Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spotlight: Obstacles (Christopher Reardon)

Obstacles
by Christopher Reardon 

Paperback: 264 pages

Publisher: Alpha Wolf Publishing
October 1, 2013

ISBN-10: 0615897789
ISBN-13: 978-0615897783

A child will die. You're afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he's lost in paranoia. 

Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott's horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn't right. 

Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man's obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts. 

A god woman glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari's life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment. 

Death's claws shall not grasp Gari's soul.




About the Author:

Christopher Michael Reardon is a writing fellow at a Michigan College where he's currently a student. He says you always learn something new about writing when tutoring other students. Reardon is always searching for exciting books to read, especially new authors. 

Reardon graduated with Honors from Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Michigan. He's also an avid tennis player, being on the varsity tennis team for four years. He received the honor of most valuable player his senior year at number one and two singles.

Obstacles is Reardon's first novel. He says fantasy adventure books have always been an interest, because they challenge the mind and send you on an epic journey.





Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Book: Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Novella by Erica Kiefer)

NEW RELEASE ALERT! FREE NOVELLA!

We are thrilled to announce the early release of Rumors, A Lingering Echoes Novella by Erica Kiefer. To make this event special, Rumors is currently available for FREE through Smashwords. We are working on reducing the price from $.99 to FREE on Amazon as well. Go get your FREE copy today! Rumors is a prequel to Lingering Echoes. 

New Adult Contemporary Romance
(Also Young Adult Appropriate.)

Allie Collins wants nothing more than to forget the past and move beyond the recent death of her beloved cousin. If only it were that simple.

Upon returning for her senior year of high school, rumors quickly spread about the tragic summer accident that left the school’s star athlete grieving in the shadows. Now, the last thing Allie wants is the limelight. But the relentless pressure for normalcy from her friends and family leaves her with no choice but to surrender. Rejoining her basketball team and spending time with popular boys might seem like the perfect senior year, yet Allie struggles to embrace this identity that once came so naturally.

With the help of a special teacher, she learns that some things cut so deep, the scar lasts forever. Sometimes you can't go back to the way things were, but must find the way to become who you are meant to be.

Still, tragedy is no stranger to Allie. As the gossip swirls, influencing Allie’s every decision, the events that unfold will draw readers into a well of emotion in Rumor’s, a Lingering Echoes Novella.

Rumor's is a prequel Novella to the best selling book: Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer.

After you've read Rumors, check out Lingering Echoes!


She's broken with guilt.
He harbors a chilling past.
It's safer if they keep their distance...
But, the echoes that linger connect them. 

Returning to Hidden Pines is the last thing Allie Collins wants to do during her final summer before college. For her, the family cabin she spent her youthful summers in, now holds a dark memory that has haunted her every day for the last year. 

While struggling to forget her past, Allie runs into Damien, a local rebel with secrets of his own. He's dark, dangerous and he keeps showing up when Allie least expects him to. She has every reason not to trust him. So why does she find herself opening up to him in a way she hasn't been able to with anyone?  

As pieces of Damien’s identity emerge, answers to a rumored mystery begin to unfold. By the time Allie unearths the secrets of Damien’s past, she realizes just how intricately they are connected. Now she is caught in a dangerous battle that threatens her life and those she loves.

About the Author: 

Erica Kiefer was born on Christmas Eve in Southern California to an American father whose ancestors arrived from Europe during colonial times and a Thai mother who moved to the US during high school. Adding to her rich and varied heritage, Erica grew up living abroad in Asia, including Taiwan, Fiji, Thailand and Indonesia. She gained a great respect for the beautiful mosaic of cultures found in various parts of the world. After graduating from International School Bangkok, she attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she earned a degree in Recreation Therapy. Her career as a Recreation Therapist has allowed her to work with at-risk youth since 2007. 

Erica made the best decision of her life by marrying her husband in 2005 and is currently a mother of three, one of whom awaits her in heaven. Erica also loves singing, reading, writing and satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies. Playing collegiate rugby was one of the most memorable experiences of her life, thus far. 

Erica's first book, Lingering Echoes, was signed by Clean Teen Publishing and is scheduled to release in early November 2013. 

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? 

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: Arcadia's Curse (Jesi Lea Ryan)

Arcadia Day was in no way prepared for the death of her twin sister in the first book of this series, Arcadia's Curse, nor was she prepared for empathic abilities to begin manifesting and generally ruining her day to day life. The battle to control her new extra sense hasn't gotten any easier in book two. Cady is struggling to get through one day at a time. School is a nightmare as the raging emotions of hundreds of teens scramble her ability to think. Hope comes in the form of an invitation to join a research group away from home that studies psychic phenomena. Ready to try anything, Cady agrees to go, but the experience turns out to have a darker side than she was ever expecting.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was excited to get a copy of book two. Some of the great aspects from book one, like great characters that were easy to connect with and relate to definitely carried over into this book. I found myself going on an emotional roller coaster ride with Cady as she struggled to make it through each day, but Ryan manages to give readers a connection with every character, no matter how small of a part they play.

I was surprised by how much I sympathized with Cane (Cady's sister's ex-boyfriend who has developed strong feelings for Cady). I really found myself liking him and applauding his protectiveness of Cady. Bryan, who I loved in the first book got under my skin a little (as intended) when he began focusing too much on himself and not realizing how much Cady was being affected. The new characters Cady meets in association with the research program will pull readers in from the moment they meet them. Bastian, especially, will catch readers' attention with his troubled heart and damaged soul. I loved the relationship Cady and Bastian developed, bonding over their difficult experiences.

The storyline itself was expertly developed. The focus moved from Cady figuring out what was happening to her with the new abilities she was experiencing to learning how to live a normal life while experiencing more emotions than one person was meant to feel and process. The initial chapters deal with Cady trying to manage on her own, but she soon realizes it isn't working. Knowing who to turn to isn't easy though. Telling her best friend and her father about her abilities scares her more than she can admit, but when a friend she met online offers her a chance to leave home and really learn how to live as an empath without losing her mind, Cady doesn't see any other option.

I suppose it should be fitting that a story about an empath should be absolutely drenched in emotion, but I was still surprised by how much this story got to me. Cady personal struggle is enough on it's own to captivate readers. She is a wonderfully deep and soulful character. The emotional pull escalates, however, when Cady is drawn into and assignment for the company funding the research project and she finds herself locked up with the expectation to do as she is told. Cady is given no choice in her role in the assignment and it broke my heart to watch her nearly crumble in the face of such a terrible experience. Not many books make me cry, but this one did. I simply could not stop reading, hoping someone would get there in time to rescue Cady before there was nothing left to rescue. I don't have a single complaint about this book, and I would highly recommend it to just about any reader. I can't wait for the next book!


Arcadia’s Gift:
Audible (audio book)
iTunes (audio book)

Arcadia’s Curse:

Jesi Lea Ryan Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA.
She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two fat kitties. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Guest Post: Jesi Lea Ryan

Rooting paranormal fiction in realism

I think we can all agree, no matter how cool they sound in theory, that vampires are not real. *Shocked face* Neither are werewolves or faeries or angels/demons (at least not the kind from urban fantasy novels). But what about psychics? Hmmm...just maybe.

That’s the thought I originally had when I had the idea to write my young adult, paranormal novels Arcadia’s Gift & Arcadia’s Curse. I’ve always been fascinated by psychic phenomena. Unfortunately, I don’t have an ounce of psychic intuition, but that doesn’t stop my generally skeptical mind from wondering about the possibilities of a paranormal story that is rooted in reality. Sounds like an oxymoron, but I rolled with it, and my character, Arcadia (Cady) Day, psychic empath, was born.

“Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don't know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.” — C. JoyBell C.

Early in my research, I stumbled upon the above quote, and I decided to base my entire fictional world on it. In my series, the soul senses were once common in early humans, but over time, as verbal and written communication flourished, these senses devolved out of the gene pool...mostly. Now, a very minor percentage of people have the recessive genes for these soul senses, and each soul sense corresponds to a psychic ability.

Soul Senses
Intuition
Peace
Foresight
Trust
Empathy
Corresponding Psychic Gift
Telepathy, Dream Walking,
Clairvoyance, Clairaudience
Medium, Spirit Handler
Future-Teller
Charismatic, Telekinetic,
Hydrokinetic, Pyrokinetic
Empathy, Healing

Usually, the soul senses manifest themselves during puberty, but in Cady’s case, hers became active after a
traumatic event. I chose to write about a psychic empath because I hadn’t read about one before. Lots of paranormal books have telepaths, mediums and telekinetics, and sometimes an empath is a side character or it is a secondary ability for the main character, but I had never read a book with a main character who was primarily an empath. (I know there are books out there with empathic characters, but I make a point now not to read them for fear they may influence my work.)

I spent a lot of time doing Google searches on empathy, and didn’t come up with a lot of useful information. However, I did stumble upon a suggestion that an empath may have a larger aura field than most people, and maybe this is how they can feel the emotions of others who step into their aura. Sounded good to me, so I ran with it.

Taking a “normal” sixteen year old girl and turning her into an empath overnight was a bit tricky. I wanted her to have the ability there all along, lingering just below the surface of her personality, so when the triggering event happens, the empathic abilities made sense. The first thing I did was make Cady a naturally compassionate person.  She gives people the benefit of the doubt, tries to get along with others and has a huge soft-spot for animals. Secondly, Cady is an identical twin.  There is lots of research on the psychic bonds between twins, so *SMALL SPOILER* when her twin sister is killed, their auras would naturally reach toward each other, thus stretching Cady’s aura field so out of shape, it never snaps back.  Ta da! A psychic empath is born!

Along the course of learning to use, grow and control her abilities, Cady meets several other psychics with varying gifts.  To read about Cady and her friends, you can purchase the books at the links below:

Arcadia’s Gift:
Audible (audio book)
iTunes (audio book)

Arcadia’s Curse:

Jesi Lea Ryan Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA.
She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two fat kitties. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

INVISIBLE Goodreads Giveaway!!

I'm gearing up for Christmas with a book giveaway!! You can enter for a chance to win one of 3 SIGNED Paperback copies of INVISIBLE!

More about Invisible: 

Olivia’s best friend is not imaginary. He’s not a ghost, either. And she’s pretty sure he’s not a hallucination. He’s just Mason. 

He is, however, invisible. 

When Olivia spotted the crying little boy on her front porch at five years old, she had no idea she was the only one who could see him. Twelve years later when new-girl Robin bumps into the both of them and introduces herself to Mason, they are both stunned. 

Mason couldn’t be more pleased that someone else can see him. Olivia, on the other hand, isn’t jumping at the chance to welcome Robin into their circle. Jealousy may have something to do with 
that, but honest fear that Robin’s presence will put Mason in danger is soon validated when a strange black car shows up outside Olivia’s house. 

The race to find out what Robin knows in time to protect Mason from whatever threats are coming becomes Olivia’s only focus.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Invisible by DelSheree Gladden

Invisible

by DelSheree Gladden

Giveaway ends December 20, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Caecilius Rex Series by KC Finn on Sale!!

KC Finn's Caecilius Rex Series is on SALE! Get the first book FREE and the entire series for under $2!!

Get book 1 - The Atomic Circus FREE on Kindle 12/13/13 - 12/17/13

And for one day only (12/14/13) you can get the rest of the series for under $2!!!

Click on the pictures to get your copies now!



Friday, December 13, 2013

Secret Santa with Clean Teen Publishing!


Clean Teen Publishing wants to be your Secret Santa!



Our team and our authors at Clean Teen Publishing want to give back to our fans for Christmas. Follow our blog by e-mail to receive a special present on Christmas Eve from Clean Teen Publishing! 
Every follower will have through the end of the day on Christmas to claim their prize. So make sure you sign up to follow Clean Teen Publishing's blog by email. 

 Mr. Squirrel is BACK!!!! 


That's right! Mr. Squirrel is back and he's hiding on our website somewhere. Go to CleanTeenPublishing.com  and be one of the first 5 people to find Mr. Squirrel to receive a special prize! (The squirrel will look exactly like the image above, although he may be flipped around. The squirrel on the Year of Free Books picture doesn't count and neither do the pictures of the squirrel on our blog. There is only one hidden squirrel on one of the pages of our website.) 

 Make sure to email us his location and your choice of prize in case you are one of the first five to win! 

submissions@cleanteenpublishing.com

Prizes will be winner's choice of either a: 
Clean Teen Publishing wrist band, 
bookmark of your choice, 
or an e-book of your choice.


YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO ENTER TO WIN!




*Thank you PetAdvisor.com for the cute Christmas squirrel pic! 

Release Day Party: The Migraine Mafia (Maia Sepp)

Welcome to the Release Day Party
& Giveaway for

The Migraine Mafia

By: Maia Sepp Genre: Humor, Contemporary,Women's Fiction Release Date: December 13th, 2013

Synopsis: 
On paper, Viive McBroome lives the perfect life--a key player in a fast-paced, technical field, one promotion away from real success--but that's only if you ignore one little problem.
Sandwiched between one migraine and the next, Viive's life is like those choose-your-own-adventure books you read as a kid, only less fun and with a lot more drugs. And lately, as her bosses politely march her toward a vacation that might never end, even the good days feel like a struggle for survival.

Faced with frustration from her loved ones and the dark machinations of a new colleague, Viive feels herself getting pulled under by guilt, apologies, and workplace shenanigans. But then she meets the Migraine Mafia, a quirky, vibrant support group, and her fragile camouflage begins to crumble. She discovers that a room full of strangers just might be able to change the way she views her illness--and realizes that if she doesn't learn to ask for help, her health isn't the only thing she stands to lose.

Sometimes painful, frequently hilarious, always entertaining, The Migraine Mafia is the story of one woman's life-altering decision to thrive in the face of chronic illness.

Where to Purchase The Migraine Mafia

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-migraine-mafia/id770987433?mt=11

About the Author ~ Maia Sepp
Maia left the tech sector to write about sock thievery, migraines, and...the tech sector.
The Sock Wars is her debut novel. The first chapter of The Sock Wars was published as a short story/novel excerpt titled Irish Drinking Socks, and became a Kobo bestselling short story. The Sock Wars has been a top-100 digital bestseller on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore, as well as a genre bestseller on Kobo.
Maia's next novel will be released in December 2013: The Migraine Mafia, a story about a nerdy thirtysomething's quest to come to terms with a chronic illness.

Giveaways!

There are two giveaways for the Release Day Party...

Giveaway #1 Author Maia Sepp will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to a lucky winner via the Rafflecopter below!

Giveaway #2
Plus, one lucky commentor at each stop will win an ecopy of The Migraine Mafia. To enter to win simply leave a comment below. One commentor will be randomly selected!

Good Luck!

 


 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Audio Books: Angus McBain and the Island of Sleeping Kings (Angela J. Townsend)

Did you know that Clean Teen Publishing has a new audio book available? 

Check out our new audio release of Angus MacBain and the Island of Sleeping Kings. This audio book is great for all ages and can even be listened to by the entire family during one of those long road trips out of town for the Holidays! 


A Clean Teen Publishing NEW AUDIO RELEASE!!!

Let the magic begin...  

Angus MacBain and the Island of Sleeping Kings

by Angela J. Townsend

(Young Adult Everyone- Also, Middle Grade Appropriate)



Angus MacBain is unaware that his ancestral roots hail from an ancient sect of Scottish kings. When his dying grandfather gives him a dragon pendant, thirteen-year-old Angus learns of a legacy that will take him across an ocean to the island of Iona and thrust him into a heritage he did not know he had. He soon discovers that his mother, whom he had believed dead, is really a seal fairy, in hiding from a dangerous enemy. To save her, Angus must undergo a perilous journey of destiny and power to battle an evil Dacian knight and those who serve him. With only his family shield and the advice of a wizened vampire hunter to protect him, Angus must navigate dangerous terrain and dark enemies, in a land where the past and the present mingle, and sleeping kings wake.

Get the paperback today! 

(A great gift for fans of Harry Potter!)

About Angela J. Townsend

Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing. 

Angela's first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. Her newest novel, Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings, was signed for publication with Clean Teen Publishing in 2013. 

Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wicked Hunger

COVER REVEAL & ARC GIVEAWAY

by DelSheree Gladden

Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

We are excited to announce the upcoming release of Wicked Hunger, the first book in the  Someone Wicked This Way Comes series. Get ready for this mouth watering adventure that will hit shelves on April 1, 2014. Check out below for more information on Wicked Hunger and don't forget to enter the exclusive giveaway for a digital ARC of Wicked Hunger. 

"Love, love, love Wicked Hunger. It is deliciously consuming from beginning to end. My mouth is already watering for the next installment." 
- Elizabeth Hathenbruck (Author of When The Apple Falls.)




Vanessa and Zander Roth are good at lying. Their whole life is a giant web of deceit made in an effort to conceal the deadly secrets that plague their family.

Zander will do anything to forget his mistakes, including pushing everyone away. He was barely surviving in his self-forced solitude before Ivy Guerra entered his life. The new girl in school, with her pink-striped hair and unyielding curiosity, incites something wicked inside Zander that can only be blamed on his family genes. Now Zander is forced to fight an internal war and make a choice between loving Ivy Guerra and killing her.

Vanessa wants nothing more than to shed the strange powers she wields and be normal. Because if Van were normal, she’d be able to have normal things… Like a relationship with the boy she’s been secretly in love with for years. Unfortunately, her life is anything but ordinary. That boy who owns her heart just happens to be her brother’s kryptonite and a
potential liability for her entire family. When choices between love and family loyalty have to be made, Van finds herself faced with an impossible decision.

As if the Roth family needs anything more to worry about, a vicious plot to expose Van and Zander for what they are is uncovered. When it becomes apparent that someone close to them is at the center of this devious plan, the fight to maintain control and keep their cover ensues. It's a seemingly impossible battle because something is causing their powers to stir stronger than ever before… and it won’t stop until Van and Zander give in to their wicked hunger.

Wicked Hunger is the first book in the all-new paranormal series, Someone Wicked This Way Comes.


GIVEAWAY:


Enter to win an Advance Release Copy of Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden and a Clean Teen Publishing- Authors Are My Rockstars bracelet. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, and Invisible. The first book in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes series, Wicked Hunger, is scheduled to be released through Clean Teen Publishing on April 1, 2014.

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? 

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Review of Girls are Players by Ingrid Seymour

Title: Girls Are Players (G.A.P. #2)
Author: Ingrid Seymour
Date of Publication: December 4, 2013
Genre: contemporary new adult romance


Jessica Norton is a villain in the body of a gorgeous, rich, college girl. She cheats, lies, plays with people’s feelings, and purposely breaks unsuspecting hearts to avenge a personal loss. She’s the kind of girl people love to hate—even if it’s just because she has it all. Except . . . she doesn’t have it all. What she wants most is the love of her high school sweetheart, Taylor Drennon, the guy who got away, the one who left without telling her why and caused all her bitterness.

Not surprisingly, Jessica’s evil has made her a pariah. Alone, without friends or Taylor’s love, her college life is a nightmare. She’s haunted by her own mistakes and drowning in lack of direction. Something needs to change. So when the first opportunity to turn her life around presents itself, she takes it. Home for Christmas break, Jessica runs into Taylor. His unexpected friendliness seems like an invitation to rekindle their love. Inspired by a drastic idea that will both distance her from her heinous reputation and pull her closer to Taylor, she decides to transfer to OSU where he attends under a football scholarship.

Confident she can regain his heart, Jessica reenters Taylor’s life with a splash. Failing to naturally lure him closer, she is then forced to rely on her old games and underhanded scheming. Though Jessica’s heart is in the right place, it is hidden from Taylor by her blunders. More than once their powerful chemistry takes control, leading Jessica to believe she’s winning. But, it’s a hot and cold affair, and she’s not the only one to blame for their stormy love. If Jessica can only coax Taylor into explaining why he doesn’t want her, maybe she could finally walk away from him for good, maybe she could finally be happy.

REVIEW

Jessica Norton is coming off what she thought was the most ingenious game ever. The club she started back at UCI was focused solely on making members of the male gender pay for their two-timing, heart-breaking ways. The game didn't turn out exactly how Jessica planned. She certainly didn't intend to find herself friendless, miserable, and still heartbroken over Taylor.

The absolute definition of lost, Jessica jumps from one quick fix, one plan, one game to another. She thinks she's after one thing, knowing once and for all why Taylor abandoned her with no explanation, but deep down she questions what she's really after.

Having previously read the first book in this series, Guys are Props, and experiencing Jessica's unparalleled near-evil tricks and games, I wasn't so sure about her being the star of her own book. I wasn't sure how Seymour would be able to pull off taking the backstabbing temptress from book one and make readers care about her enough to follow her story. It only took a few pages before the deeper sides of Jessica that were hinted at in book one dawned front and center. I found myself immediately connecting with the lost girl, and despite the fact that her less than stellar situation was almost entirely of her own making, I wanted to see her succeed in figuring her life out and finding happiness again.

The arch of the story was bumpy as far as Jessica's journey goes, but seamless when you're talking about writing and development. Every time Jessica seemed to be getting closer to what she wanted, an agonizing twist would put her two steps back. Even though Jessica definitely has some traits that can turn people off, when she finally starts making an effort to change, readers will want to root her on.  I think readers will find it hard to stop reading once they start.

The main conflict of the book lies between Jessica and Taylor. Jessica is desperate to figure out what went wrong, how she ended up alone when she would have done anything for Taylor. Taylor, on the other hand seems completely in capable of figuring out what he wants. He vacillates between intense desire for Jessica and near hatred. Understandably, this is frustrating for Jessica on many levels, but Jessica wasn't the only one frustrated.

Really, my main qualm with this story was that I had a very hard time liking Taylor. He comes off as extremely egocentric and almost frightening in some instances. At times, I wasn't sure I wanted Jessica to find her way back to Taylor. What was also frustrating, though, was that though the majority of the book Jessica never even considered that she didn't deserve to be treated the way Taylor was treating her, especially given the fact that he left her. All she could think of was getting him back. I do understand that Jessica was struggling to find her strength in a few different areas and she wasn't really ready to see Taylor's faults, but combined with the fact that I found Taylor borderline unlikable through parts of the book, it was frustrating to me as a reader.

Having said that, I never give away spoilers in reviews, but I was very pleased with how the story ended. I felt like the above frustrations were resolved very well and I was happy with the way the story resolved. I just would have liked to have been able to connect with Taylor a little more and been able to root for him as well as Jessica.

This was a fun, quick read. Jessica is a great character who faces a myriad of situational and personal struggles that make her story a hard one to put down. I also enjoyed the secondary characters and I loved seeing had each one impacted Jessica's life. There is a decent amount of profanity in this book as well as some graphic sexual scenes, so it's definitely and 18+ only read.



Find "Girls are Players" on
Amazon

Review of "The Guys Are Props" 

Maddie Burch has one goal while she's away at college...stay away from guys at all costs. After having her heart broken brutally, Maddie doesn't even want to risk putting her faith in a guy again. It's safer to just keep focused on her classes. That might have been easier if she hadn't met Jessica. She and her new friend Jessica bond over their recent unhappy relationship endings, and when Jessica comes up with the idea for a type of brokenhearted support group, Maddie's all in. Until the support group becomes more of a "let's get revenge on men" group instead, complete with rules about how to pull plays on guys and break their supposedly deserving hearts.. 

From the beginning you can tell that even though Maddie and Jessica are close friends, they are very different young women. Maddie's soft heart was crushed, but she wants to move on with her life. Meeting Jessica and starting the GAP club seemed like a step in the right direction at first, but when Maddie meets Sebastian everything changes and the differences between the two girls becomes more obvious by the day. 

What I really enjoyed about Maddie's character was that she was someone almost any girl could relate to. She wants to fall in love with the perfect guy, but she's lost faith that there is even such a thing. She wants to be there for her friend, but their clashing morals an opinions make it hard to stick by her. Maddie makes mistakes. She isn't perfect, and she doesn't always know how to fix the messes she gets herself into, but she has a good heart and readers will find it easy to connect with her. 

The relationship that develops between Maddie and Sebastian will keep readers on their toes. Not only is there plenty of steamy moments and intensity, there is a great interplay between their personalities. Sebastian is sweet and believes the best about people. Maddie wants to be that best version of herself that he sees, which includes being honest with him about her involvement in the GAP club. That is easier said than done though. Despite the sweet quality of their relationship, Seymour keeps you guessing with ups and downs, plays and games. Nothing is easy for these two! 

Jessica makes a great villain in this book. She's very believable. Her frustrations and jealousy blossom in a way readers will be able to relate to, even if they couldn't see themselves doing the things she does. But beneath the viciousness Jessica can sometimes show, there are glimpses of a much deeper inner struggle. 

Overall, this was a fun and entertaining read. The characters are well developed and the relationships between the characters are rich and realistic. There is profanity in this book as well as several graphic sexual scenes, so I wouldn't recommend this book to teens, but it was a great introduction to the GAP series. 


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