Jaime's The Violet Hour by Brynn Chapman ~ Release Celebration Blitz & Giveaway (Prism Book Tours!)


Through Prism Book Tours.


We're celebrating the RELEASE of 
The Violet Hour
By Brynn Chapman

Check out the book and author info, exclusive excerpt, and enter the giveaway below...



The Violet Hour
Brynn Chapman

YA Romantic Historical Fantasy
ebook, 209 Pages




Secrets.

Allegra Teagarden, a musical prodigy, flees her father’s dominance and abuse while touring in pre-civil war Charleston, South Carolina. Plagued by depression over her mother’s suicide during their previous visit, she escapes in an effort to piece together the details behind her mother’s mysterious demise.

Secrets.

Down to her final coin, Allegra happens on Charleston’s Fancy, the first southern amusement park, which is searching for musicians for its orchestra. At first, the park seems her salvation; but she quickly realizes she has traded the dominance of her father, for the even more terrifying madness of the owner, Silas.

And more secrets.

Allegra meets the dashing Brighton LeFroy, Fancy’s engineer and pyrotechnics master. His shabby clothing cannot conceal the brilliant mind beneath. The musician’s whisper he is a witch, is obsessed with storms, and is rumored...to fly. And despite the danger, despite her own misgivings, Allegra is inexplicable drawn to him.

She ventures to his reclusive home on Fire Isle during a thunderstorm and together they seek to unravel an ancient mystery.

Exclusive Excerpt


     LeFroy stares out the window, his brow creased in thought. He remains statue-still, as he has for the past quarter hour, oblivious to the late afternoon sun that bathes his face in a beautiful golden-amber.
     I stare intently, reveling in the rare opportunity to drink in his features.
     His dark curly hair is in need of a cutting and his thin lips turn down as he absently bites the side of his nail, lost to himself. He is not a classic beauty—but the singularity of his face demand’s attention.
     Not all women would swoon for him. But something about him draws me…makes him utterly irresistible.
     The warmth on my chest again. Almost hot this time. I struggle not to look down my dress to examine what I imagined to be an inevitable rash, but all I see is the Magnolia pattern—the patch on my dress, lovingly sewn by my mother’s hand.
     I banish the thought. I shall not think on her now.
     Brighton clears his throat, driving away my mother’s ghost and I struggle for words. When he regards me, my tongue seems to shrivel in my mouth.
     It is his eyes. They…speak. Sometimes whisper, sometimes shout.
     They now squint, as whatever vexing scenario playing on his mind continues to dominate his demeanor. He doesn’t move. Doesn’t speak.


About the Author



Brynn ChapmanBorn and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

She also writes under the pseudonym R.R. Smythe .




Release Blitz Giveaway


$10 Amazon Gift Card, ebook of The Violet Hour, and Bracelet with: "Well behaved women seldom make history." - Eleanor Roosevelt 
Open internationally (bracelet to US entrants only)
Ends April 21st

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Prism Book Tours

Jaime Reviews ~ Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

By Alex Bell
Published on January 5, 2015
Published by Stripes Publishing
Source: Netgalley

We're waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind...Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there's her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn't be there. The girl that died. 


My Thoughts

  Chills and thrills are par for the course with Frozen Charlotte! The story was a fast-paced one, with intriguing characters, and a thrilling, mysterious vibe. 

  After downlaoding a Ouija board on his phone, and asking it when he would die, Sophie's best friend accidentally drowns on his way home from hanging out with her. Sophie is grieving, and decides that her previous plans to go see her extended family might be the best way to figure out what happened to him that night. To prove something supernatural was at work, and hopefully gain clarity and closure, for herself and him. What she doesn't expect is a broken family, with problems of their own. Sophie is taken on a journey with creepy dolls, an overly friendly cousin, a mean cousin, and a young cousin who sees her dead sister, and is deathly afraid of bones. Will she make it out of here, and back home, alive?

  My only issues witht the story were the missing horror elements thatI look for, and some things were a little predictable. All in all, a solid thriller, with a little mystery and attempted murder! I would recommend Frozen Charlotte as a "starter horror"!

  Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for allowing me access to Frozen Charlotte!

3 Stars!


Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

By Meg Medina
Published March 2013
Published by Candlewick
Source: Purchased
One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.


As I've mentioned before (or will mention in future depending on the order my reviews go up,) I have a High School English Teacher in my life. So, I spend a lot of time actively seeking out books that would be decent for her classroom library and aren't your standard white protagonist since kids should absolutely be exposed to literature about and by people who reflect the diverse cultures the world actually has and not just white people problems. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is a book that is absolutely going to make it into the pile of things that I send to the HSET in my life.

This book is a well told story that hooks you in and will not let go until it's finished. It deals with poverty, internalized racism, bullying in the 21st century, misogyny, and some of the many reasons why bullied kids refuse to actively seek help until things have gone too far. I wholeheartedly recommend it. If I weren't already set on shoving this book into the hands of HSET, I'd probably be trying to shove it at you through my monitor. More people need to read this book. Meg Medina needs to write more books, because Representation Matters and she does it with beautiful complexity.



Blog Tour: Brady's Lost Blanket by Stephanie Burkhart

Brady's Lost Blanket
By Stephanie Burkhart
Published on January 26 2015
Published by 4RV Publishing
Source: Author 
Brady is a sensitive young boy who takes his blankie wherever he goes. After traveling with his parents to visit his new cousin, Brady accidently leaves his blanket behind. Can Brady learn to get by without his blankie?

5 SHORT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR STEPHANIE:

#1: What inspired you to write the story?

STEPHANIE: One of my husband's relatives mentioned their grandchild had a blankie and was having a hard time without it. I drew on my own childhood memories of having a blankie. I think letting go of the blankie is the first step in growing up.

#2: How long did it take?

STEPHANIE: It took about a week to write the story. I have to thank 4RV Publishing for publishing Brady's Lost Blanket. It took about 2 weeks back and forth with the editing.

#3: Did you pick the illustrator?

STEPHANIE: No, I did not. 4RV Publishing selected the illustrator. I think Bridget McKenna did a great job with the illustrations. They have a very whimsical feel and compliment the story well.

#4: What makes this book special?

STEPHANIE: Brady's Lost Blanket has a message for all young children who become attached to "something" (be it a blanket or something else) because they want to feel secure. It's okay to let go of our "security" nets and move forward. It maybe a little scary at first, but once you go without it, you learn you can live without it.

#5: How long have you been writing children's books?


STEPHANIE: About 5 years now. My first children's book, "The Giving Meadow" was published with 4RV Publishing in 2010. It has a great message about sharing and caring for young children as well as telling about Caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. It's perfect for Easter as it helps young children understand Jesus' story.


Look for Crystalee's Review of Brady's Lost Blanket coming soon!


Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, but now calls California her home. She currently works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. Stephanie has been writing since she was five, when she crafted homemade comic books on the kitchen table. Her previous books with 4RV Publishing include: The Giving Meadow, and First Flag of New Hampshire.  Stephanie enjoys coffee, adores chocolate and is currently the Den Leader for her son's Cub Scout Den.






Between the Spark and the Burn

By April Genevieve Tucholke
Published on August 2014
Published by Dial Books
Source: Purchased
The conclusion to Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, this gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier is a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures and Anna Dressed in Blood.

Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world. But then, the Devil once told me that it's easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.

The problem with River West Redding was that he'd done both to me.


The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet's life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River's other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn't long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .


Remember how I said I wasn't going to read the book that came after Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea since the first one was so 'meh' and I only found out about a second one after I'd gone on Goodreads to look up stuff with which to write a review? (I'd link the original review, but as of writing time it hasn't been posted yet and so I don't actually um...have a link.)

Well hold onto your horses, friends, because I read the second book and whooo-boy. This is a thing that happened, let me tell you.

Alright, so I picked up the first book because I liked the typography and maybe I'd been reading too much Supernatural fanfiction, but I've developed a soft spot for Satan or at least fictionalized Satan and look...I spend too much time on Tumblr and Mark Pellegrino is dreamy. What do you want from my life? Something meaningful? Sweetheart, you are looking in the wrong galldang place. Part of what upset me most about the first book was that "The Devil" is just some kid. And I don't mean he's taken the form of some kid or any of that. I mean he's some kid and he's totally human and has some super powers of compulsion and it's honestly not even all that interesting.

Well, Violet and her gang are back in an all new- No. Wait. No, they're pretty much exactly where we left them the last time: with Violet pining after a Redding and getting weird about her dead grandma's mysterious life before she became someone's mother and then someone's grandmother and growing up and maturity happened like it always seems to in fiction: all at once like you've leveled up and gain wisdom and the sudden ability to pay all your bills and understand what your car insurance actually covers.

Anyway, there they are, doing their thing with Violet obsessing over River and her dead grandmother. Look, I don't mean to be callous about her dead grandma. Freddie seems like she was an awesome human being and grief is a process that takes a different amount of time for people to manage, but Freddie's been gone for five years and even without this Redding mess, Violet's got some way bigger problems. Like the fact that it's winter in Maine and they don't have any heat and why is nobody getting a job? How is this house not condemned? Where's the county in all of this? CPS should've come and gone way before the first book started.

But no, Neely comes back and reveals that, guess what: he too is broke, but they're gonna take his shiny new BMW on a road trip to go looking for River and the torture happy plot device half bother Brodie since they've both disappeared and blah blah blah so starts the most boring YA adventure I've been in a while.

They pick up more strays along the way, because of course they do, and the love triangle continues, because of course it does and look. If you're gonna end up taking five people on a roadtrip from North Carolina to somewhere nearish Boulder, CO (which is a lovely area and I encourage everyone to go visit,) in the middle of winter, you need more than a hundred bucks and change to do it. This novel was published in 2014. It knows how gas prices work. Now, I know, it's a YA novel and we shouldn't be burdening The Children with those particular worries quite yet. Here's the thing though: Violet's got an undercurrent of stressed about money on her road trip but she's not nearly stressed enough. And not only that, but it has to say something about this not so compelling plot that I spent more time trying to figure out how they'd make that trip in the first place than what was going on. People were drowning and I didn't even drop a grain of rice out of my burrito about it.

When I finished the first book, I was pretty satisfied with the ending for what it was. By the time I got to the end of this book, I wasn't so satisfied. Why? Because essentially it's the exact same friggen ending. A Redding boy goes off to do a thing: Violet stays at home pining for him. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. What Violet needs to do is realize that she's living in a really awful situation and that no white knight is gonna come save her since they've both crapped out on her so far. Maybe, just maybe, she should stop fixating on her grandmother's Mysterious Past, suck it up and get a job, and while she's at it maybe get her brother to get a job too. Instead, she's taking in strays left and right and filling up their falling apart heat-less mansion by the sea and none of these people have any money to buy groceries.

If this book series is supposed to be about choices (as implied by the whole 'Between' thing) then maybe in the third book Violet can realize that 'neither' is an option and go walk off and do what needs to be done the way her fairly independent grandma would've wanted her to. And then she can develop a time machine to go back and yell at herself for going camping in January without the proper gear and beg for answers on how Neely's car was averaging insane gas mileage because that might just make her rich enough to fix the monument to White Privilege in which she lives.

Please don't waste your time on this book. It's not worth it. The first one isn't worth it either.


The Uglies Series - Bonus Other Books

By Scott Westerfield
Published March 2012
Published by Del Rey Books
Source: Borrowed
Uglies told Tally Youngblood’s version of life in Uglyville and the budding rebellion against the Specials. Now comes an exciting graphic novel revealing new adventures in the Uglies world—as seen through the eyes of Shay, Tally’s rebellious best friend who’s not afraid to break the rules, no matter the cost.

A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Shay eagerly awaits her turn to become a Pretty—a rite-of-passage operation called “the Surge” that transforms ordinary Uglies into paragons of beauty. Yet after befriending the Crims, a group of fellow teens who refuse to take anything in society at face value, Shay starts to question the whole concept. And as the Crims explore beyond the monitored borders of Uglyville into the forbidden, ungoverned wild, Shay must choose between the perks of being Pretty and the rewards of being real.


Presumably, you read books, and because you read books, you understand what an awesome amazing wonderful resource the Library is. Man, I love libraries. Mostly because I'm a broke college student. Though I do like libraries less when the library editions of books smell weird. Not like Someone Has Defiled This Book Weird, but like idk, the glue they use in the binding or something? New library books give me a headache is basically what I'm saying here.

Now, since I've spent a bit of time talking about the library, you can guess how I feel about the three books contained in this review.

That's right, boy am I glad I didn't have to pay for them.

So first of all, the art. Now, there was this period in high school that I refuse to be ashamed up when I read a lot of manga. A lot. The mark of a good manga artist is that they can make their characters look different enough in black and white that you don't say, get confused about who's talking. I had to stare at pages way too long to figure out who anyone but the MC was. And there was functionally no difference between the "uglies" and the "pretties" stylistically. Everyone in this book is friggen pretty. Even David's scar seemed to last only for one panel before it disappeared again. What happened to it? Did it go on little scar adventures without us?

There wasn't much substance to this book, and nobody should be surprised. Scott Westerfield put a lot of effort into Tally's story and when he apparently decided to tell Shay's it really seemed like he didn't care. There were two good things about this book. One, it was over quickly. Two, at least now I know what a hoverboard friggen looks like. I was having a heck of a time imagining what was going on there in the books.

By Scott Westerfield
Published December 2012
Published by Del Rey Books
Source: Borrowed
The second novel in the Uglies Manga series, featuring Shay's point of view and set in the world of Uglies.

Experience the riveting, dystopian Uglies series seen as never before—through the eyes of Shay, Tally Youngblood’s closest and bravest friend, who refuses to take anything about society at face value.

“From the moment we are born, we are considered threats in need of ‘special’ management. We are watched and shaped and exploited by a force most of us never see. . . . All to keep us safe. . . . Do you feel safe?! Or do you feel like you’re in a cage?”—Shay

In Pretties, Tally Youngblood and her daring best friend, Shay, both underwent the operation that turned them from ordinary Uglies into stunning beauties. Now this thrilling new graphic novel reveals Shay’s perspective on living in New Pretty Town . . . and the way she sees it, there’s more to this so-called paradise than meets the eye.

With the endless parties and custom-made clothes, life as a Pretty should be perfect. Yet Shay doesn’t feel quite right. She has little to no memory of her past; it’s as if something in her brain has inexplicably changed. When she reunites with Tally and the Crims—her rebellious group of friends from Uglyville—she begins to recall their last departure to the wild, and the headstrong leader she used to be. And as she remembers the truth about what doomed their escape, Shay decides to fight back—against the status quo, against the mysterious Special Circumstances, even against her own best friend.


The complaints about the art still stand, as do the complaints about the pacing, but the author does seem to care a bit more about what's going on in this book than he did the first one. Not a lot, a little. It's like Shay didn't have a story worth telling until Tally came along and that story is basically reduced to "girl stole my man" by the manga when the book made it seem way more complex than that. Ugh. Can we not with this? Please. I'm so sick of that plot device.

Beyond that, Scott Westerfield's apparent fetishization of Japanese culture continues in this edition of Why Did I Waste My Time? In the second and third books of the actual series, it was a bit more subtle. By the third book in the series it exploded all over the place and now here we are with a couple books that uh...really aren't that good. There's no real storytelling here. Everything is predicated on having read the series before you touch Shay's stuff. Why would you advertise something as someone else's story when it barely adds much of anything? Oh right, money. Speaking of blatant money grabs...

By Scott Westerfield
Published October 2008
Published by Simon Pulse
Source: Borrowed
THE WORLD OF UGLIES, SET IN OUR NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE,is a complex place filled with bubbly technology and lingo, yet bogus rules about status and appearance. That's why a guide to the world of uglies has been requisitioned from the hole in the wall. Inside you'll find:

A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys

The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space

How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits...

PLUS an exclusive look at Scott Westerfeld's first draft of Extras -- starring Hiro, not Aya.

And so much more, it's mind-wrecking.


You guys. This book is the most useless piece of supplementary material I have ever read and I have read a lot of useless supplementary material. All the cool trivia promised in this book? A complete history? All that. See the above blurb? Almost every single piece of information there can be learned by this novel concept called Reading The Books.

I wouldn't be surprised if half this stuff was lifted directly out of the books themselves. The one thing I learned that wasn't in the books from this Eurocentric piece of trash please give the author more money because he would obviously like to make this into a movie or TV show or something with as much merchandising attached to it as possible? The approximate global population after everything went up in smoke. And even then I had to triple check the math on that to make sure that there were enough human beings left to ensure the survival of the species here since I had a number now but that number was apparently spread out all over the place and 200m people over the entire globe many of which would've had to be in pretty remote areas to survive all that jazz means there's a lot of inbreeding going on at the very least. I don't buy this world, guys. I don't. I wish I could, but I can no longer willingly suspend my disbelief here. Beyond that, why is the cover model hiding in the most useless pine tree garland thing ever? That's not hair. That's pretending you're a cat hunting the glittery balls and the people while looking mildly constipated. What was the reasoning behind the art direction here? The cover brings up more questions than the book answers. How is this possible?

This book is not okay. None of these three books are okay. The only okay thing was that my library had them and I didn't spend a dime on it save for whatever percentage of my tax dollars go to support my library...which I'm totally for, because again: libraries are awesome.

I've had this author's other series Leviathan recced to me for a long time, but based on what's going on here and my already megh mergle blergh feeling about Steampunk, I'm absolutely not going to waste my time on that. Also the books probably have that weird heavy duty library glue and we've already discussed how it makes me feel weird in my sinus places. Seriously, does anyone else find themselves sensitive to that? Do you guys even smell the smell? There's a smell. I swear. It makes me kinda dizzy. I don't like it. Someone please tell me I'm not alone here.


Awakening by Shannon Duffy ~ Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ By Jaime!




By Shannon Duffy
Published on April 7, 2015
Published by Entangled Teen

A thrilling, thought-provoking novel, set in a unique and thought-provoking world, from author Shannon Duffy.
Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out - her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn't even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents.  They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped from the Terrorscape - a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants -  and need Desiree's help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she's ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it's too late?




My Thoughts 

There are several words that I could use to describe Awakening; fun, adventurous, terrifying.
emotional. All of these are great descriptors, but they really don't do this awesome story the justice it deserves. As always, I am hesitant when I start a book by a new-to-me author, especially dystopians. Books like this one make me happy that I am still willing to give them a shot, despite of that hesitancy. I had a BLAST reading Awakening, and I can't wait for the next book in this awesome series!

Desiree Six Haven is a Sheep. She believes everything she has ever been told about the world that she lives in. She believes that the Protectorate is there to make every life a happy life, to take away the pain and suffering that happened in the Manic Age. The Protectorate chooses your life mate, they choose your date of death, your career. All you have to do is comply. It never crossed Desiree's mind to do otherwise, until a series of events happened that made her start to question everything. And those questions will change the course of her life, in drastic ways. She loses her innocence, and so much more. But will she gain Freedom?

Desiree was a fantastic character. She was human, she was a teenager, and she acted like one. She was also strong. She has a lot dumped on her, and the realization that her so much of her world was lie, was a huge blow. But she weathered the storm, and became a great heroine. I think we will see more of that in the next installment. When Darian shows up, she doesn't automatically believe what he has to say. But there have been questions in her head, and she didn't just blow him off. She searched for the truth, and she found it. She is a brave MC, and the type I would love to see more of in YA. 

Darian was also a great character. I loved him! He has been through unimaginable things, and yet he still has the ability to smile, and survive. He loves "Rae", and he is protective of her, but he also knows that she is capable. I loved the flashbacks to their childhood friendship, and I loved the development of their romance. And it is a sweet romance, forged in steel. 

Awakening truly is a great book. I enjoyed every single minute that I was immersed in this world. Shannon Duffy has the great ability to bring characters, and stories to life. She wrote a story that jumps right off the pages. The world-building was excellent, characterization was excellent. Man, I just have a serious love of this book. I wish that the sequel was in my hands, because I would be devouring it, asap. 

Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours, and the awesome author, for allowing me to be a part of this tour. Shannon Duffy is one of the few authors that is on my auto-buy! I have been waiting for a dystopian to get me out of my dysto-funk, and this one just did it! 

I would recommend Awakening to you if you are an adventure lover, a romance lover, a dystopian lover. If you love great characters, and world-building, with great pacing, and edge of your seat moments, I think you would love this book. There is some mild language, in a few instances, but other than that it is a clean story, great for teens. And adults, like me, too!

4 1/2 EASY, EASY STARS!



About the Author 




Author of MG and YA books full of adventure. I grew up on the east coast of Canada in the province of Newfoundland and now live in Ontario. I love writing, reading, fashion, fitness, and traveling. 





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Jaime Reviews ~ Shutter by Courtney Alameda

By Courtney Alameda
Published on February 3, 2015
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Netgalley
Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week. 

My Thoughts!

 Horror is one of my favorite genres! I am constantly scouring for the newest horror out there, the ones that have the reviews that that scream THIS SCARED ME! In the YA world, it is not an easy thing to find, unfortunately. When I saw the cover for Shutter, I got insanely excited. Then the synopsis and I was all in. Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this awesome story!  I don't want to give too much away, because this book unfolds perfectly, with perfect timing, and each little reveal, each new horror, builds and builds to a fantastic ending! So I will give you the rundown of my likes/loves and then tell you repeatedly... READ THIS BOOK! 
 Micheline is a tetrochromat, one of few, who has trained her whole life to kill monsters,rid the world of ghosts and other horrors. Her father is the man in charge, and they are the last remaining descendants of the Van Helsings. That lineage rules M's dads world, and he expects the same from her, even though their relationship is not what it once was. Micheline constantly feels the need to prove herself, her dad being the hero that he is, and one night with her crew, takes on an incredibly risky, against the rules, job. This night changes everything for the gang, and they have seven days to rectify her mistakes, or they all die. 

 Micheline was a badarse, y'all! I absolutely loved her every second of this story. She has been through hell and back, and she is still tough and strong, and stands on her own two feet.  She also has a vulnerable side, and it was nice to see it shine through sometimes! She is definitely stubborn, and because of her deep-seated need to prove herself, she gets her team in trouble. Serious trouble. But she never stops fighting for them all, to save their lives, and she learns so much from her mistakes. 

 The members of her team are each equally important to the story, and awesome in their own right. Oliver, the techno who is like a brother to Micheline, Jude, the mysterious one with a great sense of humor, and a serious libido, and finally Ryder, whom Micheline has known, and loved, forever. Each of these boys have great, individual, distinct personalities, and see the world in completely different ways. They are all so different from each other, but the respect and love that they share is awesome to see. I loved each of them, in a big way! 

 The romance is of a forbidden sort, and it makes a tense, sweet, yet torturous story of its own. It is a romance that you root for, and root I did. I loved that it was there, and a part of this story, but that it never took front and center. Front and center belonged solely to the soulchain, and the fight to save their lives!

 Shutter was a fast-paced, action-packed thrilling ride full of new ghost hunting technology, fantastic characters, complicated relationships, strong friendships and a sweet romance. I had a blast reading this book! My only complaint is that I wanted more horror. More scares! Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some creeptastic moments, and chilling moments, which I adored. But nothing ever scared me, scared me. It didn't take away from my love of this awesome story though, and that tells me that Courtney Alameda has all the write stuff! (See what I did there?!) Now, as previously mentioned, GO READ THIS BOOK! 

4 1/2 Stars! 



Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein ~ Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ By Jaime!




Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1)
by Lori Goldstein
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Mythology
Rate: 3 Stars!

Synopsis:

Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit. 

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny. 

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.



Anything Jinn has been interesting me a lot lately, so when I saw the title of this one, I got really excited about it! While it wasn't a perfect book, it was enjoyable from beginning to end, and I look forward to seeing where book 2 goes! 

The world that Goldstein has created is a good fantasy world, and we slowly get a picture of the Jinn and their responsibilities. The plot was really fast-paced, and we really got to know the characters involved with the story. I loved learning the ins and outs of becoming Jinn, and find it an interesting and intriguing world. 

Azra was a good character, a true teen and we really felt her frustration and aggravation with having basically no say in her life anymore. She turns 16, and she becomes a Jinn, something that she has always dreaded. Now that it is upon her, she is really starting to feel rebellious. I honestly was not a fan of Azra. In the beginning, yes I was. I felt like I understood her, and where her actions were coming from. But she started grating on me, and I found her to be whiny a lot of the times, which annoys me to no end.
The rest of the characters in the story are well written, maybe a bit cliche, but they definitely kept the story moving. The sisters, the boys.... There is a love triangle in this, so be warned! I am 100% a fan of Henry. He is a favorite character in this story, for me. 

All in all, Becoming Jinn was a really good start to what I think could be a really good series. I feel like this first book was a great introduction to the characters, and the world, and the next book will take off like lightening. It is a book that I would recommend, probably to the younger YA crowd more so than the old ones, like me. It is a fun, imaginative story that is a great setup book!

Thanks to FFBC, and the awesome author, for allowing me to be a part of this tour, and enjoy an ARC of this book!





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My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.

Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.






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Supervision by Alison Stine ~ Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway ~ By Jaime!




By Alison Stine
Published on April 9, 2015
Published by HarperVoyager
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

Something is wrong with Esmé.
Kicked out of school in New York, she’s sent to live with her grandmother in a small Appalachian town. But something is wrong with the grandmother Ez hasn’t seen for years; she leaves at midnight, carrying a big black bag. Something is wrong with her grandmother’s house, a decrepit mansion full of stray cats, stairs that lead to nowhere, beds that unmake themselves. Something is wrong in the town where a kid disappears every year, where a whistle sounds at night but no train arrives.
And something is wrong with the cute and friendly neighbor Ez’s age with black curls and ice-blue eyes: He’s dead.







Excerpt

I began to remember the way.
Past the gas station and fairgrounds: there was the hill.  There was the road, the driveway cracked and steep.  I tightened my grip on the suitcases and started up.  The driveway veered, and there was the house: glowering from on top of the hill.
The house was three stories, mostly brick, and over a hundred years old.  It had belonged to someone important.  It had been passed down.  It had a name—but I couldn’t remember what it was.
             I passed my grandmother’s station wagon parked in front of the collapsing barn.  When the driveway stopped, I dragged the suitcases through grass, tearing through the weeds to get around the house.  The grass hadn’t been mowed in a long time, and there were tree limbs down all over the yard. Wide steps led to a front porch and double doors, thrown wide open to the afternoon.  When I walked up the steps, four blurs shot out of the doors and down, yowling.
            Cats.  My grandmother fed a whole herd of them, all tailless.  Manx, I remembered they were called.
            “Scat!” I told them.  I started up the steps, leaving my suitcases at the foot. I knocked at the open door. “Grandma?” I called.
            No one answered.
            I went inside.            I hadn’t remembered how high the ceilings of the house were, how the wooden floors echoed. I peeked in the doorway of the first room to my left: empty, except for bookshelves and a piano.  The room on the right, the dining room, had a heavy oak table in the center, drapes drawn shut over the windows, and a fireplace, the marble mantle cluttered with candles.  There were candles on the floor in the hallway too, all dusty and blackened, burned down to nubs.
            A ballroom stood on the third floor, I remembered now—I had roller skated there.  A big staircase led up to it, but I kept walking down the hall.  I came to a smaller set of stairs, the servant steps.  To my right was the kitchen.
To my left was the sitting room where my grandmother waited for me, watching television with the sound off.            “Grandma?”  I whispered.            Blue light flickered over her face.  It was her.  She was the same as I remembered, only smaller.            “I’m here,” I said.            She didn’t say anything.            “Esmé?  Jennifer’s daughter?”
            It hurt to say my mother’s name.  Not hurt exactly.  It felt forbidden, like a spell.  It felt like I shouldn’t speak her name aloud.  I wished I hadn’t.  I felt dizzy, like I might be sick.
            Her face unfroze at the sound of my and my mother’s names.  She looked around, concentrating, as if she was listening hard for something. She didn’t look at me.  Still I thought she was going to speak.
But she only reached over to the end table, picked a phone, saw that nobody had called or was calling, and turned the phone facedown again. She never met my eyes.
            I turned away.  “I’ll just go get my bags,” I said.            I lugged them up the main stairs because I didn’t want to have to face my grandmother again.  Was she mad at me already? What had my sister said about me?
On the second floor, there were four closed doors, and two open ones.  The front room held a white canopied bed.  There were magazines and old, moldy books on the night table, slippers underneath it—my grandmother’s room.
            That left the smaller room for me.  I was relieved to see the bed had sheets on it, a pink quilt folded at the foot, towels draped over a chair.  I opened the two doors in the room to find a closet, and a bathroom with a tub ringed in rust.
            Had this been my room?  I set my suitcases down, opened the drapes at the window, and looked out.  The room faced the backyard.  Beyond the old barn, there was a pond.  I hadn’t remembered that, either.            Exhausted, too worn out to be hungry, I climbed into bed and pulled the pink quilt around me.  I didn’t bother getting undressed, or calling my sister to tell her I was here. Not home. I was not home. I would never say that word again.         



 About the Author

ALISON STINE’s first novel SUPERVISION will be released by Harper Voyager UK in 2015.

Also the author of three books of poetry: WAIT (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), OHIO VIOLENCE (University of North Texas Press, 2009), and LOT OF MY SISTER (Kent State University Press, 2001), she has worked as an actor, an artist’s model, a high school teacher, and a professor. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio University, and is an avid urban explorer.



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