Wicked Luck by Shannon L. Maynard Review and Guest Post

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Title:  Wicked Luck
Series:  Wicked Luck Trilogy #1
Author:  Shannon L. Maynard
Published:   June 23rd, 2015
Publisher:  Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre:  NA Romance
Content Warning:  Violence, Adult Themes
Recommended Age:  14+
Synopsis:  How can Ava Starr’s worst nightmare be Dax Miller’s dream come true?
For the past three years, Dax has been stranded on Lamarai Island with his stepsister and two tribes of cannibals. But now a beautiful girl named Ava has washed up on shore. After secretly reading her journal, he believes she is a perfect match to the girl of his dreams. He’s determined not only to keep her alive, but also to win over her heart by convincing her to forget about her past and the secrets that continue to haunt her.
Ava Starr has always been the epitome of bad luck, but she never imagined she would wake up and find herself on a cannibal-infested island with no memory of how she got there. The last thing she remembers is boarding a plane with her pilot boyfriend, Preston. But now he and his crew are missing, and she must find him before a tribe of hungry cannibals finds him first. But Ava’s troubles have followed her to Lamarai,where once again she’s surrounded by danger and people who want her dead. She finds herself caught in a web of deceit and soon discovers the answers to her mysterious past can be found in the most unlikely of places, and that no one is actually who they seem to be.
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Excerpt for Wicked Luck by Shannon Maynard:
With a satisfied grin, I drop the book in my pocket and step out from behind the tree.
“Well, well, well. What a predicament. Gives new meaning to the phrase ‘sticky situation’ doesn’t it?” My voice startles her and causes a sharp intake of breath as she opens her eyes.
“Dax,” she says with a relieved exhale.
“Hey princess.” I give her my best Cheshire smile. “Looks like your little escape plan didn’t work out so well, huh? Well, I hope you have better luck escaping from that pit of quicksand.”
I turn to walk away.
“Wait! Where are you going?” she asks, and despera­tion oozes from her voice.
I pause to get control of the amusement cracking away at my serious expression before turning around. “I don’t know. I think I’ll head back to the beach and wait for a hot blonde to wash up on shore.” Her mouth falls open right on cue. “Oh, and sorry to break it to ya’, but you didn’t get the part. Since it’s my fantasy, I was looking for someone friendlier, a little more trusting, a little less sassy, and what was the last thing? Oh, yeah. Someone who actually likes me. But don’t feel bad—you nailed the physical profile,” I say with a wink.
“Stop being a jerk and help me,” she says, and then softens her tone. “Please?”
I uncross my arms and rest my hands on my hips. I’m pretty sure she already regrets that last comment, but I can’t stop now. “Look, princess. I’m a lot of things, but a jerk isn’t one of them. And don’t worry; I’m sure someone else will find you soon. A hungry cannibal—or Roxy. And I’m starting to think you and her might make a good team. The pity-party duo. She’s hateful, complains constantly, and she’s also a member of the ‘I hate Dax club’, just like you.”
I turn my back on her again and take a step.
“Wait! I don’t hate you. Please don’t leave me. I’m sorry.”
I’m a sucker for apologies but when I turn to face her, I can’t resist putting one hand behind my ear and tilting my head.
“I’m really sorry,” she says again. “For running away and being so grumpy.” I wait for more, and she grits her teeth. “And for not listening to you.”
This is the part where I know she expects me to jump to her rescue, but I lean against a tree with a cocky grin and pull a banana from my pocket. She stares while I peel it, take a bite, and chew slowly. I’m savoring the fruit but also my triumph in having the upper hand.
“Aren’t you going to help me?” she finally asks with a hint of worry.
“I’m still debating. If I leave you here, at least I’ll know where you are and won’t have to worry about you running off. I could even build a little hut around you and toss you food and water now and then. You’d be a lot less trouble that way.”
“Very funny,” she says, but I think it is and I can’t keep from laughing.
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About the Author:
Shannon L. Maynard lives in Colorado with her five girls where she is a legal assistant by day and an author by night. In between working and writing she can be found driving kids to soccer, folding mountains of pink laundry, or eating herweight in chocolate. Other addictions include shoe shopping, reading YA, and Australian and British accents (which may be partly to blame for her massive crush on Thor). If she had one wish it would be for more hours in the day to spend enjoying all of the above. Okay, everything except the laundry.
Shannon studied art and criminology before getting a license in cosmetology, but eventually wound up an expert daydreamer; a skill that occasionally leads to getting lost while driving, but has been a huge asset to her love for writing. Her debut novel WICKED LUCK is set to release June 2015 and is the first book in the Wicked Luck Trilogy.
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Crimson Tree Publishing Links:
(An adult division of Clean Teen)
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Trapped on an island for years could make anyone crazy. Imagine being a young teenage boy, stranded on an island with only your stepsister for semi-normal company. Add in the fact that the island’s inhabitants are widely that of cannibals as well and you have yourself one heck of a nightmare. It is only natural that one would seek the solace of a dream, any dream, in order to survive.

For Dex, this is the best solution to the absolute worst case scenario. Each night for the last 3 years, Dex has lulled himself to sleep in this dungeon of danger with one dream, the dream of the girl who got away. Ava was the girl that had captivated his attention and by extension his heart at the mere age of nine. However he was never able to hold on to her and their brief encounter was all he had left of her. That is until an interesting twist of fate seems to have possibly delivered some stroke of luck to poor Dex at the moment he had seemingly lost all hope.

In the distance, Dex believes he sees a figure gliding along in the water. After discovering that this was not a figment of his imagination, he is able to rescue the girl who was adrift in the surf, and brings her back to consciousness before any of the more unseemly residents of the island had their chance to get to her. When he is searching her person, and eventually discovers her things along the shore to discover her identity, he is all but floored at his discovery. The girl whom he had just rescued shared the same name with his dream girl. She also had the same features as he imagined she would as a grown up and she is also the same age. Could this be the Ava of his dreams? This story explores these ideas, juxtaposing what is, and what is imagined with great fluidity and dexterity.

This is the first work that I have read by Shannon Maynard and I was immediately intrigued by the premise. I really liked the idea of a love gone by, even at such a young age, and then rediscovered. I am a romantic sap as a reader, so I am instantly drawn in by anything with a romantic thread to it. However I was even more excited by the horrendous circumstances surrounding this thread, which weaved and incomparable tapestry of storytelling that I very much enjoyed. The relationship the Dex yearns for and the relationship that unfolds within the beautifully unrealistic reality of this universe is colored with so many different shades and undertones. Dex covers his true feelings well and with great charisma with his endearing sense of humor and self-confidence. The way he is able to slightly manipulate Ava in her times of frustration are incredibly realistic and humorous. I very much enjoyed his character and the way his demeanor shaped the entire book. Ava is also an interesting character but I was far more captivated by Dex. His character was much more akin to the unique aspects of the book on the whole.  The originality of the work is its greatest strength.

The book itself began at a rather slow pace and I had some difficulty finding motivation to continue on with it, but once I broke past that crest, it was well worth it. Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. The plot was well worth the read and I would recommend this book to those who enjoy and adventurous read with a unique plot drive. 

 

~Guest Post~

How does music influence your writing?  This is a tough question.  I don’t listen to music while I

write. I’m easily distracted and I actually write late at night when it’s quiet. If I listened to 

music while writing I might end up with something crazy for a finished project. I’ll blame it on 

the fact that I love to sing when I’m listening to music-in the shower, car, while getting ready, 

or cleaning house. I am great at multitasking but listening to music, singing, AND writing 

would be way too complex for me. I will say that when I’m not jamming out to pop and hip 

hop I like songs with romantic elements, and there have been music videos that have fueled 

my imagination for romantic settings in my book.