25 April 2014

Feature & Follow # 3




The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Every week we'll discuss a new topic. This week's topic?
 
Have any pets? Tell us or show us!

I do NOT have a SINGLE pet! I've actually been too busy having kids to have time for a pet. But, now that my youngest is two, my husband and I have been talking about getting a dog. I'm just trying to prepare myself for the fact that it'll be like having a baby again. They're SO much work! But, also very much worth it.
If it's up to me, this is the kind of dog I'd get:

A Great Dane! I've wanted one forever! Look how huge they are! And how cute!

Thanks for stopping by!



24 April 2014

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Day Human Prince by B. Kristin McMichael



The Day Human Prince
Author: B. Kristen McMichael
Find "The Day Human Prince": Amazon | B&N


Devin Alexander grew up as the only day human in a world surrounded by night humans who drank blood, sometimes his blood. He spent his life training towards one goal: the protection of one of those blood drinkers, Arianna. But what is he supposed to do when the blue-eyed girl of the legends doesn’t need him anymore? What does his life mean then? How is a guy supposed to move on when the girl he has pined over for a decade chooses someone else?

Before he can even start to figure out his new life without Arianna, Devin has to deal with another problem. He needs to take care of some unfinished business with a night human he has known for less than a month, but with whom he is magically bound.

Vanessa McKinny has promised that she knows a way to undo the spell she placed on Devin to save his life. Devin would do anything to break the bond to be free of her, even if it means traveling to the sidhe village, a place inhabited by a race of night humans that has not had a day human visitor in more than a hundred years. If he doesn’t plan to get stuck, he must work with Nessa to find a way to break the bond. Only then can Devin have time to get back to finding his new goal in life, unless he discovers that his path lies with the sidhe.

~Excerpt~
Devin is welcomed into the sidhe village:

“Lindsey, I brought someone to enter the village,” Nessa called again.
The ground beneath them rumbled a bit as Devin and Nessa tried to regain their balance. Soon, the hills that Nessa had been talking to moved and a very large, somewhat deformed, sidhe stood and stretched. The sidhe had to be over seven feet tall and three feet wide. Devin hid his shock as best he could. It would just make Nessa laugh more. He could already tell why she hadn’t told him much in in the way of details about Lindsey. The old sidhe was enormous and scary just to look at. The sidhe was covered in grass and moss, adding an additional bulk to it. Devin analyzed the sidhe from head to toe briefly. He looked for soft spots and easy targets, but there wasn’t much difference between the mass of green that was the body and that which had to be the legs. He couldn’t really even make out the face at that point.
Slowly the sidhe unfolded a bit more, now towering over eight feet, and shuffled forward. The mass of green foliage, grass, and moss didn’t move smoothly, but with more of a limp.
“I’m supposed to fight her?” Devin asked Nessa quietly. The sidhe didn’t look to be much of an object beyond size. Lindsey looked like an old grandma sidhe that obviously hadn’t been called out in a long time, based on the grass and moss growing on her.
Devin didn’t even feel the hit that threw him across the clearing. He landed in the soft earth near where Lindsey had just been lying.

~Book Trailer~



~Giveaway~
a Rafflecopter giveaway


~About the Author~


Originally from Wisconsin, B. Kristin currently resides in Ohio with her husband, two small children, and three cats. When not doing the mom thing of chasing kids, baking cookies, and playing outside, she is using her PhD in Biology working as a scientist. In her free time she is hard at work on multiple novels; as each day passes, she has more ideas for both current and future novels.






Check out the synopsis and the gorgeous cover!! Sounds great!

Review: Love & Decay (Volume 2) by Rachel Higginson


Love & Decay (Volume 2)
Author: Rachel Higginson
Pub. Date: Dec. 3, 2013
Acquired: Purchased.
Find "Love & Decay (Volume 2)": Amazon | B&N
Author Page


Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

A lot has changed for Reagan in the few months since she stumbled upon the Parker family. She has given up her isolated vagabond lifestyle and along with her best friend Haley, made a permanent home with the brothers and their sweet, little sister.

More specifically, Reagan has fallen in love with Hendrix Parker, a man just as consumed with loving and protecting her.

Their love is tested time and time again as their lives are continually threatened and put in danger, Zombies lurk around every dilapidated corner and an uncertain risk follows them across state lines.

While the undead haunt their newfound happiness, Matthias Allen and his obsessive son Kane remind Reagan and friends that Zombies aren’t the only evil lurking in this new apocalyptic world. Kane is on a mission to make Reagan his and take her back to The Colony, where his father reigns as a tyrannical overlord and Kane is second in command.

While Tyler and Miller Allen adjust to life with the Parkers, Reagan and Haley after their own escape from The Colony, the group decides to set up camp at a safe settlement that offers them refuge.

But is anything truly safe at the end of the world?

Soon they are surrounded by Zombies trying to eat them, an enemy settlement trying to rip them apart and the internal, every day struggles of trying to live together at the end of the world.

No matter the cost, Reagan refuses to give up Hendrix, Haley and the others that she has come to love so fiercely. She will fight any enemy, against any evil; she will do anything to keep her freedom and the people that have become her life and everything she lives for safe.

Love and Decay, Volume Two, is a compilation of the last six episodes in a twelve episode season. This volume includes a bonus episode from Hendrix Parker’s point of view. It is a Dystopian Romance Novella Series about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks.

~My Review~

Oh, boy. Just when I thought this series couldn't get any more intense. I was so wrong.

Reagan is such a strong female character but I'm so glad that she has some vulnerability along with that strength.
After being taken by the semi-psychotic-but-ultimately-tempting Kane and his family, Reagan will do whatever she can to keep all of her people safe. This includes Kane's sister and brother who see their family for the evil that they are. However, this is easier said than done.

Between a crazy man who wants to keep her all to himself, zombies (who seem to be developing some crazy smarts) who want to eat them, and the unknown of letting Hendrix have her heart, Reagan never seems to have a moment of peace.

This volume of Love & Decay is crazier and more nail-biting than the first, if you can believe it. The situations that the Parkers, Reagan, and Haley are subjected to made me a little crazed at times. I'm a girl who likes a story that can be predictable...Most of the time. However, no character is safe and no situation is impossible for Ms. Higginson. And, that was totally okay with me!

The writing is brilliant and I can't think of a single moment where I was bored. It's all I can do to not stay up till the wee hours every other Friday just waiting for the next installment.

Also, just when I thought the story couldn't be any better, Ms. Higginson gave us an extra episode from Hendrix's point of view. Ms. Higginson, if you see this, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

~My Rating~


~About the Author~

I was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent my college years traveling the world. I fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But I came back home to marry my high school sweetheart and now I spend my days raising our growing family. In those few spare moments I have, I am either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction, because I am obsessed with it.

Five other things I'm obsessed with right now:
1. My Kuerig Coffee Machine. Genius.
2. 90's music. Oh man, the 90's speak right to my soul.
3. Chocolate smelling body wash. Who doesn't want to walk around smelling like a bakery?
4. Colored Chapstick. And if it's Dr. Pepper Flavored, that's kind of my nirvana.
And.
5. Spotify. It's like the mixed-tape of this generation and I have probably three hundred hours of music on there. Can't get enough.




23 April 2014

Book Blitz: Written on Her Heart by Paige Rion



Written on Her Heart
Author: Paige Rion
Find "Written on Her Heart": Amazon | B&N
Author Page


Andi Callaway has dreamed of becoming a published author her entire life.

Ford Delaney has always wanted nothing more than to escape his past.

An opportunity of a lifetime. This is what Andi finds when she returns home to Callaway Cove on summer break. A chance to work for her literary idol Ford Delaney is up for grabs, and she’s willing to risk everything—her boyfriend, her best friends, and her education—to get it.

She’s positive this will be the key to reaching her dreams. But the moment she begins working for the reclusive author, Andi realizes there’s more to him than just a name. As attraction builds between Andi and Ford, she begins to discover consequences must come hand-in-hand with something great—which could loosen control over her tightly wound life. And once romantic sparks fly, Andi’s other relationships start to crumble, Ford’s fame comes back to haunt him, and the heat they generate will either forge a powerful, enduring love or threaten everything she holds dear.

~Excerpt~

“What kind of books do you want to write?” Ford asked, turning his attention back to his plate.
The question brought her back to reality. “Romance.”
“Ah, fairytales.”
At her narrowed eyes, he said, “I’m not judging. All writers, myself included, create whole worlds to give people a reprieve from their real lives. That’s what I do, too.”
Andi laughed but there was no joy in the sound. It was exactly how she felt about the kind of books she wanted to write and something Peter never understood.
Interestingly, Ford’s words meant he didn’t believe in real love—that he considered the beautifully written romantic plotlines in his own books ‘fairytales’. “I don’t buy it. You can’t write books like yours and not believe in love, at least to some extent.”
Ford’s mouth tightened. He ran a hand through his hair. “Why?”
“Because there’s hope in love.” She met his gaze. “And a world without hope is a sad one. If you truly feel what you say, you want to leave people with the feeling that good exists and that love, no matter how impossible, is possible. If love is such a lie, I can’t see you selling it like you do.”
Ford’s eyes flashed. “I believe people leave you when you need them most in life. I believe real love is something people tell themselves exists because it makes the world a better place to live in. When love fails, and it always does, people make excuses. He wasn’t the one. She was too critical, bossy, fat…whatever.”
Andi frowned. “So why write romance into your books at all? If you don’t buy into the notion it’s real?”
Ford smiled but his eyes softened, something sad lingering in his gaze. “Because there’s nothing wrong with giving false hope. Even if true love is a lie, it makes life easier to swallow. And that’s what’s important—finding a way to get through the rough parts. Love is the Achilles heel of man. It’s something we can’t help pursuing even if it ends in heartache, even if it is an endless pursuit of happiness. Shakespeare, Jane Austen—they got it.”
Andi sat in silence. The sadness in his eyes shot clear through her heart like an arrow, and her mind raced through his books, trying to piece together what she was missing, what piece of heartbreak had been embedded between the pages that explained the way he felt now.
“You think I’m wrong?” he asked, breaking through her thoughts.
She wanted to argue with him, to come up with a line that would disprove everything he had just said about love, but she had none, so she said what she felt instead. “I think a world without true love is a world without hope, one I don’t want to be a part of. So, I choose to believe, whether it’s real or not.”
She saw it. The flash in his eyes, a glimmer of something unexplained as his molten gaze met hers, pinning her to her seat. She caught her breath, unable to look away, the blood humming in her veins. In that moment, nothing and no one else existed. It was just him and her and the intimate conversation between them.
He placed his hand over hers and leaned into the table. “Andi?” he whispered.
Heart knocking against her ribs, her eyes flickered to his mouth and the hard contours of his jaw. He had shared so much of himself with her. This broken, brilliant man. Maybe all he needed was a little hope?
He reached out, cupping the side of her face. She’d never wanted anything as much as she wanted to kiss him in that moment. The warmth of his palm burned through her skin, and the feel of him exploded all thought, scattering it to the far corners of her mind. She curled her fingers around his and leaned closer. She could hear the soft sound of his breathing.
All she had to do was close her eyes. Move just a bit closer…

~Interview With Author, Paige Rion~
Tell us something about yourself…
Writing for me is cathartic. I’m not sure that I can live or function long without it. I get cranky when I’m writing a story and don’t have time to sit down and finish a scene. Otherwise, I’m just your average person. I’m a wife and mom to two young children, coffee and chocolate addict. I love wine and visiting new places. Fall is my favorite time of year, and the best thing in the world—other than my family—is finding that book that you just can’t put down. Better yet, reading it on the beach!

Tell us about your book…
Written On Her Heart is a new adult romance and the first in The Callaway Cove series. The books take place around three women—best friends. There will be three books and each will be from another one of the girls’ perspectives. Written On Her Heart focuses on Andi Callaway. She’s an aspiring writer who discovers her literary idol, Ford Delaney, has fled to her small hometown for the summer. And she’s given the chance to work for him. But it might come as a price. She’s soon risking her friendships, her boyfriend, and her education just for the chance. But what she doesn’t expect is to have a shot at love with the reclusive Ford Delaney.

Is it hard for you to come up with ideas for your novels?
No! I actually have dozens of ideas all lurking around in my head. Now I just time to write them!

If you had a party, what character from your book would you hope attends? Why? What character do you hope doesn’t attend? Why?
Ooooh. The sexy and illustrious Ford Delaney, for sure. He’s Andi’s (the main characters’) love interest in the book. He’s a famous author with a past that’s caught up to him. I definitely wouldn’t want Peter, Andi’s boyfriend at the start of the book, to attend. He’s too self-serving and a bore.

What was the last book you read?
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – I have yet to review it, but it was a great read.

What’s your next big writing challenge?
I really want to get the second novel in the Callaway Cove series out by mid-July.


~Giveaway~
a Rafflecopter giveaway


~About the Author~


Paige Rion is a contemporary romance author. She’s a mother, wife, blogger, hopeless chocoholic, coffee-addicted, wine-lover. Her debut, novel—a new adult romance—Written On Her Heart, is the first in the Callaway Cove series. The next in the series is to be released this summer. She loves connecting with readers on her blog and social media. You can visit her website at www.paigerion.com.







You can purchase this fabulous book, today, for just 99 cents!





Review: Love & Decay (Volume 1) by Rachel Higginson


Love & Decay (Volume 1)
Author: Rachel Higginson
Pub. Date: Sept. 29, 2013
Acquired: Purchased.
Find "Love & Decay (Volume 1)": Amazon | B&N
Author Page


Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

A vaccination gone oh so wrong and a huge portion of the world’s population was turned into Zombies. Reagan Willow is forced out of her home when her parents become casualties of the horrid Zombie Apocalypse. With the help of her best friend Haley, they’ve become somewhat of experts on surviving the dangers of a world thrust into chaos and decay.

Reagan and Haley are on a vague mission to find somewhere safe to live out the remainders of their terrifying life when they stumble upon the Parkers, a pack of brothers that seem to have the survival thing down in a much more efficient and successful way than Reagan could ever have imagined. They are also protecting their eight year old sister, Page, and will do anything to keep her safe.

The brothers decide that Reagan and Haley need help with being kept safe as well, and as a group they set off to find the Zombie-free utopia Reagan is dreaming of.

Zombies are a daily problem, constantly threatening the lives of their group, but they’re not the only peril on the journey ahead. Militia groups of power hungry men are also a constant concern. And settlements of paranoid, suspicious people turn out to be just as hazardous.

Danger looms over every inch of the way, but Reagan, Haley and the Parkers are determined to get to their goal and remain together. Soon the Parkers become more to Reagan than just traveling companions and more than friendship starts to develop between her and Hendrix, the second oldest brother.

But at the end of the world, nothing can be as simple as life and death. Now, Reagan is going to have to schedule falling in love between hunting and surviving. Hopefully she can last long enough to find out if true love can still exist when everything else has started to fall apart.

Love and Decay, Volume One, is a compilation of the first six episodes in a twelve episode season. It is a Dystopian Romance Novella Series about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Each episode is approximately 20,000 words.

~My Review~

The first time I picked this up, I just ordered episode one off of Amazon for free. Volume 1 was out but I wasn't sure if I'd like it enough to commit to spending money no buying the whole thing. I can honestly say that as soon as I had the first episode finished, I had purchased Volume 1. And then, Volume 2. I don't know what I would've done had Volume 2 also not been out.

If you've been following Captivated Reading at all, you know that I have a serious thing for zombies. I can't get my hands on enough zombie stories. And if they include a life-or-death love story in there, all the better!

Right away I knew that I was going to love Reagan and Haley. These two are best friends trying to survive after a vaccine-gone-wrong-zombie-infested-world. Besides a strong love story, more than anything, I love when there is a strong friendship that I can root for. And these two have it! They were hilarious from the get-go and treat each other more like sisters than best friends. It's amazing!

Now, as for the love story aspect of Love & Decay, oh my word. Those Parker boys are sure a force to reckoned with! And right from the start both Hendrix and Vaughn have their eyes on Reagan.
Hendrix. He is pretty much the kind of guy that a girl would need in this situation. He's part romantic and part Neanderthal. But, only in the best way.

These stories come out every two weeks and I find myself pretty sad on the weeks that I have to do without a new story. BUT, they are well worth the wait!

After reading this, Rachel Higginson has become one of my favorite authors! I can't wait to delve into some more of her work!

~My Rating~

~About the Author~

I was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent my college years traveling the world. I fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But I came back home to marry my high school sweetheart and now I spend my days raising our growing family. In those few spare moments I have, I am either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction, because I am obsessed with it.

Five other things I'm obsessed with right now:
1. My Kuerig Coffee Machine. Genius.
2. 90's music. Oh man, the 90's speak right to my soul.
3. Chocolate smelling body wash. Who doesn't want to walk around smelling like a bakery?
4. Colored Chapstick. And if it's Dr. Pepper Flavored, that's kind of my nirvana.
And.
5. Spotify. It's like the mixed-tape of this generation and I have probably three hundred hours of music on there. Can't get enough.




22 April 2014

Review: Loving Liberty by Belinda Boring


Loving Liberty
Author: Belinda Boring
Pub. Date: July 13, 2013
Acquired: From author or publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Find "Loving Liberty": Amazon | B&N


Liberty Montgomery is many things:

A dutiful daughter.
Perfect wife-in-training.
Easy to manipulate.
Compliant.

But secretly she wants more.

For years, Liberty has dreamed of a life filled with opportunities—a life where she makes the decisions, living by her own rules. Unfortunately, her parents have other plans for her, ones that involve her submission and total obedience. Every attempt to break free from their control is met with threats, leaving her feeling trapped. Just when all seems hopeless, Liberty meets Oliver Nichols. With just two words, be brave, he stirs up her secret longings for more . . . friendship, fun, and independence. He almost has her believing her dreams are possible. However, taking a stand can be terrifying when you've spent your entire life pleasing others.

Are some chances worth taking? What would she risk for freedom?

~My Review~

I've been gearing up for this review for a couple of days, now. To be honest, this is probably one of the hardest reviews that I've had to write. It's crazy. So, I decided that it's always best to end on a positive note. With that said, I'm just going to dive right in to the things about this story that I didn't like. Here goes!

I have never, in my entire life, disliked a main character so much. I don't even think that I have words to express how much I disliked Liberty. To be fair, I knew what I was getting with her. I mean, it's not like I wasn't warned. Right there, in the description of the book are words like "dutiful", "compliant", "submission", and "hopeless".
So, if you think that--for one moment--this synopsis is exaggerating--you may need to brace yourself.

I am not, in any way, one of those women who feels like I should never answer to anybody. Or, I shouldn't respect my parents even though I'm an adult. My mother can still make me feel ten-years-old if she wants to and I gave her grandbabies, darn it!
However, there comes a time in a person's life when they need to sack up, grow up, and start making their own decisions.
I also understand that some people, even in real life, have difficulties with this concept. Those people actually exist, I get that.
But, reading Liberty's story made me want to shake someone. Anyone. Or maybe slap someone. I'm really not a violent person, either. She brought it out in me.

The kind of abuse that Liberty subjects herself to and allows to happen to her is abominable.
At the same time, I get that this is what the story was about. A twenty-something young lady who has to decide to be a grown-up and do what she wants. To live her life. Get a job. Have some friends. Pick her own boyfriend. That's not too much to ask, right?

I'll stop here at my decimation of Liberty. I'm going to talk about what I did enjoy.


Ms. Boring knows how to write. She knows how to stir emotions and incite feelings. She is extremely talented. There wasn't one moment when I felt like Ms. Boring was lacking in her skills. This author has talent.

She wrote one of the most saintly characters I've ever read, for one. Oliver, who ends up "loving Liberty", puts up with so much that I seriously was rooting him to find someone else. If a man like this actually existed and I wasn't already married, I'd want to swipe him up. Good heavens, what a great guy!

The end of this book was also very pleasant. I got my happy ending. I needed it.
My only other gripe is that it came too late. I wish I had more to help redeem Liberty for me. Because that last chapter and epilogue--as well done as it was--wasn't enough to make me appreciate the pain I went through with Liberty.

I will say, this won't be the only book by Ms. Boring that I read. I'm eager to see what she can do with a main character that I can love.

~My Rating~


~About the Author~

A homesick Aussie living amongst the cactus and mountains of Arizona, Belinda Boring is a self proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy. When she's not devouring her latest read, you can find her celebrating her passion for books on her blog The Bookish Snob.

With all that excitement, it wasn’t long before she began writing, pouring her imagination and creativity into the stories she dreams. Whether urban fantasy, paranormal romance or romance in general, Belinda strives to share great plots with heart and characters that you can’t help but connect with. Of course, she wouldn’t be Belinda without adding heroes she hopes will curl your toes.

Surrounded by a supportive cast of family, friends and the man she gives her heart and soul to, Belinda is living the good life. Happy reading!




Cover Reveal: Tryst by Cambria Hebert


Tryst
Author: Cambria Hebert
Publication Date: May 16, 2014


Sometimes all a girl needs is a little fling…

Talie Ronson needs a vacation.

From life.

Since she caught her cheating, loser husband in bed with his assistant, her life has been on a steady spiral—right into hell. Her car’s a junker, her job sucks, and her perfect, gorgeous sister likes to brag about her wonderful life every time they “do” lunch.

In an effort to salvage what’s left of her life and her sanity, she takes the advice of her kooky best friend and takes off to Topsail Island. A week at the beach, alone, is exactly what she needs to recharge, regroup, and relax.

Only, her alone time is about to get derailed.

Gavin Palmer’s favorite activity is walking around in his boxers and eating junk food. He and his neighbors have an understanding. They stay out of his business and he stays out of theirs. He lives at the beach, not for vacation, but for isolation. He’s had enough of people to last him a lifetime.

Gavin’s isolation is interrupted when his normally quiet neighbor starts disturbing his peace. He stomps across the sand to give the guy a piece of his mind… only it isn’t a guy.

It’s Talie.

She’d maddening, nosy, and talks too much.

But she’s hot and her bedroom eyes have him thinking maybe he’s had enough solitude. Maybe a week of company is exactly what he needs.

Maybe what they both need is a no-strings-attached tryst.


~About the Author~


Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting www.cambriahebert.com.