Book Reviews, Indie Author, Uncategorized

Charlotte’s Pact, by Lauren Lee

17883947_279433579164431_3097989468802411575_nFirst, comes love. Next, comes marriage. Then, a demon comes to take your soul.

​Charlotte Harper has one goal in mind: graduating college and starting her career as a journalist. However, life takes a drastic turn when she falls for a British businessman at a local bar.

Hopelessly in love, Charlotte seems to have it all, until one fateful night when a ravaging car crash changes the lives of her and her fiancé forever.

​What price will Charlotte have to pay to save them both? Will she risk everything for the love her life? Or, will she succumb to the temptations lurking in the shadows?

Author: Lauren Lee
Title: Charlotte’s Pact (Demons in New York Book 1)
Genre: Literature & Fiction>Horror>Occult>Romance>Paranormal
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Links to Purchase: Amazon
My Review: 5 Stars!
Charlotte’s Pact was a quick and easy read. I literally read it in a couple of hours. From the moment you meet Charlotte and Tori, you are pulled into their silly, bantering of a friendship, their college plans, and the futures they are so hopeful for.
The author, Lauren Lee, bounces between the past and the present initially and the execution is flawless. I never once found myself looking back to double check which part I was in, past or present. And the pace was quick without leaving out anything important.
Fast forward to where we meet Liam…hmmm, this handsome, rich, successful man Tori and Adam set Charlotte up with. He has to be too good to be true. Right? It’s hard for me to say too much about Liam, because if I do, I might give something away and I hate to do that. However, maybe you’ll know it when you read it and you’ll come running back here to comment and tell me you know what I wanted to share, but couldn’t.
Then theirs Adriel. Oh Adriel. All I can say is I CAN’T WAIT FOR BOOK 2!
As I read Charlotte’s Pact I put myself in her shoes. What I would do if faced with the same dilemma. It doesn’t take much thought to know I would do the same thing. But if I later found out what she does… OH MY GOD!! I’d be looking for the loopholes… or would I? I mean, for Charlotte it seems like everything happened for a reason.
The “To Be Continued” was great. I was left thoroughly wanting more. More Charlotte. More Liam. More Adriel. I want to know what happens. I NEED TO KNOW!
 
Choose-your-own-ending, Crossroads, Indie Author, Teen Issues

★★★★★ Reviews for Crossroads!

“Loved it. extremely powerful read. I have never read a book that has affected me so emotionally as this story has. Highly recommend it. If you only read one book this week make it this one. You will not be sorry that you did.”

-Teresa Rhodes-Smith via Amazon Reviews.

 “I emotionally felt everything Delia was feeling. You are an excellent writer. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely recommend this book.”

-Teresa Rhodes-Smith to me, via Facebook.

“I absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. The character development was impressive for a relatively quick read and it was very realistic. It should be on the required reading list for highschool students as it clearly delivers a very powerful message. I can’t wait to read more of Megan McCooey’s work!” 

-Mia Scalfani via Amazon Reviews

“For my fellow bookworms…this is a fantastic read authored by a talented, long time friend of mine. I read it in one sitting…loved it! I was also super excited to find out not only did she thank me in the acknowledgements, she named the doctor in the book after me! Wayyy more recognition than I deserve for a fun medical ed conversation we had last summer, Megan McCooey and to my teacher friends (or anyone with teenagers)- this should with out a doubt be on the required reading list for highschool students. This incredibly well written story delivers a powerful message.”

-Mia Scalfani to me via Facebook.

℘℘℘

Please grab your $.99 ebook copy today!!

A great read for anyone, especially if you’re a teen or have teens of your own, work with teens or know anyone who takes the risk of drinking and driving, this short story is highly recommended!

Author Spotlight, Indie Author, The Harvest Series

Let The Signing Begin…

After months of trying to get back on track, I FINALLY have some exciting news to share with all of you… I am registered to attend three (3) book signings (so far) over the next year and a half and I couldn’t be more excited. I will provide all the information I have as of now. Once I know tickets have gone on sale to attend the events, I will be sure to let you all know… and I hope to see you all there!!

Signing #1:  Worcester, Mass. Saturday, October 4, 2014  “New England Writers Event”

Where: DCU Arena  

Time: 12pm-4pm

The first one, which will be in Boston, not only brings me back to New England where The Harvest Series begins, but as many of you know, is also where I grew up. So this means, not only do I get to attend a fantastic event with some truly terrific authors, but I also get to visit with my friends and family.  I am hoping for a big turnout at this event, especially since I will be working my tail off the next few months to be able to bring all of my readers Harvest Moon (The Harvest Series #1), Winter Solstice (The Harvest Series #2) AND…. Angela (A Harvest Series Prequel).   This means, between now and the beginning of September, my editor and I will be working extra hard to make sure everything is ready so that I have copies of the books to sell on site, enough swag to go around, and some fun stuff to share with you.

Signing #2: Austin Texas.  Saturday February 7, 2015   “Deep in the Heart Author Event”

Where: The Madison on 6th Street 

Time: 10am

Have you ever been to Austin? It’s one of the coolest cities I have ever visited. There is so much culture, tons of awesome people, great food, music… and now the writers will take over!    Now I’d like to say I will have the final book in the series, Full Moon (The Harvest Series #3) with me, but I’m not sure I will be able to.  This final book is so important to me because of all that will happen so I don’t want to rush it.   BUT… What I can promise all of you who come out to the event, is a sample of what will be coming hopefully in the spring/summer of 2015.

 

Signing #3: Wilmington, N.C., Saturday October 24, 2015  “Life’s A Beach Author Event” 

Where: Wilmington Convention Center

Time: NA 

What’s better than the beach in the fall? This venue will be another nice one for me… After all, The Harvest Series is centered around a girl from a small coastal town who loves the beach and the ocean. NOT TO MENTION, by this event, THE ENTIRE SERIES will be available for signing and this alone makes me giddy. Plus, I’ve always wanted to see North Carolina… especially Wilmington (for all of you who loved Dawson’s Creek, you will probably share in my sentiment…Lol) and by this time I won’t feel like a newbie to the author event signing world, so I should hopefully be able to pick my jaw up off the ground… because, yes, us authors still get star struck by other authors too and I know from seeing the list that the line up for this event is a GREAT one!!

So with all that said, I am extremely excited to get back to my writing and get things started for these events. I plan to have more buttons, bookmarks, stickers, key chains and even t-shirts made up. If there is any swag you’d like to see at the events, please let me know, and again, I hope to see you all there!

Coming In September, 2014…

Winter Solstice (The Harvest Series #2) AND Angela (A Harvest Series Prequel) 

Book Reviews, Indie Author

Three Days of Rain

TDOR

Author: Christine Hughes 
Title: Three Days of Rain
Genre: Contemporary>Romance>
My Review: 5 out of 5 Stars. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!

I should have posted a review on here back when I read this book.

What a great story of love and loss. Truly captivated me and drew me in. I was saddened by all that Jake had to endure and was hopeful when he was able to find what he needed. The ending tore me apart… Didn’t see that coming, but the author turned a tragic ending into something beautiful, something that makes you think… Something you can’t easily forget. You’re forced to look around and see the beauty in everything. More than that though, Jake and Lily’s story really puts into perspective the idea that we can’t take anything in life for granted, because it could all be gone in an instant.

I love the cover for this book and if you follow the author, you will fall in love with all the creative things she posts for Three Days of Rain. Even now, months after finishing, I still can’t get this story out of my head. As I did my read through of Winter Solstice, I realized why this book touched me so much and why it took me so long to write this review… Lexie’s feelings of being broken, while not the same as Jake’s reasons for feeling this way, were still eerily similar. Their internal struggle to open up because they want this love that’s staring them in the face, but aren’t sure how to break down the walls they’ve built to protect themselves was also similar and it provoked me in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I found myself flipping back through pages of Three Days of Rain to re-read something after I’d read a scene with Lexie…and I loved it. I loved that these similarities existed because it made me hopeful for my own characters… Lol.

Three Days of Rain was fantastic and if you aren’t reading it, you should be…I look forward to reading more from this author!!! What a beautiful tragic love story!

Book Reviews, Indie Author, Review Archives

DYING TO FORGET (BOOK # 1 OF THE STATION SERIES)!!

“…With trembling fingers, I reach up and touch the hard and chiseled contours of his chest while Ryan’s large and strong hands roam over my entire body, feeling and squeezing everything. I’ve never been touched like this before and my insides are starting to freak out.
“I want you, Piper,” he murmurs into my neck.
 
My mouth drops open in surprise and even though my brain seems to be telling me to jump and run out of the room, I’m unable to move, stuck firmly to the same place on the mattress. With my nerves on high alert, I glance at the door repeatedly, sure that someone will come bursting through it at any second but the steady thumping of the music downstairs reminds me that no one can hear what is happening in this room. No one cares that Ryan Burke took me, of all people, into a bedroom. That realization hits me suddenly. Oh. My. God. What am I doing here?”

Piper Willow dies the summer after her high school graduation but she doesn’t make it to Heaven or Hell…instead she finds herself in a spiritual terminal called the Station. She’s given only two choices: Return to Earth as the subconscious for a person in need of some outside assistance, or move on and spend an eternity lost in her own sorrow and pain. 
Does Piper have what it takes to save a life – to be the nagging voice inside someone else’s head – or will she fail and end up lost and tormented in limbo…forever?
 
Author: Trish Marie Dawson  
Title: Dying To Forget(Book #1 of The Station Series) 
Genre: Young Adult>Fantasy>Paranormal
Publication Date: August 2012
Links to Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Reviewer: Megan
 
My Review: 4 out of 5 stars
 
This will probably be my shortest review… not because I wasn’t a fan of the book, but because it’s a book that you can easily give spoilers away if you talk too much about it. So, here is what I can tell you – it was a fast, fun read. The concept was interesting and kept me intrigued enough to finish it in one sitting and even convinced me to buy the second book in this series within minutes of finishing.
 
 The circumstances around Piper’s death, at first, was unsettling to me, but the author did a really good job of explaining the spiritual terminal called “The Station”.  In fact, it was pretty creative. I liked the main character. I felt for her. The events or difficulties that led to her death were hard. Having personal experience with losing someone (a best friend), I can relate to Piper’s devastation over her loss. And as a girl, I can relate to the other things she goes through. 
 
At one point, I did find myself thinking “this is way too easy… things are just falling into place for her too much.” I continued to feel this way the more Piper interacted with others around her…. however, it is the way the first book ends and the second begins (there is a preview of the first chapter of the second book in book 1) that made me realize the story was just beginning for Piper. What might have appeared to be too easy for Piper, just might prove to be the opposite. I enjoyed the story and the authors take on a difficult topic and I am looking forward to reading the second and even the third book (set to be released in July 2013) in this series. 
 
** Ps. The author’s end note also made an impact on me. Like I said, this was a difficult topic and I truly feel like she put an interesting, thought provoking, twist to it and in her message, she makes it clear what her intentions were or were not. 
Book Reviews, Indie Author, Review Archives

NEVER LOOK BACK!! (EMI LOST & FOUND SERIES – BOOK #3)

Jack Holland finally has everything a man could want. After a lengthy courtship that has required persistence and self-restraint, Emi Hennigan– the woman Jack has been fantasizing about since college– has fallen in love with him. Together, the couple sets out to create their own happily-ever-after.
It’s only when Emi delivers some unwelcome news that Jack begins to question everything about the woman he loves. It will take a considerable amount of understanding and sacrifice for Jack to accept the future Emi can offer him– a future he never imagined for himself.

This romantic drama is the final book in the Emi Lost & Found series.

Author: Lori Otto  
Title: Never Look Back (Book #3 of the Emi Lost & Found Series)  
Genre: Young Adult>Contemporary>Romance>  
Publication Date: May 2012
Links to Purchase: Amazon
Reviewer: Megan
My Review: 5 out of 5 Stars. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!
 
So obviously you see the natural progression of my rating throughout this series. With each book I enjoyed the series more. I will say at the start, that again this book seemed a bit longer than it really needed to be and there were times when it just lagged, but, the totality of the story, the characters, and the ending just made it all worth it… 
 
I felt a wider range of emotions with this final book in the series. I am not sure I have ever cried so much throughout one book, as I did with Never Look Back. Sad tears, happy tears, sad tears, happy tears… the cycle continued on until the last page. During the final 25% I pretty much never stopped crying and I think my husband might have actually thought I was having a breakdown…. but this is what made this series so good. There were times, that again Emi’s actions frustrated me. I realized she was never really good at coping or dealing with major things without the help of someone else. From her brother, to Nate, and then Jack – someone was always helping her through these situations, which is great, but it was always after she handled it badly. But I suppose this is why we love her so much – she’s real!! 
 
I LOVED that this final book was told from Jack’s point of view. It was nice to get inside his head and really see him. I loved how he let Emi grieve for all of her losses, never pushed and while there were times he felt pangs of jealousy, he understood and he was willing to allow Emi to cling to this love and loss she could not let go of. Not too many men out there would be capable of living with those kinds of ghosts – being compared to a great love that could have been. 
 
I loved Jack’s family – Matty and Lucas were my favorite! Steven made me SO mad in Colorado and then redeemed himself thereafter. I guess we can all appreciate protective siblings, but man he came on strong. I loved Donna’s continued relationship with Emi and her tie to Jack. It was obvious that this was a difficult place for Emi, but Donna was warm and loving… only wanting what was best for Emi. 
 
And without saying too much, what Jack does for Emi and Nate -both with the stuff left in storage and well, for those who have read the series… you know the thing I mean, and for those who haven’t, hopefully you will soon enough. I was left speechless and bawling like a baby over Jacks selfless actions for Nate and Emi. He re-affirmed what a wonderful man he was.
 
As for the storage unit stuff, I loved his willingness to let Emi enjoy the memories. I loved his willingness to share in those memories and learn more about her through them. As for the um, who know… “I can’t say anymore part”, I loved Jack’s secretiveness while he pulled it all off, I loved how giddy he got when he was able to reveal it to Emi and how he was so willing to let her have this part of her life. He never once tried to force her to let it go… 
 
And Contessa…. Mmmmmm! I can hardly wait to start this other series of books that actually ties into this series. Lori surely fulfills the series whore in me, wow! I loved this whole aspect. I loved how it all unfolded, I loved that we got to see the start of this relationship in this series and I LOVED that it completed everything. While things worked out for Emi in the end, it wasn’t without substantial loss throughout the series or enormous heartache  and regret. We saw so many characters; Emi, Nate, Jack, Chris, Anna, and Jenn grow throughout this series. I felt such an attachment to them all.  The series as a whole to me was fantastic and would get 5 out of 5 stars! 
I praise Lori for her writing, for her bravery, and for bringing these wonderful characters into my life. 




***This next paragraph contains SPOILERS…  PLEASE DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE SERIES!!!**
 
I hate writing spoilers, but this series was wonderful and I wanted to touch on Nate without giving anything away to readers who haven’t read it. I loved Nate. While I didn’t like his behavior in book #1, I still loved him. I was so devastated when he was killed and to watch Emi go through such heartache – to lose her love and their baby was just so raw and emotional, something I know personally. (My best friend was killed in a car accident in our early twenties and I have never gotten over it.. loss like that is always hard. As for her baby, a lot of woman, including myself know the pain that comes with this kind of loss… it’s excruciating and difficult to understand). I cannot say enough, how happy I was that throughout the second and third book we still see Nate – through Emi’s memories, the storage items, the wonderful paintings he’s done, and the gallery that Jack gives Emi. I remember feeling slightly cheated at the end of book #1. Just when Emi and Nate finally find love and happiness together (after two books), it is taken away. But it was what made the story so beautiful. Like I had started to say before, but couldn’t, if Nate and Emi had ended up together, the story wouldn’t have gone very far.  
 
The whole series was emotional, and while I loved Nate and missed him constantly throughout the story, I fell more and more in love with Jack as a person and as a companion for Emi. It is situations like this where first we wonder why and then we see the bigger picture. That our life may not be fated the way we believe… death is a harsh way to force your true hand of fate, but life is like that. At a really young age I was diagnosed with cancer and it brought my young adult life to a screeching halt… for years, while I was sick, I wondered why why why???? And then when I was finally better, finally in remission, I headed off to college (at 25) rather than 18 and met the man I would marry, my soul mate – who was 7 years younger than me. It wasn’t until after we were married that I realized, that had it not been for my life coming to a standstill, there would have been no way we could have been in the same place (in totally different parts of the country) at the same time… but fate found a way to bring us together. Some people may think this seems crazy, but you know, it makes me appreciate what happened to me so much more, it makes the “whys” easier to understand….  

Again, praise for Lori Otto and her beautiful Emi Lost & Found Series, I am a true fan!! 
 
 
Book Reviews, Indie Author, Review Archives

TIME STANDS STILL!! (EMI LOST & FOUND SERIES – BOOK #2)

In this second book in the Emi Lost & Found series, Time Stands Still, a near-death experience leaves Emi Hennigan injured and confused, but it’s a chance meeting with a man from her past that has her questioning everything she’s believed in. Emi is stunned when Jack Holland reminds her of their one evening together in college. Will her heart forever be with Nate Wilson, her best friend and soulmate? Or will she find love with someone completely unexpected?
 
The second of three books in the Emi Lost & Found series.
 
Author: Lori Otto  
Title: Time Stands Still (Book #2 of the Emi Lost & Found Series)  
Genre: Young Adult>Contemporary>Romance>  
Publication Date: August 2010
Links to Purchase: Amazon
Reviewer: Megan
 
My Review: 4.5 out of 5 Stars. 
 
So as I was saying at the end of my review for book #1, I was devastated and confused. While I was grateful I had this second book, I was so emotional during the first few chapters I had to read some other reviews, which I never do while I am reading a book. I hate the idea of stumbling onto a spoiler… but there was a part of me that was conflicted with the emotions I was experiencing, especially since I had first hand-personal experience with both of the tragedies Emi was facing.  I read several other reviews online and was actually frustrated that people would stop reading this series as a result. I was thankful, as I read through, I hadn’t read these reviews before finishing book #1, because they spoiled most of it’s ending… and that would have annoyed me to no end. I then started wondering why I was even reading these reviews. What did I hope to find? I suppose I wanted to be reassured that all these emotions would be worth it… and they totally were. 
 
While the events at the end of book #1 certainly caught me off guard, It still made me want to read more to understand why… why had the author chosen this path for her characters, why was this necessary, and how would this all turn out. I suppose that is what separates us as readers. The ability to appreciate a writers artistic creativity and the bravery that comes from making such bold moves. Unlike all those readers who got mad and said they refused to read on, I disagreed with them. I wondered if they had ever felt this kind of pain before – that raw pain that leaves you broken. Books that make you feel these kinds of emotions are the rare ones, the good ones. 
 
Had this mind boggling, devastating event never occurred, well the series wouldn’t have had a whole lot further to go. It could have been wrapped up all pretty with a sparkly bow and everyone lived happily ever after, but life isn’t about being wrapped in a pretty bow where we all live happily ever after. It’s about real pain and devastating events that we don’t always understand, how we learn from those events – how we pick ourselves up and move forward!
 
After I read through those first 100 pages of Time Stands Still, I took a moment to reflect on the emotions I had been feeling and still felt. And then, I applauded the author for her bravery in showing us this heartache. So many of us, at some point I am sure, have felt this pain and know it all too well. I believe the author captured the emotions well, and I found myself crying A LOT throughout this book. And even through the heartache there is some good that begins to shine through… and we are reminded that life does go on, even if we aren’t willing to move forward with it. Jack helped with this… he refused to let time stand still for Emi, he refused to let her accept her life for what she believed fate had handed her… he forced her to move forward. 
 
Can I just say for the record, I am in love with Jack!! oh yeah, love love love him. What a patient, kind, honest, and loyal man. He reminded me a lot of my husband (wink), which helped make him more realistic. He was such a beautiful character who was fantastically written and developed. I also loved the development of Chris and Anna, and I loved the relationship that both healed and blossomed between Emi and her sister. In the prequel they truly struggle and this slow appreciation for one another is so wonderful. 
 
Again, this book felt too long as well… but I still really really enjoyed it. I loved all of the ways that Jack helps Emi overcome all of the loss she experiences and I especially loved what he brought out in her.  I can’t say much more without giving important details away… so with that I will move onto the review for the third and final book, stating simply that I really enjoyed Book #2 and I willingly and with childlike impatience and enthusiasm, turned the page toward book #3 so hopeful for how this story would end….