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Stange Skies by Kristi Helvig #BookReview #Giveaway


Title: STRANGE SKIES
Author: Kristi Helvig
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 272
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Action, adventure, and romance are heating up in this sequel to the futuristic science fiction thriller Burn Out. Perfect for fans of Across the Universe and The Memory of After.

Caelia is the new Earth. That's what the Consulate told everyone and, against all odds, Tora finally has made it there. She can't see the ocean from her cell in the Consulate's containment center, and she doesn't know what happened to the weapons her father died for and she's risked her life to save.

But as she plans her escape, she runs into the last person she ever expected to see-her dad. The Consulate has kept held him prisoner in a complicated plot designed to lure Tora out of hiding. Now Tora has a new purpose: break free, get the guns, and save her father.

But first she'll have to navigate a strange new planet, track down James (whose loyalties still remain questionable), and find Kale…before he finds her first.

Releases simultaneously in eBook format (ISBN: 978-160684-482-3).

Story Locale: Caelia, a planet colonized after Earth becomes unhabitable

Series Overview: In a future where the sun has turned into a red giant, making Earth unhabitable, a teen girl fights for survival while trying to protect the special weapons her father invented from falling into government control.

   

Wow. What a fantastic second book if I’ve ever read one. I loved Burn Out and Strange Skies keeps up the Sci-FI goodness that Kristi Helvig executed in the first book. It was fast paced and explosive.

It’s been awhile since I’ve read the first book. So my memory had to be jogged a little bit and of course Tora herself is missing memories. So it turns out some of the things I wasn’t supposed to know. The story picks up with Tora waking up in a drug induced haze. She doesn’t know where she is and what’s going on, all she knows is she needs to get out. After being rescued we find out that Tora was in a Consulate facility on the new planet of Caelia and they were wiping her memories in attempt to control her in order to control the guns. It’s always about those crazy guns. Soon Tora finds herself in the Resistance camp and she is not necessarily universally welcomed. She has to navigate this new world and complete her personal mission, destroy the guns. She just needs to figure out where Kale took them.

The story stays fresh even though it’s a second book and I think that has a lot to do with the setting. We move from the scorched Earth to Caelia and therefore have an opportunity for some new world building. Now they have to learn to function in a new climate and ecosystem. So it adds another layer to the things they are navigating through. I thought it was interesting that book focuses not as much on The Consulate but on the Resistance and it’s inner turmoil. We get a good look at these people and what exactly they want. The Consulate is still there and is a threat but it’s more about getting the guns. I really liked how it did a lot of focusing on what is more important, a better life or getting revenge.

Tora has changed so much since the first book where she was the scrawny girl living in a hole in the ground. She’s seen things now that she can’t unsee. Blood, dying and betrayal are things that seems to happen every day and she has moments that she is afraid she is going to lose herself and become more like Kale. Of course Kale is rotten, only Kale can pull that off. I think towards the end of the book she makes an important choice between sympathy and revenge. It makes her true character shine through.

James is so swoony this time around. In the first book he’s more quiet and to himself. He keeps his distance as much as possible. Where in this book he is wearing his heart on his sleeve. It’s more important to him for Tora to forgive him and be with him no matter what he needs to do to win her back. I love the effort he makes and how he fights for their relationship. It made him so seriously swoony, I wanted cute doctor boy to fix me up.

I was so happy with this book and I already feel like I want to read both books again. Kristi Helvig is definitely on my top list for authors of Sci-fi.

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. Her first novel, BURN OUT (Egmont USA), which Kirkus Reviews called “a scorching series opener not to be missed,” follows 17-year-old Tora Reynolds, one of Earth’s last survivors, when our sun burns out early. In the sequel, STRANGE SKIES, coming 4/28/2015, Tora makes it to a new planet only to discover a whole new host of problems—and the same people who still want her dead. Order Kristi’s books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite local retailer. Kristi muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog at www.kristihelvig.com and Twitter (@KristiHelvig). You can also find her on Facebook. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

    


1 winner will receive a signed paperback of BURN OUT and a signed hard cover of STRANGE SKIES...plus swag! US Only.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
4/20/2015- Dark Faerie TalesInterview
4/21/2015- Curling Up With A Good BookReview
4/22/2015- Such a Novel IdeaGuest Post
4/23/2015- Addicted ReadersReview
4/24/2015- A Book and a LatteInterview

Week Two:
4/27/2015- Reading with ABCGuest Post
4/28/2015- Moonlight Gleam ReviewsReview
4/29/2015- Bookhounds yaInterview
4/30/2015- Library of a Book WitchReview
5/1/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

The Shattered Court by M.J.Scott #BookReview

Title: The Shattered Court
Author: M.J. Scott
Series: A Novel of the Four Arts #1
Published: April 28th 2015 by Roc
Genres:  Fantasy,Romance
Source: eArc


Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.

Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.

Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.




I stumbled upon The Shattered Court by chance. In fact I didn’t even realize it was an Adult book until I was reading. This is one of those I was attracted by the cover and was more than pleasantly surprised. I loved the book and it does such a great job of creating this world that has the appeal that young adult books have but is definitely adult.

I like girls like Sophie who curiosity and quicker witted nature override their fear. It makes her brave but also thoughtful of how things will play out by her decisions. I only continued to love her as she grew throughout the book. She is full of fierce sass but can also keep it to herself when the situation calls.She knows how to follow court protocol but that doesn’t make her a follower. She is also not afraid of confrontation which is pretty awesome.

Cameron actually surprised me. Reading the description I expected him to be one way and then boom, he shocked me right at the beginning. As we get to know him you can see how he does take his duty seriously but he is also kind and gentle.

I loved the plot. The idea of a society that even though it has a monarchy has a Royal Witches who demand respect. The only draw back is that the witches are only allowed to practice Earth Magic in Anglion and are bound as soon as they come into their power. This is so they can be controlled. They are also married off by the king/queen’s discretion.Used as a political motivator. The Royal Witches enjoy a wealthy life but as long as they are comfortable with being the courts pawn. Where not too far off in Illyvan, witches enjoy freedom and are allowed to practice the four arts.

I loved the world building. It was both extensive for demographically but also political. We really get a good look at how politics work in the Anglion court. The Shattered Court spends more time with the politics, it felt like it slowed down for me but it was still interesting at the same time. I felt like I finished reading and really had a grasp on what was going on. I also liked the progression of Sophie’s magic. She didn’t suddenly know everything all at once, which makes sense. It’s not like she came into these new powers and was wielding them like someone with experience. She demonstrates how strong she is but we get to see her develop with them. I am hoping to see some more magic in the next book.

I loved Sophie and Cameron’s relationship. I love these types where they act more as a partnership even though they are crazy for each other. They manage to balance each other out and have their own strengths. There is no question on whether or not they are in this together. They manage to capture the elusive never go to bed angry.

I can’t wait to read the next book. I’m excited to see what happens with Sophie and Cameron. The book left on a little bit of a cliff hanger but it was one of those great kind that you can picture the movie screen fading to black. I hope we get to see more magic and I’m sure we will get to learn more about the different kinds. Definitely give this book a try if you are a Fantasy/Magic fan.

Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick #BookReview #Playlist #Dreamcast #Giveaway @The_FFBC


Love, Lucas
by Chantele Sedgwick
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: May 5th 2015

When Oakley Nelson loses her brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend the summer in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure that a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.

In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.

If only it were that easy.

But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?

With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley must learn to listen to and trust herself again. She soon realizes that second chances are ways to learn from the past, and you don’t always have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future.



Love, Lucas is a story that is like a giant ball of Emotion Twine that is unraveling before the reader.

I have three older brothers but I don’t have the kind of relationship that Oakley has with hers. I would be devastated if one of them passed away so I can’t even imagine how Oakley feels. How she even gets up in the morning even though sometimes she doesn’t. I love the theme of the book where Lucas has written a journal for Oakley for her to read after he dies. He gives her hope and reasons to keep living her life. I could feel myself getting a little choked up by the time we get to his final letter in the journal.

The book is not just about Oakley and her losing her brother Lucas. Or even Oakley’s romance with Carson. It’s also about how her family deals with the loss of Lucas. Pushing eachother away and falling apart. Oakley has to really make sense of and figure out how to grieve not just for Lucas but for the family she used to have when he was alive and well.

I love when Oakley and Carson meet. It’s very cute. I just really liked how things to developed and the pacing. He kept pursuing her even when she was being weird. It was sweet and he was really able to be there for her when she needed someone.

I liked Oakley and really felt for her. Even though you could see her doing something dumb or pushing people away you could also see where she was coming from. Why she might want to. I’m understand the not wanting to talk about something that is hard. I function on that autopilot mode sometimes.

Oakley’s Aunt Jo is also pretty cool. I couldn’t really get a feel for Dillon. I was thinking that if the book was a thriller he would for sure be the serial killer. I think I’m just suspicious of everyone though. He doesn’t really do anything bad.

I really liked the writing style and the plot of the book. It feels weird to say that since it’s about loss.There are were things that really surprised me but I thought were good to show different sides of Oakley. It was easy to read through the book quickly. I was always waiting to see what happened and what Lucas would next write about it.

I have to say too that this is one of my favorite covers for a book. It’s simple yet it captures so much. While reading I kept thinking back to it.


I picked "Keep Me in Your Heart for a While" for Lucas because it is written/performed by Warren Zevon after he was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma and didn't have much time to live

"Human" for Oakley

My dad was obsessed with Beach Boys when I was kid so I can't think of surfing without thinking of "Surfer Girl", cheers Oakley.


OAKLEY
Alexandra Chando

CARSON
Ryan Guzman


Chantele Sedgwick is a YA author, harpist, wife to one and stay-at-home mom to four. She loves happy endings, Kit Kats and judging by her book shelves, buys way too many books.

     



Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen #ReleaseDay #Giveaway


Life Unaware
Release Date: 04/28/15
Entangled Teen

Book Summary:
Regan Flay has been talking about you. 

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school. 

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah. 
The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but whatnobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched... 

Especially Regan Flay.


About the Author
Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Author Links:
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