vineri, 26 august 2016

RECENZIE - Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon




Descriere:


My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

RECENZIE:

Nu cred c-am auzit vreodata pe cineva spunand ca nu i-a placut cartea asta sau ca n-o recomanda, si sincer, in timp ce o citeam nu puteam sa inteleg de ce. Pentru ca nu e un roman scris intr-o maniera complexa sau sa aiba un stil incarcat, cu tot felul de expresii si descrieri sau niste personaje ce vor sa te dea pe spate, cine stie ce baiat fermacator sau vreo fata ce asteapta sa fie salvata. Nu e o carte ce incearca sa-ti dea lectii de viata sau sfaturi, o poveste siropoasa sau una care incearca prea mult sa fie amuzanta sau plina de drame. E o poveste de viata, foarte vie, plina de culori, de la cele mai intunecate si pana la cele care-ti fac ochii sa lacrimeze, cu doi tineri care oscileaza intre a fi timizi si cei mai vorbareti, cuminti si nebuni, care ignora viata si care musca din ea, vrand mai mult si mai mult cu fiecare inghititura.

N-o sa incerc sa te conving s-o citesti si nici n-o sa incerc sa ti-o recomand, pentru ca stiu ca nu merge. De cand a aparut in S.U.A. m-am ferit sa o citesc, stiind ca e atat de iubita, laudata si parea prea perfecta; nimeni nu-i gasea defecte si toti pareau ca fermecati dupa ce-o terminau. Si acum inteleg de ce. Nu-i cea mai buna carte pe care am citit-o vreodata, dar dupa ce-o termini ramane cu tine si te face sa gandesti, te face sa privesti cu atentie, sa te uiti mai bine in oglinda si la ce e in jur, la oameni, la obiecte si la natura. Te face sa apreciezi ceea ce ai material, mental, sufleteste si sa te bucuri, sa plangi si sa tipi, pentru ca esti sanatos si poti face absolut tot ce vrei. 

Daca o sa citesti Everything, Everything si o sa privesti lumea prin ochii lui Maddie si o sa traiesti viata ei, atunci o sa-ti dai seama cat avem si cat de putin apreciem uneori. Cufundandu-ne in rutina, lasand zilele si noptile sa treaca pe langa noi, profitand de sanatatea pe care unii n-o au si nu ne dam seama. Nu cred ca e o carte ce te va face sa traiesti viata mai bine sau ca e o lectie de viata sau o poveste motivationala, dar iti deschide ochii. Si o face intr-un mod simplist, amuzant, prin niste personaje care stiu sa fie si serioase si ironice, care iubesc si urasc, plang si rad, sunt extrem de precaute si apoi iau niste riscuri ce-ti provoaca ameteala. Pentru ca uneori viata asa e: te face sa fii nebun fix cand simti ca n-ar trebui.

E un singur lucru ce nu mi-a placut la carte, un singur personaj, ce mi s-a parut extrem de egoist, rautacios si poate demn de mila. Poate sunt rea, spunand asta, insa prin ce-a trecut si ce-a pierdut nu mi se pare ca justifica deloc ceea ce a facut; pentru c-a afectat destule vieti si a privat pe cineva de viata si de toate lucrurile ei: bune sau rele, julituri sau rasete, capriciile vremii, emotii, bucurii si deceptii, toate acele nimicuri si lucruri mari care ne fac noi. I s-o fi parut bine si poate a fost, insa mie mi se pare de neiertat si nu cred c-as reusi vreodata sa rascumpere, in vreun fel. 

Relatia lui Madeline cu mama ei mi s-a parut foarte simpatica si bine construita, destul de naturala, tinand cont ca toti avem zilele noastre bune si proaste si ca niciodata n-ai cum sa te intelegi cu cineva fara sa nu fie si discutii sau pareri diferite. Mi-a placut faptul ca in marea majoritate a timpului pareau doar niste prietene bune si nu mama si fiica; am vazut destul de rar lucrul asta in cartile pentru adolescenti, unde parintii lipsesc total sau sunt doar stereotipuri.

Unii spun ca iubirea dintre Olly si Maddie e aproape imediata, insa mie nu mi s-a parut. Eu cred ca ei au devenit intai prieteni si apoi lucrurile au inceput sa fie altceva; nu sunt de parere ca daca o fata vrea sa petreaca timp cu un baiat sau se simt bine impreuna inseamna neaparat ca-l place. Sau daca un baiat e dragut cu o fata si vor sa vada un film sau sa faca altceva, gata se iubesc. Adica, pe bune? Prietenii nu fac asta? Sau daca sunt de sex opus atunci nu e prietenie? Dar normal, pentru ca e YA, orice interactiune trebuie sa insemne iubire... (nu ca-n alte genuri ar fi mai diferit, dar)

Una peste alta, mie mi-a placut romanul, pentru ca e o lectura usoara si chiar daca nu-i foarte scurt ca numar de pagini, il citesti foarte repede, pentru ca are o multime de imagini sau schite, uneori sunt doar cateva randuri pe-o pagina sau o singura propozitie. Nu prea e scris in sensul clasic. Vorbind de plot, au fost cateva lucruri ce s-au batut putin cu logica, dar sa zicem ca nu m-a deranjat asa tare, tinand cont ca mi-au placut personajele, scriitura, chiar si desenele, relatia dintre Maddie si mama ei, Olly si Maddie. Chiar si relatia Carlei cu Maddie. Cam toate legaturile dintre personaje sunt interesant create si romanul e bun. Nu e o carte ce te loveste din plin, dar cred ca e una ce-ti ramane in minte mult timp dupa ce-o termini. Sau pentru mine asa va fi.

Iar Maddie si Olly, desi par cei mai imperfecti si nebuni oameni pe care i-am cunoscut in ultima vreme, mie mi se par cei mai de viata si amuzanti pe langa care sa nimeresti. Chiar si la un suc sau doar sa tragi cu urechea la o discutie de-a lor.

joi, 25 august 2016

RECENZIE - Mâine de Guillaume Musso


Guillaume Musso, încoronat „iluzionist al suspansului” (Le Parisien), prezintă o nouă aventură misterioasă şi bulversantă, un roman ingenios, plin de romantism şi captivante răsturnări de situaţie.

Descriere:

Emma locuieşte la New York, are 32 de ani şi încă îl mai caută pe bărbatul vieţii ei. 

Matthew locuieşte la Boston, şi-a pierdut soţia într-un cumplit accident de maşină şi îşi creşte singur fetiţa de patru ani.

 Cei doi se cunosc pe Internet şi, după un schimb de e-mailuri, cred că au în sfârşit dreptul la fericire. Dornici să se vadă, îşi dau întâlnire într-un micuţ restaurant italienesc din Manhattan. În aceeaşi zi, la aceeaşi oră, fiecare dintre ei intră pe uşa restaurantului. Sunt conduşi la aceeaşi masă şi totuşi... nu se vor întâlni niciodată. 

Joc al minciunilor? Fantasma unuia? Manipularea celuilalt?

 Victime ale unei realităţi care îi depăşeşte, Matthew şi Emma îsi vor da repede seama că nu e vorba de o simplă întâlnire ratată... 

RECENZIE:

Guillaume Musso este unul din autorii mei preferati si desi au trecut cativa ani de cand am citit un roman de la el, tot nu si-a pierdut gustul si parca de data asta mi-a placut si mai mult. Pana acum n-am fost niciodata dezamagita de vreunul din romanele sale, pentru ca de fiecare data spun o poveste intriganta, plina de actiune si suspans, iar personajele sunt extrem de realist si complex conturate. Asa ca, fie de citesti pentru personaje, pentru actiune, pentru suspans sau pentru povestea de iubire, nu vei fi dezamagit si sigur vei devora cartea in cateva ore, caci e cam greu sa o lasi din mana. 

Maine e un roman care mie mi-a placut si chiar de la primele randuri; cumva e ce te astepti, pentru ca descrierea iti cam da de gandit, nu totul e ceea ce pare si cele mai mici detalii fac diferenta, insa in acelasi timp ramai surprins cu fiecare intorsatura de situatie si fiecare personaj ce apare in scena.  Comparativ cu alte carti ale lui as zice ca e mai mult un mystery - thriller decat o poveste de iubire, insa nu mi-a parut rau deloc; chiar aveam nevoie de asa ceva acum, pentru c-am citit in ultima vreme destule carti ce m-au dezamagit. Asa ca ceva numai bun, care stiam sigur ca-mi place, mi-a placut si mai mult.

N-o sa va spun ce se intampla in carte, dar merita citita si cel mai bine e sa nu stiti prea multe atunci cand o incepeti. E mult mai interesant sa afli totul odata cu personajele si sa-ti rozi unghiile sau dintii (dupa caz:)) ) pentru ca nu stii ce urmeaza si daca prietenii nostri vor reusi sa rezolve situatiile. Nu e o cursa contra cronometru, insa scriitura devine chiar foarte alerta in unele locuri si pentru ca vrei neaparat sa stii cum se va termina, te grabesti, ai impresia ca nu citesti destul de repede, si respiratia ti se va opri in gat odata cu cea a Emmei si a lui Matthew. N-as spune ca am ghicit plot-ul sau finalul, nici n-am vrut, pentru ca-mi place sa savurez misterele si nu sa le rezolv, dar in acelasi timp nu e nici ceva la care te-ai gandi prima data cand citesti. Plus ca apoi autorul ti-l arunca asa pe foaie, iar tu nu mai stii ce sa crezi. 

Si-acum? Oare ce mai urmeaza? Ce vor face? iti tot umbla  prin cap si treci de la o perspectiva la alta si de la un capitol la urmatorul. Sincer, am fost atat de prinsa in poveste, incat inainte sa-mi dau seama citeam multimirile de la final :)) 

Emma si Matthew mi-au placut amandoi si acum dupa ce-am terminat romanul, pot sa zic ca-i vad ca pe niste prieteni mai mari. Nu mi se par doar niste personaje formate din cuvinte si au atatea defecte cat au calitati, iar personalitatile lor sunt extrem de complexe si cameleonice, as zice. Mi-a placut ca autorul nu incearca sa-i faca sa para buni sau rai, ci doar oameni care incearca sa traiasca, sa obtina ceea ce vor, sa iubeasca, sa ajute si care iau niste decizii ce lor li se par corecte atunci. 
Relatia dintre cei doi e extrem de gri si evolueaza natural, nu se indragosesc instantaneu si nici n-au incredere completa in celalalt, ci incearca sa afle cat de multe pot, sa puna intrebari si cu fiecare situatie sa analizeze comportamentul celuilalt si sa vada daca ascunde cineva. Nu zic ca se transforma in detectivi si scotocesc in vietile lor, dar isi iau masuri de precautie si n-am simtit ca e vorba de dragoste la prima vedere sau c-ar fi fost gata sa-si riste viata unul pentru altul la doua minute de la intalnire.

Pe langa stilul simplist si totusi extrem de atragator si colorat, pe langa firele narative ce te iau prin surprindere, desi nu e vorba de nicio conspiratie sau invazie extraterestra, pe langa personajele principale de care ajungi sa te atasezi fara sa-ti dai seama, tocmai pentru ca sunt niste oameni normali, Musso creioneaza bine si personajele secundare sau episodice. Chiar si oamenii pe care-i intalnesti doar o data, ii auzi spunand o gluma sau sunt descrisi intr-o amintire, ii placi si-ti raman in minte. E acel ceva pe care unii autori il au si care te face sa te indragostesti rapid si profund de orice detaliu si om din romanele lor.

As recomanda acest roman? Fara indoiala! Alaturi de oricare alta carte scrisa de Musso, pentru ca toate merita si fiecare are ceva special, de la personaje, actiune, final, dialoguri, glumite si descrieri care te poarta fix in locurile pe unde umbla personajele, fara ca tu sa-ti fi miscat macar corpul din fotoliu sau de pe plaja. Sunt sigura ca toate cartile lui o sa va placa, fie ca le cititi pentru personaje, pentru ca suna bine descrierea, ca va place stilul autorului, ati auzit numai de bine, vreti un thriller sau o poveste de iubire. Gasiti de toate, doar sa incepeti! :)

Book Blitz - Dream Junkies by Anne-Marie Yerks - Excerpt, Giveaway



Dream Junkies by Anne-Marie Yerks
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Actresses in a Chicago comedy troupe, Daphne Corbett and Kristin Brewer share a stage as Jean and Jeanette, a pair of dim-witted legal secretaries upstaging the show’s headliners. When their performance attracts an ambitious entertainment agent from Manhattan, the girls move to New York with hopes of stardom and success. But the search for apartments and showbiz jobs takes them in different directions.

The shared journey leads them to understand that dreams are worth only as much as the struggle to achieve them and that the hardest part to play is yourself.



EXCERPT:

The Last Night

The Saturday before she left for New York, Daphne Corbett wrote her ex-boyfriend’s address on a Post-it note and boarded the Pink Line train to West Pilsen. From the CTA station, she walked down 18th Street to find the house where Alec was living with his new band, Saturn Box.

It was a sunny morning in late July and most of the shops hadn’t yet opened. At a corner liquor store, a group of men and a big dog were gathered around a cement stoop. A taxi cab pulled up and the driver tried to wave her over, but she shook her head and kept on going.

“Hey Miss,” one of the men called, blowing smoke from one side of his mouth, “can I ask you a question?”

Daphne ignored him and held her purse a little closer. This was the kind of neighborhood Alec liked because the big houses could be rented for cheap. Everyone could have a bedroom with plenty of the house left over for practice space and a common living area. Alex wasn’t onto mind the shabby people on the streets or the long trek downtown. He’d told her that he wasn’t home much anyway because his band was taking off.

She referred to the Post-it to locate the side street and turned. The house was halfway down the block, easy to find because of the spray-painted Saturn symbol on the side. Alec’s green Volvo station wagon was parked at the curb, loaded up with speakers and amps. Daphne remembered all the work they’d gone through finding the equipment at consignment shops and thrift stores. They’d had fun doing that.

A girl answered the door, a very thin girl with dishwater blonde hair and pierced eyebrows, wearing a greyish t-shirt. It had to be Lorene, the back-up singer. Alec had mentioned something about her the last time they’d talked.

“Is Alec here?” The girl assessed Daphne’s flowered skirt and white sandals with watery blue eyes.

“I think so.” Lorene stood aside and motioned toward the staircase. In one of the upstairs rooms, Daphne found Alec and his guitar in an upstairs room, stretched out on a ratty orange couch, writing in the composition book spread in his lap. It was the same composition book he’d used for song lyrics ever since she’d met him. His handwriting was so small it would take him a month to fill a page, so small that he probably could use that one notebook the rest of his life. Alec’s soul was in that book, she knew. It was in there even more than in his music.

“What brings you out here?” He sat up to make space on the couch, and she sat down. The curtains hanging in the window behind them were a pair that Daphne had brought when they used to live together in Wicker Park. In those days, they had struggled to survive on their tiny paychecks and a good yard sale find was gold.

She took a breath. “I’m moving to New York. On Monday.” Alec lit a cigarette and took a drag, eyes focused across the room at some equipment arranged in a semi-circle: a sheet music stand, a sax, and a keyboard. He smoothed his bangs. “What for?” Daphne told him about the agent who’d come to the comedy club and the audition for the sitcom. She gave all the details, the things that had happened over the past six months, more than what was necessary because she knew he would listen, that he still cared in a way that other people didn’t.

“So, you think this agent is for real?”

This was what everyone wanted to know. Her mother had asked the same question. Are you sure this is the real thing, Daphne? I mean, it’s a big deal to pack up your whole life and move away . . .

“Pavia is definitely for real.” “Did you sign a contract?” “Sort of,” she told him. “Just for representation. Kristin has a role on the show, but I don’t.

Not yet. I’m going to do some modeling until they call me in.” “What’s this sitcom called?” Alec took another puff and then crushed the cigarette into the ashtray. “Streethearts. It’s about Chicago even though it’s filmed in New York. The idea is that the people who work in the little shops on the street get to know each other and fall in love and have affairs and misunderstandings. Typical kind of thing.” She didn’t tell him how much she had wanted to be on the show and how disappointed she was with the second-string position. But he probably knew.

“What about your sculpture? I thought you were going to set up a workshop someday.”

When she first began college, she had pictured herself alone in an art studio, digging her hands in the clay and wood-firing her work in an open field. But even after five years of classes and a senior show, she’d yet to sell a single piece. The fact there were galleries everywhere— even little ones that would take a chance on someone new—was another reason she was going to New York. She couldn’t take all the sculptures with her—there wasn’t enough space—but she had a nice set of slides that her new step-father and her mother had financed as a graduation gift.

“I’m not giving up on the idea, but I don’t know where it can go. The art world is so artificial. The money goes to the wrong place.” She was fighting the tired trend, the urban refuge type thing done a million times over that everyone couldn’t seem to get enough of: Virgin Mary statuettes glued onto banged up car doors, iron fencing worked into sex positions, bottles filled with plastic fruit floating in tea.

“You think acting isn’t artificial?” he asked. “Just take a look at the posters downtown, Daph. It’s the most artificial world there is. It will suck everything pure out of you and spit it back out in plastic.”

“Rock and roll is artificial, too,” she pointed out. “Those guitars you smash onstage are from the Salvation Army.”

“Come on, get real. You don’t even have a job in New York. Sorry to tell you this, but dreams aren’t edible. And they don’t pay bills. At least you have a job here, something a lot of people would like to do. And it makes people laugh. Why give it up for nothing?”

She didn’t tell that she had already given it up. She and Kristin had quit Side Stitches the week before. Downstairs, a dog began to bark. Then another dog. Then another.

“Lorene has three mutts,” Alec said. He stood up and tucked the cigarette pack into the pocket of his flannel shirt. “She feeds them on the top of the kitchen table. Supposedly it’s demoralizing for them to eat from bowls on the floor. If I don’t get down there, she’ll give them my leftover meatloaf.”

They walked downstairs and stopped at the doorway. The sun was dancing over the tops of the cars in the streets. The flowers in the beds were pale and tired, burning into August.

“Send me a postcard,” he said. “From Manhattan?” she asked. “I don’t know. From anywhere. Surprise me. I’ll send you one too.” When they said goodbye at the front door, she caught a look in his eye, one that had never been directed at her before. Envy. But that was normal, she thought, walking north to the bus stop. Most people would be a little envious of someone whose career is about to take off. She tossed the Post-it note into the trash at the Metra stop. As the train pulled away, she could somehow still see the note through the grate—a bright little square of neon orange that seemed to be saying Stop.

At home on Sunday, Daphne listed the things left to do. Most of the furniture would stay where it was. The new tenant, an incoming grad student at DePaul, had bought the couch, chairs, and dining set for a few hundred bucks. Her mattress would go to the curb. The floors needed a good sweep and the baseboards should be washed. The refrigerator was frightening. And she should find the smoke detector and hang it up in the hallway again. She’d removed it months ago because it kept going off when she dried her hair.

Everything was packed into boxes except for her sculptures. In the morning, she would cover them with plastic and use the blankets in the rental van as cushioning. For now they lined the wall in front of a window, their angled shadows stretched across the wood floor. This would be their final hours in the light for quite a while, Daphne thought, running a hand over her favorite—a piece she called “Panda.” It was her simplest work— a tall smooth cylinder with a fist print in the middle—and most recent (she had brought it home the week before). The only exhibition it’d get would be in the living room unless she could find a way to include it in the things she took to New York. She wondered if Kristin would be a picky roommate, or if she would be too busy to care.

The mail had brought a birthday card from her mother with a check tucked inside.

Sorry I can’t be with you! The honeymoon is wonderful! Be careful. Love, Mom.

The envelope was postmarked and stamped from Jamaica with her mother’s new name in the upper left-hand corner: Elizabeth Peepers. She’d just married a man named Al Peepers on a cruise ship.

Daphne folded the check into her wallet. After tonight, when she unloaded the kilns for the last time, she would be unemployed. Money would be tight for a while, she knew. Apartments in New York were beyond expensive. The first time she’d skimmed the classifieds in The Village Voice she thought it would be impossible to pay such prices. Pavia was the one who suggested that she and Kristin share for a while. That way all expenses were cut in half. Daphne was all for the idea, but she sensed that Kristin wasn’t completely sold. Then again, she hadn’t said “no” to it either.

Daphne called Kristen to make sure everything was set. “I’m not even close to ready,” Kristin said. “Are you?” “I’m packed, but I’ve got to get rid of some dirt and grime if I want my rent deposit back.”

Daphne considered the filth on the baseboards as Kristin went on.

“How much room will we have? I don’t think I can fit all my stuff into a car. Should we rent a van or something?”

“I thought you were getting us a van.” “I thought you were getting it.”

It was typical Kristin to forget something important like this, to assume that it would all fall into place without any effort on her part. Probably everything in her life had gone that way, Daphne thought. She had been spoiled by good looks, the perfect complexion, and long blonde waves—angelic features that contrasted with her on-the-brink sexuality. Everywhere she went people looked at her. Her boyfriends were the gullible, earnest types who fell into an obsessive love that drove them to seek her out twenty-four seven. Sometimes they appeared backstage after the show, eyes overloaded with longing and a kind of resignation beneath the yearning. They all knew that Kristin Brewer would cast them out with time, that they were mice in the claws of a cat who would play until the plaything became boring, then hunt for a new one. Maybe they didn’t, but they should have.

Daphne found a number for U-Haul.

Yes, Kristin could drive men crazy. She was much better at collecting suitors than she was at being an actress. Daphne was the one who had carried their show technically. Her minor at DePaul had been theatre arts and she considered herself professionally trained.

When she had auditioned for Side Stitches, a comedy troupe that performed in a popular downtown club, she’d beat out dozens of other girls for a spot. Kristin, who had come out of nowhere, was given the other role. Together, they created a blonde and brunette duo called Jane and Janette, the silly secretaries whose incompetence with calendar software was the chagrin of their stuffy executive bosses. It was one of the troupe’s most successful ongoing skits and it got their faces featured on color posters and TV ads even if it didn’t make much money. This was how Pavia found them.

In the beginning, Pavia seemed like a sweet lady who demanded respect in the same way a schoolteacher might. She was tiny, only a little over five feet, with tight spiral curls that made her look like a Raggedy Anne. Daphne would have described her as “cute” on first impression, but then she began to take note of the points and angles in the woman’s face, the way she clenched her teeth when she was even slightly impatient, the way her dark eyes would whip and judge and assign anything in sight to a proper caste.

But she could be warm and friendly, too.

“I think you girls have more talent than you realize,” she’d said to Daphne and Kristin that first night. And it was only a few days later that she’d given them both representation contracts and sent them to an audition for a network television pilot called Streethearts. The leading female role, a florist named Erica, was up for grabs.

“Now, both of you have a shot at this,” Pavia had said, leading them into the studio the day of the audition, her heels clicking on the tile. “The producers haven’t decided on a blonde or a brunette,” she paused and turned to them, her hand on the doorknob, “but they definitely want an emerging actress from Chicago. Make the most of that Midwestern drawl, the long O’s and A’s . . . don’t be ashamed of who you are.”

Daphne was a native of the Chicago area but had trained her accent away during drama school at DePaul. Kristin, who was from some small town in Wisconsin and had never taken acting lessons, had retained a farm girl nasal twang. When Daphne sat under the lights with the script and began reading the lines labeled ERICA, she was overly aware of the long O and A sounds and her accent sounded artificial. The casting people watched politely. They asked her a few questions and then told her she could leave. Pavia called later with the news that Kristin had won the role. “But it’s not all bad,” she’d said to Daphne. “The producers actually liked you. They don’t think you’re right for Erica, but they might have a role if the show takes off the way they hope it will. Just come with us to New York. We’ll find something for you.”

Daphne had wanted to kick herself. How could she have flubbed the audition? Why had Pavia screwed her up by mentioning accents right before she went in? Or was it Kristin’s big boobs? That’s what they cared about, of course. And being blonde.

“Think about it,” Pavia said. “You won’t be able to do the comedy show with Kristin gone anyway.”

“They could find a replacement, ” Daphne said flatly. “It wouldn’t be the same.” Pavia was right. There was a certain magic that made people laugh and it didn’t grow on trees. Besides, what if a replacement actress upstaged her or tried to take over? “OK,” she said. “I’ll go.” Then began the flurry of to-do lists, packing, job-quitting, and the good-bye party for Side Stitches. The plan was that Pavia would drive them to Manhattan and they could stay in her neighbor’s sublet for exactly one week until they found their own place. Kristin signed up for the Actor’s Guild, and Daphne was ordered to put together a modeling portfolio. She didn’t have any pictures, though, so Pavia hired a photographer. Daphne had spent an afternoon and evening with him doing things like meditating on a park bench, standing on a train track, and leaning against a graffiti-splattered wall. A set of shots arrived in the mail the next week. Daphne thought they looked good, but Pavia said only that they were “passable.”

In the kitchen, Daphne took on her last task in Chicago, cleaning the refrigerator. For this chore she played her Les Miserables soundtrack and sang along, imagining the glory of Broadway lights. Soon she’d be in New York living alongside some of the most famous, rich, and talented people in the world. The future stretched out a long and lavish pathway brimming with unnamed experience.

If only there wasn’t this nagging feeling, this sense that all wasn’t as she wanted it to be.


She glimpsed at her reflection in the window as she rinsed a mound of moldy chicken salad from a bowl. Maybe she wasn’t a glittery blonde, but she was tall and slender with shiny chestnut hair and a pretty face. She had a brilliant smile, a college degree, and a great sense of humor. And she was dedicated to her dream in a way Kristin could never even begin to understand. Dragging the trash out to the alley, she took a mental snapshot of the back porch of the apartment where she lived, the noble oak that shaded the porch, the busy road out front. Back inside, she lowered herself onto the couch that was no longer hers and closed her eyes. She assured herself that, with time, the nagging feeling would go away.

Her cat Mario snuggled into the crook of her knee, and that was how they both fell asleep their last night in Chicago.


Author Bio:

Anne-Marie Yerks is a fiction writer, essayist and journalist from the Metropolitan Detroit area. Her essays have appeared in the online editions of "Good Housekeeping," "marie claire," "Country Living" and "Redbook."

 She has work forthcoming in "Modern Memoir" (Fiction Attic Press) and in "Recipes With A Story" (Blue Lobster Books). 

Her novel, Dream Junkies, will be published in 2016 by New Rivers Press. Find her on Twitter @amy1620. 



Cover Reveal - Tied (Fire Born #1) by Laney McMann



Tied (Fire Born #1) by Laney McMann
Publication date: Revised book with new content coming September 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:

Are some truths worth risking your life for?

What if it meant admitting your nightmares were real—and so were your delusions?

Seventeen year-old Layla Labelle’s hallucinations have driven her to the brink—and she isn’t telling anyone. But when her dreams walk into her life in the form of Max MacLarnon, she is forced to rethink everything she thought she knew. Including whether or not Max actually exists.

Learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put her on a path toward her own destruction. When Layla’s world erupts into a dangerous reality, and every fact of her life forsakes her, she must remember who, and what, she is if she’s going to stay alive.

In a world where nightmares walk the earth, an ancient curse lives in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal. Layla will have to uncover the secret her ancestors are hiding, and make the biggest decision of her life—embrace who she is and follow the one she loves into a world of deadly myth and legend, or turn her back on her history, her destiny, and her love.

In TIED, Book One of The Fire Born Novels, what Layla and Max don’t know could kill them both. And unless they can find a way to stop the curse—the truth might tear them apart forever.

How far would you go … to protect the one you love?


Author Bio:

Young Adult Dark Fantasy Writer, Myths and Legends Believer, Voracious Reader, Music Snob, World Builder, Poet, Quote Junkie.

 My thoughts on Writing, Social Media, Reading, Books, Publishing, and Music. Generally. 

Author of The Fire Born Novels: TIED, TORN & TRUE. Author of The Primordial Principles: CRYSTALLUM 2015, DAEMONEUM 2016 Author of The CrossWorld Chronicles: CROSSROADS (2016) Pub'd by J. Taylor Publishing, Jagged Lane Books, and formerly by Booktrope Editions Publishing.


miercuri, 24 august 2016

Cover Reveal - Meeting The Unpredictable by Riann C. Miller



Meeting The Unpredictable by Riann C. Miller
Publication date: September 29th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

What happens when opposites attract?

Tyler has spent the last six years constructing his perfectly boring life, which is exactly the way he wants it. He spends his days hiding behind the protective walls he has so carefully built and has no intentions of changing . . . until he meets the unpredictable.

Lennie Jacobs is an intoxicating mess. She never stays anywhere long enough to form a solid relationship with anyone, including her family, because she has taught her fragile heart that love isn’t an option.

What started as a way to pass the time soon blossoms into something neither expected.

He was never meant to be permanent.
She can’t promise forever.
But, when life and love are on the line, everything changes.

Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.


Pre-order today for only 99¢!



Author Bio:

Hi, I'm Riann. I've been obsessed with reading romance novels for close to five years. I love getting to know new people in the book community and I've met several people along the way that I consider true friends. 

I'm happily married with two children. When I'm not reading or writing, I'm usually spending time with my family, friends or watching baseball.


REVIEW - Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella


Synopsis:

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. 

She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. 

As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family. 

REVIEW:

I've heard mixed things about this one and honestly, I understand why. Also, I've read it because it's short so I knew that my agony won't be long. Honestly it wasn't that bad, but don't expect a deep read, feelings, complex characters, an engaging plot or a honest and realistic portrayal of anxiety and social anxiety, because for sure this is not.

I don't have anxiety, but just thinking logically, if Audrey had anxiety of such degree, even if she wanted and she tried very hard, and wouldn't have 'cured' herself that fast. Because having anxiety is not just a constant fight with the outside, situations and people, but also a struggle with yourself, your body and your brain; as far as I know and as far as I experienced instances of anxiety, even though not that severe, you maybe want to be better, to get out, to be happy and have a good laugh, but your body will be tired and scared and you'll feel nauseous and nervous and sweaty etc. Your brain will go into panic mood and you'll feel like running or hidding, you wouldn't leave your room or house even though you're completely ready to go, you won't be able to convince yourself to open the door and go out. Even though nothing and no one will hurt you. You know it, but a part of your brain and your body don't believe you. So, for me, Audrey's journey seemed faked, unrealistic and superficially treated by the author and by the characters. Even by Audrey.

Yes, she went to therapy and she took small steps and bla bla, but you can't go from not leaving the house, not talking to anyone, not looking at anyone and barely speaking, to getting out in crowded places, getting touchy with someone and confronting the people that got you into that as easy as you blink. Because maybe you want all of this, but your brain and body won;t. And I haven't seen this conflict portrayed in the book, and in my opinion, is very important. Or maybe Audrey didn't get it, because the author didn't care for it and thought it was unimportant. I'm not saying that anxiety is the same for everyone, but if this book wants to portray anxtiety then at least try to make it as realistic as possible. You can read about it, tons of books and articles, there're movies, probably, you can ask people who suffer or suffered from it. Information is everywhere. 

Also, can we speak about the fact that Audrey wanted to get better just to be more with Linus and she started taking bigger steps because of him? Like how unrealistic and cliché is that?! So, if a person falls or cares a lot about a guy or another someone, she or he instantly would want to get better and she/he would find the power to do it and the brain and body would conform. And all the anxtiety would be gone. Really? In my mind, in a realistic way, if Audrey cared for Linus, it would have taken a lot more time and for sure she wouldn't have gone to a freaking crowded area to meet him. Or love cures anxiety and I didn't know that? How stupid I am! Every person who has anxiety or other disorder should fall in love and would be cured. How fucking awful and utopic this sounds. And I'm not saying that people that care and give you love, attention, they offer their shoulder to cry on and support, they give you space and so on, don;t matter, but they can't make miracles. 

I'm so tired of this idea that if a girl, because usually is used more with girls in YA (even though is a lot used in NA too), needs help with a battle or she doesn't have money, she's sick, her cat was stolen or she has a illness or a disorder, she will be cured if the prince or the geek returns her feelings. Love conquers all! * let me puke * And it doesn't work! Because in reality, people who suffer from anxiety, to get back to this book, have already family and friends who care for them, love them, try to make life easier for them and etc, and still that person is feeling bad, because anxiety doesn't give a fuck for love. And if you have severe anxiety, you want even those peole to stay far away from you. But I'm sure that sexual love and attraction and butterflies and unicorn rainbow vomit is the perfect cure for this disorder. I'm wonder why the fuck doctors and scientists are still trying to do their job if the cure is already under their noses and it's working... 

Audrey, as the other characters in the book, seemed unidimensional to me, they had nothing special and sometimes they just made me roll my eyes for what they were saying. For example, the mom, god! I still try to believe that a mother like that doesn't exist and is just the nightmare or the crazy idea of an author. Or if the author tried to be funny, it just had me cringing and swearing the whole time, desiring to to just strangle the woman with her bare hands. HER HANDS! That mad I was. The father was of course another cliché character, just listening to the mother, because she knows best for the family and the children, even when she's freaking crazy and listens to a fucking newspaper, and who tries every second to lock himself away from family when is not at work. I mean, who doesn't do that? I think that from the whole story I liked Frank, he seemed ok, and I'm sorry for him that he had to live with a mother like that; who knew 'the best for him' from a freaking newspaper. But I'm no parent and maybe there're tons of crazy parents and people who think that they know best for they children and instead they ruin their lives.

Did I like this book? No. It was ok, a very fast and easy read. It's not my first from Sophie Kinsella, because I've read some of her adult ones, so I kind if knew her style. I knew that is best if my expectations aren't high. You would enjoy this as a simple novel with teenagers and a crazy family with a 'special' mom, and not a book about a girl who has anxiety and social anxiety... because if you read this for that part, you'll be very disappointed. Is not real at all. Or maybe it is, if you think that everyone who doesn't have anxiety thinks this way and they are like 'oh, she has anxiety but she just has to try more! I'm sure is not such a big deal!'. And it's a big deal! Would I recommend this? Yes, you can read it, so you know how people think that anxiety is easy and highly treatable in a matter of days and weeks, you just need to fall in love! Or you can read it, to see how so many people think that anxiety is just a phase and you will get over it, just wait. Nope. Or you have anxiety and as Audrey you think that is treatable as fuck, and then... I dunno, good for you. Even though, I highly doubt it.


Cover Reveal - Thin Lives (Donati Bloodlines #3) by Bethany-Kris - Teasers, Excerpt, Giveaway



Thin Lives (Donati Bloodlines #3) by Bethany-Kris
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Genres: Adult, Mafia Romance, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: 

Emma Donati

Some days, it felt like Emma had just imagined it all. 

Like maybe everything she had been with Calisto was just a dream. 

Emma knew it was crazy—it was impossible to forget what she had shared with Calisto Donati. All their love, the stolen moments, their foulness together, and the beauty underneath it all were real. 

But he didn’t know. 
He didn’t know any of it. 

And little by little, with every day that passed her by, Emma found she was losing those pieces that reminded her they had existed once. 
Just like the rosary. 
All too soon, Emma knew … there would be nothing left.

Calisto Donati

Emma hadn’t given him a choice. 
Her, not him. 

Yeah, that’s what Calisto was going to keep telling himself. He refused to feed into the strange curiosity he had about Emma Donati. It had been building from the moment he’d first seen her face after he’d awakened. He wouldn’t admit that for longer than he cared to admit, he thought there was more behind her false smile, polite words, and the distance she put between her and him—that there might be more to them. 

He couldn’t. 
Except … he was feeding into it. 
Calisto just wasn’t sure what it was. 
But tonight he was going to find out. 
Whether she wanted to tell him or not.

***

The final Bloodlines novel.


EXCERPT:

“Please, just wait a moment,” Father Day begged. “Talk to me a little while longer. Let me help you, Calisto.”

The priest grabbed Calisto’s arm in an attempt to stop him. It barely fazed him at all when he shrugged the man off and continued storming down the aisle.

“You’re too angry, Calisto!”

Words were meaningless.

Unimportant, even.

In his current state—so enraged, confused, and hurting—he didn’t hear them.

Calisto didn’t want to.

“Don’t you remember the last time you were this angry?” the priest called after him.

He did, but it didn’t make a difference.

Calisto flew out of the church and into damp air. He cut through the rain, ignoring the splattering droplets falling from the black sky.

Maybe he shouldn’t have ignored it.

Weren’t black skies omens of sorts?

Before long, Calisto was inside his car and driving down the interstate. Toward where, he didn’t know. But driving felt good—damn good.

He pressed the pedal harder.

He gripped the wheel tighter.

Faster, until the engine roared and gears protested on the last shift.

Rain blurred the windshield, but Calisto’s focus was far beyond the squiggly lines running down the glass before the wipers swiped them away. There was so much agony in his heart, and something akin to betrayal sewing itself into the very marrow of his bones.

Somehow, he just knew …

He had done this to himself.

His car flew past vehicle after vehicle on the interstate. He couldn’t even find it in himself to give a shit about the speed limit, or that he could feel the car loosing traction under his control.

Tires slipped.

He hit the pedal harder, and kept the car straight.

Driving was his one sense of freedom.

Wasn’t that what he said?

Wasn’t that what he told—

Calisto’s gaze caught sight of a black SUV in his rear-view mirror, bringing him out of the hell that was his mind. For a moment, he didn’t begrudge the reprieve it afforded him.

But it was a mistake to look.

The second he stared into the rear-view mirror, high beams flashed on from the SUV behind him, blinding his vision instantly. He was driving far too fast for someone to be following him as closely as that vehicle currently was.

It wasn’t accidental, he realized.

It was purposeful.

Calisto’s reaction time was off just by a fraction of a breath as he regained focus on the road ahead of him. Suddenly, it seemed like the dark interstate was empty, but for his car and that SUV just inches from his bumper.

He missed his exit because of the distraction.

“Shit,” he muttered.

Another one was coming, but not for another ten miles or so.

His right hand itched to leave the wheel, wanting to reach out to the side and grab his phone, and make just one call to the only person who mattered to him.

He didn’t dare loosen his grip.

Even the stars were hiding in the sky.

He glanced into the mirror again, careful to avoid the direct glare of the high beams, and quickly noted how the SUV swerved to the left as if they were going to pass him. There was no room to pass with him being in the left lane as it was. 

But the action of the SUV swerving was enough to make Calisto react out of nothing but instinct as he forced his own car to the right.

Maybe it was a little bit of hope, too.

Hope that whoever was behind him was no one he knew. Hope that whoever it was might be just another angry, stupid fool like him that was driving too fast on a rainy, dark night.

Calisto’s hope didn’t last long.

He felt the tires slip on the slick pavement as he slid into the right-side lane. There was no stopping the unmistakable twist of the rear-end when his car began to slide sideways. No matter how hard he pushed the pedal or straightened the wheel to bring his car out of the beginning of a tailspin, he couldn’t do it.

He had already lost control.
Suddenly, time slowed.
It seemed appropriate.

Calisto had just a few seconds of suspended breath and waiting to reflect over his time and choices. There was no flash of life before his eyes—just the knowledge that he had been a part of this world once, and that in itself was a mark left behind.

But he was still sorry.

It was the sight of black to his left that made Calisto turn his head. His car was almost halfway turned as the SUV came to pass at his side.

Hope left as the passenger window rolled down. Through the squiggly lines of water running down his window, Calisto could only see black staring back at him.

Black and a flash of brushed silver.

The plume of light was instant, and shocking. In the background, he caught a glimpse of the profile of the person shooting at him, but he was already reacting.

Calisto jerked the wheel of his car at the same time, forcing his car into a harder, faster spin that would probably turn his car over. He heard the bullet shatter glass a second before the roof of his car met pavement.

He wasn’t buckled in.

His shoulder hit the door, his leg crunched under a snapping wheel, and his head hit metal.

Calisto’s night turned even blacker.

#THINLIVES


#DONATIBLOODLINES


CALISTO AND EMMA AREN'T STAR-CROSSED. THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE. 

READ WHERE IT ALL STARTED IN THE FIRST 2 BOOKS IN THE DONATI BLOODLINES SERIES!


BUY:

Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/1qPtv9o

Synopsis: 

Calisto Donati

She was just a woman. That’s what Calisto wanted to tell himself; that’s what he wanted to believe. Emma was nothing more than a woman. There were other women for him to want. To obsess over.

It couldn’t be Emma Sorrento.
Not for Calisto.
She was taken.
She was claimed.
She was not his.

In a few days, Calisto would hand her off, and that would be that. He wondered why it wouldn’t be that easy to let her go.
What good had saving her done?
He had simply taken her from one monster to give her to another.

Emma Sorrento

Emma slid on her mask. All someone would need to do was look close enough to see what was really beneath the sheer falseness of her smile.
At the other end of the table, Emma found her lies staring her right in the face.
He smirked.
And winked.

Calisto Donati was her worst mistake, her greatest shame, and the one thing she still wanted more than anything. Emma could still feel him all over her, long after his touch and kiss was gone. In thirty days, her entire world had changed—he had changed her.

Emma had a feeling that if she played another game with Calisto, she would surely lose.
She had already lost once.
Wasn’t it enough?

WARNING: The first two books in the Donati Bloodlines Trilogy end on a cliffhanger, the third is a HEA.

#EmmaSorrento


#CalistoDonati



BUY:

Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/29pIjmf

Synopsis: 

Calisto Donati

Calisto had never been a fan of pain, but he found it provided a certain relief. 

It was a high that couldn’t compete with anything else he experienced. That was why he fought bare-knuckled, why he drove fast, despite knowing he might crash, and why he still enjoyed looking at Emma Donati—no matter her current status. 

Pain felt good. 

He might have been a fool for doing so, but as long as he got what he wanted from it, he didn’t really care. 
When he fought, he was given release. When he drove, he was given freedom. When he looked at Emma, he was given memories. 
All of them brought a certain level of pain. All three might kill him someday. 
Calisto glanced at Emma, taking her in again when she didn’t know he was looking. 
He realized then that only one might actually be worth dying for. 

Emma Donati

Emma kept her gaze on the book in her lap, pretending like there wasn’t an argument going on across the room. She had become terribly good at acting like she didn’t hear. 

Calisto watched her out of the corner of his eye while he argued on with Affonso.
She was too focused on Calisto to care about their fight. 
His anger. The tightness of his jaw. Searing soul-black eyes. 

The two men were not the same. They might have shared blood, but their hearts were entirely different. One man never let her out of his sight when he was nearby. The other acted like she didn’t exist. 

This was what it was like, she realized, to be in love with someone she couldn’t have. 
Calisto Donati would never be hers.
This wasn’t a fairy tale that would end happily. 
They weren’t star-crossed. They were impossible.

#THINLINES


#STARCROSSED


Author Bio:

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something… when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD