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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Family Portrait by Gillian Felix

@gillianfx #blogtour

The Family Protrait
By Gillian Felix
Rating 3 stars

Changes:

Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this new adult novel you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack.

You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?


The Banovic Siblings:

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving.


Bastard’s Brew:

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

My Review:
Book 1 - Changes
There is a lot going on. There are many characters to meet, different ways they are connected, and events to keep track of. With all that is going on in the book it is not overwhelming; it actually made for a very fast paced read.

So here's a bit of a rundown. The Banovic's. Adriana is 15 and newly unemployed. Kevin is living a double life. Zax is a star athlete as well as smart. Robin is regretting the decision to cut himself off from his late father. The DeCosta's. Leighann is a burnout teenage singer. Savi is Leighann's manager/mother who loves the money and privileges of Leighann's talent more than she she loves her daughter. Oh, and then there's the dead private investigator.

Should you read it? Maybe. Who should read it? Fans of contemporary family conflict fiction.

BUY
AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * iTUNES * KOBO

Book 2 - The Banivic Siblings
The book picks up right where the second on left off. Again there is a lot going on. In this book the members of the families have met but they still don't know how deep connections with some of the others go. Again, very fast paced.

This is harder to rundown without giving things away but I'll try. Kevin seedier side has met his match while he's falling for a girl is in her in bad situation. Adriana is falling for someone who she knows she shouldn't mostly because it's a bad situation for him. Zax is hung up on a girl that he can see what's in front him. Leighann is having the similar problem as Zax. L'Wren, surprisingly not as put together has Leighann thinks. Savi continues to think she's a victim. Robin struggles to learn the family business while his wife Jayne is hiding that she got laid off. Whew!

Should you read it? Maybe. Who should hear it? Fans of contemporary family fiction as well as readers of the first book.

BUY
AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * iTUNES * KOBO

Book 3 - Bastard's Brew
Continuation of the second book. All the same issues from the second book but in more detailed. The exception is that Leighann has let go other crush. She wasn't in the story as much this time around. Adriana is forced to pay for an act she committed but she is still selfishly lying to Haze. Haze is the guy I said she shouldn't be dating.

Should you read it? Maybe. Who should read it? Fans of contemporary fiction as well as readers of book 1 & 2.

The series as a whole. I like the characters. They are written nicely. I like the story. However, I do have some issues. Each book/volume is around 100 pages so they go by fast not a bad thing but something you may want to think about. What I don't like is that these are not volumes, they are episodes. Theses episodes are basically a soap opera. The volumes and nothing has been resolved.

As a kid my great other and two if her daughters watched the soaps. I stopped obviously once I started school but for a short time got back into it when the made the soap opera channel. Again I stopped. Why? I like endings and hate things to be drawn out. When I read a book I want there to be a "bada bada that's all folks" moment. Exceptions multi-book series i.e. Harry Potter. Here's the thing with books in a series, they have to have at least one subplot come to a satisfactory end. That doesn't happen in The Family Portrait volumes. So you may be asking, are you going to read vol. 4? No. There's nothing from these past volumes to lead me to think that things will wrap up in volume 4.

Should you read the volumes? Maybe. See the following question. Who should read them? Fans of suspense as well as soap opera fans.

BUY
AMAZON * BARNES & NOBLE * iTUNES * KOBO

Last 2 cents:
Good story. √
Good characters. √
Good pace.√
Satisfactory plot endings. X





Author Bio:
Gillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.

Originally from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing.

Miss Felix is also an entrepreneur and advocate for children's and women's rights.



*This is an ARC review*
***i will post other buy links soon unfortunately I think my laptop has a virus since it took way to long to load pages***

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday 36

The Cartel
@Bunnitaz #WishlistWednesday

So what do you need to do to join in wishlist fun?
 •Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
 •Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
 •Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
 •Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
 •Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
 •Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
 •Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

From Barnes and Noble:
The Cartel dominates the Miami drug trade. When its leader dies, he leaves behind a family—and a secret: an illegitimate son. When a contract killer is hired to take down the Cartel, she unwittingly falls for the son. When she finds out, she is torn between love and revenge.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Author Interview: Claudia Y. Burgoa



Do you have a favorite character from this series?

Becca

Do you have a favorite scene from either Next To You or book 1 Where Life Takes You?

I have several. This is part of one of my favorites from Next To You:

The rage that clenches my insides, including my head and perhaps my heart takes me on a detour to Becca’s office, where I find her kneeling next to a chair, with a roll of paper towels and two different cleaners. One logo portrays a sadden beagle on top of a carpet. Seeing Rusty inside his playpen with a puppy pout and her ranting, softness my anger.
“We don’t pee on our guests, Rusty. What kind of behavior is this?” When Rusty spots me, he wags his tail, as if I should praise his behavior. Which I would, if Becca wouldn’t chide me right along with him. From the sounds of this and Blaine’s earlier sour puss face, I deduce my dog knows how to behave and keep away undesirable male attention. The female in front of us doesn’t appreciate that behavior though. “If you continue like this, I’ll have to keep you at home. Why don’t you pee on Daniel? Now that’s something I would enjoy.”


Where did you get the inspiration for this series?

That’s a complicated question… I lost a couple of friends from HS. They were in college already, but a bit of their story gave me the idea about this one.

Rebecca is slowly becoming her own person in this book. I found Daniel to express his insecurities by being controlling. What would you like readers to come away from this book knowing/feeling?

I’d like them to see Becca’s growth, but also understand the human point of both. That as much as they change, there’s a part—our human part—that will always defines us. For Daniel is knowing that he has done everything to keep the people he loves safe. 

Is this the last book in the Life series?

I’m not sure yet, there’s a part of me that wants to write Buddy’s story… and why not, Becca’s and Dan’s children’s stories too. I’m just not sure if that’s going to happen.

Are you working on anything new?

Yes, I just finished the second book of the Knight Tale’s— Standing By which will published on September 23rd. I’m working on a Sci-Fi book and the third book of the Knight Tales. The former to be released on December, the latter early next year.

What advice if any would you give aspiring writers?

Write, read, write, read and never give up

Lastly, what are you currently reading?


The last installment of the Mortal Instruments ~ City of Heavenly Fire.

Book Review Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*If you would like to support this blog consider purchasing your books from the links provided. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Reading!

Blog Tour: Next To You by Claudia Y. Burgoa


 @yuribeans @XpressoReads #giveaway #blogtour


BOOK 2
Next To You by Claudia Y. Burgoa
(Life #2)
Publication date: June 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:
Him
…I need time. Time to heal those wings and learn to use them…
Was part of the letter Rebecca Trent, Daniel Brightmore’s fiancĂ©e and best friend left when she ran away. The person he trusted the most for the past decade disappeared without giving him a second glance. She taught him how to love, believe in family and that everyone deserves a happily ever after. Now he’s struggling between wiping any traces of her from his life and drowning his sorrows away with the help of his new best friends—Don Julio and Jack Daniels.
Her
Rebecca’s past suffocated her to the point of not wanting to continue, her lifeline and the only reason to live began to withdraw from her. She wished it had been her imagination, but heard it loud and clear: “If not, there’s always a divorce, nothing is forever.” This time it became a leave or die situation. Something has got to change—she had to change. Packing light and leaving a letter behind, she takes a journey that can help her find herself through the shards of her painful childhood.
As letters, memories and stories are exchanged, two once inseparable people reconcile what’s left of their relationship. Beyond the confines of everything they built together, they’re left with two lonely people searching for what it means to be whole. Will they find meaning under their bruised psyches or will their pasts get the better of them?

My Review:
Just like the first book, I like this one. Becca showed strength and growth in this novel. She knew that she spent her life being controlled. She understood that Daniel need some time to grow as well. Before you open yourself up to another person you have to first be comfortable with who you are as a person. That is what I took away with this read.

Should you read it? Yes. Who should read it? People who want alittle substance with their YA.

BOOK 1
Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa
Publication date: July 31st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:
Becca Trent lived her childhood next to a cruel woman—her mom—who lived to torment and neglect her. During her high school years, her mother married; bringing home not only a new husband, but a step sister her same age. The latter took over her Mom’s role—making Becca’s life miserable. Including stealing Ian—Becca’s best friend and boyfriend—Lisa treated her worse than her mother had for the previous fifteen years. A couple of years later, things ended up in tragedy.

Becca buried that part of her life in the deep corners of her psyche, but that only work during the days when the nightmares didn’t come back to haunt her. Her best friend, Dan gives her that family love she always lacked. Everything was close to perfect, until everything and everyone from her past came back. Now, she’s trying to figure out how to survive and keep that bond which seems now to be held together by a thread.

Note: This is the first part of a two book novel.
AUTHOR BIO
Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she’s a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story.

Author Links:






Interview Here


*This is an ARC
**If you would like to support this blog consider purchasing your books from the links provided. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Reading!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cover Candy 92

The One (B&N Signed Edition)
@Bunnitaz #lustingforcovers #covercandy

I'm a sucker for a ball gown.

Lusting For Covers a weekly meme, held on Sunday, that allows bloggers to share their current cover obsession
with fellow book lovers hosted by TBQ's Book Palace

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday 35

Midnight: A Gangster Love Story
@Bunnitaz #WishlistWednesday

So what do you need to do to join in wishlist fun?
 •Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
 •Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
 •Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
 •Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
 •Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post.
 •Put a link back to pen to paper (http://www.pentopaperblog.com) somewhere in your post, and a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
 •Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

From Barnes and Noble:
Souljah brings urban literature, and herself, to a whole new level in this raw, unapologetic, charismatic love story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blog Tour: Solus Series by Devri Walls


@DevriWalls @XpressoReads #giveaway #blogtour




BOOK 1
Wins of Arian
by Devri Walls
Series: Solus #1
Published: April 24th 2012 

Synopsis:
Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.


BOOK 2
Wings of Tavea
by Devri Walls
Series: Solus #2
Published: November, 2012

Synopsis:
Kiora is rapidly learning that evil and lies come in shades of black and white and swirling greys, but nothing could have prepared her for the shock of leaving Meros.

Kiora and her protector Emane step through the pass into a world they never knew existed but were always meant to save, only to find it far worse than they could have ever imagined. Good has been forced into hiding for its own survival, while the rest of the land bows to the Shadow, a force that pushes any remaining thoughts of Dralazar from Kiora’s mind. This land is full of new creatures, each more dangerous than the last. Her visions have taken on a deadly twist, and magic, or what comes of it, was never so real. And then there is Alcander: a Tavean, their guide, and an entirely different kind of trouble


BOOK 3
Wings of Nestor
Devri Walls
Series: Solus #3
Publication date: June 24th 2013

Synopsis:
Kiora needs answers. Who is the Shadow? Who is Jasmine? Are they connected? And even more pressing: how can she stop Shadow from using Kiora’s dreams as a map to find them? They have escaped three times, but are living on borrowed time—and everybody knows it.

Her search for help will push her closer to Alcander, send her to the dragon mountain of Toopai, and straight back to Meros—where magic will finally return to the land of no magic. Answers will be uncovered and plans unearthed that have been waiting for thousands of years.

But with the Shadow’s forces gathering, it looks like the land’s path is hurtling towards one outcome: war with the Shadow and death to all rebels. Armed with knowledge and hope, Kiora is determined to change that path. But will fate allow it? Or will it deal her a hard lesson about following ones own destiny?


BOOK 4
Wings of Lomay
Devri Walls
Series: Solus #4
Publication date: February 4th 2014

Synopsis:
Kiora needs answers. Who is the Shadow? Who is Jasmine? Are they connected? And even more pressing: how can she stop Shadow from using Kiora’s dreams as a map to find them? They have escaped three times, but are living on borrowed time—and everybody knows it.

Her search for help will push her closer to Alcander, send her to the dragon mountain of Toopai, and straight back to Meros—where magic will finally return to the land of no magic. Answers will be uncovered and plans unearthed that have been waiting for thousands of years.

But with the Shadow’s forces gathering, it looks like the land’s path is hurtling towards one outcome: war with the Shadow and death to all rebels. Armed with knowledge and hope, Kiora is determined to change that path. But will fate allow it? Or will it deal her a hard lesson about following ones own destiny?



Purchase:




AUTHOR BIO
Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*This is an ARC
**If you would like to support this blog consider purchasing your book from the links provided. Thank you for stopping by and Happy Reading!