Friday, 30 August 2013

Sweet Blood of Mine (Overworld Chronicles, #1) by John Corwin

Sweet Blood of Mine (Overworld Chronicles, #1)Sweet Blood of Mine by John Corwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just added a new name to my list of favorite authors and series! John Corwin has made it with this one! He takes us on a funny and emotional adventure into the perils of high school life. He created a cast of characters that were not only relatable but multidimensional. Cast in point, the jock who bullied the nerds was also insecure around girls. Who knew?

Justin Case was your normal nerd. He was chubby, wore glasses and loved to play Kings and Castles. After rescuing Katie, the girl he has a crush on, things are looking up for him. This doesn't last long though. He goes from nerd to popular to social pariah. Now even his nerd friends won't associate with him. He is then accepted in the Goth group where he learns what true friendship is all about. Elyssa is part of this group. She uses the makeup, body piercings and weird clothes as a shield to protect herself. They are attracted to each other, but can they make it work?

This was a fabulous read and I would highly recommend it! Not only do we see how hard high school life is for a normal human, but it is even harder for those who have supernatural abilities Justin, who just discovered them and Elyssa,who has had them all her life. They both struggle to keep hidden their special abilities. This is our introduction to the paranormal world which has its own set of problems and prejudices. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series!

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Q & A with Suzanne Johnson + Giveaway

About the Author:

On Aug. 28, 2005, Suzanne Johnson loaded two dogs, a cat, a friend, and her mom into a car and fled New Orleans in the hours before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 

Four years later, she began weaving her experiences and love for her city into the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, beginning with Royal Street (2012), continuing with River Road (2012), and now with Elysian Fields (August 2013).

She grew up in rural Alabama, halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’ birthplace, and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years—which means she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.




 
She can be found online at her website or her daily blog, Preternatura. As Susannah Sandlin, she writes the best-selling Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series and the recent standalone, Storm Force.
 
Website         Blog         Twitter        Facebook        Goodreads




Title:  Elysian Fields

Series:  Sentinels of New Orleans Series, Book Three

Author:  Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Tor Books

Date of Publication:  August 13, 2013

Number of Pages: 352

Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Book Description:  The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi. New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. 

Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren't random--an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. 

Namely, DJ. Fighting off an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn't easy. Jake Warin's loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world's most annoying wizard, and former partner AlexWarin just turned up on DJ's to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power. 

Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte's pirate wench? It could be DJ's best option.



Don't miss out on books one and two in the Sentinels of New Orleans series!


Q & A with Suzanne Johnson 
Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
A:  The heroine is DJ Jaco, a Green Congress wizard (think geek) in New Orleans who, after Hurricane Katrina, was thrust into the role of Sentinel for the area (think border guard between our world and the preternatural world).

She’s surrounded by a cast of regulars who might have larger or smaller roles in each book, but I’d categorize three as major at this point in the story—her former partner Alex Warin, who’s an enforcer for the wizards (think: assassin) and a shapeshifter; the undead early 19th-century French pirate Jean Lafitte, granted immortality by the power of human memory; and DJ’s neighbor Quince Randolph, aka Rand. I can’t tell you much about Rand without major spoilery!

Other recurring characters include Adrian Hoffman, a glorified secretary for the wizarding Congress of Elders; Etienne Boulard and his assistant Terri Ford, vampire regent; Rene Delachaise, a merman and good friend of DJ’s; Jake Warin, Alex’s cousin and former love interest of DJ’s who’s a rogue werewolf; Eugenie Dupre, DJ’s friend and a human who’s only recently learned about the “other” world; and various wizards, pirates, elves, vampires, and an occasional undead jazz musician or voodoo god.

Q:  DJ is described by multiple reviewers as a strong heroine.  In your opinion, what makes a good, strong female character?
A:  I think there are all kinds of strong female lead characters, but my personal favorites are those who have to work at it. DJ’s strength doesn’t come in her ability to wield a weapon. In fact, she sucks at it. But she’s strong because she’s smart, creative, and doesn’t quit. She has a strong sense of ethics, but doesn’t mind bending the rules and asking forgiveness later. She gets knocked down a lot, but she always comes up swinging, figuratively speaking. She’ll ask for help if she needs to (well, she’s getting better about that). Those are the things that make her strong.

Q:  If your books were turned into a movie, who would you want to play the parts?
A:  Ah, that’s so hard. I always envisioned DJ as looking a little like the actress Emilie de Ravin, although she might have to work to get a New Orleans accent. For Jean Lafitte, perhaps Giles Marini—he already has the accent down. A young Josh Holloway could play Jake. Alex, Alex, Alex. I just haven’t found the right Alex. I picture him in my head but haven’t found anyone who’d work. Suggestions?

Q:  When you first started writing Royal Street did you know it was going to turn into a series?  What was your writing process like throughout the series?
A:  LOL. When I first started Royal Street, I wasn’t even sure it was going to turn into a novel! It was my first book, my first stab at writing fiction, and I started it partly as a way to turn my post-Hurricane Katrina angst (I’d been living in New Orleans) into something positive. So it was all gut and heart. By the time I finished it, though, I had fallen in love with the whole writing process, and by the time I found my agent, I’d already started writing the second book River Road. When Royal Street sold, River Road was almost finished, so I sold them both at the same time. It’s a natural for me to think in terms of series, because that’s almost all I read.

Q:  Is Elysian Fields going to be the last in the series, or can your readers expect more in the future?
A:  No, in fact, Elysian Fields really kicks off a big story arc that began building in the first two books. There will be at least two more in the series, after which we’ll see how they’re selling and how the big story arc is progressing. The next book has the working title of Pirate’s Alley, and will be out in 2014—no firm date yet.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
A:  The best advice I haven’t quite taken is to learn to say no; I have a problem with that, which is why I’m always overcomitted. The best advice I actually try to take is to treat my writing like a career and give it the same attention and dedication that I give to my day-job. Treat it like a hobby and it will be a hobby.

Q:  What do you see as the biggest challenge for indie authors and what have you been doing to overcome that?
A:  I haven’t self-published; both of my series (as Suzanne Johnson and Susannah Sandlin) are traditionally published, so I’ll answer this question as a book blogger and an editor who sees a lot of indie work cross my desk. The biggest challenge for an indie author—for any author, really—is discoverability. With an estimated 15 million books coming out this year, how are you going to make your work stand out and get people to read it? The biggest problems I see with indie works coming my way for review are covers that look “homemade” and lack of editing. Your name is your brand, and you don’t want a reader’s first impression of your brand to be negative. So it’s important to showcase your work at its best by getting professional developmental editing, copyediting, and cover design. Otherwise, a reader might try you out once, but won’t come back again.

Q:  If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
A:  Definitely teleporting. I don’t like the whole flying experience; I’ll drive anywhere, but don’t make me deal with airports.

 Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  It’s actually a book I’m reading as research for a new novel: Unearthing Churchill’s Secret Army, by John Grehan and Martin Mace. I usually read nonfiction when I’m working on a new manuscript, often something research-related.

Thanks for having me today!

 
 



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August 21 http://buriedunderbooks1.blogspot.com
August 22 http://ShareMyDestiny.blogspot.com
August 23 saphsbookblog.blogspot.com
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August 23 www.faerietalebooks.org
August 26 http://empyreanedge.com
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September 4 http://marshaamoore.blogspot.com/
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September 5
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September 9 http://www.romancingthedarkside.com
September 10 www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com


Stage Fright by Michelle Scott

Stage FrightStage Fright by Michelle Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a nightmare of an audition that chases her off the stage, Cassie is back in the theater working behind the scenes. But plagued by nightmares and unexplainable crippling fear, Cassie is determined to find out just what happened to her the last time she was on stage. Enter dark and mysterious Isaiah, and Cassie's life may never be the same.

Being a fan of Michelle Scott's previous work, I was excited to see the release of her newest novel, Stage Fright. I always say the characters make a story, and in this case they did not disappoint. I positively love Cassie. She is smart, tough, and passionate, but she is very human, which is her best quality. She is not perfect – but she realizes this and doesn't try to be something she's not. The story is written from Cassie's point of view, and her head was a fun place to be. What then can I say about Andrew? Every girl needs a friend like him. He is a great friend to Cassie, and they complement each other's personalities. Isaiah is a bit enigmatic, but that of course is part of his charm. Together with his sidekick, Perry, they save the world, one damsel in distress at a time. I love Isaiah, especially once he starts opening up a bit, but Perry is definitely the fun one of the group.

The concept of the book is unique with just enough mystery, suspense, and intrigue to make me keep guessing to the end. There were a lot of other characters in this novel besides those mentioned above, and their lives were so intertwined I never knew who Cassie should be trusting – in the end I guess it is probably better not to trust anyone because no one is as they seem.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be looking for more in the series.


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Crimson Darkness by Amos Cassidy + Giveaway

Hello, Sheri and all you fabulous people! Amos Cassidy here.

Crimson Darkness (Book 2 in the Crimson Series) is on its way – coming August 30th 2013. To celebrate, we’ve come over to visit Sheri today on her wonderful blog and show you the hot cover and an excerpt from the book. Also, there is a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a £10 Amazon Voucher so make sure to get those entries in!


Get yourselves comfy, pop the kettle on and take a look into the Crimson World…

About the Authors:

Amos Cassidy - a team of two. Amos is a 29 year old Diva and Cassidy a 36 year old mum of three.

Aside from a passion for writing and a love of reading they also share an addiction to coffee, love anything Joss Whedon and are constantly playing tug of war over Jensen Ackles.

They have been writing together for four years and are currently working on the third book in their Crimson Series.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amos-Cassidy-World/172592816124684

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/amoscassidy
 
Blogs:  http://amoscassidy.wordpress.com/
 
http://crimsonseries.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5762034.Amos_Cassidy?from_search=true


Title: Crimson Darkness

Author: Amos Cassidy

Series: Crimson, book 2

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: August 30, 2013


Description:

London is in the grip of an unnatural darkness. Rose is in the grasp of an unrelenting power and Raven and Thistle, along with their supernatural allies, are battling to survive and find a way to restore their home city.

For the fey, the song remains the same. They must return the power to Faerie or die. Unfortunately for them, the task has been superseded by an even more important one - help save Earth or perish along with it!

For Rose, the stakes are even higher as she is forced to make a terrible deal that will damn her if she does and damn her if she doesn’t.

Now enemies must work together as allies if they are to save their worlds from an ancient threat…









Crimson Darkness Excerpt 

Rose’s eyes snapped open, awareness slammed into her; her body already responding subconsciously to an unknown threat, while her conscious self worked on catching up. She registered a number of things in rapid succession.

A band around her throat restricting her breathing.

A greenish glow.

Hot breath in her ear.

Something pressing against the side of her face, searing her with its heat.

A weight on her chest smothering her rapid heartbeat.

The scent of cinnamon.

Something, someone, holding her down.

Adrenaline surged and she took charge of her body, her hands coming up to claw at her throat and meeting smooth hard flesh; a hand around her throat.

A face pressed against the side of hers.

She tried to scream but all that emerged from her parched restricted vocal cords was a pathetic husky rasp.

She clawed at the hand pressing into her windpipe, thrashing her legs. Her eyes wide with panic took in her surroundings on a peripheral level; dim green light, melting into darkness.

No clue where she was.

The man, she didn’t know how she knew it was a man, she just did, pressed his head more firmly against hers and she stiffened in shock at his deep inhalation.

Fuck! Was he smelling her?

She felt as well as heard the deep rumble vibrating in his chest. His grip on her throat loosened a fraction and his fingers caressed the tender flesh at the base of her throat.

Rose’s blood turned to ice…every woman’s nightmare, and it was going to happen to her!

“Feed.” The word was soft and guttural, the breath hot and moist against the delicate shell of her ear.

Her mind spun in confusion. What the…maybe he wasn’t going to violate her…she felt a rush of relief until another disturbing thought hit her - oh God! He was going to eat her!

Her body went into full panic mode, the instinct to fight then flee surging up ten fold within her and with it came her Earth Mage power. It latched onto her emotions, her desire for escape and she allowed it to rise, filling her with its molten heat and brilliant light.

The figure, pinning her, shifted and she found herself staring into two bright iridescent amber eyes. Flecks of gold weaved and shifted in those tawny pools and for a moment her power faltered and swayed, entranced.

A warm lethargy, unrelated to her abilities swamped her limbs and her eyes fluttered almost closed.

She gazed rapt at those beautiful orbs of promise.

Despite the heat and lethargy filling her, a ripple flew over her skin leaving tiny goose bumps in its wake.

Those eyes commanded. Wanted. And she wanted to give. Her lips parted as a soft sigh of pleasure escaped her.

“Mine.” The word was a low rumble, full of wonder and possession.

“Yes…yes.” Rose breathed, and then gasped as heat rushed to her core.

The eyes moved closer.

A sharp crackling sound filled the air, the eyes jerked back followed by a whoosh of air. The chill left behind by the body that no longer tried to possess her blew away the mist clouding her mind, and her thoughts were suddenly sharp and clear.

She struggled to sit up.

What had she been doing? She had to get out of here, wherever this was.


Check out the Crimson Darkness Trailer!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Q & A with Jana Grissom

About the Author:

I am a middle school teacher and advocate for foster children and at-risk teens. My debut novel, “One Prince; Two Kingdoms,” came about as a result of disturbing nightmares my two foster children at the time were experiencing. After several nights of being awakened by their screams and running to comfort them, I had an idea – write a story and let their imaginations defeat their fears. The children were excited to hear stories of magical worlds and powerful celestials sent to guard them. Each night before bed, I would add new scenes and more adventures. After a few weeks, the nightmares were replaced with excitement to hear the next chapter read.

The children are now living with their grandparents, but their pictures remain on my walls. “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” is dedicated to them and all the foster children who have been in my care, as well as my past and present students; my family, my two amazing teens, Kaylee and Cody, and my husband and best friend, Roy. I hope “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” will encourage children in a place of transition to have hope and never give up.

I am available to speak to students at secondary schools challenging them with a strong message, “S.T.O.P. Bullying and Suicide". I hold a Master of Education in Administration and Policy Studies and offer professional development in bullying identification, prevention, and intervention. I strongly believe that together we can S.T.O.P. bullying and suicide.




Title:  One Prince; Two Kingdoms

Author:  Jana Grissom


Release Date:  October 31, 2013

Description:  "Many graves were dug open with the aged caskets removed and overturned. Remains littered the graveyard. It looked like a backyard destroyed by a puppy that chewed up everything in sight. The gate suddenly slammed shut behind us and locked itself. We were committed now."

Johnny Boggs is a teen with trouble to spare who has learned one thing in life - trust no one. Paranoia befriends him as he moves into his fifth foster home and discovers no one appears as they are, his dreams are not just dreams, and he is supposedly the Prince of Shamayim.

Fate requires Johnny to leave the protection of this world but allows for him to choose to reign over the light or turn to the darkness. A vicious competition begins as
two kingdoms fight for his loyalty while two beautiful girls, Danielle and Shay, fight for his attention. He cannot resist the beauty of his dreams, nor can he turn away from the one who has his heart.



Q & A with Jana Grissom

Q:  Tell me a little about yourself.
A: In the real world, I am a mom of two amazing teens and married to Roy, my high-school sweetheart. (Yes, fairy tales can be reality!) I love puppies, laughter, and lots of CHOCOLATE! Most of all, I love my family because they rock!

Professionally, I am a middle school teacher, an advocate for foster children and at-risk teens, and I am a speaker who encourages students at secondary schools to S.T.O.P. Bullying and Suicide! With a Master of Education in Administration and Policy Studies, I offer professional development in bullying identification, prevention, and intervention. 

Q:  What inspired you to write? What type of genre do you write?
A:
  My two children, past foster children, and middle school students needed to learn to use their imaginations for good. I wrote for my kids and eventually taught them how to take one small idea and create their unique story. My imagination continued to soar with ideas which are now on a list of “to be written” novels. One day I hope to write them all. Each idea has a paranormal flare in both real and fantasy worlds. I love to add a little bit of sweet romance and crave twists with lots of adventure and action. If my writing becomes predictable, I will rewrite it until my novel is a literary roller-coaster ride for the reader!
Q:  Tell me about your book.
A:
  “Many graves were dug open with the aged caskets removed and overturned. Remains littered the graveyard. It looked like a backyard destroyed by a puppy that chewed up everything in sight. The gate suddenly slammed shut behind us and locked itself. We were committed now.”

Johnny Boggs is a teen with trouble to spare who has learned one thing in life - trust no one. Paranoia befriends him as he moves into his fifth foster home and discovers no one appears as they are, his dreams are not just dreams, and he is supposedly the Prince of Shamayim.


On Johnny’s sixteenth birthday, fate requires him to leave the protection of this world but allows for him to choose to reign over the light or turn to the darkness. A vicious competition begins as two kingdoms fight for his loyalty while two beautiful girls, Danielle and Shay, fight for his attention. Time is running out; a decision must be made. Johnny finds it impossible to resist the beauty of his dreams, nor can he turn away from the one who has his heart. 
Q:  Tell us about the main characters, what makes them unique and what makes them tick.
A:
  Johnny Boggs is a foster kid who cannot stay out of trouble. He loves to look in the mirror and has no problem speaking to girls until he meets Shay and Danielle. He finds himself awkward and stumbling over his words. To make matters worse, he learns that he has certain gifts that only a prince can control. Poor guy acts on impulse and has to fight through one predicament after another. He has one main weakness, taking action before thinking things through. 
Q:  What inspired you to write this book?
A:
  My debut novel, “One Prince; Two Kingdoms,” came about in response to the disturbing nightmares my two foster children at the time were experiencing. After several nights of being awakened by their screams and running to comfort them, I had an idea – write a story and let their imaginations defeat their fears. The children were excited to hear stories of magical worlds and powerful celestials sent to guard them. Each night before bed, I would add new scenes and more adventures. After a few weeks, the nightmares were replaced with excitement to hear the next chapter read.

The children are now living with their grandparents, but their pictures remain on my walls. “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” is dedicated to them and all the foster children who have been in my care, as well as my past and present students; my family, my two amazing teens, Kaylee and Cody, and my husband and best friend, Roy. I hope “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” will encourage children in a place of transition to have hope and never give up.
Q:  What other books or blogs have you written?
A:
  Currently, I have two completed manuscripts waiting to be published. Drawn is a NA Paranormal Thriller with plenty of Romance. Alex is trying to find who she is but feels drawn to another life with another man. Come Back To Me is a YA Paranormal Thriller. Chloe finds happiness that pulls her away from her family but her father is not willing to let a painting take his baby girl. 

I also post Top Ten lists, author interviews, and social media advice weekly on my blog, A Novel Reality. 
I love to help authors make their novels a reality by supporting their blog tours or sharing publishing/marketing advice. In contrast to the professional content, my Top Ten lists are according to my teenagers’ mood. Ha! If they are joking about the worst pick up lines – I write a Top Ten. If they are complaining about friends – I write a Top Ten. Everyone needs a little comic relief! My teenagers love having a Mom who blogs.
Q:  Were your other books self-published or traditionally published?
A:
  One Prince; Two Kingdoms is my first published novel! I am considering e-publishing my next two titles, Drawn and Come Back To Me, after the first of the year. Keep an eye on my Twitter
and Blog for more release announcements!
Q:  Who is your greatest writing inspiration?
A:
  My family. Generic answer, but it is the truth. My family has been through so much together. We have unique experiences that no other family has had to endure; near death experiences, health anomalies, paranormal experiences, and several injustices. These experiences have united the four of us with a bond that no man can break! My husband and teens inspire me every day to write about our world with the goal of helping others. 

My daughter is my beta reader, my critic, and fellow writer currently working on a high school series about her life as a cheerleader who endured major health complications and bullying. 

She inspires me!

My son is like no character I could imagine who helps me write from the teenage guy’s perspective.

He inspires me! 

My husband loves me, supports me, and listens to my ideas providing feedback even when he would prefer to watch Duck Dynasty. (Thank goodness for the pause button on cable!) 

He inspires me! 

I haven’t even mentioned the rest of my awesome extended family, my students, or my friends! I am one lucky lady.
Q:  If you could only bring three items with you to a deserted island (non-writing items or people) what would they be and why?
A:
  1. Chocolate! Need I say more? 2. Video Camera. If I can’t write and I won’t have anyone to talk to, then I must have a communication outlet or I will go insane. I prefer talking to a video camera over a volleyball. LOL3. My Chihuahua. (You didn’t say I couldn’t bring a pet. Ha!) As long as she doesn’t poop on the rug, I love to be with her and she loves me. 


Q:  The world is going to end tomorrow. How do you live out your remaining time?
A:
  What else is there to do but try to save the world? I am an optimist to the end. There is a solution for everything and if there is not, I will die trying to find one.\
Q:  Someone wants to make a movie based on your life. Who would you pick to play you?
A:
  Sandra Bullock! She is beautiful and very talented. Her experience in life and acting would provide the skills to adequately portray the heat, congeniality, and speed of my life.
Q:  Alive or dead, who is the one person you would want to interview and why?
A:
  Marilyn Monroe. She was a curvy, strong woman ahead of her time. She impacted the world around her and was the center of conspiracy for the majority of her famous life. I would love to know the real truth and what was her secret to beauty.
Q:  Okay, crystal ball time. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
A:
  In a perfect world, I will be juggling a successful author career visiting schools and speaking to teens while simultaneously teaching my favorite seventh graders at GMS!
Q:  Any final words for our readers?
A:
  Your dream is within your reach if you are willing to try. Do not let anyone make you feel unworthy or incapable of greatness. You are unique and have something valuable to share with the world. Don’t be afraid. Go for it! Make an impact in this world that will echo into eternity!
Q:  Where can we find you?
A:
  I am available to speak at your school, host an author interview, or visit your bookstore. Send me your request via email,
janasgrissom@gmail.com. No venue is too small! I am from a small town and love meeting friendly folks!
You can also find me all over social media. I love meeting new friends! Here are my links:

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/1prince2kingdoms/

 Blog: http://anovelreality.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/21133166-jana-grissom

Facebooks: https://www.facebook.com/1Prince2K

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanaGrissom

https://www.facebook.com/jana.grissom

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janagrissom 

LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/janagrissom

Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown

Darkness of Light (Darkness, #1)Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ember has always been an outcast due to her two-toned hair color, her unique two different colored eyes, and the accidents that occur around her. She has been kicked out of multiple schools because of this. Ember is in a new city and a new school, hoping things will be different. With the principal and the local sheriff gunning for her, Ember doesn't have a chance. She is sent to an alternative school where she meets Eli. Eli is the hot, bad boy that your mom would tell you to avoid and your dad would shoot on site, but he is too hot to resist. Eli is hiding secrets that will completely change Ember life. What will happen when those secrets are revealed?

Darkness of Light grabbed my attention from the beginning with its mystery, intrigue and action. Both the characters and plot were well developed. Ember is the kind of character I root for. She has been bullied and ostracized but refuses to let those things control her. Eli is the bad boy who has conflicting emotions but is so yummy. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next installment.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Pieces of Me by Ann Garner

Pieces of MePieces of Me by Ann Garner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pieces of Me is about learning to love, and learning to trust – others as well as yourself. It is about picking up the broken pieces and trying to make them fit together to create a whole again.

And you carefully gather the pieces of yourself. You collect them together in your mind. The old pieces, the new pieces, the ones that are too shattered for you to tell what they are. You collect them and hold them close. You will need these pieces one day.

Delaney is a fabulous but heartbreaking character. She moved across the country to go to college in an attempt to get away from her past, but because the past was in her head she never really truly could put it behind her. We watch her through the story as she tries to make herself over into a new person so she can attempt to be a "normal" teenage girl again, but the memories of her past continually get in her way.

Grace is the kind of friend every girl needs. She is fun and outgoing and tries to help Delaney come out of her shell. Sometimes she may push too far, but only because she cares and cannot really understand what Delaney was going through. But how could she? Grace had everything in life Delaney didn't, a loving home, a great family, and a really great guy.

Cole…holy crap what to say about Cole? He is the kind of guy your momma warned you about. He doesn't "do" relationships and is all about moving from one girl to the next. However, he's not your typical "bad boy" screw 'em and leave 'em type of character, which I think is what I love most about him. He is honest about what he wants and is open, friendly, and a lot of fun.

I truly believe that the characters make the story. Besides the three mentioned above, the rest of the supporting characters were all made interesting and engaging as well. Each brought their own personality to the story and helped it come together into a meaningful narrative. And, while the story told here is not new, the author's execution of the tale was fabulous. Not only did Ann Garner do a wonderful job creating her characters, the rest of the story, the setting, the mood, and just all the small detail, was great as well. The underlying theme of the story was dark and painful, but the author was able to turn it into something beautiful. There was so much emotion infused in the story - I will warn you that it is definitely a tear jerker, so be prepared, but it also had its laugh out loud moments as well.

As a first book for Ann Garner I would say this one is a winner. I have no idea what she has planned for the future, but I really would love to see more of her characters (Robby anyone?). So I would just like to wish you good luck and say thank you for the opportunity to read your story.


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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Switch by Janelle Stalder

Switch (New World Series, #1)Switch by Janelle Stalder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! There are so many things I loved about Switch, I don't even know where to start. I finished reading it last night and sat staring at my Kindle wanting more – I guess I thought maybe if I stared long enough more will show up? It didn't work, so don't waste your time trying. That ending though…Oh. My. God. I have no idea how I am supposed to wait patiently for the next book to come out.

So, let's start with the characters…Charlotte/Dinah is pretty awesome. She was totally badass, but at the same time she was completely vulnerable. Confused? Me too. She was stuck in the world alone, betrayed by her family, and pissed off at everyone and everything. She was scared and in a helpless situation, but she made it all awesome by being a brassy bitch to everyone. She might not have control over her situation, but she was not going to take it lying down. She did what she had to in order to survive. She was driven by her anger and resentment, but she was determined to live. Did I mention she reads minds? You would think with this ability that she would be all-powerful, all-knowing, but this was not the case. I really think this is what I liked most about this book. She was still very human and had her own share of troubles. The mind reading definitely gave her an advantage, but there were people she could not read and situations were sometimes out of her control. She questioned herself and the people around her, never quite sure where she was supposed to fit in.

Roman really through me for a loop. I was never quite sure what to think of him. Dinah seemed to trust him, but all the while I was waiting for the knife in the back. I understand the next book is about him (which I have to wait a whole year for!), and I am so looking forward to it. I have this need to understand him, to know what makes him tick. Even at this point, after having finished Switch, I am not sure if I love him or hate him! Talk about messing with the mind…

Pete is just plain freaking awesome. He has so many layers I'm not even sure where to start with him. Just to list a few of his so many wonderful traits: He is gorgeous, sweet, and charming (can we say lady's man?). He is loyal, trustworthy, and protective of those he loves. He fights for what he believes in, even if that means going against the status quo. In short, he is the kind of guy you want by your side.

There are more, but I seriously cannot write about all of them – this review will be as long as the book! Let's just say that each of the characters in this story was amazingly written. Even the secondary characters who might not seem all that important individually brought their own personality to the story, and it all came together to create this fantastic world.

Some other things I loved (I'll try to make this quick)…First, the relationships in the story were perfect. From Dinah and Pete, Pete and his brothers, Pete and Bridgette, and even Dinah and Roman, each relationship was meshed out and complex. Next, the writing itself was fantastic. The author was able to bring mystery and uncertainty to every part of her story. Not once while I was reading did I know exactly what was going to happen next. It definitely kept me on the edge, questioning everything. And again with that ending…it's driving me crazy trying to imagine how it is going to play out. Well done Janelle Stalder, and thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read your story.

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Radiant by Belinda Williams

RadiantRadiant by Belinda Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lily is a 20-something emergency room nurse who had lived a pretty normal life until the day she was involved in a hit and run and ended up as a patient in her own ED. Though she recovered quickly, strange occurrences make her question her sanity and eventually everything she had ever believed. And then there is Leo, the only witness to the hit and run, who keeps popping up in Lily's life when she least expects him, and they forge a comfortable relationship, though Leo keeps Lily at a distance despite his obvious feelings for her.

The characters in this story were great. Lily was pretty level headed and – what's a good word for her? – safe perhaps. She lived a quiet life and stayed out of trouble. Her best friend, Kristi, lived a little more loudly and tried to bring Lily out of her shell. The two friends were a good combination, and Kristi brought a lot of fun to the story. The author did a great job creating her characters, as each one brought their own unique identity to the story. There was a good mix of personalities that made the story fun yet suspenseful.

Told mostly from Lily's point of view but switching occasionally to other characters, Radiant was an original story that was fast paced and full of action. I really enjoyed the writing and the author's story-telling abilities. There was a lot of mystery and some most unexpected discoveries near the end! Overall I enjoyed Radiant. The story wrapped up nicely with no cliffhanger but with enough of a tease to make you look forward to book two.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy

Sapphire (Facets of Passion #1)Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taylor is a career woman. She is motivated, knows what she wants, and has a plan to get it. After a one-time fling with sexy, devilish Adam, Taylor tells herself it is over, but apparently no one gave Adam the memo. Confident and cocky, Adam has his sights set on Taylor and he is used to getting what he wants. Adam is definitely not your average sweet and sexy. He has a domineering side, and he is not afraid to use it.

Adam and Taylor have an incredible amount of passion and chemistry between them, and the interaction between then throughout the story is incredibly erotic. Taylor thinks she knows what she wants, but she is secretly fascinated by Adam's control over her – enough so that she decides to go with it and see where it leads. I think my favorite aspect of the novella is watching Taylor's change throughout the story, from cool and collected to sexual and sensual.

Just a note, I have read all three books in the Facets of Passion series, but they do not have to be read in order. They are made to read as stand-alone stories, but I would recommend all three.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy

Platinum (Facets of Passion #2)Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Althea owns and operates an art gallery that is in a financial bind. After an offer from Steel, a sculpter, to rent a space in the gallery to work, Althea thinks things might be turning around for the better…until he makes her another offer she cannot refuse.

Of the three Facets of Passions books this was my least favorite. That's not to say I did not enjoy it, but I felt it lacked something that both of the other books had. For one, I felt the characters a bit lacking. They were hard to connect to, and I found myself just feeling lukewarm about them. Second, the sex scenes, while incredibly hot, did not really seem to fit well into the story. Again, not bad, but not as good as the other two books in the series.

That being said, there were definitely things I liked about this story. Althea's character underwent some major changes in the short time span the story covered, and it was interesting to watch her go through those. In the beginning she was living what she felt was a good and proper life. She had a nice job, a nice boyfriend, and was overall a good girl. She had everything she thought she wanted. Enter Steel, and Althea has to reconsider everything she ever thought she wanted. In just a few days he managed to bring out the woman hidden inside her and show her that life could be so much better than how she was living it. Overall, a quick, steamy read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Life of the Party by Christine Anderson

Life of the PartyLife of the Party by Christine Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! JUST WOW!!! This book was not an easy read. It gives you an in-depth look into the life of an addict. How that life can quickly and painfully spiral out of control. Even though this story is heartbreaking, it is also inspirational. There is always hope if we are willing to acknowledge we need help and willing to receive it. God is always there even in our darkest moments. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with addiction in their own life or have family members that are.

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The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S-WordThe S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a ARC copy from NetGalley.

The S-Word is one of those books that will stay with you even after you finish reading it. It deals with many touchy subjects that not only affect teens but society in general. Bullying is one of the main topics focused on in this story. Words have power to inspire, uplift, encourage or to tear down, destroy. Our actions toward others have the same consequences or outcomes. This is what I take from this book. Even though this is a fictional story with fictional characters, the subject matter addressed happens at schools all around the world today. I would definitely recommend this book.

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Empath (The Flawed Series, #1) by Becca J. Campbell

Empath (The Flawed Series, #1)Empath by Becca J. Campbell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given the privilege by the author to review the ARC version of Empath.

Empath is an interesting story told from two points of view, Jade and Ethan. I will admit that at times this was confusing, but the author did a good job bringing it together in the end.

Jade has lived a sheltered life because of her special ability. She is an Empath who is continently barraged by others' emotions. This makes it difficult when Jade starts classes at college. Will Jade be able to cope? Ethan has his own handicap/ability. He can't see well during the day but has perfect night vision. Ethan uses this to his advantage for his twisted interests. Jade catches Ethan's attention. Will she fall prey to his sinister plans?

This story was not what I expected. I enjoyed it but at times I felt like I was reading two different stories. It did become clear and I was happy how the author pieced it together. The characters were well developed. I liked Jade. Jade was innocent and inexperienced due to her sheltered life, but she tries hard to persevere. I did not like reading about Ethan. His story disgusted me, but I think that was the author's point. Overall, it was a good story and I would recommend it.


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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Radiant by Belinda Williams + Giveaway

 
About the Author:
 
Belinda Williams is an author based in Sydney, Australia. When she’s not reading romantic suspense or chick-lit, she’s writing it (or else can be found wasting time on social media).

Belinda is also a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who, after spending more than a decade writing about exciting subjects like financial services, IT and hospitality, allowed an addiction to romantic suspense and chick-lit to get the better of her. Radiant came to life when Belinda decided it was time Sydney featured in some fast-paced, heart-stopping romantic suspense, with a dark twist.

Radiant is her novel d├ębut and earned a finalist placing in The Romance Writers of Australia Emerald award 2013.

Belinda is a music lover and her eclectic taste forms the foundation for many of her writing ideas. She also has a healthy appreciation for fast cars and would not so secretly love a Lamborghini. For now she’ll have to settle with her son’s supercar Hot Wheel’s collection and the occasional drive in her much loved MX-5.
 
www.belindawilliamsbooks.com

@bwilliamsbooks

http://www.facebook.com/belindawilliamsbooks

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6979975.Belinda_Williams



Title:  Radiant

Author:  Belinda Williams

Genre: Romantic suspense/paranormal

Number of Pages: 384

Cover Artist: Creative Fusion

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/ot8GyT3c8m0  

Buy:  Amazon

Book Description:

Do you believe in angels and demons? They believe in you...

Lily Ainsworth, a twenty-eight year old Emergency Department nurse, is used to keeping calm under pressure - until the day she wakes up to find herself a patient in the very ED she works in. A victim of a near fatal hit and run, Lily recalls nothing of the accident. The only witness is the mysterious and charming, Leo.

As she attempts to return to normal life, Lily is plagued by strange events, which has her wondering whether the hit and run was merely a coincidence, or if it was something much more sinister...

Drawn to Leo, Lily confides in him and reveals long unanswered questions about the disappearance of her mother twenty-five years earlier. But his presence appears to come at a price.

Suddenly thrown into a dark world she doesn't recognise and fighting to stay alive, Lily begins to realise the key to her survival lies in answering the questions surrounding her past.

It's a journey that will change her life forever, make her question everything she has ever believed in, and test her feelings for Leo in ways she never imagined.

2013 Romance Writers of Australia Emerald award finalist



4 out of 5 stars
Lily is a 20-something emergency room nurse who had lived a pretty normal life until the day she was involved in a hit and run and ended up as a patient in her own ED. Though she recovered quickly, strange occurrences make her question her sanity and eventually everything she had ever believed. And then there is Leo, the only witness to the hit and run, who keeps popping up in Lily's life when she least expects him, and they forge a comfortable relationship, though Leo keeps Lily at a distance despite his obvious feelings for her.

The characters in this story were great. Lily was pretty level headed and – what's a good word for her? – safe perhaps. She lived a quiet life and stayed out of trouble. Her best friend, Kristi, lived a little more loudly and tried to bring Lily out of her shell. The two friends were a good combination, and Kristi brought a lot of fun to the story. The author did a great job creating her characters, as each one brought their own unique identity to the story. There was a good mix of personalities that made the story fun yet suspenseful.

Told mostly from Lily's point of view but switching occasionally to other characters, Radiant was an original story that was fast paced and full of action. I really enjoyed the writing and the author's story-telling abilities. There was a lot of mystery and some most unexpected discoveries near the end! Overall I enjoyed Radiant. The story wrapped up nicely with no cliffhanger but with enough of a tease to make you look forward to book two.