Monday, September 23, 2013

Review of "The Disappearing Girl" by Heather Topham Wood (by Sparkles)

 The Disappearing Girl
 By Heather Topham Wood





 Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…

Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.

Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.

My Review:

5 Star Rating!!

 * I received a free e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review *

The Disappearing Girl should be required reading for all teenage girls.

This book is about a young woman and her constant struggles with self acceptance. After the loss of her father, Kayla's life seems to spiral out of control. Things that used to bring her enjoyment no longer do. Her already hard to please mother becomes a downright tyrant. And her self image plummets. In order to cope with all of the changes, Kayla develops some seriously unhealthy and dangerous habits. In the midst of her self destruction, Kayla meets Cameron. Cameron is pure literary perfection. He is everything that a girl could ask for in a boyfriend and everything that a mother could ask for for her daughter...and more. Despite Kayla's many attempts to push him away, Cameron sticks by her along with her younger sister Lila and her best friend Britney while slowly but surely Kayla comes to grips with the fact that she has a problem.

The Disappearing Girl was such a powerful hard to read kind of book. I spent the majority of the book not knowing how to feel about it. It wasn't until I was more than halfway through that I realized that I had been reading it for hours and I was hooked. I especially liked the ending. After witnessing Kayla struggle so much, to see the fun healthy banter between her and Cameron was such a joy to read. I cheered for each of her victories.

My favorite quote from this book is "This disease is ugly. Kind of ironic, I guess, since we're doing it to be pretty."

The Disappearing Girl will definitely pull at your heart strings but it's a very intimate look into a subject that a lot of us know very little about. READ THIS BOOK and then, if you have teenagers, pass it on to them!

Useful Links:

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review of Bishop Street by Rene D. Schultz (Review by Sparkles)

Bishop Street
 by Rene D. Schultz


  “Bishop Street” is a heartwarming and redemptive novel that captures the complex relationships between four orphans and their lifetime of challenges. It’s uplifting and with each turn of the page you fall more in love with the characters.

Margaret Gray for the past twenty years has hidden behind a facade of normalcy. She wasn't always rich and famous. At the age of seven her mother abandons her on the steps of the Bishop Street Orphanage with a note pinned to her coat. Here, under the cruel tutelage of Sister Theresa, Maggie develops a powerful bond with her roommates, Elizabeth, Lucy and Randolph. Their close friendship fortifies them against the years of physical abuse, emotional torment, and manipulation that follow.

Now, Maggie is thirty-nine and her nightmares are coming back. Despite a successful writing career and a flawless reputation, she is unable to keep all that she has built from crumbling around her. It’s been twenty years since she’s heard from her friends. Why didn't they answer her letters? Had they survived? Had Sister Theresa been right, or had she manipulated them all with lies, aiming to destroy their friendship, forever?

Sister Theresa is dead and with nothing left to fear, Maggie hires Damon Depre, a private investigator to find her friends, and seek the truth. This starts her down a twisted path that will once again, test her strength of character. Will she find more than just her friends...

My Review:

5 Star Rating! 

  *I received a free e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Wow! This book was nothing short of fantastic!

Bishop Street is a heart-wrenching, tear jerking story of survival, friendship, and second chances. I haven't cried so much while reading a book since 'The Fault in our Stars' or 'Firefly Lane'. As a mother, the trips down memory lane really affected me at times. I just wanted to pull those 4 kids into a hug and keep them safe. The amount of emotions this book evokes in it's readers is astounding. I laughed. I cried. I cheered. I wanted to curl up in a ball and stay that way. But most of all, I just wanted to keep reading.

The characters in Bishop Street were sheer perfection. I loved every one of them. Maggie was the epitome of strength when she decided to go in search of her friends with the help of Damon, the amazingly kind and hunky private detective turned friend. Randall was amazing and fun and humble. I loved reading about how he conquered his hellish childhood and turned it into a life he could really be proud of. Elizabeth and her family were so sweet and loving. And the way they all banded together to bring Lucy back from her life on the streets. Sweet, beautiful, broken Lucy. I think she was the strongest of them all. I even loved Denise. Her spunkiness made me laugh out loud at times.

Bishop Street was a really great book. One that I won't soon forget. I'm going to recommend it to everyone I know. Along with a large box of tissues.

Useful Links:

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Review for Burning Bridges (Bleeding Hearts Trilogy #1) by Nadege Richards (Review by Sparkles)

Burning Bridges (Bleeding Hearts Trilogy #1)
By Nadege Richards




 Do or Die...

In a world that has been divided amongst the Hunter race and the Warrior, prisoners who have fallen prey to King Cyrus' decrees are forced into the arena to fight until death. Winner is granted mercy and privilege to see another sunrise. Death unto the weak. In an attempt to get back at everyone who has ever shut her out, seventeen year-old Princess Echo becomes another victim, dragging Ayden, her forbidden love, along in a race to freedom, to find out who she really is, and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.

In the first installment of The Bleeding Heart Trilogy, life becomes a dangerous game of kill or be killed, love or let go. When death threatens the forbidden love of an unlikely couple and they are forced to do the unthinkable, to what extent will they go to be together?


4 Star Rating!! 

Burning Bridges is a beautifully sad, yet satisfying, dystopian love story.  

On one side of the border you have New Haven. Here you meet beautiful Echo, Princess of Thediby. She is 17 years old, next in line for the throne, and betrothed to a prince. She has a house full of servants and her every need and want is tended to. What more could a princess ask for? Freedom, of course. Instead of enjoying her life of luxury, Echo feels weighed down by a world she doesn't quite fit in to, a marriage she doesn't really want, and a family who either doesn't understand her or just doesn't care. 

On the other side of the border you have Old Haven. This the Haven where Ayden grew up. Ayden is the oldest son of an ill mother and an alcoholic father. He spends his days working at any job he can get to pay off his father's debts to the king. He dreams of a better life for him and his family. A life where he isn't constantly working, where they have enough food to eat, and one where he can pay for his mother's medicine. He dreams of a life where he can afford to send his brother and sister to school and a life where his father takes responsibility for his family. 

"Two Havens, Two People! Two Worlds, Two Wars! Difference is Essential."

In the first chapter of this book you find Echo and Ayden chained to the wall in her father's dungeon. Their crime? Loving each other. Their sentence? A fight to the death! How could you not get swept up in this story? Nadege Richards keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time with this action packed love story with a very imaginative plot and some very realistic well written characters. I really liked the alternating POVs. It was refreshing to know what each character was thinking and feeling throughout the book.

Ayden and Echo's love is a forbidden love. They break more than one of the king's laws in their efforts to be together but they don't let that stop them. I loved the way they grew together. They started out as two young people who barely liked each other and blossomed into two people who loved and trusted each other enough to put their life in the other's hands. 

Burning Bridges was a great read that kept me up well past my bedtime. I very much look forward to reading the next book in the series, Deceiving Destiny, and finding out where Echo and Ayden's journey takes them next.

Useful Links:

Buy It On Amazon: Here

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Author's Amazon Page: Here

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Goodreads Author Page: Here 

 Look For The Next Book In This Series

By Nadege Richards



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review for Sebastian Falls by Celeste Holloway (Review by Sparkles)

Sebastian Falls 
By Celeste Holloway



 She's the reason the devil never sleeps.

A year after her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old, Meadow Parker is close to having a grave of her own.

Beyond her shrink’s false diagnosis of PTSD, there’s no medical reason for her failing health. Only she knows the cause. But if Meadow told the truth—told them what comes for her at night—they’d lock her in a padded cell.

Seeking an end to her torment, Meadow agrees to visit the supernatural landmark her parents were obsessed with—the river that fuels her fears. On arrival, she's charged with an ancient power, and her destiny as the long awaited Keeper is sealed. Now the countdown to save the world and the battle for her soul begins.

My Review:
5 Star Rating!!

 *I received a free e copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I loved this book. From beginning to end. An epic battle of good vs evil with one confused teen thrown in the middle. Meadow Parker is a snarky, sarcastic 17 year old girl. One year ago she lost both of her parents and she now lives with her grandparents. Meadow used to be a regular, healthy, neat freak teen but her health is steadily decreasing. She wakes up each morning with new cuts and bruises, her hair is falling out, and she can't tell anyone why. They would never believe her. What Meadow doesn't know is that her world is not at all what it appears to be. In an effort to cure Meadow, her super, hot super protective best friend Casey Somner takes her to the one place in the world she fears. While there Meadow experiences the supernatural and her life will never be the same. With Casey and equally hot Banter, Meadow embarks on saving the world. A feat she does not necessarily accept readily. I do not want to give the story away but I do want to say that I love where this story went. Meadow absolutely ends up with the right guy, in my opinion. I wouldn't have wanted this story to end any other way. I am in awe of the imagination it took to write this book. I was taken for a ride that I did not want to get off of. The author has an amazing way of making it possible for you to see everything that she is describing. The only disappointing part of this book was having it end. If I could have given it more stars, I definitely would have.

Useful Links:

Buy It On Amazon: Sebastian Falls 

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Author's Amazon Page: Celeste Holloway 

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Goodreads Author Page: Click Here 

Review of Fire Country (Country Saga #1) by David Estes (Review by Sparkles)

Fire Country (Country Saga #1)
by David Estes





In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

My Review -
 5 Stars!! 

  *I received a free e copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

This is the first book from David Estes that I have ever read. Now I'm kicking myself for not having read it sooner. From the moment I picked it up I did NOT want to put it down. The author draws you right in to this amazing complex world with these amazing complex characters. With one book David Estes had made me a fan for life. I experienced so many emotions reading this book. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and I felt terrible sadness. Siena, Circ, Skye, Lara, Wilde...they are all my new best friends. I read A LOT and I have no qualms stating that this book has the BEST ending I've ever read. Fire Country has easily made it's way onto my "favorites" shelf and David Estes has made his way to the top of my favorite author list. Amazing book that I would recommend to anyone who loves amazing books!

Useful Links

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Review for "A Beautiful Mess" by T.K. Leigh (review by Mystic Lover)

A Beautiful Mess
by T.K. Leigh


What happens when you lose everyone that promised they would always be there for you? How can you protect the few pieces of your shattered heart that remain?

Olivia Adler is a woman with a troubled past. After losing her parents at the young age of six and being raised by an uncle who she lost years later, she refuses to get attached to anyone, including friends. For the past decade, she has been able to remain unattached to any man, too worried about losing someone to get too close. Until Alexander Burnham walks into her life one night and changes everything. But he has issues of his own. And he’s keeping a secret that could turn Olivia's world upside-down. Will Olivia let Alexander in enough for him to get close and protect her from a force threatening her very existence, or will she push him away, scared of letting Alexander in, in order to protect her heart?

A Beautiful Mess is the first installment of a three part series sure to captivate the heart with a story of secrets, courage, and love.

Recommended for ages 18 and up due to sexual situations, language, and mild violence.
My Review:
5 star rating!!
*I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I've been on an emotional rollercoaster ever since picking up this book. The author draws you into the story with likeable characters. Then she helps you dig your claws into the book by adding a bit of mystery and action. Then just for fun she adds super steamy sex! The characters are strong, the story somewhat fast paced and the plot keeps you guessing. Olivia and Alexander's connection is palpable. You can feel the emotions that pass between them. It's an epic love story but it's also so much more! It's a mystery...something you desperately need to figure out. You don't realize how many pages or chapters you've devoured so quickly. I found it really hard to put this book down, foregoing household chores to sneak in a few more pages. The ending had me crying; out of frustration because it's a cliffhanger and for Alexander & Olivia. Will they ever be together? Will Olivia finally find out why she can't remember anything about her past? Will Alexander finally fess up and tell Olivia all he knows? I don't know...but I desperately NEED to know. The next book in this series can not come out fast enough! If you haven't read this book yet, put it on your "To-be-read" list! You won't be disappointed. I really enjoyed it!
Useful Links:
Buy on Amazon:  A Beautiful Mess
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Author's Amazon Page: T.K. Leigh
Stalk her on FB: T.K. Leigh
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Goodreads Author Page: Click Here

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review of 'Delusions (Affinity #2)' by Christina Smith (Review by Sparkles)

Synopsis: Can Fate be wrong? When all signs point to a certain someone, do you just blindly follow whether you like them or not? What if that person turns out to be someone you hate? Could Destiny be so cruel?

Lisa Miller is a typical seventeen-year-old, busy with family, work, friends and...revenge. Her last summer in high school should be spent having fun. But ever since Logan Tate played a prank on her two years ago, she doesn't have much of a social life, instead, spending her free time trying to get even.

Unfortunately Logan's not making it easy for her; he's trying to convince her that he has changed. But she is not fooled by his charming personality, and stunning good looks. No one can change that drastically.

Things aren't much better at home. Ever since her father left a year and a half ago, she refuses to speak to him, causing tension with her mom and sister.

As if she didn't have enough problems, someone is sending prank emails and phone calls, mysteriously knowing about the dreams she's been having. Who would do such a thing, and how could they know?

Review:  *I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Ugh, where do I start?

I would first like to say that I thought it was a little bit of a stretch that the same super rare thing that was happening to Lucas has also been happening to his twin brother. I think that because of this the book should have been a standalone and not part of a series. With that being said,.....

I thought this was a FANTASTIC book. Even better than the first one. We get to reconnect with Sarah and Lucas from the first book, because let's face it, who was ready to let them go? And at the same time we get a whole new insight into Logan. I guess I wasn't the only one who read the first in the series and wanted to know more about Logan. Is Logan not amazing? I mean at first he is full of "jackassery" (yes, that is a quote taken directly from the book!) but he totally redeems himself by the end. Besides, you can't really hate him for it. Lisa is full of "jackassery" herself in this book.

I enjoyed the entire ride that Christina Smith took me on. From beginning to end. I loved to love and hate the characters equally. PLUS, Christina Smith is one of the only authors that I've had the pleasure of reading that can fool me so completely right to the very end of the book. After reading the first book in the series, I sort of knew what to expect in this one. It made it that much more fun to read knowing that I would be have to read straight through to the end before she let me in on the secret.

Really great read that I would most definitely recommend to any fans of Christina Smith, anyone who read the first one, and pretty much anyone who enjoys a good book!

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Review of Fated Dreams (Affinity #1) by Christina Smith (Review by Sparkles)

Synopsis: Do you believe in true love? Sarah Samson doesn't until she meets hers. But for Sarah, meeting the guy of her dreams comes with a price.

On the outside Sarah looks like she has it all--friends, a loving family, and a hobby she's really good at. But if you look closer, Sarah's keeping secrets from everyone in her life, even...Lucas. From the very first time they bumped into one another, she has felt drawn to him. He makes her feel like she's found something she never realized was missing. Life would be perfect if it wasn't for the constant feeling that someone is following her. She feels a presence everywhere she goes, work, home, her dreams.

Sarah suddenly finds herself wrapped up in a dangerous mystery that started eighty years ago involving two tragic deaths. After several attempts on her life, she and Lucas realize they must solve it before history repeats itself.


 *I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


According to my Goodreads profile, I have read over 70 books so far this year and Fated Dreams is one of the best of them!

Christina Smith has an amazing talent for story telling. This book had it all! There was romance, mystery, tragedy, joy, heartbreak, intrigue. I loved every minute of this book. The characters were not just easy to relate to and likeable. They were loveable. Minus the evil Stephanie, of course. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down and especially towards the end it really got good! There were so many twists and turns to keep you guessing and wanting more. I'm am so thankful that I read this book but I am even more thankful that I already have the second one in the series (Delusions) so that I don't have to wait to find out what happens next! I would recommend this book to anyone with a passion for reading because there is something in here for everyone. 

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Review of 'The Red Sun Rises' by Victoria Kinnaird (Review by Sparkles)

Synopsis: Eren Anderson is a freak among freaks. At 17 years old, he doesn’t fit in with his peers in the tiny town of All Hallows and despite being born into it, he most certainly doesn’t fit in among The Order of Our Mother, the secret nature worshipping society that has harnessed the ability cast spells and believes vampires are not only real, but their deadliest enemies. Eren is turned into a vampire after an attack by the local coven master, but that is the least of his worries...

In a post-Twilight world, “The Red Sun Rises” is a YA novel intended to give vampires their bite back but it should not be read as simply another vampire novel. “The Red Sun Rises” is a story about growing up, responsibility, falling in love, facing your fears and taking fate into your own hands.

Review:  I am in serious LOVE with this book. Victoria Kinnaird hooked me from the very first paragraph, "The moonlight shimmered through the gnarled branches of the ancient tree outside her window. It was a cold, clear night, the sky black and cloudless. The kind of night where the stars made the sidewalks glitter seductively, beckoning the naive and the desperate deeper into the dark." The author has a way with words that will keep you reading from the first page to the last.

The Red Sun Rises is a beautifully vivid work of written art. Victoria has written a book that everyone can love and relate to. The main character in this book is a high school boy who is a self proclaimed "freak among freaks". He is not your typical leading man and that's what makes him so perfect. He is bullied. He is insecure. He is open to loving whoever he chooses based only on attraction rather than gender. He is a teenage boy with rules and boundaries and limitations. There is literally something for everyone in this book!

The characters are so easy to love. The storyline is complex and imaginative. The Red Sun Rises is a beautiful modern love story to rival Twilight with some serious hardcore Vamps that could hold their own against the vampires of Anne Rice.

This is my first experience with this author and I will definitely be looking out for the next book in this series, and any other of her books that I can get my hands on! You have a made a fan out of me Victoria Kinnaird!

Find Victoria Kinnaird on Facebook HERE:

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