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text 2018-03-20 13:45
Cover Reveal - Sparks Fly

Check out the cover for Lauren Runow's Sparks Fly!



Title: Sparks Fly by Lauren Runow
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Designed With Grace
Release Date: April 3, 2018


Pre-order your copy here


Add to your TBR on Goodreads



Everly wasn’t excited over her impending meeting with the enigmatic Prince Sage. Being one of only four women from whom the Prince gets to choose in marriage was never something she valued. Her goal was to politely and elegantly remove herself from a forced wedding due to long standing traditions. Handsome Prince or not, she won’t marry for anything but love. 

Once Sage proceeds to the next candidate, Everly finally feels she can move forward with her life. On her own terms. That is, until she receives a mysterious request, asking her to solve a riddle, taking her on a night she’ll never forget.

A fervent adventure ensues, and attraction builds as the excitement of the night unfolds. Sparks fly in more ways than one just as she finds out who’s stealing her heart.





Lauren Runow.jpg
 About the Author:

Lauren Runow is the author of multiple Adult Contemporary Romance novels, some more dirty than others. When Lauren isn't writing, you'll find her listening to music, at her local CrossFit, reading, or at the baseball field with her boys. Her only vice is coffee, and she swears it makes her a better mom!

Lauren is a graduate from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and is the founder and co-owner of the community magazine she and her husband publish. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons.

You can also stay in touch through the social media links below.

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/laurenjrunow

Instagram at https://instagram.com/Lauren_Runow/

BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/laure...

Twitter at https://twitter.com/LaurenRunow


or sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/btD6j9



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review 2018-03-19 17:04
Basically, sisters suck . . . plus magic~
Daughters Of The Storm - Kim Wilkins

Disclaimer: Reviewing pre-publication paperback ARC/proof copy.


This wasn't the right fit for me, but the quality of writing and storytelling was excellent, so I'll try to give some detail so you can figure out if it's a match for your own tastes.


This is the story of five sisters as they try to save their father (the king) from a magical curse. Only, being as how they're sisters, they mostly fall prey to rivalries and selfishness and do more harm than good. It wasn't clear from the copy I had, but this looks like the first in a series, which makes a lot more sense. I found it pretty depressing, as it seems to be an excellent argument for sticking to one child per family, and it also delves into the sex lives (and terrible choices) of each sister, and as a general rule I find a person's sexuality to be the least interesting part of them. But, y'know, tastes differ and all that. It's adult fantasy, not really romance, so the scenes don't get excessively explicit or drawn out. Somewhere from 1-3 of the sisters have some level of spiritual/magical powers that get tangled with some potential psychosis, so that part was interesting and has potential. It was a surprisingly fast read considering its size.


I'm not terribly knowledgeable when it comes to high fantasy subgenres - this might be considered grimdark? Or crossover literary-fantasy? Not really to my tastes, but the writing was very well done and the storytelling was smooth, if a little slow at the start. It switches perspectives between all five daughters, their stepmother, their stepbrother, and maybe a couple more, I don't really remember, so that does make it hard to get into the story and build attachment to the characters up front. It was a fascinating choice in terms of storytelling and suspense, though, since it really lends itself to exploring the moral ambiguity and deceitfulness of characters. They each portray themselves as sympathetic and make observations on the others, and then you switch POV and get a different look at the same people and actions. So I think this would be an excellent book for the right reader (review: 3/5 for taste, 5/5 for quality), but just not right for me.

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review 2018-03-05 14:54
Review: "Ever After" by Riley Hart & Christina Lee
Ever After - Christina Lee,Riley Hart


~ 3.5 stars ~


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review 2018-02-16 16:31
Gator wrestling princesses
Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters - Shannon Hale

Another excellent entry taking things in an entirely new direction. I praised book 2 for taking (necessary and deserved) revolution and pushing back at all that anger, putting the emphasis on finding connection points and persuading enemies, instead of trying to destroy them. But The Forgotten Sisters pivots to show that sometimes standing up to wrong does mean getting a little savage.


Miri comes full circle as the new royal tutor when she's sent to the swamplands days before her pending betrothal to run the next princess academy for three sisters who are too busy hunting caimans and frogs to learn to read. War is on the horizon, and a political marriage is needed. If Miri succeeds, she can buy back her village and the mine from the king before he sells it to finance the war. If she fails, all the gains her family and friends have made disappear and the country may be overrun. But the secrets on all sides have the potential to change the game entirely.


Entertaining and with surprising heart, as always. Good for middle-grade readers and up.

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review 2018-02-16 00:46
Smart fantasy knows revolution is the easy answer, not the right one
Palace of Stone - Shannon Hale

Another wonderful YA fantasy suitable for younger readers.


Miri and company leave the mountain to attend their friend's wedding in the capital and discover the country has some serious trouble brewing. The king is out of touch and careless, his nobles are abusing the commoners, and a bloody revolution is brewing in the background. But Miri's there to learn, and at the royal academy, she struggles with the study and true practice of how to determine, and how to act on, right and wrong.


The answer is complicated, and that's part of what makes this writing stand out. In 2018, we're all about fierce, take charge girls being savage and taking down the patriarchy and Nazis and whatever else is doing damage. And we need to call out the abuse of power and the suffering of the powerless and other evils. But, as the head scholar points out to Miri, history shows that revolutions generally involve a lot of murder, a lot of purposeless blood spilt, and much less progress toward their glorious ideals than they were meant to. Understanding, finding a connecting point, and persuading others to reassess their positions is much more effective in taking steps towards a more just outcome.


This story explores the emotions and thoughts of the characters as they confront difficult realities in a believable, relatable way. It's somewhat utopian - the crafted plot of a story allows for neat turns and unlikely defusing of volatile situations - but it reminds us to value people and choose the hardest path, the one where we don't just get to tear down what we hate, but rather have to find a way forward and build a better future for everyone. It's smart, considered, enjoyable, and inspiring writing.

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