Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Phantom Embrace Release Day Blast with Giveaway!

I'm so excited to share with you a new release from one of my favorite authors and series! Dianne's Duvall's Phantom Embrace is available now at eBook retailers everywhere! This is an exciting and captivating novella set in the world of the Immortal Guardians and I can't wait for you to read it!

Phantom Embrace 
(Immortal Guardians #5.5)
by Dianne Duvall
ebook, 112 pages
ISBN 1420143530
Across dimensions . . . 

Born with the ability to see spirits, immortal Yuri Sokolov avoids making contact with them, because such has always yielded negative results...until lovely Cat Seddon begins haunting his home and his dreams. As a new threat rises against the Immortal Guardians, Yuri disregards all the rules so he can be with Cat, even though the consequences are substantial.

For centuries, Catherine Seddon has been alone. When her brother is forced to join the Immortal Guardians’ ranks, she haunts the primary home of the powerful warriors to keep an eye on him, and soon finds herself captivated by Yuri. The handsome Russian immortal swiftly banishes her loneliness as friendship grows between them and deepens into love.  But can two people who are unable to touch find a future together?

Previously published in On The Hunt



Don't miss a single Immortal Guardians tale!
Book 1, Darkness Dawns - http://amzn.to/1GC0nmk
Book 2, Night Reigns - http://amzn.to/1GC0pKP
Book 3, Phantom Shadows - http://amzn.to/1JnRqUE
Book 3.5, In Still Darkness - http://amzn.to/1IhSDv9
Book 4, Darkness Rises - http://amzn.to/1QTHqq7
Book 5, Night Unbound - http://amzn.to/1SQdwRk
Book 5.5, Phantom Embracehttp://amzn.to/23p0HGm
Book 6, Shadows Strike - http://amzn.to/23p143x

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and "wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews).

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she has created in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit www.DianneDuvall.com. You can also find Dianne online . . .

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsū | YouTube | Pinterest | Goodreads | Google Plus

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win the following....

1st Prize - $35 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize - $20 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize - Signed copies of Night Unbound and Shadows Strike+swag


Friday, June 24, 2016

Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett

Series: Roaring Twenties #3
320 p.
Published: 5/5/15
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Library
Feisty flapper Astrid Magnusson is home from college and yearning for the one thing that’s always been off limits: Bo Yeung, her notorious bootlegging brother’s second-in-command. Unfortunately her dream of an easy reunion proves difficult after a violent storm sends a mysterious yacht crashing into the Magnussons’ docks. What’s worse, the boat disappeared a year ago, and the survivors are acting strangely… 
Bo has worked with the Magnusson family for years, doing whatever is needed, including keeping his boss’s younger sister out of trouble—and his hands to himself. Of course, that isn’t so easy after Astrid has a haunting vision about the yacht’s disappearance, plunging them into an underground world of old money and dark magic. Danger will drive them closer together, but surviving their own forbidden feelings could be the bigger risk.
My thoughts:

Sad to see that this is the last book in the series, but glad that it is Bo and Astrid's love story. I kept hearing about the fact that it dealt with an interracial relationship which peaked my attention. It was illegal to marry at that time and I think as a nation we have grown to think that this was irrational (yes, there are still people and areas that think this way, but mostly we think these laws now were stupid). I think this is a timely message in light of marriage equality. What we once thought was stupid we will think again in the future. I also like that one of their champions was another couple who could not marry. I also love that Bo especially gave a lot of thought of what obstacles would be placed in their way and also that he loved Astrid enough to let her chose her own destiny.

Aside from the political nature of the book, I found the mystery to be interesting but it also didn't seem to flow as well as the other mysteries. Perhaps it is because there was SO much to deal with in their personal life, it competed with the paranormal. Still, while that may be a very slight problem it really wasn't much of one and I was swept up in all of it.

I think my biggest disappointment with this book is that it is the last one. Seriously, so many good secondary characters could have a book in this world. *HINT to author* ;) I would love another book and my only other complaint is that it took me too long to get to all of these. I highly recommend these books to those that enjoy PNR with a big dose of paranormal mystery and a side of history. I give this book 4 stars.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

On My Wishlist: Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor


Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor
528 p.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: 9/27/16
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and mena mysterious city stripped of its namea mythic hero with blood on his handsa young librarian with a singular dreama girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiledalchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage. 
Welcome to Weep.
Oh yea... me want!
What is on your wishlist this week? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Phantom Embrace by Dianne Duvall with Giveaway!


Thank you so much for joining me here at Books and Things today!  And thank you, Melissa, for helping me celebrate the release of my Immortal Guardians novella PHANTOM EMBRACE.  (If you’re new to the series, don’t worry.  The novels and novellas can all be read as stand alones.  You’ll just be more familiar with the secondary characters if you read them in order.)  

1. Do you have a favorite amongst the Immortals?
I actually have several favorite characters in the series.  Sheldon and Chris are tied for my favorite human. Darnell is my favorite gifted one.  Cliff is my favorite vampire.  (When I began the series, I never even thought I would have a favorite vampire, since they all become psychotic killers.)  And my favorite immortal . . .

If I absolutely had to choose, it would be Seth.  He gives so much of himself to protecting the other Immortal Guardians and providing them with a family environment full of laughter and teasing in which they can decompress after long nights of hunting.  And he’s also been with me the longest, since I created his character for A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN, several years before I began my Immortal Guardians series

2. What makes a great villain?

For me it varies.  Realism is always important.  The more real the character feels, the stronger the chord he or she will strike with readers.  I thought Bastien was a great villain in DARKNESS DAWNS, in part because he wasn’t all bad.  Yes, he hated the Immortal Guardians and wanted to do everything he could to bring them all down.  But he clearly loved his sister, too, and tried to do everything he could to help the vampires who followed him.

On the other hand, I really liked Dennis, the villain in NIGHT REIGNS, too.  That vamp was totally psychotic.  One never knew when he might have a break, what horrific thing he might do, or who he would turn on next . . . including members his own vampire army.  He was a very fun character to write.

3. Of those that you haven't written, which Immortal story is begging to come out?

Seth’s.  And his has been the most requested story by far.  So I’m very happy to say his story is not far away now.  I’ve found his heroine, and scenes have been dancing through my mind.  (One will be a real jaw-dropper.)  I can’t wait to get started on it.

4. Who would you cast if the series was made into a movie?

I do the independent filmmaking thing when I’m not writing, so I’ve been working on a dream cast ever since the first book in the series was published, updating and expanding it with each release.    Here are some of my latest choices:  

Yuri (hero of Phantom Embrace) — Stephen Amell
Catherine (heroine of Phantom Embrace) — Daisy Ridley
Seth (leader of the Immortal Guardians) — Alexander Skarsgård
David (2nd in Command of the Immortal Guardians) — Idris Elba
Roland Warbrook (hero of Darkness Dawns)— Hugh Jackman
Sarah Bingham (heroine of Darkness Dawns)— Michelle Monaghan
Marcus Grayden (hero of Night Reigns) — Johnny Depp
Ami (heroine of Night Reigns) — Milla Jovovitch
Bastien (villain in Darkness Dawns, and hero of Phantom Shadows) — Jake Gyllenhaal
Melanie (heroine of Phantom Shadows) — Evengeline Lilly
Richart d’Alençcon (hero of In Still Darkness) — Sam Worthington
Jenna McBride (heroine of In Still Darkness) — Jennifer Garner
Étienne d’Alençcon (hero of Darkness Rises) — Sam Worthington
Krysta Linz (heroine of Darkness Rises) — Cobie Smulders
Zach (hero of Night Unbound) — Chris Hemsworth
Lisette d’Alençcon (heroine of Night Unbound)— Eva Green
Ethan (hero of Shadows Strike) — Chris Evans
Heather (heroine of Shadows Strike) — Scarlett Johansson

5. Do you have a playlist when you write? What is it?

I prefer to write in quiet.  No distractions that way.  I come from a musical background.  So if I play music, I’m more likely to sing the lyrics in my head than write the next scene. 
  There are occasional exceptions, though.  Sometimes I’ll listen to Disturbed while writing action scenes.  Droppin’ Plates and Down With the Sickness are among my favorite tunes.  And in Shadows Strike, Ethan and Heather had a “date night” that included dancing.  Since Ethan is a little over a century old, he’s partial to oldies.  So when I wrote that scene . . . and every time I read through it and edited it afterward . . . I listened to Sing, Sing, Sing.

About the book:

Phantom Embrace 
(Immortal Guardians #5.5)
by Dianne Duvall
ebook, 112 pages
ISBN 1420143530
Across dimensions . . . 

Born with the ability to see spirits, immortal Yuri Sokolov avoids making contact with them, because such has always yielded negative results...until lovely Cat Seddon begins haunting his home and his dreams. As a new threat rises against the Immortal Guardians, Yuri disregards all the rules so he can be with Cat, even though the consequences are substantial.

For centuries, Catherine Seddon has been alone. When her brother is forced to join the Immortal Guardians’ ranks, she haunts the primary home of the powerful warriors to keep an eye on him, and soon finds herself captivated by Yuri. The handsome Russian immortal swiftly banishes her loneliness as friendship grows between them and deepens into love.  But can two people who are unable to touch find a future together?

Previously published in On The Hunt



Don't miss a single Immortal Guardians tale!
Book 1, Darkness Dawns - http://amzn.to/1GC0nmk
Book 2, Night Reigns - http://amzn.to/1GC0pKP
Book 3, Phantom Shadows - http://amzn.to/1JnRqUE
Book 3.5, In Still Darkness - http://amzn.to/1IhSDv9
Book 4, Darkness Rises - http://amzn.to/1QTHqq7
Book 5, Night Unbound - http://amzn.to/1SQdwRk
Book 5.5, Phantom Embracehttp://amzn.to/23p0HGm
Book 6, Shadows Strike - http://amzn.to/23p143x


About the Author: 

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and "wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews).

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she has created in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit www.DianneDuvall.com. You can also find Dianne online . . .

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsū | YouTube | Pinterest | Goodreads | Google Plus

Giveaway!
1st Prize—$35 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize—$20 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize—Signed copies of Night Unbound and Shadows Strike+swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the complete tour schedule please go HERE at Author's Taproom.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Series: Roaring Twenties #2
321 p.
Published: 6/3/14
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Library
It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town… 
Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…

Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.
My thoughts:

Devoured the first book and was happy to get into the second book. This time I read them instead of audio. I loved the audio, but I just decided I had reading time and I took it. :)

This book can be read as a standalone, but I do not recommend it. It builds on the world of the first and some minor things just make more sense. Plus this is only a trilogy so you won't be too lost to take the books in order. This is Lowe's book (each Magnusson sibling gets a book) and his romance. This one also throws in the mystery of a mysterious amulet and a question of if a father is concerned more about his child or with vengeance.

I did love the characters and I also enjoyed the paranormal abilities that Hadley carried. However, this one seemed to be lacking a bit on the details to really pull me into the paranormal part of the book. The mystery and the romance was done very well, however. So while I did enjoy this one, I have to say that I enjoyed the first book a bit more. I'm also not sure if it is because I read it rather than listened to it. I was fully engulfed within the world in the audio version. I suspect it may be a bit of each, but it still is a book I would highly recommend.

I give this book 4 stars. While I did feel that it faltered a bit on the paranormal side of things, I did think the adventure, mystery and romance will capture anyone who reads it. Plus, it's Jenn Bennett and I just adore her writing.