Thursday, 31 January 2013

Q & A with Rakesh Ranjan

Title:   Requiem: Will the Dead Come Back for Love?

Author:   Rakesh Ranjan

Published:  December 2012

Available From:   Amazon

Requiem is about love although it doesn’t look so until the latter half of the novel. It is the story of the unfulfilled love of the narrator. It is about Death, Love and Life. There are mistakes that a person makes but love often persists. And when it becomes so integral to your existence, you always tend to go back to it. It may haunt you in a sense but is often the sweetest memory that you carry. Requiem
introduces Death as the beginning of a life beyond Life. Despite the vagaries it is associated with, Death can be a fascinating aspect of Life. It then moves to Love and describes how the two persons met and fell in love. And before love surmounts everything, one often loses to lust. Requiem details that journey of love. And when love had made things even, the tragedy of Death strikes. Requiem portrays Death and Love as the two continuous pursuits of man. While one fears the former, they always want the latter. Requiem shows how imagination can be a twisted reality. It shows the conflicts inside a human mind. The novel is written in a simple language and is an attempt to connect with the masses.

Q & A with Rakesh Ranjan

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your book, “Requiem: Will the Dead Come Back For love?”

A:  Requiem is a love story, though an unconventional one. You won't realise that until you're finished with the first part. The first part, ‘Death’ is about the afterlife experiences of a dead man. The second one, ‘Love’ is a love story, with some usual and some unusual stuff. The third and last part, ‘Life’ provides the true picture of whatever happened earlier and connects the two parts. It is the real story and has an element of surprise. I believe the story is very touching and I will feel sad if some tears don't come to a reader’s eyes.

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?

A:  I write in a simple, easy-to-connect language. My motive is not to amaze people. I have a story and intend to convey it to people. I do get flowery at times but restrain myself from sounding esoteric. And I write whatever comes to my mind. So the flow is very natural and people can easily connect to it.

Q:  What do you see as influences on your writing?

A:  I love the works of Ayn Rand and Paulo Coelho. But this book is more influenced by the experiences in my life. I am an avid traveller and have seen almost all of Europe and different places in Asia. I believe my writing comes from my persona and so my writing style may be very different from others. And my family and surroundings have shaped it in a big way.

Q:  What was the hardest part of writing Requiem? What was the best?

A:  The hardest part was editing. I told you that I wrote it in a flow. And so when it had finished, I had to ensure that everything was right. Luckily, the consistency was there. But editing is always tough. When you have to try to find faults in your own work, it may get taxing. I enjoyed writing it but going through it over and over again to ensure that my best was going out was tough. The best part was writing the emotional parts. I believe that comes naturally to me and I so very much enjoyed writing those parts. And I did cry a lot writing the most emotional part of Requiem. And not only while writing it, but also every time when I went through it. I believe that part is very powerful and will move everyone. It has to be very powerful to affect the creator of the work so much. So the best part of writing Requiem was the emotions I went through while writing it.

Q:  Where would you like to see yourself in five years?

A:  I would certainly come up with my next. And I would be working somewhere and may have my own business then. I would love to bring smiles and tears to people, the latter not by hurting them but by getting them to realise the importance of the seemingly small elements of our lives.

Q:  What kind of promotional efforts have you undertaken to get word of your book out? What do you feel has been the most effective for you so far?

A:  I have relied on the word-of-mouth thing and expect people to recommend my book to others if they find it good. I also aim to connect with readers with this blog interview. If my book intrigues them, they may go for it. I have just started but feel that the good reviews I have been getting will lead to more people getting to my work.

Q:  What book are you reading now?

A:  I am not reading any now. My studies have kept me busy but I do plan to read up on various subjects very soon.

Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?

A:  My talents are all out in the open, I guess. But yeah, I love to cook and I am a good investor.

About the Author

Rakesh Ranjan is an MBA student at Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, one of India's best management institutes. He is now spending a term at Edhec Business School, Nice, France. He is an engineer and has worked for two and a half years in Tata Consultancy Services, Kolkata. He has stayed in different parts of India and travelled to places in Asia and Europe. He loves travelling and experiencing cultures. His experiences have helped him write. He is a keen observer of human behaviour. His interests are varied and he tries to find meanings in ordinary things. Surprisingly, he is a finance enthusiast and a writer at the same time. He has wanted to write for a long time. The idea of writing a novel came to him in the first year of engineering. And he decided to do it now, after almost eight years. His poem, "My Love, My Life", was very popular in college. He has blogged a bit before and has also written some articles.

Author Contact Links




Read It & Reap #117

Title:  Demon King's Desire

Author:  J.L. Sheppard

Series:  Elemental Sisters

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Pages:  247

Published:  January 2013 

Jenna Jenson is a 25-year-old journalist living and working in New York. She’s tried to locate her four sisters after being separated from them following their mother’s death. A reporter for New York News newspaper, she is investigating the seven deaths and three disappearances when she’s attacked by a man whose supernatural abilities supersede her super hearing, strength and abnormal reflexes. She is rescued by a handsome powerful demon, Lucas, and powers she never knew she possessed are revealed. Lucas, the demon king, has been fighting Malum Inmortalis, evil immortals, for centuries.

After a war in his demon plane and home, Treconomia, that killed his entire family, he’s dedicated his life to combating Malums. He created the Guardian league to help save immortals and humankind from the Malums, whose goal is to rule immortals and mankind. The evil he has battled for centuries and his purpose is deferred when he hears Jenna’s voice, the woman he has been waiting for centuries, not because she is part of a new breed of immortals prophesied to evolve that could either save or destroy human life, but because she is the woman he’s been dreaming of for centuries, his fated mate.

Add Demon King's Desire to your Goodreads shelf!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Think Out Loud #10

What is Think Out Loud?

 Think Out Loud is a weekly meme created by
Thinks Books to break out of the blogging bubble. Consider your Think Out Loud posts a time to do WHATEVER YOU WANT!

You can find more information and how to participate on your blog

So, here is my Think Out Loud for this week!

I know this meme does not have to be about books, but this week I have decided to make a top 10 list –
The Top 10 Reasons I Love Books!
I have had a love for reading since before I can even remember, and if you are reading this blog, chances are you are a book lover, too.  Here are my reasons for loving books...

1. They expand my imagination. Sometimes when I am reading I think I know how the story is going to end, and then the author throws in an amazing twist that I would have never thought of myself. I love being surprised!

2. They allow me to travel without leaving home. I had not read much fantasy until this last year, and now I am hooked! I love discovering new worlds different than our own, created solely in the mind of the author. I have also learned about new cultures and different countries from the 'real world' from the books I have read.

 3. They are an escape. Sometimes when life gets demanding and I feel like I need to get away from everything, I can grab a book and immerse myself in other people's drams and dilemmas. 

4. They widen my mind and challenge the way I think. Sometimes a character in a book does something or says something that gives me pause and makes me really think.

5. They introduce me to many great new friends. Have you ever had a character you just could not stop thinking about, even after you had finished the book? I have, many times.

 6. They teach me. Reading not only allows me to expand my knowledge of different cultures and people, but also helps to expand my language and vocabulary.

 7. They entertain me. As long as I have a book, I will never be bored.

 8. They make me see things from different perspectives other than my own. I love books that are able to tell the same story from multiple perspectives. Each character sees the story unfold through a unique perspective, and they are each different from how I see the story.

9. They can make people wonder about your sanity. I admit it – I have been sitting and reading in public, at the doctor's office or at the DMV, and I started laughing out loud at something in a book. I do it at home all the time, but my family is used to my craziness :)

 10. Books change me. Each book I read leaves me with something new, so by the end of the book I am a different person. 

Why do you love to read? What do you get out of a good story?


Read It & Reap #116

Title:  Blood Moon

Author:  Amanda Turner

Series:  The Witchlings #2

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance

For the first time in her life Roxanne had it all. A permanent home, her mother back in her life and her gorgeous boyfriend Luke. Little did she know that was all going to change. She was about to lose everything she held dear.

With the witch finders looming ever closer, can Roxanne defeat the Blood moon curse? Can she prevent death, possession and the five angels of hell? Will she ever be accepted as a true Elite?

For Roxanne, only one thing is certain. Her life will never be the same again.

Add Blood Moon to your Goodreads shelf!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Think Out Loud #9

What is Think Out Loud?

Think Out Loud is a weekly meme created by Thinks Books to break out of the blogging bubble. Consider your Think Out Loud posts a time to do WHATEVER YOU WANT!

You can find more information and how to participate on your blog

So, here is my Think Out Loud for this week!
 Shut Up & Read was nominated by the amazing Think over at Thinks Books for the Liebser Blog Award. Basically what this means is someone thinks our blog is awesome!  To accept the award, I answer three questions about myself asked by the person who nominated my blog and in turn I nominate three more blogs and ask them to answer three questions. 
Think has an amazing post about the history of the Liebster Blog Award HERE
Check it out!

Here are the questions Think asked me to answer:

1. What is your favorite part of blogging?
I love doing author interviews.  I have had the chance to get to know some really great
authors and make some friends in the process.  I love asking personal questions as well as questions about their writing.  It makes it a little more fun and helps us as the reader get to know the person behind the pages a little better.

2. How much time do you spend on your blog per week between reading/reviewing/blogging and networking?
Actually on my blog I probably spend about two hours a week, most of that doing memes and networking with other blogs.  If I included reading and writing reviews into that, it would be more like 20+ hours!

 3. What are the 3 blogs you just HAVE to keep up with?
There are about 8 blogs I follow regularly, but here are three of them (besides Thinks Books, of course)-
3. Some of My Favorite Books

Bonus Question: If you were in danger, which fictional character would you want to come to your rescue?
Jerrico Barrons (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning).  Didn't even have to think about it.
Thanks so much Think for nominating Shut Up & Read for this award!!


Read It & Reap #115

Title:  Fix by Force

  Jason Warne

Genre:  YA Contemporary Fiction

Spencer doesn't have a choice.He can't choose to be different than what he is--the son of the town's worst enemy, the weakling who can't stand up for himself, the loser without friends.He can't change the way things are.Or maybe he can.Immediate confidence.Rapid change.Instant hope.These are the things Spencer believes he needs to fix his life, and that is what the steroids promise--a quick fix.But promises can be broken and shortcuts are often treacherous, and Spencer must decide if those risks are worth the perceived rewards--if "artificial" hope is strong enough for him to be fixed, by force.

Add Fix by Force to your shelf on Goodreads!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Read It & Reap #113

Title:  Marked for Vengeance

  S.J. Pierce

Series:  Alyx Rayer Chronicles #1

Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a fa├žade for a higher calling; she's a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors.

During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden.

While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces.

This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre.

May not be suitable for YA.

Add Marked for Vengeance to your shelf on Goodreads!

Read It & Reap #114

Author:  Derrolyn Anderson

Series:  The Athena Effect #1

Country girl Cali has been kept a secret her entire life, raised in isolation by two very troubled people. Despite her parent’s disturbing fits, Cal is perfectly content, living at one with the nature that surrounds her, and finding adventure inside the pages of her beloved books. When an awful tragedy tears her away from her remote cabin in the woods, nothing she’s ever read has prepared her for a world that she knows very little about.

Girls and motorcycles are what bad-boy Cal’s life is all about. Brought up in a raucous party house by his biker brother, he’s free to do as he pleases, going through the motions on his final days of high school. Aimless, Cal stopped thinking about his future a long time ago.

Attacked by a gang of thugs while running an errand for his brother, Cal is in serious trouble until a fierce girl appears out of nowhere to intervene. She chases off three grown men, sparing Cal a brutal beating before disappearing into the night like a spirit. He can’t stop thinking about his mysterious rescuer, and when she turns out to be the weird new girl at school who goes out of her way to avoid him, he can’t contain his curiosity.

He’s never met anyone like her before, and the more he learns about the unusual girl who shares his nickname, the more he wants to know. Cal can’t help falling for Cal, but can he keep her from falling victim to a dangerous enemy from her parent’s tragic past?

Add The Athena Effect to your shelf on Goodreads!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Cover Reveal! Fire Country by David Estes

Title: Fire Country (Country Saga #1)

Author: David Estes

Release Date: February 1st, 2013

Cover Artist: Regina Wamba

In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

Add Fire Country to your Goodreads shelf!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Q & A with Derrolyn Anderson

I am happy to welcome author Derrolyn Anderson to our blog today! 
Derrolyn's book, The Athena Effect, is up for review in Shut Up & Read this week!

Title: The Athena Effect

Derrolyn Anderson

Series: The Athena Effect #1

Genre: YA

Goodreads rating:

Publication: August 2012

Available from:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

Country girl Cali has been kept a secret her entire life, raised in isolation by two very troubled people. Despite her parent’s disturbing fits, Cal is perfectly content, living at one with the nature that surrounds her, and finding adventure inside the pages of her beloved books. When an awful tragedy tears her away from her remote cabin in the woods, nothing she’s ever read has prepared her for a world that she knows very little about.

Girls and motorcycles are what bad-boy Cal’s life is all about. Brought up in a raucous party house by his biker brother, he’s free to do as he pleases, going through the motions on his final days of high school. Aimless, Cal stopped thinking about his future a long time ago.

Attacked by a gang of thugs while running an errand for his brother, Cal is in serious trouble until a fierce girl appears out of nowhere to intervene. She chases off three grown men, sparing Cal a brutal beating before disappearing into the night like a spirit. He can’t stop thinking about his mysterious rescuer, and when she turns out to be the weird new girl at school who goes out of her way to avoid him, he can’t contain his curiosity.

He’s never met anyone like her before, and the more he learns about the unusual girl who shares his nickname, the more he wants to know. Cal can’t help falling for Cal, but can he keep her from falling victim to a dangerous enemy from her parent’s tragic past?

Add The Athena Effect to your Goodreads shelf!

Q & A with Derrolyn Anderson

Q.  Tell us a little bit about your main characters, Cali and Cal.
A.  I wrote Cali as a completely innocent but extremely bright girl, loaded with book smarts, but naive about people. She’s been raised totally off the grid, and is completely unprepared to be thrust into modern life. I love a fish-out-of-water story!

Bad boy Cal has been brought up by his biker brother. He’s going through the motions on his final days of high school, hopping from girl to girl and party to party, acting like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Cali literally sees right through him, and he’s completely unprepared to deal with his feelings when love finally comes to town. :)

Q.  Do you see any of yourself in your characters, or are they based on people in your life?
A. I wouldn’t say I based any characters entirely on people I’ve known, but I do take inspiration from my life experience. I’ve gone from a bookwormy kid to a rebellious high school dropout, from a model-slash-waitress to hipster art major. I’ve been a homeschooling mom of three, a painter and an entrepreneur. I’ve survived some pretty sketchy relationships, but was lucky enough to wind up married to my best friend. So yeah... I’ve crossed paths with lots of different types of people in my day, and they keep bubbling up from the subconscious whether I like it or not!

Q.  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A. My husband and I have had a home based business for over twenty years now. I slave away in my garage almost every day, manning a die cutter, bagging up catnip, and shipping orders to pet stores. It’s fairly mindless work, so I listen to music and daydream, jotting down ideas on little yellow pads. After UPS picks up the boxes, I come in for a coffee and write while my husband cooks dinner for the family (did I mention how awesome he was?). Our twin daughters just went away to college this past fall, so we’re down to only one high school sophomore and the house is way quieter! Maybe I’ll get more writing done now...

Q.  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A. Soak in the hot tub with said hubby drinking copious amounts of fine Sonoma county wine.

Q.  Do you have any hidden talents?
A. I’m very good at dealing with drunken businessmen. I bartended my way through college at an airport Radisson. Talk about characters! ;)

About the Author

Derrolyn Anderson is a visual artist and writer of fiction. The creator of the four part "Marina's Tales" series and the YA romance, "The Athena Effect", she's currently hard at work on her next book, "The Mackenzie Legacy".

Follow Derrolyn!


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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Crimson Darkness by Amos Cassidy

Crimson Darkness (Crimson, #2)Crimson Darkness by Amos Cassidy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been looking forward to Crimson Darkness ever since reading Crimson Midnight. The second book in the series is packed full of action, adventure, and danger. After London was plunged into darkness, everybody left is fighting to save themselves and the world as they knew it. All of our favorite characters are back, and there are some new players who I am very interested in reading more about. Rose is struggling with some decisions she has had to make and some new information she has to deal with about herself.

Crimson Darkness was much darker and more sinister than the first book. You can see the definitive shift from the old world to the new one and the toll the stress of fighting every moment for life has taken on the characters. Tension is high and everyone knows that likely disaster is imminent.

Once again the storyline was unpredictable and exciting. I love being surprised every step of the way. And, oh my God do the authors know how to write a cliffhanger! I will not be able to get my hands on the next book to find out what happens soon enough!!

View all my reviews

Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin

Sunset (Pact Arcanum, #1)Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Daywalkers, Nightwalkers, and Sentinels. They are out there.

This was a great book. It was fast paced and well written. The world building was amazingly complex and detailed. The author was able to put his thoughts and ideas into words in such a way that helped to create this stunning portrait for his readers.

The inner structure of the different races was incredibly intricate. It was a bit confusing at times trying to understand the hierarchy within each group and the alliances and rivalries between the vampire species, but it was well thought out and written well.

The characters were great. Nick, the protagonist, was easily likable. All of the characters were complex with deep backgrounds and painful pasts, though I found emotional attachments to the characters difficult, which is one of the only things I found lacking in the book. When I am reading I want to be able to feel for the characters, and it just did not happen here. There were also times throughout the story where it seemed to jump time without warning, and that a bit confusing as well.

Overall, this was an entertaining story.

Interview with author Arshad Ahsanuddin:
Making Connections Blog

View all my reviews

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was told going into this one (my many people) to have the Kleenex handy. I did, and I needed them. I wonder if anyone has thought to tell authors it is hard to read their books with tears in your eyes.

I loved this story so much. It was not your usual high school drama boy meets girl love story – it was so much more. The characters are hard not to fall in love with. Echo's life was seemingly perfect once. Now all she wants is to be "normal." It was heartbreaking watching her go through her days trying not to be noticed, trying to hide herself, and doing things she did not want to do just so she could maybe feel normal again, if only for a little while. I really enjoyed Echo's transformation throughout the story. You can actually see her grow emotionally with each turn of the page.

Noah is a girl-using stoner boy and jacket-loaning savior. But, there is so much more to Noah than what you see on the outside. He has the tough bad-boy image going on, but inside he is so full of love and strength. He is not afraid to fight for what he believes in. I thought Echo's and Noah's relationship was done well. The author took them on a journey of ups and downs, joy, fear, pain, and self-discovery before she finally brought them together. Because of the things they had to go through, it made the end result that much sweeter. Katie McGarry is definitely a new favorite author of mine. I cannot wait for Beth's story to find out more about her and see where her life goes.

View all my reviews

At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost

At Grave's End (Night Huntress, #3)At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another installment in the Cat and Bones saga. Not my favorite thus far, but very good nonetheless.

My favorite things about this book:
- Bones, of course. Still incredibly hot and sexy, and now even more powerful than before.
- Cat. I like her attitude overall. She's not a wishy-washy female lead. She sees what needs to be done and does it. She does not let emotions interfere with her actions.
-Cat's mom (Justina). This book shows a whole new side of her. I was laughing so hard reading the sections about her. Rodney deserves a medal!

I wish:
- We would have gotten more of Dave's transition to ghoul. This book picked up about four months after the last book, so we missed the newness of him. I would have really liked to see what it was like for him and the struggles involved with that. I'm sure it cannot be easy waking from the dead!
- We would have gotten more of Patra. There was so much potential for a whole background story on her and Menechres, and I feel that it was all just pushed to the side and let die. I would have loved to know more about the magic used and the daughter of Cleopatra.

View all my reviews

The Surrogate by Leonard Foglia

The Surrogate, the Sudarium Trilogy - Book OneThe Surrogate, the Sudarium Trilogy - Book One by Leonard Foglia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not exactly sure what I was expecting when I started this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. The authors' use of simple language rather than flashy prose helped make Hannah more believable. She was a simple girl from a small town, maybe a tab bit too naive. She had dreams of doing something important and meaningful with her life but had to get out of the rut she was stuck in. Answering an ad in the local newspaper seemed to be the answer to all of her problems.

The world as Hannah knows it is perfect and sweet. She is innocent and trusting. The story as reality knows it is dark and dangerous. People lie, steal, and cheat, and sometimes they do worse.

A few chapters in I was worried that this book was going to drag too slow. While it is true there was not a lot of action until close to the end, the time seemed to speed by quickly. I enjoyed the side story of Jimmy and really liked how his character came out in the end. The authors did a wonderful job of weaving fact into fiction and combining religion into this story without it stealing the show.

View all my reviews

Mr. Bear by Midu Hadi

Mr. BearMr. Bear by Midu Hadi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mr. Bear is an enjoyable short story with alluring characters and an entertaining and effortless story line.
I like the bear shifter – different from the usual.

View all my reviews

Forbidden Fantasies by Jodie Griffin

Forbidden Fantasies (Bondage & Breakfast #1)Forbidden Fantasies by Jodie Griffin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story was sexy and sweet. Married for fifteen years, Jessica and Alex are comfortable with their lives, but it is not terribly exciting. Jessica wants to bring some spice into their relationship like the types of things she reads about in her romance novels. She has reservations bringing these things up to her husband, afraid of what he will think of her ideas. I like that the author chose to write about a married couple with a long history. This was not some fly by night romance. The couple has an almost perfect life; all it is missing is some excitement. The author did a good job getting both Jessica's and Alex's emotions into the story as they began to communicate inside the bedroom and began to really learn what the other wanted and needed.

View all my reviews

Friday, 11 January 2013

Cover Reveal! Eden-South by Janelle Stalder

Title:  Eden-South

Author:  Janelle Stalder

Series:  Eden #3

Release Date:  March 2013

The betrayal that tore a family apart. Two brothers bent on destroying the other. A whole world on the brink of war.

Aiden has been through his second battle in the magical world of Eden. The victory is short lived and Aiden is sent racing toward his friends in the Capital. After being back in Eden with the Riders, he is eager to reunite with Wolf, Elisa and Logan, although he doesn’t realize just what he’s returning to. Surprises await him when he arrives in the Capital; his close-knit group of friends is slowly falling apart. On top of it all, another battle is just around the corner, one that will change everything.

Rain has made her choice, and now she is in some unknown fortress with the feared sorcerer, Aziz. She wants nothing more but to please him, but being his Queen isn’t as easy as she thought. While trying to learn sorcery, and dealing with Aziz’s advances, Rain is finding her new life a bit overwhelming. Just when she thought it couldn’t get worse, she discovers a secret of Aziz’s, and it is nothing she could have expected.

Rose has supported Callum throughout their journey, but now that the final battle is just around the corner she is faced with a hard reality. Everything she has gained with him could be taken away. Is she willing to live the rest of her life without him? Can she just stand by while he destroys everything, including himself? Will he ever be able to find peace? Will she?

In the third installment of the Eden Series fates will be decided, and the battle between brothers that has been a decade in the making will finally come to an end. Only one of them can be High King.

The battle starts now.

Add Eden-South to your Goodreads shelf! 

If you haven't read Eden (#1) or Eden-West (#2) yet, get them here!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Read It & Reap #112

Author: Janiera Eldridge

Series: Soul Sisters #2

 With Ani taking her place as queen, there are some enemies lurking she could never imagine! There's a secret compound in California that wants to know the secrets to making a vampire or werewolf.

When they kidnap Ani during a trip back to California they might actually get what they want. Her sister Dana, her lover Diego and other vampires do everything they can to get her back. If they don't succeed,they face being controlled completely by the human race forever!

Dark Expectations is the exciting sequel to Soul Sisters that's full of adventure, danger and what it means to be queen!

Add Dark Expectations to your shelf on Goodreads!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Read It & Reap #111

Author:  Brandy Nacole

Genre:  Paranormal/Fantasy

Being unique isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

After searching all over the world for someone as unique as she is, Racquel finds herself back in her home town where she’s treated like a monster ready to kill. Racquel is one of the most unique beings ever created. Four of the most powerful beings in the Shadow World are intertwined within her, making up her unique DNA. But no matter how unique her bloodline is, she’s considered an outcast by the entire Shadow World.

Once arriving home, Racquel finds that greater evils exist and that the person she cares for most in this world, her half-sister Addie, has been kidnapped along with other Shadow World beings. Racquel finds herself facing horrible odds with those who would rather see her dead than alive.

As her journey continues, Racquel learns more about herself, what she is capable of, and that not every being looks at her as an abomination. Coy, a human captive that Racquel saves from the Vampires, starts showing kindness toward her. Racquel tries putting distance between her and the human boy but as they spend more time together it becomes harder and harder for Racquel to fight the affection she wants and needs.

But will Coy’s friendship and her new found discoveries be enough to help Racquel unravel the strangest mystery that has ever plagued the Shadow World?

Add Uniquely Unwelcome to your Goodreads shelf!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Art of Domination by Ella Dominguez

The Art of Domination (The Art of D/s #2)The Art of Domination by Ella Dominguez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again I find myself conflicted here. I had originally given this 3 stars but after writing my review moved it up to 4. The story is fun and steamy, a continuation starting five months after the first. In the interim, Isa and Dylan have been getting to know each other and building their relationship. I loved the chemistry between them. Plus there was quite a bit of action (ha ha, besides just the hot sex) and suspense. I enjoyed having the different points of views, much better done in this book than the first. The technical issues with the first book (quotations, dialogue) were fixed in this one, as well, so that is a definite plus. This book delved much deeper into the world of BDSM as well.

My biggest issue with this book was Dylan himself. I absolutely loved Dylan in book 1. He was not perfect by any means, he made mistakes, but he was a great guy. In this book, he is too domineering, too controlling. He wants to control Isa 24/7, not allowing her a say in anything…which, if they were in a typical D/s relationship would not be such a big deal and actually I could have respected that. However, they are now married; she is his wife, not just his sub, and although he obviously cared for her, he had absolutely no respect for her. At times I even thought his behavior as borderline abusive rather than hot and sexy like it was supposed to be. Isa herself was a bit too wishy-washy, although she had that issue in the first book as well. She would start to stand up for herself but then back down with the promise of great sex (and it was great!). At times it almost seemed that she did not feel safe and was afraid of what her Dom was going to do. I would love to have seen her stick to one of her decisions…to make Dylan realize that her feelings are important too.

I did like that we got to see more into Dylan's past. Overall, I enjoyed the story and look forward to more.

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Starkiller by Eric Edstrom

Starkiller (The Undermountain Saga, #3)Starkiller by Eric Edstrom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great end to a great series. Not to be outdone by the first two Undermountain books, Starkiller is full of action, adventure, mystery, and suspense from the very first chapter to the very last. While some of the bigfeet are planning on revealing themselves to the people of earth, it is up to our heroes and heroines to save the earth from certain destruction at the hands of the tangoga.

Not only do Danny and his friends have to stop the end of the world, they have many conflicts along the way, including Breyona's struggle with her new abilities, the loss of loved ones, and, though it would not seem like a conflict, the Oath. "How does peace prevail," Shiv asked, "if those who are peaceful are all dead?"

As an overview of the whole series, the books are wonderfully written with incredible attention to detail. The world Eric Edstrom created is positively unique and surprisingly complex. Throw in some very likeable characters, some humor, and a lot of adventure, and you have an amazing story.

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Friday, 4 January 2013

11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/6311/22/63 by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?

As usual, Stephen King has rocked my world. His ability to weave a tale and get into the minds and lives of his characters is second to none. When I first opened this book (or as it was, turned on my iPod), I was expecting a story about traveling back to stop an assassination. While that did happen, it turns out it was not the main story. True to King fashion, he took us on an incredible journey to get to the heart of the matter. There were many side stories, which turned out to all tie into the big story. It was an incredibly complex journey, but as a reader it was easy to follow along and enjoy the ride.

Jake, the main character and narrator of the story, is an easily likable English teacher with a simple life who is drawn by chance into this crazy world of time travel. Back in "the land of ago," he becomes George, another likable character but by circumstance has to be more hardhearted and indifferent to goings on than Jake.

I really love how King intertwines his stories. If you have not read some of his other books you would not get the references, but you would not be feeling like you were missing anything; you would just think it another side story. But, they are there for us who know King. It is like being on the right side of an inside joke.

I listened to the audio of 11/22/63. The narrator, Craig Wasson, did an excellent job of creating his characters and fleshing each of them out. Though not a terribly emotion-ridden book, he was able to add it in through his voice where needed. I would love to listen to more of his work.

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One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2)One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been hearing about Cat and Bones from practically everyone for practically forever. So when I finally decided to pick up the first book and read it…whoa! I realize now what everyone is talking about!

The second book in the Night Huntress series was just as action packed, fun filled, and hot and steamy as the first. I was a bit worried at first having Cat without Bones, but I figured he would not be able to stay away for long – although four years! What was he thinking? That was definitely long enough. I love that Cat is kickass and does not take crap from anyone. She sees what needs to be done and goes for it. She does not question herself or second guess her decisions. Many times you have heroines hemming and hawing over their decisions for chapter after chapter – boring! Cat is a go-get-em type of girl. I love how Bones just takes charge of everything. He walks into a room and commands it. The tension and chemistry between her and Bones is awesome and adds that little (or a lot) extra oomph to the story. Interesting ending to this one. I am getting ready to start the next in the series to see what happens!

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Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Any book that makes me laugh this much deserves at least four stars, in my opinion. Add in a great story, exciting plot, super sexy vampire, kick-ass female lead, and excellent storytelling and you have Halfway to the Grave.

The story being told through the Night Huntress series is unique – you often get vampire/vampire, human/vampire, werewolf/vampire, or any other combination therein, but never before have I read half human-half vampire/vampire. I love it! Cat is such a great lead. She is very innocent and naive, yet she goes out every night hunting vampires to try to pay for a sin that was not hers. Bones is just….wow. I love the chemistry between them and their banter.

I actually read Once Burned before this series, and fell in love with Frost's writing then. I knew without a doubt I was going to be reading this series as well. I just wish I would have started sooner!

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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Edge of Disaster by A.M. Hargrove

Edge of DisasterEdge of Disaster by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have a new boyfriend. His name is Pearce. Don't tell my other boyfriends – they get jealous.

So…what I love about this book (besides that cover!)-
I love Alexia. Though a bit too immature for her age at times, she was a fun character. She's been through some tough times and let them get her down, but ultimately, with the help of a great friend and great guy (my boyfriend) is able to begin to pick herself back up and get her act together again.

I love Pearce. Yummy, sexy, rich, sweet, romantic…oh my God, why even go on? He's perfect. He is able to see something good in Alexia and goes after it despite the fact that they come from completely different worlds. He holds onto her when she tries to let go. I love him.

I love that although Alexia and Pearce are attracted to each other instantly, their relationship is slow going. Pearce is a little crazy for Alexia, but she needed some time to sort her life out before she can for forward with it, and he was willing to give that to her.

I think what I love most about this book, though, is how it shows how diverse A.M. Hargrove is. She has a young adult series with a spinoff adult series. Both of these are in the fantasy/sci-fi genre, and now she throws this one out, which is contemporary adult, completely different, and is just as good as her previous books. I think sometimes it is hard for an author to break the genre barriers successfully, but she has done it.'s what I didn't like-
Alexia and Pearce together…he is supposed to be mine!

This story is sexy and sweet. I knew where it was heading long before the end, but knowing the outcome did not ruin the journey; instead, it made it more delightful to be reading on to see which path the author would take us on to get there. As they say, the journey is half the fun.

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Half Black Soul by H.D. Gordon

Half Black Soul (The Alexa Montgomery Saga, #2)Half Black Soul by H.D. Gordon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second book in the Alexa Montgomery series picks up right where the first one left off. In this book we get to see Alexa grow into her role as a Sun Warrior. It is a difficult struggle for her, though, to embrace her destiny and accept what she sees as a monster inside of her. We also got to see her grow as a person as she searches out her feelings for Kayden.

I loved that we got Nelly's POV in this book. She is a great character and you can see, though she did not play a big role in book one, she is quickly becoming crucial to the plot of the story. I liked the fact that we got to know her a little bit better and were able to invest ourselves in her more.

The world the author created for this book was wonderful. She has a way of painting a picture with her words that flow right off the page. This series is fast becoming a favorite for me.

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Redemption by H.D. Gordon

Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga, #4)Redemption by H.D. Gordon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing this review is bittersweet. I absolutely fell in love with this series and the characters therein, but it came to a necessary end. You have to love a book that can punch you in the gut in the last chapter. It was not at all what I was expecting, but then, why read a book if you know exactly what's coming?

As I have said in all my reviews for this series, I love H.D. Gordon's writing. She has a way with words and is able to take this complex storyline with so much going on and make it smooth and beautiful. She has quite an imagination and brings it out well with her words.

It was difficult to watch Alexa go through this book. She was so very young and innocent in so many ways, yet had the weight of the world on her shoulders. Everyone looked to her to fix their problems, knowing what the outcome would be, while she struggled with her own inner turmoil. I loved Kayden all the more for being her rock and sticking with her even though he knew the most probable outcome.

The story overall is rather dark. It tells a tale of life and love and loss and asks the question, how much are you willing to sacrifice? For some, the answer is everything.

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Under His Command by Kristine Cayne

Under His CommandUnder His Command by Kristine Cayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love how Kristine Cayne is able to make her characters come to life on her pages. She is able to create such depth and emotion in them that you feel invested in their story and cannot help but hope for a HEA for them.

Jamie and Erica have been separated for a while and are trying to fix their failing marriage. Jamie is a firefighter, a dom, and is used to taking charge in every way. Erica is fighting her past and is scared of what it would mean to give up control. Ultimately, both Jamie and Erica have made mistakes in their marriage and now they have the challenge of correcting those mistakes if they want to stay together. It will not be an easy road for them, but if their Hawaii honeymoon is any indication, they are definitely off to a good start! Through the story we get to watch them grow both as individuals and as a couple. Jamie learns that he cannot be a good husband when he is pretending to be something he is not, and Erica learns that giving up control can be a good thing…sometimes a very good thing.

I have been waiting for this book for a while, and it did not disappoint. The story was sweet and incredibly sexy, a great start to a new series.

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Masters at Arms by Kallypso Masters

Masters at Arms (Rescue Me, #1)Masters at Arms by Kallypso Masters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that after all of the great reviews for this book, I was a bit disappointed with the stories.
The good-
These short stories were a good setup for the longer novels to come. In them, we got to meet the main characters and get a good look into their personalities. This will be important later when getting into the main books. These stories show how the characters' lives all come together for the next step in life.
The bad-
I felt as if there were too many inconsistencies in these stories. The characterization was not uniform even from the beginning of one short story to the end, and definitely not from story to story. Then there were so many moments where I stopped to say, that didn't really just happen! (I call these WTF moments). There were just too many of them to make the stories believable at all.

Ultimately, I think I am leaning towards reading at least the first full length book in the series just to see where the author takes the story and what she can do outside of a short story. Hopefully with more room to work she is able to fix the character flaws and inconsistencies in the story.

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Book Beginnings: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by  Rose City Reader .  Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along wi...