☄ Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Pieces of Revenge - Guest Post + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Title: Pieces of Revenge (Titanium #1)
Author: Valia Lind
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A weapon. A broken life. A humanity lost.

That is all Anastasia knows, that is all that she is. As an eleven-year-old, she witnessed her family's brutal murder and she's been on the run ever since. She's spent her life training and planning for the day when she can take her revenge.

Kallos Enterprises is a well respected corporation, set on improving the genetic structure of an individual. Or so they say. Anastasia knows, first hand, what kind of monsters lurk behind the pretty walls of those skyscrapers. Armed with combat skills and a beyond perfect memory, she heads to Chicago to uncover the answers to questions that plagued her for years.

After arriving in the city, she meets Logan, a boy from her past who changes all the rules. She doesn't remember him, but he remembers her. His position at Kallos Enterprises is useful, his presence is unnerving, and he makes her question everything she knows about herself to be true. If her perfect memory can't remember Logan, what else about her past is wrong?

Time is running out. Anastasia has nowhere to turn, but to trust the one person who's a memory she should have, but doesn't. With a madman threatening their every step, Anastasia and Logan must uncover the truths behind Kallos experiments and hope that the answers they find won't destroy the world forever.

Top Five Books Read This Year
by Valia Lind
Pieces of Revenge is a YA (light Sci Fi) Thriller and it’s a book that I wrote because I have a particular love for kick butt heroines and thrilling adventures. So, in honor of my book, I decided to share some others who really made a dent in my reading pile this year.

Top 5 books read this year (in no particular order):
  1. The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel - loved this book so much. It had just the right amount of tension to keep my hooked. The writing is great and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
  2. The World Without a Future by Nazarea Andrews - this is book one in probably my top zombie series. Every book exciting and fast paced and the writing is awesome. It’s like watching a TV show in your head.
  3. Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott - This book really hit the spot for me. It had the adventure aspect, coupled with awesome writing and frustrating characters. That’s what makes for a great read, right?
  4. Reboot by Amy Tintera - I’m definitely a huge fan of Ms Tintera’s writing. I read this book in one sitting because I just had to know what happened next. The characters were dynamic and the story was unique.
  5. Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell - this book is the beginning of the Conquered Earth trilogy and what an awesome read it is. It’s full of thrills and battles, bringing the world to life in a splash of color.
I, among most writers, believe that to be a better writer you must read. I try to read in the genre I’m reading, or at least in something similar, to better my storytelling skills. Sometimes, I have to read in a completely different genre. It all depends. But these five books have made an impression on me and I wanted to share that with the world.

Any books stuck out in your brain this year?

Author Bio


Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at www.valialind.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

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☄ Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Books Sophia Hopes to Read Next Year (Ahem... Next Year's TBR List)

It's surprising how the year manages to slip by (I also feel old compared to some of the other bloggers I know). In this year's (2014) TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Adam @ Roof Beam Reader, I successfully wiped out all 12 books AND the alternates. Well, except for one. That one I pretty much gave up on the series after reading the second one.

Okay, I completely forgot about one of the alternates. It was conveniently a book club read. *coughs* It's easy to forget about European Chicks. Crazy ones at that. *coughs*

I am yet taking another stab at the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge next year, once again hosted by Adam @ Roof Beam Reader. Oh, and it might be my last one for quite a while... if I'm not busy running around with medical stuff in college (Shhh! Soon-to-be Seniority!).

Then again, I'm already running around with medical and legal stuff this year.

2015 TBR Pile Challenge Guinea Pigs Books

  1. Croak by Gina Damico - Book Club read this back in September, but I wasn't able to read the book because a) I had a lot on my plate and b) Mr. Pokey offered to ease my burden a little (he reads fast) and review a book for the blog tour (I own the copy, so I CAN loan it out through Amazon), but then the little dude forgot about it. The peeps who read it told me it was awesome. The idea sounds awesome. I'm bound to love it... right???
  2. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas - I've heard lots of raving reviews, especially from the international crowd. And the title? YEP. (Half the time it IS the title. I have one called A Fairy's Guide to Disaster. I had to pick it up.)
  3. Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon - Books involving hackers are always interesting. So far in the books I've read that have hackers (usually the main character)? They've been fantastic. I've also been eyeballing this for quite awhile and have been trying to persuade book club to read it. It's not because it's a Gateway Readers Award Nominee like Croak is (though it's part of the reasons).
  4. The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp - There aren't many books based on a game. Fairies and a game - this could be interesting. So long as the things that bother me aren't involved. Then again, that reasoning applies to every book I read.
  5. Treason by S.M. Boyce - Sound familiar to a book from my list for last year? I enjoyed Lichgates, so I'm giving the sequel a whirl and hope the book is as great as the first or better.
  6. Insanity by Cameron Jace - Let me put this as delicately as possible: Ella is going through hell and high water to make me read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Does a retelling count? I promise the word "frabjous" is in there (as I hope the book will be)!
  7. The Night Has Teeth by Kat Kruger - Gods help us if the night really does have teeth. Oh wait... nightmares DO have teeth. Usually. The cover is creeptabulous - this may be a great Halloween read. Since the book won a writing competition, I expect it to be just as good or almost as good as one from a traditional publisher. Otherwise, I may have a few choice words.
  8. The Star Dwellers by Hmm... see my reasoning for Treason.
  9. Stitch by Samantha Durante - I've also seen quite a few praising reviews and word of mouth, especially when it first came out and there was the blog tour... it's been pretty quiet for the first novel in the Stitch Trilogy lately though.
  10. Summer Demons by Mia Hoddell - I'm normally not a contemporary girl, but I'm currently in need of a good contemporary novel. Sort of a reason why I threw in Dangerous Girls as well.
  11. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Let's see... this is the one with an assassin as the main character, yes?
  12. Touch by Jennifer Snyder - Oh, yay! More Reapish novels. I must be feeling quite... Grimm.

The Unfortunate Two Known As Alternates

  1. Embrace by Stacey Rourke - I had a bit of a hard time trying to decide who between Rourke, Estes, and Boyce I would keep in the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge (all three are great). I later decided that since all three have been on my list for 2014... I was going to kick one off and let other authors shine. That doesn't mean Stacey isn't awesome in general though, so don't take it personally. ^_^
  2. Ink by Amanda Sun - No matter how many times I write it, I always write Amazon Sun. WHYYY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME. I'm a fan of mythology. Asian mythology in particular (okay, only because I'm Asian, but I do love me some Greek and Roman and the Commonlies), and with books such as this one and the Gilded series by Christina Farley lately, it might be the next big thing in the mythology department. It's certainly a nice change from all the Commonlies (Greek, Roman, Egyptian).

Thus ends the list of twelve guinea pigs plus two. Read any of the books I'm planning to read next year? Do feel free to tell me your thoughts and whether or not I'm insane for thinking the positive of the book. I know it's extremely early, but any recommendations you would like me to consider for next year, should I join again?
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☄ Sunday, December 14, 2014

ARC Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman + Meagan Spooner (Hope. Is Not Lost For Sophia)

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Starbound #2
Author:
Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reviewer: Sophia

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war. 
Advanced review copy provided by Disney Hyperion via Netgalley for review – thanks!

In completion to reading This Shattered World, the second book in the Starbound trilogy, I actually thought These Broken Stars had a solid ending for Tarver and Lilac, and adding more to their story would have felt forced. If you ask me, forcing almost never ends well. With how I enjoyed the first book, it's no doubt I would be walking into the sequel with high expectations.

This latest installment to the Starbound trilogy has a new couple set roughly a year after the events of These Broken Stars – Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac. Jubilee is a captain in the military in Avon* while Flynn is a rebel, the younger brother of a rebel who tried to start up a rebellion on Avon years ago and got executed as a result.

*Avon was mentioned a few times in These Broken Stars, but the first book was NOT set on Avon. This Shattered World seems to give an inside look from the people living there and how the conditions are, thus confirming Tarver's brief explanations about Avon.

In a standalone series, I often look for similarities from the current book to the prior books, and if there are similarities, if the book distinguishes itself apart to make it unique.

This Shattered World has a few similar concepts when compared to These Broken Stars: First, Jubilee and Flynn meet in a bar, though this bar is in – you never would have guessed – Avon and not on a ship by the name of the Spacey Titanic Icarus, where Tarver and Lilac met. Second, as mentioned in the synopsis and earlier, Jubilee is from the military... and if I remember correctly, Tarver was in the military as well. The only difference between the two are the ranks – Tarver was a Major at the time and Jubilee is a Captain.

Oh, and the whispers from book one – they're back as well. Though their end did disappoint me a little....
Our keeper’s mistake was in creating a prison powered by our own energy. We are a part of it. Destroy the machinery holding this place together and you will destroy us with it.
Despite the similarities – of course there's going to be some similarities since this IS the same overall storyline in the long run – This Shattered World certainly distinguishes itself to make the book an enjoyable read overall. Unlike in the first book, the format here is in flashbacks instead of an interview. While I loved the interview format, I loved the format Kaufman and Spooner used here as well. It was intriguing to learn about Jubilee's past – a young girl before her parents death, the "November Ghost," a few of her times in the military throughout This Shattered World – and how the flashbacks eventually connected together seamlessly with the story in the end.

This Shattered World won't be a disappointment to the fans of These Broken Stars – the elements used here certainly sets the sequel apart from the prequel, and it'll be exciting to see how Kaufman and Spooner wrap up the trilogy.

4.5 Owls

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☄ Friday, December 12, 2014

Blog Tour: Walled - Playlist + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Title: Walled (The Line #2)
Author: Anne Tibbets
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press (HQN)

Freedom means making brutal choices.

Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever.

When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this.

Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden…or commit an unspeakable act.

Book two of two.

Walled Playlist
Arranged by Anne Tibbets
  1. Hardest of Hearts – Florence and the Machine
  2. Run – Snow Patrol
  3. Archangel - Two Steps from Hell
  4. And So it Goes – Billy Joel
  5. Believe – The Bravery
  6. Daisy – Switchfoot
  7. Hey Jupiter – Tori Amos Cover
  8. Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine
  9. Mad World – Cover Jules [Something?]
  10. Put Your Lights On – Santana & Everlast
  11. Do You Have to Do – Sarah McLachlan
On YouTube...

Author Bio

Anne Tibbets is an SCBWI award-winning and Smashwords.com Best Selling author. After writing for Children’s television, Anne found her way to young/new adult fiction by following what she loves: books, strong female characters, twisted family dynamics, magic, sword fights, quick moving plots, and ferocious and cuddly animals.

Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.

Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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☄ Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter

Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter

Shadow Falls #4
Author:
C.C. Hunter
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Reviewer: Sophia

Shadow Falls Camp is back in session with the most explosive installment yet.  A shocking new threat will rock Shadow Falls—changing it forever and altering Kylie’s journey in ways she never imagined.

Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal. Not only can she see ghosts, but she doesn’t seem to belong to any one species—she exhibits traits from them all. As Kylie struggles to unlock the secrets of her identity, she begins to worry that Lucas will never be able to accept her for what she is, and what she isn’t…a werewolf.  With his pack standing in their way, Kylie finds herself turning more and more to Derek, the only person in her life who’s willing to accept the impossible.

As if life isn’t hard enough, she starts getting visits from the ghost of Holiday, her closest confidante.  Trouble is, Holiday isn’t dead…not yet anyway.  Now Kylie must race to save one of her own from an unseen danger before it’s too late—all while trying to stop her relationship with Lucas from slipping away forever.   In a world of constant confusion, there’s only one thing Kylie knows for sure.  Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end…maybe even her time at Shadow Falls.

The breathtaking fourth installment of the New York Times bestselling Shadow Falls series from author C. C. Hunter...Whispers at Moonrise.

I'm pretty sure I've read this when it first came out in 2012. Problem is, I don't remember much from it and well... I don't remember much from the prior books as well, which probably says I should go back and read the other books in the series before even bothering with the second to last book.

I only read the second to last book because I remember more from those books than Whispers at Moonrise, which I may or may not have read before. I figured I would play it safe and go from there instead of dropping the series and feeling the woes of not accomplishing a series, especially when I'm only one book away from the last book.

Not that anyone would actually do anything to me... I hope.

IF I remember correctly, Taken at Dusk ended with Kylie finding out from her real father what she really is – she has a bit of all the Supernaturals in her. In this latest installment, Kylie is trying to find out why her latest ghost looks like a splitting image of her camp leader Holiday and why Lucas seems to be giving her the cold shoulder every so often.

I have no right to judge which book in the series is my favorite – after all, it's been a few years and I don't remember too much. I can say that Della is my favorite character – I just love her attitude and how loyal she is to Miranda and Kylie despite the fact she and Miranda argue a lot – and can't wait to read her story in the spin-off. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy reading Della's story more than Kylie's story – Della's attitude just sets her apart and makes her different that it's really odd when Kylie decides to channel her inner Della.

I was considering reading the last two books in the series, not review it and then read the spin-off and review that instead.

I can also say Lucas is not exactly my favorite character because he's overly protective of Kylie and no matter how adorable that is of him, I just think he tends to be a bit of an obstacle and doesn't really bring out the best in Kylie.

I feel like I'm reading about Kylie playing a game of ping pong in the romance department – she is obviously going to choose Lucas, there's not a single drop of doubt about that. She has such conflicting feelings when it comes to Derek, it's frustrating to read about her going, "I like you, but I love Lucas, so we can't do this." SPARE US THE PAIN AND MAKE UP YOUR MIND, KYLIE. Please. With cherries on top of the pretty.

It's always the characters that fray my nerves. I wonder why?

I did enjoy the novel overall though – Hunter incorporates quite a bit of humor, and the plot isn't entirely predictable. Oh, and there's Della. Without Della and her snarkiness, I might have subconsciously dropped the series (like I have with quite a few others – a friend of mine is horrified I didn't continue The Maze Runner or Gone). The fourth novel in the Shadow Falls series is full of drama, romance, and humor, but I may only read the last book just to feel as though I accomplished something (and to enjoy more of Della's snark).

4.5 Owls
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☄ Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Blast + Giveaway: The Awakening by Dorine White


Title: The Awakening
Author: Dorine White
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Nightmares really do come true, and for fifteen-year-old Kyler Birkwood, they are just beginning. Raised on a farm by his Aunt Martha, Kyler has no clue about the magical heritage swimming through his blood. When he discovers evidence of a mythical creature, a terrifying beast thought only to exist in fairy tales, his safe world shatters.

Left at a school of magic to hunt for clues, he is overwhelmed and disbelieved. As loved ones begin disappearing and Orcs roam the land, Kyler must undergo a journey that takes him from the High Courts of the King to the unknown forests of the East. His magic just awakening, Kyler is the lone hope for a world that will not listen.


Praise:

"Dorine White delivers twists and turns to the plot that will keep you turning the pages." ~ Melanie Mason, author of the YA historical, The Line That Divides

"The Awakening is a clever blend of folklore and fantasy, perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. A furiously fun read!" ~ Laurisa Reyes, author of the YA thriller, Contact

Author Bio


My name is Dorine White. I am a children's fantasy author and a book reviewer. I grew up back East in Maryland and attended BYU in Utah. I have a BA in Humanities with an interest in Art History and French. Currently I live in the beautiful, yet rainy Northwest with my husband and 6 children. My first novel was published in 2012 and is the beginning of the Cleopatra's Legacy series. The first two books are out, The Emerald Ring and The Ruby Pendant. Look for the third book, The Diamond Looking Glass in the summer of 2015.

Author Links:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

  • $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
  • Ends December 29, 2014
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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☄ Friday, December 5, 2014

Blog Tour: The Messenger - Guest Post + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Title: The Messenger (Mortal Beloved #1)
Author: Pamela DuMond
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Publication Date: December 26, 2013

“All the excitement of OUTLANDER if it was a YA series.”

THE MESSENGER is optioned for film/TV.


Sixteen-year-old Madeline’s meant to fall in love with Samuel in every lifetime. But she meets him for the first time when she accidentally time travels into the past—hundreds of years before she’s even born.

Their relationship is forbidden—Samuel’s half Native, Madeline’s white. Every rendezvous they share must be secret. Each moment they spend together tempts the odds that they’ll be discovered and brutally punished. But their love is fated—and they musk risk it all.

Danger intensifies when Madeline learns she’s in the past not only to fall in love, but also to claim her birth right as a Messenger—a soul who can slip through time’s fabric at will. She can bring messages that change one life or even save many.

Deadly Hunters, dark-souled time travelers, crave Madeline’s powers and seek to seduce or kill her. Can Madeline find her way back to the future in time to save herself and Samuel?

Continue reading Madeline and Samuel’s romantic saga in…
The Assassin (Mortal Beloved, Book 2) — publishing early 2015.
The Seeker (Mortal Beloved, Book 3) — publishing fall 2015.

A Day in the Life of a Messenger
by Pamela DuMond

     Messengers are a breed of humans who are gifted/cursed with the ability to time travel. It’s genetic, it’s passed down, and it fully activates when a Messenger reaches a specific birthday. For Madeline Blackford in The Messenger (Mortal Beloved, Book One)—that age is sixteen.
     A day in the life of a Messenger can be as boring as a day at high school in present day. Perhaps you’re dreading a world history test, but afterward you get to hang out with your friends, listen to some music, hit a fun party where you might meet some new cute guys, or….
     …maybe you’re tearing through a cold, thick woods in the year 1675, during a war between the Natives and the colonists while a brutal, lethal Hunter chases after you, trying to kill you. And you know he’s going to kill you because he just butchered the guy who was assigned to protect you.
     You can pretend to be a colonial girl living in the rough world of that time: braving the elements, performing common chores. You could also be falling in love with the one person you’re not supposed to even be seen with—Samuel—the smart, gorgeous, half-native and half white young man who seems to be falling for you, as well. But don’t get caught together—in 1675 it’s a crime with harsh punishments.
     So—what do you do?
     Besides trying your best to stay alive, you seek mentors who help you learn how to be a more skillful Messenger.
     Messengers aren’t super heroes. They aren’t born knowing where to time travel, nor do they immediately figure out what their message is, and to whom they need to deliver it. They are tasked with learning about their abilities, and if they’re smart, they’ll try and get a little savvier with each travel.
     It’s a little like learning how to drive a car. You get behind the wheel of a powerful machine and hopefully you have a decent teacher in the seat next to you. You learn how to turn the car on, look in the mirrors, and use a turn signal. But, if you were at all like me, you hit the gas and the brakes too quickly, making for a jerky ride, as well as scaring your teacher.
     In The Assassin (Mortal Beloved, Book Two), Madeline trains with a new Messenger mentor in present day Chicago. Her after school activities turn from hanging out with her friends to learning how to defend herself, how to throw a punch, ride a horse, and read people to see who is a friend and who is an enemy. She trains to learn how to time travel with volition and intention, instead of simply by accident. And just as importantly—how will she recognize her message when she lands in another time period. Who is she there to help?
     Eventually Madeline’s given the choice to travel to a time period and deliver a message that can help save someone’s life—and she is pulled to the year and dramatic conflict where she will once again be with Samuel.
     She travels to medieval Europe, to a conflict that in real life inspired a King’s insanity, plotting, assassinations, intrigue and buckets of action-adventure. But in this year that Madeline has time travelled to, Samuel is very different than the young man she fell in love with back in 1675…
Because when you’re a Messenger—you need to be careful what you wish for…

Author Bio

Pamela DuMond is the author who discovered Erin Brockovich’s life story, thought it would make a great movie and pitched it to ‘Hollywood’.

She writes romantic comedic mysteries, romantic YA time travel and New Adult romance.

Her book The Story of You and Me was a Quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award (ABNA) 2014 in Romance.

Cupcakes, Pies, and Hot Guys was a Quarterfinalist in ABNA 2013 in Mystery .

She’s addicted to TV shows — The Voice and Reign. The movies Love Actually and The Bourne trilogy (with Matt Damon — not that other actor guy,) make her cry ever time she watches them. (Like — a thousand.)

When she’s not writing Pamela’s also a chiropractor and cat wrangler. She loves reading, the beach, working out, movies, TV, animals, her family and friends. She lives in Venice, California with her fur-babies.

She likes her coffee strong, her cabernet hearty, her chocolate dark, her foods non-GMO and she lives for a good giggle.
Author Links:
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Giveaway

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