mostly the support she always received from her recently passed great aunt. Turning the plantation house into a destination getaway is just what she needs. Still with most of the town against her and the cute man next door distracting her, it will definitely be a challenge.

Brett never made the ladies any promises, so when a certain video of him ends up on youtube, he doesn't understand what the big deal is. Of course he doesn't like the fact that everyone has seen it, including his grandma, but still he's put in time out. He needs to stay away from the spotlights for a while, so going back home and helping the locals seems to be the best plan. Brett is the town's golden boy and everyone is asking him for favors, and he gladly helps. Though honestly at times it seemed to me that people were taking advantage of him.

When these two meets there is that obvious attraction, but Josephina isn't easily swayed, not anymore. Still when Brett really turns up the charm a.k.a. he's now her new contractor, it makes it really difficult to resist him. Every woman loves a guy who's good with his hands. So sparks fly everywhere, the town is constantly in everyone's business, adding so much drama, plenty of humor and some very hot scenes. All in all a great quirky romance novel, perfect to escape reality.


Sugar Georgia - Reading order and purchase links

  


The Author
Marina Adair is a National bestselling author of romance novels. Along with the St. Helena Vineyard series, she is also the author of Tucker's Crossing, part of the Sweet Plains series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.

Connect with Marina Adair:

Excerpt & Giveaway: Red & Wolfe by Ella James


When Sarah "Red" Ryder loses her job as an art critic for a Boston newspaper, she's brokenhearted. Worse than that? She's broke. Her boyfriend recently left her - for a tatted-up hottie with a dick - so she's stuck paying her hefty apartment rent alone. After two months unemployed, there's no money left. With no immediate family to turn to, Red reaches out to her estranged grandmother, a reclusive writer living on an island off the coast of Charleston. Several days later, Red receives $30,000 and an invitation to visit.

James Wolfe is not Red's grandmother. But he beckons her. Red has the ability to give him something he needs. He won't take "no" for an answer, and he doesn't mind screwing her over. He lost his conscience six years ago, when he was tried for the murder of his wife. Since then, life is about him - and the paintings he does under the mysterious pseudonym "W."

Wolfe needs the island to keep painting. To live his life away from prying eyes. To keep up the anonymity of "W."

Once he sees Red, he finds that he needs her, too. And Wolfe will have her. Any way he can.


"Red?" I push her gown down a little further and close my mouth over her breast, working her nipple with my lips. Caressing it with my tongue. I'm rewarded by a soft moan that goes straight to my cock. I need to be inside her, despite knowing I don't have the time.

I pull the covers down and slide my hand up her shin, then up her thigh. She's warm from sleep. Her skin feels like burnished velvet. My fingers brush her pussy and she lifts her hips. She wants it. I love the way she always wants it.

"Race."

I love the way she says my name: a mew.

"I'm going to fuck you with my fingers," I say, leaning near her face. "Then you'll go to sleep again."

A dreamy smile floats over her lips. She nods a little, pressing her head into the pillow.

I slide a finger into her. She's hot and tight, softer than silk. I can feel her clench as I pump into her. She's wet this morning. So fucking slick. I stroke in and out, painting her pussy, using my fingertip to smooth warm lines around her swollen clit.

I'm rewarded by her crying out.

"Say my name."

I still my hand. I can hear my blood rush in my ears. Race. Say Race.

Her hands grab at my wrist. "Race."

I allow myself a brief grin. It's undiluted satisfaction. She knows - or at least suspects - I'm James Wolfe, but she's still in my bed.

"Say 'Race, please.' I like to hear you beg." I push another finger into her. Her body quivers. "I like to feel you jump."

I stretch her with a third finger and slide my thumb over her clit. I'm moving slow. So slow.

"Race, oh God - yes. Please."

"That's right, sweetheart."



The Author
Ella James is a USA Today bestselling romance author. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 25 overall; two were listed among Amazon's Top 100 Bestselling Young Adult Ebooks in 2012.

Connect with Ella James:




Music Monday (Nov. 24)

Music Monday is a weekly book meme. Everyone can join in, you just have to do the following: 

  • Choose a book or a scene from a book.
  • Choose a song that fits said book or scene.
  • Tell us why you paired them together.
  • Don't forget to share the title and author.
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!

I feel this song is a less obvious pick for The Book Of Ivy by Amy Engel. The marriage between Bischop and Ivy is arranged. Before their wedding day these two had never even spoken to each other and while they may not fully agree with the arrangement, it turns out not to be so bad. Bischop is actually a pretty great guy, who treats Ivy with respect and he genuinely wants to get to know her better. This is why this song reminded me of their story. While he might not have chosen her, Bischop sees Ivy for who she really is and he really wants to make things work between them.

Leave a link to your Music Monday post in the comments!

Saturday Series: Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain #6) by Kristen Ashley


When old friends become new lovers...anything can happen.

Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at "hello." His relationship with Emme's best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that's ever happened to her?

It isn't easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she's a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme's always been the one; she excites Deck's body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme's past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she'll let him . . .


It's with pain in my heart that I have to say that this series is slowly going downhill. While I freaking loved the first four book in the series, these last two just weren't up to par with the rest. We still get strong alpha Colorado Mountain men and the lovely small town feeling, but the mystery and tension is missing and the female leads are not as sassy as I'm used to by now.

I was very hopeful, because this book featured Deck and I was quite intrigued by him after reading Breathe. He had a certain air of mystery around him, almost as if he was untouchable. So the man we get to know in this books turns out to be not quite what I had in mind. Since it's pretty unclear, though dark, what he does for a living, I was expecting to go on another wild ride. Unfortunately we do not learn anything more about his work and the focus very much stays on the blooming relationship with Emme and her problems.

Now for the most part I liked Emme. There were definitely some mental issues, which was clear from the beginning, though I was surprised how deep we got into this. The thing is that the suspension and big drama happened in the past, and Emme is still dealing, or rather not dealing, with the aftermath. I'm not saying she's crazy or anything like that, but there are some unresolved issues that have effect on her general state.

Deck knows about this, because here's how they met each other. Emme was the best best friend of Deck's ex. During the relationship they got along great, but when things ended, Deck never looked back and therefor also stayed away from Emme. Now by coincidence they run into each other, and Deck kind of has an epiphany. He suddenly realized that he should have stayed in touch with her and made a play for her. So it's like he's making up for lost time and just dives in. It of course helps that Emme feels the same, though there is always a certain distance between them that they need to come over.

I still very much enjoyed reading this book, I just wasn't enamored by it. Deck did feel a bit lacking for me, simply because I expected more from him. Emme was definitely interesting, and what she's been through blew my socks off. To me the focus was just to much on her, not even the relationship between her and Deck. Since this is my first series by Kristen Ashley, I'm definitely not yet giving up on her. It seems there is a lot of difference between her self published work and her later, so I'll be going back to the beginning. I certainly still recommend the Colorado Mountain series and to give it a chance all the way to the end.

3.5

Colorado Mountain - Reading order and purchase links

    


    



The Author
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Connect with Kristen Ashley: