Friday, March 28, 2014

Music Playlist from Heart Set on You, A Short Story from Heart Tales

Here is the final playlist for the final short story, Heart Set on You from my upcoming book Heart Tales. This story was so much fun to write! It was probably the most challenging too. This story was inspired by the very first track on the playlist I've created. Once I heard the song Heart Beats from Johnnyswim I could't stop thinking about the concept of a story involving the character's actual heart. I even did a doodle of what the characters looked like in my head. Every song I've listed showcases a special scene in Heart Set on You that's available April 1st. Also be sure to click on the doodle for more info about Heart Tales and check in this weekend for a prize filled giveaway that I'm sure will not disappoint!



Ellie's Heart
Heart Set on You
Doodle by Celine Garcia

Thursday, March 27, 2014

BLOG TOUR STOP! Resisting Atlantis by Jamie Canosa


BE SURE TO ENTER THE RESISTING ATLANTIS 
GIVEAWAY BELOW

Resisting Atlantis is definitely different than the other books I’ve read from Jamie Canosa, but in the best possible way. This book proves Canosa can write about pretty much anything. Her characters Cameron and Kaden face a lot of obstacles, which provide an intense action filled book. These obstacles involve their personal relationship and the resistance they both fight for. Resisting Atlantis has so many great things to keep any reader entertained. I think the ultimate theme in the book is trust. Characters are told one thing but challenged with another possible truth. Cameron and Kaden are two people who lead with their heads but have to learn to trust their hearts when dealing each other.

The story has excellent pace from the very beginning. Jamie Canosa manages to make a stranger showing up at Cameron’s doorstep with a wild story believable. I didn’t doubt the explanation that was given because of Canosa’s delivery. Readers will be thrown into a world that is historically infamous like Atlantis and most importantly be entertained by a carefully laid out story that will keep you guessing until the end.
 
CLICK ON COVER FOR MORE AUTHOR INFO
CHECK BELOW FOR MY SONG PICK FOR THIS BOOK
BY THE BOOK BY CLICKING HERE

Summary:

Cora is your average college freshman. Battling the evils of boring classes and noisy dorms, her greatest concern is how to attract the attention of the drool-worthy, party-god next door.

That is, until Kaden comes barging into her life, insisting everything she knows is false. The family and friends she grew up with don’t exist. Her entire past a carefully crafted fabrication, created to replace the truth.

Her name isn’t Cora it’s Cameron. And she isn’t from New York. She hails from Atlantis. Yeah, that Atlantis. Oh yeah, and she’s psychic.

Crazy, right?

Except, tall, dark, and out-of-his-ever-loving-mind doesn’t come alone. Trouble follows, thrusting Cameron back into a world she can’t remember and a life she must reclaim if they’re going to make it out alive. Cora is your average college freshman. Battling the evils of boring classes and noisy dorms, her greatest concern is how to attract the attention of the drool-worthy, party-god next door.

That is, until Kaden comes barging into her life, insisting everything she knows is false. The family and friends she grew up with don’t exist. Her entire past a carefully-crafted fabrication, created to replace the truth.

Her name isn’t Cora, it’s Cameron. And she isn’t from New York. She hails from Atlantis. Yeah, that Atlantis. Oh yeah, and she’s psychic.

Crazy, right?

Except, tall, dark, and out-of-his-ever-loving-mind doesn’t come alone. Trouble follows, thrusting Cameron back into a world she can’t remember and a life she must reclaim if they’re going to make it out alive.

Cameron is a young woman who is constantly developing for readers. When we find her she has no memories of her past, she discovers these memories along side the readers. Her memories are written in a unique way I’ll get into in a bit, but I thought of her memories as another character in the story. Cameron is a very complicated and fun character. She exudes capability but has an ongoing lingering doubt when it comes to the expectation of others. She struggles with who she’s told she is and who she is becoming now. In her life before her memory swap she was a great leader and takes a back seat to this role when Kaden and the people of the resistance have to retrain her.

This leads me to Kaden who also takes on a different role than what the past reveals. He was actually trained by Cameron and now because of her inability to completely remember her past has to take on the role of leader. His battle seems with himself because he used to be more of a risk taker before Cameron’s disappearance and when he gets her back he’s a bit more careful in his actions on the field when fighting with the resistance and especially with Cameron. He carries a lot of guilt because he blames himself for Cameron’s disappearance and its heartbreaking when he has to watch her experience her old memories.

Because Canosa’s characters past and present lives were brought to the table I got a bigger story than expected. It just kept growing, and growing with every secret revealed which I feel readers will be insanely entertained by. Jamie Canosa’s is talented at writing dual perspectives but surprised me even more in Resisting Atlantis. She was able to give me multiple perspectives using Cameron’s memories. Cameron is capable of seeing a memory through someone else’s mind. This concept is what made the story so incredible for me. It caused me as the reader to see Cameron and Kaden through the eyes of others and it brought great conflict for them.

Cameron and Kaden’s relationship is fantastic. They are drawn to each other because of their pasts and have a sincere sense of loyalty to each other. Readers will enjoy how these two get to reconnect and rediscover their feelings for each other. They face SO much together that by the end of the book I just could't believe how far they had come. They have a tough battle ahead of them and a certain scene at the end was incredible to read, very heart wrenching.

 Resisting Atlantis is a big story with a lot of carefully laid out plots that will no doubt keep readers entertained. It has strong attachable characters that will have audiences picking their favorite. I highly recommend any book by Jamie Canosa but Resisting Atlantis is something different if readers are searching for that special read.   




My Song Pick


GIVEAWAY



About the author:

Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA/NA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the cat, the bird, and the rabbit

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Title: Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Received by: Purchased

I hate that it took me so long to finally read this book but a TBR pile can be overwhelming. I started reading Distance Between Us by Kasie West around nine in the morning and finished around five that evening. That’s right folks, I read this book in short of a day it was that good. Having two characters meet in a doll shop is quite unique and it’s simply adorable. From the first page I got a very strong and memorable introduction to Caymen and Xander. They’re dialogue is sarcastically perky and it honestly made me giggle on more than one occasion. By the end of their first meeting I was hooked and wanted to visit the doll shop.

The doll shop offers West’s characters a chance to be silly and it sort of winds up being a character itself. I have a small collection of dolls myself so I loved the idea. Xander and Caymen’s encounters with each other are always fun and unexpected. They decide to experiment with their future careers and embark on little adventures testing out possible future jobs. I won’t get into too much detail so I don’t spoil anything but I think their visit to a graveyard was my favorite. I promise after you read Distance Between Us you’ll have a tough choice picking your favorite Xander and Caymen moments.

CLICK ON COVER FOR MORE AUTHOR INFO
CHECK BELOW FOR MY SONG PICK FOR THIS BOOK

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Caymen has a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders. She is continuously helping her mother with the doll shop and worries if her future is already set in running it herself. To me Caymen feels trapped and obligated by her mother’s expectations. So when Xander walks in the picture and challenges her opinion and way of thinking she starts to develop into something better. Not different, but a person more sure of herself. Caymen starts to lead with her heart more and has a bit more fun with life. But Caymen doesn’t make it very easy at first with Xander. She still keeps her wits and silver tongue when dealing with him and it made me love her more as a strong character for young women.

Xander spews charming confidence and is written perfectly. This confidence was a perfect match for Caymen, but Xander is never to be underestimated. He has just as much bite as Caymen and it offers great fun dialogue for readers. He proves his determination to get Caymen’s attention when he arrives one early morning at the shop with blueberry muffins from Eddie’s Bakery next door.  Xander doesn’t realize it but he needs Caymen. Xander has his own issues of family obligation and his future because it has already been chosen for him. He wonders if there’s something he could be better at instead of the family business. Caymen helps him see where his future is best suited.

The ending of this book is worth the read alone. The secret is just too big to even get into but by mentioning it I hope to gain your curiosity. It was totally and absolutely unexpected and I personally love when an author can surprise me. It’s very hard to do these days especially in this genre. Distance Between Us is knock out good because Kasie does a superb job on keeping the focus on Caymen her lead character. The story is ultimately about a young person at a fork in the road. Caymen and Xander have a future but they have to sort through the static to see the big picture. It’s very identifiable for young audiences.

My most favorite parts of the book were anytime Xander met Caymen in the mornings with ritual blueberry muffins. The bakery has local sentimental meaning to me personally because my sweet sixteen-birthday cake came from Eddie’s Bakery so that’s probably why I loved when Kasie incorporated it. But aside from that, Xander and Caymen had their best moments together during these simple meetings. They are natural and most important believable.


I adored this book and I plan to read it again and again. Distance Between Us is a young love story with a variety of unique settings that makes it more special than other contemporary fiction books out there. It is very comparable to Morgan Matson’s work which is high up their in my personal rankings. Distance Between Us is available now and also make sure to check out her newest book Split Second from her Pivot Point series. Oh and her newest contemporary fiction romance due out July 2014, I tell you this woman is a machine when it comes to writing.

Song Pick for The Distance Between Us

Okay so it's no secret I love the 80's but I felt this song was perfect. When I hear the lyrics I hear Xander challenging Caymen to give him a chance and forget what she thinks she's knows about is lifestyle. It's very Xander and what I think goes through his mind when seeing Caymen.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another Playlist and Sneak Peek for My Book Heart Tales

Okay so as promised here is another playlist for my second short story, Legal U Turn from my book Heart Tales, due out April 1st. This story was supposed to be included in a regular post I wanted to do for my blog where each month or so I would pick a song and write a short story to partner up with it. Legal U Turn was born but I just could't let it go, plus other people where telling me I should publish it myself. The song Dakota made me think of a road trip and not because of the music video ( which I didn't see until after my story was complete) It was just the vibe I got from the lyrics and music, so it's basically the theme song for the entire story. Music is one of the greatest influences in my writing because I actually play mini music videos in my head while listening. Rewinding story lines that I change my mind on and replaying them, creating better stories. My mind works like a DVR pretty much.

I've also included a small excerpt of Legal U Turn along with a summary of the story, enjoy!

Summary:

Gwen and Dean share an awkward drive home for their first college break because of convenience. But with hate comes a confiding friendship that may mean more to Dean. After his true feelings slip during a trip home, his friendship with Gwen ends abruptly and they don’t speak or see each other again.
 
 Two years later Dean finds himself driving the same route he and Gwen used to take home years ago and it’s accompanied with the best memories of Gwen. A journey filled with a fun combo of memorable road trips and not so great first impressions causes Dean to wonder, is there a possibility of rekindling one of his greatest friendships?









Excerpt from Legal U Turn by Celine Garcia 


While struggling to find the most comfortable spot on the old vinyl seat at my booth, I hear a definite farting sound beneath me. I look over my shoulder to the group of college kids now laughing at me.
            “Old seats.” I shrug at them.
“Oh sure,” the guy with long hair and painted nails replies. His group carries on in their inner circle of contagious laughter, laughter I once knew. Watching them made me fully aware of my once na├»ve nature when I was a young adult, oblivious to the world that lived outside my text message inbox.
“You ready to order?” A woman asks. I look up to see the same face I saw a few years back. She’s graying a bit but still has the same great smile.
“Don’t think I’ll be ordering a whole meal,” I say. “But I do need some sugar in my system to keep me awake for the drive.”
“Well then, I suggest a slice of the cherry pie because it’s my absolute favorite and it’s sure to perk up your handsome brown eyes.” She nudges my shoulder lightly. I smile because she’s said this to me many times before, although it’s been awhile, I doubt she remembers me.
            “Then that’s what I’ll have, and a cup of coffee please.” I say closing my menu. I catch myself before I ask for two forks. An old habit that flicks my heart back six years to when a brunette in an oversized hipster beanie sat across from me.


            “D-e-a-n, you don’t have to feel obligated to order the cherry pie just because the waitress said it was her favorite,” Gwen said, picking at her flaking black nail polish. She was a classic case of rebellion in her indie rock tank top, ripped tight jeans, numerous piercings and ass kicking boots that didn’t scare me one bit. I knew she was mad because of my lack of conversation in the car earlier.  
“Yeah but I want cherry pie. Soooo, leave me the hell alone,” I smiled and threw in an innocent shrug hoping to further irritate her.
“Okay how many times do I have to apologize?” She slumped back against her seat. “I am sorry, once again for barging in on you and Brooke. But I needed Justin’s lab notes, and he said I was welcomed anytime, so…”
            “I don’t think he would have honored that invitation at 2am with a sock on the doorknob.”
“What does it matter?” She dismissed. “You never had a chance with Brooke. She’s with—”
            “Justin now, I know! So I have every right to be mad at you and the forever awkwardness I have with a good friend.” Brooke was a girl I was into, Justin; one of my first real friends at school was the guy she was apparently into. 
            “Egh, it’s summer break and the fences will mend,” she said as the waitress brought over my pie and coffee. “Excuse me,” she called to the waitress. “You have any caramel sauce?”
            “I’ll bring it over ASAP.” The waitress smiled.
            I take a bite of my pie and look at Gwen. “Luk eh steh hade yo,”
            “Finish chewing that huge bite in your pie hole,” She demanded.
            “Bud—.
            “Swallow,” she sang.
            I swallowed my pie and continued. “I still hate you because things with Justin will forever be awkward if that relationship lasts. I only agreed to let you ride with me back from school so that he’d think things are okay with us, in case he and Brooke break up.”
“So are you saying that if they are still together when school starts again, you’ll just never talk to him again?” she asked.
            “Yeah I guess so. But what do you care, you don’t like me. I don’t like you. Justin’s been trying to get us to get along for the past semester, ain’t gonna happen.”
            My sentence was punctuated by the clink of a tiny bowl of caramel sauce that’s dropped off at our table.
            “Are you seriously just going to eat caramel sauce?” I asked her.
            “Nope.” She then poured it into my coffee.
            “Hey what the hell!”

                                                           
            The memory of her laughter rings in my ear as I stare at my pie and coffee that I didn’t even realize was left. I look behind me to see the annoying teens have left their table.
            “Everything okay?” The waitress asks. “You haven’t touched your food.”

            “My coffee…I forgot to ask for caramel sauce.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Liv Forever Blog Tour Stop and Review!




Today we are an official stop on the Liv Forever Blog Tour! Be sure to check out the great book trailer for this thrilling book, my song pick for Liv Forever and read about the author Amy Talkington below. Let’s get started!

I knew going into this haunting book by Amy Talkington that it was sure to be a thriller. I was not prepared to be afraid to read this book alone at night. There are so many intruiging things about this story that had me hooked. I genuinely felt for Liv, Malcolm and Gabe because they are written empathetically solid. Liv and Malcolm had and intimate sentiment of their feelings for each that was hands down beautiful and most important, original. That’s what I loved about the book; all the beautiful, scary and thrilling moments are weaved together perfectly to provide readers with a truly unforgettable story.

This book needs to be shared because I believe it will entertain a large group of readers. While reading I thought of movies like The Skulls, Stir of Echoes and the book series by Elizabeth Chandler, Kissed by an Angel. The ghosts are beyond creepy yet interesting enough to be captivated by each of their stories. Oh that’s the other kicker in Liv Forever, readers will get to hear from each Wickham ghost that Gabe can see. Talkington writes each story so well that I had scary visuals of each, which was great.

CLICK ON COVER FOR MORE AUTHOR INFO
CHECK BELOW FOR MY SONG PICK FOR THIS BOOK

Summary:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. She’s not sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier—especially when Malcolm Astor, fellow artist and scion of one of the school’s original families, sweeps her off her feet.
Fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols warns her not to get involved with a “Wicky,” but things are finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy it.

Liv’s bliss is cut short when she is viciously murdered. In death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that spans 150 years and many, many lives. Gabe, cursed with the ability to see all of Wickham’s ghosts—some simply sad, some driven violently insane by their plight, and all harboring painful secrets—turns out to be Liv’s only link to the world of the living.

Liv must rely on Gabe’s help to prove to Malcolm that she’s still present, lingering with the other spirits, and on both of them to help her discover what happened to her, and why. Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham before more lives are lost.


Liv’s character is lovely because of her passion for art. Her artwork description in the book is unique and had me wanting to see it. She’s pretty much an outsider in the first part of the book and doesn’t desire the spotlight. Her early friendship with Gabe is sweet but blossoms more after her murder. The moment she meets Malcolm is awesome and sets a great pace for the book. It’s never slow and doesn’t have a chance to drag. Liv’s main issue is letting people in because of her past. The message I got from her story was to let love in and welcome it. But Liv also reveals why people may be scared to do so.

Malcolm’s character seemed to take more of a central role because he deals with both Liv and Gabe. It was hard to read the scene when he discovers what happened to Liv, very painful and heartbreaking. One thing readers will never doubt is Malcolm's feelings for Liv. He is dedicated to helping her anyway he can. A lot is asked from Malcolm when Gabe approaches him about Liv being a ghost. His dedication will definitely have readers pushing along to discover the big secret at Wickham Hall.

Oh Gabe, you’re such a great friend. Gabe has his own special sweet place in this thrilling book. I felt so sad for all the things he saw and heard on a daily basis at school. Plus he’s taunted because of it and has no support from faculty at Wickham Hall. I was very protective of Gabe and hope from the bottom of my heart that he is included in a hopeful sequel to Liv Forever or even better, his own book!


Bottom line this book was just awesome. I don’t seek out books that can scare me because I’m a big scaredy cat. Believe me, many people can attest to this fact. I scare very easily. But if I can read this book and come out saying that it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, then other scaredy cats like me should give Liv Forever a shot and immediately put this on their reading list. Then be sure to share it!





 Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.






My Song Pick
I'm so glad a video was available with the lyrics to this song. They really do fit Liv and her feelings towards Malcolm perfectly, at least to me. 


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