ARC Review: Losing Leah, by @TiffanyKingYA

Title: Losing Leah Author: Tiffany King
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Some bonds can’t be broken.

Ten years after the tragic disappearance of her twin sister Leah, sixteen-year-old Mia Klein still struggles to exist within a family that has never fully recovered. Deep in the dark recesses of her mind lies an overwhelming shadow, taunting Mia with mind-splitting headaches that she tries to hide in an effort to appear okay.

Leah Klein’s life as she knew it ended the day she was taken, thrust into a world of abuse and fear by a disturbed captor―”Mother,” as she insists on being called. Ten years later, any recollections of her former life are nothing more than fleeting memories, except for those about her twin sister, Mia.

As Leah tries to gain the courage to escape, Mia’s headaches grow worse. Soon, both sisters will discover that their fates are linked in ways they never realized. (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

I’ve read much of what Tiffany King has written over the last few years. Knowing a majority of her body of work, I thought I knew what to expect from her books. After diving into Losing Leah I now know that I should toss all I knew about King aside and brace myself for a new side to this author’s writing.

Losing Leah takes the reader on a dark and twisty ride testing the bounds of reality unfolding with each chapter. This book is one that continued to give satisfying surprises, laughs, and meaningful moments in an unapologetic flow making it difficult to put down.

I’m amazed by where King has taken her writing and will gladly continue following this new direction in her storytelling. Losing Leah is a book that’ll stick with me for years to come.

fancy lineresize

Want to pre-order a copy? You can find it over on

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find out more:

Review: All Out Wild Wonder, by @kaysarahsera


Title: All Out Wild Wonder
Author: Sarah Kay

Rating: 5/5 stars

“From renowned poet Sarah Kay, a single volume poem perfect for teachers and mentors.

All Our Wild Wonder is a vibrant tribute to extraordinary educators and a celebration of learning. The perfect gift for the mentors in our lives, this charming, illustrated poem reminds us of the beauty in, and importance of, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and confidence in others. (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

All Our Wild Wonder is yet another poem by Sarah Kay that I won’t get tired of rereading or relistening to, no matter how many times I do.

Not many poems can become a book all on its own, but Kay has a gift for doing so. Like B and The TypeAll Our Wild Wonder is a piece that combines Kay’s style of storytelling with life lessons and positive outlook on the world. This poem explores the life-long influence that one person can have on an entire school full of children, just by caring around them more than others may have.

Much can be said about Kay’s writing. But I find that it speaks for itself even better than if I tried to put more words to this review. I suggest not skipping over this poem and this poet.

fancy lineresize

Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon | B&N

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Sarah Kay is a New Yorker. a poetry writer and reader. a spoken word poetry teacher. the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E. with Phil Kaye. a witty banter enthusiast. a postcard lover. a documentary filmmaker. a foodie. a playwright. a singer. a songwriter. a photographer. a best-selling author of the book B. an editor for Write Bloody Publishing. a Gemini. a mediocre driver at best. a musical theater geek. a smoothie expert. the daughter of a Taoist mother and a Brooklynese father. a hapa. less cool than her little brother. an alum of the United Nations International School. an alum of Brown University. an alum of Brown University Graduate School’s Masters Program in the Art of Teaching Secondary English. a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Grinnell College.

Find out more:

Review: Pixie Tamer, by @MeganPHaskell

Title: Pixie Tamer (Sanyare Chronicles #0.5) Author: Megan Haskel
Rating: 5/5 stars

“A Short Story Prequel to Sanyare: The Last Descendant

It’s Nuriel “Rie” Lhethannien’s twenty-fifth nameday. She should be celebrating her rise to maturity, not sweating in the training hall. But life isn’t fair, and humans aren’t equal to the elves, at least not in the High Court.

After losing a practice bout to the one man she wants to trust, Rie is thrown into the most challenging test of her life. Will the rewards outweigh the risks? (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

I bought a copy of book one of the Sanyare Chronicles thinking it looked like something I’d enjoy. When I got home, I discovered that there was this prequel, Pixie Tamer, and decided to read it first.

I’m glad I read this quick short story. It’s not very long, but it felt like a good introduction to the world I’ll soon dive into in The Last Descendant. In its few pages I got a feel for who Rie is. I also got a feel for the world in which she lives. It’s a world I now want to explore more. I also think the characters will be even more interesting as the series does on.

This prequel story is just a taste of what I’m sure will be a series worth reading. I can’t wait to read more.

fancy lineresize

Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Legend has it, I was born with a book in my hands. When I was a kid, my mom would ground me from reading in order to get me to do my chores. To this day, I can readily ignore the real world in favor of the imaginary one lurking between the pages of my current addiction. My dad — also an avid reader — introduced me to Tolkien in my late elementary years, and I never looked back. I love escaping to worlds where magic and monsters are real, especially stories with kick-butt heroines and dangerously attractive heroes.

Despite my voracious book appetite, I didn’t start creative writing until I was working as a number cruncher in a big accounting firm. With an hour plus commute by train every day, and a demanding left-brain occupation, I needed a mobile creative outlet. A pen and paper are about as mobile as it gets! As the pages began to fill, I quickly moved onto a tiny laptop, and a writer was born. Now I get to create my own fantasies!

I currently live in Southern California with my wonderfully supportive husband, two daughters, and a ridiculously energetic dog.

Find out more:

#Review: Tell Me a Story, by @TamaraLush

Title: Tell Me a Story (The Story episode #1)
Author: Tamara Lush
Rating: 4/5 stars

A flirtatious reading of erotica blossoms into something deep and tender in the steamy Florida heat…

Tell Me a Story…

Emma, a free-spirited bookstore owner in Orlando, keeps her business afloat with innovative ideas. Her most popular evening event is Story Brothel, where customers can pay writers to read aloud to them in a story-time for two, complete with cocktails. Despite the name, the event is usually tame. But things take a steamy turn when a handsome, urbane businessman hires Emma for a session in a private cabana. Daringly, she shares with him a reading of her erotica. Soon both of them are feeling the effects … and Emma’s wondering what kind of lover is underneath his expensive suit.

Caleb may be a billionaire real estate mogul, but he’s never been captivated by a woman as he is by the lovely, quirky Emma. Her rockabilly vintage dresses make him long to strip them off and do very wicked things to her. And her refusal to share her personal life only makes him more curious.

Soon the couple are spending every available moment together. But Emma’s building is in danger of being razed out from under her bookstore … and worse, Caleb may be behind her problems. Can she trust him with her life as she does with her body? Or will the prickly walls built during her harsh past keep them apart? (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

Tell Me a Story is the first episode in a five part serial. It’s been awhile since I’ve wanted to read a serial novel, and I’m glad I did. This one’s only five installments, and each are a reasonable length. Both are a plus. Along with them all being released at the time I discovered them helped even more.

Like most serials, there wasn’t too much character development in the grand scheme of things here. This aides in my wanting to continue onto the next episodes. There was just enough to get into Emma’s head and start to enjoy her. On the other hand Caleb is still very mysterious and has most to reveal later on. I’m still on the fence about him, as I’m sure the reader should be.

As for the story itself, I’m even more intrigued after reading it than I was starting. The story brothel event at Emma’s bookstore was a fun idea. I really like how that’s worked into the story outside the bookstore, too. I also thought it was great that the author didn’t make the bookstore life out to be glamorous, as I’ve seen done elsewhere. Emma’s facing real-world problems as a business owner and there are big consequences. Lush was able to bring a lot out in episode one, even if a few elements may have hurt because of this. That’s what the rest of the serial is for, after all.

I’m looking forward to reading more about Emma and Caleb. I’m also crossing my fingers a certain other set of characters gets their own story in the future.

fancy lineresize

If you’d like to read this installment of the serial, you can find it (at time of posting) on:

Kobo | AudibleRadish app

You can grab the complete 5-part serial novel on:

Amazon | Kobo | B&NiBooks

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Tamara Lush was born in California and raised in Vermont. She graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in journalism. For her entire adult life, she’s worked as a reporter and is currently an award-winning correspondent in Florida with The Associated Press. She lives with her Italian husband and two bad dogs near the beach.

She was recently chosen as one of 24 writers for the Amtrak Residency program, and in 2017, she’ll be riding trains and writing romance novels.

Her most recent novel, a five-episode serial called TELL ME A STORY, has “an engaging voice, sexy heroes and heroines and a wry sense of humor,” according to New York Times bestselling author Beth Kery.

Tamara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, beaches, iPhone photography, Art Deco, telenovelas, coloring books, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee and newspapers.

Find out more:

Review: Broken Resolutions, by @oliviawrites

Title: Broken Resolutions (Lovestruck Librarians #1)
Author: Olivia Dade
Rating: 5/5 stars

“LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES

Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…

Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both? (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

Broken Resolutions may be one of the best Twitter recommendations I’ve gotten in a long time. I asked the masses for romances with librarians, and got far more than I expected.

This novella has so much of what I look for in romances. A major surprise was the snow storm. I’ve somewhat recently realized that I really enjoy stories that take place during a storm because of how they tend to bring characters close together and force them to get to know each other. And they normally take place during the holidays, which brings out different aspects qualities in a character. A bonus for this book: Takes place on New Year’s Eve. I normally read Christmas stories. The other thing I enjoyed from this one and want to look for more in romances is that Penny is a librarian and it’s set in a library. This naturally grabs at my book-lover brain. There’s so much room for book references and feeling at home in a library. The author did a great job at writing this.

I really enjoyed the character’s Dade wrote into this book. This includes the secondary characters, not just the main ones. They were all great to read about, especially those with some more quirks than others.

Now that I’ve finished this book, I’m very curious where the rest of this series will go from here. With many first books in a series you can feel out who the next books will be about. Right now, I can only guess at two characters who could get a book. I like the mystery of who else might get their chance at a romance soon. I like that guessing game so much that I already bought the rest of the series. I think that’s a first for me, but I enjoyed Broken Resolutions that much.

fancy lineresize

You can grab this story from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a “manhood”? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet–it didn’t matter. I loved them all.

Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

Find out more:

Review: Dark Flash, by @MariaHaskins

Title: Dark Flash
Author: Maria Haskins
Rating: 4/5 stars

“Eight stories of dark fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Featuring unicorns, pirates, a cat, a demon, magic, and glimpses of mythology (among other things) – there’s a pinch of everything in this collection of flash fiction! All eight stories originally appeared on R.B. Wood’s Word Count Podcast, and are now available as an ebook for the first time. (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

I’ve read some of Maria Haskins poetry and flash fiction in the past. because I’ve enjoyed it, I decided to give a collection of her flash fiction a read. I’m happy to have done so.

As with most flash fiction, it can be a hit and miss. Length is a major factor that shapes each story and what can be done within the limited word count. Haskins has more hits than misses, in my opinion. Not every story wowed me, but many did. She’s able to work a lot of “story” into each story, keep the pace fast without making them feel short, and come up with a variety of ideas that also work together nicely.

I’ll definitely continue to read Haskins’ work. Especially the flash fiction. Having finished Dark flash, I’m now also curious what Haskins can do with a longer form, whether it’s short stories or novels.

fancy lineresize

You can grab this story from:

Amazon | SmashwordsKobo | B&N | iBooks

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

self3Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Her English language debut ‘Odin’s Eye’ – a collection of science fiction short-stories – was published in March, 2015. Her book ‘Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015’ was released on November 9, 2015, and includes both new poems written in English, and her own translations of her previously published Swedish poetry. She is currently writing fantasy and science fiction short stories. Two new short stories that will appear in an anthology in the Mind’s Eye Series, set to be published in 2016.

Find out more:

#Review: Project Snow, by @lafemmecherita

Title: Project Snow
Author: Cherita Smith
Rating: 4/5 stars

“Snow White meets genetic engineering in this captivating blend of science fiction and fairy tale that will hook you from the very first line.

Like most engineered kids, Amara can’t wait to turn sixteen. Sixteen means confirmation of immunity to the aging infection that plagues mankind. And confirmation means freedom, leaving behind the quarantine of the Tower where she’s lived all her life for a new life in the city — no filtration veils required.

But the queen has other plans. The queen is dying and needs a new heart. Daughter or not, Amara’s will do. (description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

I enjoy this short story from Cherita Smith. I’ve been trying to read more fairy tale retellings, so it was only natural that this one worked well with my current reading mood.

I’ll be honest that I’m not very familiar with the “original” Snow White story. But it’s safe to say that readers shouldn’t expect a Disney movie from this story. It’s a bit dark, like may tales are. I’m glad the author kept the not-so-happy element in there.

With this being a short story, an author must sacrifice extensive world building in order for there to be room for the characters and plot. I feel that to a point that’s the case with this story. Smith set this in a world unlike our own, after a major event that changed the way the world lives and even looks. While I wasn’t really lost reading this story, I do feel like it could have benefited from having some more world building take place. it was intriguing and I wanted more. Maybe there’s more the author plans on doing with this world and readers will get it when that comes out. I’d for sure enjoy that.

While the characters weren’t very fleshed out, I think it worked just fine in this one. I was actually a bit surprised to be content not getting so deep into each of the major characters.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I wanted a little bit more from it. But as I mentioned, maybe there’s more in store for us. I’d be more than happy to read more.

fancy lineresize

You can grab this story from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

fancy lineresize

About the Author:

Hello, you! I’m Cherita, a Los Angeles native who writes speculative fiction of all kinds: dystopian, science fiction, paranormal & dark fantasy for teens and adults.

Dark, lush & haunting prose, with a dash of creepy-thriller and a sprinkle of fairytale-myth — that’s my writing jam. If that sounds like your jam too, you should give my stories a read.

Once upon a time in the not-too-distant past, I also did fundraising and online marketing for nonprofit organizations including a domestic violence shelter, the politically progressive Brave New Films, and Film Independent, the arts organization behind the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards. I did a lot of writing for all of them too, only none of it was speculative and it was (mostly) non-fiction.

Find out more: