Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Blitz: Chasing Wishes by Nadia Simonenko

Chasing Wishes

Author: Nadia Simonenko

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult

Publication Date: Winter 2014


“I wish I didn’t have to go home. I wish I was someone else — someone with a future…”

For sixteen-year-old Nina Torres, it feels as if life is nothing but a dead end. Despised by her rich classmates and afraid that she’ll become just like her drug-addicted mother, Nina’s future seems to get dimmer every day.

There is one bright spot in her life though…

Sitting beside her one night, the only person in the world who cares about her makes a promise. No matter what happens — no matter how much Isaac’s wealthy family disapproves — he and his girlfriend Nina will be together forever.

Fate plays a cruel trick on Nina, though, and a visit from Child Protective Services the next morning turns Nina Torres into Irene Hartley, a woman with a future but who will never see her beloved Isaac again.

Nine years later, a blind and incredibly handsome young entrepreneur hires Irene to be his personal assistant. Terrence Radcliffe reminds her so much of Isaac that she can hardly believe her eyes, and she’s falling for him fast. Irene knows that fairy tales don’t come true, but she allows herself one last wish. She wishes that she could finally say goodbye to Isaac and let herself take a chance on Terrence.

What she doesn’t know is that Terrence is also searching for someone: a shooting star who streaked through his life nine years ago, and he won’t give up until he finds her…

Chasing Wishes is a powerful contemporary tale of lost love and wishes come true, recommended for ages 17+ due to adult content.


He raises a finger to his lips, loops his arm around mine and then guides me slowly toward the bed.

My pulse quickens in excitement, beating faster and faster with each step closer to those exquisitely comfortable sheets, and then it skips a beat entirely as Terrence whispers into my ear.

"I'd like you to try something a little different tonight," he whispers, and I shiver in delight as his lips brush against my ear.

He sits cross-legged in the middle of the bed, and I climb up and sit beside him, first smoothing out my short black skirt as if trying to retain some modicum of decency and then giving up and sitting on my knees instead. Even though I know he can't see me flashing him, I still feel self-conscious about it for some reason.

"I hope you're not bored of me already," I tease.

Now that I'm sitting on the bed with him, sitting so near to him that I can feel his breath on my skin as he leans in close, my imagination fills with all sorts of delightful ideas and desires. I can think of plenty of things that would be 'different' and I'm intrigued to find out what he's thought up.

He shakes his head and smiles knowingly, and then my breath catches in my throat as he pulls a black satin eye-mask with delicate lace trim from the back pocket of his jeans.

"Put this on, please," he tells me, and he gently presses the blindfold into my hand and closes my fingers around it.

"And then what?" I ask, tugging nervously on mask's elastic band and running my fingers along its soft lace. I don't know what I'd been expecting him to say, but I'm surprised at a blindfold being involved.

"Let me take charge tonight, Irene. Just trust me," Terrence whispers mischievously. He leans in to kiss me but misses my lips and gets me on the cheek instead.

"No whips, chains, handcuffs, anything like that, right?" I ask worriedly as an inkling of panic rises inside me.

"Of course not," he answers, raising an eyebrow incredulously. "Why does everyone think that's sexy these days?"

"I blame Fifty Shades," I joke, and he laughs and shakes his head.

"None of that, I promise. Just trust me, Irene."

I let out a sigh of relief as the tension in my shoulders relaxes. Thank heaven he's not into that sort of thing. I'm sure it's fun for some people, but I'm not touching that stuff with a ten-foot pole.

"Trust you, huh?" I repeat, and he nods silently.

Even though I trust him—I trust him more than anyone since… well, since Isaac, really—I'm still a little nervous. I don't know where he's going with this once the mask goes on, but how far could he go if he's promising not to tie me up?

He could be about to take pictures of me while I'm not expecting it. What wonderful blackmail material that'd be.

No way… he wouldn't do something like that. My doubts have gone so far overboard that even I don't believe them now.

"You don't have to if you're not comfortable," he says, but as he reaches out to reclaim the mask, I yank it away from him and stretch the elastic over the back of my head. The soft black fabric slides down over my eyes and my pulse pounds in my head as darkness engulfs me.

"It's on, Terrence," I say, my voice wavering with a strange blend of excitement or trepidation.

"Thank you," he whispers in my ear, and then he unexpectedly kisses me…

About the Author

Nadia Simonenko is a scientist and author currently living in Pennsylvania with her husband, two cats and a dog. When she isn’t writing, she develops new drug compounds and dreams about someday painting her office to look like a forest.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Life of A Blogger: Genres of Music

"Life of a Blogger" is a weekly meme hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat.  Each week, she chooses a topic to talk about to help her readers get to know her. The topic are non-book related so readers can get to know other bloggers on a more personal level.

I know that there are a lot of people that look down on country music as a bunch of hillbillies and rednecks writing about riding down dirt roads in their trucks, drinking beer/chewing tobacco, and women, but it is so much more than that to me.

I grew up listening to Garth Brook, Tim Mcgraw, John Michael Montgomery, George Strait, Kenny Cheney, Mark Chesnutt, Ty Herndon, Rick Trevino, Rhett Akins, and a lot of the other great 90s country artists.

They told wonderful stories that fed my soul. Country music means the world to me. I don't know who I'd be without it.

Oldies is another genre that I hold close to my heart. My grandparents did a lot to help my mother raise me and my sisters - they were our baby-sitters, our mentors, and our mamaw and papaw. When I was very young, I remember Oldies being on the radio every time we got in the car. I remember singing along to "Barbra Ann", "Duke of Earl", and other wonderful songs that came out of that generation.

Showtunes; I got hooked after my older sister watched Wicked on Broadway and came home with the soundtrack. It was just too good to ignore. My favorite showtunes to sing along to are anything from Beauty and the Beast (except for Human again), Legally Blonde the Musical (my favorite is Chip on My Shoulder), all Les Mis, anything Disney (I can sing some Disney songs in Finnish, Greek, and French), Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera, Rocky Horror, and so many others.

Honestly, I could do this all day. I love every type of music - pop, rock, screamo, emo, alternative, hip hop, some rap, gospel, and just about anything else.

What are some of your favorite genres of music? Favorite songs? Feel free to sound off!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy

Series: Vampire Academy #1
Author: Richelle Mead


St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.


A friend of mine who runs her own book blog, Kelly at Dandelion Dreams, had suggested this book to me a few times. Since I trust her taste in books and I will probably see the movie, I caved into peer pressure and went out and bought it at my local used book store. I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end - I just wish I had the next one already so I could keep reading about the characters.

I had heard the terms before, but the politics of being Moroi, dhampir, and strigoi adds new and interesting layers to the vampire YA novel. It's not just an "everyone is a vampire, doing vampire things" vampire novel. It adds a social order to the way things work. Richelle Mead took it to a new level, improving on the tropes we are so used to reading through.

The Vampire Academy is as close to a high school as a school full of vampires can be. There are cliques, mean girls who spread gossip, bad boys, boys that are so good that they're boring, nerds, and the best people in the world - the ones like Rose and Lissa that you just want to be best friends with. The only difference is the Moroi "eat" off humans, drinking their blood. They have superhuman strength, and their classes involve magic - not math or chemistry.

Even though I'm in my twenties now, I really related to Rose and what she was going through at the academy. It sucks being somewhere you don't really want to be with people you don't want to be around. Also, pining after an attractive guy that doesn't see you the way you want him to. There were a few things she did that I didn't like, but she was just doing what she thought was best to protect her best friend Lissa.

I would definitely say that I am hooked on this series, and I will continue reading it. I would recommend this to anyone who loves some great YA, vampire stories, or anyone just looking for a good book to read. I loved it, you will too.