9th Reads: 12 Hours in Paradise by Kathryn Berla

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Twelve hours, thirty-six questions, and a chance to fall in love…

It’s the last day of Dorothy Patmont’s family vacation. Soon, she must head back to Reno, where all that waits for her is the cold and the snow. To top it all off, her brother, Chester, acted like a little jerk and ate one too many cookies from the sample jar in the cookie store. But his antics have an unexpected benefit—attracting the attention of an intriguing boy who could change her life forever.

Treats can be sweet, but love is sweeter still…

Arash Atkinson, fluent in four languages and an adventurous soul, is in Waikiki for a high school band competition. When he meets Dorothy, he realizes their time together is limited. “Come out and play,” he texts her. A night of romantic adventure ensues, and Arash discovers an app that claims it can make people fall in love after answering thirty-six questions in each other’s presence.

With each question asked, their stories and feelings continue to unfold. But with every hour that passes they’re more at risk of being found out—Dorothy, by her parents, and Arash by his school chaperone. And then Arash gets the dreaded phone call—he has been discovered missing from his room, and must return immediately. Can they finish the questions before facing their consequences?
When time is running out, true love cannot wait. What Arash and Dorothy have is beyond special, something that comes along once in a lifetime, and begins with Twelve Hours In Paradise…but can it survive the trials of the real world?

I was fortunate enough to read 12 Hours in Paradise while it was up on Swoon Reads, and again when I was chosen to be a reviewer for its release with Limitless Publishing. This sweet love story revolves around Dorothy Patmont and Arash Atkinson. Can a chance meeting between two teenage tourists in Waikiki lead to true love? (The answer, for me, is a resounding yes! I am a die-hard romantic and believer in love at first sight.)

The Good: Kathryn Berla is an extremely talented writer. “Extremely” may be an understatement. She is a true wordsmith and knows how to paint a whole picture using just the power of words. Her descriptions of Waikiki and the experiences of visiting Hawaii are spot on. This is one of the only books I’ve read with a POC as the romantic lead in what may actually be forever, and I love it.

The Bad: People who have never been to Hawaii may be shocked and horrified to discover that we have a severe issue with homelessness.

Overall: Arash is likable, endearing, and intelligent. You can almost immediately sense that he has a sweet, boyish romantic interest in Dorothy and over the course of the night we are treated to the opportunity of watching her feelings for him develop. As you near the end of the book you will find yourself hoping in your heart of hearts that things work out for Dorothy and Arash, our new and unlikely romantic ship. Of course, you’ll have to read 12 Hours in Paradise yourself to find out how it ends.😉

12 Hours in Paradise officially releases on April 19th but it is currently available for pre-order right now. If you’re as excited as I am, I encourage you to pre-order the e-book now and it’ll be sent to your kindle device on April 19th!😀 I would undoubtedly recommend this book to a friend (and I have)!

On that note, a hui hou (until we meet again)!

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9th Reads: Ei8ht by Macy Filia (on Wattpad)

In honor of the #WattpadBooksAreRealBooksToo movement I wanted to review Ei8ht by Macy Filia.

Synopsis
He’s a player. She’s a pro at playing mind games. It’s a match made in heaven as they put each other through hell.

Till it stops.

Till what’s between them is stronger, madder, more explosive than any battle.

And that’s when another kind of war begins.

____

“Sometimes I dream about killing you,” he said.

I smiled. A lie. “Tough luck. In my dreams, you’re already dead.”

(Author’s note: New Adult. First draft. Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 = o + o = 8. Featured in Wattpad Romance’s New Adult reading list. Dark themes, but no alcohol, drugs or explicit violence. No cheating between the main characters either. They use other methods to mentally tear each other apart.)

The protagonists of Ei8ht are River and Beth. Both characters are impossibly flawed but inherently good people. Their emotional damage comes from similar but different backgrounds which eventually leads to serious issues between the two.

The Good: Macy is a brilliant writer who sets up feasible scenarios with her deep understanding of psychology. Personally, I made a connection with Beth as certain events in her life run parallel with mine. (Which, I guess, maybe isn’t so good but it was nice to be able to connect with a character on an emotional level.) Even though the relationship between the protagonists may seem toxic, you want them to open up to one another, to understand that the other person is capable of loving them wholeheartedly if they are given the opportunity.

The Bad: The level of realism in this novel may cause triggers in those who have experienced abandonment or emotionally abusive behavior from their parents or loved ones.

River and Beth summed up in a gif

Overall: Ei8ht is one of those books that you simply cannot miss out on reading. It is real and moving. You will find yourself wanting to shout at the characters, “BE HONEST!” or “TRUST HER/HIM!” Yet, at the same time you’ll find yourself crying with them or wanting to comfort them. This story is so well written that you cannot help but feel emotionally invested in it. If you are looking for an amazing read, look no further than Ei8ht by Macy Filia.

 

 

 

9th Reads: SPOOK by Gabe McClure (on Wattpad)

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Cover image from Wattpad

SPOOK by Gabe McClure

Synopsis:

Here’s what’s up: when you die, you get options. Some can choose Heaven, some Hell, and everyone has the option of staying out in the Real World and haunting their old stomping grounds or starting anew in Spook City – a town located on no map that I know of, filled to the brim with monsters of all sorts, all of which live normal everyday lives.

Thing is, I didn’t get to make a choice. I just wound up here in Spook and I have no idea why – the only thing special about me is that I can kind of sort of definitely read minds, but that’s not something I go bragging about.

But doggone it, I don’t have time to worry about my sudden appearance in this creature feature because some witch decided to cast a curse over Spook. And for some odd reason that I couldn’t tell ya for the afterlife of me, I’ve taken it upon myself to fix this mess. A task I’m completely and totally unprepared for, considering that I lived an embarrassingly uneventful life in my double-wide in Cromwell, Indiana. But hey, trying new things!

I’ve got help though – Chance L. Ford, the overworked cowboy, Harper Davenport, the ex-mean girl werewolf, and Ace Montgomery, the self-proclaimed “friendly neighborhood demon”.

Everyone disagrees with him on the “friendly” part except me. In fact, I’d keep “friendly” and add “cute and considerate” in there as well.

Ace says I have a spark, that I’m different, and he doesn’t know of my little superpower but I get the feeling that telepathy isn’t at all what he’s getting at.

Oh, boy.

This is the part where I usually discuss how much I spent to read the book. Well, I’m happy to share that a completed version of SPOOK is available to read for free on Wattpad. There is also a revised version that is being serialized  with new chapters  being posted about once a week, however this review will cover only the completed version.

The Good: Demons, ghosts, and werewolves – oh my! I loved the motley crew of characters assembled by the author. They’re quirky and they shouldn’t work as friends, but they do. The little town of Spook is charming, and I wish it were real so that I could pop in and hang out with those meddling kids and their hell hound, too!

My inner child squee’d with joy (not to be confused with peed with joy) as I kept on reading. The novel is like, The Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka the Sookie Stackhouse novels) meets Goosebumps meets Halloweentown, and it felt so good finding something that catered to my inner child and my paranormal loving adult self.

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The author is consistently funny. I wish I could get into it more, but I’m afraid I couldn’t do that without giving away little bits and pieces of the story. You’ll just have to take my word for it.😉

The Bad: The main baddies in the story were annoying. You literally could not wait for them to be defeated. (Although I suppose this isn’t really a bad thing, because you’re generally supposed to dislike the antagonist of the story.) I was also sad that we didn’t get to learn more about certain characters, like Blake Grimm, although it’s pretty obvious that this was because we’d learn more in the second novel, which I’m still waiting for. *impatiently taps watch*

Overall: SPOOK is fun, funny, and a very easy story to be pulled in to if you like awesome things. (Oooh, see what I did there? Now you have to like it, otherwise you’ll be admitting your tragic lack of awesome!) I’ve recommended it to my friends, and as with Velvet I would love to buy it as birthday and Christmas gifts… if only it were published. That’s right – the ball is in your court now, literary agents. *squint*

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9th Reads: As They Rise by Jen Marie Wilde

As They Rise by JM Wilde

As They Rise J.M. Wilde

Synopsis: A kick-ass teenage girl, a nation swarming with zombies, and a sweet romance that grows amongst the ruins. You’ll find all that and more in this exciting and action-packed, post-apocalyptic young adult novella.

Readers have said it’s had them on the edge of their seats, reading all through the night and still craving more.

Eva was just an everyday girl, working as a waitress, hanging out with her friends, and falling in love. But her world changed overnight when a powerful virus spread throughout the country, transforming it into a wasteland of deadly disease and crazed zombies. With Australia cut off from the rest of the world and rampant with terror and chaos, Eva and her friends must do whatever they can to survive.

Set in Australia, horror, friendship and true love collide to make this tale of survival stand out from the rest.

The Eva Series will make you smile, scream, cry and fist-pump the air as you go on a wild and dangerous ride with Eva and her friends. And it all starts here, as they rise.

As They Rise is the first book in “The Eva Series”, and is available for purchase as an e-book through many retailers for only .99 (USD)! What a steal. I mean seriously, when you pay 99c for a book (game, toy, basically anything…) don’t you feel a bit like you’re robbing the person/artist/company? I saw other reviewers asking why they should bother to purchase this novella when it’s available to read for free on Wattpad; well, here’s what I think, if you really enjoy the author’s work you should support them, especially if they are indie artists. Let’s be real, as nice as it is to receive praise… love doesn’t pay the bills, and if the bills don’t get paid, your favorite author/musician/artist/whatever may have to give up on their passion for something that does.

My Opinion:

I loved this book, and went ahead and purchased book 2 (While We Fall) on Google Play just yesterday. (Oh, another perk to actually buying the book versus reading it on Wattpad – you can download the book into your mobile device and read it anywhere, even when you have no Internet!) There was a grammatical error here and there, but it wasn’t enough for me to say, “Wow, this sucks!” I can honestly say that it didn’t distract from the story at all. The story flowed well, and all of the characters are very easy to relate to. There are so many things I want to share, but I’m not sure how to do it without spoiling any part of the story for ya’ll!

If you’re into apocalyptic/zombie/survival type stories, The Eva Series might be for you! Why not give it a read? I mean, it is only 99c.😉

9th Reads: Velvet by Temple West

I’ve been really, really, really into reading lately (Shout out to my friend Krystal who bought me a 3-month Scribd membership for my birthday!) so I thought I would start reviewing books I’ve read recently. I’m not going to utilized a starred rating system, instead I’m simply going to state at the end of my review whether I would recommend the book to friends (or not) and why (or why not.)

For my first review I’ve chosen Velvet by Temple West, which is a new book that was just published last month. Here are my thoughts…


Velvet by Temple West

Cover image from Good Reads

VELVET Temple West

Synopsis from Amazon: After losing both her parents before age 17, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian–who might have just saved her life–is actually a half-demon vampire.
Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?

I bought Velvet on the Google Play Store for about $7, which I considered to be a good deal. My decision to buy Velvet was influenced by the following factors:

  1. (To my knowledge) It was the author’s first published book, and I enjoy supporting up and coming authors. Everyone starts somewhere!
  2. The cover is gorgeous. (I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover – shoot me.)
  3. I like, no, LOVE supernatural love stories. I’m not ashamed (okay, maybe a little ashamed) to admit that even though I had the flu and felt like I was dying, I dragged my then-boyfriend (now husband) to see the first showing of Twilight.
  4. She had me at “hot bad-boy neighbor”. Can we all have one of those? KTHNXBAI.

The Good The story itself is well written and flows smoothly, not spoiled by obvious grammatical or spelling errors. The characters are well written. They are flawed, they are human, and they have problems. Real life problems that actual people go through, that I won’t get in to, because as River Song says, “Spoilers!”

Spoilers!

Be more like River Song and tag your spoilers! Lol

As the synopsis says the main character, Caitlyn, is an orphan; the death of her mom being more recent in the story. (I read through blurry, sleep deprived eyes but if memory serves we’re talking weeks. As in, it was only a matter of weeks since her mom died and we were introduced to her story.) Having recently lost my mom, too, I could relate a lot to what Caitlyn was going through. You’re mad at everyone, even yourself, and you just want to be alone. I don’t know how Temple West managed to accurately sum up the feelings of someone who just lost a parent to cancer, but she did. Yes, it’s awful, but in regard to her book it only adds authenticity to the story.

There are funny parts. Seriously funny. So many pop culture references and witty banter. Take a moment to imagine an 18-year-old vampire as part of the Harry Potter fandom and admitting to owning merchandise from the franchise. Heehee.

The Bad Well… here’s the thing, it reminded me a lot of Twilight. Like, a lot. I know that tons of authors play around with the Vampire mythos but there were so many parallels. It’s obvious that Temple was a fan before she started writing this novel, because at the end of the book in her acknowledgments she references going to every midnight release. (Omg.)

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Summary Even though I was turned off when I made the Twilight comparison mentally (Sorry, that’s the truth!) I feel like the story is good enough that I would recommend it to my friends but only if I knew they’d definitely be into it. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, but I’m really hoping it’ll be a little less Twilight-y.

When the heroine goes black

Back in March, I posted a guest blog from the effervescent Nika Kask and I’m very excited to share that she’s written another post for my blog and as a geek, I can tell you that it is everything.


By: Cristina Nika Kask

When the heroine goes black

Superheroine costume vary from the incredibly cool ones, you want to put on yourself and go kick some villains ass to the terrible ones that make you want to call intergalactic fashion police. Super ladies who know their fashion turned to black as a classic symbol of style. For a geeky lady living somewhere between the real world and glorious fantasy, looking up to the women of world of comics, in every sense, even the fashionable is a must. I’ve chosen some of the best black costumes our heroines wore.

Superheroines

  1. Black Widow (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

At first glance, this costume looks pretty boring and uninspiring. But, when Scarlet Johansson puts it on, she looks like she can kick some serious behind, and oh my, she does. The tight-fitting leather body suit with a fasten-up front looks bad-ass and sexy. As that isn’t enough, it has straps and slots that hold handguns and bullets, basically because of extra tough look. Not that our heroine needs guns often, she’s managing pretty well with hands and legs only.

Marvel's Black WidowOutfit inspiration: Black leggings and black zipper jacket or simple, classy little black dress

  1. Catwoman (Batman Returns)

It’s impossible to talk about black costumes without mentioning Catwoman. And the sexiest of all was of course the one worn by Michelle Pfeifer. Men would fall under her feet on the mere look of her. The costume was made of shiny latex, stitched together with white seams and it accentuated perfectly sensuality of the character perfectly performed by Michele Pfeifer. It’s elegancy, sexiness and modern at its best, unlike the train wreck that was Halle Berry’s in Catwoman.

CatwomanOutfit inspiration: Catsuit, of course, made of leather or PVC

  1. Zatanna: The Mistress Of Magic (Original Costume)

Though there are many among us who would, at first glance, describe Zatanna’s fishnet stockings as sexists, the magician wears that with a healthy dose of attitude, so no one would mistaken her with the lady of the night, more likely lady of the might. A lot of question has been raised about heroines wearing high heels, but for this one, that doesn’t pose any problem, she throws more spells than punches. The white shirt, bow tie and the yellow cummerbund create the perfect contrast with long coattails blazer and a classic top hat.

ZatannaOutfit inspiration: Black shorts, white shirt and a black fitted blazer

  1. Batgirl (Batman & Robin)

Putting aside the fact the movie was a complete disaster and that Alicia Silverstone gave a poor performance, there is no denying she was dressed well. Though, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the sexy as hell suit that Barbara Gordon wore was designed by her uncle – Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth. How unsettling. Nevertheless, the costume is undoubtedly cool. The tight bodysuit really embraces the feminine curves of Alicia Silverstone, and the tight high boots are really a kick-ass item. Let us not forget the cape, I love capes, and I adore when women heroes get the chance to rock one out.

Bat GirlOutfit inspiration: Skinny jeans and black leather corset

  1. Black Canary (Arrow)

I’m not talking about a member of Justice League of America and Birds of Prey with the fishnet stockings and high heel boots, but a little more realistic and “everyday woman” outfit. I’m referring to a modern version depicted in the TV show “Arrow”. Though I’m not a fan of the show’s new incarnation of Black Canary in the form of Laurel Lance, I can’t deny the outfit is a knock-out. The fierce leather jacket , tight black pant, the “ready to fight” boots and the abundance of straps and buckles, are looking fantastic.

Black CanaryOutfit inspiration: Well, you might as well head to town in the Canary outfit itself, just leave the mask and the wig at home.

Kawaii Strawberry Earrings

If you’re interested in making something similar to this you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Findings including jump rings, eye pins, and the earring hook
  • Bake and bond adhesive
  • White polymer clay
  • Red polymer clay
  • A toothpick

 

I made earrings for the first time ever, and I’m super in love with them.:) Chiggity check them out!
Heartful Sweets Kawaii Strawberry Earrings

The theme I went with was “Strawberries and Cream”, and like the bracelet, it’s currently listed in my Etsy shop.

  1. The strawberry and the cream are both made out of polymer clay which I shaped by hand
  2. I poked the strawberries with the toothpick to give them a more realistic look
  3. then baked both the cream and strawberries for about 10-15 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. The cream is glued to the strawberry using a bake and bond adhesive, meaning that I baked the item twice
  5. I glazed and then hand painted with acrylic paint after baking them because I only had white clay to work with at the time

I’ve been on a crafting high lately. For Boy’s Day I made some polymer clay koi and used resin to make a little fishbowl out of a tupperware container for my son. Even though it didn’t turn out super awesome, it was my first try using resin (and making polymer clay animals) so I think I can be forgiven.😉 Plus, my son loved it. If I can get decent pictures I’ll blog about that next.

If anyone has suggestions on things I should make, I’m completely open to hearing them. Let me know in the comments below.:)