Friday, August 28, 2015

Review!! The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron (by New Guest Reviewer Colleen!!)

The Dog Master
by W. Bruce Cameron
Genre: Literary Fiction

Set against the most dramatic time in our species' history, The Dog Master tells the story of one tribe's struggle for survival and one extraordinary man's bond with a wolf-a friendship that changed mankind forever

Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, who was both predator and prey.

No stranger to the experiences that make us human-a mother's love and a father's betrayal, tribal war and increasing famine, political intrigue and forbidden love, joy and hope and devastating loss-our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape.

Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction...but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new technology-domesticated wolves.

Only a set of extraordinary circumstances could have transformed one of these fierce creatures into a hunting companion, a bodyguard, a soldier, and a friend. The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming of age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog.

Reviewed by Colleen!!

My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!

I originally chose this book because of my love for dogs and thought it would be interesting to hear someone’s take on the evolution of these amazing creatures we share our lives with. I was also curious about how someone would write a “novel of the first dog” because it seemed to be a rather challenging topic to approach. After a few chapters I found myself amazed at the job W. Bruce Cameron did with telling a story like this. Not only did he do an incredible job in proposing a theory about how a wolf became the first dog, but he also wove a story full of characters that I got emotionally attached to and whose lives I felt I was a part of. 

The Dog Master starts off with a modern day professor who is interested in discovering how the first dog came to be and it transitions into a story that takes place 30,000 years ago. The story can be viewed as either the professor’s theory or as what the actual historical account is, which the professor nor any other human will ever know about. There are several tribes introduced, each of which has different lifestyles, views, beliefs, etc. and some even harbor hostility towards one another. The story goes between different narrations, one of which is of a man who discovers an injured mother wolf and pups and how his bond with them grows and how he helps to usher the first dog into existence. Throughout the book the narrations of different characters become intertwined with one another and form one cohesive story which takes us through the evolution of a wolf to the first dog. 

In the beginning I was a little overwhelmed with all the characters that were being introduced and I was concerned it would become hard to keep track of everyone. That was not the case. Cameron did a brilliant job of making each character memorable and I was easily able to transition from one character’s narration to another. He was also able to portray the point of view of the wolves perfectly and made their thoughts believable and showed them as being intelligent and sharing similarities with humans such as reasoning, instinct, and emotion. He forms bonds between humans and animals through similar experiences and shows that we really are not much different from one another. Cameron starts by showing us the evolution of the first dog but what becomes noticeable throughout the book is how he is also showing us an evolution in humans. As wolves grow to become the first dogs, people also grow to become more accepting of other humans and animals and we see that not only did humans teach animals but that animals also taught humans. Cameron quotes Dr. Temple Grandin by using his famous line “animals make us human.” 

This is a book that once you finish it you wish you were still reading it. It pulled me in from the beginning and by the end I was frantically reading with tears welling up in my eyes because of my urge to know what was going to happen and what the outcome would be for the characters, both human and animal, that I had grown to love. I also want to give credit to Cameron for his Afterword in the book where he brings us back to reality and makes us stop to think about the drastic evolution of wolf to dog and the magnitude of it all. He also cleared up any little instances in the book that I was curious about, such as why the language of the tribes was so understandable and similar to modern English (which I won’t give the answer to, you will just have to read to find out!) Cameron puts the overall idea of the book perfectly when he states “The Dog Master is a work of fiction based on an indisputable fact: dogs are our companions, their fates inexplicable bound to ours.” As I said in the beginning, I originally chose this book because of my love for dogs, but it ended up to be more than just the story of dogs. It is also a story of humans and humanity and the bond we share with an animal that has grown from being a companion to being a part of our families.

Purchase Links ;)


Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's LIVE!! Fallen Crest University by Tijan!!

I have been OBSESSED with the series from the very beginning! There a certain handful of authors that the moment I see their name attached to anything, I will immediately one-click. I will literally for-go reading the synopsis, skip over reading any reviews or star ratings and will just buy whatever it is that they released. Tijan is one of those authors for me. Anything she writes I know I will like simply because 20ish books later and she hasn't failed me yet. And this one- I have been waiting like a crackhead waiting for their next fix for this one.

Fallen Crest is back with a vengeance! 

Samantha, Mason, and Logan are all together and united with one common enemy: Park Sebastian, the king of fraternity douchebags. 

With professional football scouts eyeing his every move, Mason Kade has to walk the line for the first time in his life. Any move he makes against Sebastian has to be perfect and under the radar. One mistake, and his career is over. 

Sebastian has other plans. Mason’s career isn’t his target—not even close. Wanting to destroy Mason completely, Sebastian knows he must hit him where it hurts the most: Samantha, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she’s the target. 

Sam is bound and determined to protect Mason herself, no matter the cost, but what if the cost is beyond her imagination? What if this time, the villain wins?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blog Tour Stop! Review and Giveaway! 3 Seconds by Bethany Lopez

3 Seconds
by Bethany Lopez
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A lot can happen in 3 Seconds. It's the space of time between walking onstage and stepping up to the mic. It’s that moment when your eyes meet across a crowded room and the chemistry between you is undeniable.

Bronagh has accomplished a lot in her thirty-five years. A successful pub owner and happy divorcée, she's learned to enjoy life, but have realistic expectations. Her past has taught her that it's best not to depend on others, but that doesn't mean she won't sample a tasty morsel when it's right in front of her.

After taking a break from culinary school to travel abroad, Brendan is back and eager to finish what he started. Although he relishes the nights he gets to play with his brothers in their band, and enjoys their healthy supply of groupies, he's ready to start acting like the twenty-something that he is…a fact he craves to prove with Bronagh.

What starts as a one-night-stand becomes more when Bronagh and Brendan realize that they can't walk away. But can a younger man who's prone to late nights and scantily-clad women convince a woman who's been hurt that age doesn't matter, and he's the man she needs?

My Rating: 3.5 Coffee Cups

I enjoyed this book. I just wish there was more of it!! The family aspect was huge for me. I loved the dynamic between the brothers.

Bronough is a quintessential 30-something. She is focused on her career and she's done the heartbreak thing and is in no rush to get back into it. But at a concert she meets gorgeous, twenty-something lead singer Brendan. She may not want to jump into a relationship, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't take a chance and jump at a night with a hot, younger, most likely "skilled" guy. Hell, I would (just sayin').

Brendan is exactly what you think he is: a one-night stand, sort of guy. Never had a serious relationship and perfectly content with that fact. But once you start getting to know him you see there's so much more to him than that. He's passionate. Passionate about his family, about cooking, about music and after the one night that was supposed to end with her sneaking out of his apartment he's quickly becoming passionate about Bronough too.

Pulling the "guy move" and sneaking out of Brendan's place was intended to be the end of it. She had her one night of hot & steamy and was ready to move on and teach the culinary class that she promised a colleague she'd cover for. And yup, exactly, in walks Brendan and she realizes maybe one night wasn't enough. Despite her HUGE reservations about their age difference she gives it a shot. And this is where I wanted to go through my kindle and shake her. She never put herself truly out there. She holds herself back and finds reason after reason as to why it's not going to work. And when he gives her answers and opens his heart she can't open her eyes until it's almost too late.

Brendan stepped forward, into the bar, and was immediately surrounded by greedy, shouting women.
That ugly seed of jealousy grew, even as I tried to bury it within me, but I watched as Brendan kept as smile on his face for his fans and scanned above their heads, searching for me. When he found me, his grin grew and I heard him say, “I’m glad you enjoyed the show, ladies, but I’m afraid I’ve got a hot date,” as he sauntered right to me.
I barely registered the chorus of boos and awes, his pull already taking hold of me.
He didn’t pause when he reached me; instead he came at me full force, pulling me into his arms and fusing his lips to mine. The desire that had been building throughout his performance came to a head, and I met his passion full force, opening my lips and inviting him in for a taste.
Just as we were reaching the point of no return, Brendan pulled back and smiled beautifully down at me, his eyes flashing with the heat I knew he was feeling.
“Let’s get out of here.”

But as I said in the beginning I loved the dynamic between Brock, Brady and Brendan. They are as close as brothers can be. And they love each other and the adopted family (i.e. Brock's wife Victoria) FIERCELY. I think that in all honestly was my favorite aspect of the story. They each had their own personalities, their own baggage and their own stories, but when it really mattered they were one unit.