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Book review: Forever Disguised, by Annie Woods

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA Romance|

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This second book from the Angelheart saga got me hooked from the beginning! I was craving to know what happened to the characters since book 1 ended in a cliffhanger I couldn’t wait to read the sequel. I fell head first into book 2, in order to finally solve the mystery that was driving me crazy. The author started with a whirlwind of emotions from the main character; a teenager girl yet such complex situations that surround her and trouble her, that most readers can of-course related to. The story reads fast paced, the MC got herself falling in love again, living the unexpected surprises life throws at her, but still caring and having time for her friends from the start, helping them with their own dilemmas.

Such an adorable cover! 🙂

“To her surprise her heart flip-flopped at the sight of him, “Can he look any more like a surfer commercial dude? Erica thought, trying to quell the hammering in her chest.”

The author introduces some new characters in this sequel, showing new and real relationships which are easy to connect to. I love how diverse this story is, genre wise as well as relationship-wise. The MC feels this pull towards her friends that she must try to help, from gay acceptance, adapting to college and insecurity, moving to another city, etc. All of this put together into a suspenseful plot of royal heritage, murder and even life in an isolated religious cult. I find the suspense the most interesting part of the story. I am amazed at how the author was able to bring together all of these things happening in parallel. This trilogy is the opposite of a slow-read. The pages fly in your hands.

photo by @tata.lifepages
I will keep following Erica, who I have grown dearly found of, through her life saga on the next book for sure! 🙂 You can check out more about the book and the author here or the amazon page here.

Book review: Stepping Stones by Elizabeth Morgan

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | Contemporary Romance|

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I read this book in two sittings and the only reason I didn’t read it in one is because my boyfriend wanted me to turn off the light to sleep! 😛 The story reads super fast paced, I didn’t want to put it down!Elizabeth writes beautifully, I was pulled in to her words which flow so fluid and gently! The story brought me cozy feelings of Christmas over a warm fire, opening gifts, smell of cookies. It was such an adorable read, full of emotion and family coziness. It also hit home for me, I felt super connected to what the MC, Margaret, was going through by leaving her fiancee before the wedding…. (yes readers, years ago I also left my fiancee).

Such an adorable cover! 🙂

“What was my big reason for running away and not marrying William Taylor?”

I absolutely loved the book, it shows us how difficult it is to make life changing decisions as well as how sometimes the person you are looking for your whole life has been in front of you this entire time. I was in love with both Adrian and William and every time they appeared in the story I would feel butterflies in my stomach. The story shows us how important family is, which also really connected to me since I’m living far away from my parents and really miss them. Overall, it was a delightful read, with a beautiful happy ending that leaves you smirking and completely satisfied at the end.

photo by @tata.lifepages
"My gaze wandered over the curve of his cheekbones and the soft angle of his jaw. Faint lines creased the side of his mouth, and a few rested under his eyes. He looked older - obviously - but he still looked like my Aidy, my best friend, my foster brother. It was so strange seeing him after all these years. I wanted to see his smile. I wanted to hug him, but then the thought of the last conversation we'd had, and I wanted to punch him instead."

You can check out more about the book and the author here or the amazon page here.

Book review: Perfect by D. D. Larsen

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | Adult Romance|

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Don’t let that cute contemporary cover trick you, this book is SPICY and HOT! If you enjoy sexy books with a hot,  rich, sexy,  powerful man who knows his way in bed, this is definitely for you. It gives all these 50 shades of grey vibes, so its a book full of lust and chemistry between the characters, if you are a 50 shade fan this is a good recommendation!

“Put your hands above your head.” Doing as he says, I feel and hear the click of the handcuff circling my left wrist.

Such a cute cover! 🙂

The story focuses on an instantaneous love between Seryna and Kieran, I am not the biggest fan of love-at-first-sight tropes however Kieran ends up winning your heart by the end of the book. The good thing is that the main character and everyone else in the book is aware that their love was instantaneous, which for me made a big difference in making me able to relate to the main character.

"The logical side of my brain is telling me this is crazy. We have only officially known each other a little over three weeks."

Kieran is of-course the most perfect man in the world (sometimes it made me roll my eyes a bit on how exaggeratedly perfect he was with buying her a car, giving her his credit card, paying for a hotel for all her family and friends who he doesn’t even know..)  who spoils Seryna a million. To be honest I don’t really understand why he is so head over heels for Seryna, but I think this is because I am one of those few people that didn’t like 50 shades of gray. It gives off these “millionaire falls for ordinary woman” vibes, like in Edward in twilight and Jamie in 50 shades.

photo at @tata.lifepages

The purpose of the story seems like its for you to feel swept away by this romantic, sexy, perfect man, who trust me is everything you ever wish for. There is also a mystery plot underneath the romance, since he is an FBI agent investigating Seryna’s family, however by half of the book I already knew who the criminal was and thought it was a bit obvious. This didn’t make the story less interesting, since I wanted to know who else was involved and if Kieran, our perfect man, is as perfect as he seems…. The book reads quick, fast-paced and intriguing, since you want to discover more and more about Kieran as the story progresses. Overall I enjoyed the book, specially the sexy details which are very well written and very frequent 😉 To check out the book on amazon click here.

Book review: Swiping for Prince Charming, by Sabrina Marzaro

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | Graphic Novel|

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a beautifully illustrated modern version of a fairy-tale. This book presents a quick and short read that brings out a comic side to online dating, accompanied by gorgeous illustrations of the streets and dwellings of Paris throughout the main events of the book. The artwork is truly pleasant, making me want to experience Paris once again. The story has a very strong female empowering message at the end which delighted me and elevated my perspective on a working women’s independence. Unlike other fairy-tales where a prince charming is expected to come and rescue the damsel in distress, this book presents an alternative perspective.

It is truly an delightful read to enjoy while sipping a glass of wine, lighting a refreshing candle and swiping right or left on some potential prince charming. I recommend getting the hardcover version, which is very large (doesn’t fit my bookshelf height! :P) and showcases the illustrations very well. You can check out the authors page here, or to check out the book on amazon click here.

Book review: First came forever, (Book 1, Angelheart saga) by Annie Woods

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA Romance |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was a delightful surprise! The story is beautifully written, it began with what seemed like an insta-love trope, between two young adventurers; a mysterious guy and a geeky girl. They met in a historical place in Camboja and from that point onwards it was love at first sight. The connection they felt to each other during their trip was so strong that it brought them together to the USA, where they began and set their new lives. Their purpose was to in the future accomplish some good for the children in need that they encountered on their trip.

That’s when the unexpected started to happen. The story was developed to a point that we were constantly surprised with unforeseen plot-twists! I couldn’t put the book down because I was so eager to find out what was going on. If you enjoy a dramatic spectacle like me, where we are encountered with curve ball after curve ball you will definitely enjoy this read. Royal meets girl, political goals come into play, an unknown person lurking in the shadows plotting against them, high school dilemmas – fitting in, new friends, defending gay rights and to top it off, a hot guy to mess with her head. All of these twists intertwined with the regular teenager’s life issues; essays, sports, complicated parents, which the author presented fast-paced, making it very interesting chapter by chapter. Since this is the first book in a trilogy (you can check out the other books in the saga here), it ends with a cliffhanger, full of last minute surprises and questions to be answered in the next book, which I will start right away! 🙂

photo at @tata.lifepages

Book review: The Thin House, by Jake Nickens

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt pages fly in my hands so much as I did while reading The Thin House. It was such an easy and fun read, that I couldn’t make myself put it down until it was finished. At first I had thought because of the age of the main character (I believe it was 11 years old) that it was going to be a middle grade fantasy or a light YA fantasy, but I was mistaken. The story was divided into these detailed segments that introduce you to a certain “monster” of the Thin House and with each segment Finn’s character was developed and a hidden life lesson was presented to the reader. I was astounded by Finn’s maturity for a child, he frequently talks and thinks in what appears to be an elaborate and wise manner. However, I only really noticed that this novel was much more mature and intense than what I thought it would be by the mention of adult topics in certain segments, such as abuse, death and suicide. A trigger warning could probably be introduced at the start of the book.

From all the diverse characters introduced, my favorite was Chester. I just found that cuddly little jackalope adorable and I love how protective he was of Finn. I was also delightfully intrigued by a certain ‘happening’ that occurs when Chester is given something he had been craving throughout the entire novel. I hope to find mentions of this circumstance in the subsequent books of the series. I also felt immediately connected to Eden, I loved the scenes where she appeared and the story got even better after she was introduced.

photo at @tata.lifepages

Even though the story is divided into segments for the unique monsters, it has an underlying plot that keeps the reader interested about multiple aspects that unfold as the story progresses such as: the grandparents background, why Finn’s mom doesn’t visit the place and whats behind that creepy grandfather clock? I love it how the author connects events at the end of the book to small hints given throughout the story, so that the reader has that delightful nostalgic moment where he remembers that hint and goes “Ahhhh, that’s why!”. The novel is beautifully written, each monster is described so well that I had a clear visual on my mind and I must say I was even a bit scared! It speaks of family, friendship, stories, grief, etc, making the reader ponder at each underlying lesson. I hope to read the second book in the series! You can check out more about the author and his books over at his website.

North Street Book Prize – contest for self-published books

. tata.lifepages | Partner updates! |

As a personal project I have been branching out more to self-published authors, also known as indie authors, to help promote and spread word about their books. I will be reviewing almost exclusively works by independent authors in the upcoming months here on my blog as well as my main account. I was recently contacted by Winning Writers, a platform that creates resources for poets and writers, about an ongoing contest for self-published authors. This contest provides not only exposure to self-published works as well as some amazing prizes.

Various categories of self-published books may join the North Street Book Prize contest (Mainstream / Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, Graphic Novel & Memoir) with no restriction of the publication date. I’ve listed the prizes at the bottom of this article, which are very impressive. They currently have a free book giveaway for the 2019 grand prize winner (Lay of the land) which you can download for free at their website.

Submissions until the 30th of June, 2020

Grand Prize Winner 2019, Poetry

  • Grand prize winner: $5,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value);
  • Top winner in each category: $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value);
  • A honorable mention in each category: $250;
  • Published online excerpts (1,000-6,000 words) from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges;

I will be supporting Winning Writers this upcoming month in spreading word about their contest and their work. Are you a self-published author? To find more information on the North Book Prize contest for self-published works check out their website.

Book review: Thoughts Alight Poetry, by Kawtar Elmrabti

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | Poetry |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been wanting to branch out to different genres, one of them being poetry, which I must admit has been short on my to-be-read list of late. The cover drew my eye immediately since it gives this relaxing and soothing feelings and motivated me to dive in!

This poetry collection is full of positive thoughts and heart-warming messages. I found it best to read a poem in the morning to brighten my day and a poem at night to go bed with something to think about. The book is divided into 4 main sections (Love thoughts, Hope Thoughts, Self Thoughts and Meditation Thoughts). My favorite poems were in the Hope thoughts section, with beautiful quotes such as “The Broken will always be able to love harder than most” or “Never apologize for burning too brightly” which I found relatable and which inspired constructive discussions between me and my boyfriend. If you enjoy poetry, these thoughts collection is full of love, hope and inspiration!