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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Invaded – Melissa Landers

Invaded cover Invaded
By: Melissa Landers
Alienated – Book 2
Available Feb 2015

Description:
The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe…until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

This Blonde’s Review:
I really liked getting to know Cara and Aelyx in the first book so I was looking forward to finding out what happened in the second book.

Cara is on L’eihr trying to figure out how to get by as a human on a new planet. Except she thought when it happened she’d be doing it with Aelyx by her side to help her figure it all out. Instead he is on Earth doing his part to make the alliance successful. She doesn’t know what’s going on half the time, but she does know that there is definitely someone trying to sabotage her. She also knows that something doesn’t seem right on L’eihr, besides their inability to understand basic freedoms or humankind’s desire to choose. With so many against her, even going so far as to attempt to get her punished for serious crimes, it’s only natural for her to wonder if it is worth it.

Aelyx is trying to figure out how to get by and hoping that no one tries to kill him. Not just because he doesn’t want to die, but because his leaders claim they’ll end the alliance if they’re harmed. When serious attempts on their life start to occur and they find the attempts being downplayed and the alliance isn’t severed, Aelyx starts to get suspicious. It looks like The Way will do anything to make the alliance happen, but he doesn’t know why.

Cara and Aelyx spend so much time trying not to worry the other that they don’t share all of the important information that they should. And when Cara does share information that Aelyx doesn’t find possible he dismisses it much quicker than he should because of his own stress and distractions. If they can work together and find their way back to that connection they had in the first book they’ll have everything figured out, though they may not figure everything out on time.

I enjoyed getting to see more of Cara and Aelyx’s story. It wasn’t perfect or easy, but there’s no way it could be. They’ve come from different planets and cultures, and now they’re swapped and living in one they don’t fully understand. But they’re determined to do what they have to. Luckily neither of them are alone. Though they can’t always trust the people around them, they are smart and determined, which are some of the things I loved best about them.

And of course the end was sweet and in some ways exactly what you’d expect. There were a few things I hadn’t anticipated, which was good. There were a few things left up in the air so I’d be interested to see if the author writes another book with any of the other characters. I don’t really see that happening since the way it was left sounded pretty final to me, even without having all of the answers.

I liked finding out more about what happened with Cara and Aelyx, as well as knowing that some of the relationships that were lacking in the first book became something bigger in the second, like Cara’s relationship with her brother. I also really liked that we got to find out more about The Way as individuals rather than an idea.

If you enjoyed the first book you’ll want to find out the rest of their story. If you haven’t read the first book but like reading about a girl who is trying to make a relationship and life work even if it means moving to another planet, all while helping prevent disaster, sounds interesting then you’ll enjoy this one.

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Cinder & Ella Blog Tour – Why Cinderella

Cinder & Ella blog tour banner

Today I’m taking part in the Cinder & Ella Blog Tour to promote the release of Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram. My review will follow in another post so that you can instead concentrate on reading this wonderful guest post by Kelly talking about why she decided to write a Cinderella Story. I was excited to be included since I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Kelly Oram so far, including Cinder & Ella. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy getting to know more about it as well.

So keep reading for her guest post on Why Cinderella followed by information on the book. You can also find out about a giveaway if you keep reading.

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Why write a Cinderella story? It’s been done a hundred times. Why create one more retelling that will just get lost in the shuffle and have to work hard to compete with the dozens of brilliant adaptations already out there? The answer is easy: because I wanted to. The market, and my audience may influence my decisions on what to write a little bit, (they have to if I want to be successful) but, ultimately, when I write, I write for myself. And I wanted to write a Cinderella story. I’ve always loved Cinderella. It’s been my favorite fairy tale since I was a little girl. Once I started writing, I always knew that someday I would take my own spin on the story; it was just a matter of how I wanted to do it.

Cinderella doesn’t have to be just a story about a poor, down-on-her-luck girl who gets rescued by an amazing, perfect prince. Don’t get me wrong, that’s my favorite part of the story no matter how you retell it, but when it’s done right, it can be so much more than that. If you can dig deeper than the “she’s hot” and “he’s rich and can get me away from my stepfamily” angles, you have the potential to create a very powerful and emotional romance from the “Cinderella” and “Prince” characters. Cinderella is a story about two people from completely different worlds who, from all outward appearances, have nothing in common, and yet they find solace in one another. At least, that’s how I’ve always seen it, and that’s what I tried to accomplish with my version of it.

Cinder & Ella is a contemporary retelling of the classic fairy tale, about two people who escape the pressures of their vastly different realities through an anonymous online friendship. Ella is a girl who was left scarred and handicapped after a terrible car accident, while Brian is the hottest up and coming Hollywood actor. One seemingly has nothing, and the other everything. Both are always being judged and treated by their peers based on their circumstances rather than who they are as people. They build such a strong relationship with one another because online, with the anonymity, they can finally be themselves without the stigmas that constantly plague them in their everyday lives.

Cinderella is such an epic romance, and I really wanted to do it justice. I’m usually a little “fluffier” with my books—and, don’t worry, Cinder & Ella still has plenty of fluffy parts to it—but I wanted more from this book than the cute, fun stories I normally write. I wanted it to be deeper. I really wanted people to feel it. I think that’s why I chose to make my characters a little older than most of my other books, and why I chose to add a little more drama and depth to it. I didn’t want to give people just another fun Cinderella story. I wanted to write something that would stand out. A story that, if you took the Cinderella element away from it, could still stand on its own.

I put my whole heart into this book, and I really feel that I’ve written the best possible Cinderella story I was capable of. I honestly love it and think it might be my favorite of all the books I’ve written so far. I’m proud of it, and proud to join the ranks of all the other Cinderella retellings out there. Hopefully people will love it as much as I do!

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Kelly Oram author photo

About Kelly Oram:
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat named Mr. Darcy.

Author Links:
Facebook Goodreads
Twitter and My Website

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Cinder & Ella cover
It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Buy Link
Available Now

 

To find the other stops on the tour and to enter to win the signed Kelly Oram contemporary collection be sure to head over to Kelly’s website here.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Blog Tour

 

Love and Other Theories – Alexis Bass

Love and Other Theories cover Love and Other Theories
By: Alexis Bass
Available 31 Dec 2014

Description:
If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

This Blonde’s Review:
Aubrey is not going to repeat the mistakes millions of other high school girls do. They care too much, they want boyfriends, and they expect the boys to stick around. Aubrey and her friends don’t commit and don’t fall for anyone. They play the scene just like the guys do and that’s exactly how they will have the best experience.

Except as we get to know Aubrey we learn that things are really that simple. Despite hooking up with the new guy like it doesn’t matter, she isn’t usually that quick to jump. And she seems more interested in keeping him around and to herself than what their rules would stipulate. As we learn about the other girls in their group and the people around them it also becomes painfully clear that their experience isn’t as pain free as they’d like to pretend it is. They’ve lost friendships over guys, and continue to test and push friendships over them. And sometimes the people who seem the least like they care are really the ones who care the most.

Watching Aubrey go along with what her friends expected, while telling herself it was what she wanted, made me want to shake her. There’s this great guy who cares about her and she’s too scare to grab it. She never even considered any alternatives between being in a serious clingy relationship where they’d get broken or remaining uncommitted. Instead she takes a great guy who wants to be with her and brings him into this life they’ve created and doesn’t expect it to change them.

I was really torn by a lot of what happened in this book. Some things I knew needed to happen, if they didn’t there was no point to writing the book. The changes in Aubrey and the things she learned are what this book was really about, more than the guy. And that’s the best part about this book.

This is really about a girl who is struggling to figure out how to avoid the pain that she’s seen others experience. One who has to learn that sometimes all you do is open yourself up to a different kind of pain. If that sounds interesting to you then you’ll enjoy this one.