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Guest Post with Samantha Durante!!!

Published July 10, 2013 by crysbookreviews

A Profile of Evil: the Engineers by Samantha Durante, author of the Stitch Trilogy

As readers learned in Shudder (or got a glimpse of in the sneak peek at the back of Stitch), the true villains in the Stitch Trilogy are not the Ruling Class (the elite high society governing over the citizens of Paragon), but a small group of crafty baddies (also known as the Engineers) who masterminded the entire colony and put the Ruling Class in power. Following is a quick cheat sheet with a profile of each of the individuals within the Engineers:

The Developer

Role: Architect behind the entire Paragon scheme and de facto leader of the Engineers

Skills/Experience: Talented software programmer/hacker, world’s youngest billionaire after launching an online social media outlet that eventually grew to include almost every individual on the planet

Appearance: Your classic computer nerd – lanky, greasy hair, glasses, t-shirt, whiny voice

Defining Traits: Intelligent, arrogant, impatient, brusque

Classic Quote: “Zombie apocalypse. The people eat that garbage up.”

The General

Role: Leads Paragon’s military and prison, delegates labor assignments to citizens, also organized a secret ring of forced concubines

Skills/Experience: Previously the head of the government’s mandatory civil service program, had access to classified military intelligence including stolen research on the “stitch” technology

Appearance: Shorter in stature, handsome except for cold dark eyes and rasping voice, scar across lips

Defining Traits: Cruel, brash, misogynistic, defensive

Classic Quote: “I say we make an example of her, send a message to the rebels that we won’t tolerate their insubordination any longer. Stupid bitch.”

The Doctor

Role: Oversees Paragon’s medical center, including administering the “stitch” and researching the viral outbreak

Skills/Experience: A leading world geneticist who mapped the human genome and studied the role of trait inheritance in species survival

Appearance: Silver-haired, tall, trim, often seen in a long white lab coat

Defining Traits: Severe, logical, calculating, dry

Classic Quote: “The memory alteration research mentioned some, well, unfortunate side effects…”

The Economist

Role: Guides the Ruling Class in their deliberations to determine Paragon’s future structure and laws

Skills/Experience: Built a quiet legacy in academia studying socialist economics and espousing the merits of a communist government

Appearance: Middle-aged, boyish face, side-parted hair, slight stutter

Defining Traits: Nervous, idealistic, fervent, warm

Classic Quote: “Just imagine it – no hunger, no poverty, no war. Ever. Never again. We’ve learned from the m-mistakes of those who came before us, and we are building upon the foundation they laid to create something more.”

The Draftsman

Role: Manages daily operations of the colony, including logistics for food, shelter, power, maintenance, sanitation, infrastructure, etc.

Skills/Experience: An experienced engineer with expertise across the fields of mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering

Appearance: Older, plump, thick gray beard/whiskers, glasses, soft-spoken

Defining Traits: Paternal, practical, craven

Classic Quote: “But the plans were already in motion, whether I got on board or not. Perhaps I’m a coward, but I quickly realized that I was better off with them than against them. You think on that now.”

Want to know more? Get to know the Engineers in Shudder, Book 2 of the Stitch Trilogy!

If you haven’t read Stitch yet, you definitely should!!! You can see my review of that amazing book HERE.

Shudder by Samantha Durante (Stitch Trilogy #2)

Published July 10, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Shudder

— Book 2 in the Stitch Trilogy —

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.–Goodreads

Wow, this book just blew my mind. I just finished reading it and the last page of the book was amazing and horrible all at the same time. There were moments throughout the book that I kinda wanted to smack Alessa upside the head and tell her she was wasting a perfectly amazing relationship with Isaac by what if’ing everything. But lets start from the beginning.

This book is done in multiple people’s POV, I loved that. You got to see behind the Engineers thought processes, through Regina’s, Nikhail’s, Phoenix, and of course Isaac and Alessa. The book started immediately up too, so there was no large time gap. Which I really appreciate and like in a book. This time around though Alessa and Isaac are out of Paragon and are looking for shelter for the Rebels per orders from Regina. Everyone else is just trying to stay hidden in Paragon or surviving in Paragon.

While searching, Alessa and Isaac are being tracked by what you don’t find out until the very end of this book. I will definitely not be telling you what they are though so you should read the book and take a guess until you get to the answer from the book. They manage to eventually find shelter and head back to Paragon.

A lot happens to them  as a couple and as individuals.  I am glad that Alessa was able to get over what had been bothering her the whole time and that she finally goes all in with Isaac. I love that Isaac knows that something is wrong with her but instead of freaking out on her, he waits till she gives him the answers to what is wrong. Their relationship is amazing and strong, I hope it stays that way.

I don’t want to give too much away because the book is definitely a buy even though I received it as an ARC from Samantha. I recommend everyone to read this book and the first in the trilogy Stitch.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Friends and Lovers Trilogy by Bethany Lopez

Published May 15, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Friends & Lovers Tour button

F&L

Title: Friends & Lovers Trilogy: Make it Last, I Choose You, Trust in Me.

Author: Bethany Lopez

Release date: ?

Genre: Contemporary Romance – novella series

Age Group: New Adult

Event organized by:AToMR Tours

Book Description:

Make it Last:

In a small town, it’s hard to recover from being dumped by your high school sweetheart. That’s just what Briana has to do after Colin leaves her to follow his dreams. She focuses her energy into her friendships and the pursuit of her own goal of becoming a chef. Just when she finally feels like she’s on the right path, he comes back to town.

Colin knew breaking up with Briana before leaving for college was the right thing to do. He was determined to leave small-town life behind forever, and that included his high school girlfriend. But when a sports injury puts him on the sidelines, he’s forced to return home. Seeing Briana again brings back a lot of memories, and Colin wonders if he made the right decision. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he wants her back, and this time, he wants to make it last.

I Choose You:

Up until now, Nicole’s life has been mapped out for her. She’d go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister’s wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.

Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?

Trust in Me: Will send once it’s complete

Here is all of the information for Trust in Me, book 3 in the Friends & Lovers Trilogy:

 

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trust-in-me-bethany-lopez/1114511772?ean=2940016196398

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFFDEKW

Now I read all 3 of these novellas in 1 day, and I loved every second of them. Each relationship was different and you never really knew what was going to happen from one book to the next. Each book you learned more about the friends that were in the last book.

In Make It Last, we got to read about Bree and Colin’s relationship. How even after 5 years of not being together, they still wanted each other just as much as they did in high school. We also meet Kara and Pete, Roni and Kent, Nicole and Rich. Kara and Bree have been friends since high school right after Colin graduated and work together. I loved how you could see that no matter what happened Colin wanted her back in his life.

Of course something happens that blows them out of the water but apparently the ex of Colin’s didn’t care about the issue and just wanted to get it fixed ASAP. Which was a little sad but I guess better for them in the long run. The book was short, hence it being a novella but worth the read.

In I Choose You, you get to see the beginning of Nicole and Kent’s relationship. Which is very sweet except that Kent does not think he is good enough for her. Which was stupid, Kent was dating but not dating Bree in Make It Last and Nicole was the hostess at the same restaurant. Luckily Kent started to think better and realized he was a jerk to Nicole before they started dating.

This time around it was more about Kent realizing that he was an amazing man that did a ton of things for his sister growing up and continued to do so as an adult. Nicole just needed to let go so that they could be together. I thought their relationship was great because they grew together.

In Trust In Me, we finally get to find out what happened to Roni and why she treated Rich the way she does. After finding out what happened to her, I can completely understand why she did. I mean I probably would have done the same thing. Not even kidding. And Rich, he just never gave up. I loved that about him. You can’t dislike someone that knows what they want and works hard for it.

In this novella, we get to see everyone’s dreams come true, Bree’s cooking, Kent’s journalism, Rich’s place for kids to play sports, Roni’s dance studio. It was almost bittersweet at the end of this book. I was happy everyone got the happily ever after but I was sad to see them go.

I gave all 3 books 4 stars.

About the Author

Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Author social media links:

IAN – http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/bethany-lopez.html

Webpage – www.bethanylopez.blogspot.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/BethanyLopez2

Facebook – http://on.fb.me/LypEaO

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/bethanylopez2/

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Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout (Lux #3)

Published March 2, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Opal

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

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Ah I had to read this book twice and the last 15 pages like 4 times. Why? Because it was heartbreaking. I loved Daemon in Obsidian and Onyx but there was just something about the way he was with Katy and how he treated her. I know a lot of people were like “Just say it back to her!” But I felt he did more than enough to show how much he cared about her. You know what they say ‘actions speak louder then words’. Well I believe that. This book picked up exactly where Onyx ended. Which left me with anger issues toward Blake.

Okay I totally wanted to punch him in the face multiple times because lets face it. He had quite a few moments of crazy showing through. Like showing back up at school like he didn’t kill anyone. I won’t say who in case you haven’t read Onyx. Now back to Katy, wow did she have to go through so much in this book. She had to deal with the fallout of what happened with Will, had to deal with another hybrid like her that was close to her but not stable, she had to deal with losing her best friend, Dee because of decisions she made, she had to come to terms with her relationship with Daemon. Honestly I thought she grew up quite a bit in the book and I loved how much stronger as a character she is now and how I know that she will be even better in the next book.

Now the ending, oh god the ending. I think I cried EVERY SINGLE TIME I read it. To get so close to getting what they were trying for and then to get stuck behind like that? And Daemon fighting everyone to get to her? Yea and not to mention what he said to her right before the door closed. For the first time ever. I almost want the next book to be in both their POV’s only to see what happens to each one and how the cope with that knowledge. I don’t want to give to much away because this series is COMPLETELY worth the read, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to get my hands on Origin when the ARC’s come out. This summer can’t come fast enough for me to read that book.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStarStar—Extra star for the amazingness that this book is.

Focus by Alyssa Ivy Rose (The Crescent Chronicles #2)

Published February 19, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Focus

Freshman year of college is hard even when you’re not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she’s in far too deep to turn back.

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Now let me tell you so much has happened to poor Allie. But man is she stubborn. I mean really how many times does Levi have to apologize to her about what he did and what happened to her? He was scared to death about what was going to happen to her when she was kidnapped.

This time around though luckily Allie is with Hailey and makes some friends in college. Of course Levi does not allow any guys to go near her and makes a point of having Jared and Owen as her bodyguards. Which was great because you got to see a little more into these two characters. I love the friendship that builds between Allie and Jared, especially since she hasn’t been his biggest fan.

Hailey and Allie go and spend Christmas break with Allie’s mom and Allie’s moms boyfriend. This time Levi doesn’t go with them, even though things have been progressing. It kinda sucked because I wanted her mom to get to know him better and show that he was going to be with Allie no matter what.  I was like “wth” when they got picked up at the airport. I totally thought it was kinda pathetic that he was waiting for her like everything was going to be okay and they would get back together when she blatantly told him multiple times that it wasn’t going to happen.

Not only do we find out that there was someone on the inside that was trying to hurt Allie but we also find out about someone in Allie’s past isn’t who we think he is. I can tell you I was soooooo shocked at the end of this book. It was insane. I am anxious for the next book to come out. Obviously since I have just helped host the cover reveal for the third book. Which I believe is the last and I will be sorry to see go. But I got it in the end. Really I did. I hope you all read this book too. It is definitely worth it.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Flight by Alyssa Ivy Rose (The Crescent Chronicles #1)

Published February 18, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Flight

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.goodreads-badge-add-plus-1

 

This was the first book I read by Alyssa and let me tell you it was well worth it. I am glad I started with this book because it was great, I loved Allie and Levi’s relationship. She was so stubborn about liking him but really he had some cocky moments that made me want to smack the crap out of him.

Of course I won’t go into too much because there will be a second review to the next book in the series after this one and it will give away a ton of things there. But really you can’t go wrong with summer in New Orleans with a hot guy. Plus she got to learn a lot about herself and how much she is willing to give up to be with him.

Learning that Levi wasn’t human was probably the craziest thing that Allie went through. Okay maybe not the craziest thing but at least it wasn’t the scariest. And boys, they never think more then 5 seconds into the future. I bet if he had it all to do over he would still do but maybe explain prior or right after. That way some things could be avoided.

There wasn’t much about this book that I didn’t love. I can’t wait for the series to come out, but I loved this book so, so much I bought all of her other books. I have very few authors like that by the way.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

 

 

Altered by Aubrey Coletti

Published February 1, 2013 by crysbookreviews

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Altered

When Toni, Joseph and Charlie arrive at their new boarding school, they are glad to leave their families – and respective problems – behind. Isolated as boarders, they meet a handsome senior with a personality like iced snake’s blood, teachers with a penchant for physical punishment, and four other outcasts who reveal that their being brought to the Academy wasn’t random at all. When the arrivals discover that their new school is engaged in “behavior modification” through electric shocks, isolation, restraints, and an ever-evolving set of methods to “fix” them, they declare war on their Academy. During their campaign of sabotage, they fight, hate, scorn, love, and begin to uncover the reasons why they were brought to the school. But as their war against the school escalates beyond their control, will they become the very things the Academy believes they are: dangerous, delinquent – and mad?

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This was a good book. I really enjoyed reading it, it made the time go by at work when I was reading it. I had a really hard time getting into the book, I had a hard time at first keeping up with whose POV it was. I tried really hard to figure out who was talking, eventually I would figure it was Joseph and then it be on to Toni’s.

There were a ton of characters in this book and they are pretty memorable, especially Charlie and Lieutenant. They were definitely note worthy. But even still Ann, Toni, Anton and everyone else were also good characters. I enjoyed reading each person’s thoughts and what went on while something else was going on with the other people in the group.

I think it was a good read, I would recommend it. It was set in a boarding school and I know a lot of readers like those stories. Especially since the kids decide to stick it to the “man” at their boarding school. Which honestly who wouldn’t do that if you run the chance of getting hurt by them? But really it was interesting book.

RATING:

StarStarStar

Existence by Abbi Glines (Existence Trilogy #1)

Published January 22, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Existence

What happens when you’re stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules. goodreads-badge-add-plus-1

I just want to point out first and foremost that I absolutely LOVE Abbi Glines. So much so that I found out that she is coming to the Orlando area in mid February and am pretty upset that I can’t go. I have a wedding the week before and can’t take the time off to go up there with the hubby. Now if the best friend wanted to do a friend date and go up there with me so I am not all alone 2 hours away, I would go and love her to death. But seriously I love every book I have read of hers and I have read them all. Some multiple times. This book hooked me into the trilogy immediately.

It stats with Pagan starting her senior year in high school and it goes through the up’s and down’s with her friends and getting a boyfriend outside of the one that she had for about 3 years before. She meets Dank on the first day while he is sitting at a picnic table and she tries so hard not to stare at him. Of course he is good looking but she thinks he is dead and a regular soul. Which you can’t blame her for that seeing as she has been seeing them since she was a little girl. There was something about Pagan as a character that I loved. And when she started dating Leif I was a little iffy. I really liked Dank and that was why.

I loved how Pagan never knew what Dank was going to do next. Even I had trouble figuring out where the book was going to go. I thought he was a great guy. He knew he was no good for her and tried to stay away from her so that she can continue living her life that was meant for her. I did like the scenes where he would get jealous of her and Leif or when she would get jealous of Dank and Kendra.

Honestly there isn’t much to say about this book that I didn’t love. As soon as I started it, I wanted to know what else was going to happen. It sucked that I had to wait for the second and third book to come out after this one but I was willing to wait since I liked it so much. I really don’t think that Abbi can’t write a great book, I have never been disappointed in her yet!

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Published January 21, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Teenage girl (14-16) lying on bleacher

When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

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This was definitely one of those books that I expected more from. The synopsis sounded very interesting and I found that I wanted Parker to learn to live with herself and to be a better person. I was really rooting for her to get her stuff together.

I understand that something horrible happened the year before. It helped with the flashbacks that showed the reader (me) that Parker wasn’t always such a trainwreck and that at one point she did have her life together and a guy that really loved her. I found that I wanted to yell and scream at Parker to deal with her issues instead of hiding in a bottle all the time. I really loved the flashbacks and who they were written out.

I honestly felt bad from Jake even though he did it to himself. I mean who goes around falling for the girl that basically tells you flat out that she is completely messed up and doesn’t want to deal with you or life anymore. I loved how even though he had no idea what happened to Parker he was still willing to try and break down her walls that she put up around herself and everyone else.

I can honestly say that I really had no idea how this ending was going to be because everything I thought was going to happen didn’t happen. So I did like the ending quite a bit, I just couldn’t relate with the characters too much. Okay mainly Parker. I would definitely recommend the book if you want something that deals with drinking and handling the emotional up’s and down’s of being a teenager when something horrible happens in their lives.

RATING:

StarStarStar

How to Marry an Alien by Magan Vernon (My Alien Romance #3)

Published January 19, 2013 by crysbookreviews

How to Marry an Alien

Alex’s interstellar relationship has finally been sealed in the eyes of the human world, so now she can move on to her next step: college.

With Ace by her side and a new piece of jewelry on her finger, she thinks she is ready for anything. Well, almost anything.
Her new roommate holds a dangerous link to her past that Alex isn’t sure if she can handle. Then there is the whole alien fiancé thing. Every time she tries to get closer to Ace, he seems to pull further away. Top that off with a full summer class load and a few more alien attacks and it’s just another day for Alex.

Except this time she isn’t sure if marrying an alien will be the happy ending she’s hoping for. goodreads-badge-add-plus-1

I was waiting forever for this book to come out. There wasn’t a second that I didn’t love this book. I even asked Magan if there would HOPEFULLY be a 4th book on how Alex and Ace were after the wedding. There was somethings that I was not expecting to find out in the book and it made me sad when I heard that.

I love how Alex became friends with everyone, even people from the past that weren’t so nice to her. Of course there were some twists in their relationship and Alex was learning to be more herself and who she wants to be in this book then the other 2 which was great because every 18 year old goes through that.

Ace was as always a sweetheart, I loved how he was always there for Alex no matter what. I can honestly say that I loved his character. He had his moments of brooding but he was definitely one of the nicest male characters I have read in a really long time. Most of the time they are kind of jerks. Don’t get me wrong, I like them too but it was a nice change of pace.

I have read EVERY book by Magan so far and honestly I have loved every one of them. I hope for the 4th book but if that doesn’t happen, I am happy with how the story ended. Ace and Alex had a great love story that had it’s ups and downs like a normal relationship except the guy just so happened to be an alien from another planet, and not only that but royalty on that planet. I hope everyone reads these books and falls in love with the characters like I have.

 

RATING

StarStarStarStarStar

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