Unleashed Review

Unleashed

Seventeen-year-old Claire Williams’ tough upbringing has taught her how to throw a punch or two to survive, especially when it involves a man’s unwanted attention. But her strength waivers when she visits Bodian Dynamics, a medical research facility, and stumbles upon classified information—someone has stolen a drug that not only changes a person’s appearance, but will also unleash a dark and evil alter ego.

After an intimidating security guard threatens the lives of her friends if she speaks to anyone about the incident, Claire pretends the drug never existed. That is until she meets Gage, a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to have a conscience and who is hell-bent on making her just like him by unleashing her dark side.

But Claire knows a secret—he can only die while in his normal state. And since Gage knows personal information about her, Claire thinks she knows who it is: either her best friend or her recent boyfriend. And once she figures out which boy Gage is hiding behind, she’s going to kill him, even if it breaks her heart.


I’ve always loved Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and I’m usually interested in YA takes on things, so of course I became quite eager when I learned of Rachel’s newest work. I must say, it didn’t disappoint me in any way!

C H A R A C T E R S  &  R E L A T I O N S H I P S 

Claire. I really like Claire! She’s a teenage girl who, on the emotional spectrum, isn’t exactly typical. She’s already had to deal with quite a lot in the years prior to the book’s beginning, and her life just gets more complicated as time goes on, it seems! In most regards, though, I think she’s an ‘average’ teen… She has her interests, she doesn’t get along with her mother much, and she enjoys spending time with her friends. Her passion for singing and for the band in general is quite evident. (Slight spoiler warning) One thing I really love is how, despite Logan’s interest in her, it never turns into what I consider a ‘love triangle’ —- she doesn’t return his feelings when he first brings it up, and this remains a solid stance throughout the book. Her feelings for Ethan are quite real, as far as I’m concerned. Logan’s her best friend, but that’s it. And I’m so glad for that.

Logan. Very real, ‘typical’ teenage boy. His feelings for Claire are important, and they do play a role throughout the story (as seen when he talks to Ethan and Claire on their date at the restaurant), but they don’t override everything else. It’s not in any way overbearing, and I believe him when he claims that his friendship with Claire is more important.

Ethan. He, too, is what I’d consider ‘average’ and ‘typical’. I like the chemistry between him and Claire! It’s enough to make me at least support the idea of them as a couple, though I was constantly aware of how I prefer them as friends. Either way, Ethan’s a real sweetheart, and I’m glad Claire has him in her life to help her along.

Kate. I was quite indifferent to her at first, but I found her a bit annoying as the story went along. Honestly, I can’t pinpoint the exact reason(s). Anyway, I do like her excitement and dedication to the band. She’s a pretty good friend to Claire, too, and I earnestly believe she’s a strong source of support for her.

Steph. There’s not really much to say about Steph. The only things I can readily remember about her are that she’s the band’s drummer and she has a famous growl/scream that she does at the beginning of the show.

Albert. All we know of him until the big reveal is that he’s someone very close to Claire, he has a seriously screwed up home life, and he wants things to be different…so he makes them different.

There are others in the story, of course, but these are the ones I recall seeing the most.

P L O T

This story has a lot going on, that’s the first thing that one should note. I knew it going in, simply from the description, but I suppose it’s best to confirm! It deals with everyday teenage things as well as things that are darker, more complex, and much less common. McClellan does a great job of weaving these things together when it’s called for. As for who Albert/Gage is…well, you can guess… Until it was finally revealed, I bounced back and forth between the possibilities too many times to tally. McClellan’s absolutely fantastic when it comes to suspense; it’s never too heavy, but nothing was ever brushed aside as though it didn’t matter, as though it was nothing.

Great job, really. I was so excited about this book, and I was right to be! It didn’t disappoint, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, threatening to push me over. Rachel McClellan’s a great writer, and I hope to see more suspenseful books from her in the future.

I rate Unleashed  4/5 stars. Very well-deserved!

Advertisements

Guest Post by Rachel McClellan

As part of the Unleashed blog tour, here’s a guest post by Rachel Mclellan! She has a bit of advice for you lot…

Why You Should Go Skydiving

If you are having a hard time in your life, maybe worried about work, stressed about kids, a feeling that you don’t know who you are anymore, or simply just tired of the same routine, then I highly recommend you go sky diving.

Wait!

Don’t freak out and immediately say “You’re insane!” Hear me out. My nonsense makes sense.

Here are some totally sane reasons why you should go:

It resets you. Jumping from a plane makes your heart pound, your pulse race, your breathing quicken until you think you can’t take it anymore. And then you land safely on the ground, feeling like you’ve been re-born.

It’s the ultimate confidence booster. Once you’ve accomplished this you’ll feel ready to take on any challenge.

Gets your mind off the stresses in your life. Leading up to the jump all you’ll be thinking about is jumping from a moving plane. You won’t be worrying about your raggedy, naggy boss, the bills you have to pay, your mouthy teen, the mounds of laundry and dishes, and on and on.

People will think twice about messing with you. Once others know you’ve gone sky diving, they will think twice about approaching you with anything negative because if you’re crazy enough to go sky diving, what else will you do?

Puts life into perspective. Flying at 18,000 feet in the air makes you see things in a different light. Whether it’s the thinner air or the fact that the earth is only a blur of browns and greens, prioritizing what’s important in your life becomes easy.

Lastly, I just want to say that there’s nothing like the threat of death to make you feel more alive. Go skydiving. I promise you won’t regret it.

Unleashed Blog Tour

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-8

Enjoy Happy Geek Media’s debut virtual tour of Unleashed by Author Rachel McClellan

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-4

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-6

Unleashed: Young Adult (YA) twist on Jekyll and Hyde

Unleashed by:

Rachel McClellan

Genres: Romance, Thriller, Science Fiction

355 pages

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Seventeen-year-old Claire Williams’ tough upbringing has taught her how to throw a punch or two to survive, especially when it involves a man’s unwanted attention. But her strength waivers when she visits Bodian Dynamics, a medical research facility, and stumbles upon classified information—someone has stolen a drug that not only changes a person’s appearance, but will also unleash a dark and evil alter ego.

After an intimidating security guard threatens the lives of her friends if she speaks to anyone about the incident, Claire pretends the drug never existed. That is until she meets Gage, a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to have a conscience and who is hell-bent on making her just like him by unleashing her dark side.

But Claire knows a secret—he can only die while in his normal state. And since Gage knows personal information about her, Claire thinks she knows who it is: either her best friend or her recent boyfriend. And once she figures out which boy Gage is hiding behind, she’s going to kill him, even if it breaks her heart.


E X C E R P T

            After removing the vial from his pocket, he jerked off the top and poured the liquid down his throat in one gulp. Before it hit the bottom of his stomach, his body began to absorb the genetically altering chemicals, sending a searing heat through his blood and into his spine. He collapsed to the ground, his spine arching backwards until he thought it would snap. Pain, more than he thought he could bear, rocked his entire frame. It was so much more intense from when he first tried the serum that he wondered if he’d made a huge mistake. To stop himself from screaming, he covered his mouth with his forearm.

It was almost a full minute before the intense pain finally passed. In its wake came a warm calm, settling upon him like an early morning sunrise. He was free.

He took a few deep breaths before he stood up, feeling better than he had in a long time. All his fears and insecurities had faded with the darkness, and he no longer cared about anything: school, family—hell, even his life.


P L A Y L I S T

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-1

Buy Unleashed on Amazon US, UK, and CANADA/B&N

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-3

Follow the tour schedule here

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-5

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed

Author Rachel Mclellan

Rachel McClellan, author of Unleashed and many others, was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

author-rachel-mcclellan-unleashed-2

Ready for the Unleashed Giveaway? Enter below via the Giveaway Tools form!

Good luck, and happy reading and winning!

Unleashed Virtual Book tour presented by…

Happy-Geek-Media

Happy Geek Media

Day 6 of The Sullivans Tour

Happy Saturday! Today I bring you an excerpt from Let Me Be the One by Bella Andre.
Enjoy, and keep the giveaway and today’s event in mind!

Enjoy the following excerpt for LET ME BE THE ONE…

Fifteen years ago, Palo Alto High School

Victoria Bennett couldn’t take her eyes off Ryan Sullivan, who was laughing with some of the guys on his baseball team, as she headed through the high school parking lot toward the art store on University Avenue.
None of the other girls in her tenth-grade class could take their eyes off him, either, so at least she didn’t stick out. Not for that reason, anyway. Her clay-stained fingers and clothes—along with the “new girl” sign she felt like she was wearing during her first few weeks at every new school—did that with no help whatsoever from Ryan…or his ridiculously good looks.
Normally, she could have gotten over his pretty face without much trouble. As an artist, she always worked to look beneath the surface of things, to try to find out what was really at the heart of a painting or sculpture or song. That went for people, too. Especially boys who, as far as she could tell, only ever told a girl what they wanted to hear for one reason.
No, what had her stuck on Ryan Sullivan was the fact that he was always laughing. Somehow, without being the class clown, he had a gift for putting people at ease and making them feel good.
Before she could catch herself, she put her fingers to her lips…and wondered what it would feel like if he kissed her.
She yanked her hand away from her mouth. Not just because dreaming of his kisses was borderline pathetic given the utter unlikelihood of that scenario, but because she needed to stay focused on her art.
She wasn’t just another tenth grader mooning over the hottest boy in school.
She was studying her muse.
Vicki had never been much interested in sculpting formal busts before. Old, dead, overly serious guys in gray didn’t really do it for her. But it had only taken a few minutes near Ryan at lunch her first day on campus to be inspired to capture his laughter in clay. She wished she could get closer to all that easy joy—if only to figure out how to translate it from her mind’s eye to the clay beneath her fingers.
Yes, she thought with a small smile, she was perfectly willing to suffer for her art. Especially if it meant staring at Ryan Sullivan.
The light turned from red to green and she could have picked up her pace and made it across the street. Only, she’d been having such trouble getting the corners of the eyes and mouth just right on her Laughing Boy sculpture. Knowing there wasn’t a chance that Ryan or his friends would notice her, rather than leaving the school grounds, she closed the distance between them in as nonchalant a manner as she could, while surreptitiously watching him from beneath the veil of the bangs that had grown too long over her eyes during the summer.
A few seconds later, his friends high-fived him and walked away. Ryan bent down to finish packing up a long, narrow black bag at his feet, which she guessed held his baseball stuff.
What, she wondered on an appreciative sigh at the way the muscles on his forearms and shoulders flexed as he picked up the bag, would happen if she talked to him? And what would he say if she outright asked him to pose for her?
She was on the verge of laughing out loud at her crazy thoughts when she heard a squeal coming from the parking lot. In a split second she realized an out-of-control car was whipping straight toward Ryan.
There wasn’t time to plan, or to think. Vicki sprinted across the several feet between them and threw herself at him.
“Car!”
Fortunately, Ryan’s natural athleticism kicked in right away. Even though she was the one trying to pull him out of the way, less than a heartbeat later he was lifting her and practically throwing her across the grass before leaping to cover her body with his.
She scrunched her eyes tightly shut as the car careened past, so close that she could feel the hairs on her arms lifting in its wake. Breathing hard, Vicki clung to Ryan. Wetness moved across her cheeks and she belatedly realized tears must have sprung up from landing so hard on the grass.
The seconds ticked by as if in slow motion, one hard, thudding heartbeat after another from Ryan’s chest to hers and then back again from hers to his. He was so strong, so warm, so beautifully real. She wanted to lie like this with him forever, more intimately, closer than she’d ever been with another boy.
Only, voices were rising in pitch all around her, and suddenly, the reality of what had just happened hit.
Oh my God, they’d both almost died!
She was starting to feel faint when he lifted his head and smiled down at her.
“Hi, I’m Ryan.”
The way he said it, as if she didn’t already know who he was, pierced through her shock. He acted like it was normal to be sprawled over a girl. Which, she suddenly realized, it probably was. For him.
Definitely not for her, though.
Her lips were dry and she had to lick them once, twice, before saying, “I’m Victoria.” The words, “But my friends call me Vicki,” slipped out before she could pull them back in.
His smile widened and her heart started beating even faster. Not from shock this time, but from pure, unfettered teenage hormones kicked into overdrive by his beautiful smile.
“Thank you for saving my life, Vicki.” A moment later, his smile disappeared as he took in her tear-streaked cheeks. The eyes that she’d seen filled with laughter so many times during the first two weeks of school grew serious. “I hurt you.”
She would have told him no, and that she was fine, but all breath and words were stolen from her the instant he brushed his fingertips over her cheeks to wipe away her tears.
Somehow, she managed to shake her head, and to get her lips to form the word no, even though no sound followed.
His laughing eyes were dark now, and more intense than she’d ever seen them. “Are you sure? I didn’t mean to land so hard on you.”
“I’m—”
How was she supposed to keep her brain working when he’d begun the slow, shockingly sweet process of running his hands over the back of her skull, and then down to her shoulders and upper arms?
One more word. That was all she needed to get out to answer his question.
“—fine.”
“Good.” His voice was deeper, richer, than any of the other fifteen-year-old boys. “I’m glad.”
But as he stared down at her, his expression continued to grow even more intense and she found herself holding her breath.
Was he going to kiss her now? Had her life just turned into the quintessential after-school-special fantasy, the one where the artsy girl caught the eye of the jock and the whole school was turned upside down by their unlikely but ultimately perfect and inevitable pairing?
“One day, when you need me most, I promise I’ll be there for you, Vicki.”
Oh. She swallowed hard. Oh my.
He hadn’t given her a kiss…but his promise felt more important than a mere kiss would have been.
Before she realized it, he was standing up again and holding out a hand to help her up, too. Instantly missing his heat, the hard muscles pressing into her softer ones, all the lies she’d been trying to tell herself about Ryan simply being a muse scattered out of reach.
“Can I walk you home?”
Surprised that he wanted to spend more time with her, she quickly shook her head.
He looked equally surprised by her response, likely because no girl on earth had ever turned him down.
“No, I can’t walk you home?”
She fumbled to explain. “I’m not going home. I was actually heading over to the art store to pick up some supplies for a new sculpt—”
She barely stopped herself from rambling on about her latest project. Why would Ryan Sullivan care? Besides, she reminded her racing heart with brutal honesty, he probably had some pretty cheerleaders waiting on him. And they wouldn’t need an out-of-control car to get him to lie down on top of them.
Because no matter how tempting it was to believe that she had suddenly been cast in a happy-ever-after fairytale romance, the truth was that getting that close to Ryan had been nothing more than a fluke of fate.
And Vicki remained the star of her artsy, and often lonely, move-to-a-new-town-every-year-with-her-military-family teenage life.
Only, for some strange reason she couldn’t understand, Ryan wasn’t running in the opposite direction yet. Probably because he felt like he owed her after she’d saved his life. After all, hadn’t he just told her that he would be there for her one day when she really needed him?
“What are you getting supplies for?” He asked the question as though he were truly interested, not just acting like it because he felt he should.
“I’m making a—” Wait, she couldn’t tell him what she was making. Because she was sculpting him. “I work with clay. Lately, I’ve been trying to capture specific facial expressions.”
“Which ones?”
Never in a million years did she think she’d ever speak to him, let alone have this long a conversation. But, what shocked her most of all was just how comfortable she felt with him. Even with all of her teenage hormones on high alert, Ryan was, simply, the easiest person she’d ever been around.
And she wanted more time with him than just five stolen minutes on the high school lawn.
Her nerves were starting to back off a bit by the time she told him, “I started with all the usual expressions every artist knows best.” She played it up for him. “Tears. Pain. Suffering. Existential nothingness.”
His laughter made her feel like she could float all the way to the art store and back.
“Sounds fun.”
“Oh yeah,” she joked back, “it’s a riot. Which is why I’m trying something different now.” She took a breath before admitting, “I’m working on laughter.”
“Laughter, huh?” He grinned at her. “I like it. How’s it going?”
Being so close to the full wattage of his smile made her breath catch in her throat. In an effort to cover her all-too-obvious reaction to him, she scrunched up her face. “Put it this way, I think I’ve started to resemble all those other expressions.”
“Even the existential nothingness one?”
As if she were watching the two of them from a distance, Vicki knew she’d always look back to that moment as the one that mattered most. The one where she fell head over heels in love with Ryan Sullivan. And not because of his beautiful outside.
But because he’d listened.
And, even better, because he’d appreciated.
“Especially that one,” she replied.
He picked up her bag from the grass. “Sounds awesome. Mind if I tag along?”
Okay, so maybe the two of them didn’t add up on paper, but Vicki couldn’t deny that they had clicked.
“Sure,” she said, “if you don’t have anywhere else you have to be.”
He slung his equipment bag over his other shoulder and walked beside her. “Nothing more important than hanging out with a new friend.”
This time, she was the one grinning at him. In the two weeks since she’d moved to Palo Alto with her family, she hadn’t done a very good job of making friends at the high school. As an Army brat who moved more years than not, she’d stopped making the effort a long time ago when she realized how hard it was to not only break into fully formed cliques, but also to maintain long-distance friendships once she inevitably left town.
Ryan made everything seem so easy, though, as if the only thing that wouldn’t make sense was their not hanging out.
By the end of their trip to the art store and back, she knew all about his seven siblings, he knew she had two annoying little brothers, he’d told her what he liked about baseball, she’d told him what she loved about sculpting, and she’d been invited to dinner at the Sullivan house.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The best one she’d ever had.

* * *

Present day, San Francisco

Ryan Sullivan threw his car keys to the valet as he shot past him. The young man’s eyes widened as he realized that he was not only about to drive a Ferrari into the underground parking lot, but that it belonged to one of his sports idols.
“Mr. Sullivan, sir, don’t you need your valet tag?”
Ryan took his responsibilities to the fans seriously and made it a point never to let them down. But tonight the only thing that mattered was Vicki. Even though a half-dozen missed connections over the years had kept them from meeting up again in person after high school, they’d kept in touch through email and phone calls.
Vicki was his friend.
And he wouldn’t let anyone hurt one of his friends.
Ryan pushed through the dark glass doors to the exclusive hotel foyer and made himself stop long enough to do a quick scan of the glittering room. The Pacific Union Club wasn’t his kind of place—it was pretentious as all hell—and he hadn’t thought it would be Vicki’s usual stomping grounds, either.
So why was she here? And why hadn’t she told him she was finally coming back to Northern California after so many years in Europe?
He’d been hanging at his brother Chase’s new baby celebration when her texts had come in.

I need your help. Come quick.

Ryan had cursed every one of the thirty-five miles into the city from his mother’s house on the Peninsula. He’d texted Vicki again and again to get more information, and to make sure that she was okay, but she hadn’t replied.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so worried about anyone…or so ready to do battle. Vicki wasn’t the kind of woman who cried wolf. She wouldn’t have sent him those texts just to try to get his attention. She was the only woman he’d ever known apart from his sisters and mother who had ever been completely real with him, and who didn’t want anything from him besides his friendship.
His large hands were tight fists as he surveyed the cocktail lounge, his jaw clenched tight.
Damn it, where was she?
If anyone had touched Vicki the wrong way, or hurt her even the slightest bit, Ryan would make them pay.
He was famous for being not only the winningest pitcher in the National Baseball League, but also one of the most laid-back. Very few people had a clue about Ryan’s hidden edges, but it wouldn’t take much more to set him off tonight.
He grabbed the first person in uniform, his grip hard enough on the young man’s upper arm that he winced. “Is there a private meeting room?”
The young man stuttered, “Y-yes, sir.”
“Where is it?”
His hand shook as he pointed. “On the back side of the bar, but it’s already reserved toni—”
Ryan hightailed it through the lounge and it shouldn’t have been that hard to get through the crowd, but it seemed that every single person in the room either got up to buy another drink or was trying to get his attention.
When he found a subtly hidden door just to the side of the bar, he nearly knocked it off its hinges in his hurry to open it.
Ryan saw the flash of Vicki’s long blond hair first, her killer curves second.
Thank God, she was here, and in one piece.
But his relief was short-lived when he realized he’d interrupted her and her cocktail companion just as the man’s hand was sliding onto her thigh.
Vicki jumped off her seat as Ryan strode into the room. The terror that had been on her face when the other man touched her leg slowly morphed into relief at his arrival.
Her companion, on the other hand, was clearly surprised to see Ryan…and he wasn’t happy about it, either. The man was probably in his fifties and was obviously loaded. Or at least wanted people to think he was, holding meetings in a place like this, wearing a handmade suit.
Quickly conjuring up an expression of surprise, Vicki said, “What are you doing here so early, honey?”

…Excerpt from LET ME BE THE ONE by Bella Andre ©2012.

Bluff review

Bluff Cover

Synopsis: To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”

 Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. BLUFF offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.

Damn. Yeah, that’s the first word that came to my mind when I finished this book. …And when I was in the middle of it. …And when I started it.

I honestly cannot begin to tell you how much I absolutely adore this book. The only thing I can possibly pick at is a few errors in grammar/punctuation, but they didn’t hinder my reading at all, and, truth be, I don’t even remember what the errors where, I just know I saw them! So… I have nothing to pick at. I have nothing bad to say about this book. On with all the good things I can say!

This is the first book I’ve read in which the main character is in such a state that only memories, letters, and an unheard/unseen presence, her spirit, remains. I need to read more like this! I’m serious, do you have any suggestions?

That being said, I wondered how close I’d be able to get to the comatose Jude. Ah, such thoughts seem trivial now… I definitely feel close to her, closer than I feel to any of the other characters. I absolutely love her and, as I delved deeper into the novel, I kept hoping she’d come to peace as Lenore Skomal promised in the synopsis.

She didn’t disappoint. I cried several times throughout this book, I had to gasp for air pretty much every time I opened it up, but I think my reaction to the ending was hilarious. I blinked, stared at my Kindle for about five minutes, and then asked an empty house, “Is that it?” No, no, not because I feel anything was left out, left unanswered. *shrugs* I just want more. I was not ready for this book to end; I truly wanted to hold on for a little while longer, even though I wished Jude peace and an ultimate end. I had very conflicting emotions and I’m still reeling!

I’m not going to go over all the characters, but I will talk about a few of them. First, I should mention that there are quite a few characters from both the past and present on the ride, but Skomal does a fabulous job with them and I never once had to pause and wonder who the hell I was reading about. The viewpoint does change often, but I love the way it’s done and I think the frequent changes prevented me from growing bored with any of the characters.

I’ve already spoken about how much I love Jude, so I’ll move on to her best friend, Frances.

I didn’t care for her. At all. When I was first introduced to her, I was neutral…that went downhill fast. She’s very eager to adopt Jude’s baby once she learns it’s healthy. I realise that Jude’s case is all but hopeless while the baby’s is not, so obviously, as the synopsis says, she’s just there to serve as a host body until she comes to term. I get it. For me, Frances was just a bit too eager. As we learned her near obsession with adopting the child was only growing from what was already there, I even became suspicious and wondered if she had anything to do with Jude’s fall. Yes, yes, I know. She couldn’t know that the baby wouldn’t be hurt, but still… I’m no stranger to just how obsessive and mad a person can get, so I thought perhaps she’d snapped that day and, without a thought to the one thing she couldn’t stop thinking about, she shoved her best friend off the bluff. My dislike for her only grew as the story progressed, as she was revealed more and more.

Well, onto the next character.

April, Jude’s sister.  I liked her. Yes, she’s vain and quite rude, but I liked her for some reason. I actually began to wonder if this is due to the fact that she was the only one who could stop Frances from getting what she wanted. …Man, I really disliked her. Anyway, I think it’s because April stood up for herself. Frances did too, but I’ve already gone over that. As I went on, I began to like April more and more as she realised she’d simply been a pawn to her mother, as she seemed to peek out of her own little world. Frances thought April didn’t care about the baby at all, that she only wanted to take custody in order to spite her; I actually agreed at first, and I had to question if I’d rather someone who didn’t care get the baby, or I’d rather someone I didn’t like get it. Truth is, though, by the end, I didn’t think Frances would make a good mom at all. Overall, I liked April and I’m glad she, in her own way, found peace.

Everyone in this book is damned in some way. We all come from something, we all have a past, and I was overjoyed to see even the exteriorly “perfect” characters had things to hide, had pieces to pick up.

That leads me to the final character I wish to talk about.

Gay, Jude’s mother. Wow. She was…well, she was definitely someone a person, depending on their stance, could grow to either love or hate very quickly. I acknowledge that she stood up for what she believed in, she certainly had no doubts about what she was doing/saying, she knew what she wanted. That being said, Gay was a woman who used one daughter, an almost clone at the time, against the other. She played April like a violin and she used her as just another weapon in her arsenal against Jude. She really wanted to hurt Jude. She used everything she could. Jude’s sexuality, her sister, and nothing Jude ever did was good enough.

Well… I suppose that’s about it. I loved the writing style, I loved everything about this novel. It’s truly an intense look at several controversial topics, and I’m so glad I decided to do this.

Job well done Lenore Skomal!

A solid five stars to Bluff, though it deserves so much more.

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway!

Cate

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Bluff?

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Bluff tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! Since I can’t directly run Rafflecopter contests on my blog, please visit the tour page linked above.

Lenore Skomal

About the author: Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message.

Connect with Lenore on her website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

Get Bluff on Amazon.

Aside

Image

She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her.

Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of “Whack Job” in her home town of Adel, Georgia. With the onslaught of prescription medications and therapists threatening to push her over the edge, she wishes for a life far away from the one she has, a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone’s jokes and mockery.

Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true.

After living through an attack from her worst nightmare, she awakens to find herself far from home, surrounded by glorious riches and servants…and a few demigods who enjoy killing things. Upon learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future, and the great Pythia that the gods have been anxiously awaiting to arrive for centuries.

Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given and to keep her family safe from a demigod Princess that wants her dead, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters, evading divine assassins and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own.

In the hopes of discovering the Most Beautiful and the truth of her destiny, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process.

You can help Diantha

In order to build some buzz for the second book of the Oracle of Delphi series, help us spread the word about the first book in the series, Prophecy of the Most Beautiful.

This can best be done if you have a blog, especially a blog about books. If you are a blog tour host with The Masquerade Crew, your invitation to help Diantha will be sent to you soon (if you don’t already have it). If you aren’t a tour host for The Masquerade Crew yet, go to THIS PAGE to sign up.

If you don’t have a blog, you can still help. Spread the word via Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else you hang out online. There’s a giveaway mentioned below that will give you the opportunity not only to win a copy of the first book but also spread the word via Twitter.

Would you like to win a copy?

Diantha Jones and The Masquerade Crew are giving away 3 copies of her first book. Enter for your chance to win!

Until next time,

This is Catherine Knox, signing off.

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful