Friday, May 31, 2013

Targets of Revenge Giveaway!

Mother's day is over... Memorial day is just past... so what about Father's day?
Oh how about a thriller???

Simon and Schuster is allowing me to give away the latest book from Jeffery S. Steven's series: Jordon Sandor. I've read them all so far and have really enjoyed them (my review of this book). You can read this book as a standalone so no worries for those that haven't read the others. It's a good thriller for anyone who loves to read those kind of books!

Targets of Revenge
by Jeffrey S. Stephens
COUNTRY FIRST. All the bureaucratic scolding in Washington cannot stop resourceful CIA Agent Jordan Sandor when he’s hungry for revenge. This time he’s on the hunt for the cold-blooded sociopath known as Adina, whose indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people, including Sandor’s close friend, represents man at his worst.
Mobilizing a team of skilled and dedicated agents to carry out his secret operation, Sandor flies in the face of his superiors’ stern warnings—ultimately crash-landing in the heart of the Venezuelan jungle. Armed with little more than a combat knife and a deadly automatic weapon, he infiltrates Adina’s camp and discovers that the ruthless terrorist is smuggling not only cocaine into the United States, but also a deadly substance that could cost tens of thousands of lives.
Sandor develops intel that leads him to Egypt and then Moscow as he fights to prevent this disaster, but after he lands on Interpol’s list of international fugitives, the truth becomes clear: Adina’s evil web extends to the far corners of the globe. Meanwhile, someone Sandor trusts could very well be feeding the agent dangerous lies as he struggles to stay on Adina’s trail.
More focused than ever, Sandor refuses to end his perilous mission, even after he has been taken captive. In the end, when he uncovers the realities of Adina’s deranged plan for a catastrophic assault on New York City, Sandor has no choice but to risk his life to protect his country’s safety and freedom.

How to enter?
Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is US only.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Halfway Hexed

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission:

Halfway Hexed
(Southern Witch #3)
by Kimberly Frost
First, there are the local residents who form a scripture-spouting posse and kidnap Tammy to "defend" Duvall, Texas, against witchcraft. Next, someone saddles her with a secret package chock full of dangerous visions, just as the president of WAM-the World Association of Magic- arrives with his entourage to investigate her. And who worse to examine Tammy's entanglement with off-limits and drop-dead gorgeous wizard Bryn Lyons than his ex-girlfriend? Not to mention that the clash between the locals and the magical visitors leads to a series of unnatural disasters that may doom them all. 
While the fate of the town hangs in the balance, one thing's certain: this would-be witch is ready to rumble, Texas style.
I won this book and have been told that I can read it as a standalone. However, after meeting the author, I do think that I will want the whole series. So, I'm waiting to get the first two (even by the library) and I do think I'll read them in order. Don't faint! :D

So any witchy tales on your tbr? 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones

384 p. HC
Touchtone Publishing
Available today
Source: Goodreads First Reads and Publisher for review
Thirteen-year-old Emily Houchens doesn’t have many friends. She finds more comfort playing make-believe in the woods near her house in Roma, Kentucky, than with her classmates, who find her strange and awkward. When she happens upon a dead body hidden in the woods one day, she decides not to tell anyone about her discovery—a choice that begins to haunt her. 
Susanna Mitchell has always been a good girl, the dutiful daughter and wife. While her older sister Ronnie trolled bars for men and often drove home at sunrise, Susanna kept a neat house, a respectable job, a young daughter. But when Ronnie goes missing, and Susanna realizes that she’s the only person in Roma who truly cares about her sister’s fate, she starts to question her quiet life and its value. 
The Next Time You See Me is the story of how one woman’s disappearance exposes the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents, who are all connected, sometimes in unexpected ways. Emily; Susannah; Tony, a failed baseball star-turned-detective, aspiring to be the county’s first black sheriff; and Wyatt, a fifty-five-year-old factory worker tormented by a past he can’t change and by a love he doesn’t think he deserves. Their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.
My thoughts:
 I really expected this to be more of a YA murder mystery or even an adult mystery. I wasn't completely wrong, but I wasn't completely correct either. It really is more of a soap opera of characters within a small town where the mystery of a murdered woman has happened. You follow several characters, but how the chapters are laid out you aren't lost nor mistake one character for another.

Within these character studies you would expect a variety of characters, hopefully colorful. Unfortunately, to me, they seemed as if they were all the same character with only the background or the circumstances altered a bit. They all seemed to be petty and selfish and looking to blame someone else for their current life circumstances. Even the children seemed to be on that same page. Perhaps this was deliberate and it actually felt that way. Because of that, it didn't bother me, and it felt as though it was exploring a humanistic theme from different angles.

I think where the book really shines is in the exploration of the murder mystery. It is the catalyst for the characters as well as the plot that draws them to the reader. It has no real twists but ironically that becomes a twist in itself. We often look for those twists that when we aren't presented with one, it becomes new.

I give this book 3 stars. While I do like the murder mystery, I just couldn't bring myself to really get involved with the group of characters. You can feel sympathy for them, but they felt too shallow, too selfish and they needed to have a bit more depth to their unexamined life for me to really connect to them. Still, it was an interesting whodunit and I recommend it for that.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Girl with the Iron Touch (Steampunk Chronicles #3) by Kady Cross

3rd in a series
384 p.
Available today
Source: eARC from NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for review
In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives.

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin.

Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine.

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....
My thoughts:
 I have to admit I was very excited for this book. Emily is one of my favorite secondary characters and so I was happy that she got her own book. That may have ended up coloring my enjoyment of the book. Expectations were just too high. Sometimes you just have to temper that so you can sit back and just enjoy the book.

While I did enjoy the book, I felt a bit let down and felt like Emily was the not the star of the book. While we got quite a bit of her character and her spunkyness, it just felt like something was missing. It felt like the other characters were just competing too much for the spotlight. While I enjoy Finley and Griffin's romance, it actually felt like it got in the way of the action. We had to continually stop and deal with their feelings for each other rather than dealing with Emily's story. I would have just enjoyed it in a book that featured them much better.

I was very happy to have my fave anti-hero back. Jack Dandy was back in his full cocky attitude. Now if a book features him I'll have to really reign myself in in terms of expectations because I enjoy his character so much and really want to know more about this mysterious character. He complimented things well in this story.

Even though I had a few problems with this story I still did enjoy it. I enjoyed seeing Emily come into her own and getting a little more of a glimpse into her character. I give this book 3 stars and am curious where the series will take me next. Hopefully it will have more Jack Dandy and Wildcat. :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Second in a series
462 p.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
TBP: 5/28/13
Source: eARC from NetGalley and publisher for review
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.... 
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. 
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...
My thoughts:
 As many of you know I don't read contemporary YA. I read the first book, Pushing the Limits and just loved that book. The world read very real to me and I was surprised that many people criticized it for not feeling real. As someone who has had friends in the system as well as working with kids in the system for a short time, I can tell you it did feel real to me. Still, as much as I loved that book, I admit I worried that I would not love this one as much. Thought maybe it would suffer from second book syndrome.

Oh but I did love this book! I even loved the fact that it took me a little more than half the book to even like Ryan and Scott. I felt that they had potential, but didn't like the way they treated Beth. Ryan had to prove himself to me and Beth which he does with flying colors. Scott had to stop paving that road to hell and really listen and express himself to Beth. Both had to stop forcing Beth into a mold she either didn't fit into or wasn't ready to try out. Both finally won me over. However, I don't want to say to much more or I'll end up spoiling so much of the book. I figure letting you in on the HEA wasn't a problem since I knew there would be one before I even picked up this book.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. Ms. McGarry has found a fan in me and is one author I wouldn't hesitate to read any of her contemporary YA books. I can't wait for Isaiah's story which is next.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Deep Down (Wide Open #2) by Deborah Coates

2nd in trilogy
Publisher: Tor Books
Available now
Source: Provided by Tor for review
Death stalks the haunted, windswept prairie in this chilling sequel to Wide Open

Now that she's solved her sister's murder, Hallie Michaels has left the army and isn't sure what to do next. Her relationship with deputy Boyd Davies is tentative, there's still distance between her and her father, and she needs a job. The good news is, she hasn't seen a ghost in weeks. 
All that changes when she gets a call asking her to help an elderly neighbor who is being stalked by black dogs, creatures from the underworld that are harbingers of death. When a black dog appears, Hallie learns, a reaper is sure to follow. And if the dark visions she's suddenly receiving are any indication, it looks like the reaper is now following her. 
Meanwhile, strange events herald the arrival of ghosts from Boyd's past, ghosts the young deputy isn't ready to face. Refusing Hallie's help, Boyd takes off to deal with the problem on his own, only to find that he's facing something much larger and more frightening than he'd imagined. 
Stalked by a reaper and plagued by dark visions, Hallie finds she must face her fears and travel into Death's own realm to save those she most loves.
My thoughts:
After reading Wide Open I luckily had Deep Down ready and waiting for me to pick it up. While I do think you may be able to read this book without reading the first book, I wouldn't recommend it. You would miss to much character and story wise. Plus, there is only one more book in this trilogy so I would't miss that first book.

While the first book relied a bit more heavily on mystery than the paranormal, this one seemed to be the opposite. There was still plenty of mystery, but the paranormal reigns in this book. Not only there are ghosts, but reapers and harbingers in the form of black dogs. Now while I wouldn't want to specifically meet a harbinger, I did like one of the dogs that befriended Hallie in this book. Him, I would like to meet as long as it wasn't his "job" to meet me. :)

I have to say that I think I enjoyed this book more than the first. Now that the main characters are established the rest of the story just flowed better. I can't wait to see where this series takes us next in the last book. In fact, I have to know. As the main mystery and adventure is fully wrapped up, there is a question that is left floating. I hope that the answers are there as I need to know exactly what her decision was in the end. I suspect it will be the theme of the last book. You are left with that thread wide open (maybe that should have been the title for this book! LOL).

I give this book 4 1/2 stars and I recommend it to those that love a good paranormal adventure! Isn't that last book out yet? Not that I'm impatient or anything... :D

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Crimson Moon

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

This weeks submission:

Crimson Moon 
Crimson Trilogy #1
by Jamie Saare
available now
Trueblood vampires. Those set apart from commons by right of blood. Graced with extraordinary abilities, they are the most powerful and feared among their kind. The secret lies within, a legacy evolving from the truest form of magic, and their living bloodlines are the key. 
An average morning is what Emma Johnson anticipates when she visits Joe's Cafe for a steaming cup of coffee. Her life is routine, each day as uneventful as the one before, until she’s attacked by a mob of bloodthirsty creatures and is informed she is the daughter of a powerful vampire -- a vampire who wants her delivered safely to his home. 
Her rescuer isn’t what he seems either: a werewolf procured to protect the royal vampiric bloodlines. Despite an unexpected and surreal turn of events, she can’t prevent her fascination with the Caleb, or the way she reacts to his nearness. Drawn to a man who isn’t entirely human, her world is turned upside down. 
When she is forced to choose between the man she knows and the man who’s sent for her, she has to make a life changing decision -- vampire or wolf?
I have been wanting to get into this trilogy for a while now. Going to make time for it soon! :)

I had to make this one a submission this week since it is currently on sale for $.99!!

I also have to tell you why it's on sale...

Jamie is a wonderful supporter of pit bulls. You know that I love the pups as well. She recently adopted a mistreated and sick pittie who unfortunately died shortly after his adoption. His last day was safe and with lots of love. Jamie is left with a few medical bills from the sweet pup and this is how she is raising the money. So not only do you get an awesomesauce book (I enjoy her writing) but you get it at a great price. Plus, now you have another reason to get it... to support a heart as big as hers!
Jaime's website

Ah... so any books on your tbr that the author's heart made you want to buy it immediately?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wide Open (Wide Open #1) by Deborah Coates

1st in a trilogy
304 p.
Published: Tor Books
Available now
source: Provided by Tor for review
When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her. 
The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment. 
The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation. 
Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command. 
My Thoughts:
Hallie is coming home from Afganistan for an unwelcome leave. Her sister died and now she has to deal with all the consequences that come from that. Oh, and not too long ago Hallie, herself, died and now can see ghosts. Knowing that her sister wouldn't commit suicide she starts to find evidence to support that theory and the threats she starts to receive confirms it. Now how does she deal with a family tragedy and find the killer before her leave runs out?

The murder mystery, how it was done was very engaging and kept my interest. In fact, I had a hard time putting the book down because I wanted more information, wanted to know what, why and how. You are not left wanting after the end and everything is wrapped up and you are satisfied. It is a good beginning book to this trilogy. Hallie is also a good protagonist and was a sympathetic character despite the fact that she holds everyone at arm's distance. You really rooted for her throughout the story.

My biggest criticism was the way she handled some of the investigation. She would get "clues" and then not follow through with people who possibly had that information. Still, even with this niggle of mine, the way she came to her conclusions did work for me. I also didn't love the way some of the characters interacted with one another. It didn't often feel organic and I also think that led to me not seeing the "bad" guy as not being such a scary person as he was supposed to be. Still, these are really small criticisms and did not interfere with my enjoyment of the mystery.

I give this book 4 stars. It's an interesting murder mystery, paranormal book. I really recommend it to those that love a good mystery. The town is interesting and I look forward to the author fleshing out a few of those characters.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Banned Books

Tell Me Something Tuesday, a meme started by CambriaHebert, but now hosted on Rainy Day Ramblings. It is a chance to get to know your fellow bloggers by sharing fun stuff, discussions and more. Grab the question and post your answer on your blog and link up at 
! Have fun!

This weeks question:
Let's talk banned books. How do you feel about book banning? What are some of the banned books you have read?

My confession... I don't know how many banned books I read. I just read them and don't even always find out if they are banned or not. 

I did purposely read Anne Frank's diary in grade school when I found out it was banned:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. 
In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. 
In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
I also was shocked to discover that Tiger Eyes (my fave Judy Blume book as a kid) was banned:

Tiger Eyes
by Judy Blume
Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. Climbing in Los Alamos Canyons, Davey meets mysterous Wolf, who seems to understand the rage and fear she feels. Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind? Will she ever stop hurting?

Heh... I wonder what those sensors will think when it comes out in movie form soon? (IMDb link) I suspect that this book will become popular again soon. But then haven't most young girls read Judy Blume? Even now with mom's telling their girls to read her, I suspect she is still popular. Plus, I do think that most of her books are banned. Another good reason to recommend her to everyone. :D

Oh and my parents didn't mind me reading banned books. They encouraged it.

The thing is, is that I know I've read a ton more than this that have been banned. Harry Potter series is banned so a lot of people have at least read one banned book. Even churches (in almost every religion) have read at least one banned book. :D

How about you? Are you more likely to read a book if it is banned?
"The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion... In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience." ~Henry Steel Commager
From goodreads:
George Bernard Shaw
“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

AimeeKay Review and Gargoyle Blog Tour

BB Book Tours

Gargoyle (The Gathering #1)
by Lorraine Beaumont
353 pages
Source: eBook for review provided by Bookish Brunette Book Tours
Briar Cliff Township - New England's best kept secret...turns out is has a few secrets of its own. 
For much of the year Briar Cliff is exactly the same as any other small town snugly nestled into the forests of the New England coast. But once a year when the winds change... old stirrings arise from long kept secrets, forgotten misdeeds and a thirst for vengeance.And so the Gathering begins...Something Wicked this way comes...

So I read both Gargoyle and its ‘prequel’ Elyograg. I read them both in order.

I really enjoyed Elyograg. It was neat and innovative. The chapters were written backwards, not the words themselves, obviously, but the timeline. I really was pulled into the story and when I finished it I couldn’t wait to start Gargoyle.

That’s where everything went downhill. Elyograg is presented as “introduction into a new series” – Amazon Summery. The problem is that as I began reading Gargoyle I realized that Elyograg is actually the first few chapters of Gargoyle. Not so bad, considering I REALLY liked Elyograg, but kinda disappointed because I did expect something new.

The other problem is that after those initial chapters the writing just seemed to disintegrate. I know there is a central set of characters, but it hardly focused on them at all. It kept jumping back and forth to other characters. Introducing new ones that didn’t seem to have a point or following up with other characters, again, that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the story itself.

On top of that the story just started to become entangled in itself. The reader is given bits and pieces of what is going on and why, but not enough to really pull the story itself together. It kept jumping to introduce new mysteries, but it never really felt like the story was centered on one thing. Plus some scenes just seemed to come out of nowhere.

Maybe if the story had pulled itself together by the end I would have felt differently, but it ended in a rather drastic cliffie. (Not my favorite type of ending)

Maybe the first few chapters had more work put into them? Maybe that’s why I enjoyed them more than I enjoyed the later part of the book? I don’t know. What I do know is that by the end of the book I was extremely frustrated with the whole thing and I just wanted it to end.

Author Bio:

I am the author of the Ravenhurst Series -a time-travel paranormal romance, written with an ensemble cast of characters -Forgotten Time, Shadows of Yesterday, Time to Remember are all available now and the fourth installment Dreams of Tomorrow will be coming this year 2013. 

I also write YA/contemporary urban fantasy with a kick-The Gathering Series about Gargoyles. Elyograg, Gargoyle and The Gathering Series Vol. 1 are now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Author Links:


Elyograg (The Gathering #.5)
by Lorraine Beaumont
Elyograg is the first installment in a new series about Gargoyles, it is not necessary to read this book before Gargoyle. 
Briar Cliff Township- New England's best kept secret...turns out it has a few secrets of its own. 
For much of the year Briar Cliff is exactly the same as any other small town snugly nestled in forests of the New England coast. But once a year when the winds change old stirrings arise from long kept secrets, forgotten misdeeds and a thirst for vengeance. And so it begins...Something wicked this way comes. 
For those of you who aren't familiar with the series -these aren't your normal, everyday, ugly Gargoyle’s either. They are tortured, hot, witty and will make you wish you had one for yourself...Imagine what Edward did for Vamps; Jacob, for Wolves, and surprisingly enough, what Loki did for (swallow hard) ugly Trolls… enter a captivating world of magic, mystery, forbidden love, betrayal and sacrifice.

This is a YA/NA/Adult novel with language, violence, and sexual situations. Not recommended for readers under the age of 17.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


All prizes were provided by the authors

The winner for:
Janie M!

The winner for:

Current Giveaway!
Click on pic above to go to sponsored post.
$50 gc for Amazon
US/CAN/UK only.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Author Blog Post: Excerpt of A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

Excerpt from A Shade of Vampire 

I’d been meandering along the shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.

He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”

I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father had told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over, taking in his appearance. My eyes widened. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and dark hair. Standing beside me, he was easily more than half a foot taller. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s.

My gaze settled on his face.

I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago.

I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.

Big mistake.

The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment.

“Like what you see?”

“A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?” I scoffed, annoyed by his audacity.

He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine.

“Don’t I have the right to be?”

He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t.

“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback.

My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, unsettled by how close he was now. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.

I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not.

He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. This motion alone made every single internal alarm I had within me go off in a frenzy.

This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.

“Tell me your name,” he commanded.

I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response.

“Sofia Claremont.”

As soon as I revealed my name, his eyes lit up with a kind of sinister approval. Then he reached for my face and traced his thumb over my jaw line.

“Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”

I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took in everything at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.

My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.
You can also get an exclusive FREE “sneak preview” of the first 6 chapters by clicking here!:
(Make sure you check it out now because this preview will not be available for long). 

Also, check out AimeeKay's review of the book HERE (hint she really enjoyed it).

A Shade of Vampire
by Bella Forrest
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. 
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.
Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night. 
Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?
Author Bio:

I've been telling stories pretty much since I could talk. Instead of having my parents read me bed-time stories, I would prefer to share with them my own made up tales. As I grew older, I developed a passion for the fantasy genre. I’m an avid reader and a hopeless Potterhead. 

If you sign up for personal email updates from me here:, you'll be the first to hear about my new releases.

Buy A Shade of Vampire from Amazon:

Add A Shade of Vampire to your Goodreads shelf: 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Love In Bloom Blog Hop: $50 Gift Certificate from Amazon

Oh there are so many good romance books out there. But what about those who love a good action thriller with little to no romance. It's still love, right?

What to do...

Well, I was contacted by the marketing dept from Appliances Online and was offered to giveaway $50 gift certificate to those that use and (which is basically US, CAN, UK). I figured what other way to show the luv is to be able to get what you want. Right? :D Oh and check out this company. Seriously... their blog has lots of crafty ideas and they even have a Pinterest page!

Don't forget that there are a lot of other giveaways going on as well. Just go HERE for the list!

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form below:

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.
In the book we have Lucy who is a child prodigy for the piano. She was molded in her grandfathers image of what a successful musician should be, even though she was a small child. She loved the music, but when that became the only world she saw, she became tired of the whole competition scene. She missed so much and after a family betrayal, she walked away. However, can you put that much pressure on a child and expect them to decide what they will or won't do for the rest of their life at the age of 15/16? It's this theme as well as growing into adulthood is what the book is all about.

There were some parts that people may not like. There was some very close to inappropriate behavior from the older adult crushes she had. It never went too far, however, and they also became springboards for her growth. It also made sense that she would have these crushes on older adults since her childhood was filled with adults and looking for that approval from them. She had to grow and relearn much of what may have otherwise come naturally.

I do admit I didn't like Will, an older prodigy who helps her get back to what she loved who does skate closer to the inappropriate behavior than any other character. His manipulations were angering, but I loved the way Lucy handled it in the end. So, I thought her behavior in the end was more adult than then adults that surrounded her. Lucy had great character growth. She does adress his behavior in a very adult manner. Much more adult than Will showed. Without that growth, I'd have to say I would have not liked this book at all.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It is a good character growth book and a good music book. It's about finding out who you are and what you love in life.
I received this eARC from Little Brown and no compensation for my review was given.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Headed For Trouble (Troubleshooters #16.5) by Suzanne Brockmann

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann, whom USA Today calls “the reigning queen of military suspense,” breaks out a rapid-fire collection of pulse-pounding, heart-tugging stories and novellas featuring the intrepid men and women of Troubleshooters Inc., fiction’s hottest ultimate counterterrorism squad. 
• Tough-as-nails Troubleshooters operative Sam Starrett learns the agony of loving someone in danger—and the hell of waiting on the home front—as his wife, Alyssa, hurtles into a foreign hotspot that’s about to boil over. 
• Navy SEAL Frank O’Leary’s ill-fated holiday reunion with his older brother takes a turn for the better—when a chance encounter on a rainy New Orleans street gives Frank a reason to be thankful after all. 
• In a maze of tunnels deep beneath a military base in Germany, Jules Cassidy, Alyssa Locke, and their comrades in arms match wits with terrorists on a mission with explosive consequences. 
Plus more never-before-released adventures featuring Jenk, Izzy, Gillman, Lopez, Kenny, Savannah, and other members of SEAL Team 16—along with Suzanne Brockmann’s exclusive interviews with her beloved characters. 
Looking for the best kind of trouble? You’ve found it!
 This isn't actually a book for me... yet. This is a collection of stories, shorts, that give you a bit more insight to the characters in the Troubleshooters series. I haven't read them, but they are on my wishlist. I think that someone in the same predicament like me should hold off on reading this one, but go ahead and get it. Why? Because a lot of the stories happen early on in the series and you would have this book to fill in some of the gaps or just to enhance what you learned about them. There is a guide as to when these stories fit, so it is a perfect companion to reading the series. Unfortunately for those that haven't quite got to book 1 yet, it doesn't quite fit. You really do need at least some knowledge of the characters to really get into these shorts.

One thing I did discover while reading the shorts is that I do like the women in the stories. Often with romantic suspense the woman is a frail thing needing to be taken care of. While this isn't a horrible story, I tend to usually not like the women as much and they sometimes come off as whiny. In these stories often the women are working along side the men in covert operations or have their own case. These are women who could stand on their own and even save the men on occasion. I do think I will like that when I get into the stories.

I don't want to give the book stars. I think I would better keep the book and reread it when I start up the series. I think that would give me a better handle on the stories within this book.
I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and no compensation for my review was given.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers
I have been enjoying this meme on Felicia's The Geeky Blogger's blog and have finally found some time to join in. The other players are Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading. Button made by Missie at The Unread Reader

Yep, I nominate this nice cover for ToT even though we don't get eyes and the writing is a bit in the way... ;)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Loki's Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world. 
The gods died a long time ago. 
Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. 
However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.
This is an MG book. I know I don't often read MG, but when you have Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr as the authors I have to at least check it out. I'm glad that I did. Even adults will probably enjoy this tale.

What I think I most enjoyed about this tale was that it didn't talk down to the reader. They used the norse terms (which I'll never be able to pronounce properly) and didn't shy away from the proper spelling... not even to make it phonetically pronounceable. I liked that because we don't get that in adult literature and it doesn't bother me to butcher it in my head (sorry Icelanders...) and it doesn't slow down my reading my getting the proper pronunciation either. Small quibble that I have, but I've seen books have to draw out everything before so I was glad it wasn't present here. It treated you like you could figure it out for yourself.

The adventure was also engaging. We follow 3 friends... or new to being friends and they start to see each other outside the labels they were encouraged to be used while in their small town. They find out there is more to the person than just their reputation and trust slowly develops. I also loved it when a character found out they were wrong and then admitted it to the others. Adults could use a lesson in that. :)

My biggest complaint is that some of the pacing seemed a bit off. I think it could have been a bit tighter and really made the pages really fly especially for the younger crowd. Still, I think both boys and girls can be really engaged with this one and find someone to connect. The ending is a bit of a cliffie, but yet didn't bother me like some. Still, it will leave you with a huge question at the end and a want for the next book.

I give this book 4 stars. It's a good start to a MG adventure and I think all ages will have fun with the adventure.
I received this ARC from Atom and no compensation for my review was given.

Friday, May 10, 2013

AimeeKay Review: A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. 
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood. 
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains. 
Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince. 
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night. 
Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

I really wasn't sure if I would like this one or not. Then I heard that it was in 1st person POV....that really had me worried. It is VERY rare that I find a book in 1st person that is written well enough for me to enjoy it. So I fussed and fretted and finally just forced myself to tap on the cover and begin reading it.

I then kicked myself 'cause I should have started reading it sooner!

It was really good. My biggest issue, the POV thing, yea it turns out that not only is it written in 1st person from Sofias POV, but also from Derek's as well. It was very well written and I found myself not minding at all. There's even a last part that is told from a completely different characters POV and that worked out as well.

As for my second biggest issue. I really wasn't sure if I would like the story based on the book blurb. This is what I got from the blurb:

Basically some girl who is JUST turning 17, literally is 16 the night she is kidnapped, is forced into a HAREM and she must find a way to keep on the vampire lords good side so that she can stay in his HAREM and not die.

I guess it was the harem word and that she was just turning 17 that really got to me. I'm not going to delude myself. I was 16 once. I know that teenagers are not pure and virginal until they are married, but I don't know, it just bothered me that there was this all powerful vampire lord putting a girl that is just turning 17 into his harem....*shrug*

So I basically went into this one expecting to have issues, however I was pleasantly surprised. If Sofia was treated as an object on the island it was because of her being the next meal, not as a sex toy. Yes it is ok with me if she is treated as food. Sorry it's a vampire novel. My review, my opinion. There relationship between Sofia and Derek was very PG/PG13. In fact the whole book was kinda that way. Even the references to sex weren't that explicit. Yes people die, and people have horrible things done to them, but there isn't gore or terror or explicit sex.

I truly expected this to be a romance novel. Don't get me wrong there is romance. But there is so much more to the story than that. I think that is the main reason I enjoyed it so much. If it had been strictly romance or even clean sex I wouldn't have enjoyed it simply because of my above mentioned issues. But because the author took the time to develop the characters and you got to see inside both Sofia's and Derek's heads, because the author made it about more than just them, this book really got my attention and held it.

Would I read the next book? Definitely. Would I let my teenage daughters read this one? Yes.
I definitely recommend it whether you are a teen or an adult. Don't let the blurb turn you off or the anything you've heard about the POV, etc. Give this one a chance to win you over before passing it by. I am definitely glad I did.

Buy A Shade of Vampire from Amazon:

Add A Shade of Vampire to your Goodreads shelf:

Bloggy Note:
Come back on the 17th for an excerpt of this book!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Throwback Thursday:

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission this week:

The Sweet Scent of Blood
( #1)
by Suzanne McLeod
Genevieve Taylor is a sidhe - one of the noble fae - and she's unusual even in a London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with humanity... 
Genny is a rising star at, where she finds the "M" in magic - which can mean anything from mischief to malice to murder. The spellcrackers are run by the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. And that's just fine with Genny, who wants as little to do with the bloodsuckers as possible. 
But when a sinfully sexy vamp is accused of killing his lover, an old debt forces Genny to help prove his innocence, risking her job, her safety - and the exposure of her own dark secrets. Genny soon realizes that she and her client are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle. And it's not just her own neck at stake but the lives of all of London's supernatural beings.

The Cold Kiss of Death
( #2)
by Suzanne McLeod
All Genny wants is to live the quiet life and to do her job at, but there's her tangled personal life to sort out first. She's being haunted by ghosts who want her help. Her witch neighbours want her evicted. Genny's sort-of-Ex - and now her new boss - can't decide whether he wants their relationship to be business or pleasure. And then there's the queue of vampires all wanting her to paint the town red - how long will it be before they stop taking no for an answer? But when one of her human friends is murdered by sidhe magic, Genny is determined to find the killer. She needs help to find the real murderer, and that means calling on some of the most capricious and seductive fae - but her search is hindered by the vampires, who have their own political agenda. All the evidence points to Genny - she's the only sidhe fae in London - and she's named the main suspect; it's not long before she's on the run, not just from the police, but from some of London's most powerful supernaturals.

Heard such great things about this series and I seriously need to start it before I get too far behind on the series.
Any like this on your tbr?

Btw, don't forget to check out the 2 international giveaways going on now:

Click on banner to go to that post!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Author Blog Post: Dianne Duvall with Giveaway!

Thank you for joining me today! I’m so happy to be here at Books and Things, celebrating the release of PREDATORY, the anthology that contains my Immortal Guardians novella “In Still Darkness”, along with stories by Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, and Hannah Jayne!

In Still Darkness” features Richart d’Alençon, a two-hundred-and-thirty-year-old immortal warrior who spends his nights hunting and destroying psychotic vampires. Though his brother and sister are also immortal, Richart nevertheless considers it a lonely existence . . . until he rescues charming single mother Jenna McBride and is rewarded with a scorching kiss. Unable to resist her lure (or forget that kiss), he daringly attempts what few other immortals have tried: He attempts to carry on a traditional courtship while keeping his vampire hunting profession, as well as his immortality, a secret. Alas, it doesn’t go very smoothly. :-) Here’s an excerpt to give you a little glimpse of their first meeting:


Richart stumbled backward and wrapped his arms around the woman to keep her from falling.

Clinging to the front of his shirt, she buried her face in his chest.  “Is he gone?”

“Yes,” he responded, surprised she was so coherent.  When vampires and immortals turned, glands formed above the retractable fangs they grew that released a chemical much like GHB under the pressure of a bite.  So she should be slurring her words.

Hell, he was surprised she still stood.

“What about the others?”

“They’re gone,” he assured her.  Or they would be soon.  A quick glance confirmed that they were shriveling up like mummies as the virus, unable to heal their wounds fast enough to keep them from dying, devoured them from the inside out in a desperate bid to live.  By the time it finished, nothing would remain of them save the clothing and jewelry they wore.

Weaving on her feet, the woman straightened and looked up at him.  She couldn’t be much more than five feet tall and he was six foot one.  “Y-your eyes are glowing.”

Her pupils were dilated, blocking out almost all of the pale green, leaving only a few flakes of brown.

Richart retracted his fangs.  “Yes.  I know it looks bad, but—”

She shook her head.  “I think they’re beautiful.”

Was that the drug talking?  Or did she really think so?  

“You saved me,” she said, awe and gratitude in her melodic voice.  Loosening her death grip on his shirt, she cupped his face in both hands.

His heart skipped.  

When was the last time a woman had touched his face so tenderly?

When was the last time a woman had touched him at all?  Other than his sister punching him in the shoulder, doing her damnedest to kick his ass when they sparred, or doling out a hug here or there, he honestly couldn’t remember.

“Thank you,” the woman whispered.  Rising onto her toes, she drew his head down and brushed her lips against his.

The contact hit him like an electrical shock.  His heart began to pound as she tilted her head and increased the pressure, brushing, stroking.  She combed her fingers through his short, black hair, sending shivers through him.

He parted his lips, met her tongue with his when she boldly thrust hers forward.

Pure heat.

She leaned into him, clutched him tighter.  

His body hardened.  His breath shortened.  His arms tightened around her.

Her knees went limp.  Her lips tore away from his as her head fell back.  Her eyes closed.  Her mouth hung open, lips pink from kissing him.

Richart stared down at her as his pulse pounded in his ears.

Yeah.  She was out.

Four of today's most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire...

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy

Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he's actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other... 

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs

Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . . 

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Immortal Richart d'Alençon can't forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne

When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay's design contest rival is found dead, she's the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He's the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him--and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?
(my review of Predatory)

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series.  Her debut novel DARKNESS DAWNS was nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews, for Best Paranormal Romance - Vampire by The Romance Reviews, and for Best Book of 2011 by Long and Short Reviews.  NIGHT REIGNS, the second book in her Immortal Guardians series, was declared an "utterly addictive" Top Pick by RT Book Reviews.  PHANTOM SHADOWS, the third book in the series, was deemed a Top Pick by both The Romance Reviews and by Night Owl Reviews.  DARKNESS RISES, Immortal Guardians Book 4, will be released on October 1, 2013.  

When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and once even appeared onscreen as a machete-wielding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.

Find Dianne on the Internet

One winner will receive a signed copy of her choice of one of the first three Immortal Guardians books —DARKNESS DAWNS, NIGHT REIGNS, or PHANTOM SHADOWS — plus Immortal Guardians swag. It's international too!
Don't forget to follow the tour for more chances at winning!
Predatory Tour

Just fill out the rafflecopter form to enter for this giveaway:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Predatory by Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, Dianne Duvall, Hannah Jayne

Four of today's most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire...
Out Of Control by Alexandra IvyPh.D 
Student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he's actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other...

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs 
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall (Immortal Guardians #3.5)   
Immortal Richart d'Alençon can't forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist...
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne 
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay's design contest rival is found dead, she's the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He's the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him--and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?​
I know that some people enjoy anthologies and some don't. I admit, I fall into the former category. I like introductions to new worlds that I want to visit because it is part of a series I want to read or just visiting worlds just invented for the short story. I also think that short stories are very hard to write. You have to develop a connection and a world in a very short time. So when it works, I really enjoy it.

In this anthology 2 of the 4 stories was an introduction to a new series and another one was part of an already established series. These were my favorites. Out of Control brings us an interesting world where people develop paranormal abilities and are separated from the "norms". It's a great start to the series and has me interested in further stories. In some way the romance felt a bit forced due to the length, but yet still kept my interest. I'm very curious as to how this world evolves within the series. I'm looking forward to reading it.

In Ties That Bind, I think this one isn't an introduction to a new series. I thought it really started off with a bang and was very gritty and gothic. Much darker than most PNR you read. However, it sort of got a bit funny to me when what kills others is the beauty of the vampire. Some may eye roll at this and some may actually love the creativity within. I did both, but was entertained no matter what my eyes were doing.

In Still Darkness is a part of an established series (Immortal Guardians) which I have read and reviewed. I love this world and the stories and this one was just so much fun going back to that world and learning about another character. You don't have to have read the others to get it, but it makes it just that much more fun if you had. If you love this series (like me) then you will really love this short.

High Stakes is a fun PNR with a lot of tongue in cheek. I suspect I will like this series much better when there is more time to really explore the mysteries surrounding the main character Nina. I also think I will have more fun with a longer novel as it should really bring out Nina's snark. I can see the beginnings of excellent snark... can't wait to see how it is even better pulled off.

All in all I give this anthology 4 stars. Like other anthologies you will enjoy some more than others, but in all, it was an entertaining book. Great for introductions to other PNR worlds which is what I think this book was all about. It pulled it off nicely. :)
I received this eARC from the publisher and NetGalley and no compensation for my review was given.

Bloggy note:
Come back tomorrow for a blog post and a great giveaway from Dianne Duvall!