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Archive for June 26th, 2017

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The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame by Liv Hadden

Li Nguyen, aka Juice Box, has never really had a friend. That is, until he meets the ultra cool, super mysterious Shame. Though Juice Box feels certain this is his new BFF, Shame’s dark past and nefarious entanglements get them both into serious, life-threatening trouble. It doesn’t help that Shame inadvertently pissed off one of the baddest crime bosses in Baltimore, Anna Nguyen (aka Laoban), who also happens to be Juice Box’s cousin. Shame stirred up trouble with a rival game, putting Anna and her crew in a precarious situation. Torn between his love for Anna and his new, exciting friendship with Shame, Juice Box must choose where his loyalties lie.

Will he choose family and leave Shame out to dry, or will he choose the only friend he’s ever had, despite the danger?

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Author Liv Hadden

Liv Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont  and currently resides in Georgetown, TX with her partner and two dogs, Madison and Samuel, where she is an active member of Writer’s League of Texas. Her 2016 release In the Mind of Revenge received high praise from Blue Ink Reviews, Writer’s Digest, Kirkus ReviewsindieBRAG and five stars from Foreword Clarion Review.

Incredibly inspired by artistic expression, Hadden immerses herself in creative endeavors on a daily basis. She finds great joy in getting lost in writing and seeing others fully express themselves through their greatest artistic passions. It’s no wonder she teamed up talented tattoo artist Mo Malone (who scribed a majority of Hadden’s body work) to create her latest release The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame.

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Illustrator Mo Malone

Malone has been making art since she was a kid. Offered a tattoo apprenticeship while obtaining a B.F.A. in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University. Malone briefly diverted from tattooing to be an elementary and middle school teacher,  an experience she greatly enjoyed, but ultimately came back to her artistic roots. She has tattooed at Rick’s Tattoo in Arlington, Virginia (where she got her start), Iron Age Studio in St. Louis, Missouri and Triple Crown Tattoo in Austin, Texas where she met Hadden.

A lover of travel, her craft has taken her all over the world, to include a dozens of tattoo conferences spanning from New York to Moscow. You can now find Malone back in St. Louis at Ragtime Tattoo. She has recently joined Evil Prints to expand into screen-printing, and when she’s not working her magic in the art world, you can find her feeding her adventurous spirit BMXing at her local skate park or wandering the Missouri Botanical Garden.

My Review

5 stars

Juice Box, otherwise known as Li Nguyen, has found a friend in Shame although Shame sees it differently. And when Shame ends up in trouble with some bad gang leaders, Juice Box is there to help him with his cousin Anna. Thankfully Anna has a great, tough crew that is trying to keep Juice Box alive. We see how Juice Box is trying to help his friend but ends up in trouble everywhere he turns. But in the end he is always there for Shame and using his stellar personality to help or usually make things worse.

I loved Shame and couldn’t wait to see what happens next, especially with Juice Box. He can be annoying but he does have heart. Of course we are going to have a big show down between two huge gang leaders and you will never guess who Mr. D really is. This one threw me for a loop. And then ending, Loved It.

This is a great continuation of In the Mind of Revenge. This is a great story about Shame. I love this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. It’s a dark story of revenge but one that is a great read and a surprising ending.

I received The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame from Sami at Roger Charlie for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Dark Designs

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Dark Designs by Stefanie Spangler

Twins Ivy and Violet Grant are opposites. Ivy, a hot-tempered redhead, couldn’t wait to get off the farm and see the world. Violet, a quiet brunette, was content to stay home and help their grandmother with the family business. The one thing they have in common is their magic.

Charlie Logan’s sinister obsession with Ivy Grant has ruled his life. When he discovers a book of dark magic during a burglary, he decides to return to Oak Hill and use his newfound power to gain control over Ivy.

Ivy and Violet, with help from their grandmother, need to practice their magic to overcome the evil seeping into their lives. A battle is coming, and Ivy’s life is not the only one at stake.

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 Stefanie Spangler

Author’s Bio

Stefanie Spangler has always loved books and reading, and one day, she decided to write a book of her own.

Stefanie lives in central Illinois with her husband and daughters. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s usually editing someone else’s book. But she also enjoys gardening, knitting, and forcing others to read her favorite books.

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My Review

4 stars

Ivy and Violet are twin with opposite views on life. Ivy couldn’t wait to get out of town and leaves to go to college. Violet is quiet and is happy to stay at home with their grandmother. But Charlie Logan has not forgotten about Ivy and has found a book of dark magic and is planning on using it against Ivy. Thankfully the girls have their own magic and their grandmother to help them fight back.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a quick read and very easy to get into. You are instantly drawn in as Ivy has a bad experience with Charlie who is s farm hand at the time. But years go by and things may fade, but his desire for Ivy has just gotten stronger. This is a going to be a battle of wills and power. Where there is light magic there will also be dark.

This is a great story with a little bit of everything. There is a thriller, a little romance, and some magic added in. I think this book would appeal to many and think it’s a good one to check out.

I received Dark Designs from the author and Red Adept Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Excerpt

Slowly, Ivy became aware of another presence in the barn. Her eyes roamed away from the kitten cradled in her arms to the boots standing just beyond the stall door, next to her discarded sandals. Eyes wide, she sprang to her bare feet as fast as she could without trampling the kittens.

Charlie Logan was blocking the way out of the stall. The sunlight that slipped in through the gaps in the barn’s wooden planks cast his face in mottled stripes. She knew him because Grandpa Jack had always let his granddaughters roam the farm freely, and Charlie had spoken to her many times. Never alone, though. She stood awkwardly, her eyes darting around the dimly lit solitude of the barn.

“Nice kittens you got there.” He nodded cheerfully toward the kittens then smiled. His hand twitched as if he might reach out and touch her.

“Yeah,” she said quietly, looking back and forth between Charlie and the kittens. “None of them are sick or anything. Sometimes there are sick ones…” Ivy rambled nervously until her eyes settled on Charlie’s face, and then she stilled, wishing she could disappear.

Charlie moved in closer, trapping her in the corner of the stall. “They’ll all be good mousers, I bet.”

His tone was friendly, but Ivy’s guts tensed up. She desperately wanted to be away from the stall that had, without warning, become too dark and far too secluded. If she shouted, someone would likely hear her and come, but Charlie had always seemed nice enough. Maybe he did just want to talk about kittens, and she didn’t want him to get in trouble for not being busy at work.

When she made a move toward the door, his tall frame shifted. She jerked back, away from his body, pushing herself tighter into the corner of the stall. He was close enough that his scent of stale cigarette smoke and sweat forced its way into her nostrils and stomach. When he exhaled, his breath smelled of strong coffee. In slow motion, Charlie reached out and touched her hair just over her ear. Heart in her throat, she froze. Charlie Logan had not come to discuss anything good. He smiled at her affectionately as he stroked her hair.

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