Reading, Living and Reviewing

Release Day and Giveaway: Crossing Paths by Melanie Stinnett

Thursday, August 29, 2013

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Synopsis:

The crossing paths of friendship, family, love, and loss are often complicated. June Deckert and Caroline Smith sparked a friendship in college that carried them through graduation. Although they are complete opposites in every way, they have spent the last four years inseparable. That is, until now. June finds herself falling for a man who seems unattainable. As she works side by side with him on a new media campaign, their feelings for each other come alive. But when his actions start to speak louder than words, she wonders if she’s missing something. Meanwhile, Caroline is fighting against her feelings for a recent acquaintance, and she decides to keep her new love interest a secret from June. Overwhelmed by these new emotions, her moods change swiftly, swinging up and down like a yo-yo. While June and Caroline try to maneuver their way through new relationships, Caroline starts lying to June to protect her from a truth that threatens to break her heart and tear them apart. In the end, Caroline’s deceit will test their friendship, and June will have to decide if her chance at love is worth putting her heart on the line.

Excerpt:

I’m not sure why I did it, but I got up two hours early, took an extra long shower, made sure my hair cooperated, and put on my good makeup. Okay, that’s a lie. I know exactly why I put so much effort into getting ready. Today, I am supposed to see Cohen. Not only am I supposed to see Cohen, but we also have plans to go out to dinner. Once again, I’m unsure about what he wants to discuss, but this time, I’m trying not to make any assumptions. Also on the agenda, I hope to not injure him or myself while we’re spending time together. I walk into the office with my chin up and a big smile on my face. If he is already here, I want to look like I’ve been fine. I sure as hell don’t want him thinking that I’ve been moping around and pining away for him since last Friday morning. Making my way through the maze of cubicles toward my office, I see no sign of him. I let out a sigh as I step through my door. I place my workbag next to the desk, and I turn to glance at the clock. Something moves in my peripheral vision. It scares me enough to make me jump back, causing me to fall into my large potted plant-tree-thing in the corner. To avoid hitting the ground, I sit cockeyed in the pot. My face is covered in limbs and large green leaves. Peeking through the human-eating plant, I can see Cohen sitting on the comfortable sofa with one hand held over his mouth. I don’t hear any sounds, but from the looks of it, he’s laughing. For some reason, my usual standoffish self takes a holiday. I launch myself up from my seat in the pot holding the plant, and I take brisk steps toward him. “What are you doing in my office? Do you enjoy scaring the crap out of women and causing near catastrophes? Or is it just when you see me?” His eyes grow wide, and those sexy wrinkles beside his eyes fade. Thank God. I don’t think I could hold on to my angry attitude if he kept smiling. “Mr. Hargrove wanted me to tell you that we’ll be meeting in the conference room at eight thirty. I have to leave by the end of the week, so we need to get started on the rest of our project. I came to tell you, but you weren’t here yet, so I made myself comfortable. I’m sorry if I scared you.” “Right. Okay. Well, you can go now. I’ll see you at the meeting,” I say, turning toward my desk. With my shoulders back and head held high, I walk over to my desk chair and sit. Looking back at Cohen, I give him the meanest stare I can muster. “See you there.” He stands to leave, but then hesitates as if he wants to say something else. His mouth is open, but then he bites down on his bottom lip, holding back. “Did you need something else?” “Actually, I was just going to tell you that unless you enjoy the feel of sitting on bark, you should probably find a mirror and wipe off your skirt.” You have got to be kidding me! He walks out of the office with the wrinkles by his eyes reappearing.

Buy Link: Amazon

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Author Bio:

Melanie_Stinnett_author_photo
I have enjoyed reading and writing since I was very young. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of spending time with my mom or grandma reading a good book. Over the years, it never crossed my mind that writing my own novel would be an attainable goal. After reading several independently published novels by Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover and others, I decided I needed to give that dream a chance.
When I’m not reading and writing, I enjoy spending time with my three favorite guys: my husband and my two little boys.

Character File: Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

          When I started reading Vampire Academy, vampires were literary everywhere: in books, movies, songs, tv shows and even in commercials. I was, just like everyone else, sick of vampires after Twilight, Vampire Diaries or House of Night, not because I don’t like them, but because it felt too much. And after I saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer I was already longing for something else: strong main characters, action and actual plot before sweet obsessive love.

          Yet, I decided to start reading Vampire Academy, not because I knew what was all about, but because I heard that it brings something new to the vampire mythology. And so it did: a new world in which vampires were both good and bad, in which half human, half vampire teenagers learned how to fight and protect. At that point I found Vampire Academy to be indeed different from all the other young adult and vampire books.

Character File: Rosemarie Hathaway aka Rose

          Rose is a Dhampir Guardian, raised and trained at St. Vladimir’s Academy. She is the daughter of a famous Moroi and one of the most popular guardians, Janine Hathaway. Even if she is a novice she always manages to stand up willing to protect her best friend, Lissa.

Personality
          Rose is described as being brave and reckless, on the verge of being violent at times. She is harshly judged by the others because of her bad temper and her smart remarks, which I find hilarious. It is impressive how in the middle of a fight she still has the will to throw jokes now and then.

          With time she becomes more responsible, especially after she loses some people she cares for, but she is still Rose: independent and always doing everything in her power to help her friends, even if that means breaking the rules.


Love interest - Dimitri Belikov
          Rose’s feelings for Dimitri evolve from attraction, to a crush and then love. Like in every young adult story, their love needs to be forbidden, at least in the beginning, since they are both guardians of the same moroi.
          This part might not sound that good, but I liked that she loves him enough that she was willing to kill him when he was turned into a strigoi (evil vampire). That was when she showed strength and determination.

Friends
          Another difference between Vampire Academy and other books is that friends and family are both important to Rose. She cares deeply for Lissa and considers her her sister. She would do anything for her and for the other friends and they would do anything for her.

Appearance
          Rose is described as being beautiful with feminine curves, long dark-brown hair, dark-brown eyes and five foot seven.

 
Zoey Deutch
          Zoey is the actress that will portrait Rose in the upcoming movie Blood Sisters (Vampire Academy). I know that opinions are shared and some say that she is does not resemble Rose, but I think she is perfect for the part. No, she does not look exactly like Rose, physically, but she is smart and funny and has the attitude. I totally see her as a badass vampire slayer. Also I saw Zoey in a couple of movies and I liked her and I am sure she will do a good job. I am not worried about her at all, but I am a little nervous on how the entire movie will look like.

If you had the chance to choose an actress to play Rose, who would you have choose?

Hate at first Sight by Diana Nixon - Chapter 1 Preview

Monday, August 26, 2013
This a copyright material. 
It's not for sale. 

Chapter 1
Megan

Home, sweet home….
Yeah, this is going to be a long week, I thought to myself, opening the door to my parents’ house. I haven’t been there for five years, and if it wasn’t for my brother’s wedding, I doubt I would go there any time soon.
Last time I was in Axbridge, in South West of England, I was graduating from school, dreaming about my fairy-tale future, and I was crazy in love with one of my classmates. Well, thank God, my life today wasn’t that pathetic. I was a student at the London School of Economics, and I definitely wasn’t in love with anyone.
I didn’t have time for boyfriends, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let any of those assholes that my friends usually dated ruin my life. I hated weddings and everything that reminded me of how easily falling in love could destroy everything that I ever dreamed of.
I knew most people didn’t share my point of view. Including my family, who was sure that being in my early twenties, I needed to think about a husband and kids.
That’s why I didn’t want to come to Owen’s wedding. I knew the members of my family would do their best to drive me up the wall, questioning me non-stop about my personal life, or to be exact — about the absence of such.  But I loved my brother too much to upset him on such an important day of his life.
So here I am, standing in the foyer, with a suitcase in each hand; our dog licking my chamois shoes.
Great … apparently no one in this house expected to see me so soon.
“Mom? Dad? Anybody home?” I put my suitcases aside and patted Ginger, our old Rottweiler. Who on earth came up with such a stupid name for her? I had no idea. The dog’s fur was black, and I was sure that the existence of a few light-brown spots on her body wasn’t enough to call her Ginger. Obviously, some members of my family had a sick sense of humor.
“Does anyone want to give me a hug?” I looked into the dining room and the kitchen, but no one was there.
“I would gladly hug you, Sweetheart,” the voice behind me said.
I turned around, frowning. “Oh, really? Well, too bad I don’t hug strangers.” I crossed my arms, giving the guy one of the most evil glances I was capable of.
He smirked at my expression, and leaned leisurely against the door frame. “You must be Megan? A famous, runaway sister.”
Well, yeah. And who the hell are you, smart-ass?
“I’m sorry; I didn’t hear your name,” I said aloud. I wasn’t usually that aggressive with strangers, but whoever I was talking to, was trying my patience.
“My mistake,” the guy said, outstretching his hand. “Aiden Murphy.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said, ignoring the hand. “So, Mr. Murphy, would you be so kind as to explain your presence here? I don’t think I’ve missed my parents adopting a child or anything of the sort.”
The corners of my companion’s lips twisted sarcastically. “I’m sure you would have never missed such a big thing,” he said, devils dancing in his eyes. The guy was obviously enjoying the moment. “And I’m really happy not to be related to you, Megan.”
I raised my eyebrows, rather surprised. How was I supposed to react to his rudeness?
“Being a brother of such a charming creature would be a waste of my time.” 
You have a lot of nerve, I thought, staring at him.
Aiden took a few steps closer, and stopped right in front of me. “And yes, these lips are too delicious for brother’s kisses,” he added in a murmur, his eyes flashed joyfully.
I was sure my cheeks turned red, and I desperately wanted to slap the jerk in the face, but I was too shocked to move. Finally I turned on my heels and stormed out of the room, not bothering to find out who the guy really was, and what he was doing in my house. The echo of his laughter followed me to what used to be my old room. I opened the door and slammed it shut behind me, hoping it was enough to show just how angry I was. The poor thing had no idea how furious I could be when someone pissed me off. Not that I turned into a serial killer of course, but I knew how to put people in their place.
He’d better stay out of my way.

And so my first day home began. I waited for about half an hour to go downstairs and then took my baggage. Thank God, Mr. Devil-may-care Charming was nowhere around. Did I just call him charming? Well, yes, I wasn’t blind after all. Aiden was tall and well-built, with a voice to die for, and a smile that promised a lot; he was dark-haired, and had the most incredible gray-blue eyes I had ever seen. He could be a perfect picture for a magazine’s cover, and I was sure he knew that too. Like most men of his sort.
I wasn’t a feminist, but I hated guys like Aiden: damn sexy, arrogant and too self-confident. They always got what they wanted, and the list of women visiting their beds was longer then Oxford street.

When I returned to my room, I unpacked my stuff, took a shower, and was just about to get dressed when the door flew open, and my mom’s warm arms locked around me.
“My, girl! I missed you so much!” she said excitedly, kissing every inch of my face.
“Yeah, I missed you too,” I said less enthusiastically, trying to escape from her grasp.
“How was your flight? I told your Dad to meet you at the airport, but he and Owen went to the church to talk to the priest about the wedding ceremony.”
“No worries. The taxi took me right to the front door,” I said, rubbing mom’s lipstick off my face. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the same with her stomach-turning perfume that I was sure was all over me now. Uh, I needed another shower.
“Oh, Dear! I’m so glad you are here!” Mom said, hugging me again. “We will have so much fun!”
“No doubt,” I muttered.
“The entertainments will start on Wednesday, so you will have a few days for yourself. Go to the hairdresser, do your nails, walk along the beach and forget about Economics at least for a while. It’s the middle of May outside! Girls of your age spend their time dating and enjoying life!”
Oh, no! I groaned mentally. Not that again! “Mom, please don’t start. I’m not like most of the girls of my age, and you know it. I have other priorities.”
“Like what? Wasting your time on numbers and dusty books?”
“I want to become a financial expert! And I will be one. And until then, yes, numbers and dusty books will be my only dates.” 
“God, help me! My only daughter is going to leave me without grandchildren.”
For crying out loud! “Of course, not! I will have children. But not now. I’m twenty-two years old! I have a whole life to gift you with grandchildren, mother. Besides, I’m not your only child, and I’m sure that Owen and Mary are planning kids too.”
“Who knows how long I must wait for your brother to think about kids? Do you even know how much he works? I don’t know when he managed to make a proposal. He and Mary haven’t seen each other for months!”
“She lives God knows how far away from here! And you know her parents. They would have never let her live with Owen before the wedding. Her mother almost had a heart attack when she found out about me moving to London right after graduating from school. As if I were going to become a stripper, or worse.” I rolled my eyes.
“Well, I don’t want to judge anyone. All I’m saying is that I’m worried about you and your brother. I want to see you both happy!”
“I am happy, Mom. Happier than you think.”
“Does it mean that you are seeing someone?”
“Dating is not the only thing that makes girls happy.”
“At your age, Dear, it is what makes girls happy.”
“Okay, you win. I will consider the idea of finding a boyfriend. Are you happy now?”
“Very!” My mother smiled, clasping her hands. “There will be many nice boys at the wedding. You could….”
“Mom! I said I will consider the idea. I’m not going to throw myself at the very first guy I see!”
“Okay, Honey. We will not talk about it again. But don’t forget about my words. No matter how many times you say that you are happy without a man, no woman can be truly happy without one.”
                That was my mom for you. She always said that woman’s happiness was in man’s hands. Well, maybe she was right, I didn’t know. I never had a serious relationship. Actually I thought I didn’t need such an unnecessary addition to my everyday life. At least not right now.
               
When my mom finally left, I went over to the bed and sank back against the pillows, closing my eyes. There was a time when I could spend hours lying like that and dreaming about Jeff. He was one of the most gorgeous guys I had ever met. All the girls from our school were crazy about him, including me.
                But Jeff never looked in my direction. He flirted with my friends, laughed and asked them out. But I was out of his radar. And I couldn’t stop wondering why?
                On the day of our prom I finally decided to talk to him. When another slow song started, I gathered up my courage and asked him for a dance. And to my surprise, he agreed at once. I was too shocked to speak, so he spoke first.
                “I would have never imagined that you would ask me for a dance,” he said, smiling.
                “Why so? You think I’m not good enough to dance with you?”
                “Actually I thought I wasn’t good enough to dance with you?”
                “What?”
                “Well, yes. You never noticed me. You never stopped to talk, you always ran away when I came to say ‘hi’. I thought you hated me, although I didn’t know why.”
                “I hated you? No, I…” What was I supposed to say? That I had been crazy in love with him since the first grade? No, I wasn’t going to admit it. “I never hated you, I was too busy studying.” 
He was obviously wrong about me, but I didn’t try to change his opinion. Instead, I thanked him for the dance and left the ballroom, holding my head as high as I could.
                Later that night, I heard him talking to his friends, “People like Megan always get what they want. But in reality, they are nothing without their daddies and money.”
                It was like a splash of cold water that turned into tears running down my cheeks. I ran as fast as I could. And when I stopped, I was in my room, packing things and leaving home in a hurry.
                I had a cousin in London, who helped me settle down in the big city. My parents called me non-stop, asking me to come back home. But I never did … until today.
                I did my best to prove to everyone and myself that I wasn’t just a little girl who couldn’t take care of herself. I enrolled at college, found a job, and rented an apartment in the north-west of London. It wasn’t big, but I could pay for it and leave some earnings for myself.
I never took money from my parents or my brother, who always made sure that my debit card was full. I didn’t use it, but I promised him to keep it just in case anything unpredictable happened. I was proud of my independent life, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take it away from me, let alone break my heart, and leave me crying into my pillow. Maybe now I looked like a real snow queen, I didn’t care. My icy crown was the most comfortable thing I ever wore.




Synopsis
Every day of Megan’s life was carefully planned. Freedom and independence had been her best friends for years. Until one day she met Aiden, whose priorities were so much like hers….
What happens when attraction wins?
What happens when poles apart become equal?
What happens when the flames of passion burn everything in their way?
Is there still a chance to resist the power of magnetism?
The walls of inaccessibility will come crashing down. Everything she thought was unacceptable he will turn into pure pleasure….
Dive into the world of Hate at First Sight to see if hate can become something completely different….

Read a teaser

About the author: 

Diana Nixon is a poet and the author of fantasy and contemporary romances. She was born in Minsk, Belarus, where she currently lives. In 2008 she graduated from Belorussian state University. She has a Master of Law degree and speaks several foreign languages, including English, Polish and Spanish.

International Giveaway - Books to Movies Giveaway Hop

Monday, August 26, 2013
Because so many books are turned into movies lately I found it suitable to be part of this amazing Giveaway Hop, which is hosted by Bookhounds and I am a reader. Not a writer.

books to movies
You will get tons of chances to win books that were turned into movies or will soon be turned into movies. And if you loved the movie, you will want to read the book.
Here you will have the chance to win one book with a value of $10 from Bookdepository.

Just to help you a little with a couple of examples that I loved:
Of course there are many other examples from which you can choose.

Book Giveaway:
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Movie trailer: Divergent (Teaser Trailer)

Sunday, August 25, 2013
The longer version of the teaser trailer for Divergent is here. I think is the first time I actually watched the VMA and that was just because of the trailer.

I still like the bad ass character and I concluded that I must read the books just to know what is going on in the trailer. 
 Synopsis (Source Goodreads):
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
To be released in March 2014.

How many of you read the Divergent books? Did you liked them more than The Hunger Games?

Review: Lucas Ryan Versus: The Hive by Madison Daniel

Sunday, August 25, 2013
"Prickly strands of energy traced the lines of our bodies in an instant and in a bright flash we became ghostlike shadows. Another moment passed and we became nothing. Olivia reached out for us in utter despair. She tried to scream but couldn’t."


A day in the life of the world’s newest hero.

Video games. Homework. High school. Bullies. Detention. Crushes. Secrets. Other dimensions. Monsters. Super powers.

The end of the world.

Lucas Ryan is on the edge of an epic journey. One that will test his friendships, reveal a hidden secret and challenge his young heart. Prepare yourself for an adventure wrapped in music, imagination and sacrifice.

You will believe.
Where to buy: Lucas Ryan Versus: The Hive by Madison Daniel

My Review:

          I’ve had the chance to read Ember and Downpour by Madison Daniel and I liked them both. The series is full of adventure, danger and unexpected twists, but Lucas Ryan Versus: The Hive is entirely different from Ember and I absolutely loved it.

          A couple of months ago I read Erebos by Poznanski Ursula and I have been looking since then for a book a little similar to it. Lucas Ryan VS is similar in some ways: a young boy looking to unravel the mysteries that surrounds a certain object. In this case, Lucas Ryan discovers that he is connected with a strange rock that speaks to him. The story behind the origin of the rock was pretty surprising and I honestly did not expect it to be a SF adventure (because I kind of forgot to read the synopsis).

          Ryan is the typical teenager, the fix it all of the school when it comes to technology and an avid gamer. He is smart when it comes to strategies in games and when he must repair something, but often gets into trouble because of his big mouth. He has a crush since ever with Olivia, but he is kind of a coward when it comes to speaking with her. But the part that I loved the most is his friends, the fact that they are there. They are all supportive and always willing to do whatever it takes to help him or save him and the feeling is mutual.

          By throwing Ryan’s friends into the action, Madison could portrait very well the spirit of sacrifice and at the same time the willing to fight. The book was action packed, when the day started and the bad guys took over the school, there wasn’t a page too dull. Everyone was running and fighting or hiding. Mostly the ones considered cowards, like Ryan and his friends stood up in front of an entire army, while teachers and the ones that could protect them were hiding.

          The final battle was intense, or so I felt it. It felt like I was in the middle of a video game with dragons and knights. And who says that playing video games will never help? All those strategies from the games? Ryan could simply apply them when he confronted the aliens.

The ending
          I can only compare the ending with a roller-coaster. You know when you think that the race is over just to find yourself sustained in the air again? That is how the ending felt, when I thought the story ended, another battle started again.

Guest Post: Top 5 Live Music Places In London

Saturday, August 24, 2013
Photo Source


Music is always said to be a good therapy especially at times that one is feeling low and downcast. But this can be even better with great music in a great a place. The effect is even enhanced when the music is played live and not that recorded type. One might then be asking, where to get such places that one can just let themselves get lost in the sweet musical sounds of a real band. Here are five amazing places to go to plus the fact that you will not have any issues with transportation to the location. What you just need to do is to get the transport for London contact phone which when you call will direct you to the best transportation facilities in town.

These great music places include.

1. Union Chapel
2. The Lexington
3. Barbican
4. Plan B
5. The Vortex

Union Chapel

It is absolutely amazing to find a great worship place. A place where there is music with its wholeness. The union chapel for years has been a heart for great worship music hosting big events including annual little Noise secession. There is entirely a new feeling once one steps into this church built in 1977. The interior design is what makes the music just sound great. It is designed in an octagonal shape and has wrap round balconies. The chapel also has been built with stone walls, all these just combining together to bring the quality into the music.

The Lexington

This pub is located between isilington and King Cross. It offers the best place to just relax and have cool live music from the band and also feel the vibrant crowd. It has two sections which are well furnished and conditioned. The upperstares offers a great and acoustic feel those who love a sweety lubricated feeling. The downstairs is also a good place for those who like to relax and just enjoy luxurious, and no disturbance environment. The danceflour is just the place for all those who want to shake their bodies and be lost in the dance. In essence there is all for anyone who wants to dance and those who want to relax.



Barbican

Are you a fan of contemporary music and classical music. Then you need not to be troubled with a place to go. The Barbican a home of the London Symphony Orchestra has the best of this genre of music. This vast hall can accommodate more than 2000 people, but this does not mean that the music quality is compromised. infact it is a place where most of theatre movies are shown and as well exbitions for a film screening. The acoustics are quality plus the orchestral embellishment of the music.

Plan B.

It is one of the places that offers 24 hour entertainment. It has a license to operate 24 hours and is the place for one to spend the whole night at. There is crisp clear sound from the Funkyton sound system, and also the neon lights lighting up the place with all sorts of amazing colors. The kind of music to get ranges from live bands t great DJ mixes.

The Vortex

Jazz music might sometimes be boring making it only sound good for the aged and the quiet people. But this is not the case at the Vortex. The place has been a host of the great jazz musicians like Sir Jon Dackworth and Polar Bear. It is designed with two sectors, the lower and the upper floors. The upper one being for those who like minimal interaction while the lower floor is for those who are ready to engage in plenty of activities. This is just a great place for the lovers of jazz music. The music is played by a variety of bands bands.

The few are just but a mention of the many music spots in London. There is much more for one to get in London as music is concerned. There are all sorts of music places playing the favorite music one loves. It is only for one to choose where to go depending on the type of music you love. It is is without doubt that, one will not miss to get music of their choice and not just music but quality music in London.

Author bio: I'm Ella James a traveler and a guest blogger from Florida, Love's to express my journey. I Write articles for blogs and websites during my free time. Presently I'm now concentrating on travel articles and helping people with ESTA authorization.

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