29 July 2014

Blog Tour: Tortured by Kate Givans

Tortured by Kate Givans
Series: Tortured #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Drama

A contemporary romantic drama about loss, healing, and love's ability to reach beyond scars and secrets, no matter how deep or hidden.
WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow.

More than a year after the death of his best friend, Josh is still tormented by the past. Everything changes when free-spirited Willow barges into his life. She challenges him, helps him feel something other than the overwhelming pain, sadness, and anger.

There’s just one problem.

Underneath that carefree spirit, Willow is elusive and secretive. Josh believes she may be fighting a few demons of her own, but he harder he tries to uncover the truth, the more she pushes him away.

Can Josh get her to open up before it’s too late? Or will he discover that some secrets are better left untold?

     I was still trying to sort out the opening when a knock came at my door. My heart flipped for a few rapid beats. The only person it could be would be appalled by how bad I’d let the mess get.
     “Hold on, Mom!” I yelled at the door.
     Completely abandoning the trash bag, I started stuffing pizza boxes, empty chip bags, snack cake wrappers, and soda cans into the cabinets and drawers, under the couch, into the entertainment center – basically anywhere they would fit. The pounding was getting louder, most likely because my mom both worried and annoyed about being left out in the cold to wait. “Coming!” I hollered, making my way to the door, glancing around the apartment quickly. I still had a sink full of dishes, but at least the mess was contained t just one area. “I’m okay, Mo---“
     The rest of my sentence fell flat when I pulled the door open. If it had been summer, a fly probably would have flown in my mouth. Standing there on my doorstep was the last person I ever would have expected to see.
     “Expecting someone else?” Annoyance plagued her furrowed features, but I could tell she was trying to suppress a smile. Satisfaction at surprising me, maybe?

     “Uh, no. Not really. I just…”
     “Didn’t expect to see me?”
     Heat rising in my neck and spreading through my cheeks, I stumbled through my words, racking my brain for any excuse that sounded at least somewhat plausible. “No…I mean, uh—I did, just. I—“
     “Forgot?” She lifted one perfectly shaped eyebrow at me.
     “Yeah. Forgot.” A lie, but it was better than trying to explain the truth.
     Her lips scrunched together and moved back and forth for a second as she chewed it over. Apparently, she’d decided it was sufficient enough; that grin that she’d been suppressing went on full display. I couldn’t help but notice how much her smile magnified the intense sparkling of her eyes.

     “Well, no worries! I’m here now!” she exclaimed, stepping through the doorway, not even waiting for me to invite her in. She stopped in the middle of my living/dining area to face me. “You ready?” Still holding the door open, letting the cold air in, I stood there, staring at her like my brain had taken a vacation.
     Besides being dumbfounded as to how she’d found me, I was extremely uncomfortable about having her in my apartment. I hadn’t had a girl there in…well, never, unless you counted my mom and Brad’s girlfriend, which I didn’t. And I didn’t even know this girl, which made the entire thing awkward and wrong on so many levels. But somewhere else, somewhere deep inside, it almost felt right, like she somehow belonged there.

     Shaking the ridiculous thought from my head, I found my voice. “Uh-sure…just...give me a sec.” She nodded her silent response and then took to looking at the various posters hanging on my walls.
     Even in an alternate universe, no good could come from having this mess of a girl in my apartment. But I was going to go with her, it seemed, despite my own best advice to steer clear of all things Willow. I guess it got her out of my place, at least. After that…I’d find a way to get her out of my head and out of my life.
     That’s what I told myself, anyway.
     “No rush,” she called over her shoulder as I made my way to the bedroom.
     Sorting through the pile of clothes on my bed, I tossed half of them on the floor again. They would have ended up there eventually anyway. I eventually decided on a white and navy blue striped long-sleeve polo. After pulling my t-shirt over my head, I tossed it on the floor and then pulled on the polo. I was just fixing the hem when I had the distinct feeling of being watched.
     I turned to look at the door, which I’d stupidly left open. Leaning against the frame, Willow stood there, looking at me, a stupid smirk on her face. “Don’t you ever knock?” I asked, heat warming my ears.
     “The door was open. I was just going to ask you if you had any water.” She pointed in the direction of the kitchen before crossing her arms over her chest. “I wasn’t expecting a show.” Her eyes swept over me, head to toe, giving me the sense that she’d been trying to undress me with her eyes. I didn’t know if I should be flattered or embarrassed.
     This wasn’t a new conflict. Even though I’d only just met her, I always felt this internal struggle when she was around. It was worse when she focused those eyes on me, giving me the sense that she could see right through me. Maybe that was what she wanted me to think. Or maybe I was going crazy. Or maybe two years of not getting laid was starting to really wear on me.

     Willow didn’t really seem like my kind of girl – trailer park, too comfortable around guys, always into trouble. And I wasn’t the kind of guy to just use women for sex. In fact, I could count the women I’d been with on one hand – two in high school and one in college, all three former girlfriends that I’d dated for no less than six months. But I couldn’t deny that there was something there with her. I thought about her when she wasn’t around, and whenever she landed in my path, I found myself agreeing to spend time with her, even though I was sure I didn’t want to.

     “Um, earth to Josh!”
     Great, now I was getting lost in my own head. “Sorry, what?”
     “Oh, yeah. In the fridge.”
     She disappeared from the doorway. A few seconds later, I heard the fridge door open. In just a few more, she was leaning in the doorway of my bedroom again. At least my body wasn’t on display this time.

     “So…just wondering…how did you know where I live?” I asked, shoving my feet into a pair of Doc Martins.
     Willow took a big swig of water before answering. “A stalker never reveals her secrets.”

Quirky, clumsy, and always a little off-key, Kate Givans has always loved books and the words contained within. Now that she’s writing the stories, she’s filling them with broken characters, angst, and even a few of those happily-ever-afters that seem to evade us in real life.
When not writing, this gypsy-hearted wife and mother of five can be found guzzling coffee, day-dreaming, dancing for no reason at all, playing with the voices in her head, watching her favorite shows (Originals, Grey’s, OUAT, The Following), listening to music, and reminding herself to “breathe.”

Connect with Kate Givans: Goodreads| Blog | Facebook | Twitter

28 July 2014

REVIEW: Gone by Anna Bloom

Gone by Anna Bloom

Expected Publishing Date: 28th July 2014
Genre: NA Contemporary
Format: Kindle (ARC)
goodreads | barnes & noble

Rebecca Walters harbours a dark secret, and as the fifty-three bangles she wears on her wrists as a self-imposed sentence of guilt remind her, she can’t even begin to consider moving on. Not after what happened on that night six months ago… a night which she can’t remember and yet managed to change her life forever.

When Rebecca comes across Joshua Adams, man equally haunted by past tragedies, on a moonlit beach, both of their lives are destined to change forever, and when the girl made out of the sun meets the boy made out of the moon and sea, anything can happen… but will the knowledge of their murky pasts bring them together or drive them apart?
Will Rebecca finally be able to claim her freedom? Will she stay and fight to be the girl she found on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or is she destined to keep running and hiding from a past that won’t stay Gone? One thing’s for certain: either way, nothing will ever be the same again.

When this book was recommended to me, I read the synopsis and decided to hop on the blog tour. I definitely don't regret it. This book was a great read.

There were times I felt like it was very slow paced and I would feel like I should be further along than I really was. But I didn't completely hate the slow pace; we got to spend time with Rebecca--or Bex as only those closest to her call her--and Joshua.

They were adorable together and I loved that I could hear their voices and their accents as I read the book. There seemed to be this extreme spark and pull  between the characters that never really was defined in the book, but I believe that was supposed to be the point. That sometimes you find someone and you can't explain how, when, where, or even why... but you just need them in your lives. And I loved that aspect too.
I felt like the author had quite an artists mind as she wrote this. That everything she wanted to say, she was almost painting the scene, the words and everything that happened.

I did feel like all their secrets and the dark cloud that hung over both of their heads was a bit too much and pulled a lot of the reality out of the story for me. I understand that not everyone is happy (boy do I understand) but I don't think one person has so much pain and finds someone else with pain that has an almost identical cause and they just happen to work. It felt a bit forced.
When I'd ignore that part or when it wasn't the center of the book, which was rare, I loved them together. They truly were amazing together.

This is the kind of book I'd like to see turned into a movie.
However, I'm not a fan of dreads, so I'd prefer if Josh's hair accidentally gets chopped early.

Because I truly do enjoy Ms Bloom's writing style, as if she is painting with words, I will delve into her other books as well! Check this one out!

Characters: ½
Writing: ½
Cover: (although her hair is a bit too perfect, and not red enough for Bex)

24 July 2014

Drama of the Week - Hi School! Love On

» Hi! School: Love On | 하이스쿨 - 러브온 «

Genre: Romantic comedy & youth | Episodes: 20 | Air day: Friday | Air dates: 07/11 to 11/21

I saw this drama on a list of upcoming dramas, and loved the idea of it. I've been in the mood for a cutesy high school drama that would numb the brain a bit.

I love the otherworldly aspect with the angels. . . read death angels.

Two episodes have been released and I can tell this may be one of those dramas that I give up towards the end. I have a hard time watching "once-a-week" dramas. Also, though I love some, there are times when high school dramas just don't work out for me!

I did really enjoy the first two episodes and how quickly the story moved along. Which only leaves room for lots of.....drama.

Summary of this drama:
Can a real guardian angel survive the perils of teen angst and living life as a high school student? Lee Seul Bi (Kim Sae Ron) is an angel who is sent to Earth to look after Shin Woo Hyun (Nam Woo Hyun), who lives with his grandmother and carries emotional scars from being abandoned by his parents. Despite his cold demeanor, Woo Hyun is popular in school because of his good looks and singing ability. When his best friend, Hwang Sung Yeol (Lee Seong Yeol), finds out a secret that ties them together and also develops feelings for Seul Bi, who is posing as a fellow student at their school, the best friends turn into rivals. Can Seul Bi survive first love and other the perils of life as a teenager and properly do her job to protect Woo Hyun? “Hi! School: Love On” is a 2014 South Korean drama series directed by and Sung Joon Hae and Lee Eun Mi.

Have you had a chance to watch this one? Let me know what you think below!

Get hooked on this drama on: viki | dramafever | hulu

23 July 2014

Book Highlight & Giveaway: Demons by K.F. Breene

Title: Demons
Author: K.F. Breene
Series: Darkness #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication: July 21st, 2014

It’s been a long road, but Sasha has finally claimed her role as the least knowledge mage in history. She’s also acquired a new, incredibly grumpy bodyguard, and a spunky new BFF. With her team by her side, she learns the ropes of this new profession.

Her experience level is about to be fast-tracked, however.

On a routine trip to check out a perimeter breach, she encounters a hideous demon called by an experienced magic worker. It is this terrifying discovery that unlocks a deeper problem: Stefan’s troubled past and the reason he gravely mistrusts the Mata.

While Sasha struggles to fight the physical demons, Stefan struggles to fight the demons of his past. If he fails, his future in Sasha will be lost.

As I got halfway through the open space, a vulgar feeling began to crawl up my skin like tiny insects scrabbling under my clothes. The sickly-sweet smell of rotting flesh tickled my nose.

“I’ve never felt anything like this before,” I said quietly, passing my hands through the air. “Although, granted, I haven’t had a lot of experience.”

Shapes took form within the shadows toward the back wall the closer I got. On the right, near the corner of the building, lay a pile of grayish sticks, charred and blackened by fire. Scorched fabric was glued to the various elements of the pile.

Three more steps had me halting, sucking in a huge breath. 

It was a body! They weren’t sticks, they were bones coated in masticated skin!

Did that moan come from me?

A face, twisted in an endless scream of agony, lay on the backside of his calves. One arm had been ripped out of the socket and lay flat under his back. One leg, obviously broken at the thigh, lay over the other. He was broken and twisted, as if he’d been made of match-sticks and sporadically snapped and tossed to the ground.

“No human could have done this,” I whispered. “His back was broken in half.”

“A bear could have,” Jonas’ voice echoed around the crouching walls.

“Not without opposable thumbs,” I retorted into the hush.

A few more steps and I could see another fire site, only this time, there was a large black pot overturned against the wall. A round camping stove, smudged with soot, half lay under it.

“This has got to be a few days old, at least…”

“You’re not here to investigate,” Jonas growled. “You’re here to feel for magic. We have experienced clan that’ll go over this site and give us more conclusive findings.”

 “Oh. Well, you could’ve made that more clear before I looked at the body.”

I let my magic drift, sensing for spells and pitfalls within the area. This was something I practiced every day per Toa’s instruction. A large part of my job was sensing other magic and possible dangers. I still had trouble doing this on the fly, but here, in the quiet settings, the building almost feeling as if it was holding its breath, I had nothing else to do but concentrate.

The black glow of my magic, hardly discernable in the gloom of the warehouse, drifted over the overturned pot. Like a match to kerosene, a circular fire lit up, climbing into the sky like fairy lights. Sparkles danced and played in a shimmering orange halo lazily drifting toward the right. Toward the body.

I could not help that squeak. Or holding my breath afterwards.

Still it drifted. Reaching for that death. What would it do when it got there?

I don’t want to know!

A blast of rotten flesh crawled up my nose, prompting a gag. That smell didn’t come from the body, it came from the disgusting magic corroding this area. Magic that was still active. Lingering, waiting. But for what? Whatever spells had been laid, they weren’t used to create rainbows. They were also extensive and intricate. Beyond my training.

“Not good magic over here…” I mumbled.

My magic spread like a fog over the body. For a second, nothing happened.

“Sasha?” Tim asked into the din.

“Don’t go in there, mong—“

Jonas’ voice cut off as my magic started to sizzle and pop. Like water splashing into hot grease.
“What’s it doing?” I asked Jonas with a quiver in my voice.

“This isn’t normal…” Jonas’ voice drifted away.

“Back out of there, Sasha,” Tim urged from the door.

Something tugged at my magical senses. It was like undertow, rolling and fierce, sucking. Consuming. As fast as magic surged into my body, elements desperate to get in, something in that area stole it again, using my draw to fuel itself.

But what the hell kind of spell was it?

 “Oh shit,” I mumbled, scrabbling to pull my power back.

“What is it?” Jonas asked, stepping into the building, his tattoos lighting up like a Christmas tree. A great, gleaming sword swung into his hand, the blade glowing orange.

“Get out of here, Jonas! I need to tie off this weird spell. It’s sucking magic to it.”

Jonas took a hasty step back, his body once again receding out of the doorway. Tim backed out with him, but hesitantly.

I got to work, sweat beading my brow, fighting the draw both of that corner, and from the elements fighting to rush into my body.

 “Nasty spell-working, this,” I said under my breath, sensing the elements within the casting. “They’re, like,reaching for me. Feeding off my magic. I’ve never dealt with a spell like this. I didn’t even know this was possible.”

“Dark magic,” Jonas whispered. “Hard to work. Harder to control. Someone has balls of steel.”

“Well, it’s not me,” I wheezed.

I snubbed out the elements that made up the spell, like soldering wires, closing the spell in a sort of circuit. The question was, did I just lock all that power in, or would it fray and disintegrate like it had been, needing someone with magic to come along and fan it higher?

“I don’t think the wielder knew exactly what he was doing,” I murmured, analyzing the lacy structure of the orangy incantation. It hovered within a shaky line spilled on the cement floor. Spilled because it looked suspiciously like blood, sticky and slick, gleaming in the soft light from the window.

As I was about to turn away toward Jonas, wanting to talk about what I’d done and see what he thought—we’d probably have to go get Toa—the lacy spell cleared away like mist. In its place grinned the head of a black monster, staring at me like a hungry lion would a fresh steak.

“You did not call me.” Sharp, ragged teeth filled a mouth too big for its face.

Terror jolted me back as a stringy leg stepped forward.

“Sasha?” Jonas’ voice held hard fibers of alarm.

The monster slapped into an invisible barrier. Orange sparks rained down on its head. It glanced up, and then around, noticing the hazy orange circle trapping it. And then its face straightened out, staring right at me out of black pits instead of eyes.  “We can rule, you and I. Our power, combined, will be indestructible. Join me.”

“Oh lovely, one of you. Fantastic.”

I eyed his cage as it did, sensing the weakness of it. The shaky spell, barely held together. Even as I stood there, the thing was starting to eat away at its cage.


Was this terrible spell by design, or some sort of failed attempt?

“We gotta get out of here!” I roared at Jonas, backing away as quickly as possible. “This thing is way, waystronger than other Dulcha I’ve seen. It’s feeding off of the magic containing it, somehow. We need Toa for this one.”

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Waiting on Wednesday

I don't have a book this week, so I thought I'd post one movie and one drama that I'm waiting on!

Drama: It's Okay, That's Love!| 괜찮아, 사랑이야
Release Date: 23rd July 2014 | Genre: Romance, Comedy, Melodrama
Jang Jae-Yeol is a mystery writer and radio DJ. He suffers from a obsession. Ji Hae-Soo is going through her first year fellowship in psychiatry at a University Hospital. She chose psychiatry because she doesn't want to perform surgeries. After she meets Jang Jae-Yeol, her life goes through big changes.
After release, watch on: viki or dramafever

Movie: Into the Storm Release Date: 8th August 2014
A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado. What they discover will shock them, and realize that the worst is far from over.
Do either of these entice you? What are you waiting on this week!? Let me know of an upcoming book I need to be aware of. Or drama, movie, TV show, etc etc!!

© Iridescent Lotus
Maira Gall