Friday, February 28, 2014

{Review} CHASING PROPHECY by James Moser

ASIN #: B00HLTBDZ4
File Size: 2518 KB
Page Count: 244
Copyright: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Skookum Trail Books; 1st Edition


Book Summary:
(Taken from Goodreads)

Chasing Prophecy is the story of Mo, a shy teen who is just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become.

Chasing Prophecy is a contemporary coming of age story that is heartwarming, suspenseful, and beautifully written. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams. The Pacific Northwest legend of Bigfoot is a fresh paranormal element.


Kathy's Review:

Yes, you read that right. Bigfoot.

Chasing Prophecy is about three close friends in high school. The girl, Prophecy, aka Kazzy, is a part of a locally-known commune, but it’s not until Mo and his friend Max are drawn into some shady dealings that the commune is involved in, that things get weird.

I think the author did a great job of capturing the mind of a teenage boy in main character Mo. In love with his best friend, Mo sees the events unfolding with the cult through the filter of his own feelings. Seen by his peers as someone to be picked on, largely because he has two moms, Mo’s friends protect him and build him up. The other characters in the book aren’t quite as robust.

I wasn’t sure whether this book would be up my alley – I mean from the description above, it just seems like the whole Bigfoot thing is a misprint. But yes, Bigfoot does factor in to this book, as Mo and Kazzy decide to look for the legendary creature up in the mountains. Whether or not they find him, I will not say. ;)

If you have a teen reader in your life, or you are a teen reader, I’d say to give this one a whirl. An interesting storyline, some crazy twists, and some innocent teen romance round this one out.


*An ecopy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{Review} THE STORM AND THE DARKNESS (THE HOUSE OF CRIMSON AND CLOVER, Book 2) by Sarah M. Cradit

ASIN #: B00DS86XU2
File Size: 2579 KB
Page Count: 433
Copyright: June 4, 2013


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Ana Deschanel has made a terrible mistake. The only chance of protecting the other people involved is to flee New Orleans, the only home she has ever known, for the quiet solitude of Summer Island.

Summer Island, Maine (population 202) is not the tranquil escape Ana imagined. The locals are distant and cold, especially her neighbor, the reclusive veterinarian Jonathan St. Andrews. Her only lifeline is the kind but odd caretaker Alex Whitman. Showing up at all the right moments, he warns her she is completely unprepared for a Maine winter. As the first winter storm approaches to whispers of an island shutdown- Ana realizes that she may soon be cut off from the rest of the world.

After a surprising encounter with Jonathan’s brother, Finn, Ana finds herself braving the storm to return something to him. Unprepared for the Maine storm, she slips and falls onto the jagged rocks along the shore. The St. Andrews brothers find her in the nick of time, but she remains unconscious. As the storm worsens, the St. Andrews brothers learn there are other, more sinister forces at work closer than they ever imagined.

With no help from the outside world, they must find a way to protect themselves from both the storm, and the growing darkness that looms across the island.


Mandy's Review:

I didn't read the first book in this series and, to be honest, I felt like I was missing part of the background. Ana leaving New Orleans over her "terrible mistake" felt a bit excessive ... especially seeing how a lot of people make that "terrible mistake" all the time.

There also seems to be an almost incestuous relationship between Ana and her cousin. I knew right from the start that there were some feelings involved that were a little more than a cousin should have. Granted, most of those too-close feelings were one-sided, but given time, I think both parties would've felt the same ... whether they wanted to admit it or not. Not sure how I feel about that. A little grossed out, I think.

I can relate some with Ana, though. Not about the incest. About how she is with relationships. Just because a woman enjoys sex with multiple ... okay, many ... partners over the course of her life, doesn't mean she doesn't have any feelings. A guy can do it and it's okay, but a girl does it and she's cold. I don't get it. Girls just wanna have fun, too. =)

Jonathan and Finn were two opposite ends of the spectrum as far as brothers go. Finn was a little too goody-goody for me and Jonathan was a little too cold-fish for my taste. If Ana has to pick from one of the two extremes, I'm not sure which I'd want her to go with. I think she'd get bored with Finn, but I think Jonathan wouldn't help her out of her shell she's in since he's in one himself. It's a complicated situation, at best. Then, to top it off, she has sex with Jonathan when she's falling in love with Finn. Wow. Talk about flipping a complete 180 there, chica.

Oh, and let's not forget about the crazy caretaker in this story peeps. Not only do we have a love quadrilateral, but we have a psycho caretaker who thinks he's the only one who knows how to take proper care of Ana. Not to mention said psycho has killed multiple people over the course of his life.

Overall, I'm not really sure HOW to classify this story. It's not a mystery because we know who did what. It's not a love story because there's some cold fishies in there. It's not a cozy mystery and it's not an epic novel. It's a story with a lot of complexity and simplicity at the same time. It has moments of darkness, yet there's moments of light and hope. I did enjoy this novel, but I'm not sure what it is exactly I enjoyed. Maybe I just enjoyed the feeling of not really knowing what in the world was going to happen next or how cuckoo someone was going to act. Maybe I just enjoyed it because it took me out of my own world for awhile and entertained me in a new world. Which is, after all, what a book is supposed to do, right?


*An ecopy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{Review} THE BOOK OF JONAH by Joshua Max Feldman

ISBN #: 978-0805097764
Page Count: 352
Copyright: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.


Description:
(Taken from back cover)

The modern-day Jonah at the center of Joshua Max Feldman’s brilliantly conceived retelling of the book of Jonah is a young Manhattan lawyer named Jonah Jacobstein. He’s a lucky man: healthy and handsome, with two beautiful women ready to spend the rest of their lives with him and an enormously successful career that gets more promising by the minute. He’s celebrating a deal that will surely make him partner when a bizarre, unexpected biblical vision at a party changes everything. Hard as he tries to forget what he saw, this disturbing sign is only the first of many Jonah will witness, and before long his life is unrecognizable. Though this perhaps divine intervention will be responsible for more than one irreversible loss in Jonah’s life, it will also cross his path with that of Judith Bulbrook, an intense, breathtakingly intelligent woman who’s no stranger to loss herself. As this funny and bold novel moves to Amsterdam and then Las Vegas, Feldman examines the way we live now while asking an age-old question: How do you know if you’re chosen?


Charlene's Review:

Jonah Jacobstein is a successful lawyer, living the good life in New York. After running into an Hasidic Jew who speaks to him about the biblical Jonah, he starts to have visions. As he tumbles farther and farther into his visions, Jonah loses everything in a search for something far outside himself.

In all honesty, I struggled with this novel. It seemed a little slow, and I had a hard time connecting with Jonah at first. The premise was good, and it was as much humorous as it was lacking in momentum. When the storyline drawing the two main characters finally came into play, everything picked up and felt "right". I felt as if I held my breath until these two strangers finally got together. I wish we had seen more of their development earlier in the book.

Having said all that, my "aha" moment for the book was buried deep into page 321, where Mr. Feldman summed up the entire book in a prophetic way: "In the end, it wasn’t God or the visions or the Hasid you couldn’t escape. It was yourself." And that, in a nutshell, is the story of Jonah.


*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

{Cover Reveal/Giveaway} BRANDED by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki


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Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

 Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

 Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

 The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.



Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card




About Abi and Missy


  Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Abigail Ketner

A4editcolor


Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki

Missy Kalicicki


Received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

{Cover Reveal} SHATTERED SECRETS by Krystal Wade

Popular YA author Krystal Wade has a thrilling new novel coming out on March 3rd, 2014! Meet Abigail Nichols and Derrick Crawford in SHATTERED SECRETS, a story about love and magic that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

We have a fun jigsaw puzzle of the cover for you guys! Go on, give it a try!


...but if you can’t wait, just scroll down and take a peek at final cover of SHATTERED SECRETS!












SHATTERED SECRETS by Krystal Wade

Title: Shattered Secrets
Author: Krystal Wade
Author Location: Virgina, United States
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: March 3th, 2014
Pages: 300 pages
Publisher: Curiosity Quills


Synopsis:  

After being kidnapped, hogtied, and stuffed in the trunk of a car, seventeen-year-old Abigail Nichols' boy problems seem unimportant. 
She couldn't be more wrong.

The boy who saves her holds her heart. 

But Derick Crawford also holds secrets. 

Magical beings who guide human emotions are fighting an invisible war dating back to the dawn of time, and Abigail's one of them. The more she learns of her heritage, the less she wants to know. Armed with a very old, very massive book to teach them about their history, Abigail and Derick run away to a place where they think they can be safe and happy, only to have their troubles secretly hitch a ride.

Her history book is in a sharing mood, and it tells her to keep a secret of her own.

But has she put her trust in the wrong place?

And will the world survive if she has?

Add SHATTERED SECRETS to your TBR pile on Goodreads!



 Author Bio


Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers - who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas - sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read.
How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

Monday, February 17, 2014

{Guest Post} How I Wrote NOT WITHOUT YOU (Clue: With A Computer) by Harriet Evans

Writing books is a weird job to have. Explaining how your mind works and how you write books is also weird. I suppose the strangest bit is the beginning. I don’t force myself to think about what book I’m going to write next. I wait till an idea pops into my head and sometimes I don’t even realise it’s there till it sort of springs out, more fully formed, and I find I keep thinking about it. Not Without You began as an idea for writing a glossy tale about a British film star and her bonkbuster-y Hollywood world, but I don’t have it in me to write a Judith Krantz, Valley of the Dolls-style airport novel, much as I’d like to! And I kept hearing this other voice of another character, one from the past, in the back of my head, and eventually I had to listen to that voice too.

I knew this other character should be called Eve, and that she’d be a huge film star at the end of the Golden Age of movies in Hollywood. I was a massively geeky teenager and that has many advantages, not least that you learn lots of weird things.  I knew Eve so well, even now I can picture her perfectly clearly. I knew that something tragic would happen to her, she’d go missing and be almost forgotten about for years and years, until the modern-day actress who lives in her house in 2012 starts to track her down.  What I loved was as I wrote more of the novel the two characters of Eve Noel and Sophie Leigh (the modern-day star) became more and more real to me.

My favourite actress growing up was Vivien Leigh, born 100 years ago on 5th November 1913 and it’s strange to be writing this in the week of the centenary of her birth, because she was also my inspiration for the character of Eve. I love old films, especially Hollywood in the 30s to the 50s. My obsession started (as things so often do) between the pages of a book. When I was fourteen I devoured Gone With the Wind and I thought it was literally the best book ever. I’d never really read a big juicy blockbuster in that style before that has a world so utterly different from everything you know and I became obsessed with the film, too. But we didn’t have a video player *gets out small violin* and so I didn’t see it for ages. In the meantime I read all about the film, its tortuous production history at the height of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and stared obsessively at what small pictures there were in books my parents owned about cinema instead. I read biographies of Vivien Leigh, Margaret Mitchell, George Cukor (first director, sacked for being too empathetic to the actresses and not being manly enough for Clark Gable) and Victor Fleming (second director, bit of a chauvinist pig but got it made, having just finished working on Wizard of Oz, so you have to give him some respect for that, even if he sounds pretty awful).

GWTW started for me a love of old films that endures to this day. I used to watch random Myrna Loy comedies on TV during half-term, or stay up scaring myself witless if there was a late-night Hitchcock movie on. This was when there were only four channels, and when it wasn’t unusual to show, say, Notorious at 11.20 on a Saturday night. My parents loved films, my dad especially and it’s through him I got most of my information about it, too. Plus the one connection to a proper old movie star that I actually have.

In the 70s, my dad was a paperback editor at Coronet. He was lucky enough (and clever enough!) to publish David Niven’s autobiography, The Moon’s A Balloon, which sold over a million copies, as did the follow-up, the more Hollywood-orientated Bring on the Empty Horses. I loved those books. I absolutely gobbled them up. I couldn’t believe that my dad had a) met David Niven b) David Niven actually knew his name. I’d sat on his lap when I was two or three and didn’t even know it! He’d been to our house! (Along with Delia Smith, but that’s another story). When I was nine months old, Dad had had a terrible car accident that left him in a coma and later, using a wheelchair (which he still does). David Niven recorded tapes of himself in Geneva that he posted to my dad to cheer him up. ‘Hello old boy… Hope you’re doing a little better. Well, I’m sitting here overlooking the mountains, and I must say…’

He was a lovely man, someone who wrote thank-you notes, had friends he’d known all his life, a sense of right and wrong, someone with an interior life that wasn’t all about him. A proper old movie star, not someone who has an aftershave range and a DUI conviction. What I loved best about Bring on the Empty Horses in particular is this sense in Hollywood in the Thirties to the Fifties that the stars of that era were very much just making it up as they went along. It was a slick, hugely successful business that had exploded out of nowhere but the movie stars seem much nicer, more realistic, more intelligent, less self-obsessed, somehow. Their private lives were more private. They went to each other’s houses for dinner, they went fishing together, they volunteered for World War 2. They looked out for each other as they were being manipulated by the studio system into having their teeth ripped out or their hair electrolysised or being forced to give up love-children. And when they came out on display they were goddesses and gods, idols whom mere mortals couldn’t believe they were lucky enough to witness.

I wanted to write a book about the end of that age, and contrast it with fame today, from the point of view of two different women. I did some ghostwriting a couple of years ago for someone famous and the (very brief) brush with an A-list world was mesmerising. How the system now is in a way, I think, even more perverted and sexist than it was then, even in the age of rags like Confidential which weekly published the most salacious and vicious stories about closeted men, battered wives, cheats – all big stars where there were big bucks to be made from tearing away the veil and revealing the truth. These days reality is so distorted and public and private are so mixed up it’s impossible to understand what’s real and what’s not in a star’s life.

That really fascinated me. It must be incredibly difficult for women at the top to even stay sane. How fame is something totally different now, so that talented TV and film actresses like, say, Claire Danes, aren’t newsworthy compared to Kim Kardashian or Miley Cyrus, and whether they want to be, and how they are made to use their femaleness to publicize their work. And everything is a bizarre mixture of hyper-real (you have your own Twitter account, you Instagram photos of yourself naked in the mirror) and totally fake (your agent stages ‘paparazzi’ shots of you in Whole Foods, you give interviews saying you love burgers and chips all the while making yourself sick or taking appetite suppressants to stay so thin it’s unhealthy) against this background of really nasty, naked aggression (when you get out of a car you have photographers squatting on the ground trying to take photos of your vagina. I mean – WTF?)

And the other thing I wanted to write about was the question of ‘being a good girl’, both then and now. Women who don’t play by the rules are slapped down in Hollywood like no-where else these days. Newspapers, magazines (mostly consumed by women but owned by men) constantly take women down for getting uppity. The more you look the more you remember actresses who were big stars and then just… disappeared. Take any actress who starred in a massive film and compare their career to the career of their male co-star today. Debra Winger’s the classic example: she starred in Terms of Endearment and An Officer and A Gentleman. Jack Nicholson (20 years older than her) and Richard Gere are both still headline stars in films today. Where are the interesting, fleshed-out parts for her? Where’s Debra? Where’s Andie MacDowell? Penelope Ann Miller? Molly Ringwald? Karen Black? Debra Winger, Meg Ryan, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Rebecca DeMornay, Elisabeth Shue, Linda Hamilton… it goes on and on.

The other thing that interested me is how many of the actresses listed above are referred to as mad or crazy. The shrug that says… so that’s why she doesn’t work any more. Whereas someone like Christian Bale whom everyone acknowledges is… tricky at best, mental at worst is hailed as a total genius. For what? playing a psycho and putting on a rubberised batman costume, when it comes down to it. It really started to bother me, and I wanted my heroine to become increasingly aware of this and to start to rail against it and take control of her own life, which is so much harder than it’d appear to be in that world.

I adored writing Not Without You. My boyfriend and I went to California for research. I was pregnant, and it was the best holiday ever. We did a roadtrip and went to Big Sur and Vegas and cycled along the beach at Santa Monica and that’s where I felt Cora my daughter kick for the first time. I loved the idea of California and how the freedom of spirit that infected those early Hollywood stars is still so present there too. Ultimately the book can be summed up for me in an Eve Arnold photo of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that I had by my desk while I was writing. They’re in a pub and he’s ranting on about something with a fag in his hand. She’s really emoting to someone (it’s during the filming of Becket and she did love a literary chat) and by her side is… a packet of Walls sausages, just on the table there, they’re taking them back to their hotel to be cooked for supper. It’s so real and alive and natural. Just the idea now that you’d get Jessica Biel or Reese Witherspoon in a crappy old man’s pub with an overflowing ashtray chatting about Becket with a packet of Wall’s sausages next to her is just… never going to happen.

Now I’m editing my next book, and I love thinking back to doing Not Without You. Despite all the research I did was amazing how much of the information actually ended up coming from my own memories of the films I loved as a young girl and the books I read about them. Just one of the many ways in which being a geeky teenager was helpful for the job I have now. Geeky girls out there – it’s OK. Carry on being weird. It’ll stand you in better stead than flicky blonde hair when you’re older. In the meantime, if you get the chance to read the book, I really hope you enjoy it. Please please let me know what you think!

Harrie xxxx

Friday, February 14, 2014

{Release Day Blitz} MARKED HEARTS


Marked Hearts are 12 YA and NA authors coming together to celebrate Valentine's Day with stories of love. These are 12 separate stories centered around romance brought to you by some best selling authors: Brina Courtney, Sarah Ashley Jones, Magan Vernon, Dawn Pendalton, Amy Evans, Amber Garr, Morgan Black, Jo Briggs, Jessica Gibson, Tammy Blackwell, Sarah Makela and Michelle D. Argyle. So this Valentine's Day cuddle up with amazing book boyfriends for under a dollar.






 

Mallory and Luke have been joyously living out their happily ever after. With a baby on the way, they think nothing could ruin their happiness. When the baby's life is in danger, though, they've got a tough decision to make. This novella takes place after all three of the Broken Series books.


Layla Keyes is back in England. Much has changed in the five years since she moved to New York to pursue a modelling career - On the outside she appears independent, self-assured and enjoying running her own successful fashion label.

On the inside she is determined to take back what she lost five years ago when jealousy and misunderstandings allowed a so-called friend to manipulate and interfere in destroying her relationship with Evan Carter. Evan Carter has spent all that time pretending to not be affected by the loss of Layla from his life. A twist of fate brings the two back together as they are forced to share a few days alone. Can their love be rekindled despite the secrets they still have to confess to each other?  


Jase Donovan always knew exactly what to expect from college: frat parties, coeds, and a spot on one of the most prestigious basketball teams in the nation. It was the life he was destined for... until his sister became the Alpha Pack's Most Wanted. Now he's playing a dangerous game of espionage and subterfuge with the most powerful Shifters and Seers in the world, and if he loses, his life won't be the only one on the line.
Talley Matthews has always been able to look on the sunshine-and-rainbows side of life, but it's getting harder and harder every day with the knowledge that one friend is on the run and another is barely clinging to life. To complicate matters even more, after being pegged as an Alpha Pack Potential, she's having to fend off advances from Shifters who want to use her to gain a little power. The attention might be nice if her heart didn't already belong to someone else. In this companion to the best-selling Timber Wolves trilogy, readers will finally discover the path Jase and Talley took to discover their love for one another. Author's Note: All We See & Seem is a novella of 30,000 words.  


Wild For You is the fifth book in the Forever Wild Series. (This is a six part series with one book releasing every 3 weeks)

Things seem to be finally looking up for Valerie and Wes. Valerie finally left her job and started a new company with two of her closest work friends and if that wasn’t enough of a stress reliever, she finally decided to let her true feelings show for Wes. And when they’re reciprocated everything seems to be falling in place for the girl that once thought that she’d never get anything right.

But there are secrets that Wes has been keeping from her that involve her former friends with benefits, Max Green, and when they come to the surface it could put an end to Mr. and Mrs. Wild.


This is a two book bundle! Special Valentine's Day Price!

Promise Me This: Sarah Ashley Jones Welcome to the South - where the tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter. This Southern way of life is all Charlie has ever known. It’s not until she loses the only person who pushed her to break free of the Southern Belle mold that she starts living the life she needs and not the life her parents forced on her. Jhett has lived on the edge for as long as he could remember - constantly teetering back and forth between being a rock star and living a normal life. His rebellious and sometimes arrogant attitude is known to get him into trouble, especially with the girls who hang on his every move. Charlie never thought that a trip to pack up her brother’s apartment would leave her feeling even more unsettled about the grainy details of her brother’s death. Her quest for information leads her straight to his old hangout and into arms of Jhett, who suspiciously knows more about her situation than he ever should. Only a few questions remain - Can you trust someone based on their word alone? And if you make a promise, how far will you go to keep it? Stealing Promises: Brina Courtney Promises are made to be kept, never stolen. But that's exactly what happened to Victoria Blane and Levi Manor. Tragedy strikes their perfect relationship leaving Victoria struggling to overcome the darkness that threatens to bury her. Brighton Hanley knows what it's like to lose someone. He knows what it's like to be haunted by things that can never change. When he meets Victoria he recognizes the pain she's trying to bury deep in her eyes. He knows she's trying to hide, but he also knows that you can't hide forever. Victoria is drawn to Brighton in ways she never expected. But is she ready to let go of the past and grab on to her future? Or will she run away from Brighton before she can be hurt again?
 
 
Kelley Carson is successful, beautiful, and celibate. But that last part certainly isn’t by choice. Seems every time Kelley meets someone who might be able to help her scratch her physical itch something always goes terribly wrong. Then she meets Lawson; a hot real estate attorney, who by the looks of him doesn’t have a problem getting ladies into bed, she desperately wants him to take her home. Will she make it through one date without totally screwing it up? Or will she go home alone again? This is Kelley’s first entry in her diary of her dating mishaps.


First love is the sweetest.... Jax and Jacey are everyone's favorite couple, even though they've barely kissed. In kindergarten, Jax pulled out a chair for Jacey and swept the play dough off so that she would sit down next to him and he's been carving out ways for them to stick together ever since. Though everyone in their conservative, small beach town sees them as a couple, they're not, exactly. Because while they both want more, they've agreed to wait. Jacey works hard, respects her elders and follows every spoken and silent rule about fitting in and doing the ‘right’ thing. She doesn't dare give the gossips more fodder from her family, so she's kept Jax firmly in the friendzone. It takes a hurricane for her to realize timing is everything, but months later she’s still too afraid to put her heart on the line and tell him how she feels. Then plans change – hers for summer and his for college, and Jacey needs to make the most of the time she and Jax have left, or stay stuck in the land of missed beginnings forever.


Lorelei Peters had everything she had ever dreamed of. Amazing friends, a sexy boyfriend, and a job that she absolutely loved. Dillon Brockwell was all she had ever wanted. Handsome, successful, and he loved her as much as she loved him. Life was going along the way it was supposed to, until someone from Dillon’s past shows up and shatters everything to pieces. Can Lorelei and Dillon get through all the craziness and make it down the aisle? Or will lies of omission be enough to derail them forever.  


THE WITCH WHO CRIED WOLF - A Cry Wolf Novella New Adult Paranormal Romance

Be careful what you wish for… A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed… Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush… The power of love: things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia...  


Everyone has their demons.

Before Conner Hoffman began his new life free of collecting souls for his demon father, he spent centuries fighting against his true nature. As a cambion with a conscience, guilt plagued his mind, while the sweet taste of souls satisfied more than just his incubus cravings. A chance encounter with a beautiful harpy leads Conner down a road to his inevitable fate. Hunted for his unique heritage, he’s forced to embrace his demon side in order to defeat those determined to see him destroyed. With friends masquerading as enemies, trusting his instincts may mean sacrificing part of his humanity. And that’s the very last thing Conner Hoffman wants to do.
 

**Catch is a novella. It should take most readers 1 or 2 hours to read.**

When eighteen-year-old Miranda chases a purse snatcher on the Las Vegas Strip, the last thing she expects is for the pursuit to turn into an extended game of hide-and-seek. All Miranda wants are the old black and white photographs buried at the bottom of her purse. They're the only things she has left of the grandmother she never knew. But how much is she willing to put on the line to save them? And is it possible she's falling in love with a thief?

{Penguin Books US Only Giveaway} THE SECRET HISTORY OF LAS VEGAS by Chris Abani

ISBN #: 978-0143124955
Page Count: 336
Copyright: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Before he can retire, Las Vegas detective Salazar is determined to solve a recent spate of murders. When he encounters a pair of conjoined twins with a container of blood near their car, he’s sure he has apprehended the killers, and enlists the help of Dr. Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in the study of psychopaths. As Sunil tries to crack the twins, the implications of his research grow darker. Haunted by his betrayal of loved ones back home during apartheid, he seeks solace in the love of Asia, a prostitute with hopes of escaping that life. But Sunil’s own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin.

Suspenseful through the last page, The Secret History of Las Vegas is Chris Abani’s most accomplished work to date, with his trademark visionary prose and a striking compassion for the inner lives of outsiders.


Giveaway Info:

Penguin Books is graciously allowing us to give away TWO physical copies of THE SECRET HISTORY OF LAS VEGAS by Chris Abani to US residents only. The giveaway will run until next Friday, 2/21, at which time two winners will be randomly chosen and contacted. The winners will have 48 hours to respond with their US mailing address. If the winners do not respond within 48 hours, or if they provide a mailing address that is not in the US, another winner will be chosen in their place.

Good luck! =)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

{Review} UNLEASH THE CURSE by Alexa Egan

ASIN #: B00A286OEQ
File Size: 2206 KB
Page Count: 102
Copyright: September 2, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Star


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Neither actress Sarah Hayes nor London’s most eligible bachelor Sebastian Commin, Earl of Deane, has ever forgotten their one and only scandalous night of white hot passion or the differences in their social positions that make a future together impossible. So when they discover that they’ll be fellow guests at a house party, they vow to keep each other at arm’s length. A vow broken when they find themselves caught up in a mystery involving a brutal attack on an Imnada shape-shifter and an unexplained entity known as the Naxos.

Each clue they uncover reveals more about the ancient Imnada enemy—monstrous soul-feeders with the power to devour worlds. Each fiery encounter between the aristocrat and the entertainer underscores the raw desire that crackles the very air between them until Sebastian is convinced to make Sarah his wife, no matter the cost to his reputation. He just needs to convince Sarah, who cares for him too much to allow his future to be ruined by marrying a low-born actress. It’s only when the sinister Naxos strike again and Sebastian’s life is threatened that Sarah realizes she’s willing to risk a little scandal in order to save the world…and the man she loves.


Mandy's Review:

Although short, UNLEASH THE CURSE tells a complete story like you would read in a standard sized novel. The reader is initially introduced to these characters in Ms. Egan's first book, DEMON'S CURSE. And, while you can read UNLEASH THE CURSE by itself, I think you would need to read DEMON'S CURSE first to get a real sense of who they are and the complexities of their relationships with each other.

Sarah's low-bred social position prevents her from being with the one man she truly loves: Sebastian. Sebastian's problem is that he doesn't want to be tied down to just one woman. He has the same fears as many of us. That, after awhile, being with the same person over and over again, day in and day out, would become quite boring and repetitious. Upon seeing Sarah with another man, and possibly betrothed to him, causes Sebastian to realize his feelings for Sarah and his risk of being the society's talk of the town be damned.

Sarah's problem of trying to figure a way out of her current marriage proposal tends to solve itself when her suitor turns out to be an evil, life-sucking, entity. As they battle him to the death, Sarah and Sebastian realize that, if they make it through this, they'll allow nothing to come between them ever again.

So, like I said, a short read but a complete story. This novella serves as a segue between the first book, DEMON'S CURSE, and the second full-length novel, SHADOW'S CURSE. Oh, and just an FYI ... AWAKEN THE CURSE is a prequel to DEMON'S CURSE so you really want to read that one first. If you're a fan of the supernatural, werewolves, otherworldly entities, I think it would be worth your time.


*An ecopy of this novella was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

{Valentine's Day (US Only) Giveaway} THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER by Jojo Moyes

ISBN #: 978-0143121107
Page Count: 416
Copyright: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint Edition


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

A Brief Encounter for our time, The Last Letter from Your Lover is a sophisticated, spellbinding double love story that spans decades and thrillingly evokes a bygone era.

In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply "B," from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate—hoping it will inspire her own happy ending.

Remarkably moving, this is a novel for romantics of every age.


Giveaway Info/Form:

Penguin Books is not only offering a copy of The Last Letter from Your Lover to one lucky US winner, but they will also send that winner a copy of Jojo Moyes' Me Before You!!!! So, if you've not read either book, now is your chance to win a copy of both.

Giveaway will end on February 13th and a winner will be contacted early on Valentine's Day. Winner MUST be a US resident. Please respond within 48 hours. If you do not respond within 48 hours or provide a US mailing address, another winner will be chosen in your place.

Good luck everyone and Happy (early) Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

{Review} THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS by Elizabeth Gilbert

ISBN #: 978-0670024858
Page Count: 512
Copyright: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Viking Adult


Book Summary:
(Taken from dustjacket flaps)

Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this sweeping novel follows the fortunes of the Whittakers - a family of botanical explorers, led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker, a poor-born Englishman who makes his fortune in the South American quinine trade and swiftly becomes the richest man in the New World. His daughter, Alma, born into great luxury in 1800, ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. She is brilliant and insatiable, driven by an unquenchable sense of wonder, and also by a desperate need to understand the hidden mechanisms behind all life itself. But as Alma's research takes her deeper into the central mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man who draws her in the opposite direction - into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical.

Exquisitely researched and told at a breathless pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe - from London and Peru to Philadelphia, Tahiti, Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all is Alma Whittaker - a true and tireless seeker who stands at an extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas.

Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert's spellbinding tale will capture the hearts and minds of readers everywhere.


Mandy's Review:

Alma, born into privilege to a self-made millionaire, was not the best-looking female ever born. Her parents raised Alma to be knowledgeable, not playful. They taught Alma to use her brain. They taught her to be self-sufficient. It was never said (that I recall), but it was implied that Alma's parents believed knowledge to be power and Alma grew up as one of the most knowledgeable females of her time. A person raised such as Alma has very few friends, if any at all. Surprisingly, Alma never really felt lonely for she had her scientific research to keep her occupied.

I appreciated Alma, but I don't know if I would've befriended her. Her stubborn insistence on questioning everything would have annoyed me. Alma questioned situations to the point that she often missed out on opportunities that would've created recognition for her, which was extremely difficult for a woman scientist to come by during the 18th and 19th centuries. I think she often hid behind her questions and studies, scared to leave their comfort zone. Alma, brilliant scholar and scientist, was fearful of anything emotional and unexplainable. It's actually quite sad.

As far as the book in its entirety, I believe The Signature of All Things will become one of the classics of our generation. Forty or fifty years down the road, high school students will be reading and discussing this novel in their Literature classes. Great job, Ms. Gilbert.


*A hardcopy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

{Book Spotlight} TOUCHDOWN by Yael Levy

ASIN #: B00GM304P0
File Size: 506 KB
Page Count: 216
Copyright: December 9, 2013
Publisher: Crimson Romance


Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

New York socialite Goldie Fischer seems to have it all: wealth, beauty, and a fiancĂ© to die for. Until she’s murdered on her wedding night by a jealous witch and instantaneously loses everything. Angry and seeking revenge, Goldie becomes a dybbukher soul possesses the body of Southern football hero Clay Harper and she refuses to join the light until the wrongs are rectified.

Only Clay has issues of his own and doesn’t take kindly to a petulant New Yorker in his head, interfering in his already messed up life. When Goldie promises to leave if Clay helps her break up the wedding between her fiancĂ© and the witch who killed her, Clay reluctantly agrees. Only neither of them is prepared for the chain of events that follow.

Through the journey of two disparate people on a quest to make things right, Touchdown is a funny yet heartbreaking look about what it takes to truly know another soul and what it means to love.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors


About the Author:


A freelance illustrator and journalist, Yael Levy has been published in numerous venues, including The Jerusalem Post during her three-year stay in Israel just east of the bustling capital city of Tel Aviv.

She holds a degree in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. But it’s the questioning journalist inside her that has launched a new career in writing literature. Her debut novel Brooklyn Love (Sept. 17, 2012, Crimson Romance) hones in on Levy’s interest in the underlying thoughts and expressions of the Orthodox Jewish culture. She followed up with the quirky rom-com Starstruck (Feb. 25, 2013), and later with a paranormal romance called Touchdown (Dec. 9, 2013).

A native New Yorker, Levy currently writes for The Times of Israel about her experiences as a Jewish mother now living in Atlanta. She is also studying for a Masters in Law at Emory University.


Various Links:


Saturday, February 1, 2014

{Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway} I AM ABRAHAM by Jerome Charyn


Welcome to the I AM ABRAHAM book blog tour hosted by Tribute Books. Below you will find author and book info along with a review of I AM ABRAHAM from Mandy and a Rafflecopter giveaway. Enjoy!

To view the entire tour schedule, click here.


About the Author:

Author's Website
Author's Facebook Page
Author's Twitter
Author's Goodreads Page

Jerome Charyn is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him "one of the most important writers in American literature." New York Newsday hailed Charyn as "a contemporary American Balzac," and the Los Angeles Times described him as "absolutely unique among American writers." Since the 1964 release of Charyn's first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture. Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009.

In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn's book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong." Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.


About the Book:

ISBN #: 978-0871404275
Page Count: 464
Copyright: February 3, 2014
Publisher: Liveright
Prices/Formats: $12.99-$14.99 ebook; $26.95 hardcover
Book's Facebook Page
Book's Twitter
Book's Goodreads Page

Narrated in Lincoln’s own voice, the tragicomic I AM ABRAHAM promises to be the masterwork of Jerome Charyn’s remarkable career.

Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President.

Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln's life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd, to his 1865 visit to war-shattered Richmond only days before his assassination, I Am Abraham hews closely to the familiar Lincoln saga. Charyn seamlessly braids historical figures such as Mrs. Keckley—the former slave, who became the First Lady's dressmaker and confidante—and the swaggering and almost treasonous General McClellan with a parade of fictional extras: wise-cracking knaves, conniving hangers-on, speculators, scheming Senators, and even patriotic whores.

We encounter the renegade Rebel soldiers who flanked the District in tattered uniforms and cardboard shoes, living in a no-man's-land between North and South; as well as the Northern deserters, young men all, with sunken, hollowed faces, sitting in the punishing sun, waiting for their rendezvous with the firing squad; and the black recruits, whom Lincoln’s own generals wanted to discard, but who play a pivotal role in winning the Civil War. At the center of this grand pageant is always Lincoln himself, clad in a green shawl, pacing the White House halls in the darkest hours of America’s bloodiest war.

Using biblically cadenced prose, cornpone nineteenth-century humor, and Lincoln’s own letters and speeches, Charyn concocts a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief, whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and sons—Robert, Willie, and Tad—is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn’s President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.

Book Buy Links:

Kindle ($12.99)
Nook ($14.99)


Mandy's Review:

There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said above. I will tell you that this makes Abraham Lincoln come alive in a way I've not read or seen before. Jerome Charyn has a talent for imbuing history with new life and making it approachable. Never before have I found an author that makes me want to read about the past as much as Mr. Charyn.

Since this is a narrative in Lincoln's voice, the reader is able to get to know Lincoln in a whole new way. Granted, it's a fictional knowledge but it feels as if Lincoln has come alive again.

I adore Jerome Charyn and his writings. If you're a fan of historical pieces, then I would highly recommend that you add this to your library. You won't regret it.


Giveaway:

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