Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Book Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: In Other Words by Jennifer Woodhull

Today we have the release day blitz of IN OTHER WORDS by Jennifer Woodhull! Check it out and grab your copy now!

Title: IN OTHER WORDS

Author: Jennifer Woodhull

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Dexter

We became close friends in college. When Sinclair returns home to Dallas after two years in New York, I introduce her to my best friend Cole. The good-looking playboy ballplayer is the perfect kind of guy for the woman I'm sure would never be interested in me...even if seeing them together breaks my heart.



Sinclair.

He was the nerdy PhD candidate. I was the cheerleader. We made unlikely friends. Moving back home after two years away, he looks hotter than ever. When I start dating his ballplayer best friend, things get complicated. He doesn't see me as girlfriend material...but I can't get him, or my feelings for him, out of my head.


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“She’s so fucking pretty,” Cole says, lolling his head back and forth against the headrest of my Tesla.

The phrase irritates the crap out of me. I feel like I want to punch him. Not that I’ve ever punched anyone, but that’s what this feels like—like I want to commit violence against my friend for using such a pedestrian description for a creature as indescribably spectacular as Clair.

“I don’t know though, man. She said she’d go out with me, but I’m not really sure she likes me.” Cole shakes his head. “It makes me kinda nervous. Usually, girls love me.” He turns to me and wriggles his eyebrows. “I mean, they really love me. It’s just…I don’t know. She’s different.”

“She is different. She’s intelligent, kind, inquisitive, funny...She’s definitely not like anyone else I know.” My response is a knee-jerk reaction in defense of the woman that holds so much of my heart. I immediately regret it saying these things, though. Idiot. Why are you selling him on how great she is? He already got something I’ll never have—a date with her.

“What sorta stuff should I talk to her about?” He asks.

“What do you usually talk to your dates about?”

“I usually say. ‘Hi. I’m a famous athlete. Also, I’m rich and have a huge cock. Let’s go to your place.’ Then they say okay, and we go to their place and fuck. If they’re good at it, I keep going back, and then we’re basically dating.” He shrugs.

I pull into the driveway and the gate closes behind us. I drop my head to the steering wheel and let out a long, deep breath.

“Cole, let me be clear,” I say carefully. “Clair is my friend. She’s my best friend.”

“I thought I was your best friend.”

“You’re my best male friend. She’s my best friend.”

“So I’m not your best friend? Ouch, bro.”

“You’re in the top two.”

Only two, really, but that’s not really the point.

“That’s not so bad, I guess. Hey, imagine if me and Sinclair got married someday. When you come to visit us, you’d get to see your two best friends at once!” He grins.

I’m dying. Oxygen is no longer getting into my bloodstream and my organs are shutting down. It’s the only explanation I can think of for the hell in which I find myself trapped.

“Again, Cole, let me be crystal clear. Do not treat Clair like some piece of ass. Don’t just sleep with her if you’re not serious about her.” My words are a caution.

He looks at me and his expression is earnest. “I wouldn’t do that, Dexter. I’m not an asshole.”

“I know you’re not an asshole. I just mean…” I blow out a breath and turn to him. “I know sometimes you date women and it’s just for fun. Clair is…she’s really important to me. Please don’t use her if you don’t see her as more than someone to go out with a couple of times, then move on from.” I hold his gaze, and he seems to get that I’m serious.

“Dude…do you like her? Should I not have asked her out—were you going to make a move?” He asks.

The weight of that question hangs in the air for a moment. My heartbeat is so loud, I’m sure any passerby could hear it. The blood courses through my veins with such fervor, I feel as if my arteries will burst.

Should I have made a move?

I don’t think she’d have been remotely interested in changing the dynamic of our relationship, but I was never brave enough to find out. After tonight, I feel, somehow, like I’ll never get the opportunity to know for sure.

“We’re just friends. We’ve always been just friends,” I reply.

It doesn’t answer his question, but the subtle ambiguity of my response is lost on my friend.

“Okay, I was just making sure. Cause, dude,” he shakes his head. “She’s hot as hell. As long as I’m not stepping on your toes…I’m totally going for it.”






Jennifer Woodhull is an author of romance with lots of wit, plenty of heat, and lots of heart. She is known for writing immersive settings that take readers to a wide variety of locales around the world. Her heroines are funny, strong make bad decisions, and get in their own way sometimes before finding their path to happiness. Her heroes are driven, funny, sweet, and sometimes complicated. Jennifer lives in Tennessee with her real life book boyfriend and their yellow lab who can be more persuasive than any roguish villain when he's after a snack. A lover of travel, Jennifer has been known to plot novels and write pages of dialogue on her phone from planes, trains, and automobiles (though not while driving, because safety first).


Jennifer's works include her debut Promise Series, the breakout hit The Dating Alternative, and the funny, sexy summer release, Sour.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookish Quotes


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different question for book bloggers to ponder over. 

This week's topic is Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes which I have translated to:


FAVORITE BOOKISH QUOTES
~~~~~

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin

Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm

Holly Black, The Cruel Prince

Kristin Cashore, Graceling


Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire


Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

Holly Black, White Cat


What are some of your favorite bookish quotes? Feel free to leave the link to your Top Ten Tuesday post!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Blog Tour, Reviews, Series Playlist & Giveaway: The Wings of War series by Karen Ann Hopkins



Title: Embers
Series: The Wings of War #1
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Karen Ann Hopkins
Published: March 15, 2015
Pages: 394
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them.

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure/romance about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she learns that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels.

While Ember is instructed about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it's cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war that's been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She may be one of the few champions willing to make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is the first novel in the dark and gritty YA paranormal romance series, The Wings of War.

“An impending apocalypse provides a compelling backdrop for romance in this page-turning first installment of a new YA series. Hopkins expertly weaves her plotlines together in this compulsively readable teen romance story…Hopkins delivers many successful elements of young-adult romance—appealing lead characters, high-voltage chemistry, repressed sexuality—which will win her ardent followers." Kirkus Reviews

“Embers is the start of an action-packed paranormal YA series. Ms. Hopkins draws the reader immediately in with her richly drawn prologue that introduces the lurking evil in a breath-taking manner. A must-read for YA, paranormal, fantasy and suspense fans. Make that a delight for any reader!" Morgan Stamm, Ind'Tale Magazine



READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

REVIEW


Disclaimer: This review DOES contain spoilers.

First of all, let's all take a look at that gorgeous cover! Isn't it divine? I saw it and squealed a little inside at its loveliness.

I think that what I like most about this book is the premise. I love the unique spin on angels and demons that Hopkins crafted. I adore paranormal stories with angels and demons and I always love them, even more, when there is an interesting take on them. I am really excited to see this world unfold even more in the next book of the series.

I felt that the story started off a little slow, but once things picked up I was definitely hooked on the story. The book is told with multiple POVs, but Ember's POV is the only one that we see for the first sixteen chapters except for the prologue. After completing the book, I see that the sequence of events needed to be the way that they were, but it still felt a little like a standstill in the beginning.

The characters were quite enjoyable. I felt that Sawyer had the most character depth. He was struggling with being a demon and the horrible things that he had to do to survive. He was in constant turmoil over the morality of what he was doing and it really felt real. I loved Ember's personality. She wasn't impressionable and she didn't take crap from anyone. She had her own opinions and she wasn't shy about embracing them. She was also very good-hearted and kind. She is exactly the type of female lead character that is easy to root for. I loved Ivan's character so much. He was such a darling and I fell so in love with his innocent and kind nature. My heart soared when he felt protective of Ember. I was a little unsure of Ila at first, but I grew to adore her.

While this book contains many popular YA book tropes, Hopkins pulls them off well. I usually get irritated with the same old song and dance in books. I am glad to say that I didn't experience that irritation while reading this book. I recognized some of the same tropes that can normally turn me away from a book, but instead, I was enjoying them. Hopkins really took these tropes and made them her own. It was refreshing.
At first, I thought that Ember suffered from the Chosen One cliche, but there were some things that displayed that she wasn't quite so perfect. She may very well be a Chosen One type of character, though it is hard to say just yet, but she certainly didn't outshine in every situation. She certainly has powers that are extraordinary, but she doesn't defeat every foe and she does need help at times. That aspect made her a little more real even with her unique powers.

There was one trope in that book that I wasn't overly fond of though and that is a huge case of instalove. Initially, Ember dreams about Sawyer and becomes smitten with him even though she thinks that he is only a figment of her dreams. Then they meet, shocking her that he is real, and they both become instantly infatuated with each other. I wish that there had been more of a build-up to their relationship. Something a little more substantial to base it off of other than just instant attraction. Otherwise, I really enjoyed watching their relationship unfold. They definitely had some chemistry and I enjoyed their encounters. Even with the instalove, I was still into their love story and rooting for them.
Overall, I was very impressed with this book. I loved the originality of the premise. Hopkins' take on angels and demons was inventive and fresh. I enjoyed the characters and the plot progressed nicely. I was definitely craving the next book by the time I finished this one. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next!



Title: Gaia
Series: The Wings of War #2
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Karen Ann Hopkins
Published: July 26, 2015
Pages: 294
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Watchers and Angels are at war. Which side will Ember choose?

Humankind is on the precipice of the apocalypse.

As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.

But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted.

When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.

As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.


READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

REVIEW

Disclaimer: This review MAY contain spoilers.

This series is so addicting! I thought that the first book was great, but this one was so much better! The first book was intriguing and got me hooked. This book dove deep into the world of Watchers and got me lost in the world.

I loved the introduction of new characters in this book. I loved the characters from the first book, and I continued to adore them throughout this one. Ivan is such a gem of a character. He is the absolute sweetest sidekick and I love him to bits. If anything happens to him in this series I will riot! Seriously though, he's awesome. And Horas is just as noble and lovable as Ivan. He is a demon and yet he helps Ember without question. He is loyal to her and her friends and he doesn't let his demon side overtake his actions. He is not evil. I am looking forward to more of him in this series. I liked Ember's character progression. She has been thrust into a brand new world that she is a part of but knows nothing about. She has to struggle with learning about her powers and where she fits into the puzzle. The Watchers and the Angels are at odds and Ember doesn't know which side is in the right and which is in the wrong. In this book, she faces more heartache, betrayal, and forgiveness. She is a strong and stubborn character and I truly like her. She doesn't blindly follow anyone and she makes her own choices regardless of outside opinions. She always does what she thinks is right. Sawyer is still loyal to Ember. He loves her and he is waiting patiently for her acceptance. My favorite new character is Insepth. He is a very fun character. He is kind of arrogant, but in a playful way. I love his personality. I was leery of his character at the beginning since his intentions weren't really known. Insepth is a tricky character. He does things in this book that are unforgivable, but he didn't do them out of malice. He did them because he felt they were the right thing to do. So that always makes things complicated. Ember's forgiveness is really inspiring. We also get to meet some other Watchers and even some Angels in this book. I look forward to getting to know them more.

The plot becomes so much more clear in this book. Not everything is revealed, obviously, but the reader definitely has a better understanding of the stakes and the struggles ahead. I really love where the story is going. I love how creative Hopkins' take on Angels and Demons is. 

The world-building is definitely expanded upon in this book. I loved getting a deeper look at Watchers and I also liked that we get to see Angels in this book. 

I am actually liking the romance in this book. It was so tentative throughout this book while Ember decided what her real feelings for Sawyer were. She kept him at arm's length throughout most of the book. Not unkind or unloving, but cautious. She just wanted to make sure that her feelings for him were true and not something brought on by the guardian bond. And she wanted to take things slow since she hadn't had any previous relationships. I like where things are going and I'm curious how they will turn out. I feel like Insepth may be a potential love interest at some point. He definitely gives off the vibe that he is into her. I guess we'll see.

Overall, this was an excellent second-in-series book! The stakes were raised, the conflict was brought to the forefront, and things get real. This book had plenty of action, magic, and great character development. I am excited about the next book and I totally recommend this series to all paranormal fans!



Title: Tempest
Series: The Wings of War #3
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Karen Ann Hopkins
Published: January 22, 2016
Pages: 268
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Ember must stop the apocalypse from happening, but at what cost?

The Angels of destruction have arrived, and only Ember stands in the way of their mission to carry out God's wrath and annihilate His enemies.

When the barrier between celestial creatures and humans beings is broken and Angels descend to Earth, Ember soon learns there's a fine line between good and evil. As she faces a world full of monsters and magic, a terrifying darkness rises and threatens to destroy everything she's fighting for.

In the riveting third installment of The Wings of War series, Ember and her friends embark on an epic journey, where unlikely allies are forged and age-old beliefs crumble to dust. And just when Ember accepts love in her life, it's ripped away from her in the most terrifying way possible.


READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

REVIEW

Disclaimer: This review DOES contain SPOILERS. I received a copy of this book from the author. This does not affect the opinions expressed in my review.

Wow! That is all I can think right now. This book was amazing! This series is quickly winning over my heart. This book of the series continues with plenty of action and world-saving badassery.

My god, these characters will be the death of me. Seriously, I love them. We get to meet even more new characters in this book. We get to meet Growlers, a powerful water Watcher, dragons, the four horses of the apocalypse, and even the Devil himself. I wasn't sure of the water Watcher at first because it was hard to place her intentions. She was a no-nonsense kind of character though, which I always gravitate towards. I liked her in the end. The dragons were unexpected characters, but I loved their part of the story. I loved seeing more Growlers with a closer glimpse of them. I liked the portrayal of Samael in this. He was a snappy dresser and a smooth talker but clearly is more sinister underneath. Ember was still following her heart in this book. Ivan and Horas were still her faithful companions. Insepth had a lot of character growth. He is making amends for his past sins and is showing his loyalty to Ember. Sawyer was a little distant in this book. In the end, he does something that saved Ember and her friends from death but sacrifices himself in the process. 

The plot gets so much better with this book. We get to see more of the big picture and the way that the pieces are starting to fall together. We are still left in the dark about many things, but what we have seen so far is so intriguing that it is easy to passionately anticipate the final book. 

The romance in this book was not like the other books. Sawyer is distant throughout most of the book. Ember realizes that she truly loves Sawyer and they finally have some private time together. But Sawyer's uncertain fate at the end of this book throws the fate of their romance into question. And then there is the fact that Insepth and Ember have been getting closer. 

Overall, this book really knocked things up a notch in the series. I love how much action and great plotting this series has. So much happened in this book that I am so eager to start book four! I recommend this book to all paranormal fans. This is such a fantastic series!



Title: Eternity
Series: The Wings of War #4
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Karen Ann Hopkins
Published: December 10, 2017
Pages: 264
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

The final battle has begun, and Sawyer fights for the enemy. Will Ember be able to save him?

Lucifer has broken free from his bonds as the Angels gather their armies for the battle of Armageddon. Ember and her friends must tread carefully as they unravel the truth about the final judgment and the chaos that is coming. Can they stop the apocalypse from happening? The battle between good and evil isn’t as straight forward as Ember had hoped, and now that her lover fights for the enemy, does she even want to take part in the war to come?

Eternity is the breathtaking conclusion of the epic Wings of War Series, where loyalties will be tested, lives shattered, and prophecies fulfilled.


READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

REVIEW

Disclaimer: This review MAY contain spoilers. I received a copy of this book from the author. This does not affect the opinions expressed in my review. This was such a bittersweet and emotional conclusion to an incredible series! I am still trying to process everything that happened. Overall, I am pleased with the ending and it actually ended in a way that I expected it to. The characters in this series really make it something worth reading. Hopkins has created such lovable characters that experience such growth in the series. The chemistry between the characters is amazing. The characters have depth and personalities that bring so much emotion to the series. I truly loved the premise for this series. The portrayal of Angels, Demons, and the Apocalypse that Hopkins created is unique and intriguing. I was absolutely hooked from the first book. The plot was awesome. Everything flowed marvelously throughout the series. There were appropriate foreshadowing and conflict to push the story forward. There were unexpected elements and even tropes that were blown out of the water. The first book did contain several well known YA tropes but the progression of the story blasted many of those tropes to pieces. Any time a book or series can surprise me is a good thing. I did notice many religious undertones in this book that I didn't notice in the previous books. They weren't overly aggressive but were present nonetheless. I don't normally care for books that throw religious aspects in the reader's face, but I found that they didn't take any enjoyment away from my reading experience. The romance in the story did go the way that I expected it to. It was bittersweet, truly. So many feels flying around there at the end of the book. I won't go into details because of spoilers, but the ending will tug on your heartstrings for sure. Overall, I am pleasantly satisfied with the ending of the series and with the series as a whole. I enjoyed every moment of reading these books. I loved the characters, the plot was fantastic, and the romance was different from most YA books. I can't recommend this series enough!

SERIES PLAYLIST





Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, and cats. Karen’s main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write.  She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah. Their story continues in Belonging, where their families and cultures threaten to tear them apart, and with Forever and Deception, where we find out once and for all if love is enough for them.

​Lamb to the Slaughter, the first book in Serenity’s Plain Secrets, is Karen’s newest Amish endeavor, opening up the darker, grittier and more secretive lives of Amish society. It’s a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest. Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the rural town of Blood Rock, and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate.  At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community, and even the girl’s parents, react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting. Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman. He left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up.  Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.

​Karen’s YA paranormal/urban fantasy series, the Wings of War, is an epic story about Ember, whose normal life ends abruptly when her parents are killed and she discovers she’s a descendent of angels. Still coping with her strange powers, Ember finds herself — and her heart — in the middle of a centuries-old war in this “compulsively readable” novel (Kirkus Reviews).

​Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York.  She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse at the age of eleven.  The feisty horse’s name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen’s steadfast companion.  Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses.  Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself.  Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Karen is currently working on her bestselling Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, the Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce there will be more books in the Temptation series. 







TOUR SCHEDULE

Week One:
4/1/2019- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
4/2/2019- Introvert BookloverExcerpt
4/3/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureSpotlight
4/4/2019- BookHoundsInterview
4/5/2019- Lone Tree ReviewsExcerpt

Week Two:
4/8/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt
4/9/2019- Books Coffee and RepeatGuest Post
4/10/2019- Reese's ReviewsReview
4/11/2019- Savings in SecondsReview
4/12/2019- Taking It One Book at a timeReview

Week Three:
4/15/2019- Bookroom ReviewsGuest Post
4/16/2019- Book-KeepingReview
4/17/2019- Viviana MacKade- Excerpt
4/18/2019- Kelly P's BlogExcerpt
4/19/2019- Tyto ForestExcerpt

Week Four:
4/23/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
4/24/2019- D. Books and ReviewsReview
4/25/2019- Treestand Book ReviewsReview
4/26/2019- Novel Nerd FactionReview

Week Five:
4/29/2019- 100 Pages A DayReview
4/30/2019- Lady Amber's ReviewsReview


 

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