Weekly Wrap Up: October 27th through November 9th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Awakening

Agent Jack

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories

This Earl of Mine

Let It Be Me


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review coming November 4th


Books with Published Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review Here

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore—Review Here

The Brutal Time—Review Here

Fever—Review Here

This Earl of Mine—Review Here

Let It Be Me—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

All the Best Lies—St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

A Highlander in a Pickup—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Wild, Wild Rake—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Queen of the Unwanted—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

The Other People—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

No Mercy—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books

The Vanishing Season—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books


Author/Publisher Requests:

Been There, Married That—St. Martin’s Press


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Aces High—Book Blitz

Dark One’s Bride—Book Blitz

Forged by Fire—Book Blitz

My Path to You—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Blog Tour

The Event—Book Blitz

The Brutal Time—Blog Tour

Angel Blue: Season One—Book Blitz

Death Among Us—Blog Tour

Dorothy in the Land of Monsters—Book Blitz

Princes of the Lower East Side—Book Blitz

On His Bended Knee—Book Blitz

Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas—Book Blitz

All of Him Anthology-–Cover Reveal

This Earl of Mine—Blog Tour

Panic—Book Blitz

Disenchanted—Cover Reveal

Under His Skin—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Excerpt

The Traveler—Book Blitz

The Assassin and The Soldier—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Advertisements

Book Blitz: Panic (Mass Hysteria: Book 1) by Dawn Brazil

Panic 
by Dawn Brazil 
(Mass Hysteria #1) 
Publication date: October 29th 2019
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Goodreads


Mass Hysteria is a trilogy of young adult romantic/science-fiction serial novels that tell a continuous story. The books must be read in order, to fully understand the unfolding story. 

High school can be hard, especially when your favorite horror movie becomes your reality…

High-School senior, Elizabeth calculates the likelihood of finding love to the probability of starring in a slasher film with her best friend, until she meets Brian Thompson. Love isn’t the only thing that eludes Elizabeth, however. Several threatening notes that promise her demise make a long life also questionable.

When Elizabeth’s best friend shares an article about the death of a girl in Italy, she dismisses it. As more girls are murdered, and cryptic messages are tucked in her locker, she realizes something sinister might be at play. Why? Each of the slain girls look like her.


Excerpt:

The single slip of manila paper says only two words: “your next.” 

Right away, a few things are apparent: this person’s command of the English language is severely lacking; the scrawl is most likely that of a teenage boy or a toddler of any gender; and thirdly, this note is different from the others. I glance around the brick pillar at the front of our house. The street is silent; not one person is outside from where I stand.

I ball the paper up and toss it in my purse.

I slide into the car beside Stacey and we head to the restaurant—in absolute silence. Silence has many forms. The form we exhibit is awkward—at least for best friends. 

We both know why we’re going today. Stacey doesn’t agree with my sentiment for the day, though. I’ve read that if you toss a being outside their natural habitat, one of two things will happen—they will rise to the occasion, or die. 

I’m a fighter. I should be able to master the social landscape of female teenagerdom, but it seems I can’t. I flounder—a lot. I cannot explain my high intellect and my innate ability to elicit cringes or gasps of shock when I speak.

Today, that changes. 

Once we’re at the restaurant, Stacey says only four words: “This is ridiculous, hon.”

I disagree and we head inside to meet the other girls. 

We arrive mid-joke. So, I time my laugh to spill from my lips at the perfect moment. 

Except, the sensation rises from my abdomen like gravel tumbling through my mouth. Stacey turns, her lips pursed tight. The other girls stop giggling. Their purrs of laughter are in deep contrast to my piercing cackle. 

They frown in unison—everyone but Stacey. She has an ‘I’m sorry I got you into this mess, hon’ look on her face. Though lacking in most social skills, I’m able to read their expressions: ‘What the hell was Stacey thinking, bringing the schizoid?’ 

I’m painfully aware something is off with me. On a scale of weirdness, I’m not Pinhead. I’m more Carrie, without the powers. I’d change this perception of oddness I convey, but I don’t know where to begin to work on myself. That’s why I’m here today. 

Glancing around the table, I attempt a quick recovery. Dogs. Girls like dogs. “I have a dog. He’s the cutest little Pomeranian.” 

My words are met with oohs and awws, but Stacey shakes her head once, slightly. I don’t know why she does it. I’ve hit a chord with these girls. I block her shaking head and the bombardment of senseless information streaming through my mind, and continue talking. “He’s a handsome little fur ball.”

“I love dogs,” one of Stacey’s friends says. “My Jax is too freaking cute.” 

“My FeFe is too adorbs. What’s your dog’s name, Elizabeth?” Melissa, the closest girl to me asks. 

“Norman Bates. He’s a—” 

“You named your dog Norman Bates?” Melissa asks. 

“Yes. He—” 

“Like, isn’t that the crazy dude from that movie? The one who cross-dressed like his mom and like killed everyone?” someone else asks. 

“Yes, it’s—”

“It’s kinda weird… well, a lot weird that you named your dog after a homicidal maniac,” Melissa says. No one speaks after her comment. They all stare in opposite directions. 

I almost laugh at their reaction, but stop myself. A rush of thoughts hurry through my head: Melissa’s eyes are the color of her heart—black. She’s a modern Cruella DeVille. She’ll trample over her own mother to get what she wants, which is always materialistic and selfish. She’s also beautiful, and she hates me but loves my best friend Stacey

I shake my head discreetly. They act like I told them I’m naming my firstborn Freddie Krueger. Which I would do, if I could have kids. 

I strum my fingers over my jean shorts and count in my head. Counting reminds me not to speak and further add to the awkwardness of the moment. 

“Norman Bates is the best dog name, ever,” Stacey says. She gives me a wink. “More importantly, has anyone seen that new movie? You know… the new romance?” Stacey snaps her fingers like she can’t remember. “Oh, I forget the name. But I heard it’s hot—full of steamy love scenes…” Everyone starts talking, each girl stumbling over the other to get a word in. Like if they don’t articulate what they have to say straightaway, their lives might be in peril. 

I don’t understand girls, even though I’ve been part of the gender my entire life. 


Purchase Links:

Amazon


Dawn wants to live in a world fully inhabited by fictional characters. She thinks fictional characters are cooler than real people. Except herself, of course. But since the world is not comprised of dreamy book boyfriends, she creates them for everyone to fawn over. Her debut novel, Finding Me, book 1 in the Finding Me series, released on March 3rd 2016. 

When she is not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book – swooning over another book boyfriend, drying up tears from a recent heartbreak, or shouldering a wound she received in battle. She also loves to create magic in the kitchen with an array of inspiring dishes she pulls from Pinterest. Dawn lives in South Texas with her sports obsessed husband, three technology infatuated teenagers, and her great, big, colossal imagination.

She is a master juggler and is working on two other Young Adult standalone novels – a high fantasy tearjerker and a science fiction story with a romance that will make your heart ache. 

And she is passionate about superheroes – especially Wonder Woman!

Website

Facebook Page

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads Page

Over Reveal: Panic, Frenzy, Lunacy (Mass Hysteria: Books 1-3) by Dawn Brazil

Book Synopsis:

Book 1 – Mass Hysteria: Panic (10/29)

High-School senior, Elizabeth calculates the likelihood of finding love to the probability of starring in a slasher film with her best friend, until she meets Brian Thompson. Love isn’t the only thing that eludes Elizabeth, however. Several threatening notes that promise her demise make a long life also questionable.

When Elizabeth’s best friend shares an article about the death of a girl in Italy, she dismisses it. As more girls are murdered, and cryptic messages are tucked in her locker, she realizes something sinister might be at play. Why? Each of the slain girls look like her.  

Book 2 – Mass Hysteria: Frenzy (11/05)

Elizabeth discovers an abnormality in her brain suppresses her emotions. The deformity plagued women for decades – on another universe. The abnormality created a threat of extinction. The government of this other universe began cloning to repopulate.

Elizabeth is one of those clones.

She is a researcher-clone, scheduled for death, since removal of the abnormality is impossible.

Faced with the knowledge of this other universe and her possible, untimely demise, she must make a decision. She can choose to remain on Earth – but risk becoming murdered-girl number ten in her own horror movie. Or she can choose to die alone, in an unfamiliar universe.

But in order to remain on Earth, she must discover who’s after her and why?

Book 3 – Mass Hysteria: Lunacy (11/12)

If trudging through the desert didn’t kill Elizabeth, what they brought back might: Tiffany. Her original clone sister.

Elizabeth is ill prepared to handle the onslaught of emotions coursing through her. She breaks up with Brian because there’s no way what she feels is love. But did she make the right choice? Her heart is so contrary to her mind.

Contending with a pouty Brian isn’t the vilest of situations … Staying alive to enjoy the emotions will be harder than running from a homicidal maniac wearing stilettos as a new threat presents itself – something she never imagined.


Panic, Frenzy, Lunacy 
by Dawn Brazil 
(Mass Hysteria, #1-3) 
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Goodreads


Dawn wants to live in a world fully inhabited by fictional characters. She thinks fictional characters are cooler than real people. Except herself, of course. But since the world is not comprised of dreamy book boyfriends, she creates them for everyone to fawn over. Her debut novel, Finding Me, book 1 in the Finding Me series, released on March 3rd 2016. 

When she is not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book – swooning over another book boyfriend, drying up tears from a recent heartbreak, or shouldering a wound she received in battle. She also loves to create magic in the kitchen with an array of inspiring dishes she pulls from Pinterest. Dawn lives in South Texas with her sports obsessed husband, three technology infatuated teenagers, and her great, big, colossal imagination.

She is a master juggler and is working on two other Young Adult standalone novels – a high fantasy tearjerker and a science fiction story with a romance that will make your heart ache. 

And she is passionate about superheroes – especially Wonder Woman!

Blog

Instagram

Facebook Page

Twitter

Goodreads Page

What About Us (Panic: Book 4) by Sidney Halston

What About Us (Panic, #4)

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 20th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Panic

Pull Me Close–book 1 (review here)

Make Me Stay–book 2 (review here)

Kiss Me Back–book 3 (review here)

What About Us–book 4

Where you can find What About Us: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Don’t miss Sidney Halston’s Panic series:
PULL ME CLOSE | MAKE ME STAY | KISS ME BACK | WHAT ABOUT US


My review:

Alex is in Duality, trying to close on a business deal. He has no interest in the façade of sex and hedonism that the club offers. He wouldn’t be in the club but his partner is recovering from a car accident. Alex is more than surprised when he sees Helen working. Helen, whose father destroyed his family. Helen, who has galavanted around the world on the money that her father stole from his family. But, if she had that money, why is she working at Duality? Why does she have a bruise on her cheek? And why is she treating him like a long-lost friend? Alex is determined to find out. But, what he finds out goes against everything that he has thought he had known for the past 15 years. Can Alex reconcile what he now knows with what he thought he knew about Helen?

Helen is a survivor. She was forced to grow up when she was 18 and her father was sent to prison. But she got her life back on track. It took hard work but she did it. Lately, life seems to be biting her in the butt. Her drunken, abusive ex-husband has decided to throw her out of the house after he assaulted her. Then she runs into Alex, her first love and old friend, at the club. Alex makes her an offer that she can’t refuse. The more time she spends in his company, the more she starts to care for him. But she is wary. Alex and his family left her high and dry when she needed them the most. Can she trust Alex? Will Helen be able to see the truth of what her father did? Or will it drive an even bigger wedge between her and Alex?

The one thing I loved about this series is that the author made her characters suffer from real life issues. Take Helen for instance. She was homeless for a while when she was a teenager. Later on in her adulthood, she was the victim of domestic violence. Or Alex. He had some pretty bad anger issues. It was how she handled those issues that made me want to read more of the book (and the series).

I wasn’t sure if I liked Alex and Helen as a couple. I felt that she was going from one bad situation to another. He harbored so much anger towards her that I found it hard to believe that it disappeared overnight. Plus, he acted like a jerk to her at her work. In front of her boss and co-workers. Even they were like “Ummm, you sure about this Helen?” He treated her horribly all the way to almost the end of the book.

I didn’t feel the sexual attraction between Alex and Helen at first. I was too involved in with the drama. I did catch glimpses of it. It didn’t smack you in the face but it was there. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.

I did like the sex scenes. They packed enough heat to make me fan myself. They were super steamy. Loved them!!!

The end of What About Us was bittersweet. I liked what Alex did for Helen. But it was what Helen did for Alex that made the end of the book. The author did a great job at wrapping up all the plotlines. I do wonder if there is going to be a book 5.


I gave What About Us a 3.5-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. I liked how the author had her characters suffer from real life issues. It made them more relatable. I also thought that the sex was steamy. But, I didn’t like how Alex treated Helen for 90% of the book. I also didn’t see any sparks between them until after the first time they had sex.

I would give What About Us an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are trigger warnings. They are domestic violence and suicide. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread What About Us. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the triggers.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review What About Us.

All opinions stated in this review of What About Us are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read What About Us?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Make Me Stay (Panic: Book 2) by Sidney Halston

Make Me Stay (Panic, #2)

Title: Make Me Stay

Author: Sidney Halston

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 27th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Panic

Pull Me Close – Book 1 (review here)

Make Me Stay – Book 2

Where you can find Make Me Stay: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Secret identities, second chances, drama, desire: It’s all going down in Miami Beach in this tantalizing novel from the bestselling author of Pull Me Close, which was hailed by Aurora Rose Reynolds as “a heart-gripping story about . . . the power of love.”

April: Walking away from Matt Moreno was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Lying to him was a close second, but for his safety, I had no other choice. I was undercover, working to put some nasty people behind bars. But when Matt nearly recognizes me on Lincoln Road a year later, all those very real feelings come rushing back. Now that my assignment’s almost over, will he understand why I lied? Why I had to leave? Most important, can he ever forgive me?
 
Matt: I was madly in love with June Simpson . . . or, at least, with the woman I thought was June. Then she just disappeared while my family’s nightclub went through hell. And after months of searching, when I think I’ve finally found that sexy, raspy voice and those exquisite blue eyes, she slips away once more. Turns out, “June” is actually Detective April White. She’s been playing me the whole time. And she’s about to rock my world all over again.

My review:

Make Me Stay is the second book in the Panic series. Set in the hot, hip city of Miami, you are taken on a smoldering journey with April and Matt as they learn to love each other again after betrayal rocks their world. If you dare, enter a world of sex, drugs, and betrayal and expect to have your world rocked.

Continue reading “Make Me Stay (Panic: Book 2) by Sidney Halston”