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Recent Reviews...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Amaranth by Rachael Wade




Genre: New Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: July 27, 2011
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press

The Blurb:
Hoodoo-influenced Southern Louisiana seems like the perfect place for Camille to escape her abusive past and dysfunctional family. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with the handsome Gavin Devereaux and plummet into the world of Amaranth, a place of exile for reformed vampires.

Wrestling to escape a deadly ex-boyfriend while giving Gavin a chance, Camille is confronted with decisions that threaten not only her life, but the lives of her inhuman friends she has come to love. Entangled in her friends’ quest for freedom, she dives into their realm and faces the threats of Amaranth’s ruler—the mother of all vampires—and her own inner demons.

Now Camille must decide whether she will derail her life and make the ultimate sacrifice for the monsters that interrupted her bumpy path back to sanity—what she still wants so desperately—or escape with Gavin before it’s too late for both of them.

My Review:
Amaranth is the first book in The Resistance Trilogy by Rachael Wade. In the beginning, Camille ends on abusive relationship just to hop right into another abusive relationship. I'm not so sure about her. I didn't really connect with her. She seems to lack in any self preservation skills or common sense. She decides to do something and jumps in before she fully understands what's going on or how to handle the situation. Not that that is totally her fault as she never is given much in the way of information about this new world she has stumbled upon. Which has to be as frustrating for her as it is the reader. I would have loved more details on Amaranth and what was really going on and why. We are given the gist of the situation, but I wanted more. Gavin was fun the moment he crashed onto the page, literally. He was easy to like, and I think I would have chased him down the streets of Paris from the beginning if I was Camille. Camille's friend is let into the circle, and is in the "know". So, I would have liked the same thing or similar to have happened for Camille. This was a hard one to rate, as I enjoyed the story and it kept my attention fully, but overall I was frustrated more often then not. The details we are given are interesting to me, which is why I wanted to know so much more. I'm sure there is a reason for this that I'll find out in the next books, but I still would have liked a little more.. something.

I won Amaranth by Rachael Wade through a giveaway on the author's website. The opinions are my own.

author
About the Author:
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Also visit her at Lights ON Outreach or come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.

To learn more about Rachael Wade and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads and Twitter.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tour! A Review & Giveaway of Blood Debt by Nancy Straight




Blood Debt (Touched #1) by Nancy Straight
Genre: Young/New Adult (Mythological Romance)
Date Published: July 15, 2012
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her entire life: the identity of her father. Daring to contact him, Camille was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a centaur touched by Zeus.

As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love with Drake. Her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her mother’s transgressions. The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past that will win her freedom and the life she desperately wants.


My Review:
Blood Debt is the first book in the Touched Series by Nancy Straight. I loved this book! LOVED it! From the very beginning I was glued to this world of Centaurs, forbidden loves, and mythology. The story brought mythological creatures to present day and made them feel very real and believable. The character and story building was flawless. I felt like I became a part of Camille's life while reading. The romances were sweet and they were also dramatic in a sense, but not in a bad way. There were unexpected twists and moments of pure shock! I love when a book surprises me. The Centaurs feel very strongly and that crossed over to the reader. They really brought out your emotions. From extreme anger to sadness to happiness and love and back again. Blood Debt had me giggling and crying and sometimes both on the same page! Nancy Straight has a new fan!

Blood Debt by Nancy Straight was provided to me by the Incandescent Enchantments for review. The opinions are my own.

author
About the Author:
I LOVE Starbucks’ White Mocha Latte and Mountain Dew, (but not together). I have a lead foot so I set cruise control when I drive, even in 25 MPH zones. I almost never win when I play Angry Birds, but have my 8 year old close, so he can clear the hard levels for me. I grew up on a farm and am opposed to eating fresh chicken (not opposed to meat - just opposed to any meat that was alive a few hours before lunch). I am a huge fan of the show, Big Bang Theory, on CBS. I have a stray cat that I feed every night and morning but she’s never let me get closer than within 3 feet of her – I keep thinking eventually I’ll wear her down and she’ll let me pet her. I share my life with two fantastic sons, three rotten dogs and a husband that I adore.

To learn more about Nancy Straight and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Of Silver and Beasts Book Blitz!





The Excerpt:
“What's your rank, baby blue eyes?” the guy asks, pushing off his cot and stalking toward the prince.

Everything in me screams to act, but I don't want to declare alliances this early on. Not without understanding the dynamic of placements and bonds already formed among these people. But I'll not let this hulk of a man harm the prince. I brace my heel against the wall, ready to push off and lunge.

Prince Caben rises to his feet, slowly turning to face him. He straightens his spine, squaring his shoulders. “I don't have one. And my name is Payne. Not 'baby blue eyes', meathead.”

Big guy laughs, his husky voice bounces off the rock walls. “I'm Crew”--he beats his chest hard once, like a barbarian--“and I've won three fights. I'll win the next two and be the one awarded the freedom ring.” He leans down toward Prince Caben, leveling their faces. “So don't even think about you or your princess over there walking out of here. I'm ranked as a Colossal. The strongest Colossal in Bax's league.”

Princess? I nearly scoff. Then I realize what the problem with Crew is: he feels threatened by Prince Caben. That revelation almost makes me laugh out right. What does a big stack of muscles like Crew have to fear from the prince?

The other prisons slowly circle around the stand-off in the center of the cell. Tension thickens the musty air. It coils around my spine, tightening my muscles. If I allow the fight to continue without interruption, will the guards stop it? They'd want their fighters in pristine shape, wouldn't they?

Prince Caben doesn't back away from Crew. Instead, he moves into his space. I roll my eyes. Stupid, conceited man.

“Freedom ring?” the prince questions. “As in, there's a chance to leave?” He rubs his chin, and I notice the dark shadow of facial hair that has darkened his features overnight. “Is there a season that has to be won, or can someone gain five wins during their entire imprisonment?”

Crew's eyebrows pinch together. He's clearly despondent that he hasn't succeeded in intimidating the prince. “We're in a season right now, you weakling. If you don't win--you're dead. Which by the looks of you, will happen in your first match.”

Prince Caben nods, as if he's simply piecing together a jigsaw puzzle and not being told of his demise. “What is the cuff for?” He points to the iron clamp around Crew's wrist.

“It's our biometric monitor.” Crew shoves the cuff up close to the prince's face. “See those three blue lights? Those are my wins. When the fifth lights up, I'm outta' here.”

“Has anyone ever won the freedom ring before?” Prince Caben asks.

Crew's massive arms tremble. “No,” he grinds out. “But I will.” He cocks his cuffed hand back, then sends a blow to Prince Caben's chin.

Hell.

I'm up and racing across the cell before the prince hits the ground. Crew spots me from his peripheral. He turns and swipes the air. I duck, roll, and come up behind him. I jump on the cot and leap onto his back.

“You squirrely little ...” he mumbles, trying to reach over his shoulders to get a hold on me.

Tightening my arms around his thick neck, I squeeze. He gasps for air, and rams my back into the wall. I wheeze as the air whooshes from my lungs, pain splintering through my already bruised chest. But I hold tight, bearing down harder, and cut off his supply of oxygen.

Finally, I feel Crew weaken beneath my hold. He drops to his knees, and I only release him once I'm sure he's knocked out.

Stepping around the now limp Crew, I glance at all the wide eyes studying me, and meet the prince's. Fury ignites his stormy blue irises. He picks himself off the floor and heads toward one of the side chambers, throwing the tattered material aside as he stalks inside.

I follow after him. When I step inside the tiny, dank room, my eyes trail Prince Caben as he paces. He reaches each side of the small chamber with three quick strides. Back and forth.

On his third round, I open my mouth and get out a single syllable before he holds up a hand, halting me. He drives his hand through his dark hair. “Thank you for making me look like a spineless jerk.” He shakes his head and faces me.

Taken aback, I say, “This is my duty to protect--”

“No. In your country it was your duty to guard me. In my world and here”--he opens his arms wide--“a man fights his own battles. He does not depend on a woman to fight them for him. You just disgraced me.”

Fire simmers in my core. “I'm still assigned as your protector no matter what realm we inhabit, Your High--” I stop myself before addressing him by title out of habit. “Your pride is polluting your reasoning.”

He laughs. “Yes, well. Thanks to your show out there, I no longer have my pride to worry about.” 

authorAbout the Author:
I’m the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing) and the upcoming YA Sci-Fi / Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. My published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals, Fantasy magazines, and anthologies. I’ve written five books in the past three years, and I’m currently working on a new YA Sci-Fi / Dark Fantasy project.

I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional blog for the Young Adult genre.  Also a proud  member of YALITCHAT.ORG, SCWW, and The Apocalypsies.

And I’m also a business owner, partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.

To learn more about Trisha Wolfe and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

***GIVEAWAY***
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Tour Coordinated by: YA Bound

The Morning Star Tour! Guest Post with Tania Penn




Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: January 10, 2013
Publisher: Penn Pal Publishing

The Blurb:
Being the daughter of Lucifer keeps seventeen year old Dawn Belial busy. For almost her entire lifetime, she has been trying to think of a way to free her Archangel mother, Michaela, whom her father has held captive for centuries. She's also attending high school - balancing trigonometry, history, and recruiting souls for her father along with her wicked half-sister, Venus.

There has been no time for love until she meets mysterious Gabriel, a British exchange student. As they fall in love against their will, she discovers a startling secret about him, and a shocking connection to her mother that changes everything


Playlist Guest Post by Tania Penn
I’m lucky when it comes to putting playlists together, in the  sense that I’m also a musician. So, when I write a story, I can  feel the type of music I need for that particular scene/and or chapter. Whether it be a sad country song, an uptempo pop one  or something melancholy and current. Here is the list of songs  that inspired The Morning Star.
1. Sail AWOL NATION
I played this over and over writing the fist part of the first chapter, where Lucifer is having Dawn set the hillside on fire. There’s a sinister, bitter aspect to it, especially with the  synthesizer keyboards. The lyric especially about “this is how  an angel cries”, fit Lucifer’s mood perfectly. He’s betrayed by love, he’s angry, he wants to watch the world burn for burning sake.
2. Sinister Kid THE BLACK KEYS
Definitely Venus’s theme song. This song came to me during Chapter six, when Venus was once again strutting her bad self over to Gabriel, who had rebuffed her in Chapter two. The line “I’ve got a tortured mind, and my blade is sharp” fit well in Chapter four, when she unleashed her claws on Marie.
3. Oh What a Thrill THE MAVERICKS
Beside them being my favorite band, I had a bit of an epiphany at their concert several months ago when I saw them at Cal State Northridge. I wanted to write a scene in Chapter eight where 
Dawn and Gabriel go on their first date, and I wanted to do something a little different. Being that I love country music especially this band, I wanted to introduce that to the reading 
audience. Most YA novels have music that involve current young/hip artists, but these guys are just so vibrant, amazing and energetic live! The description of the concert, where it was, playlist the elderly woman that was sitting next to me, the way the band was in full swing, lead guitarist Eddie Perez’s snazzy suit, was all how it happened. Instead of my friend Christine and I, I just inserted Dawn and Gabriel, and added the almost first kiss that didn’t happen and the angel on stage — once I heard lead singer Raul Malo come out with his acoustic guitar and 
start crooning “Oh What a Thrill” I thought, “That’s it! This is where their first date happens!”
4. Free Fallin JOHN MAYER
As much as I love the original Tom Petty version, the simple live version fit well with Chapter seven, where Gabriel is reporting to the archangels, and Ramiel is advising him not to fall in love with Lucifer’s daughter, but even though having just met her, it’s too late. He’s already fallen…
5. Mad World GARY JULES
I love the mood of slow music during a chaotic time, and this one felt perfect for Chapter 11, where a tragedy occurs, and something that Dawn may or may not have been able to prevent. I 
played this one over and over during the whole bus scene until I felt I wrote how I saw the scene playing out in my head.
6. Angel Eyes LOVE AND THEFT
I figured since Lucifer, Venus and Gabriel had their own songs, Dawn needed one too! “There’s a little bit of devil in her angel eyes, a little bit of heaven with a wild side.” The 
wild side being her slight temper.
7. I Will Follow You into the Dark DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
If this story was ever a movie, this would just have to, HAVE TO, be their theme love song! It’s the moment that Dawn knows she is in love with this boy, one who she thinks is human at 
first. She knows loving (whom she thinks is) a human can go playlist nowhere, but their bond is just too strong.
8. Poison and Wine THE CIVIL WARS
Oh, this song just breaks my heart every time I hear it! It represents a bit of the bitter love between Lucifer and Michaela, but moreover, it came into play during Chapter twenty, when Dawn realizes who Gabriel truly is, and the reasons why he came into her life, even though those reasons definitely changed. “I don’t love you, I always will…” Fit that chapter perfectly!
9. Set Fire to the Rain ADELE
When Dawn embraces, or tries to embrace, who she is really is in Chapter 21 is where this came into play. It felt like the vortex of emotions that Dawn is going through over what she discovered about Gabriel, while trying to come to terms that maybe she really is daddy’s little girl after all.
10. Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground WILLIE NELSON
This reminded me of Silas, the collector angel, who’s also in love with Dawn and trying to come to her rescue in Chapter twenty three.
11. God Made Me (to Love You) Wade Hayes
This song came to me a little later in the story, and will definitely figure more prominently as part of my soundtrack/inspiration for book 2, “Equinox”. It fits nicely with the end of the story, and he’s also one of my favorite and underrated contemporary country vocalists.

The Book Trailer:


author
About the Author:
Author of debut young adult novel, The Morning Star. Currently working on the sequel, Equinox, as well as a chick-lit, rom-com, slightly sleazy and funny story with a twist, Catching Frogs. And, because I'm loco in the roco, I've got about 12 more on the back burner. When I'm not writing I can be found kayaking, hiking, ninja-training, traveling, and taking a ferry over to the San Juan Islands to search for the elusive creature known as the "Orca." I also am constantly adding ridiculous wants, needs, must-see's and do's to my ever expanding bucket book.

I covet a delicious malbec with a rare steak and make a killer salsa.

To learn more about Tania Penn and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

THE PRIZES:
The first prize pack listed includes an eBook of Birthright by Willow Cross, Destined to Change by Lisa M. Harley, Forever and Always by Beverley Hollowed, and The Morning Star by Tania Penn.

5 additional winners can each win an eCopy of The Morning Star.

In addition to that, there will be five winners who will each receive a swag pack containing The Morning Star bookmarks and stickers.

This giveaway is opened internationally.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cover Reveal! Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert




Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: August 2013
Publisher: Self
Cover Designer: Okay Creations
Reveal Coordinator: Xpresso Tours
Goodreads

The Blurb:
Horses, mansions, tea parties, and lies are twenty-year-old Hannah Taylor’s life. To others, her family and her relationship with Eric is perfect. But she knows the truth. She lives it.

After a fire takes her grandma’s life and kills her horse, Hannah’s immaculate life spirals out of control. Her father disapproves of her decision to run her grandma’s ranch instead of focusing solely on learning the family business; Animal Control brings her Argus, a mistreated horse that she can’t turn away even though she’s not ready for another horse; and her boyfriend, Eric Bennett, a world famous polo player, becomes possessive and authoritarian. Despite her best efforts to disguise it, Hannah grows wary of him.

Then, Leonardo Fernandes struts onto the polo scene. A cocky rookie with a messy life of his own, he’s drawn to Hannah and isn’t afraid of showing it, even when Eric makes it clear she is his and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Hannah suffers for Eric’s jealousy. The abuse only gets worse when Leo steals the title of best polo player in the world from Eric.

But the title isn’t enough for Leo. He wants Hannah too, and she can’t deny her attraction to him either. Somehow, she must find a way to break free from abusive Eric before he breaks every bone in her body.


Check out my reviews of the books in this series!

Have you read these books by Juliana Haygert?

author
About the Author:
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

To learn more about Juliana Haygert and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guest Post by Laura Howard: Top 10 Guys in Young Adult & New Adult




Laura Howard, author of The Forgotten Ones, is taking over the blog today! And what's more fun to talk about that the fictional fellas!


Guest Post by Laura Howard: Top 10 Guys in Young Adult and New Adult
When you’re a little girl, you daydream of what the man of your dreams will be like. How he’ll put you up on a pedestal, and nothing on earth will ever come before you and your needs.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who’s Prince Charming is a living, breathing version of that dream. Or, maybe you’re still looking.

But for many of us, when the cotton-candy dreams of childhood wear off and families and/or bills take center stage, it is a beautiful thing to sink deep into the world of fictional boys.

As I was compiling this list of some of my favorite heroes in YA lit, I noticed that there is a pattern. And, from the popularity of some of these fellas, I’m thinking I’m not the only one. See if you notice the pattern:

10 Marcus Flutie from the Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty

“Loving you has never been the problem. What’s troubling me is how loving you may never be enough”

9 Eugenides from the Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner

“My beautiful queen. Your entire court is staring at you, and I can’t blame them.”

8 Lucas from Easy by Tammara Webber

“Choosing to be with you, isn’t a difficult decision, Jacqueline…It’s easy. Incredibly easy.”

7 Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

“I don’t know. Just because someone’s pretty doesn’t mean she’s decent. I’m not into appearances. I like flaws, I think they make things interesting.”

8 Four from The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

“I might be in love with you. I’m waiting until I’m sure to tell you, though.”

7 Roiben from The Modern Faerie Tale Series by Holly Black

“You are the only thing I have that is neither duty nor obligation, the only thing I chose for myself. The only thing I want. ”

6 Rushton from the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody

“You are everything.”

5 Dimitri from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

“Wait until next time. I’ll do things that’ll make you lose control within seconds.”

4 Finn from Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

“I tell you that I don’t want this to end. I don’t want to land and reach the real world, because I like our world up here better.”

3 Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare 

“Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have belonged to you completely. I still do. If you want me.”

2 Edward from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

“I honestly have no idea how to live without you.”

1 Travis from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

“I didn’t know I was lost until you found me. I didn’t know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You’re the one thing I’ve got right. You’re what I’ve been waiting for, Pigeon.”

Did you pick up on the theme?

A hefty percent of these male leads are the all-consuming, obsessive boyfriends that in real life would smother their ladies to insanity.

I feel kind of ashamed of it, because I am not a clingy person AT ALL. Nor do I  think of myself as the type of woman who NEEDS her man to make her feel whole. But, women all over the planet have swooned for Edward Cullen and Travis Maddox. The relationships between Edward and Bella and Travis and Abby are obsessive, all-consuming affairs skating on the unhealthy side.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason we fall for these literary heart throbs is because in our deepest hearts, it’s fun to still fantasize about having someone to love us with that level of fiery intensity.

Who would make it on your Top Ten?
About The Forgotten Ones 
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy)
Expected Release Date:  May 15, 2013
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
Allison O'Malley just graduated from college. Her life's plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn't have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more.

When Allison's long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.

author
About the Author:
Laura lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

To learn more about Laura Howard and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass




The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult (Dystopian/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen

The Blurb:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Review:
The Selection is the first book in The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. I loved this book! It hooked me in from the very beginning. I felt like I was a part of this world, and I was completely and willingly lost within it. America is a strong female main character. She has her own mind. She's stubborn, funny, and has a little bit of a temper. She was great. I thought the personalities of Aspen and Maxon were similar in a lot of ways. The big difference I saw was Maxon seems more like a man already, while Aspen still seems a little boyish. Although I have a feeling that will be changing before too long whether he wants it to or not. I'm rooting for Maxon though. He's handsome, strong, and funny. He's also responsible and fully cares about his kingdom even if he hasn't learned everything about it yet. His interactions with America were so much fun to read. Together, they really compliment each other. I'm hooked on this series already. I have to know what happens next! The Elite, book 2, is in stores today!! I just may have to swing by the book store on my way home tonight!



Check out my reviews of the other books in this series by this author!

Also, don't miss The Siren!

author
About the Author:
Being married. Cake. The smell of Autumn. Motherhood. Books. Elephants. Back rubs. On demand movies. Actually going out to movies. Faith. Cinnamon rolls. My family. Butterflies. When my kitchen is clean. Crayons. Pink. Tote bags. Dancing. Organizing via color coordination. That my wedding dress was tea length, not floor. Baking. My house. Writing utensils. Paper. India. The sound of water. Making videos. Buttons. The word Episcopalian. Making people laugh. Layering clothes. British accents. Pinterest. Animation. Fireworks. The smell of the Ocean. My wedding rings. Aprons. Reasons to get dressed up. Sex. Pop music. Stars. Taking walks. Daydreaming. Stickers. School Spirit. My friends. Living in a small town. Japan. Singing. Painting my toenails. Pranks/ practical jokes. Painting. Stretch canvas. Costumes. Dipping my fingers in melted wax. Style. Soda. Spending an hour typing at a coffee shop. Musicals. Back to school season. Mopeds. Good hair days. Naps. Not walking up but looking at a beautiful staircase. Driving alone. My ankles. Playlists. Spending entire days in pajamas. Holidays. Telling stories. Spontaneity. Theme parks. Bookshelves. The word copacetic. Boxes. Empty journals. Surprises. Doing things in groups. Doing things alone. Getting real mail. Decorating. Small forks. A good hug. Gift cards. New Years Goals. Going out to dinner. When someone else remembers some great story about me/us that I’ve forgotten. Toy stores. Fireplaces. Breakfast foods. Journaling. Crying for a good reason. Doorbells. Pointless adventures. Voting. My birthday. Reasons to make wishes. Recycling.

To learn more about Kiera Cass and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

Book Review: Release by Nicole Hadaway




Genre: Adult Fiction (Paranormal/Historical Fiction)
Date Published: January 4, 2013
Publisher: Visionary Press Cooperative

The Blurb:
“The ends justify the means”...

For vampire Miranda Dandridge, using her supernatural abilities to rescue children from impossible circumstances is her means to be a part of the human world that she loves so much, despite the atrocities of WWII.

For doctor Ben Gongliewski, saving his fellow Jews from the horrific death camps is an end for which he risks his own life every day, hiding his Jewish heritage while feigning loyalty the SS.

Neither Miranda nor Ben expects to find love in World War II Europe, but that is exactly what happens as they work for the Resistance. When the war draws to a close, it seems like the vampire and the doctor are free to start a future together. But just how far the Nazis will go to further their own evil ends?

Desperate times make for ruthless men as loves and lives are threatened, but, Miranda and Ben know that their world cannot go to hell, not by any means…


My Review:
Release by Nicole Hadaway was a unique story with vampires, werewolves, and demons during WWII. I liked that these creatures were trying to make a difference in the human world. However I didn't always understand them. On one hand they are rescuing people, while on the other they still fed off of and toy with humans. In the case of the vampire, Miranda, I thought maybe she had no choice, but you find out later she doesn't have to kill when she feeds. Then I thought "Well maybe she just kills the bad guys." Nope, she kills innocents too. She sees herself as a creature that's just higher up on the food chain than humans, so she has no problem feeding off of them and killing them. So, I don't really get why she wanted to rescue people to begin with. It seems pretty contradictory to me. You are given many points of view through the story. This was distracting at times, as I wouldn't always know right away whose perspective I was reading. I never really felt connected with any the characters. I enjoyed, Cray, Miranda's brother the most. He seemed the most realistic to me. Ben, Miranda's love interest, didn't strike me as the most intelligent of folks, and he did and said some things that really lacked over all common sense. So, I was frustrated with him throughout a good portion of the book. He was the only character who seemed to have purpose though. You knew why he was there and what he was fighting for. The premise behind this story is truly unique. I loved the setting and the idea of Jews being rescued from Hitler. There were tidbits of history thrown in throughout the story that were very interesting, and make me want to research the Holocaust a little bit to see if they are true or fictional. The author paints the setting very nicely. It's easy to visualize the events as they take place.

I had high hopes for this story. Unfortunately, when it was all said and done, this one just wasn't for me.


Release by Nicole Hadaway was provided to me by the Xpresso Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own. 

The Book Trailer:

author
About the Author:
As a lawyer, Nicole Hadaway knows all about bloodsuckers and deals with the devil.  She currently lives in Texas where she pens such tales involving the supernatural, featuring her heroine, the vampire Miranda Dandridge.



To learn more about Nicole Hadaway and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Meet the Author: Shayne Leighton.. Plus Trailers, & More!!




There is a lot going on in the World of Shayne Leighton these days. That's why I'm super excited that she's taken some time away from her busy schedule to talk to me about her books, her upcoming movie, and her life! 

authorHow long have you been writing? 
I have been writing ever since I can remember. When I was in grade school, I wrote a short story about what it was like to live inside of a bubble. (Still one of my favorites!) I started seriously considering writing when I was sixteen and started tinkering around with the concept of Of Light and Darkness when I was in high school. I fell in love and never looked back.
What inspired you to write The Vampire's Daughter?
My now-husband/ then-crush (haha) was the main inspiration. The tall, brooding man who hailed from the Czech Republic walked into my life and made my heart melt! He immediately became my muse and the cogs in my head started turning. I've always favored fantasy. I'm a huge Potter fan, so I wanted to write a story about what my life would be like if I lived in some magical world. I took people I know in real life and made them creatures in my head. And so the Of Light and Darkness series was birthed. 

What can you tell us about the sequel, A Vampire's Reflection?
The sequel is a lot darker and even more adult than the first. I've grown as an author and as a person since my debut release, so readers can expect something that is definitely more of a crossover. Some characters they thought were good, turn out not to be so nice in this one. The plot is filled with twists and it probably is not what they are expecting. Fair warning. But it's a lot of fun and very seductive. I had fun writing it. 

While writing A Vampire's Daughter, did you always plan for it to be a series?
Yes, from the beginning I wanted it to be a long series with many spin-off novels about the other characters. There are a lot of details. The story, I feel, is too intricate for just one book. It needs the space to grow and breathe and plus I'm just too invested in the characters to leave it alone. 

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Probably, and not that this is much of a surprise, is that I am a total closet nerd. (Okay, maybe the closet doors were open on that one!) I work very hard, but at the end of the day when I just want to relax, I love computer games! (The old fashioned ones like Kings Quest lol) Some of my favorite movies are 'My Neighbor Totoro' and 'Spirited Away'. And I prefer drinking white wine over the much more seductive and lush red wine. (I knew you would expect me to be a red wine drinker! Muahaha). I like dark things, but overall I am a really bubbly, silly person. Picture a vampire who favors unicorns and glitter. And that's pretty much me in a nutshell. Also, the sound of my laughing has proven to carry three city blocks and up a four story building. It's THAT loud. That became a proven fact this past winter. 

If your real life was a fictional book, what would you, the main character, be like?
I imagine I would be a lot like my heroin, Charlotte. I am super naive and childlike, just like her, but when my spitfire needs to come out, she comes out. I'm pretty resilient. I've been knocked down a lot, only to get right back up again. So, I think I'd definitely be a fighter. (On the good side, of course!)

What book have you read too many times to count?
Honestly, 'My Fathers Dragon'. It's a children's book, but I read it a lot when I was a kid. It is still one of my favorites. That, and the obvious, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And also Interview With A Vampire. Can't forget that one. 

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
When I first began crafting The Vampire's Daughter, I got a lot of advice from my writing mentor and friend, Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize). I sent her my manuscript and she sent it back all marked up in red, but also covered in smiley faces and stickers. (Gotta love it.) There were a lot of notes, but the main thing I took away from that experience was not to be afraid to tear right back into your story. Just because you THINK you are done, doesn't mean you are done. In fact, it took me five years to complete the first novel to the point of it becoming acceptable to submit. Take your time! Writing novels are running marathons. You need to let your ideas percolate like a good cup of coffee and don't rush things. You don't want to submit or publish something you will regret. 

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I definitely would want to lead the life of Hermoine Granger. I think she is such a bad ass. She gets to go to the coolest school in the world. She's an ace. She's brave as anything. And she's gorgeous. Plus, she's got Ron! She's definitely one of my all time favorites. Plus, if I went to Hogwarts, I would have enrolled in all of her same classes. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I was most surprised at how truly difficult it is to construct something beautiful. Something that I could be proud of. I'm a stickler for eloquence, and sometimes it's hard to find the right words to say just what I want to say. Like I said, it takes time. It takes research and effort. I learned just how much blood, sweat, and tears authors put in when they right. And how gratifying it feels when you're finally done. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm either working on something film related or I'm in the recording studio. I hate to sit still. My hands are always itching for a project and I always like to be working toward something. There's no other choice. This life goes so fast, if you want something, you have to make it happen! So no matter what, I'm always doing something creative. 

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
A lot of the characters in my books are based on the people I know. Mostly, what they would be like if they were some magical creatures. But the situations are purely imagination.  

I understand that A Vampire's Daughter will be adapted into a feature film starring some familiar faces like Michael Welch and Cassie Scerbo. What can you tell us about the film?
The film is currently in development. We are already listed on IMDB and even shot an awesome concept trailer which you can find on YouTube. More info can be found by following us on Facebook. Also, Michael Welch looks great in a pair of elf ears!!!

The Movie Trailers:


About the Of Light and Darkness Series...

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: June 26, 2011
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

The Blurb:
When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she's realizes she wants more...

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered...

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek's race, but Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she's ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love...before the sun comes up and light takes over.
Check out my review of The Vampire's Daughter!

The Vampire's Daughter Book Trailers:



Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Expected Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

The Blurb:
Months after their brutal victory over Aiden and his hierarchy of Wizards, Charlotte and Valek have returned from Prague to their home in the Bohemian Occult City. However, this time, they are joined by their new band of misfit, magical friends. In the light of day, all seems to be at peace now that the Regime has been toppled, and the coven of rogue monsters has finally found their freedom. But Charlotte soon discovers that much like her adopted Vampire family, she has developed a strange addiction of her own. Her new disease is destroying her from the inside out, and Valek finds himself at a loss as he defies all odds to save her life. Danger continues to lurk around every corner and they realize that their happily-ever-after has not ended so happily after all, in this highly anticipated sequel of the Of Light and Darkness series. Check out my review of The Vampire's Reflection!

The  Vampire's Reflection Book Trailer:

authorAbout the Author:
Shayne's first year out of high school (after meeting mentor, friend, and executive producer, Marcie Gorman), she penned, co-directed, and starred in the feature-length film, The Incubus a paranormal romance, which obtained distribution and opened in over fifteen theaters across South Florida among popular chains like Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. The Incubus has obtained a fan-base of over 60,000 girls online, and has garnered the attention of reporters from the Miami Herald, CBS News, and NPR Radio. Leighton also starred alongside Scream Queen, Tara Cardinal in the film, Legend of the Red Reaper. Now, 20-year-old Leighton is excited to release her debut young adult novel series, Of Light and Darkness, set in contemporary Prague as well as penning several other screenplays, a novel adaptation for Legend of the Red Reaper, an original pop/rock album, and acting in various film roles.

To learn more about Shayne Leighton and her books, visit her website and blog. You can also find the author on Facebook and Twitter.

The Giveaway!
One lucky person will win an ebook of The Vampire's Daughter by Shayne Leighton! Please enter the Rafflecopter form below. Open Internationally. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway