Sunday, December 22, 2013

Unbearable(Undescribable #2) by Shantel Tessier

Unbearable (Undescribable, #2)
Pages:400
Published on: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Self-published by author
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary romance
Buy Links: Amazon &  Barnes & Noble

Book Description

Grief.
How do you survive the loss of a mother you thought didn't love you...until it was too late?

Forgiveness.
How do you forgive the person who hurt you the most?

Fear.
How do you survive the person who won’t let you go?

Jealousy.
How can your heart continue to trust the person you thought you knew?

Betrayal.
How many secrets are too many?

Lust.
How can you say no, when your body screams yes?

Passion.
How can you deny a love that has no boundaries?

Slade and Samantha's story continues...


My review

Samantha and Slade are two inseparable love birds . Unbearable begins with Samantha and Slade grieving over the death of her mother. She is really a stubborn, sweet girl who happens to think that she can hide her emotions enough to fool around anyone especially her one and only heartthrob Slade. He, on the other hand reads her mind so well and decides not to give in to her silly and yet childish acts only to make her grow wild whenever they are together.

There are recurring characters that we loved in the last book- Josh, Courtney, Micah and Holly. In spite of that there are few very strong add-ups (a mixture of good and evil) characters in their love story, Tate, Jeremy and Jessica. Slade comes to know from Samantha whom he calls her Angel all the time; she has a past with Tate. This turns to be saddening him a lot. Incidentally,  when he learns about Tate and what relationship he had with her mother, he seems to have relieved a tidbit and as far as Samantha’s life is concerned he doesn’t trust him yet,  later he does.

Life is terribly hard for Samantha as she comes to reason with her mother for parting away. Howsoever, Slade does all he can to make her happy. The real twist to the story begins here. Jeremy, the bad guy enters with evil intentions and so do Jessica and Natalie. Here we don’t have to worry about the latter. One thing is for sure, they are not going to succeed anyway.
True love makes this love story unbreakable. Shantel Tessier ends the story very creatively. I’d expect a happier ending because we all know the last book resulted in Samantha turning into a huge mess and absolutely unstable due to that .Hence the responsibility to take care of her falls on him(later Tate joins to aid him) who is now somewhat stable. Unfortunately, Slade’s past never seems to stop haunting her, therefore realizing history always repeats.
Over all, I felt this story fresh and standalone from the previous one. When it comes to what I didn’t like, the intimate scenes sounded artificial at times (It could’ve been reduced).

Read my review of Undescribable here.
Rating 3.5/5


About the author 


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Shantel is a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, and their three year old little princess. She considers herself extremely lucky to be a stay at home wife and mother. When she’s not reading or writing, she spends her time with family and friends.

Disclaimer A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review~English Bites! by Manish Gupta

English Bites! My 'Fullproof' English Learning Formula

Pages:334 pages
Published on: 21st Dec,  2012
Publisher: Penguin books
Genre: Non-fiction/Self-help
Book Links: Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam

Book Description

English Bites! My Fullproof English Learning Formula is the story of a man who goes from being tongue-tied in school to becoming a smooth talking banker. Through a series of hilarious personal adventures and misadventures, Manish Gupta provides easy solutions to problems faced by language learners. So, whether you're a vernacular speaker, a GRE/ GMAT/CAT/XAT aspirant or just a language nut, English Bites! will expand your vocabulary and improve your verbal ability. It may even help you love the English language a little more!

• Add over 1000 new words to your vocabulary and figure out easy and effective ways to expand your word bank.
• Combine etymology, mnemonics, jokes and anecdotes to better your understanding of the English language.
• Differentiate between similar sounding words and learn to use them right.
• Improve your general knowledge with trivia that spans brand names, automobiles, fine dining, love, money, banks, science and B-school jargon.


My review

Speaking in English is every body’s dream, much to the dismay, in south India (Stressing, Tamil Nadu); you can see nearly half of the student community never want to converse in this language or cease midway due to proclaimed fears. And sadly, majority of these students would have studied in English medium schools much like the author in the book. As a regular college student and an observant, I still can confidently argue there is no change at all (if we ignore the big cities alone). From what I see, they all consider it as an unfriendly language. I think this is the same case all over India. What drove me towards reading this book is this self-realization and self-motivation for improvement.
English Bites! Written by Manish Gupta is a source abundance of knowledge. It gives factual information relating to English that we didn’t know before with a touch of hilariousness, anecdotes, pictorial representations , interesting trivia's about etymology, contronyms, Ambibhology, Palindromes , Alliterations, and billion more to make this book utterly unique and worth appealing to the subsequent readers.
Additionally, the footnotes of unknown words with meanings given under each page encourage us to engross in the book without searching for dictionary to learn what it means. Each and every page in the book turns out to be a rare gem. The author has done thorough research while he himself was a struggling learner of the subject which is why we don’t see him waste a single page or chapter on unnecessary ramblings. Wherever he had opportunity, he had used it very wisely. The difficulties arise due to the long reading process.
Even though, I took way too many days to finish, there is no doubt, this book is a compulsive, satisfactory read but can’t deny I lost concentration here and there for it happens with most non-fiction books. So it was as if, I had to reread some of the pages later on to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Unfortunately, this is not a beginner's guide nor is it a grammar book. For other people, reading English Bites! is like acquiring knowledge of hundreds of books put all together in one book where you gain insights to various subjects via author's life journey. That is why his dedication and commitment towards writing this book never fails to fascinate because he has given his 100% effort.
If you start reading the book, you will be amazed to know this is a self-help book as well as personal memoir of the author in which English forms the core subject of his life as a college student, as a professional, and as a family man.
My only complaint- Instead of publishing it as one book, the author could have published this book as two separate books in an effective manner. This way, the interest of the readers could have been kept alive throughout their reading process without wearing them down, plus the readers would have plenty of time to test what they have learnt do not go in vain  or else some additional exercises of difficult words to recall . Overall, I wholeheartedly appreciate the author for writing this wonderful book. It really helped me a lot and I am very sure, it will definitely help anyone reading.

Rating 4/5
Excerpts from the book
Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a 50000-word novel without the letter E(Excpet in his own name)?Though self-published and little noticed in its time, Gadsby is now a favourite among fans of constrained writing and is a sought after rarity among book collectors. Later editions of the book sometimes carry a subtitle:50000 Word Novel without the letter E.
Did you know that Paris, which gave restaurants to the world, also gets credit for introducing the word bistro to the English language? Bistro is a familiar name for a café serving moderately priced, simple meals in unpretentious setting.
At a dinner party in 1912, Lady Astor became annoyed at an inebriated Churchill, who was pontificating on some topic.Reaching the end of her patience, she blurted out:'Winston , if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee'.Churchill famously replied:'Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it.
About the Author
Manish Gupta is a banking professional. When not crunching numbers he is busy engaging with and examining the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of the English language. He also likes trivia, travelling, adventure sports, delving into human psychology, and giving professorial discourses to colleagues, family and friends, and practically anyone who can give him a patient hearing. An engineering graduate from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, he lives in Mumbai with his wife Deepali, a medical professional, and daughters Tamanna and Prakriti.
Disclaimer I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Release day Blitz~Unbearable by Shantel Tessier

 
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About the author 

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Shantel is a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, and their three year old little princess. She considers herself extremely lucky to be a stay at home wife and mother. When she’s not reading or writing, she spends her time with family and friends.

 
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Add Unbearable to your TBR on Goodreads 

Amazon &  Barnes & Noble

Enter for a chance to win: 4 signed paperback of Undescribable & Unbearable, 5 swag packs, 1- Kindle paperwhite (US only), 1- $100 Amazon gift card for International winner a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, December 09, 2013

December Kindle Fire Giveaway

Holiday Kindle Fire Giveaway
 
Just in time for the HOLIDAYS – Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)
 
This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT!
Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.
 
 
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)
 
Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
 
Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
 
Holiday Kindle Fire Giveaway #1 Sponsors:
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  6. Confessions of a Librarian in Training…
  7. Bea’s Book Nook
  8. Author Kary Rader
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  10. A Book Lover’s Retreat
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Giveaway Details
  • 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).
  • There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.
  • Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
  • Ends 12/18/13
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Aisle Be Damned by Rishi Piparaiya

Aisle Be Damned

Paperback: 216 pages
Publication date: 20th oct 2013
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Target Audience: Adults
Genre: Non-fiction/self-help/humor

Goodreads Description

A Hilarious Take on just about Everything Associated with Air Travel.
- Getting seamlessly upgraded to Business Class.
- The hows and whys of micromanaging the pilots.
- Action plans to counter the airlines Technical Snag routine.
- Sure shot strategies for winning the affections of flight attendants.
- Awesome icebreakers to start conversations with attractive co-passengers.
- How smart executives deal with the Walk of Shame to the economy section.
- How a water bottle dramatically improves flight safety.
- Breezing through immigration and customs, always making your flight connections and a whole lot more

Rest assured, your flying experience will never be the same again!


My review

Aisle Be Damned is a non-fiction, self-help book for killing boredom in spite of how depressed you may feel especially when you are air travelling. Nowadays, air travelling is just like going in a bus or a train. Anyone can travel, if they have sufficient money whether short distance or long distance. I must admit here when I first saw the very inviting cover image and the intriguing line, “Swaying hips, praying lips and flying tips”, I instantly got the impression, this book is going to be a huge hit among many Indian readers(the book is for sale in Indian Subcontinents) who are like me cause I always have the habit of judging a book not by what I find it inside but on the outside,  then once I finish reading only I will forget all about how the cover looked and will whole-heartedly praise the author for his fabulous way of writing if the book is really worth mentioning for otherwise I never mind stating what I didn’t like in my perspective. This book was an exception. I loved both even though I can point few of the limitations existing in the book.

As a meticulously written book, this is for people who value humor more than anything else in their life.  After all, only insane people will want to lead a humorless life. Rishi Piparaiya, the author has great sarcastic nature. I enjoyed reading the book for his unique narrative style in writing and lack of intricate details. To begin with, he has listed the essential packing list for a safe and pleasant journey. He doesn’t say why except we will appreciate it later. This I found amazing. It quickened my enthusiasm into reading . There is no doubt this book is obviously a page turner. I laughed and laughed when reading. My favorite is the SIM card and the family joke in the beginning chapter which I think was an absolute knock-out. What I wished is that in certain chapters, the author could have loosened up his serious tone. It was just I didn’t find it as hilarious like the author says in the near ending chapters, and also I cannot lie by saying it wasn't very boring. But overall, it is a good read for all humor lovers and also a wonderful gift to people who travel a lot. Definitely a must read. I suggest everyone read it while they are travelling. 

Rating 3.5/5

Excerpts from the novel

If you think nobody in this world cares about you, delay boarding your flight.

Whether you choose the window or the aisle seat (if the center seat has even crossed your mind, you need serious professional help), primarily depends on how much you like clouds.

 “But I don’t want this Hindu meal, Ma’am. I don’t even KNOW what a Hindu meal is. Is it what I eat every…………….

“You shoot me down, but I won’t fall. I am titanium…”

“Cross this side and I am going to peck each of your freaking feathers off, you goddamn son of a swallow.”

“Damn man, you are so ugly I’m going to waive the photograph requirement.”

“The world shall know this as a symbol of our eternal love….. 


Disclaimer The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Promo:The Reunion by A.A.Pencil



 
Date Published: 11/12/2013
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

C. Moore Catholic High School's 10-year reunion was organized as many reunions are - to reminisce, to see who had made a success of their lives, and in truth, to gossip on who had not.  But this party in the secluded, 1890's mansion once owned by a long dead, paranoid WWII Veteran, was to become anything but typical.  

After a horrible accident within the mansion, the alumni realize they are locked in and fighting for their lives.  Instantly, tempers rise and fingers are pointed as the number of living alumni begins to rapidly decrease.  Theories range from there being a murderer in the midst to the mansion possibly being haunted by the previous owner's ghost. 

Who or what is responsible and will anyone make it out alive?  

Find out for yourself in this combination of a mystery and psychological thriller, with a twisted ending!


A.A. Pencil

A. A. Pencil works part time as a school nurse at an all-boys Catholic school in New York City. As a Lupus survivor, she uses writing as a significant part of her therapy and you will see influences from classical writers such as Agatha Christie and Edgar Alan Poe in her work.  When not working or writing, she enjoys cooking, shopping and walking. She has sponsored a child in Mexico for over three years with a children's organization. She currently lives in a borough of New York City with her extended family who are her greatest supporters.

Author Links

Buy Link

To celebrate the release of AA Pencil's debut novel "The Reunion" - During the months of November & December - 1% of the gross sales of all novels with Lavish Publishing, LLC will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America.  The donation will be made in May 2014 in honor of AA Pencil and National Lupus Awareness Month.

This Promo Blitz is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours
 
Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri

Paperback:318 pages
Published on: April 10th, 2013
Publisher: Shrishti Publisher
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Fiction
Book Description
The Homing Pigeons...
In the middle of the catastrophic 2008 recession, Aditya, a jobless, penniless man meets an attractive stranger in a bar, little does he know that his life will change forever…..
When Radhika, a young, rich widow, marries off her stepdaughter, little does she know that the freedom that she has yearned for is not exactly how she had envisioned it…..
They say Homing Pigeons always come back to their mate, no matter where you leave them on the face of this earth. Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines


My review



I have read many love stories but never have heard or read a love story that is as heart aching as “The Homing Pigeons”. None of them are even close. It is because this is not an ordinary love story where a boy meets a girl, loves unconditionally, if the parents don’t agree, they elope and get married. At least, not in this story. If you think there must be serious villain trouble, once again you are wrong. You just have to figure that out yourself.
A rather heart warming,  nail biting , scrupulous story about two soul mates whose love story should have ended up being happily ever after but is dragged in and out leaving them shattered like a pile of mess. We find love, passion, self-sacrifice, betrayal, hatred all throughout that it kind of makes it crucial to understand the state of mind (call it mystery) of the main protagonists. They will probably drive many crazy as they don’t tell exactly what they are planning to do. Why they are ducking away? Is it even necessary for them to act the way they did? as they are two confused souls.
Losing his job to recession a year ago, Aditya , a 32 year old young man now lives off his wife’s salary feeling guilty to the core. His life takes a huge turn after he meets a woman close to his age at a bar not knowing the peril that she is going to put him into. Then we meet Radhika, a rich young widow whose step daughter she marries off is just 8 years younger than her.
Reading the novel, you will feel like you accidently travelled into their life through the help of time machine and as a result, you are forced to travel along with them and listen to them at the walk of their journey. The story is told in both their point of views. So you have to be alert not to miss anything. Nothing is quite predictable in the novel. Their past is undoubtedly far worse to be called as bitter and they are somehow interlinked.
The homing pigeons is such an emotionally intense novel that rips your heart out bleeding because of the vulnerability Aditya and Radhika face due to the cruelty of the world. You can’t help but feel sorry for them. When Aditya’s would be pimp forces him to have sex with her, it will make anyone wonder, how is this even happening? Like Aditya, I was also grossly shocked at the same time disgusted. Then after you read the second half, you may think he so deserved to work as a prostitute. Let the novel alone define Radhika's story.
Right from the start of the novel, I admired how boldly the words flow and engage the heart and mind of the readers. I was initially afraid how Mr.Sid Bahri is going to end the story. But the execution was neat, justifiable and not overhyped. Overall, a remarkably brilliant , modern tragedy. The writing is flawless but the characters aren't.

"They say homing pigeons always come back to their mate, do they?"


Rating 4/5
Excerpts from the novel


“I work as a freelance gigolo,” I say with a straight face. I almost make it sound like I am a copywriter.
What is that? “She obviously hasn’t heard the word before.
“A male prostitute, “I tell her in earnest.
“You mean mail prostitutes? How? “She looks bewildered.
"Just like you have female prostitutes, I am a male prostitute, “I reply, still looking her in the eyes.

I felt like the bird that had just escaped from it's cage and was ready to fly-Radhika


About the author


A hotelier by education, an ex-banker and a senior executive in the outsourcing industry, Sid gave up a plush carrier in the outsourcing industry to follow his passions. Based out of Ranikhet, he is now a struggling entrepreneur and a happy writer. A self-proclaimed eccentric, he is an avid blogger who loves to read and cook. Cooking stories, however, is his passion. The Homing Pigeons is his debut novel.


Disclaimer A special thanks to "The Readers Cosmos Blog" for sending me the book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blast & $100 Giveaway:Gateway by Christina Garner

 
gateway by christina garner

Gateway by Christina Garner Everybody has their demons. Some are just a little more real than others... Ember has always known she doesn't belong in this world, but when she tries to correct the mistake, she wakes to find herself in a mental institution. There she draws the attention of Taren, a mysterious boy who isn't what he seems. When chaos erupts, they are forced to flee the institution together, and the secret Taren has been keeping, brings Ember closer to understanding her own. And leads her to... the Gateway.  

Barnes and Noble amazon blog
 
  Praise "I loved, loved, loved, Gateway. It kept me up all night, it kept me guessing throughout and stayed on my mind afterward. And that my friends, is pretty much my definition of a great book." ~thatbookishgirl.blogspot.com "I enjoyed everything about this novel--the strong writing, the believable characters, the captivating plot and the subtle but sweet romance." ~irresistiblereads.blogspot.com "I give this book 5 stars out of 5, for the sole reason that I can't give it more." ~TheWolfsLibrary.blogspot.com

author christina garner
 
  Author Christina Garner Christina Garner began writing stories at the age of six, with some help from her older sister. At eighteen, her aspirations as an actor had her loading up her Buick and setting off for Hollywood. Since then, she has written and directed 10 short films, including Rewind and Reminder, both of which received acclaim on the festival circuit. In 2006, she began writing screenplays. A year later, she even got paid for one. In May of 2011, her debut novel, Gateway, became an Amazon Bestseller. A year later, Chasm, Book 2 in The Gateway Trilogy, did the same. Christina lives in Los Angeles, and when she's not writing, spends her time traveling the world, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, and playing with her dog, Griffin.
 
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  Book Blast Giveaway
 
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/5/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash.
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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Tour:Code Human by N.J.Paige


Title: Code Human
Author: N. Paige
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance
Publisher: Brown Dove Press
Publication Date: September 11, 2013

Book Description



Seventeen-year-old Fenesia Thornbark has it all--love, modest wealth, a family. She'd never imagined that she could lose it all in just minutes. However, that is exactly what happens. She loses her home, her friends, both her parents, all at the hands of her own people.

Follow her journey of love, loss, acceptance, and survival.

About the author


N. J. Paige lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She enjoys reading and writing fiction.

                                                     http://www.buriedunderbooks.com/

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway :Unbearable by Shantel Tessier

 
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]


Grief. How do you survive the loss of a mother you thought didn't love you...until it was too late?

Forgiveness. How do you forgive the person who hurt you the most?

Fear. How do you survive the person who won’t let you go?

Jealousy. How can your heart continue to trust the person you thought you knew?

Betrayal. How many secrets are too many?

Lust. How can you say no, when your body screams yes?

Passion. How can you deny a love that has no boundaries? Slade and Samantha's story continues...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

unbearableteaserpic

About the author
 
941649_454730077951262_1299773491_n
Shantel is a Texas born girl who now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, and their three year old little princess. She considers herself extremely lucky to be a stay at home wife and mother. When she’s not reading or writing, she spends her time with family and friends.

Find out how Samantha and Slades story begins... Undescribable

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

Find my review of the above book here.
 
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Amazon & Barnes & Noble

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Blast :Spell Fire, The Teen Wytche Saga #3 By Ariella Moon & $ 50 Giveaway


Spell Fire
Book Blurb

New school. New friends. New reputation. High school sophomore Ainslie Avalon-Bennett works hard to hide her Crazy Girl past. But as long as her best friend’s disappearance remains unsolved, she can’t shake the depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder that once landed her in a mental ward.   Ainslie’s tenuous control over her life shatters when her warring parents ditch her at Christmas. While they take a cruise to “work things out,” Ainslie must spend the holiday in Palm Springs with her aunt and uncle, owners of a struggling Mystery School and occult store. Plunged into the world of fire fortunes, dragons, entity eaters, and an ailing spell book, Ainslie is well beyond her comfort zone. Then she meets a boy who spikes her pulse and calms her OCD. But will she lose him once he discovers her past? Or will his deadly secret, hidden in plain view, be their undoing?

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Author Ariella Moon
 
ariella

Ariella Moon writes about magic, friendship, secrets, and love in her Young Adult novels, Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire, Books 1, 2, & 3 in The Teen Wytche Saga. Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred Ariella’s teen years. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. An author and shaman, she now lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, shamelessly spoiled dog, and an enormous dragon.  

Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Goodreads
 
Spell Fire Excerpt

My body elongated, and I swore I grew six inches. Inside the cafe, there was no line. Another miracle. I paused beneath the fern‑painted ceiling fan and scanned the wall menu. I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but a weird craving fueled my search.

The dragon exerted pressure between my shoulder blades, prompting me. "A Scorpion's Nest smoothie." Morningstar leaned over the high counter and gave me a onceover. "You feeling okay?" I licked my lips. "Absolutely." I had never tasted an orange juice, vanilla ice cream, and peanut butter combo, but I slapped the countertop and said, "I'm fine. Hit me." Morningstar tilted her head to one side and studied me.

Oh — crap. Maybe I'm dragon drunk. I wiped the drool from the corner of my mouth stood straighter. I could do this. I could act normal and in control. Behind me, the dragon blew on my hair. I clawed back the stray locks. "Strong ceiling fan."

Morningstar glanced up. I held my gaze steady on her face and tried to remember if the fan was actually on. I couldn't hear the whir of its motor or feel the stir of cool air. I can't feel anything. I went for distraction and slipped a ten across the counter. Morningstar leveled her gaze, then handed me my change.

"I'll bring the smoothie to your table." "Cool." My eyes crossed. I pivoted and fell out of my right flip‑flop. Fortunately, the place was almost empty, and I didn't think anyone saw me stumble. Still, my face heated as I chose a table with plenty of space behind it for the dragon and my invisible wings.

"Mind if I join you for a minute?" Morningstar asked when she brought my drink. "Please." I giggled, giddy with dragon energy. I was a bright, beneficent angel among earthlings. I was — as crazy as my parents feared.
 

 
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