Blog Stop: Ferocious by Paula Stokes with a Giveaway

Ferocious

Ferocious by Paula Stokes 

Vicarious #2

August 15, 2017 – Tor

4 stars 

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

The Link for the giveaway is at the end of the post.  Do you like book trailers? You’re in luck, there a Book Trailer for FerociousBook Trailer for Ferocious!

Today is my stop for the blog tour, if you want to check out other stops click here!

Synopsis 
 

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter―finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?

 
Praise for VICARIOUS

“Combining elements of sci-fi and mystery, Vicarious is an expert blend from an author gifted with the ability to jump genres and stick the landing every time.” ―Paste Magazine

“A total mind-bending thrill ride, with a heroine who’s as smart as she is strong. Readers will love Winter!” ―Lindsay Cummings, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zenith and The Murder Complex

“Reading Vicarious is like tiptoeing across a field of landmines. Blindfolded. Stokes delivers enough adrenaline to make readers beg for mercy.” ―Victoria Scott, author of Titans and Fire & Flood“An action-packed thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end–I couldn’t put it down!” ―Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out and Strange Skies

“Vicarious by Paula Stokes is a fast-paced thriller that grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let go. The main character is a fresh take on the usual heroine in YA novels.” ―Julie Bond, Sales &Marketing Manager/YA Specialist, Read Booksellers

“This is the thrill ride you’ve been waiting for all summer.” ―PopCrush

“Pulse-pounding adventures and high-tech blend masterfully with romance, intrigue, and current issues, making this book completely captivating for any audience.” ―VOYA, starred review

“Stokes delivers fans of suspense a story full of twists and turns…The author admirably handles graphic and disturbing material in a subtle way.” ―School Library Journal

“A powerful kick-ass girl caught up in a high-tech, twisty mystery…Buckle up, this thrill ride travels at breakneck speed.” ―Justine Magazine

“Smart twists and turns…smart sci-fi worldbuilding. Complementing the mystery is a slow-burn love story between Winter and Mexican-American Jesse Ramirez, a fellow stunt artist. Their relationship is tender and complicated, with enough tension to sustain itself and enough heat to pop when things pay off.” ―Kirkus Reviews

My Thoughts:
I am not sure what I was expecting or hoping would happen. But, I can say that I got more than I expected.  And I am not sure what I can talk about without giving anything away.  So, I will do my best to be as thorough as possible, but really you should check this series out.
Book 2 picks up right where the first book left off. Winter is still trying to deal with everything that happened and all of the new information that she got-literally pages from the end of the first book. So, I am very glad that I already had the second book and could jump right in.  This new information takes her from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Seoul.  Along the way Baz and Jesse join her, and offer her their assistance in her mission.
Man, it so much harder to not give things away than I thought that it would be. I enjoyed this book so much more than the first one. The stakes were raised immediately from the beginning and that tension was well-maintained throughout the story. I like Winter in this one, she is more real. She struggles trying to figure out who she is in this world now that she knows that what she thought was true isn’t. The attraction between her and Jesse is cheesy at times, but for the most part it is stuttering and awkward -as it should be.
Thought the content of the books make it weird to say that I enjoyed it, I did. And I will be keeping my eye out for more from Stokes.
Always Shine!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Photo Content from Paula Stokes

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 10 Winners will receive a Copy of FEROCIOUS by Paula Stokes.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!! CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

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Review: The Demonists by Thomas S. Sniegoski

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The Demonists by Thomas S. sniegoski

The Demonist #1

April 5, 2016 – Roc

Purpose: Review

Source: Requested for Review

 4.5 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Click on the image for Goodreads summary.

It is the hope that in the end, good will overcome evil. John and Theo are one of the many defenses that keeps the demons from overstretching their domain. Theo becomes a literal and physical defense as the demons have taken up residence inside of her. John’s search for a way to save his wife takes him across the globe, and into deeper darkness than he was aware possible. But there is so much more going on, and it may be more than the couple can handle.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have been wanting to pick up something by Thomas S. Sniegoski for a long time, and I am glad that I finally did. This is a blend of fantasy and horror, heavy on the horror. Especially depending on your own personal beliefs. With stories about vampires and werewolves, it’s easy to dismiss. But stories of demons? These hellish entities are written in the core of almost every religious belief, even if the practice of exorcism has disappeared from our modern eyes. Paranormal stories of ghosts, benign and malevolent spirits are especially creepy, since most everyone has experienced something that defies logical explanation at some point in their life. And it’s this familiarity that Sniegoski uses to makes it easy to accept Theo’s situation and the potentially real danger that the missing kids face.

The world in this book is our world, the only difference is that the spiritual veil has been removed for certain people. We are able to see behind this veil through their eyes. And it isn’t pretty. Scaly demons. Inhumane strength. Undulating flesh. It’s all here within the pages, waiting to feed on fear and twist dreams into nightmares. Fast paced and characters that invest you  in the story and the fate of the world.

If you’re looking for a good story, that keeps you on the edge of your seat I would recommend this one. I would also recommend it if you enjoy reading the works of someone with a very twisted imagination. I can’t wait to start the second book in the series and I am sure that I will be reading his other series sooner rather than late.

Always Shine!

 

Review: Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley

Steeplejack

Tomorrow is my stop on the Firebrand Blog Tour.  And you should definitely come back to see my thoughts on that one, and enter the giveaway.

Today though, I will be sharing my thoughts on Steeplejack, the first book in the Alternative Detective series.

SteepleJack By A.J. Hartley

Alternative Detective #1

June 14, 2016 – Tor Teen

4 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, In exchange for my honest opinion.

Anglet Sutonga is a seventeen-year old steeplejack, a person who climbs talk buildings to do work. She is comfortable dangling over the city at ridiculous heights. The story starts with her waiting for her apprentice to show, but he never does. She is uneasy and discovers that this is due to the beacon, the jewel of Bar- Selehm, missing. Soon she discovers that Berrit did show up, but was murdered.  Her desire to seek justice and uncover the person responsible for Berrit’s death leads her to places she never imagined she be. Hired to investigate, she uncovers strange connections between the growing number of deaths, the missing beacon and other strange things happening around the city.

To be honest, when I first started reading this I didn’t think I was going to like it. I thought that I had made a mistake in signing up for the blog tour. But, as I continued the story grew on me, Anglet grew on me. Still, it wasn’t until the end of the book that I was truly enjoyed it for what it was. The mystery that carries the story from the beginning to end was masterfully unfolded, and the problems that I had with the story had nothing to do with that. Though I was able to guess some of the key players early on in the story, I wasn’t able to put it altogether until the end. The characters were well developed and interesting, though some of their appearances weren’t truly explained.

This story is dependent on the culture, politics and racial tension of Bar-Selehm. The only problem with this is that it shifts from the strange to the familiar. Is Bar-Selhm a real place somewhere in history? In our history? This is the problem with the story, some of the words and races are foreign to the reader (or at least to me). But when they are further described its done so with things that are familiar to us. It was disjointed and pulled me out of the story.

The ending was the best for this story. I liked the way that Anglet grew as a character throughout the story. Surprisingly, even Rahvey’s grew throughout the story, in a way that kind of made me proud of her. In the end, I enjoyed this story. Though I am not sure what else can be done in this world, I am definitely looking forward to book 2.

Always Shine!

Sexytimes Romance Report: Omega

Omega (Penton Legacy, #3)

Omega By Susannah Sandlin 

The Penton Legacy #3

David Jackson’s back slammed into the wall with enough force to crack the plaster, sending a cloud of dust, splintered lathing and blood-covered plaster chips pluming outward.

Challenge: #readmyowndamnbooks and Complete a series

I picked this book off of my shelf as a reading palate cleanser, as the previous book left me with a bad taste. I have been meaning to get to this book for a while. A really long  while. I read the first and second book of this series almost four years ago. (I can’t believe that it’s been that long, but that’s what Goodreads says….) While normally I wouldn’t recommend going 4 years between books in a series, at least not without rereading from the beginning, I wasn’t lost with this book. This is in part because each book is in itself its own story within a bigger story.

For those who have not read the first two books, I won’t go into this book with too much detail. But this series follows a scathe of vampires who are trying to survive the blood shortage caused by a human vaccination. Aidan Murphy started this scathe between vampires who are willing to live by a strong moral code and unvaccinated humans who agree to be feeders in exchange for living in peace. In short, the Penton scathe is an anomaly in the vampire world, and not vampires are happy about it. The vampire tribunal, the vampires’ governing body, at best, is passive about the Penton Scathe. Until a power hungry, morally bankrupt and twisted vampire, Matthias, starts whispering in their ear. This starts a chain of events putting the Penton scathe on the defensive, not just with assaults led by Matthias, but with the tribunal as well.

I am not sure if I did a good job explaining the series, but I promise you that it’s really really good. While  the overall story is about the Penton scathe trying to convince the tribunal that they are innocent and that Matthias is the bad guy, each book focuses on a particular couple. Redemption  is Aidan and Khrys’ story;  Absolution is Mirren and Glory’s story; Omega is Will and Randa’s story.

Will and Randa have had a rocky relationship, both carrying huge bricks from their past on their shoulders. Both are certain that the other hates them, but the grudgingly do what they have to since Aidan has made them patrol partners. Then things begin to change, and they realized that the other was carrying some baggage and their public personas was just a way to cope and deal with those issues.  As they are digging deeper with each other, for the sake of their partnership, they begin to uncover (or admit) the growing attraction between them. In this book, both will have to confront the truth of themselves as well as the truth of their fathers.

But this is not just your average romance. Ir’s not just hot and steamy. This love story is full of some blush worthy sexytimes.  There is almost sex, definite sex and loving sex. But don’t get me wrong, the sex scenes are done with great taste and it’s done between two people who deeply care for each other, even if they do not realize how deep their feelings go. While it is graphic descriptively, it is not smutty.

What I really, really enjoyed about this book is that the story could have stood on its own without the sex.  What I mean is that the scenes didn’t just set up the next sex encounter,  they were a part of the whole. And while the story would have been a great story without the sexytimes, it was also made much richer with the sexytimes.

This is a series that I would definitely recommend. I found the story engaging. I found the characters lovable and I am still invested in all of the characters, well all of the good guys. I found myself laughing out loud, because despite the danger that they are in, they’re still funny as hell at times.

5 Stars 

He leaned over and kissed her long and hard, ignoring the throbbing pain in his chest and the fact she’d accidentally beaned him in the head with her cast.

If you want to learn more about Susannh Sandlin and her books, you can check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Always Shine!

Review: A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter

A Mad Zombie Party (White Rabbit Chronicles, #4)

A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter 

White Rabbit Chronicles #4

September 29, 2015 – Harlequin Teen

448 pages – Young Adult, Fiction, Zombies, Series, Retelling

Gena Showalter

Facebook: yes

Twitter: @genashowalter

Purpose: Series Challenge

From Goodreads:  The battle rages on.
Ali Bell and Cole Holland’s crew of zombie slayers thought they’d won the war against Anima Industries, the evil company responsible for capturing and experimenting on zombies in an effort to discover the secret to immortality. In the last epic clash, the slayers lost many of their crew and closest friends. But Frosty, the ice man himself, has not recovered from one casualty in particular—the love of his life, Kat Parker.
On the path to self-annihilation, Frosty receives a message from beyond—Kat’s spirit returns, insisting he partner with rogue slayer Camilla Marks. Frosty will do anything for Kat. Except that. Camilla is the one who betrayed them all, leading to Kat’s death.
But when Anima rises from the grave to become a force the slayers may not have the strength to overcome, Frosty, Camilla and all the slayers will have to work together to survive. And one broken slayer will learn that sometimes, the line between hate and attraction is blurred…and the road to redemption isn’t through revenge, but letting go of the past and grabbing hold of the future.

My Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure of how I would like this one since the story is told through Frosty and Camilla’s perspectives. But, I am glad to say that it was still enjoyable. Now, it has been a while since I read the last book so I can’t say whether or not Frosty  and Camilla’s voices are distinct compared to the other three books. There was zombie fighting, hot and steamy attraction and humor. All of the things that you’ve come to expect from the series.  I also enjoyed learning more about what happened to Frosty and Camilla.

As a series ender, I enjoyed this book a lot. It brings it all together and ties up the loose ends. Not that there was a lot, if any. For some reason I want to say that this was originally supposed to be a trilogy.  There was a sense of contentment at the end  of this one, and I am not sure if it was there at the end of the last one. I think that this was a good way to end the series.

5 stars 

Always Shine!

Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others, #1)

Written in Red by Anne Bishop 

The Others #1

March 5, 2013 – Roc

487 Pages – Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Anne Bishop

Facebook: Yes

Purpose: Personal Library, Bookshelf Challenge

From Goodreads: No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

My Thoughts: I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I was only hoping to enjoy it, and I did – a lot. This is a shove-this-down-your-friend’s-throat kind of book. I love this book. It had me cheering out loud, curious and emotional. The world of the Others slowly unfolds as you get deeper and deeper into the book. The Others is everything that is not human. Though there are some who wear the human skin, they would never be mistaken as human. They are wild, they are violent and the literally carry the life or death of humans in their hands. As to be expected,  there is an us against them vibe to this story. But, humans being naive at times, stupid at other times, and selfish for the most part, makes you root for the Others in a way that may be unnatural (who would root for the end of their species?!) but completely familiar.

This is the first book , but the writing and character comes from the pen of someone with much skill and loads of talent. Being the introduction to the characters and this world, there is so much to be discovered. Initially, the story bbegins with the mystery of Meg Corbyn, what she is and who she is. She isn’t quite human but she’s also definitely not Terre Indigene. When the Others discover that she’s a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, they understand better who she’s running from. But it’s too late. By that time, though, they have claimed her as one of their own. With new trouble brewing in the west, Meg has changed their lives in more ways then they fully understand. I could go on and on. But I won’t. This was well written, the characters were engaging and diverse, the plot had enough build up, tension and relief. I am just going to go pick up the next book and be grateful that I don’t have to wait for it to come out.

5 stars *****

Always Shine!

*I still haven’t read the second one :(*

Review: Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury

A Brush of Wings (Angels Walking, #3)

Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury

Angels Walking # 3

March 29,2016 – Howard Books

352 pages – Adult, Fiction, Christian, Fantasy, Contemporary

Karen Kingsbury

Purpose: Series completion, Review (Howard Books)

I was given a copy of this galley, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

From Goodreads:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes the third novel in an unforgettable series about divine intervention and the trials and triumphs of life for a group of friends.
Despite needing a heart transplant and against the advice of her doctor, Mary Catherine moves to Uganda to work at a new orphanage. Whatever time she has left, Mary Catherine wants to spend it helping children—especially since there will be no children of her own. The only problem is Major League Baseball player Marcus Dillinger, the man she never meant to fall in love with. Neither Marcus nor Mary Catherine’s other friends—Tyler Ames and Sami Dawson—know just how serious her heart condition is.
Still, Marcus is sure in the depths of his soul that something isn’t right. Ultimately his correspondence with Mary Catherine leads him on a desperate life-or-death mission to rescue her and get her to a US hospital before time runs out. Meanwhile, Sami and Tyler struggle with issues of their own. In a season when Tyler plans to ask Sami to marry him, the very core of their relationship is in jeopardy.

My Thoughts: One of the most refreshing things about the Angels Walking series has been Mary Catherine’s faith. In the third, and final, installment, it is Mary Catherine’s faith that is tested and stretched. This time, it is her friends and family that pray, love and support her. Her very life, despite (or in spite of) her own actions, is a testimony of God’s grace. Looking back you can see the faint fingerprints of His divine intervention.

There were moments that were a bit corny or unrealistic at times. But they really added to the moments instead of taking away. This was an uplifting read, and I quickly made my way through it. It was a breath of fresh air and in the end, the book leads with a message of hope and love.

5 stars *****