Aug 26, 2015

INTERVIEW: LAURA BARNARD

QUICKFIRE ROUND: 

A) Do you believe yourself to be an outgoing or shy person?

Outgoing

B) What do you enjoy the most, salty snacks or sweet treats?

Sweet Treats

C) What do you prefer, TV shows or movies?

Movies

D) What's your favorite OTP?

If we're talking celebrities I'd say Adam Levine and his wife are beyond adorable.  The way he talks about her makes my heart melt.

E) What's your favorite book ?

Impossible question for me!  I have hundreds!

F) What's the last book you read?

It Aint Me Babe by Tillie Cole

QUESTIONS:

1) What's the most influential book you've ever read?

I think Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.  It was the first adult book I'd read that really made me laugh out loud.

2) What made you want to write funny chick lit?

I think life is hard enough these days and we all want a light read that can make us forget everything and laugh over other people's lives.  It makes us feel better about our own!

3) What's your favourite genre to write and/or read?

Chick-lit, although I basically read anything that takes my fancy.

4) Dopey Women is your latest release. The blurb sounds original and unique. What was your inspiration /where did you find the idea for this book?

I was interested in creating desperation in women that would drive them to an illegal act.  I originally thought of con women, but then wrote in that Mags was suffering from breast cancer.  It just seemed like more of a natural progression for them to think selling weed to cancer patients wasn't the worst thing in the world to start doing.

5) Tease us! What are you currently working on?

I'm working on three books at the moment, which is frying my brain!  I'll be releasing a Christmas short story in November linked to the Debt & the Doormat series, then its to decide which out of the three takes priority.

6) We love stalking authors! Where can readers find you? 

I'm signing at Leeds, Liverpool, Essex and Dublin next year. 

LAURA'S FACEBOOK PAGE

TWITTER: @BarnardLaura

LAURA'S OFFICIAL PAGE

Aug 25, 2015

REVIEW: THE PAPER SWAN by Leylah Attar

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They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.They lie.For 21 days she held on.But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.
A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense. Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.

5 EMOTIONAL STARS.


TRIGGER WARNING: Kidnapping, abuse, murder, violence.

I promise you, you haven't read anything like this before. I was speechless from page one. It's unique. It's real. It will blow your mind.
We start with typical spoiled rich girl. She has the perfect life, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect family. She wears the right clothes, says the right things and attends the right events. Until someone puts a gun against her head.
She prays and the man decides to let her live... with him as her captor.
We get some flashbacks, bittersweet snippets at what life was like for Skye, our heroine, and how she fell in love with her childhood best friend.

“You don’t always get the treasure by holding on. Sometimes the magic happens when you let go.” 

It took me a long time to write this review. This book deserves to be a NY Times bestseller. It's THAT good. It's THAT fesh. It's THAT innovative. It was gripping and it made you scared and excited at the same time. It made you feel.

“In the grand scheme of things, we do the best we can, all of us, and we make up our stories as we go along; we write them and direct them and project them into the world. And sometimes we get other people’s stories, and sometimes we don’t, but always there is a story behind a story behind a story, linked in a chain that we can only see a small part of, because it’s there when we’re born and it continues after we’re gone. And who can comprehend all of it in one lifetime?” 

The places, the characters, the dialogue, EVERYTHING was spot on. Each and every single word seemed realistic, like I could almost touch it. I was right there with Skye, when she was scared and when she was panicking. When she was laughing and when she was crying.

“How deluded we become when we start believing that everything in the world is about us. How hard we work to make things fit into our made-up theories. How blindly we follow our worked-up emotions, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

All the characters were morally gray, and all of them had to make choices not everyone would approve of. They did them and they suffered the consequences, they accepted their fate and the things they'd done. They weren't perfect, but that's what made them so easy to love.

“It’s all fucked up, Rafael. There are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone has a reason.” 

The pace was great, and the prose was incredible. Leylah knows how to write, and her style is delicate and lovely. Even the sexy scenes were done with grace.

“We are sand and rock and water and sky, anchors on ships and sails in the wind. We are a journey to a destination that shifts every time we dream or fall or keep or weep. We are stars with flaws that still sparkle and shine. We always strive, always want, always have more questions than answers, but there are moments like these, full of magic and contentment, when souls get a glimpse of the divine and quite simply, lose their breath.” 

This book is complex, with so many unexpected turns. I could only guess a few plot twists, because they were so many that my mind couldn't keep up with all of them.

“It’s not over, you know. It never has been,” he said. “Whether you say yes or no, you will always be my forever.” 

You will end up loving Damian, our antihero, as much as you hate him, and you will fall for him as Skye does.

“Just sitting here thinking how far you’ve come, and I’m overwhelmed with how much I love you.” 

Aug 12, 2015

REVIEW: SOULS UNFRACTURED by Tillie Cole

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"For fractured souls are like magnets.
Drawn to collide into an impossible bliss…"
Labeled a ‘Cursed’ woman of Eve from birth, Maddie has endured nothing but pain and repression at the hands of The Order’s most abusive elder, Moses. Now living with her sister in The Hangmen’s secluded compound, finally, Maddie, is free. Free from the suffocating faith she no longer believes in. Free from endless years of physical and mental torment.
Just… free…
At age twenty-one, the timid and shy Maddie is content to live within the confines of her new home—safe from the outside world, safe from harm and, strangely, protected by the Hangmen’s most volatile member; the heavily pierced and tattooed, Flame. 
Flame. 
The man who ceaselessly watches over her with his midnight dark and searing eyes. The man who protects her with a breath-taking intensity. And the man who stirs something deep within her numbed heart. 
But when circumstances conspire for Flame to need HER help, Maddie bravely risks it all for the broken man who has captivated her fragile soul. 
The Hangmen’s most infamous member, Flame, is ruled by one thing—anger. Plagued by haunting demons from his past, an all-consuming rage, and isolated by an abhorrent hatred of being touched, Flame's days are filled with suffocating darkness, pierced only by a single ray of light—Maddie. The shy, beautiful woman he cannot purge from his thoughts. The woman he has an overwhelming need to possess… 
... the only person who has ever been able to touch him. 
Flame’s mission in life is to protect Maddie, to keep her safe. Until a trigger from his troubled past sends him spiraling into madness, trapping him in the deepest recesses of his disturbed mind. 
His Hangmen brothers fear that Flame is beyond saving. 

His only hope of salvation: Maddie and her healing light.

TRIGGER WARNING! ABUSE, RAPE, MURDER, SELF-HARM.

Oh my Flame. I'd been waiting for his story for a long time, and it was everything I expected it to be. It was a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, mind-breaking book. It was a powerful raw story about survival, healing, love and acceptance. It was a story about two people finding the strength they needed, and through each other seeing their own worth. (BTW, the cover is beautiful and so meaningful. It's perfect.
Now, Maddie was a little warrior. Her character development was amazing, and I love her, but Flame stole the show from the beginning. I'm a sucker for him. You think you know who Flame is, and his motives. You do not. He was a character that grew a little bit more with each page, that touched your soul and never let you go.

“Flame’s different. But it don’t make him any less fucking important.” 

He looks like a devil, but he's such a softie inside. He's actually really innocent in his mind, and he's afraid of how the world sees him since he's "different". He puts up all these walls to keep others out because he's been neglected, abused and mistreated his whole childhood, and he doesn't believe anyone would stay for him.
OK, so Flame and Maddie have this strong connection from the beginning, but since I've been feeling this building up from book 1, I didn't think it was insta-love. I adored how they communicated in ways that might seem weird to other people, and how they viewed the world so differently. They needed each other, and their connection came fast, but I bought it! I believed every single line of this book. Their love was so selfless, they sacrificed so much for each other... it was beautiful.

“I know I’m different. I know I don’t see the world like everyone else does. But I want to see your world, Maddie. Even if it’s the only one I’ll ever understand." 

The plot is even more original this time around. The twists and turns this series is taking leave me with my mouth hanging open each and every time. This whole novel was messed-up in the best way, it took me up and down and twisted me so much I will never forget it. There were psychological aspects that were handled with such respect and faithfulness that I honestly wanted to hug Tillie Cole and thank her for caring so much and portraying the characters in such a realistic way. And I'm not gonna lie, I'M DYING FOR RIDER'S (Cain's) STORY!!!! He took a little piece of my heart in this book. I understood him a lot more, and the author did a fantastic job making me want his HEA. It's just this thing Tillie does. Each of her "villians" have motives, they are not "just the bad guy". You actually feel compassion towards them. Even her "heroes" are actually anti-heroes, so morally gray you're confused as to why you like them! It's incredible.
I enjoyed the previous books, BUT I LOVE THIS ONE. (And it's a series, that IMO shouldn't be read out of order or as stand-alones, since each book is necessary in the development of the overall storyline.)



Aug 4, 2015

REVIEW: FEAR ME by B.B. Reid

Fear Me (Broken Love, #1)

I don't believe in fairy tales and Prince Charming.

I believe in fear.
He taught me how to be afraid.
We first met on a playground on a wonderful summer day. It was the first time he hurt me and it wouldn’t be the last. For ten years, he's been my tormentor and I've been his forbidden. But then he went away, and yet I was still afraid.
Now he's back and wants more than just my tears. You see...he thinks I sent him away so now he wants revenge...and he knows just how to get it.

TRIGGER WARNING: DUBIOUS CONSENT / VIOLENCE / ABUSE / THREATS / OTHER SENSITIVE SUBJECTS.

REVIEWER NOTE: I'm one of those feminists that will differentiate real life from FICTION. For the sake of this review, UNDERSTAND that I'm aware this is A SICK LOVE STORY. IT'S GRUESOME AND TOXIC. I'm reviewing this as a tale, a fantasy, a work of fiction AND NOTHING ELSE. I'm not promoting any of the subjects or themes touched in this novel, nor will I ever want or wish this kind of things on me or anyone else. I'm all for only-yes-means-yes, don't-mess-with-me consent. I encourage you to speak up if you're in an abusive relationship.

This book is a mindfuck. Now, Antiheroes are my fav. I love seeing the character grow and change and I love understanding their motives. If the story begins with the main characters as enemies then I'm all for it.

“I’m a hopeless fuck who is obsessed with a girl he still wants to hurt.” 

I ADORE a good haters-to-lovers book, but this? This was really disturbing. Now, you might think I'm exaggerating, but no. I enjoyed the book, but it's dark. Like, pitch black dark.  
But it was also gripping. I was so intrigued I couldn't stop reading! And the sex scenes were steamy, but twisted at the same time. I wanted to know how Lake and Keiran's relationship would progress.
Keiran will play with your mind. 

You'll love him one second, hate him the next. You'll find yourself, wanting him to die, wanting to fuck him, wanting to punch him.

“I’m afraid for him because every day he has to fight the person he is, to be the person he wants to be.”

B.B. Reid did an amazing job of being realistic. Keiran doesn't change from one scene to the next, and Lake doesn't suddenly love him. I mean, sure, Lake has some weird reactions to him, BUT SHE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HER LUST IS BLINDING HER. She knows she's a "dick dizzy" teenage girl.
They lick their wounds, fight again, have make up sex, repeat. It's the appeal of their relationship! They are both headstrong characters.
They progressively start understanding one another, and just when you think they are getting their HEA something new happens that spins the whole story in another direction. When they start to open up to one another it's weird because they keep fighting it and it's part of what makes the novel so entertaining. The lust is almost touchable with these two!

“He came around to open my door and held out his hand to me. The gesture said more than what the eye could see. He could have easily lifted me out of the car without me being able to do anything to stop him but instead he was asking for my consent. To accept what was about the happen.” 

So, does this book have some things that could be fix? Yeah, sure. It's not perfect, but it's special. It has something that has your stomach churning while your panties melt.
The author did an amazing job, and I'll be continuing o
n with the series. Can't wait to see how Lake`s, Keiran's and their friends' journey end.

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