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Ties of Blood, Amaranthine Book 3 by Joleene Naylor

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Returning from the nightmare of battle against Kateesha, Katelina begins to think more and more about the life she led before Jorick. After deciding that a trip to visit her grief stricken mother was probably for the best, she begins to realize how much her life has changed in just a few short months. They have a run-in with a bright haired, overenthusiastic vampire, Jorrick gets arrested for Katelina’s kidnapping, it seems like things couldn’t get worse… right? Of course they could! The Guild wants Katelina and her raven haired vampire for questioning regarding Kateesha’s death. Katelina is taken against her will to the Citadel, to come face to face with Jorick’s master, Malick. Fear of what her punishment might be and a newer threat popping up in the mean time, it seems like Jorick and Katelina can’t catch a break

I am so glad I found this series. These books have me hooked and wanting to do little else but be sucked into their world. The heartache and triumph of these characters is really enjoyable. Of course, as you can probably tell by now, I am OBSESSED with this series. Something that I have really appreciated is the symbolism of taking a shower. When something awful happens, the characters go take a shower to wash away the horrors of what has recently taken place. Even Katelina remarked about showers being able to get the outside clean while, of course, leaving the inside marred and dirty. I liked that Joleene took the time to really describe the Citadel in this book. I could picture the glass elevator and the atrium, the scar covered waitress and the lounge for humans. It was quiet awesome.

Once again, Joleene, job VERY well done.


5 star

Legacy of Ghosts, Amaranthine Book 2 by Joleene Naylor

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Two weeks after the show down with Claudius, Katelina is trying to settle into her stay a Jorick’s quaint little home by the beach. Surrounded by stacks upon stacks of books, no modern technology to speak of, and her savior constantly disappearing behind a mysterious white door, Katelina soon finds herself wondering about her situation more and more. With a battle on the horizon, Katelina finds herself staring down the battle of that age old sentiment, “Don’t ask questions that you’re not ready to hear the answer to.”

It is very rare to find a book series that has a good sequel. They’re typically boring, long winded, and are never your favorite. Finding myself in the midst of writing a sequel, I worry about those very things. However, Joleene Naylor did NOT disappoint with this exciting sequel to Shades of Gray. Legacy of Ghosts was definitely a book that was full of action, romance, and drama!

Once again, Naylor was able to display the care she has for her characters across well written pages and heartfelt moments. Very rarely do I find myself tearing up in a sequel, but I definitely was with this one. The pain and triumph of the characters was palpable, and I couldn’t put the book down. I literally finished it in a couple of days. All I really have left to say is that I cannot wait to start Ties of Blood.


5 star

Shades of Gray, Amaranthine Book One by Joleene Naylor

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After the murder of her friend/lover, Katelina’s life seemed pretty bleak. One day, while at work, she received a phone call that changed everything. Katelina was quickly shoved in to the dark, macabre world of vampires. She has to change everything she knows about them in order to accept help from the tall, dark and handsome stranger that has come to her rescue.

I absolutely loved this book. If you don’t know, I’m a sucker for GOOD vampire fiction and this was definitely GOOD vampire fiction. Joleene Naylor’s ability to paint such a detailed and fantastic world was not unappreciated. She took such great care to make the Amaranthine world seem so real, and I couldn’t have asked for better. I also really liked the fact that Naylor didn’t shy away from intimate moments and she kept them tasteful.

To the author, I have to say, thank you for taking such pride in your book. While reading, I could really feel the love you have for them. I already have Legacy of Ghosts loaded and ready to go on my Kindle.

5 star

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, Book 1) by JL Bryan


Click here to get your copy!

Click here to get your copy!

Jenny Morton is the pure definition of an outcast. Weird, quite and anti-social, Jenny kept to herself for good reason; she is hiding a dark secret. Jenny has the ability to spread a deadly plague with just a single touch (“Jenny pox.”) Never getting close enough to anyone for them to touch her, Jenny developed the precautionary measure of wearing gloves and long sleeves no matter what time of year. She had begun to accept the fact that she would more than likely end up alone.

Then she meets Seth Barrett, son of the wealthiest family in town. Seth is dating Jenny’s mortal enemy, Ashleigh Goodling. When their paths cross, Jenny finds out that Seth is the one person she can get close to. Close enough to touch.

I went in to this novel not expecting a whole heck of a lot since it was one of the freebies I picked up on Amazon. It proved itself a billion times over. Well written, well executed, J.L. Bryan did a fantastic job of bringing Jenny and the whole town of Fallen Oaks to life.

I felt myself attached to Jenny from page one. Being a weirdo in high school myself, I felt that I could relate to her in a lot of ways. Misunderstood and just looking for any one to connect with, Jenny was not necessarily your typical heroine. What I have seen in a lot of books where the protagonist starts off as a weak, Mary-Sue type, they don’t go very far from that. They never gain strength or conviction. Jenny was so different from that. Plus, how many heroines do you know that can create blistering, infectious plagues with just a single touch?

The books antagonist, Ashleigh, was everything I have wanted to see out of an antagonist. She was mean, calculating, ruthless. I hated her with every fiber of my being. She takes the term “sociopath” to a whole different level. She was spoiled, privileged, and psycho, which always makes for a good bad guy.

And of course, Seth, the love interest. He was pretty darn likable. I kind of wish there had been a little more delving into who Seth was as a character, but I still liked him!

I also really liked the fact that Mr. Bryan showed how dangerous religion can be when used for the wrong reasons. He wasn’t afraid to show Ashleigh using God as the forefront for her evil plan.

To me, Jenny Pox is what a New Adult novel should be. It wasn’t trying to put on rose colored glasses and prance carefully along the line of Young Adult and New Adult. It jumped into its genre feet first. The whole point of New Adult is to be able to talk about sex, or talk about graphic and disgusting death and not have to hide it.

I totally loved it and recommend it to everyone! I will be reading the rest of this series!! It is still free for Kindle on Amazon, so I strongly suggest you get your copy while you can!

5 star

Lonely Souls (Witch Avenue #1) by Karice Bolton

(Click here for buy link)

(Click here for buy link)

Lonely Souls is about this girl, Triss, whose mother goes missing and she spends the entire novel wanting to look for her. The members of her mother’s coven decided that there needed to be a memorial service, even though Triss’s mother wasn’t pronounced dead nor was there a body found. Her mother’s friend and the friend’s son (the later love interest of the novel) come to town for the ceremony and the son, Logan, stays to help Triss find her mom. Logan had been Triss’s childhood friend whom she had willingly lost contact with over the years, but apparently he had been keeping up with her in a weird stalker way. Throughout the beginning of the book, Triss repeatedly asks herself why she ever lost touch with Logan. She has an immediate attraction to him, but doesn’t allow herself to get to close because she wasn’t to focus on finding her mother.

That’s my first issue with this book. She seemed far more distracted by the fact that she was fighting the feelings for Logan than him distracting her from finding her mother. There was a lot of “Oh I want to like him but I can’t because I have to find my mom,” and it got really old, really fast. I feel like instead of having that yes/ no, hot/ cold nonsense, it would have been a lot more productive to just admit to the feelings and go on with her life instead of the incessant back and forth.

My next issue was the fact that the characters whispered, a lot. I mean, there was absolutely no reason to whisper where a lot of it took place. I think she meant for Triss to be soft spoken or something like that, but there was just so much whispering that it drove me nuts and took me out of the moment entirely.

There was several unneeded sentences. Instead of having Triss narrate that she simply did or didn’t want to do something, the author wrote out what the character *should* have done in the situation and then used an entire new sentence to say that the character did/didn’t want to do it. It felt like she was just trying to pad her word count.

This book felt like a poor mash up of Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, and a few other popular novels. She says that the character is Wiccan, but then has her using spells out of Harry Potter. Typical Wiccan spells are spoken in plain English (or whatever language is spoken by the caster.) I was really put off by that and it further took me out of the book. Add to that the fact that there is a spell that is used later in the book that is talked about with out any pretense. Triss sees a picture in the spell book and then just starts going off about the spell with Logan. There is no mention of what the spell is or *really* what it does, they just start talking about the ramifications.

The book was very immature in writing style and in most scenarios. I just honestly couldn’t look past it. Plus The Witch Avenue Coven, like, really? I’m sorry but there could have been a bit more thought put in to that.

All in all, I am glad to see another self published author trying to make it in the market, but I think if she had had a few beta readers and a good editor, this book really could have been something. I definitely won’t read anymore with this series, but I do wish her luck.

2 star

Phantom Summer Review

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All in all not bad, but there was just a lot about this book that rubbed me the wrong way. The main characters behavior was a little melodramatic and it really became annoying of the span of the book. Taylor Gray is a seventeen year old girl who carries the death of her best friend, Brendan, on her shoulders. She was in love with him but never had the courage to tell him before it was too late. Instead of sticking around to deal with it and perhaps find closure, Taylor chooses to just up and leave school and move in with her drunk, stripper mother, on Sterling Island, a town obsessed with ghosts. She quickly obtains a job at the train museum, even after many warnings from the museum’s manager/owner that it’s haunted. Through out the book, Taylor is very adamant that she doesn’t believe in ghosts. She ends up meeting Raine Tsunami, the towns local celebrity who provides entertaining ghost tours to tourists and locals on the island. Taylor does fall for Raine, but with the guilt of her best friend’s death, she doesn’t allow herself to get close to him. I don’t like giving too much of any book I review away because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who actually wants to read them (because no one pays attention to spoilers! :P)

There were a lot of issues and inconsistencies that bothered me. The author took two chapters to decided on the spelling for Brendan, and didn’t go back to correct the discarded spelling. Sandra Bullock was not in Pretty Woman, a Google search could have cleared that right up. There were also little details that could have easily been corrected. It bothered me that the main character just decided that she wasn’t going to school any more. She didn’t attempt to drop out, didn’t give the school any notice, nothing. I’m sure that it was just an easy solution for the story, but it really felt kind of lazy on the author’s part. She also started some really interesting ideas with some of the ghost stories, but she never revisited them. They were introduced like they might be a big deal, but they were just kind of cast off to the side. I will say that I liked this book overall, but what can I say? It was a free book.

3 star

Ember (Death Collectors, Book 1) Review

So something that I was wanting to add to my blog was book reviews. I chose to start with Ember because I literally just finished the book and rushed to my desk to write the review.

(Click here for a link to the buy page)

Ember Rose Edwards is not like your average high schooler. She actually hides a dark secret, that she can see your death. After her father goes nuts and disappears, Ember has to deal with the stigma of being accused of his disappearance and assumed death. Everyone in town calls her “killer” among other things. Not only that, but she has to deal with her mentally unstable mother and stoner/ artist brother. Ember keeps to herself, writing poetry and spending time with her only friend in the world, Raven. Raven is the only person she ever told about her “curse.” Ember teaches herself to deal with the omens and live her life the best way she could. Of course, all of that changes at a party Raven drags her to and two new boys, Cameron Logan and Asher Morgan, move to town. Chock full of emotion, murder, Grim Reapers and Angels of Death, Jessica Sorensen does an amazing job telling this story. I am afraid to tell too much because I don’t want to give anything away.

This book was absolutely amazing! I have had a hard time finding books that make me just say “wow” lately, aside from my slight obsession with Tricia Drammeh and Victoria Barrow (they will forever blow me away,) but this book did it for me. There were some technical issues than could use some buffing out, but all in all, it was a great read. I honestly took a chance on this book because it was free and I was looking for something to read.  As we are all too familiar with, a majority of free books end up being lemons that are poorly written and poorly edited, but we deal. I opened this book holding my breath, fearful of what might have been between the pages. I ended up being engulfed in Ember’s world. The emotions were high and the drama was not lacking.


4 star

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