Thursday, December 25, 2014
I had heard that the Fifty Shades series was either one that you loved or you hated. My sister had been given the series and she said that she couldn't finish the first book and handed them over to me. My curiosity got the better of me as I picked up the first book Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. I have to admit, I shared in the sentiment, I hated it at first. I'll go into more detail about the issues I had reading this and how I surpassed them to enjoy the story. However, once I forced myself to continue I was invested.
Fifty Shades of Grey introduces us to Anastasia Steele, a college student getting ready to graduate and head out into the world. Her room mate and best friend Kate is outgoing where Anastasia, although she prefers Ana, is more reserved. Kate is suppose to interview the business mogul Christian Grey for their school paper. Ana isn't part of the paper but since her best friend Kate is sick and can't go to the interview, Kate sends Ana. Kate's major is journalism (I believe) where Ana's major is English Lit; she's not even minutely prepared to interview Mr. Grey. But, her friend feeds her to the wolves only equipping her with a tape recorder and a written list of questions for Mr. Grey.
The first book dives into the blooming relationship between Miss Steele and Mr. Grey. He's smitten with her and has a dark past, she has to come to terms with his demons and decide whether she can take on his needs. Honestly, what I had the hardest time with was the unbelievable aspects of this story. Then again, I probably shouldn't have read this still jaded or whatever you want to call my skepticism. I could be wrong, but it's been my experience that (at least most of the women I know) work hard (damn hard) for what they do have and have only ever been hurt by the men they trust their hearts to. Men don't give a shit about how you are feeling, what you are thinking, let alone provide such tantalizing sexual satisfaction. These books definitely explores the fantasy of the exceptions.
Once you can get your head wrapped around the fact that this is a fictional story and take it for just that - a story - I think you can enjoy the relationship the builds between Anastasia, Christian and everyone else in the book. Although, if you don't like reading about sex then this isn't the series for you either! It's all sex, sex, eating, sex, eating, more sex, work, sex, more sex, work again and rinse and repeat. There is a story in there too and I have to admit my favorite part of the entire trilogy was the e-mails and flirting between Ana and Christian, it's what kept me wanting to read and wanting to know where their story goes. So, by the end of the first book Christian pushes too much and Ana leaves, which shatters both of their worlds
Fifty Shades Darker picks right up where the first book left off after Ana leaves Christian and their attempt to rekindle what they have. Who wouldn't want a relationship with that sort of connection! Although, you would think with as much 'action' as Ana gets she would be sitting on some ice-packs and having more difficult walking and sitting period! There are times that she's a very lucky girl! And then other times you wince and want to runaway for her. Although, by the time they both get back together for good, Ana tells Christian that she'll never leave him again. And I was actually shocked when Christian proposes to Ana! I did love their relationship but sometimes I just felt like sometimes when reading (up to this point the first two books) there were scenes from movies and further fantasized about, there were certain terms that were overused and would get under my skin, and I hated how Ana's best friends full name was over used. **rolls eyes**
Up to this point Ana has been the best thing for Christian and he's really opening up to her and they are sharing so many firsts together. That was another thing that was hard to believe, a 21 year old beautiful woman who's still a virgin? It's like the perfect storm: You have Ana who is a virgin and then Christian who is into all of his kinky fuckery. When they clash and mold into each other, they create quite a delicious "Vanilla" confection. Plus, Christian and Ana have plenty of obstacles that they are continuing to hurtle and work through. One being Mr. Grey's ex-subs and even Christian's Dom, Mrs. Robinson who keeps threatening their relationship. What plucks at Ana's heart and mine while reading was Christians self-loathing, he thinks he's this dark demon when really he has so much love and compassion.
Fifty Shades Freed brings us back into the realm of Christian and Ana after their wedding while they are on their glob-trotting honeymoon. When you've fought for everything you have and still remain poor and have everything taken from you as well, the fantasy of having someone give you the world is a great one to pluck away at your chest and takes you deeper in to the world of the Grey's. Meanwhile, there are new threats to their family and more chaos ensues. When I was talking to my sister about the books, I described them to her as a grown-up Twilight. It takes that intense relationship to even more levels, with much-much more sex, and without any paranormal attributes. I wanted to read the series to see what the craze was about and now I've figured it out. What woman doesn't want that perfect man who only has eyes for her, the relationship where they complete each other, who worries about her in all aspects (and yes, even makes sure that her sexual experience is just as satisfying if not more so). Like I said; total fantasy.
However, I did enjoy reading about their life and their journey. I was totally invested in the characters, the ups and downs, and all the chaos too. I even gasped when there is unexpected news and Christian totally breaks character and flips out, it was surprising and hurtful, you want to cry along with Ana. And everything else that happens after that point just cuts harder until they reconnect and life if good again. I did have a hard time reading the Epilogues though, I think because I didn't want them 'summed up', I didn't want to stop reading about the characters - don't jump-skip! It's aggravating when you've followed these characters to a certain point and then you're just left wanting more. "Red, red.... red!" **wink**
With that being said, what do you think of the movie rendition? I mean, most times the books are better than the movies - right? What are your expectations for the movie? Do you like the actors that have been cast? Are you planning on going to see the movie? Let me know - make sure to leave a comment, I look forward to reading what you have to say.
Friday, December 19, 2014
|The Day of the Do Over Link|
The original post was this past September and it was pertaining to Giftapalooza 2014, promoting a Thunderclap campaign for a very worthy cause. Giftapalooza is organized by Tonya Ridener to help those less fortunate during the Holiday Season. Per the Facebook Event Page it specifies "[f]or those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it is my way of getting readers and authors alike involved with Random Acts of Christmas." I think this deserves a "Do Over" because this is a cause bringing bloggers, writers, authors together to show how strong we are as a community. So please, click on the links and go and check it out!
2014 TOTAL SO FAR - $3,368.21 (239 gifts)
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Title: Who We Were
Author: Christy Sloat
Genre: Contemporary romance
Formats: E-book and Paperback
Cover by: Najla Qamber Designs
Editor: Melanie Williams
Pages: 330 pages
Date Published: 15 September 2014
“Who we were had washed away with the summer. Who we are was yet to be seen.”
Summer school at Alcott High was only supposed to gain Sadie Peters extra credit, nothing more. Her goal wasn't to make friends, or gain the attention of the most popular football player, yet she managed both. Her life was cruising along on course ... until that summer.
Could a simple stint in a different school change her identity completely and introduce her to love for the first time? How would that affect her relationship with Lily, her best friend?
Hopefully their friendship was strong enough to make it through the tumultuous summer. Sadie learns that great things come with change, but sometimes memories of the past are hardest to part with.
I killed the engine and grabbed my new bag. I refused to go to summer classes with my junior year backpack. No way! I had purchased all new items for the next four weeks. This was a new school and a new chance to actually become someone different. A clean slate. No one here knew me, so my past history was erased. I would be Sadie Peters, popular and outgoing, instead of Sadie Peters, a shy nobody that no one pays any attention to.
I looked up at Alcott High’s newly rebuilt entrance. It was the town’s oldest school, but it held the most history. It was the very first school built in Laurel Lakes when it was a small town. Now that the town has grown immensely, they needed a new school built, and that’s how Ridgeline High, my school, was built. While I liked my school for various reasons, I loved the history of Alcott. To me it held hope and immense change. After a complete and utterly disastrous junior year, I could only see promise staring me in the face.
Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother's loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor's Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.
Check out her website www.christysloat.com
Tour Schedule – Two Week Blog Tour for Who We Were by Christy Sloat from Dec 1 to Dec 18 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
TITLE – For All in the Hope
SERIES – Going off Dreams
AUTHOR – K.E. Nowinsky
GENRE – Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction
PUBLISHER – Kindle Direct Publishing
COVER ARTIST – Going off Dreams Saga Productions
For All in the Hope picks up right where Going off Dreams (book 1) leaves off. Nyx wakes up in the dark realm of Tartarus without her man next to her in bed. They had Xylo, the wicked Woodland Dryad prisoner until they discover that not only is she missing, Nyx’s man Tobar is missing too. Plus, another ally and friend, the Feung Phoenix Shifter and best friend of Tobar’s, Zhou is critically injured! There is a race against time to find out what happened and to rescue Tobar before those that want to destroy Nyx and her powers permanently turn Tobar.
In the Earthly realm, Eryn is still coping with the fact that she has to leave her family and everything she knows and loves. She struggles to keep the stress of the realms from shattering her realities. As mortal Eryn, she’s a daughter to loving parents, the bigger sister to her outgoing younger sister Lena, who is living with her, and she’s also trying to balance Ryan in her life. After Christmas, Lena’s ex fiancé makes another tragic appearance that will change their fates forever.
Back in Tartarus, Nyx comes head to head with the Darkness that wants to consume her powers. Just when you would think the battle is over, another sinister entity comes forward trying to claim her powers. Meanwhile she’s continuing to build her relationships with her friends and allies she’s made in Tartarus while also learning the capabilities of her powers that the Darkness wants to consume and wield for their dark purposes. Nyx discovers her qualities within the quests and becomes the deity that will bring light to the darkness.
BUY & TBR LINKS
BOOK 1 (Going Off Dreams) BUY LINKS
GIFT OF ESCAPE
Opening my eyes the images surrounding me were blurry and unfocused. Not knowing where I was, made me feel sick within the pit of my stomach and threatening to escape. My heart was in competition, feeling as if it were going to burst through my chest along with my breathing; it was catching in my lungs like knives.
Surveying the scene, items started making some sense. When my eyes focused, I could make out the dark room with the help of the soft glow from the lights above me. I knew I had returned. I was back in Arden’s Hut, something didn’t feel right though, I was alone. Immediately I moved my hand to feel the sheets on the bed next to me, only feeling empty fabric and coldness where I expected warmth.
My feet met the cool wooden floor as I searched the small quarters along with the connecting bathroom. He wasn’t anywhere, no note, no sign of him ever being there. My heart plummeted in a swan dive directly to the pit of my stomach, this felt all too real and familiar. The emptiness and dread, as if the darkness would swallow me whole was threatening to entrap my consciousness. Commotion from the hallway broke the threatening fear.
Not being able to hear what was going on; I crept toward the huge thick door. Carefully, I maneuvered my toes on the floor, not to wake the creaky boards beneath me. When I heard a familiar voice say “Get Nyx, we’ll have to tell her.” The knock at the door was a little shocking, making my already erratic breathing nearly stop all together.
Drawing a deep breath in I cracked the door peaking out, my eyes focused on the dark silhouette, light that was being filtered from behind her somewhere. As my eyes adjusted more I could associate the name with the being; Arden. She was one of the first entities I met here in this realm.
While it was dark and perilous there was a sense that there could be more, quite a weird sensation of both hesitation and promise. I knew there were threats possibly lurking in the shadows and yet I also had formed friendships and allies with some unique and wonderful beings here. While the threat was prominent I also felt secure and a sense of being home.
When I first met Arden I had seen her materialize on the edge of a mystical forest, which seemed like a lifetime ago. Her hair, black as the night that plagued Tartarus, and her eyes a mystic violet. She reminded me of a Native American goddess. She had the fighting skills of Qamait; goddess of war with the Nuxalk Nation. Her body looks sculpted like a well-trained assassin, fit with curves to draw any male prey. With her enchanted bow and her whip KiKi to aid in her quests, she was magnificent and wicked to witness in battle.
Arden was more of an older sister figure. Within minutes of meeting her I felt a sense of shared spiritual security within our devotion and dedication to those we hold near to us. Plainly put, I liked Arden. She was usually in better spirits though. Now her face was serious and worried which in turn worried me further and only added to my desperation.
Looking at her through the entrance to my bedroom chamber, the light flickered from the candles in the hallway flirting with her skin enhancing her natural beauty. She said, “Nyx, you’ll need to come with me.”
“What’s going on?” I asked her.
She didn’t answer as she walked up toward the main hall.
The main room in Arden’s Hut consisted of wooden walls that reminded me of the consistency and texture like beavers had whittled the wood. Complete opposite, the floors were smooth and reminded me of a clean chopped tree displaying its many rings of life. When you looked above you could see smoke escaping through a fashioned hide-stretched ceiling. In the middle of the room a roaring fire encompassed by rocks that protect the many pillows thrown about – to which Arden would resort to throwing at guests when the opportunity presented itself. Her hut was comforting and inviting; when you took a deep breath in you could detect all the wonders and smells of the forest, which to me were delightful. You could also tell that her home had been around for a long time. Arden is a direct descendent of the Arduinnian Clan, who are known as the Guardians of the Forest, direct descendent of Diana, goddess of the hunt.
Upon entering Arden’s main room, my stomach immediately wrenched into a horrid knot. Zhou was laying lifelessly on the floor. This made my insides crawl knowing how powerful a fighter he is. Immediately I started contemplating what could have caused this serious condition.
Arden must have been hurting even more so. She had developed a relationship with Zhou and this only increased my concern. Arden, the true warrior that she is, was being strong for everyone. A painful lump was pressing against my throat and my eyes were pleading to cry. If Arden was holding it together, so could I.
I always liked Zhou, and I was sad to see him like this. He was still wearing his electric dark blue pants, with an equally dark purple shirt, and with the red streak in his black hair made him look intriguing. I never understood his fashion statements. I respected him though, as a fighter, a friend, and ally. With Zhou’s New Age fashion sense, it made him seem like he wasn’t from this dimension. Tartarus was more of a realm set with foliage. His choices in wardrobe against Arden’s more naturalistic approach made them both look mismatched. Seeing them together usually made me smile but, not now—Zhou was a Fenghuang, a shape shifting fire bird, more precisely a fiery phoenix. While he was very skilled in both his forms he is more powerful when he is in his phoenix form. He’s always eager for a fight. Zhou is like that big brother pulling you in to give you a noogie to remind you of the status quo. I’m afraid this time though, the fight won.
A healer Hikmat had his hands on Zhou’s forehead and chest, his eyes closed in concentration, meditating over Zhou’s lifeless body. I didn’t know Hikmat as well as some of the others in the room, I had met him only recently, and I knew he was a healer of sorts. He was a wizard when it pertained to plants, potions, and concoctions. He was a Tobar Segais like Tobar, meaning he possessed wisdom. His eyes stayed closed while his hands remained on Zhou.
Thinking of Tobar made my stomach dive even deeper. As if my stomach detached from the warm blood circulation within my body and plummeted toward the depths of despair— my mind reconnected with another concern that had me riddled right before seeing Zhou on the floor. Tobar, he was missing from our room and if Zhou was lying on the floor defeated… Tobar was an equal opponent.
Tobar was the one that introduced me into the realm. He was the one that my heart connected with and I felt drawn toward, like no other before him. A truly deep soul connection, without him next to me I felt as though a part of my being was missing. He had given me refuge from myself, I felt safe when I was with him. Without him, the danger lurking within the darkness here seemed more prominent and threatening.
With the thought of him not in sight intensified the sinking feeling that had pressed so deeply south. It began to rise more rapidly back up. I had to place my hand over my mouth to reel in my senses.
Arden kneeled down next to Zhou as closely as she could. She gently brushed her cheek against his in an intimate gesture. The room felt as if all the oxygen leaving vacuumed sealed the room, extinguishing the fire, and even the warm inside my body as I felt a sudden chill. Suffocating, I watched as she then placed her lips upon his with a soft wanting kiss. Arden’s eyes began to fill with emotion. I felt for her, as the tears sparkling against her skin escaped their confines and splashed against Zhou’s skin below. She placed her hands on his as she prayed silently.
Seeing her in such distress only made the situation feel more dire. I too bowed my head and closing my eyes.
Desperately I began to pray for Tobar’s safety and Zhou’s recovery. Please Lord, deliver Tobar back to us safely and lay your healing hands upon Zhou; as we so desperately need You now. I pray for those that have made their move against us. They’ll wish they had never been in existence once I finish with them…
My concentration broke off when Avlov and Enki joined us then. They both had bowls in their hands that contained some healing elements. Enki took Avlov’s and kneeled next to Hikmat on Zhou’s other side. Enki and I had only met recently as well. He was known as Lord of the Earth, meaning he had control over the elements and its constituents.
A Wieven, Avlov is also known as a Wise Woman. She has a vast knowledge of healing salves, rituals and how to use the elements for their benefit. She has fierce white eyes that match her white hair and almost a hipster outfit. I always liked Avlov because she wore converses.
The group that was working on Zhou, the healers, are much like those that wield magic. They can manipulate matter and they have a vast knowledge that helps them in their aiding processes. To watch them in action definitely feels like you were experiencing magic in a true form.
Touching my shoulder, Avolv broadcasted a message using her telepathy, “Nyx, I need to talk to you, please come with me over to the table.” Leading me over, she verbally asked “Have you seen Tobar?”
I was on the verge of tears, there was still so much that remained unanswered, and if Zhou was hurt—I could barely articulate “No, I woke up to an empty room, a cold bed and I couldn’t find him anywhere.” My chest flet like it was going to combust.
Arden had joined us and she put her hand around my shoulders to give me a half-hug “We’ll get these—”
But Avlov interrupted her and said, “I think we should get Nyx up to speed with what’s going on.”
Zhou began to stir making some noises and we all ran to his side. I felt so bad that he had to suffer so much. He opened his eyes and found Arden’s first, she took his hands in hers. Then he found mine and started to speak, weakly saying “I don’t… know… what… happened.”
Enki spoke up and said that Zhou had taken Xylo, the captured dryad we were interrogating, some refreshments for when she would wake up.
Zhou continued, “I opened her door… the next thing I knew I was… laying here.”
Hikmat told Zhou that he needed to rest. We gathered pillows as they propped him up, attempting to give him some comfort. Hikmat gave Zhou another potion, this time it was clear. What was it? How easily we were to trust. After he drank it, he smiled before his eyes closed and he was back asleep.
“So where’s Tobar?” I asked plainly.
Everyone looked alarmed. The sick feeling returned and now there was an alarming amount of pressure on my chest. I could sense something bad was coming. It was just around the corner, lingering there like a poisonous snake waiting to strike, taking me down with its dread and despair.
Avlov came to my side, she could be frightening to look at in the eye. Tobar mentioned before she was also known as the White Witch, I guess when you’ve been in existence as long as someone like Avlov has been, you can acquire a few nick names here and there.
She offered me some tea but I refused it, especially since I know how loopy her tea could make me feel. No doubt she added a little something extra to the liquid concoctions to help ease the soul in times of stress or high anxiety. Which would actually be great right about now but, I need my wit about me.
Arden came over to me and put her hands upon my shoulders again. Looking me directly in the eyes she said “We can’t find him.” My chest felt like it burst into flames. My body went limp, and I felt like I was falling. Everything went black.
Paramore “Daydreaming” http://youtu.be/euxXBvdrzxQ
Evanescence “Together Again” http://youtu.be/jhUfbXcEBDs
Within Temptation “The Heart of Everything” http://youtu.be/kKLhHlnDCA0
Evanescence “Sweet Sacrifice” http://youtu.be/XBYhQnjyrWo
Lacuna Coil “Our Truth” http://youtu.be/XCxFTh-XDy8
In This Moment “Forever” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLP1AodaZd4
Jennifer Thomas “Illuminations” http://youtu.be/VH81mKKK9Go
Jennifer Thomas “Secrets” http://youtu.be/_VunOIswEmg
Jennifer Thomas “Etude for the Dreamer” http://youtu.be/N1VxCqPIRXA
Within Temptation “The Silent Force” http://youtu.be/ThA5dKeI5Lg
Lacuna Coil “Soul Inmate” http://youtu.be/V5PJDB9r4T4
Evanescence “My Heart Is Broken” http://youtu.be/f1QGnq9jUU0
Within Temptation “The Howling” http://youtu.be/0bqRn0rLq1c
Evanescence “Tourniquet” http://youtu.be/AO_3nArjlOU
Fireflight “Stand Up” http://youtu.be/tWOmfOah--o
Lacuna Coil “Trip the Darkness” http://youtu.be/VTT6picaCoQ
In This Moment “Lost At Sea” http://youtu.be/GoXfJEXrOvQ
Within Temptation “Stairway to the Skies” http://youtu.be/Abukde4cB2o
Evanescence “All That I’m Living For” http://youtu.be/j1BlUcVWmMc
Evanescence “Snow White Queen” http://youtu.be/cRqbH8GBlGc
In the mortal realm of Earth, she’s known as Katheryn, Eryn for short. She works within the local school system which means she doesn’t get paid as much as she should. Living on a tight budget, she recruited her younger sister Lean to move in with her. Eryn also has a dog named Bryan and an old fat cat named Smokie. She’s never been too lucky in love but, recently she found a man that isn’t put off by her distance; not to mention Lena really pushes for her older sister to loosen up more.
Within her alternative realm of Tartarus she’s known as Nyx, an evolving powerful deity. She’s been quested with fighting the darkness within a realm seething to consume her. She has a group of guardians with powers of their own to help her as well in particular the man whom from the start, an electrical spark that ignited their passion. Nyx is a survivor she’ll fight for what she believes in and for those that she cares for. She’s definitely someone you want in your corner.
Before he disappeared, Tobar was a Segais, he had powers of a particular kind; he knew everything. His friends in Tartarus teased him that he was a “Mr. Know-it-all”. This always was useful with the woman that he loves, Nyx. He has a gentle soul and someone you would definitely want to cuddle with. However, after he’s taken his world changes when Lilith and Xylo nearly mutilate him turning him for their own dark purposes. With his new vampirism needs, things get complicated quickly. One good thing, now both Tobar and Nyx are immortal but, with immortality comes other obstacles of their own.
To learn more about the various characters visit http://goingoffdreams.blogspot.com
K.E. lives in Maryland, which she refers to as “The Land of Mary”, with her faithful guard dog Bryan, her supportive parents, and their little brat-dog Sampson. She has deep-rooted morals and is very faithful in her beliefs. As a person born and raised in Maryland, she is a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Orioles. When she isn’t writing, blogging, or spending time with those special characters in her head, she loves to watch her shows, to cuddle up with a good movie, or to spend time with her family and friends.
“After years and years of my mother telling me that I should us my talents and write, I finally listened!”
K.E. Nowinsky continues writing and plans to further the Going off Dreams realms as she dives deeper into the characters and will produce more content and books. The next scheduled work will be about one of her characters Arden and titled Arduinna: Guardians of the Forest, slotted for April 2015. She is also continuing Nyx’s quests in the next installment: How Otlen Prepares Eternity, expected to release late summer 2015.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
1 Signed Paperback Copy (INT)
2 Ebook Copies
1 Swag Bag
1 $25 Amazon GC