Tag Archives: Embrace

HOLD TIGHT by Cherie Colyer Blog Tour – Review + Giveaway!

Hold Tight tour bannerWelcome to my stop on the Hold Tight Blog Tour, hosted by AToMR Tours! Oh you guys, I love Cherie Colyer soooo much!! She is not only one of the sweetest authors/people I’ve had the pleasure of talking with on Twitter and email, but she’s a damn good writer as well! I’m thrilled to be on this tour and help promote her books, because they are so much fun and make me so happy! Keep reading for my review of Hold Tight, as well as a giveaway for (2) print copies of Hold Tight and Embrace (the first book in the series) for US/Canada readers, and (10) e-books for International readers.

Hold Tight

Title: Hold Tight (Embrace, #2)

 Author: Cherie Colyer

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Publication: August 20, 2013

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Tour organized by: AToMR Tours; http://atomrbookblogtours.com

What’s one little spell?

When you’re new to magic, one spell can be the difference between getting what you want…and ruining the lives of everyone you love.

Sixteen-year-old Madison has just embraced her magical powers. The trick now is learning how to control them. She and her boyfriend -and fellow witch- can’t even enjoy a simple kiss without getting shocked when their powers collide. Instead of mastering her new skills, though, Madison is stuck watching her kid brother and doing chores.

But being a witch does have its benefits. With a simple spell, Madison instantly conjures the help she needs around the house. Or so she thinks. Her idea of “help” invites trouble of its own as a pair of dangerous yet enticing beings enter her life. When a classmate disappears soon afterwards, Madison discovers she’s the next victim of a threat she’s powerless to resist…and there’s nothing it won’t kill to make her surrender.

Watch the Hold Tight book trailer:

My review:

four and a half

In a word: A story full of intriguing supernatural creatures, with a delicious blend of conjuring, romance and secrets, snappy dialog and characters that will make you smile.

**Mild spoilers if you haven’t read the first book!

I was so looking forward to reading Cherie’s follow-up to Embrace, and I wasn’t disappointed. Hold Tight continues the story of Madison and her friends right after she has discovered she has powers, and when the story opens she’s still learning how to use and control them. I love the sense of family and friendship in Cherie’s stories. Not only do Madison and her close friends help and support each other, but they also form a coven and combine their powers when they use magic. Cherie adds a sense of fun to her stories that just makes me smile! Yes, there is danger, and tension and bad guys, but the overall flavor of Hold Tight is one of joyfulness. The author takes things further with this installment by introducing some slightly unsavory magical characters, who put our leading lady Madison in somewhat of a pickle.

Madison is overwhelmed with school, friends and family life. Since her father’s been working overtime, she’s been charged with caring for her six-year-old brother and doing housework. She decides to try summoning a fairy to help her clean the house, and that’s when the trouble begins. Even though Madison changes her mind and doesn’t finish the spell, something manages to slip through anyway: a seemingly benevolent and charming fairy named Brea. But when Madison’s friend Natalie suddenly goes missing, she begins to wonder exactly what got in when she read that spell. Now it’s up to Madison, her boyfriend Isaac and friends Kaylee and Josh to find Natalie before someone else disappears. And it’s not going to be easy, as Madison struggles to keep her family safe and herself from falling prey to a mysterious boy named Reed.

Let’s talk about the characters first. Madison is just the type of protagonist I can relate to: she’s a mostly happy-go-lucky girl with an adorable boyfriend, a hard-working father, and loyal friends. But she’s not perfect. She’s just begun to figure out her powers and she makes mistakes all the time. Madison reminds me a lot of Willow from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Season One and Two, when Willow has just started practicing witchcraft and all her spells are going wrong. And even though she’s happy with Isaac and their growing relationship, she’s intrigued and even tempted by the arrival of two mysterious boys in town, Reed and Caden.

Madison and Isaac have a very unique problem: whenever they try to kiss, Madison’s powers go haywire and she winds up shocking him! Which makes make-out sessions very challenging! I loved that twist to their relationship and how they handle it.

My other favorite character is Caden, a new and mysterious boy in town. When he first appears at school, he’s practically stalking Madison. Plus he smokes, so she’s immediately turned off by that habit. But I loved Caden’s role in the story, and little by little Madison realizes that Caden can offer her something that no one else can. This event, hopefully, sets up some possible scenarios for the next book.

Cherie adds lots of fairy lore to her story, and if you’ve ever read anything about fairies, you will know right away where she’s going with her plot.  I thought the mixture of witchcraft and fairy lore was so well done, and the author weaves the two together seamlessly. And just wait until you find out what Caden is! (and no, I won’t spill the beans).

The only thing I thought could have used more development was the relationship between Madison and Brea the fairy. I felt Madison let Brea into her life way too easily and trusted her way too readily,  since Brea comes and goes whenever she wants, wears Madison’s clothes and sleeps in her bed! I did love the friendship they seemed to have, but it was just a little too sudden for me.

The story resolves almost everything at the end, and leaves just enough wiggle room for another book in the series. I’ve really come to love these characters, and I look forward to reading more about Madison and her friends. And as for Cherie Colyer? I will read anything she writes!

Many thanks to the author and publisher for supplying a review copy.

Find Hold Tight:  * Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble *

About the Author:

CherieC#1Cherie Colyer is the author of  YA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE (available now), and HOLD TIGHT (August 2013), from Omnific Publishing. Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Twitter and/or Facebook for updates on writing, book and special offer

Find Cherie: * Website * Facebook *  Twitter *

And now for the giveaway! For US/Canada residents only, the author is offering (2) each print copies of Embrace and Hold Tight. Click the Rafflecopter button below to enter now:

Raffle button

For my International peeps, you can win one of (10) e-book copies of Embrace (Book #1 in the series). Click the Rafflecopter button below to enter now:

Raffle button

Catch up with Madison and her friends in Embrace, book one in the series.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Hold tight Embrace

You can follow the rest of the Hold Tight Blog Tour by clicking here. Many thanks to AToMR Tours for hosting this tour!

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EMBRACE by Cherie Colyer – Book Tour + Review + Giveaway

Embrace BannerI’m excited to be a part of the Embrace Book Tour, hosted by Incandescent Enchantments! I actually won a copy of Embrace, signed by the author, a few months ago, and when the opportunity to participate in the blog tour came up, I jumped at the chance. You can read my review below, and keep reading to the end to enter a giveaway for  a signed copy of Embrace and some fantastic swag!

Embrace2Embrace by Cherie Colyer.

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Release Date: December 2011

Pages: 220

Book Summary:

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.

Purchase EmbraceAmazon * Barnes & Noble

My Review:

four stars

Sometimes a book surprises me, and I can’t wait to tell people about it. Embrace is one such book, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it immensely. There seems to be a bit of mystery around the plot, and I’m imagining based on the sketchy story description on the back cover, as well as the completely misleading cover design, the author may not want the beans spilled. So as much as I’d love to tell you what this book is about, I’m going to try to keep my review spoiler-free and gloss over the details, so as not to ruin the discovery.

Madison is a high school girl who has recently broken up with her steady boyfriend Kevin, whose family has moved away. She and best friend Kaylee go to a beach party one night where Kaylee tells her “Your life’s about to change, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” This dire warning turns into something much nicer when Madison meets Isaac, the new boy in town who is already friends with Kaylee’s boyfriend Josh. Madison is instantly attracted to Isaac’s good looks and enigmatic personality, and Isaac seems to like her as well. But when they shake hands in greeting, a painful electrical shock passes between them, making Madison wonder what Isaac could be hiding.

Things seem to be looking up for Madison as she and Isaac get closer, but soon after they meet, Kaylee is almost killed in a car accident, and even worse, begins to hallucinate and act crazy. After causing a scene at school one day, she is hospitalized and put in the psych ward for observation.

Madison is distressed over this, and when the doctors can’t seem to find anything wrong, she starts to do research on her own, digging up clues that force her to believe in something she doesn’t want to admit is real. Isaac and Josh confuse her further when they tell her that her research is indeed true, which leads them to the real reasons behind Kaylee’s diagnosis. But saving Kaylee is only the first step in dealing with some downright evil forces at play in their town, and the story only gets more tense and action-packed from here on out.

Colyer has a wonderful talent for describing the emotions of her characters, and it helps that the story is told in first person from Madison’s point of view. When Kaylee has her mental breakdown, I felt like I was experiencing it myself. Her emotions were raw and authentic, and I believed her when she saw things that weren’t actually there. Likewise, I loved Madison’s emotional journey as she started to fall in love with Isaac, but was later confused by her ex-boyfriend Kevin’s return to town. She clearly has feelings for both boys, but doesn’t yet have the maturity to figure out what to do about it. Yes, it was a bit of a love triangle, but for all you triangle-haters, I thought the author pulled it off pretty well.

As in all good tales, there is a final showdown between good and evil, and I was glued to the pages during the whole scene. I loved the way the paranormal elements gradually entered the story, slow enough to almost take the reader by surprise when the mystery is revealed.  The location of Essex County, Massachusetts is important, and is a perfect setting for Colyer’s story. My only complaint is that the book ended too soon. Don’t let the cover fool you: this book is not what it seems, and that’s a very good thing.

Many thanks to the author for my review copy.

CherieC#1

About the author:
Cherie’s imagination extends far beyond her Illinois roots through her love of books and reading. The discipline of her career as a Network Technician provides an opposing mindset for her fictional stories. Cherie combines her fascination of all things mythical with her passion for writing to weave together middle grade and young adult stories.She enjoys spending time with family and friends, meeting new people, writing, reading, and loves a challenge. While she has had many great experiences, her most satisfying experience is seeing her children and stories grow into their own exciting and distinct entities.
Find Cherie!
Giveaway time!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

Check out the rest of Cherie’s Book Tour:
December 10
December 11
December 12
December 13
December 14
December 15

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What’s On My Plate – December 2012

On My PlateWow, November turned out to be busier than I expected. Which means I fell behind in my reading and reviewing, unfortunately. I am sorry to report that although I started NaNoWriMo and wrote 9,000 words in the first week, I realized that it would be almost impossible to keep up the pace with so much going on in my non-blogging life, and so I threw in the towel. Darn! However, I’m very happy and proud to report that my thirteen-year-old son Duncan participated in the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program and completed his novel of 30,000 words!! It was one of those Proud Mom Moments when he showed me his winner’s badge:)

So, it’s on to December! And here we are, four days into the month already! Here’s what I hope to accomplish this month (click on covers to go to Goodreads):

For Review:

Merchant of DreamsSplinteredBrokenThe Miniature Wife

The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle. Release date: December 18 2012 (Angry Robot). This fantasy is the second in a series, and although I have not read The Alchemist of Souls, I’m very much looking forward to reading this.

Splintered by A. G. Howard. Release date: January 1 2013 (Amulet Books). Finally! I’ve had the NetGalley ARC for a while, and it’s finally time to read it!

Broken by A. E. Rought. Release date: January 8 2013 (Strange Chemistry). This modern spin on Frankenstein is one I can’t wait to start reading!

The Miniature Wife and Other Stories by Manuel Gonzales. Release date: January 10 2013. Won from Library Thing. I’ve already started reading these stories, and they are amazing. I can’t wait to post my review!

Indie Books for Review:

Tears of Min BrockFighting the StormRift Healer

Tears of Min Brock by J. E. Lowder. There are lots of really good reviews of this book on Goodreads, which is one of the ways I decide whether or not to read an Indie book.

Fighting the Storm by Jarrah Loh. This is a bit out of my comfort zone, and not the sort of book I usually read. But the author’s email convinced me to give it a try.

Rift Healer by Diane M. Haynes. This is from small publisher Crescent Moon Press and is another book that has great reviews on Goodreads.  Can’t wait to read it!

Special Review & Giveaway:

Touching the Surface

Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini. I was hoping to read and review Kimberly’s book by the release date (October 30) but obviously that didn’t happen! Oh well, better late than never. Kimberly was kind enough to send me some signed *swag* including bookplates, postcards, rubber bracelets and some adorable origami cranes (!) to help her promote Touching the Surface, and in addition to giving away the swag, I purchased an extra copy of the book to give away as well. Stay tuned, review and giveaway coming soon!

Blog Tours and Hops:

Embrace2end of world button

Embrace by Cherie Colyer. I’ll be reviewing and participating in Cherie’s Blog Tour. I actually won a signed copy of Embrace months ago, and now I will have the opportunity to read it! My tour date is next Monday December 10.

End of the World Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & My Life With Books. I just discovered giveaway hops, and they are a lot of fun! I haven’t decided what to give away for this one, but it will be good:) It runs from December 14-21, when the world will hopefully still be around.

Don’t forget to check out my 2013 Catch Up Reading Challenge! I’ll have a giveaway for every ten people who sign up! Click below for more info:

Catch Up Reading Challenge Button225copy

In addition to these, I have two indie books that I’ve read but haven’t reviewed yet. Apologies to those authors, but both reviews will be posted by the end of the week. Such a busy month, and the holidays are upon us as well! Here’s hoping that the world doesn’t end, and I can finish everything my plate:)

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In My Mailbox #9

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and you can visit this site to see more “In My Mailbox” posts from other bloggers. This week was (thankfully) a slow week for receiving new books, since I have so much catching up to do.

Embrace by Cherie Colyer.  I was lucky enough to win this book from the YA Bound Tour!  I received it from the author with a nice note and a couple of bookmarks thrown in for good measure.  Here’s the description from Goodreads:

How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.

What’s in your mailbox this week?

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In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren.  This is my first time participating, and I’m quite excited! It’s a fun way to share books that you have received recently.  In the past week I have received and am looking forward to reading and reviewing:

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington. Release date: 3/6/12. Received an ARC from the publisher.  Jessica Shirvington is Australian and I believe this is the first book she has had published in America. It looks pretty good.  Here is the description from Goodreads:

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry. Release date: Now available.  Received an e-book review copy from the author.  Mary wrote me a very nice email and asked me to review her book. She has also written a book called The Gods of Fire based her experiences as a firefighter, which has been optioned for film by Bill Mechanic.  I’m really looking forward to this one. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jesús, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Boquillas, Mexico. There a peyote-addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish, and adult coming-of-age and Young Adult novels.

The Day of First Sun by Sheryl Steines.  Release date: Now available.  Received a paperback review copy from the author. This book looks like a lot of fun! I got a very nice email from Sheryl’s publicist, Donna Brown, asking if I’d like to read and review Sheryl’s book. Then Sheryl herself mailed me a copy of the paperback with another very nice note it in.  Here’s what the book’s about:

When Princess Amelie of Amborix is murdered by magical means, Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard are called in by the FBI. Their job is to help solve the crime while keeping the non-magical world from discovering the existence of the Wizard Council.

During their investigation, Annie and Cham discover that Princess Amelie’s death is connected to a series of other crimes in the Chicago area. A larger plot involving, a vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soul-less zombies is revealed, but can Annie and Cham discover who is responsible before The Day of First Sun?

Street Creds by Zach Fortier.  Release date: Now available.  Received a paperback review copy from the author.  I reviewed another book of Zach’s recently, Curbchek, and even though I considered my review to be on the harsh side, Zach wanted me to read and review Street Creds as well.  How could I say no?  Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Street Creds is a look inside the world of street gangs and the cops that work them. I worked the street for many years before I entered the Gang Task Force, joining it with the idea that I could rise to the level of violence of any banger I encountered – a really stupid idea. I wanted to “earn back” the respect of the citizens for the police; I grew up in this city, and I worked its streets the best way I knew how, feeling that I had a firsthand understanding of what the citizens were experiencing. The increasing frustration at gang crimes, drive bys, robberies, never feeling safe with your kids in your own neighborhood – I wanted to do what I could to make that fear go away.

Once I was inside the task force, though, the reality was a rude awakening for me. The task force was poorly managed and staffed by detectives mostly out for themselves, and the internal politics made success incredibly difficult and almost impossible – almost, but not quite.
Street Creds is my story. Against the odds, outnumbered by gang members, and with very few allies in the department and only the bare minimum of support. Having witnessed bad cops, brutal crimes, and realizing the department had been compromised, the cost was much higher for me personally than I anticipated; however, while on the task force, I achieved a 100% conviction rate of every case on which I made an arrest.

Seven Ways to Die by William Diehl. Release date: Now available.  Received an e-book from the publisher for review.  William Diehl passed away in 2006, and this is the book he was working on at the time.  It was finished by Ken Atchity and is now being released exclusively as an e-book from Barnes & Noble. I don’t read a lot of mystery, and I’ve never read Diehl before, but I’ve heard great things about him. Here’s what the book is about:

From the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho to New York’s Central Park is a straight line right through Bill Diehl’s last and most intriguing lead character, Micah Cody.

There are seven basic ways to die. In 1969 Dr. John C. Cavanaugh catalogued them all in his Primer of Forensic Pathology-Cast Studies for the Novice M.E.

Micah Cody is a 30-something NYPD captain of homicide, who’s founded a special unit known as TAZ with city-wide license to take over any investigation at all, with special focus on serial killers. Now its ultimate challenge is on the loose in Manhattan, with three victims already whose causes of death seem like intentional defiance of TAZ’s existence—and four to go in four deadly days leading up to Halloween. Chronicling it all with great amusement is the Capote-like award-winning crime writer Ward Hamilton who, egged on by his sexually voracious socialite bedmate, is determined to bring TAZ to its knees journalistically.

Captain Micah Cody’s Nez Perce name is “Youngest Wolf” from his ability to communicate with the animals and read nature’s signs. As all hell is breaking loose in Manhattan, the wolves in Central Park howl, the peregrine falcons shriek their warnings—and Micah is listening.

Seven Ways to Die is a non-stop, sexy read with Diehl doing to the end what he did best throughout his bestselling career.

And how will I find the time to read all these, you ask? Good question! I have even more books in line ahead of these, so off I go to read…

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