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Golden Boy #BookReview

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the golden boy coverThe Golden Boy

St. Mary’s Academy
Seven Steps & Audrey Rich
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 24th 2018

Summary:

Meg has it made. She has money to spare, attends an exclusive private school with the best film production program in the country, and, to top it off, she has a super-hot boyfriend. But when her father’s business goes under, and her boyfriend cheats on her with a ditzy cheerleader, the only way she can maintain her perfect life is to figure out a way to stay in school.

When a fellow student offers to pay her tuition, Meg jumps at the chance. She only has to tell one tiny white lie to someone she’s never met.

How hard could that be, right?

Until she discovers she must deceive Julius ‘Hercules’ Samson, the school quarterback with a heart of gold. Even worse, he’s determined to sweep her off her feet.

Can Meg go through with the plan to save her future, even if it means ruining Julius’?

Inspired by Megera (Meg) from the story of Hercules, The Golden Boy is a poignant, emotional, young adult contemporary romance about a teen girl’s hard choices, loss, and love.

St. Mary’s Academy is a young adult contemporary romance series that brings classic fairytale characters to life in a modern day, high school setting. It’s filled with angsty heroines, hot heroes, and drama galore. St. Mary’s Academy Shorts are shorter stories from within the St. Mary’s Academy universe.

Buy this book today because you’ve never read a fairytale quite like this.

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MY TAKE

***My apologies everyone! I scheduled this post for 8 today… it should have gone live at 8am but I goofed when scheduling and I must have clicked 8pm instead. I was out of the house all day and didn’t realize it wasn’t live until I sat down to check my socials.***

As most of you already know after the countless fairytale and mythology retellings that I have reviewed on this blog… I’m an absolute sucker for them. I love reimaginings and retellings because they give a fresh take on stories that have been around for ages. This story was no different in that respect. It was a reimagined Hercules tale and you’ll have to excuse me for playing “Zero to Hero” on repeat while I write this review… and ya know any references to this movie that I might unintentionally slip into this review – which was a retelling in itself.

This story was extra cute, and I managed to finish reading it in a little over an hour, so you can imagine it is not a particularly long book. But what is included is a fresh take on the demigod story (one where all participants are human and most attendees are in highschool). There are some cute nods to the Hercules mythos but it is a story all on its own that has merely borrowed these characters and worked them into a cute highschool drama.

Yes there is romance… quite a bit of it, as you might expect from looking at the cover so if that’s not your thing then this is not the book for you. There were a few typos and grammatical mishaps but nothing too life altering and they did not affect my ability to read the book.

All in all, I’d say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the premise ❤

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4.5 Quills

It gave me all the feels and had me giggling at an inappropriate time seeing how everyone was asleep as I should have been. Also, quite in love with the Once Upon a Time feel this story had with all the intertwining fairytale characters like Ariel and Prince Eric. I definitely want to read more from this author(s) and this series!

 

About the Authors Seven Steps

Seven Steps –

“Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.”

–William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing.

 

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. One of my mentors (you know who you are) often reminds me of my first foray into the world of literary fiction. It was a lively story about a bee’s journey to find a pot of missing honey. He says that I have improved since then. I think that he’s right.

 

I am a working wife and mother, as well as a devoted owner of a beautiful cat named Rosie. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family, thrifting, and anything that reminds me of my childhood.

My favorite genres are Sweet Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian and Historical.

 

Author Links:

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Audrey RichAudrey Rich is a New York City transplant living in South Florida, who writes sweet YA and NA Contemporary Romances and is an avid reader of novels where love conquers all.

She’s married to her own happily-ever-after Hero, is an inactive CPA, and a stay-at-home mom homeschooling her teenage daughter, while also missing her son, who is away at college.

Audrey enjoys volunteering with children of all ages at church, especially the enthusiastic teenagers, and teaching the Junior Achievement curriculums at local middle and high schools. She also loves to travel with her family.

Author Links:

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Tribal Affairs #BookReview

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Tribal_Affairs_CoverTribal Affairs
Matt Dallmann

Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 31st, 2017

Book Summary:
Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

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Review

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a review of a book… what can I say except life is rough sometimes lol? But man, am I glad that I took the time out to review this book. First, the premise really got me! One of my majors is anthropology so I’ve come across a lot of genie or jinn myths but not many written literary stories that are as intriguing as the myth itself. This book captured that intrigue. I also found the writing style and POV to be unique and executed excellently. It is not a common choice so originally, I was thrown off but as the story progressed it worked well to tell the story and explain much of what was happening. While this is not the first book I’ve read that is written in this way, the number of stories that do it well are low so it was a refreshing experience for me as a long-time reader. In addition to a pretty amazing storyline and writing style, I loved the characters who felt tangible and relatable even in a fantastical setting and story.

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4.5 Quills

While there is romance in this story, it is not the main focal point and it does not distract from the main story and serves as a nice added bonus. I honestly can’t say enough about this book except, read it and decide for yourself!

 

About the Author SONY DSC

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Author Links:

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Ferocious by Paula Stokes #Review + #Giveaway

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ferocious_blog_tourFerocious

Ferocious
Vicarious Series
Book #2
Paula Stokes

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen (Macmillian)
ISBN: 978-0765380968
ASIN: B01MUDQD3B
Pages: 352
Word Count:
Goodreads Rating: 4.3
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

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?

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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 Take on the Book:

Whoa whoa whoa. I’m a bit late to this party and I’m a bit mad at myself because I honestly can’t believe that it took me this long to find out about Paula Stokes and this duology. I’m shook.

While I normally steer towards the more supernatural, paranormal or even dystopian novels I often enjoy novels that are stepped more in fact than fiction. This set of books does a great job of mering the real with fiction. While the ViSe recording technology that a good portion of these books focus on does not exist in our present day world, they did not seem too unbelievable or far off from reality.

I was particularly fond of the character developments, mainly Winter’s. I think Stokes did a great job portraying this character and shinning a light on the complexities of mental illness while helping to cast aside the stigma that surrounds it. In addition to these thoroughly fleshed out characters, I found myself really enjoying the romance. Most appealing to me was that this was not a instantaneous connection but rather a slow burn romance that started well before we were even introduced to the characters in book 1. It helped to make this story more realistic.

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5 Quills

I can’t wait to get my hands on more books my Paula Stokes because if these two were anything to go by, this author is extremely talented. Loved this duology and I can’t recommend it enough. This series was well worth muddling my already hectic schedule and coming out of hiatus to review. If you like action and mystery these are the books for you. The technology in these books gave me a J.D. Robb type feel but the writing is not like any I’ve encountered before, making this an original and well thought out story!

About the Author Paula Stokes

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.

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{VICARIOUS+FEROCIOUS} by Paula Stokes.

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Graveshift by Michael Haspil Review

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Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift

Michael F. Haspil

 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books

 

ISBN: 978-0765379627
Pages: 352

 

Goodreads Rating: 3.68
My Rating: 4.5

 

Book Description:

Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.

Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

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My take on the book:

As a native Miami girl, I was pretty excited that this story took place in my hometown. Cities like Doral, Coral Gables and Wynwood helped add to the character of the story and give the setting a nice visual for me. As for the characters, I normally reach for books with female leads since I can relate to them more but the characters of Alex/Menakaure and Marcus were solid characters with well-developed backstories. I enjoyed the whole mystery aspect of the story even if I did see many of “twists” coming. I honestly found this story to be a breath of fresh air in the vampire genre. Adding a pharaoh turned reanimated mummy into the mix as the lead character as opposed to the vamp was a great move and helped make the story so interesting.

Throughout the story, I caught myself reading too much into Alex’s interactions with other characters and expecting a “romance” as I have come to expect this of many urban fantasy books, especially the ones with vampires in the mix. I was pleasantly surprised, that while there is a slight mention of relations, there is no actual romance in this book. Whether this story is a one off or part of a series I feel like that was a bold move to make and it paid off. Sure, Alex could go on to build romantic relations in future books if the author so chooses to continue these characters’ stories but the fact that it was not introduced in this one makes this story stand out from the others like it in this genre.

My only slight complaint was how Miami itself was portrayed. While I enjoyed the mention of these larger cities and it helped me to envision the setting while reading, I felt like there was too much focus on the bigger, more popular cities and gave the setting a staleness that I wish hadn’t occurred. I felt like facts were being spouted and less imagery was given which made some of the setting come off a dry. Some of it just didn’t read as true. But honestly it was not enough to distract from an otherwise stellar novel.

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4.5 Quills

Michael F. Haspil

About The Author

Michael F. Haspil is a geeky engineer and nerdy artist. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he had the opportunities to serve as an ICBM crew commander and as a launch director at Cape Canaveral. The art of storytelling called to him from a young age and he has plied his craft over many years and through diverse media. He has written original stories for as long as he can remember and has dabbled in many genres. However, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror have whispered directly to his soul.

When he isn’t writing, you can find him sharing stories with his role-playing group, cosplaying, computer gaming, or collecting and creating replica movie props. Lately, he devotes the bulk of his hobby time to assembling and painting miniatures for his tabletop wargaming addiction.
Michael is represented by Sara Megibow of the KT Literary Agency and Adrian Garcia of the Paradigm Talent Agency.

He has collected and made replica movie props for over twenty years and enjoys the way a particular collectible lets an individual connect with a meaningful story.

He spends entirely too much time gaming or thinking (some might say ‘scheming’) about strategies and tactics in all kinds of gaming be it board games, computer games, or his passion, tabletop wargaming. He devotes the largest share of the gaming pie to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game. He has collected and played Grey Knights, Space Marines, Tyranids, Dark Eldar, Necrons, and Space Wolves. Michael is a regular contributor to “The Long War” a premiere podcast and webcast dedicated to tabletop gaming, but especially to Warhammer 40,000.

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5 Winners will receive a Copy of GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Michael F. Haspil

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Blood & Magic Series by Danielle Review

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Dark Dreams and Dead Things by Martina M

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The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse Review

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NeverlandWarsCoverThe Neverland Wars
Audrey Greathouse

Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling

Release Date: May 9, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

ISBN: 978-1634221719
ASIN: B01BPVZPB6

Pages: 302
Goodreads Rating: 3.48
My Rating: 4.5

Book Description:

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids,  help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

 

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

 

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30120253-the-neverland-wars

 

My Take on the Book:

 

When it comes to my sister and I, we couldn’t be more different. The same could be said about Rosemary and Gwen, the 2 sisters in this book. My sister is “dead inside” – her words not mine lol – and I am a bleeding heart. But even with our differences,there are some similarities and a connection you can only find with siblings. We annoyingly finish each other’s sentences or blurt out the same sarcastic thoughts. It’s a bond that comes for a lifetime of each other’s influence.
 
So being the bleeding heart that I am, I am not ashamed to admit that I did my fair share of sniffling in this book. It’s not a sad tale at all. At least not as far as I  can tell but there are some inevitable moments where adulthood and reality rush in and damage the beauty and innocence of being a child. To me that was the most profound message in this book. But like many would say… no one in the world reads the same book, so it is likely that no one else will see what I see when I’m taken on this marvelous journey.
 
It was an extremely well written book and the beginning of what I can only assume is a new and unique series. I loved every minute of this book; and let me be clear, I devoured this book in what felt like minutes. There was strong character development, imagery, scenery.laughter and sadness and even a bit of envy while reading this book… in my opinion all the things that make a book more than just good, but great.
 
My only real complaint was the open ended final chapter. If this is indeed the beginning of a series, it’s a good way to gather more readers since you are literally left thinking ‘what the heck just happened’.

 

 
4.5 Quills

 

It’s interesting because other than some internal conflict and the mention of a war and a few moments that reflect that war, there was really no conflict. No clear “villain”and no clear “resolution” and yet I love this book. It’s odd because that’s nothing at all like me. I usually need a clear beginning, middle and end with all the fixings, and while the story itself was easy to follow it almost came off as a steady stream of information. With the book being called the Neverland Wars, I kind of expected a bit more conflict. But regardless it was an enjoyable read that likes to poke at emotions.

 

About The Author

 

Audrey Greathouse is a Seattle-based author of science-fiction and fantasy. Raised in the suburbs, she became a writer after being introduced to NaNoWriMo during her sophomore year of high school. Since then, she has drafted more than a dozen books, 100 sonnets, and 800 other poems, and a handful of short stories and one-act plays. 

After dropping out of her university and beginning training as a circus performer on the aerial silks, she returned to school to study at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education to earn her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Computer Information Technologies. 

Audrey Greathouse is a die-hard punk cabaret fan, and pianist of fourteen years. She’s usually somewhere along the west coast, and she is always writing.

https://audreygreathouse.com/ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6545831.Audrey_Greathouse https://twitter.com/missaudreyjoy

 

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