Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review of Into the Deep, by Lauryn April



Title: Into the Deep
Author: Lauryn April
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: August 10, 2012
Source: Giveaway Win!
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble

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Ivy Daniels is a high school junior still learning who she is. After an accident, Ivy finds herself with an ability she doesn’t want, an ability to uncover secrets which quickly begins to redefine what she thinks about the people around her as well as herself. Because of this ability, Ivy becomes the one thing that stands between an angry teen and the death of every student on campus. The only problem is she doesn’t know who wants everyone dead. Will she figure out who has this dark secret, or will she fail to find him in time?

Through her search to do the right thing, Ivy discovers that knowing the thoughts and secrets of those around her may just tear her apart.


A late night break-in to the pool with a group of friends.  To swim, frolic, flirt and maybe drink a couple of beers.

Nothing could go wrong, right?


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Blitz & A Recipe! - Shine Not Burn, by Elle Casey



I love food almost as much as I love books, so when Author Elle Casey shared her favorite recipe, how could I possibly resist sharing it with you guys!! So check out her novel and her favourite recipe below.


Title: Shine Not Burn
Author: Elle Casey
Release Date: June 30, 2013

Genre: NA Romance

Purchase: Amazon *  
* Special pre-order price of $.99!!!! 

Add to Goodreads
IT HAPPENED IN VEGAS. I can't be held responsible. Things that happen there are supposed to stay there, right? Right? Yeeeah. Not so much. ... Andie's just days away from tying the knot, but there's just ooooone little glitch. Apparently, she's already married. Or someone with her name is married to a guy out in Oregon of all places, and the courthouse won't issue her a marriage license until it's all cleared up. Tripping her way through cow pies and country songs to meet up with a man who gets around places on horseback is her very last idea of how to have a good time, but if she's going to get married, make partner at the firm, and have two point five kids before she's thirty-five, she needs to get to the bottom of this snafu and fix it quick ... before her fiance finds out and everything she's been working toward goes up in flames.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Shadowed Soul, by John M. Spagnoli

Shadowed Soul
Paperback, 280 Pages
Published February 9th 2013 by CreateSpace
Shadowed Soul by John M. Spagnoli is a novel about bi-polar Thomas Milton, as he struggles to rebuild his life with the aid of his blind wife’s seeing-eye dog, Bailey.  The compelling drama follows Thomas and his wife, Beth, as they embrace the birth of their firstborn through the holiday season in New York City. Fears and anxieties that plague Thomas are personified in the form of the Shadowed Soul a demonic specter who stalks the protagonist’s every move.  As his manic-depression escalates, his expectation for more problems is answered in abundance.  His life goes from great to bad to worse.  With the unconditional love of watchful Bailey, Thomas grapples with seemingly insurmountable challenges as he chooses to rebuild his shattered life

I received this book from the publishing company for an honest review.

When I read the synopsis to this book I thought 'this is a must read'!  Right up my alley.  I thought I would love it.  Did I?  Nope.  Was it a waste of time? Absolutely not!  I liked it!  It just wasn't as good as I thought it would be.  In all honestly when I was reading this book I was rating it at a 2 star...until something clicked...and the light turned on....


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer is finally here!






FINALLY!! We waive goodbye to the harsh Canadian winter, and I wish it good riddance!

I just LOVE the warm air, fishing trips, beach picnics...

And finding new outdoor reading spots!

I lived in my current neighborhood for an entire year before finding this gorgeous ravine path that was kind of hidden in the maze of streets surrounding mine. Once I found it, I couldn't resist walking through it almost every day after work with my Kindle in hand.



And of course one of my favorite reading spots, with a conveniently placed bench:


This year I explored the nearby beach a little more, thanks to the hubby who has re-discovered a passion for fishing and dragged me out a couple of afternoons while he practiced his casting on a new reel.  So I have another gorgeous spot to bring my Kindle to, on a warm sunny day. 

 And I didn't wait a single second. The first warm day, I was sitting on the sand, relaxing with a good book.

My 2013 Reading Spot. Nothing like the beach.

What is your favorite reading spot?




Saturday, June 22, 2013

Author Spotlight & Giveaway! - Sarri Morin, Author of Darkness Embraced





It has been a really long while since we have brought an author on for an interview, which we hope to remedy for the later part of the year. I have just been reading like a mad woman to keep up with my wish list and keeping up with reviews.

This is a special interview for me though, as this author is a friend and co-worker. She has been working on her first novel of this series for years, and I had the honor of being one of her first beta readers.  Paranormal romance is one of my preferred genres, and I was very happy to read it.  It's always tough to critique a friend, but Sarri was hungry for feedback. After years of edits and re-writes, she finally took a leap of faith and self-published. I, for one, am excited to read the finished product.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Release Review - Dare You To, by Katie McGarry



Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Netgalley/Publisher
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

Add to Goodreads
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."


If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring hers
elf to want it all....




"Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile" - Ryan, 'Dare You To'


 There is a storm brewing in Beth Risk. A storm she doesn't let just anyone see.

A darkness that consumes her every day. Every time she gets the call to take her mother home from the bar.  That grows with every regret her mother drunkenly utters in her ear as Beth holds her up.  In every bruise her mother suffers at the hands of her boyfriend. At every powerless, hopeless moment when Beth knows she can't do any more than what she has already done.  That expands with every wall she builds around her heart.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway - Never Too Far, by Thomas Christopher



Title: Never Too Far
Author: Thomas Christopher
Publisher: Kalmaha Press

Release Date: May 10, 2012
A harrowing story of love and survival.

In a future of scarce resources, where the possession of gas and diesel is punishable by death, a teenage boy and a pregnant girl must save their impoverished family. They risk their lives on a terrifying journey to sell stolen fuel on the black market.
 Excerpt

Joe turned and ran back into the gully, but he didn’t get very far. A sudden blast of wind shoved him to the ground. Flat on his face, he heard the wind whistling and screeching past his ears. When he lifted his head, he couldn’t see the pregnant girl anymore. All the dust whirled and whipped into a blinding black blizzard. He thought for sure she’d gotten snatched up in the dust storm. The wind lashed at his face. He went to call out to her, but he didn’t know what to say because he didn’t know her name. And even if he did, his voice would’ve gotten lost in the snarling wind. Nevertheless, he had to find her.

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



AUTHOR BIO
Thomas Christopher grew up in Iowa. He received his MFA from Western Michigan University. His short stories have appeared in The Louisville Review, The MacGuffin, Redivider, and Cooweescoowee. He was also awarded an Irving S. Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant and was a finalist for the Matthew Clark Prize in Fiction. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and son.

LINKS:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review of The Talisman of El, by Alecia Stone



Title: The Talisman of El
Author: Alecia Stone
Publisher: Centrinian Publishing Ltd.
Release Date: May 20, 2012
Source: Publisher/Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

Add to Goodreads
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human ... 7 billion.

Others ... unknown.

When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He's afraid to tell any one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.

Charlie doesn't know why this is happening. He would give any thing to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home. He belongs with the others.



Maybe I wasn't in the mood for an adventure quest.  But this book didn't really keep my attention.  I found myself skimming a lot of the story and focusing only on the action parts, or just some of the dialogue. Kind of like what I do when I watch my soap opera - fast forward all the parts I don't care for, and watch only the dramatic storylines that are unfolding that I care to know about.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ittie Bitties! - Short Story Reviews







Title: The Vampire Hunter's Daughter
Author: Jennifer Malone Wright
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: August 10, 2011
Source: Amazon
Purchase: Amazon*
* was showing free on June 2, 2013

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Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters. Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community.

When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets.

Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder.

With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined to follow through on her vow when she discovers the true identity of her enemy and how he is connected to her.

The Vampire Hunter's Daughter is the first in a series of short stories by Jennifer Malone Wright.



This short story was available for free on Amazon, and since I am a vampire story fan, I downloaded this onto my Kindle. I finally took a stab at it during a cottage weekend as I was looking for a short story to read.

This one is pretty short (about 20 pages), and though it was interesting, it read like the first few chapters of a novel, as opposed to a stand alone short story.  Which I am not really sure I like or not. But regardless of my mixed feelings on how this read, the plot was interesting enough for me to finish it. 

That being said, I also felt like the plot was a bit rushed, with little character development. I didn't find myself very invested in Chloe as a character, nor am I particularly interested enough to continue the series of short stories that make up this series. Though I have read enough short stories to know how difficult it is to grab a hold of a reader with such limited page time, I have also read some that really blew me away.  This was not one of the stories that blew me away, but there was enough action to keep me going to the end.

Since it may still be free, I would encourage readers to check it out. You don't lose anything but a little bit of time, if you enjoy this genre. At least you can determine for yourself if you are curious enough to continue.




Saturday, June 15, 2013

New Release Review - Aire, by Lena Goldfinch



Title: Aire
Author: Lena Goldfinch
Publisher:
Indigo Road
Release Date: 
May  13th 2013
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

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A tale of Legends reborn, royal intrigue, and an unforgettable, heart-melting romance that will sweep you away.

Annalisia is a seer, a princess with a courageous spirit—and a soft spot for Legends.

Jovanni is a Legend, a commoner with no patience for pampered royals.

Principessa Annalisia is stunned and conscience-stricken when an unknown enemy mistakenly abducts her maidservant. Determined to find the girl, Annalisia disguises herself as plain Anna and slips away from the palace. She tracks down Jovanni, her maidservant's daring older brother, and they soon begin to search together. As they uncover clues, Anna also discovers a kindred spirit in Jovanni. But would he be so free with her if he knew who she really was? Doubtful. Even so, she reveals her secret gift of visions to him, and in so doing disobeys the orders of her beloved grandmother, the queen.

With Jovanni, Anna can almost imagine she’s like any other seventeen year old girl, free to pursue the longings of her heart. When she learns that he also has a secret—he's a sentinel, an ancient shapeshifter who can take the form of a falcon—it seems as if they were destined to be together, as in the legends of il Sentiro. Though Anna is tempted to wish otherwise, she can’t forget that she’s a princess and it's her duty to marry another. Meanwhile, their hunt leads Anna ever closer to danger, for she herself is being hunted.

A princess and a commoner.

They never should have fallen in love...but they did.

AIRE is a lush, romantic fantasy, inspired by ancient Italy and Turkey.

Annalisia is a prisoner to the crown.  As a royal princess, choices have been made for her since birth.  Regardless of how special she is, she is an asset to the crown whether she likes it or not, and her place is to strengthen the power the throne her family sits on, holds.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Congratulations to the Kiddie Korner Giveaway Winners!


Thank you to all of the people who entered our Kiddie Korner Giveaway!

WE HAVE OUR WINNERS!!!!!


Congratulations to:

Luz Alliati
 Winner of the Tiny Bookluvrs Book

and 

Ratri Anugrah Sari
 Winner of the Young Bookluvrs Book


Be sure to check your e-mail.  A response within 48 hours is required or a new winner will be picked!









Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review of When the Bough Breaks: Rockabye Baby, by Oscar Patton




Title: When the Bough Breaks: Rockabye Baby
Author: Oscar Patton
Publisher:
Outskirts Press
Release Date:
April 11th, 2012
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
Love, hate, ambition, greed, lasciviousness-- human nature is laid bare in this story about the fall of the grandest house in Hebron, Georgia. Following the sudden death on the same night of her infant son and her rich and powerful husband, Ada McCallum, too young and too beautiful, must assume control of a vast empire and make her way in a world of men at war, at home and abroad. Strong willed Ada, a twentieth-century Scarlett O'Hara, succeeds in business and in love, but her behavior can be reckless and her choices unwise. Local newspaper editor and McCallum family friend Carl Goodman narrates Ada's life and reveals dark secrets. He also chronicles race relations, ghost sightings, and happenings in and around Sailla County.


I was in the mood for some intrigue. Some mystery and interesting characters. And I got it all in 'When the Bough Breaks' by Oscar Patton.

This book starts with a riveting first chapter, immediately putting you in the McCallum household. Hiram McCallum is dead. Baby McCallum is dead. Ada McCallum is in apparent shock over her immense loss.  She mechanically begins to wash both the bodies of her infant son and husband, once both the town's doctor and Reverend had left the home, somber faced.

And so begins Ada's story as told by the family's closest friend.  But this is not a story just about Ada. This is also a story of many of the town's residents.
 
Though the pace of this novel is quite mellow, it is full of tension and holds your attention from the very first page.  Though a small town, it is full of intrigue and drama. There is even a couple of ghosts in the McCallum mansion, that add a gothic and sinister feel to this story.  There is a cloud of dread and doom over the people of Satilla County. The awful events of one fateful day, set in motion feelings of paranoia in some of the folks in this township. Soon, persecution and corruption make an appearance. Even the innocent and good can not escape, especially if your skin is of a darker color.

An intriguing tale full of interesting characters, politics and intrigue.  A mellow paced type of story that kept me riveted and curious from its very first page.


About the Author: Oscar Patton is a graduate of Berry College, the University of Tennessee, and Florida State University. A retired college professor of literature and composition, he now spends his days at his writing place on the family farm near Ambrose, Georgia. He has written and is revising for publication two more novels for a Satilla County trilogy.
We are happy to pass on our copy of this novel to an interested reader. All you have to do is enter below to win.

Giveaway!
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  • International Giveaway
  • Winner will be chosen on June 20 2013. Winner will be announced on this page, and will be notified via email. You have 72 hours to respond with your mailing address, or another winner will be chosen. 
  • Prize will be shipped during the week of June 20, 2013 by regular post. We are not responsible for lost/damaged mail.
  • To help protect your privacy, please enter your email in the Rafflecopter entry and not the comments section if applicable.
  • Entries are verified. We reserve the right to disqualify any false or multiple entries. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Eversea, by Natasha Boyd


Welcome to our Book Blitz post of Eversea, by Natasha Boyd. Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing us to take part. It is always exciting to find new, intriguing reads, and Eversea is no exception. Don't believe us? Check out the teaser quotes below, and tell me your heart didn't pitter patter a little. Also, there is an exciting tour wide giveaway happening that you DON'T want to miss. You can enter to win at the end of the post.


Title: Eversea
Author: Natasha Boyd
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2013

Synopsis:
• An orphaned small-town southern girl, burdened by responsibility and stuck in time.
• A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose.
• A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both forever.

When his co-star and real-life girlfriend is caught cheating on him with her married and much older director, A-list hottie, Jack Eversea, finds himself in sleepy Butler Cove, South Carolina. Jack hopes the sultry southern heat in this tiny coastal Lowcountry town will hide him not only from the tabloids and his cheating girlfriend, but his increasingly vapid life and the people who run it.  He doesn’t count on meeting Keri Ann Butler.

Keri Ann has relied on herself so long, dealing with her family’s death and the responsibilities of keeping up her family’s historic mansion, that boys and certainly the meager offering of eligible boys in Butler Cove, have never figured into her equation.  But fate has other plans.  Suddenly face to face with the man who played the movie role of her favorite fictional character, Jack has Keri Ann yearning for everything she has previously avoided ... and Jack must decide whether this funny, sassy girl is worth changing his life for, before his mistakes catch up to him.

Eversea is a FINALIST in the Winter Rose Unpublished Contest for 2013.


Teaser Quote
 
“Jack wasn’t just a boy. He was a dazzling, heart-stopping, aura of a man who in just five days had me feeling like I was perched on the edge of a precipice, and seriously contemplating throwing myself over the edge. The idea was terrifying in its finality and in its inevitability.” 
 



 Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AUTHOR BIO
Natasha Boyd is a writer with a background in marketing and public relations. She lives in the coastal Carolina Lowcountry, complete with Spanish moss, alligators and mosquitoes the size of tiny birds.  She has a husband, two sons and a cat named Tuna.  Eversea is her first full-length novel. 

Author Links:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review of Walking Disaster, by Jamie McGuire




Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)
Title: Walking Disaster
Series: Beautiful #2
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Source: Netgalley/Publisher
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

Add to Goodreads

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster.

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.




Beautiful Disaster, the first novel in this series, took me completely by surprise. 

Though I normally don't, I did check out the reviews for the first novel. There was certainly a lot of passion in those readers that didn't like it and those that loved it. The negative reviews made me very curious to read it, and the positive, anxious to get started. And I ended up really liking it.  Not because I am attracted to dysfunctional bad boys that fly off the handle, or 'bag' every chick that walks by and smiles, but because Travis Maddox fascinated me.  I wanted to know what made him tick. What made him angry. What made him so desperate for Abby's love and acceptance.

When I realized that Walking Disaster was told from Travis' perspective, I was excited to get into Travis' head.

You would think that the same story, even retold from a different POV would be boring. But Walking Disaster was far from that.  Seeing it unfold through Travis' eyes was fascinating.  This broken boy grew into a broken man; angry at the unfairness of losing his mother at an early age.  His assholish ways were really due to his fear of being abandoned by another woman that he loves.  

Once he fell for Abby, he couldn't help but mess things up over and over again. His desperation was sadly evident every time that he got destructive, threw a tantrum, got dramatically depressed and emotional. His cousin sure had a lot to deal with, and it's amazing that he stood by Travis through and through.


Travis just didn't know how to deal.

But he does grow in this story, I think.  He does understand what love means.  And though it goes against his own nature, he does eventually puts his needs last in the end for the woman that he loves, and forces himself to wait for Abby to be the one to decide what will happen next.  Even if it means he will  no longer be in the picture.  Even if it means he will lose her forever. 

There have been a few memorable male characters that have stayed with me for years.  Book boy crushes if you will.  Travis is not one of those 'crushes' but he will stay with me.  He was a flawed guy that made mistakes.  A guy that was lucky enough to meet a girl that saw through those flaws and found him worth loving. And through her eyes, and those of his family, he finally realized his own worth too.



About the Author:

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She was raised by her mother Brenda in Blackwell, OK, where she graduated high school in 1997. Jamie attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie now lives in Enid, OK with her three children and husband Jeff, who is a real, live cowboy. They share their 30 acres with four horses, four dogs, and Rooster the cat.

Books published by Jamie include the Providence trilogy, and The New York Times best seller Beautiful Disaster, a contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, Jamie spends her days letting her four dogs in and out.

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