All posts by Jen

Review: The Summoner (Dominic Grey #1) by Layton Green

 

Summary:  A United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony in the bushveld of Zimbabwe. Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, product of a violent childhood and a worn passport, is assigned to investigate. Aiding the investigation is Professor Viktor Radek, religious phenomenologist and expert on cults, and Nya Mashumba, the local government liaison.

What Grey uncovers is a terrifying cult older than Western civilization, the harsh underbelly of a country in despair, a priest seemingly able to perform impossibilities, and the identity of the newest target.

Himself . . .

My Review:  To be honest, I am not sure how I stumbled across this book, I was searching for something specific on Kindle Unlimited when I found it.   I am very happy I found this book.  It is one of those books that has a whole lot of mystery and the anticipation that something bad is going to happen.    The build up is fantastic, I couldn’t put this book down.

Plus it is set in Zimbabwe, how freaking cool is that?

I am a fan of Dominic Grey.  He really is a no bullshit character that has my respect, in fact I wish more men would be like him.  He doesn’t beat around the bush he tells it like it is and he has had a hell of a life.   I love Dominic Grey he is my book crush of the month, in fact I have already started book 2.

The plot is pretty intense, there is animal sacrifice that is stomach turning because it feels real and you know deep down that crap happens.    Those scenes were hard to read as I am an animal lover so be warned.

Fantastic book and I am very happy to have stumbled on this author!

Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman

 

Ninja Girl
by Cookie O’Gorman
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 30th 3017

Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass–literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow’s never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she’s not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.

One stolen kiss…

Ash Stryker’s senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he’s stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad’s received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won’t let her get away again.

One interesting job proposition…

After a seemingly random attack, Ash’s mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash’s personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow’s kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash’s family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?

Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:

Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.


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Buy Link: Amazon  


Excerpt
I stood up suddenly, needing to do…something. I knew what she was saying was total crap. I knew Nara was pure evil, and I didn’t have to prove anything to her. But right then I needed to prove something to myself. I was a girl dammit, and I wasn’t boring. I was a force.
Just like Bruce.
“Snow, what’s up?” Min asked, but instead of answering I headed in the opposite direction. While the others had been taking stock of hoodie guy, I’d been getting a read on his security. They were too far back to stop me. Part of me wanted to test them—to test me—and see if I could do this and still get away. I figured I had about a minute tops, but that’s all I’d need.
One last look over my shoulder told me all three girls were staring at me, mouths gaping, even Nara. Boring, she’d said earlier. I’d give her boring.
Taking a deep breath, I kept walking until I was almost even with hoodie guy’s seat, placed my hand on the chair back and swung my body over—right into his lap. Over his shoulder, I saw his security react. Too late.
He gasped, but I didn’t have time to explain.
“Sorry about this,” I whispered right before sealing my lips to his.
I’d taken him by surprise—that much was clear from the way his body tensed beneath mine. But he wasn’t trying to push me off. I’d intended it to be quick. A single brush with danger, a nod to teen girl impulsiveness, but the way his mouth melted under mine was unexpected. I fisted my hands in his shirt, pulling him closer. My lips, my entire body, went up in flames, but I couldn’t get close enough. It wasn’t until his hands came around my back that I remembered myself.
Pulling away, I came face-to-face with the greenest eyes I’d ever seen.
“I’m sorry,” I muttered again.
“I’m not,” he said.
 And then his guards grabbed me.
 

 

About the Author
 
Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE is out now!

Author Links:
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NINJA GIRL Book Playlist
“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
“I Am the Best” by 2NE1
“Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift
“Fans” by Kings of Leon
“My Chick Bad” by Ludacris & Nicki Minaj
“In For The Kill” (Skrillex Remix) by La Roux
“Lies” by BIGBANG
“Someone Like You” by Adele
“Miss Atomic Bomb” by The Killers
“Crazy” by Patsy Cline
“I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline
“Call Your Girlfriend” (live) by Lennon and Maisy Stella
“Marry You” by Bruno Mars
“Come By Fire” by Sara Jackson-Holman
“Little Bit” by Lykke Li
“Emmylou” by First Aid Kit
 
GIVEAWAY:
 

Weird and Wonderful by Cece Barlow

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: February 13th 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

Gin Autry must finish the last semester of high school in eclectic Austin with her hippie grandmother while Gin’s brother waits for heart surgery in Houston.

Instability reigns, but Gin uses the principles of feng shui to find balance and send positive energy to her brother. She also secretly hopes her voice-over actress dream will advance and true love will show up.

Instead, she falls for the wrong guy and clings to the wrong dream. Nothing in Gin’s life is balanced, but when death threatens her brother, she discovers true balance is about listening, compromise, and the guy in the friend zone. 

My Review:   Gosh I love me a Texas author.   When this blog tour opened up I have to admit I was pretty excited I love when a Texas author writes a book that is in fact set in Texas.  Either way that is not the point.

This book was cute but really real.  The emotions were believable and the character development was so real that you felt as if you could know the characters, they could be you… your friend… your loved ones.     We have all fallen for the wrong guy before and to me that dug deep in this story.  I loved Gin.  I was constantly rooting for her, I couldn’t put it down because I wanted her to have a happy ending.

Does She?  Well you will have to read the book.

I also loved how eccentric the “hippy grandma” was, I loved how it all tied quite well into the Keep Austin Weird campaign.  I loved the feng shui in this book.  I mean hell I just loved this book.  The story flows quite well and when it ends you will feel the same way.  I promise ya’ll cause this book is in fact weird and wonderful

About the Author
Cece Barlow writes books for young adults and the young at heart. She’s a a dash of fun, mixed in with some smart cookie and a splash of capable. She started her first fan fiction group in junior high and never stopped writing. Today, she writes about girls with lofty dreams and about the absolute craziness of falling in love.

When Cece’s not writing, she curls up with a book, heads to a popcorn blockbuster, or kicks back to watch shooting stars. If she sees the moon in the daytime, she thinks she’s lucky.

Cece lives in College Station, Texas with her college sweetheart Tim and two cats – one evil and one good.

When Smoke Rains Down (Kingdom Come #2) by Cecelia Earl

When Smoke Rains Down (Kingdom Come #2)
by Cecelia Earl
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: May 31st 2017

Summary:

In the aftermath of an explosion and Homecoming battle, Julia tries to form some semblance of a routine: work, study, visit her brother. Unable to confide in anyone about her double life of being both human and angel, and fearful she’ll bring death and destruction to those she loves, she pulls away from her family and best friend.

When demons once again start to show up at every turn, seemingly bringing about her brother’s deepening depression, she demands her sword from Nicholas. Ever the stern Guardian Angel, he forbids her from using it. Isolated, she takes protecting her brother into her own hands.

Thrust into a dark world of conspiring demons, Julia is in more danger than she ever imagined possible. To stop evil from spreading and overtaking those she loves, she’ll have to seek out the one person she mistrusts most.

Enter a complex world where humans, demons, and angels collide, all battling to rule the Earth. For readers who enjoy young adult paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Fans of City of Bones, Hush Hush, Unearthly, Halo, and Hidden Wings will be captivated by this unique take on angels and demons.

When Smoke Rains Down is Book Two in the Kingdom Come series. Book Three, the final installment, will be out Summer/Fall 2017.

“An AMAZING sequel that leaves me DYING for the next one!” ~ early reader of When Smoke Rains Down

 

Buy on Amazon

 

Previous Book in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):
The Author’s Favorite Chapter

Nicholas is doing pull-ups from a low-hanging tree branch and doesn’t acknowledge my arrival, so I follow suit. I squat and leap up to grab a branch. I’m getting stronger. He used to have to hoist me up to reach. I’ve also doubled the amount I can do before taking a break to do lunges and squats.

“Sprints,” he calls out when I’ve finished all the sets of arm and leg workouts.

I race back and forth between two of the tallest tree trunks while he times me. It’s apparent why I’ve been eating so much and obvious how much strength I’ve gained. Yet the stony expression on his face remains. This workout will make me ache for days.

When finally I’m dripping with sweat and fatigued, he walks over to me.

“Time for your lesson.” Then he walks to the center of the clearing without waiting for a response.

I allow myself two seconds to close my eyes and take a deep breath.

“Now, Angel.”

I push out my wings and push up off the ground and glide over to him, lowering myself gently behind him. He turns and narrows his eyes. I put my wings away, proud of myself even if he’s not. Flying had been rocky at best the first few times I’d tried it. I’d had no control and crashed into more than a few branches—and one bird. Poor thing.

“Summon the bow and arrow we worked with last time,” he orders.

Bow, I think. Nothing happens. I reach my hand out into the air. Bow. A spear materializes in my closed fist. I growl. “It’s all I ever get!”

“Calm down. Try again.”

I let go of the spear and it disintegrates. “Bow,” I yell. The spear is back in my fist.

He sighs. “The spear is the lowest of the weapons. You have to work your way up.”

“I know this,” I say through gritted teeth. “Spear, bow, rope, chains…” I don’t bother to mention my sword. I’ve stopped asking for it.

I try to calm down. Spear, I think. I get the spear I’ve pictured. One that’s longer and narrower than the one I’d been conjuring up. I let it go and take a deep breath through my nose. Bow. The same short, thick spear materializes.

Nicholas reaches into the air and pulls a bow and arrow from it with ease. He hands them to me. “Show me how to set the arrow and aim for the target.”

Nicholas had explained the reason the demons had overrun the hospital was most likely because of Noah, either because they’re after him, or after something he has. He wants me to be ready the next time I’m faced with a hoard of demons on my own. He wants me to be able to get rid of demons from a distance by sending an arrow across a space, and though I can’t summon the bow and arrow, my aim is pretty good.

“Bullseye,” I say after striking the center of the target three times in a row.

“Pride will get you nowhere,” he says, retrieving the arrows and returning them to me.

Rather than aim the arrow at the target, I aim it at a knot in a tree and strike its center.

“Julia, focus,” he shouts, his voice stern and reprimanding. I can’t stand the annoyance that flares to life in his eyes when I don’t just do as he tells me. He’s so bossy and controlling. More than once, I’ve nearly rammed him alongside his head with a metal object. After half an hour more, he relaxes. “Better. Now…”

He doesn’t get a chance to finish his command, because Michael has entered the clearing. Twice before he’s come to oversee either my progress or Nicholas’s training technique. I’m not sure which. Nicholas is that much tenser when he’s around, like he’s trying to prove himself or something.

And sure enough, he straightens and his shoulders go rigid. I guess he’s been loosening up around me, because the difference in his personality is laughable. His face is all hard angles and his hands move at lightning speed. He won’t look me in the eyes.

I summon a spear and defend myself as Nicholas comes at me. We continue lunging at one another and defending jabs until Michael leaves with a nod and a “Good work.”

Nicholas gets up off the ground where he pinned me and brushes off his clothes.

“Wouldn’t it serve you better to cool it when he’s here? Let me win and pin you or something?”

He looks up from buttoning his overshirt. “No.”

“Well, I mean if you want to look like this almighty trainer, then wouldn’t it benefit you to make it look like I’m able to fight well?”

He strolls over to me where I’m still standing holding my weapon. “No. If you want to overpower me, then you have to earn it. Do it authentically. I don’t play games to win. Or lose.”

I nod, chewing on my cheek, and then he adds, surprising me, “You are able to fight well.”

I’m almost touched by the compliment, so touched that I lunge forward, kick Nicholas’s feet out from under him, and land on top of him. I push the long metal rod across his throat and pin him to the ground.

“Thanks,” I say.

He looks at me and whips me around, pinning me with the edge of a blade to my throat. “You made that too easy. Stay on the offensive and pay attention.”

He lays the dagger down in the dirt and holds himself above me with his palms on the ground, looking at me. His breath is on my face, and suddenly it’s a gazillion times hotter and harder to breathe. He’s so beautiful to look at when he’s not scolding me and bossing me around. I realize how very much I needed to hear that compliment come from him, how very much I wanted to make him proud of me. He runs his tongue over his bottom lip. I take in a sharp breath. His eyes are on mine a moment longer before he pushes up off the ground and jumps to his feet.

“We’re done for today.”

Once again, he strides off, leaving me to show myself out.

“Sword,” I demand of the air around me. A bow and arrow appear in my fists. “Gah!” I shout at the trees.

I let the weapons drop into the shimmering dirt and stomp off through the trees.

About the Author
Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold. She’s a teacher by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic. Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cdvvIj 

Author Links:
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