Recent Reviews...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Review: A Different Sort of Perfect by Vivian Roycroft




A Different Sort of Perfect by Vivian Roycroft
Genre: Adult Fiction (Historical/Regency Romance)
Date Published: January 7, 2013
Publisher: Astraea Press LLC

The Blurb:
A clean Regency novel with lots of high seas adventure... but no pirates

Lady Clara Huckabee stows away by accident. But she's not sorry to sail aboard HMS Topaze, leaving England behind. It's a chance to search for her charming French suitor from the Amiens peace, the man she's determined to marry despite the war and her dominating uncle's disapproval. All she has to do is convince the Topaze's handsome captain to see things her way, and everything will be perfect.

A French frigate has evaded the Royal Navy blockade of Brest. Captain Alexander Fleming sails the smaller, elderly frigate Topaze in pursuit, but what he's supposed to do with a silly stowaway debutante for seven thousand miles wasn't covered in his orders. In the doldrums, during a South Atlantic storm, and with French t'gallants spiking the horizon, his first responsibility is always to his ship, his crew, his assignment... not his growing attachment for the woman doubling as his captain's clerk. Perfect; just perfect.

Before disaster strikes, before the cannons open fire, will Lady Clara and Fleming learn that the perfection they longed for isn't the one they really want?

My Review:
A Different Sort of Perfect by Vivian Roycroft is a sweet story of love and adventure. There was a lot of technical and not so technical ship talk that went on throughout the story that would lose my attention in a major way. I'm just not that ship smart, but the meat and potatoes of the story itself was adorable. I love that the romance progressed slowly. They didn't just jump in head first. Lady Clara is a little spit fire, and her personality meshes well with Captain Flemings' understated humorous nature. They are faced with challenges along the way, both expected and not expected, but they are good together. This story gave you some humor and drama along with the romance. It was a pleasant little mix, and all around fun to read.

A Different Sort of Perfect by Vivian Roycroft was provided to me by the publisher for review. The opinions are my own.

author
About the Author:
Vivian Roycroft is a pseudonym for historical fiction and adventure writer J. Gunnar Grey. And if she’s not careful, her pseudonymous pseudonym will have its own pseudonym soon, too. With its own e-reader, a yarn stash, and a turtle sundae at Culver's.

To learn more about Vivian Roycroft and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Goodreads and Twitter.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Little Red Tour! An Interview with Trista Jaszczak





Thank you for swinging by on our stop along the tour! Today we have Trista Jaszczak, the author of Little Red, here with us. Before we chit chat with her, here's some information on her book, Little Red!!

Genre: Adult Fiction (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: June 18, 2013
Publisher: Front Porch Romance

The Blurb:

Fall back in love with fairy tales with, Little Red, the first installment of “The Believe Series” by Trista Jaszczak.

Little Red Riding Hood is back in the woods again...and in the clutches of the Big Bad Wolf no less...

Ride along with Sam Wentworth through the winding back roads of Louisiana, on a desperate escape from her past. Where she falls into the arms of the unlikely and sometimes unwilling hero, Ethan Parker When circumstances and fate seal the two together, entangling them with his 6 older brothers, feuding families and a little old bayou magic, Ethan must put aside everything he has ever known to keep her safe from the dangers their lives and their love poses. Can he keep her safe from himself?

An Interview with Trista Jaszczak
How long have you been writing?  I've been writing as long as I can remember, but I've only taken it seriously for about 11 years now. 
What inspired you to write Little Red? I've always loved fairy tales and every so often I would watch or read a certain fairy tale and would think "what would it be like if these characters were real?" I'd always toyed with the idea, made up stories in my mind that would be their "happily ever after." Then one day, out of the blue, a friend sent me the video to Sam the Sham's song "Hey There Little Red Riding Hood" for fun. Little Red Riding Hood was always a personal favorite and that was my final push to start my Believe series, starting with Little Red. 
Which of your characters do you relate to most and why? I relate to certain characters for certain reasons. I relate to Red because she's had a difficult past. I relate to Charlie from Loverboy because she's a survivor of rape. It's difficult to pick just one since there are reasons I can easily relate to many of them. 
What is a secret about you that nobody else knows? If I told you, then it wouldn't be much of a secret, now would it? ;) Haha...well, I am a huge nerd as my friends lovingly call me. I love Batman, Superman, old comic books...they were such a huge part of my childhood that I never grew out of. 
What book have you read too many times to count?I have a few, starting with Charlotte's Web, even though I know it'll make me cry. Can You Keep a Secret? is one I read for a good laugh. Anything by Roald Dahl I have read over and over. Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice. I know them like the back of my hand but they're so dear to me, I will probably be reading them when I'm 80. 
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received? Write many books and remember that even when bad reviews get you down, you love you characters and you created them because you love them. Never stop creating what you love. 
If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why? Can I say Cinderella? I think I've wanted to be Cinderella since I was 5, haha, at least the dressing up, going to the ball and getting an amazing happily ever after part. 
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? When writing Little Red I had to do a lot of research on old bayou voodoo and I did a lot of reading up on Marie Laveau. It was both creepy and intriguing. I'd read about it many times before because I've always been interested, but for the book I wanted to know everything I could. I read about her tomb that people visit to this day. I learned that, while it's disrespectful to write on her tomb people will leave trinkets to her in thanks for helping them. I could ramble on for hours about what I learned about her. She's so interesting and she's been so much fun to learn more about. 
What do you like to do when you're not writing? I love the outdoors, hiking, fishing, being in the sun (which I have a lot of in Alaska), playing guitar, reading, spending time with my husband, daughters and two pups. 
Are any of the things in your book(s) based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? There are certain things that are in my books that are based on real life experiences. Everything else is pure imagination. 
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Chapter 6, hands down. Ethan's brother's play a huge roll in that chapter and their sense of humor and good nature really shine. There were a few parts that I had to laugh at myself because they said things that I could see my own husband or brother saying. 
 The Book Trailer


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About the Author:
Trista Jaszczak is a native of Hamilton, Ohio. She is an Air Force wife, mother of two beautiful daughters and currently calls Anchorage, Alaska her home. She has a deep passion for writing, art, playing guitar and travelling. She is the author of the Darkness Falls series, Loverboy, and What Lies Inside.

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


 

Forty Nights by Stephanie Parent Cover Reveal!!




Before we reveal the cover for Forty Nights by Stephanie Parent, let's take a peek at the first book in the Neima's Ark series!!
Forty Days by Stephanie Parent
Genre: Young Adult (Historical Fiction/Romance)
Date Published: February 10, 2013
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
The entire village knows Neima’s grandfather is a madman. For years the old man has prophesied that a great flood is coming, a flood disastrous enough to blot out the entire earth. He’s even built an enormous ark that he claims will allow his family to survive the deluge. But no one believes the ravings of a lunatic…

…until the rain starts. And doesn’t stop. Soon sixteen-year-old Neima finds her entire world transformed, her life and those of the people she loves in peril. Trapped on the ark with her grandfather Noah, the rest of her family, and a noisy, filthy, and hungry assortment of wild animals, will Neima find a way to survive?

With lions, tigers, and bears oh my, elephants and flamingos too, along with rivalries and betrayals, a mysterious stowaway, and perhaps even an unexpected romance, FORTY DAYS is not your grandfather’s Noah’s Ark story.

FORTY DAYS is approximately 45000 words, the length of a shorter novel, and is the first installment in a two-part epic story. It does contain a cliffhanger ending.

Readers looking for a traditional, religiously oriented version of the Noah’s Ark story should be warned that FORTY DAYS may not appeal to them. The novel will, however, appeal to lovers of apocalyptic fiction, historical fiction, and romance, as well as anyone who’s ever dreamed of having a baby elephant as a pet.

Forty Days is FREE right now!! Grab your copy at: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo!!

Ready for Forty Nights?!?!
Forty Nights by Stephanie Parent
Genre: Young Adult (Historical Fiction/Romance)
Date Published: September 2013
Publisher: Self
Cover Reveal Hosted by: YA Bound Book Tours

The Blurb:
Neima, her family, and her grandfather Noah have found themselves trapped aboard an ark as a great flood destroys all life in the world. As their time aboard the ark lengthens, food begins to run out, wild animals grow restless, and family tensions become as much of a threat as the flood outside. In the second and final installment of Neima’s Ark, the stakes are higher, the conflicts are greater, and Neima finds herself facing a choice as impossible as the destruction all around her.

Forty Nights is a continuation of the story begun in Forty Days, and it’s recommended that you read Forty Days first for the best experience. Forty Nights does, however, contain a character guide to refresh readers’ memories. The Neima’s Ark series is a historical, feminist reimagining of the story of Noah’s Ark rather than a religiously oriented one, and the novels are best suited for readers who are comfortable with new interpretations of biblical stories.

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About the Author:
Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.

To learn more about Stephanie Parent and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Goodreads and Twitter.

Book Blitz & Giveaway! The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor






The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle TaylorGenre: Young Adult - Mature (Dystopian Romance)
Date Published: August 30, 2013
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

The Blurb:

Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen…

When being unique puts you in danger and speaking your mind can be punishable by death, you might find yourself fighting to survive. Sixteen-year-old Rosa lives in one of the eight enclosed cities of The Woodlands. Where the lone survivors of a devastating race war have settled in the Russian wilderness because it’s the only scrap of land left habitable on the planet. In these circular cities, everyone must abide by the law or face harsh punishment. Rosa’s inability to conform and obey the rules brands her a leper and no one wants to be within two feet of her, until she meets Joseph. He’s blonde, fair-skinned, green-eyed, and the laid-back complete opposite of Rosa. She’s never met anyone quite like him, and she knows that spells danger.

But differences weren’t always a bad thing. People used to think being unique was one of the most treasured of traits to have. Now, the Superiors, who ruthlessly control the concrete cities with an iron fist, are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race. They are convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Any anomalies must be destroyed.

The Superiors are unstoppable and can do anything they want. After all, they are considered superheroes by the general public. But not everyone sees them this way. When they continue to abuse their power by collecting young girls for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they have no idea that one of those girls has somehow managed to make friends even she didn’t know she had. And one man will stop at nothing to save her.

The Excerpt:
WOLVES

We could hear them now. They had separated and were circling our little campsite, sniffing and panting. Without asking, Joseph swept me into his arms and unceremoniously catapulted me into the tree. I couldn’t get a grip on the branch and I slipped, just hanging from the rough bark by my hands, my feet a foot off the ground.

Alexei’s voice carried down. “No. The tree won’t hold all of us.” He was aiming his whispers at Joseph. “Take her to the one over there.” He pointed across the circle to the other big pine. Joseph growled as he held his arms out for me to fall into. I let go and he caught me but I quickly wiggled out of his grasp and to my feet.

We ran to the opposite tree. Joseph was about to lift me when I stopped him. “You first,” I didn’t want to be thrown again.

“Are you joking? No!” he whispered tersely. He was angry but I knew it was the smart thing to do. The wolves were moving in, watching our little performance with hungry eyes. A black wolf had taken the lead. It was so close to the ground, it looked as though it was slithering, only a couple meters away from us. Its yellow eyes were menacing in the almost dark. A soft growl emitted from its bared teeth. We didn’t have time to argue.

“I need you to pull me up!” I shoved him. I think it took all his strength to obey me, but he did. Once in the branch, he grabbed my arm and pulled. But something was wrong. I was stuck. No, not stuck, something was pulling me backwards. Did it bite me? I felt no pain. I turned around to see the black wolf had a hold of my pant leg. It was tugging me to the ground, my toes desperately trying to find something to push off but finding only scrapings of dirt and air. Joseph eyes looked crazed with worry as he grabbed me with both arms and pulled as hard as he could, my arms straining at their sockets. Then I felt teeth sink into flesh and I screamed. For a split second, the animal paused, which was long enough for me to kick it as hard as I could with my good leg. It yelped and then it lunged. I closed my eyes. This was it. Air rushed across my face and I was flying.

When I opened them again, I was in Joseph’s arms and the wolves were surrounding the tree, moving in unison as if in a dance, taking turns jumping and scratching at the trunk and trying to snap at our toes.

Joseph was breathing hard. So was I. He was holding me so tight that I was starting to feel suffocated.

“Joseph,” I whispered, “I’m ok, you can let me go.” He looked at me and it registered. He loosened his hold on me, but he didn’t let go. After a few seconds, he put his large hands on either side of my waist and helped me to stand on the branch. A flicker in my chest made me pause. We needed to climb higher, just to be safely out of reach of the frenzied clawing that was taking place beneath us. I pushed up onto my toes, feeling the squelch of the sock in my left boot, which was filling with blood.

As we climbed higher, we heard them shouting from the other tree. It was Clara I could hear the clearest. “Are you all right, Rosa?” Her voice sounded high and strained. It must have been very uncomfortable for her, sitting in a tree. I hoped Deshi was looking after her.
“She’s safe,” Joseph answered for me. “What about you?”

“All good over here,” she said, adding, “Beautiful moon, don’t you think?” My eyes were starting to get sore from all the rolling I had done since I met her. She always managed to find a positive even in the worst situation possible.

Joseph chuckled. I looked up at the sky, and sure enough, there was a beautiful moon rising, casting pointed, ghostly shadows on the forest floor.

“Joseph, I’m not ok. It bit me,” I whispered.

He nodded tightly. “I know. I just didn’t want to worry her,” he confessed quietly. I was grateful that, for once, we were on the same page.


author
About the Author:
Lauren Nicolle Taylor is a 33-year-old mother living in the tiny, lush town of Bridgewater on the other side of the world in Australia. She married her high school sweetheart and has three very boisterous and individual children. She earned a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences with Honours in Obstetrics and Gynecology and majored in Psychology while minoring in Contemporary Australian Writing.

After a disastrous attempt to build her dream house that left her family homeless, She found herself inexplicably drawn to the computer. She started writing, not really knowing where it may lead but ended up, eight weeks later, with the rough draft of The Woodlands.

In 2013, Lauren Nicolle Taylor accepted a publishing contract with Clean Teen Publishing. Her first published novel, The Woodlands, was released on August 30, 2013. Currently, Lauren has finished her manuscript for the second book in the series titled: The Wall, as well as partially completed the third book in the series which at this time is unnamed.

To learn more about Lauren Nicolle Taylor and her books, visit her website & blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Giveaway!!
GRAND PRIZE: A digital copy of The Woodlands, a Woodlands bookmark, a surprise Clean Teen Publishing swag gift and a Clean Teen Publishing digital book of the reader’s choosing.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review: Selling Scarlett by Ella James




Selling Scarlett (Love Inc #1) by Ella James
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance) 18+
Date Published: April 14, 2013
Publisher: Barkley's Books

The Blurb:
Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

***RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 17+ DUE TO SEXUALITY AND MATURE LANGUAGE.***

My Review:
Selling Scarlett by Ella James is the first book in the Love Inc Series. I have to break this book into two parts. While reading the first half of the book, I was frustrated most of the time with many things. I really didn't like Priscilla. You're not supposed to like her, but I could have done without her whole story line altogether, and I absolutely hated that a part of Hunter started to like what they did together (even though he hated himself for liking it). I think he could have gotten out of the situation at any time, but  he never did. These things bothered me a lot, and kind of ruined him as a love interest in my eyes. So, it was hard for me to get excited about his relationship with Scarlett. Aside from his looks, I'm not entirely sure why Scarlett liked Hunter so much.

The second half was much more enjoyable. For one, you see less of Priscilla. Yay!  Also, the plot really starts to take off during the second half and you figure out what's going on and who's behind it all.

I will be reading book two, Taming Cross. Even though we didn't see Cross too much in this book, what little bit I got to know of him, I liked. Plus, he's Scarlett's closest male friend. Taking the little bit we know of him, maybe Scarlett should have tossed Hunter out and went for Cross instead. I'm sure there's more to him. I guess we'll find out in Taming Cross.

Selling Scarlett by Ella James was provided to me by Mark My Words Book Publicity for review. The opinions are my own.

author
About the Author:
Ella James is an Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone's parents go to war over the placement of a comma. Ella's books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon's Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.

To learn more about Ella James and her books, check out Ella James' blog and visit her on GoodreadsFacebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ruin by C.J. Scott Blitz & Giveaway!





Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
(A Summer in Winter Novel #1)
Date Published: August 2013
Cover Design By:  Razzle Dazzle Designs

The Blurb:

Kate Bell isn't perfect. Not even close. The things she got up to in college would cause her parents to fall off their pedestals in shock. Home for the summer vacation, Kate settles in for a long, boring break in the tiny backwater of Winter with folks who still treat her like she's twelve.Then Ben Parker arrives and suddenly Winter gets interesting. He's hot, mysterious and good with his hands. Kate falls for him instantly, but her cop father warns her to stay away. But how can she stay away from someone as compelling as Ben? Someone who thinks she's perfect just the way she is?
When Ben's secrets catch up to him, not only is Kate's heart in danger of being broken, but Ben's entire future could be ruined.

RUIN is a new adult contemporary romance intended for mature readers. It contains strong language and sexual situations.

The Excerpt:
He gave me a sad smile. "I'm not a monk, Kate. If you kiss me...I can't stop there."
His words probably had the opposite effect to what he wanted. It spurred me on, because now I knew he was on the brink of giving in. On the brink of falling into the abyss with me.
I touched his face. His jaw was rough from his stubble. A small muscle pulsed against my fingers.
"Kate, please," he whispered. But he didn't pull away. Didn't stop me getting closer.
I stroked his lower lip with my thumb, and he groaned deep in his chest.
"Ben," I murmured.
He brushed my hair off my shoulder. His fingers caressed my neck, sending tiny tingles racing down my spine. My heart hammered against my ribs to the tune of kiss me, kiss me, kiss me. I wanted this man. Wanted to know him intimately.
My head told me it was impossible that I could feel this way after such a short time, but my heart was ignoring it, lost in a mad, chaotic rhythm of its own.
Ben's hand cupped my hip, his other pressed against my back. It was all the encouragement I needed. I closed the final small gap between us until I was crushed against his body. It was hard and ridged, warm.
Our lips met in a kiss that turned my legs to jelly. My knees buckled, but Ben's arms circled my waist. He held me there, firm yet gentle, like I was something precious. I felt dizzy and weightless. The world spun one way and I the other, out of control. I didn't care. It was exactly what I wanted to feel. Exactly how I'd always imagined a kiss should feel.
Yet I wanted more. The kiss filled me with longing that clawed at my heart. It wasn't enough. Not nearly enough.
***To read the extended version of this scene and discover what Ben has tattooed on his shoulder, check out C.J.'s website http://www.cjscottbooks.com

author
About the Author:
C.J. loves reading stories that take her away to another world. If she’s in the middle of an amazing book, she’ll keep reading while cooking or cleaning (when she can be bothered doing either).

She likes interesting artwork but can’t paint, sketch or make anything more complicated than a snowman from plasticine. She enjoys beautiful gardens but hates gardening. She also hates housework, cooking (see above) and writing about herself.

C.J. loves connecting with readers. The best place to interact with her and other fans is via her Facebook page. That’s where she posts teasers and other stuff from her books.


To learn more about C.J. Scott and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads & Facebook.

 Giveaway!!
Enter to win one (1) ebook copy of Ruin. Open internationally. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts





Genre: Young Adult (Mythological Romance)
Date Published:  July 6, 2013
Publisher: Drayton Press

The Blurb:
Sophie has always felt out of step—an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.

To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

My Review:
The Year of the Great Seventh is the debut novel by Teresa Orts. It's been a long time since I've read anything  revolving around Egyptian history and mythology. I forgot how much fun it is. This story wasn't at all what I expected it to be, and that's a very good thing. I didn't expect it to be as deep and detailed as it was either. The plot was very well thought out and pieced together. There were some slow moments and there were also times where it real a little bit more like a middle grade book than young adult, but when it's all said and done, this book is very much worth the read. The Year of the Great Seventh is a lot like a puzzle in word form. You're given puzzle pieces of information that at first, you don't know what to make of, but then bit by bit they piece together until you have the full picture. I was pretty amazed at just how well everything fit together. This couldn't have been an easy book to write. I was very impressed, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

The ARC of The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts was provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

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About the Author:
I’m Teresa Orts, a young adult fantasy author. My first novel, The Year of the Great Seventh, will be published by Drayton Press in July, 2013.

I enjoy reading novels that keep me at the edge of my seat—the ones that you can’t stop thinking about for months. I love traveling the world and living by my own rules, as well as small pleasures such as chocolate, the rain, and hanging out with friends.

To learn more about  Teresa Orts and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads & Facebook.

 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review: Be My Hero by Nell Dixon




Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: September 3, 2012
Publisher: Astraea Press

The Blurb:
Nathalie Mayer is thirty-four. On the surface she is an attractive, happy, single, successful woman running her own bridal business. Despite her line of work and her obvious delight in other people’s weddings, including that of her twin brother, Nate. Nathalie has always declared that a settled relationship is not for her. There has only ever been one man whom Nathalie felt she could love.
Evan Davies is back in town after a six year absence. Last time he was here, he and Nathalie had tentatively begun to take their friendship to a different level. Now he’s home again and has the reason for his sudden departure from six years ago with him - his daughter, Polly.

My Review:
Be My Hero by Nell Dixon is a quick, cute, and touching little romance story. Nathalie is immediately likable, and someone the reader could easily relate to. Nathalie and Evan didn't have a happily ever after the first time around, but they get a second chance. I love the dialog style and the way the story is written. Even before I knew where the story took place, I knew they must be English by the fun lingo. Though this story is short, their romance doesn't come quickly. Sure, the feelings came on quick... actually the feelings never left, but  both of them are carrying their own set of issues. They will either let these things make them or break them. You'll have to read it to find out which.

Be My Hero by Nell Dixon was provided to me by the publisher for review. The opinions are my own.

author
About the Author:
I’m Nell, and I was born and continue to live in a small area of the UK known as the Black Country. Happily married to the same man for over twenty-eight years, we have three beautiful daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. During the day I work for a disabilities charity in my local community.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling with my family in our touring caravan and exploring the countryside. I have a passion for cathedral architecture and historic buildings. I also enjoy walking, gardening and art.

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved stories and books, both reading and writing them. My first poem was published by a local paper when I was thirteen, since then I’ve had several poems published and was first runner up a few years ago in a national short story competition. I’ve also had several non-fiction articles published in professional journals.

Writing romance remains my first love and I write the kinds of stories that I love to read. My publishers to date include: Astraea Press, Myrmidon, Little Black Dress, Samhain Publishing, Moonlit Romance, By Grace, Freya's Bower, D C Thompson, Brierley Rose and E-Scape Press. I am also proud to say that I was the winner of the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2007 with my book Marrying Max, and Love Story of the year in 2010 with Animal Instincts.

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Book Review: The Breeders by Katie French




Genre: Young Adult (Dystopian/Romance)
Date Published: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches-- moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders' long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they're hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender-- a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley's affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?

The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico-- escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is shot and forced into the Breeder's hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she'll share unless she can find a way out.

My Review:
The Breeders by Katie French was a different kind of read for me. One thing I really enjoy about dystopian novels, is you can usually see the potential for something like them to really happen. the breeders was no exception. This world was a brutal place where only the strong survive. Females are an endangered species, and if found they are stuck in a life with the Breeders, which isn't at all pleasant.

Riley was a strong character. She was only sixteen and finds herself trying to keep herself and her young brother alive. She's not perfect, and her youth works against her, but this makes her feel realistic. Clay wasn't perfect either. He made mistakes, and he owns up to them. I love him for that. He was a unique type of swoon worthy, but swoon worthy none the less.

My main issue had to do with the breeders' facility vs the outside world. Within the breeders' facility, you have technology and advancements, but the outside world has next to nothing. Where did all the technology go? Even the simpler technologies, like electricity or running water. Most people don't have these things. What happened to it? I'm hoping this might be revealed in future books.

The author is descriptive, and I love that she doesn't go overboard with it. She gives you a clear picture of the setting and what's going on. She makes it easy to visualize. The story grabbed me on many levels. I'm anxious for more by this author.

The Breeders by Katie French was provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.


Check out my review of the next book in this series!

About the Author:
Katie French is the author of The Breedersa Young Adult dystopian adventure, and Nessa: A Breeders Story, a prequel novelette both available on Amazon. Her sci fi romance, Eyes Ever to the Sky, released May 13th.You can find her on her website, or like her on Facebook or Twitter

Check out my interview with the author plus her guest post!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Blog Tour!! Book Review of Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore!!




Genre: (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance/Christian Fiction)
Date Published: February 19, 2013
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Fiction
The Blurb:
Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken.

Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her—something important. Her overprotective father has started drinking again. He’s dating a much younger woman who makes Brielle’s skin crawl, and he’s downright hostile toward Jake. Haunting nightmares keep Brielle from sleeping, and flashes of Celestial vision keep her off kilter.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who sees through the Terrestrial Veil. When he plucks the blind demon, Damien, from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for a cataclysmic battle of good versus evil.

Then Brielle unearths the truth about her mother’s death and she must question everything she ever thought was true.

Brielle has no choice. She knows evil forces are converging and will soon rain their terror down upon the town of Stratus. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight.

But can she fly with broken wings?


My Review:
Dark Halo is the third book in the Angel Eyes Trilogy by Shannon Dittemore. If you haven't read Angel Eyes or Broken Wings yet, I highly recommend them! Check out my reviews for them too! In Dark Halo, it gets a whole lot worse before it gets better. Some things could even be irreversible. There is so much detail within this trilogy, that it's hard to mention anything without giving away a spoiler. Especially if you haven't read either of the first books yet, but I will say this: I love Shannon Dittemore's portrayal of spiritual warfare, both demon vs angel and demon vs human. It's very realistic, or at least like I've said in the Broken Wings review, it's pretty darn close to how I imagine it to be. Brielle is faced with some very tempting propositions too. Will she rely on her faith or will she give in? We get to learn more about some of the other characters too. I absolutely love Brielle's best friend. She is a hoot, and adds some much needed comic relief to some otherwise tense moments. I absolutely love the cover! The covers through the whole trilogy are very nice. With this one, you learn exactly who the guy on this cover is. It's fitting. This book wraps up the trilogy nicely. All questions were answered, and all loose ends were tied up. I'm sad that this is the end, but I'm happy to have experienced these books. As a whole, this series is very well thought out. It's pretty impressive. The Angel Eyes Trilogy is definitely a favorite! This series is a must read!

Check out my reviews of Angel Eyes (Book 1) & Broken Wings (Book 2)!! 


The ARC of Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore was provided to me by the publisher through Net Galley for review. The opinions are my own.

author
About the Author:
Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California. Angel Eyes is her first novel.

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

Don't forget to check out the other stops along the tour!

***GIVEAWAY***
5-sets of the Angel Eyes Trilogy including Angel Eyes, Broken Wings and Dark Halo.  US only.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 22, 2013

That One Summer by C.J. Duggan Cover Reveal & Giveaway!!




The Boys of Summer (Summer, #3) 
Genre: Mature Young Adult/New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: 2014
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

I absolutely love this series! If you haven't read it yet, check out info on the previous two books below!

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1) 
Genre: Mature Young Adult/New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: December 17, 2012
Publisher: Self
My Review of The Boys of Summer

The Blurb:
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.

It will be a summer she will always remember.

Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.

An Endless Summer (Summer #2)
Genre: Mature Young Adult/New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 11, 2013
Publisher: Self
My review of An Endless Summer

The Blurb:
Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.

“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”

After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:

Boarding School.

Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.

How had her dad let it come to this?

With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.

In an endless summer, Amy soon realizes that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.

 The Giveaway!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
author
About the Author:
C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.

The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.

To learn more about C.J. Duggan and her books, visit her blog and website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook and Twitter

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Watercolor Cover Reveal!




In Dragonfly, they were friends who shared a growing attraction...

In Undertow, her heart was broken and he was waiting to pick up the pieces...

In Watercolor, Anna & Julian say Yes. But the past and its secrets are creeping closer...

If you haven't read this series yet, you definitely need to. You can learn about the previous books in the series below... Then check out the hot new cover for Watercolor!!
Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
Three bad things I learned this year:
-People you trust lie, even parents.
-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one.
-Things are not always how they appear.

Three good things I learned this year:
-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away.
-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one.
-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.

When her best friend moves at the start of senior year, Anna Sanders resolves to keep her head down and follow her plans through graduation. Until Lucy, a beautiful, mysterious girl, and Jack, her gorgeous twin brother, transfer to Anna’s school.
The two draw Anna into their rich, extravagant life on the Gulf Coast with their distant, single father. Anna can’t resist falling for Jack, even after he pushes her away.

Just when she’s finally learning to be strong, Anna uncovers their father’s closely guarded secret and is pulled back--this time even closer. His secret could change all their lives.
A new mature-YA/New Adult contemporary romance series, coming June 2013!
Check out my review of Dragonfly, book 1!

Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Publication Date: July 18, 2013
Publisher: Self


The Blurb:
"Falling in love will pull you under..."

Three friends, three dreams.
One of them will end up dead.
Two will be forever shattered.

Recovering from her broken heart, Anna decides to spend the semester break diving into the three journals Bill Kyser gave her to read--the journals that hold the secret and that Bill says will help her understand his need for silence.

But the more Anna learns about the tragic events behind the powerful developer’s seclusion, the more she’s convinced silence is a mistake.

Anna has to decide if she’ll keep the secrets or tell him the truth about a past that’s been buried for decades. The only problem is the more she knows, the more Anna realizes either choice could cost her the boy she's starting to love.
Check out my review of Undertow, book two.

Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Expected Publication: October 3, 2013
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
Watercolor
Finishing senior year is supposed to be the best time in a person’s life.
Finishing senior year as Julian’s girlfriend should’ve been the icing on the cake.
Knowing the secret that could change everything for him is the only thing threatening to spoil it all. 
Until Jack returns.

Anna and Julian are together at last, and it’s as hot and happy as they knew it would be. The only problem is The Secret.

And Jack.

But while Anna is determined to fight for the guy she loves, she could still lose Julian when he discovers the truth she’s been helping to hide.

The Excerpt:
“I just want you to touch me.” 

I took his hand and put it at my waist, under my shirt. I pressed my mouth to his and chills followed as his fingers slid lightly over my skin. I was drowning again and I reached over to find the edge of his jeans. I pulled up the soft fabric and lightly touched his bare stomach. 

Suddenly he was gone. My lips were still in a pucker, and he was down at the water away from me. I watched as he stripped off his t-shirt and slipped out of his jeans before diving into the dark Gulf waters. 

I fell forward, laying my head on my forearm in the sand. “I’m going to kill your parents,” I sighed.
author About the Author:
I'm the hat lady--wife, mom, reader, writer, caffeine addict, chocoholic, southern expat, and beach bum.

To learn more about  Leigh Talbert Moore check out my interview with her. You can also visit her at her BlogFacebook and Twitter.

Check out my reviews of Dragonfly, UndertowThe Truth About FakingThe Truth About Letting Go, and  Rogue, book one in a new series by Leigh Talbert Moore!