Thursday, August 11, 2016

Review- ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by Bryn Greenwood


Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Published: August 9, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5



BLURB-
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

REVIEW-
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a book that I knew I had to have right away. It's one that I knew would be different in a way that would be somewhat controversial. And it was. A grown man falling in love with a little girl. How twisted is that? I applaud the author for the simple fact that she was able to bring such an issue as this and make it her own. There were some disturbing things in the book and if you're one who won't be able to read the book with an open mind, I would suggest skipping this. Just for the sheer fact that it thinks outside the box and gives us a story that all of us would be in rage if we're to ever happen in "real life".

Wavy is the one that story is mainly about. She's gotten the short end of the stick her whole life; a drug dealer father, a mother who can barely function without drugs, and living a life that most of us could never imagine. She takes care of herself and her smaller brother, Donal. She does what any adult would do but the thing is she isn't an adult. She's a child who is wise beyond her years. Then she meets Kellen. Kellen is one of her fathers men; one that does all the dirty work. Aside from that, he's a good guy. He sees the kind of life Wavy lives and all he wants to do is be there for her. 

As the years pass by, the two become closer and closer - falling in love. Wavy is still very much a child, while Kellen is more than half her age. The thing is and I feel I must repeat, he's a good guy. He's not a man whose driven by sexual desires. Instead, he finds in Wavy, an equal. Someone who understands him and shows him love he's never known before. 

The story is sad, disturbing, and hopeful all rolled up into one. I think those are perfect themes for the book because life is often ugly but without the ugly, how would we ever appreciate the wonderfulness it has to offer? This is a book that won't leave me anytime soon. Whatever your view may be, one thing I can't give enough praise to is the writing. Absolutely gorgeous and it will make you think. By the end of the page I felt like I lived a whole lifetime. This to me is what reading's all about. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy the Book!


About the Author:
BRYN GREENWOOD is a fourth-generation Kansan, and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. Her debut novel, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, is coming from Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's in August 2016. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Release Blitz Spotlight- BURNING MOON by Jo Watson



BURNING MOON Release Week Blitz 




ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Burning Moon
Author: Jo Waston
Series: Destination Love, #1
On Sale: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Formats: eBook
Price: $4.99 USD (eBook)

Newly revised and expanded, Jo Watson's Wattpadsensation Burning Moon is now available in print for the first time!

There's a very fine line between blushing bride and mascara-streaked sobbing mess. #beenthere

Lily Swanson has been planning her perfect life since she was twelve years old: Meet Mr. Right, have the big white wedding, buy a house in the 'burbs and raise 2.5 picture-perfect kids. However, when her fiancĂ© bails, leaving Lily alone at the altar to face 500 gossipy guests, her dream turns into a nightmare. But then Lily makes an impulsive decisionshe ditches the dress, grabs her passport, and heads off to Thailand to spend her honeymoon 
alone. 

Or so she thinks...

Because Lilly quickly learns that everything in Thailand is very hot-the weather, the merchandise, and especially Damienthe sexy, spontaneous man she meets before her feet even hit the sand. Now with no plan, and nothing holding her back, Lily lets Damien lead her on a wild, unpredictable ride to the world's most exclusive party, Burning Moon. But after a week of letting go, indulging her every impulse and desire, Lily must go back to the girl she used to be. Or can Damien convince her that their party doesn't have to end?



THE SERIES

Burning Moon, #1
Almost A Bride, #2


 Excerpt 
Michael Edwards—fiancĂ© of one year, perfect boyfriend of two—had left me, Lilly Swanson, just ten minutes before I was scheduled to walk down the aisle. The bottle of perfume that he’d wanted me to wear today, insisted I wear, because “it was his favorite,” mocked me from the dressing table. So I picked it up and threw it against the wall, watching it shatter into a million pieces, just like my life. I was hit by the sickly sweet smell of jasmine and felt sick to my stomach.
What was I going to tell the five-hundred guests who were sitting in the church waiting for me? Some had even flown here to South Africa all the way from Australia. 
Hi everyone. Thanks for coming. Guess what? SURPRISE! No wedding!
A wedding that my father had spent a small fortune on.
A wedding that was going to be perfect.
Perfect, dammit. Perfect!
I’d made sure of that. I had painstakingly handled every single tiny detail. It had taken months and months of meticulous planning to create this day, and now what?
Things went very blurry all of a sudden. I vaguely remember my brother James bursting into the room, screaming insults and then vowing to kill him. He even punched the best man when he claimed to have no knowledge of Michael’s whereabouts. My rational, logical father tried to find a legitimate motive for Michael’s behavior, insisting we speak to him before jumping to any rash conclusions. Hundreds of phone calls followed: where was he? Who had seen him? Where did he go?
At some stage the guests were told, and the rumor mill went into full swing…
 He’d had an affair.
He’d eloped with someone else.
He was a criminal on the run.
He was gay.
He’d been beamed up by aliens and was being experimented on. (Hopefully it was painful.)
People threw around bad words like bastard, asshole and liar. They also threw around words like shame, sorry and pity. They wondered whether they should take their wedding gifts back, or leave them. What was the correct protocol in a situation like this?
While the world around me was going mad, I felt a strange calm descend. Nothing seemed real anymore, and I began to feel like a voyeur looking at my life from a distance. I didn’t care that I was sitting on the floor in my bra and panties. I didn’t care that my mascara and lipstick were so smudged I looked like Batman’s Joker. I just didn’t care.
Some minutes later my other brother Adam, the doctor, burst in and insisted I drink a Coke and swallow the little white pill he was forcing down my throat. It would calm me, he said.
Shortly after that, my overly dramatic, theater-actress mother rushed in to give the performance of her life. 
“Why, why, why?” She placed her hand across her heart.
“What is this, a madness most discreet? A stench most foul?” She held her head and cried out, Whyyy?!”
“For heaven’s sake, Ida, this isn’t some Shakespearean bloody play.” I could hear the anger in my father’s voice. Even after 18 years of divorce, they still couldn’t be civil to each other.
“Lest I remind you that all the world is a stage.” My mother shouted back, the deep timbre in her voice quivering for added dramatic tension as she tilted her head upward and clenched her jaw.
“There you go again with your crap! Clearly you still haven’t learned to separate fantasy from reality!”
“Well, I managed to do that with our marriage!”
My brother jumped between them. “Stop it. This isn’t the time!”
And then all pandemonium broke out.
The priest came around to offer some kind of spiritual guidance but exited quickly, and very red-faced, when he saw my state of undress. Some inquisitive relatives stuck their heads through the door, painted with sad, sorry puppy-dog looks, but they, too, left when they saw me spread-eagled on the floor. 
An enormous ruckus ensued when the photographer burst in and started talking photos of me—no one had told him. The ruckus became a total freak show when my favorite cousin Annie, who had designed my dress for free as a wedding gift, saw the state of her “best creation” lying crumpled and torn on the floor.  She looked like she was about to cry.
Then everything went very blurry and the noises around me combined into one strange drone.
I closed my eyes and everything went black.


BUY THE BOOK HERE




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jo Watson is an award-winning writer of romantic comedies. Burning Moon won a Watty Award in 2014. Jo is an Adidas addict and a Depeche Mode devotee. She lives in South Africa with her family.



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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review- P.S. I Like You by Kasie West


Publisher: Point
Published: July 26, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Finished copy from pub
Rating: 5


BLURB-
Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…
 

REVIEW-
Just when I think Kasie West can't possibly live up to the last book I read, she goes and does it again. Every. Single. Time. I've learned not to go into doubt when picking up a West book. You'll be sure to get a great story filled with an equally great cast of characters, slow burn romance, and a wonderful life lesson learned. This time around I felt like the message was that a lot of people put on a mask: you never truly know what's someone is going though. Until you walk in their shoes, never judge or assume. 

That being said, I think I found my favorite book yet of 2016. What I loved most about PSILY, was the fact that we had such an awesome heroine. She was quirky, smart, beautiful, and at times a tab bit neurotic. But it made me love her even more. The book follows Lily, the girl who doesn't quite "fit" in. Even though based off her personality alone, she freaking awesome. One day while in chemistry, she's bored and writes on her desk. The next time she comes back, there's a note. 

Not just any note. A hand written letter that starts a beautiful pen pal friendship. A secret friend that Lily has no idea who it can be. She starts talking music with this mystery person and telling them personal things about herself. Everything is going great, until she realizes that her pen pal is not at all who she expected it to be. 

And if that person found it who she was, they wouldn't be so keen on her either. You can pretty much tell from the beginning who our mystery pen pal is. And I'm so happy with will it was! The story is without a doubt one of the cutest you'll read this year. All of Kasie's books are amazing too. So if you haven't yet, make sure you check them out. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy the Book!
Amazon UK- http://amzn.to/2ayns1f 



About the Author:
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review- ALL FIXED UP (Ciel Hannigan,#4) by Linda Grimes


Publisher: TOR Books
Published: May 24,2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Finished copy from publisher
Rating: 4.5 Stars


BLURB-
The hilarious adventures of human chameleon Ciel Halligan continue in the fourth installment of this original urban fantasy series from Linda Grimes, All Fixed Up.

Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire, has a lot of experience filling in for her clients--as them. A rare genetic quirk gives her the ability to absorb human energy and project it back out in a flawless imitation. She's hard at work, posing as a well-known and celebrated astronaut, about to make a stunning announcement on behalf of the space program...when the photographer documenting the job sees right through her aura. Worse, it soon becomes apparent that he not only knows Ciel’s not who she's supposed to be, but means her harm.

When Ciel's elderly Aunt Helen—also an aura adaptor—is murdered in Central Park, and the same photographer shows up at the funeral, Ciel starts to feel even more exposed. Then more adaptors are killed in the same way, and she becomes terrified her friends and family are being systematically exterminated ... and it's starting to look like she's the ultimate target. She turns to Billy Doyle, her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, for help, but when an unexpected crisis causes him to take off without a word, she's left to rely on her not-so-former crush, CIA agent Mark Fielding.

Staying alive, keeping control of her romantic life, and unraveling the mystery of why adaptors are being pursued becomes a harder balancing act than ever in this new Ciel Halligan adventure from Linda Grimes.


Review-
The fourth installment of the 'Ciel Halligan' series was adorably written and entertaining from the first page, until the very last. Would I call it a favorite of all the books? Eh, probably not. We'll get more onto that later. If you're reading this review, I suggest starting from the very beginning with IN A FIX(http://bit.ly/1Xux82g). It gives you time to know and eventually fall in love with the characters. 

I believe the dialogue and the character chemistry is what truly makes these books so amazing. We have Ciel, our heroine, who is as funny as they come. Everyone always feels the need to take care of her even when she doesn't need it. Of course, she does get herself into some awkward situations; so it's easy to see why everyone treats her like a damsel in distress. 

Ciel is what you would call a chameleon - an adaptor. She's able to change her appearance of anybody in the world she comes in contact with. It's a pretty cool power to have, in my opinion. So in 'All Fixed Up' Ciel has taken over the appearance of a well respected astronaut in announcing spectacular news for the space program. 

Sounds awesome, right? It is but one tiny little problem... Someone "knows" what Ciel is or isn't. Which understandably is suspicious and scary. Nobody outside of family and the chosen few, know what Ciel is. You can imagine her surprise when she realizes that a certain man may know more than what's he's supposed to. 

Then adaptors are being murdered and Ciel is the main target. 

Billy Doyle, Ciel's best friend turned boyfriend is a favorite of mine. But I lost a bit of respect for him in this book. In fact, I think I also lost some respect for Ciel as well. I won't give anything away but everything that happened in this book involving these two, along with Mark, disappointed me greatly. And then there's no consequences whatsoever. 

If you have to ask, yes there's a love triangle. Kind of. Ciel has loved Mark since forever but he never showed any interest in her until she started dating Billy. All I know is that I'm just as confused with Ciel as I am with the situation. There doesn't need to be a damn love triangle! It causes unnecessary drama. 

Yes, I'm #TeamDoyle all the way. Have been since he was introduced. I like Mark but I don't think he's a good choice for Ciel. Just my opinion. 

Aside from that, I loved the book and can't wait for the next one in the series!!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

~BUY THE BOOK~


ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they’d have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity’s sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime.)



Like IN A FIX's globetrotting main character, aura adaptor Ciel Halligan, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.
 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Review- A WEEK OF MONDAYS by Jessica Brody


PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
PUBLISHED: August 2, 2016
GENRE: YA Contemporary 
SOURCE: Print ARC from publisher
RATING: 5 Stars


BLURB-

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true... 
Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!
As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?
From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.
REVIEW-
At first glance, this is just your typical YA contemporary romance. Don't get me wrong, it's still all that but there's so much more the book has to offer. There're messages in there that teach us to always be ourselves and to never change for anyone. It's so simple yet can be so hard. It's the underline story of a girl who changes pretty much everything about herself to fit into a mold for her boyfriend. It happens ALL the time. Girls lose themselves in a relationship and it can be hard to get yourself back. 

Ellison Sparks is dating the "It Boy" at school. Life is perfect, he's perfect...only problem is, he doesn't want Ellison anymore. Cue sad music. The day from hell just gets worse...well it started off horrible to begin with. Nothing went right and everything that could go wrong, did. It was just icing on the cake when Tristan broke Ellison's heart. 

But when Ellison goes to sleep, she never imagines that she would be living the same day over and over again. The only person she's able to convince of what's going on is her best friend, Owen; who, I might add, is damn awesome. The chemistry between Ellie and Owen is sweet at best and takes a surprising but satisfying end. I loved seeing Ellie try and makes everything "right". She's a notable heroine and I enjoyed each and everyone of her antics. 

Would I recommend this book? Isn't it obvious!? I ADORED the ever loving crap outta the story. So much so, I want to forget everything I read and start all over. Overall, I think the book is perfect for fans looking for a funny and romantic book about and equally funny and romantic girl. She makes things better. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

~BUY THE BOOK~


ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self "publishing" her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

In four short years, Jessica has sold nine novels (two adult novels to St. Martin's Press and seven young adult novels to Farrar, Straus, Giroux.) THE FIDELITY FILES, her debut, released in stores (in real binding) in June of 2008 and the the follow-up, LOVE UNDER COVER in November 2009. THE KARMA CLUB, Jessica's debut young adult novel released in April of 2010 and her second YA release, MY LIFE UNDECIDED just recently hit bookstores in June 2011.

52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER (which was recently optioned for film) will be out in Summer 2012 and UNREMEMBERED, (also optioned for film), the first book in a new teen sci-fi series, will be released in early 2013.

Jessica's books are published and translated in over twelve foreign countries including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil, China, Portugal, Israel, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Jessica now works full time as a writer and producer. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado.

15 Random (and often embarrassing) Facts about Jessica: 

1. She loves bananas but hates anything banana flavored.

2. She's squemish about bones and belly buttons.

3. She's always secretly wanted to be a member of the Spice Girls.

4. She doesn't like it when vegetables try to pass themselves off as dessert. ("Carrot Cake? Seriously? You're not fooling anyone!")

5. The first book she learned to read was Go Dog Go at age 2, although technically she probably just memorized it.

6. She can't whistle. (And no, it's not as simple as just putting your lips together and blowing).

7. She's allergic to avocado (a fact that she hates because she loves guacamole!)

8. Her favorite movie to quote is the movie, Arthur starring Dudley Moore. ("Bitterman, drive through the park. You know how I love the park.")

9. She's always had a strange obsession with the scanners at supermarket registers and now never misses an opportunity to use the self check-out lanes so she can scan her own food.

10. She loves speaking in a British accent, much to the annoyance of everyone around her.

11. She's always hating doing anything athletic and used to hide behind the handball courts in elementary school during P.E.

12. She is a major tech-y and has to own every gadget that comes out. Regardless of whether or not she has any intention of using it.

13. She can't stand the word "pocketbook" or "panties."

14. Her all-time favorite foods are pixy sticks, sushi and afternoon tea sandwiches and she insists on having all three at her birthday parties.

15. Her very first novel was called The Puppy and the Kitty and was complete with illustrations. She wrote it when she was 7. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

LUCKY 13


Publisher- Anchor Group Publishing
Pub. Date- June 7, 2016
Genre- YA Contemporary
Rating- 3.5
Source- E-book from author 


Blurb:
Most people have a fear of the number thirteen. Be it superstition or otherwise, they believe it to be unlucky. For Madison and Grant, a chance encounter, and the number thirteen, sets in motion a series of events that forever changes their paths.

Madison Thompson: I’m a military brat. I’ve lived in more cities and on more bases than I can count. Friends? I’ve had plenty over the years. But those have come and gone as often has I have. I’m about to be a senior in high school… my fifth high school in the last four years. This time, it’s going to be different. My father says were here to stay. The question is… for how long?

Grant Fisher: One more year. Then, I can leave this town and move on to bigger and better things. Small town life isn't for me. I want to travel the world and live in a city big enough that not everyone knows my name. There are plenty of reasons that I want to leave but only one that makes me want to stay.
 

Review:
I'm very up on the fence about this one. On one hand I liked the premise of the story and the characters that came along with it. But on the other hand, things were at times slow, predictable, and unsatisfying. This is supposed to be a sweet book about children who fall in love one summer and then find each other again years later. Then an accident happened that caused Madison to lose weeks of the summer she had spent with Grant. 

Sounds wonderful. It was but there were still a few issues I had. Such as the storyline involving Madison's father. I felt that both parties needed to give in, in some way. I get her father is trying to be good and protect his daughter but we see how well that did. I'm not saying what Madison did was okay, but I think her father needed to lighten the hell up. Literally. 

The love between Madison and Grant was sweet at best and at times I really felt the chemistry. But I just find it so hard to believe a boy would wait that long and never have a girlfriend because he was waiting for be girl he already met. It's just not realistic to me. Could it happen? I'm sure it has. But I still couldn't get on board with the fact that Grant had never even kissed a girl before Madison. 

That's the part that I felt really unsatisfied about. And before you bring out the pitch forks, I get reading isn't always about being realistic. Hell, I read and love paranormal romance! But when it blatantly involves a teenage boy who doesn't act upon certain urges, it's hard for me to believe. 

The story is still very engaging aside from some of the minor issues I had. Would I recommend this? Absolutely! It's
a cute story and I think the majority of readers will like it. I'm just a picky person ha-ha. Overall, if you're looking for something to love or to find a new book boyfriend, I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

*Thank you to the author or providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy the Book!


Know the author!
Rachael Brownell was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she currently resides with her boyfriend and son. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where she studied Advertising and Public Relations.

When she’s not working, building Lego’s or writing her next book, Rachael enjoys scrapbooking, photography, is learning to golf and is an avid reader.

To be the first to know about where Rachael will be signing, read passages from her upcoming releases and sign up to read ARC copies, make sure you subscribe to her newsletter.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SUMMER DREAMING GIVEAWAY

Summer Dreaming Cash

Summer Dreaming

$250 Cash Giveaway

June 21st to July 15th

An awesome group of bloggers and authors have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!

  One lucky winner will receive… $250 Amazon.com Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash   Thanks to these fabulous Sponsors!!

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  Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 7/15/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. 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 the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway