Friday, September 30, 2016

Frazzled: Every Day Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat - Review and Giveaway







Author: Booki Vivat
Publication Date:  27 September, 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins
Series:  StandAlone
Genre:  Middle Grade Contemporary, humor
Age Recommendation: 7 and up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 


Book Description:

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.
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My Review:

So, I am in love with this book!  It is so freaking cute as well as sweet, meaningful, thoughtful, inspiring, and most of all FUN.  I know what you're thinking, this is a book about a child about to start middle school how could I have enjoyed it near as much as I did well....because I was once this child.  I was a middle (a middle who was also the second oldest out of four with the next sister, yeah 4 sisters, being 6 years younger, so it was a unique middle situation) and while I don't exactly remember heading off to middle school I do remember all those feelings that come along with being a middle.  Those feelings that you'll never find your place in your family, with your friends, in your school, in the world.  You're just this kid floating out there doing the best you can and trying to make it through each day with out messing up too badly.  

Now as a mom I have a 10 year old daughter who while she is the oldest will be starting middle school this year and being that she's only one of two I think she has some of that middle child syndrome going on so as soon as I finished this book I popped it into her hands and she had the best time reading it.  She'll tell you that she knows exactly what she wants to do when she 'grows up' but that until she can do that she doesn't feel like she can find her place.  She's the kid in the background just doing her thing and just running at her own pace until she finishes the race.  She felt like she could totally relate to Abbie Wu and how she felt about everything. I loved seeing her eyes sparkle as she read Abbie's story, I loved that when she woke up the next morning she brought the book to me and started going through the pages saying "look at this, did you see this, do you think, wasn't this funny..." page after page she recapped the book with me.  I like to think that it will always stick with her giving her a little extra push of hope that she'll find her way and I just have to keep reminding her much like Aunt Lisa does for Abbie

"You'll See"

 Their situations are much different but the fact is that the feelings Booki Vivat brings out through Abbie are the feelings of almost every child out there...even for some of us as adults now but definitely when we were entering the world of middle school.  

On that note Olivia's (10) final worlds for this book were: 

"This book was amazing! It's very funny and I loved the art! I don't know why but it reminds me of Ivy and Bean, Naruto, and Harry Potter.  Ivy and Bean because of the conspiracies about the teachers and such and because it seems like Ivy and Bean but for kids that are a bit older. Harry Potter because of the whole school thing and how everything keeps going wrong.  Naruto because it's really funny and they make a lot of minor plans that end up going wrong. Also after I finished the book I almost couldn't wait until morning because of the pastries and I was so hungry.  I also think when Gloria (7) is a bit older she will really like this book too.   I would rate it 5 stars and I wish there was a number two!"

I adored the illustrations that Booki added to the book to help tell the story.  They perfectly complimented it and gave the book an even more endearing feel.  It is that something extra that just pushes the book in to the realm that teeters past 5 stars but you've limited yourself to those 5 star and if you could you'd just give it star after star after star.  I loved the relationships in the book, especially Abbie and her brother Peter's, it highlights that underlying sweetness that you'll find through out the book and if you didn't have an older brother growing up it will make you wish you had.  

I could gush and gush about this book and never gush enough.  If you have a middle child, a middle schooler this is a must (I wish it had existed back when I was a middle schooler, sadly I am not even sure Booki 'existed' when I was a middle schooler, haha, eek!) it is a book that every class room from I'd say 4th grade on needs to have in their library.  It is a book that even if you don't have a middle or a middle schooler you should get because it will mean something special to anyone that reads it because we can ALL relate to Abbie Wu and her FRAZZLED life.


~ HAPPY READING ~ 



Giveaway:
(Three finished Copies of Frazzled, US Only)




Booki Vivat has been doodling somewhat seriously since 2011 and not-so-seriously since childhood. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of California, San Diego. She currently works in publishing and lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel







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Week 2:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cluster of Lies by Samuel Marquis - Review




Author: Samuel Marquis
Publication Date:  15 September, 2016
Publisher: Mount Sopris Publishing
Series:  Joe Higheagle, book 2
Genre:  Suspense
Age Recommendation: 17 and up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 


Book Description:

"With Cluster of Lies, Marquis continues to keep me awake at night. I enjoy how he blends together science and his knack for storytelling to craft an insightful and entertaining tale."
--Governor Roy R. Romer, 39th Governor of Colorado 
"The Coalition' has a lot of good action and suspense and an unusual female assassin."
--James Patterson, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author 
"In his novels Blind Thrust and Cluster of Lies, Samuel Marquis vividly combines the excitement of the best modern techno-thrillers."
--Ambassador Marc Grossman, Former U.S. Under Secretary of State


In this second thriller in the Joe Higheagle Environmental Sleuth Series, mysterious deaths are taking place in the Rocky Mountain region outside Denver, Colorado. Joe Higheagle--a full-blooded Cheyenne geologist who has recently become an overnight celebrity for bringing down a billionaire corporate polluter--is hired to investigate Dakota Ranch, where four boys have recently died from a rare form of brain cancer, and Silverado Knolls, a glitzy soon-to-be-built development. He quickly finds himself entangled in an environmental cancer cluster investigation as well as a murderous conspiracy in which friend and foe are indistinguishable and a series of seemingly impenetrable roadblocks are thrown in his path.


My Review:

I am going to say dreaded words that no author or some readers ever want to hear when you start a review but here they are: Suspense isn't my normal genre preference, eek, yep I said it.  Here's the part that makes up for that though....with a Samuel Marquis book I always find that this is a genre I should be reading more of, one that I could easily get lost in and always wonder why I don't read more of it.

Cluster of Lies is a fast paced, heart racing, action packed suspense with a whole lot of heart involved.  It reminded me of a mash-up of Erin Brockovich and The Da Vinci Code.  A story that will grip you, have you googling up information and wanting to take on the world and all the injustice that is happening around us but hidden from view.  It is easy to see how much the subject of this book means to the author and he pulls in his background as a geologist to bring a solid honesty to the story.  You can go into this knowing that while the story may be a bit wild and crazy, totally a fiction suspense novel it will have an underlying truth at it's core.  Joe Higheagle may be a fictional hero but the world that he is working in is real and when you are done with this book you'll be wishing that Joe wasn't a character made up in the brilliant mind of Samuel Marquis, you'll wish he was out there fighting to make this world a better place.

There are a lot of things that I loved about this book.  I love Joe Higheagle and his passion to make this world better, I loved Sally, a woman who has nothing to hope for but finds hope in everything, a woman who is so beaten down she's hanging on by a thread but pulls herself up and finds reasons to smile.  I love the narrative, the background, the inclusion of Native American history, lore, and beliefs.  It's important to note that Samuel does justice to Native American culture.  He's not using it as a way to sell a book, but as a way to tell an honest story that has substance, and it is clear that also in this respect he brings forth the knowledge needed to do justice when writing about a culture that is not his own.  I also adore Joe's grandfather and am so glad that he is a staple through to the series and then there is the subtle snark that you don't expect to find but will have you quietly laughing to yourself as you turn the pages.  When a book like this comes with such a heavy subject that snark is much appreciated and my favorite thing is that it simply sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

You'll find that while this isn't a 'short' novel it will be a quick read because once you start you simply become so immersed in the story that you lose track of the world around you and before you know it you're closing the back cover.  While Cluster of Lies is a part of the Joe Higheagle series you do not have to have read the first book in the series.  Each book is a bit of a standalone with in the series.  As always though I think in the end you will want to read all the books so you might as well start at book one, it will also just give you that little bit of extra background into who Joe Higheagle is, but not a must!

This is a fantastic read for any Thriller or Suspense genre fan...even if you aren't typically one (like myself) I will tell you that this is a fantastic book to pick up and get lost in!

~ HAPPY READING ~ 

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. An Expert Witness in groundwater contaminant hydrology, he works by day as a VP-Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, CO, and by night as a spinner of suspense yarns. His first two thrillers, The Slush Pile Brigade and Blind Thrust, were both #1 Denver Post bestsellers, and his first three novels received national book award recognition. The Slush Pile Brigade was an award-winning finalist in the mystery category of the Beverly Hills Book Awards. Blind Thrust was the winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the suspense category, an award-winning suspense finalist of both the USA Best Book Awards and Beverly Hills Book Awards, and a Foreword Reviews' Book of the Year award finalist (thriller & suspense). His third novel, The Coalition, was the winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards for a political thriller.

Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer said, "Blind Thrust kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down. An intriguing mystery that intertwined geology, fracking, and places in Colorado that I know well. Great fun." James Patterson compared The Coalition to The Day After Tomorrow, the classic thriller by Allan Folsom. Donald Maass, author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and two novels, compared The Coalition to The Day of the Jackal. Other book reviewers have compared Bodyguard of Deception to the spy novels of John le Carré, Daniel Silva, Ken Follett, and Alan Furst. The first thriller in Mr. Marquis's World War Two Trilogy, Bodyguard of Deception is currently a Top 10 Best World War II Spy Book and Top 10 Fiction Book Set During WWII on Goodreads along with such WWII thrillers as Follett's Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Daniel Silva's The Unlikely Spy, and Ben Mcintyre's Agent Zigzag and Double Cross.

Mr. Marquis lives in Colorado with his wife and three children and he plays competitive lacrosse, hikes, and skis on weekends when he isn't writing.

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Say It Louder by Heidi Joy Tretheway - Release Day Launch, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

rdl-ban 

 One band. Five love stories. Too many secrets. 
  We’ve been waiting a long time to find out how the band Tattoo Thief will deal with drummer Dave’s toxic ex—and the secrets she’s been collecting on everyone. It was worth the wait. You don’t have to be a fan of the series to love a book that starts fast with a huge wow moment and then unpacks the band’s secrets. In fact, you don’t have to read the earlier books because each book is a different love story about a different member of the band.  

say-it-louder 

AmazoniBooks ~ Kobo ~ 


Book Description:

  I had a choice—dump my toxic girlfriend, or break up my band. It should have been easy. But she’s been collecting dirt on all of us for years. Just when I think I’ve hit rock bottom, a pink-haired street artist rocks my world. They call Willa “the Parking Lot Picasso.” I call her my refuge, my center, my last reason to hope. When Willa’s life on the streets collides with a sudden spotlight on her art, I’ll stop at nothing to protect her. But when the spotlight turns on my secret shame, she might be my only salvation.  

sil-teaser-2     




Excerpt:

  Quiet noises in Willa’s apartment wake me hours later. Soft footfalls. The rustling of fabric and clink of metal. I open my eyes to the dim city light that filters through Willa’s curtainless windows. She’s a shadow across the room. I stir and her head snaps up, eyes glinting. Her shoulders stiffen, as if I’ve caught her doing something wrong. I sit up. She’s swapped her jeans for black leggings and her T-shirt for a long-sleeved dark shirt. Her black messenger bag bulges on her hip. “Where are you going?” “Out.” She moves to a shelf and stuffs something in the messenger bag. “You look like you’re going to break in somewhere.” She tilts up her chin, a challenge. “Maybe I am.” I’m on my feet in an instant, moving between her and the door. “What? You can’t just go out and wander the streets and break in places.” She huffs, her eyes hardening when I block her exit. “I can do anything I want. You wanted a place to stay. So stay. But don’t tell me what I can or can’t do.” Willa moves to get around me but I shift to the side, and suddenly we’re chest to chest. Another staredown. This time, our faces are inches apart. Our staring contest crackles with the electricity of our physical touch. “Move,” she whispers. My lips curl into a faint smile. “No.” Willa scowls and shoves her body closer to the door, closer to me. I rest my hand lightly on her hip, so as she moves, I move. Like we’re dancing. Her fist clenches the material of my dark gray shirt. “I said, move.” Her demand is a hiss and I smell her breath, sweet and hot, cinnamon and clove. My eyes drop to her lips, and I want my mouth there. I need to taste her. Her eyes darken, pupils dilating as I tip my chin slightly, moving closer. But before I can connect with that ripe mouth, she shoves my chest—hard. “Wrong move, Dave.” She spins and grabs the door handle and she’s down a flight of stairs before I can pick my jaw up off the floor, shove my feet in my shoes, and follow her. I don’t know why I follow, I just do. Acting on instinct, rather than from the million calculations that usually drive me. Normally, I think with my head. I weigh the logic in any situation. But Willa defies logic. She’s like a force of nature, thunder and lightning, impossible to control. I race after her, down four flights, hustling to catch up as she pushes out of her building and onto the sidewalk. “Willa. Would you wait up for me?” She flings a glance over her shoulder. “This can’t wait.” She doesn’t slow down, but she doesn’t speed up, either. “What are you doing—really?” I hustle after her and pull my phone from my pocket to check the time. 1:18 a.m. Unless she’s going bar-hopping, there aren’t a lot of legal activities available right now. Willa snatches the phone from my hand, and that jolt of electricity is back. She powers off my phone without asking. “First rule: keep up. Second rule: put this away. If it lights up or rings at the wrong time, we’re screwed.” She hands the phone back and I pocket it. “What’s the third rule?” “Do what I tell you, ask questions later.”   


Get the first book in the Tattoo Thief series free (on iBooksAmazonNook or Kobo), or dive in to Say it Louder by downloading a free extended sample for Kindle or all other devices


   Enter Heidi’s Giveaway: 
(10 signed paperback copies of Say It Louder)


  


heidi-joy-tretheway-author-photo Heidi Joy Tretheway is a sucker for campfires, craft cocktails, and steamy romance in books and real life. She sings along with musicals (badly), craves French carbs, and buys plane tickets the way some women buy shoes.   Her first career as a journalist took Heidi behind the scenes with politicians, rock stars, and chefs, all of whom inspire her stories. Heidi Joy is currently working on her tenth book from her home in southwestern Washington. 












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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Breathe by Kristen Ashley - Review







Author: Kristen Ashley
Publication Date:  11 December, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Series:  Colorado Mountain, book 4
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and up

Rating: 5 Stars


Book Description:

There's nothing like the first time . . .

In Carnal, Colorado, Faye Goodknight is the town's quiet, shy librarian. She may also be Carnal's last remaining virgin. For years, Faye has had a crush on Chace Keaton, but the gorgeous cop has always been unattainable. She's resigned to live contentedly with only her books for company-until Faye suddenly meets Chace alone in the woods . . .

Chace doesn't think he's the good guy everyone believes him to be. He's made a lot of choices he regrets, including denying his feelings for Faye. Through his choices, he's come to believe the pretty librarian is too good for him, but after their time in the woods, Chace realizes that she may be his last chance for redemption. Soon, their long simmering desires grow to a burning passion. Yet always casting a shadow over their happiness is Chace's dark past . . .


My Review:

This was my favorite of the series so far. Chase is the classic Kristen Ashley alpha male with one huge difference...He wasn't a straight up jerk. I have struggled with the Heroes in this series so far because to method have come across as complete jerks but Chase broke that mold and I am so happy for it. Yes, he's bossy and yes he definitely had a moment or two where I narrowed my eyes at him and wanted to grump but he never made me want to toss the book and scream about 'why won't that heroine just freaking walk, WALK!' Interestingly enough this is one of the most emotionally difficult books I have ever read so you wouldn't think that I would have loved it so much but in all it's pain it was truly beautiful. The speech given towards the end by Jeremiah...my heart exploded all over the pages as tears washed all the evidence away. The struggle, the message, the love....truly, truly one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. So thank you Kristen Ashley for giving that to me, to us. Thank you for reminding us in this difficult challenging world that beauty exists and that we can create that beauty. This entire book reminded me of something that is important to my family, this portion of the West Point Cadet Prayer:


"Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy. Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer."

I am sad that it has taken me this many years to come into this world that Kristen Ashley created.  I don't know what rock I have been hiding under but I am happily out in the light now and never wanting to go back. Like Kristen Ashley's Heroes and Heroines it may have taken me a long time to get to my 'happiness' but now that I have found it I refuse to give it away.

Make sure that when you pick up this series you check out Kristen's suggested reading order.  I went a bit out of order as I first came across Kristen's books when I read her Unfinished Hero's series first.  I can say that having read that first didn't make a huge difference but like she suggests I highly recommend reading Rock Chick but stopping before Rock Chick Revolution and sneaking in books 1-4 of Colorado Mountain first because there is an important connection.

I really can't say anything more, I think that sums it up.  I would tell you about the couple and the basics of the story, how well I think the author writes, all about character development, and how steamy it is, but I think in all honestly to do that would take away from how this book left me feeling and that feeling it gave me is the greatest part of the book so in short, read this book. You will of course need to have read the first 3 books in the series to get the full grace of this one and I hope that you will.

~ HAPPY READING ~ 




Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Bound to Submit by Laura Kaye - Excerpt Reveal

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life. Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

   

Releasing October 11, 2016, BOUND TO SUBMIT is the first full-length novel in Laura Kaye’s erotic new Blasphemy Series, and today we have a teaser excerpt just for you! Check it out below! 

      Bound To Submit - cover

Goodreads ~ AmazoniBooks ~ 

Kobo ~ Barnes&Noble


Book Description:

From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He thinks he caused her pain, but she knows he’s the only one who can heal her…

Kenna Sloane lost her career and her arm in the Marines, and now she feels like she’s losing herself. Submission is the only thing that ever freed her from pain and made her feel secure, and Kenna needs to serve again. Bad. The only problem is the Dom she wants once refused her submission and broke her heart, but, scarred on the inside and out, she’s not looking for love this time. She’s not even sure she’s capable.

Griffin Hudson is haunted by the mistakes that cost him the only woman he ever loved. Now she’s back at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, and more beautiful than ever, and she’s asking for his help with the pain he knows he caused. Even though he’s scared to hurt her again, he can’t refuse her, because he’d give anything to earn a second chance. And this time, he’ll hold on forever.


    bts-teaser2      

From Laura Kaye:
Hey everyone! I’m super excited to share an excerpt from my upcoming Bound to Submit, the first official book in my brand new and super hot Blasphemy series! There are less than two weeks until release day and I’m so excited!! This is a steamy second-chance romance with a tall, dark, and tortured Dom and a kick-ass veteran amputee heroine, and I just loved writing these characters. I hope you’ll grab your copy of Bound to Submit, and the prequel, Hard to Serve—now available at all retailers—too!!

Now, enjoy this little taste Bound to Submit – coming October 11!



EXCERPT:   

 “Use your safewords if you need them, Kenna.” Griffin hesitated only one more second. And then he was on her. His mouth on hers. His tongue sinking deep. His hands in her soft blond waves. The moan she unleashed shot straight to his cock and made him want to wring every moan he’d missed these five long years out of her beautiful, curvy body. “Put your arms around my neck,” he said. When she did, he cupped her ass in his hands and pushed off the couch. “Hang on, little one.” He made for the adjacent door to the play room, but, good as it was, that one kiss hadn’t been nearly enough. Not when he was absofuckinglutely starving. Pinning her to the wall, he dove back in again. Kissing, claiming, devouring. He ground himself against her pussy, the strangled cry she released around his tongue making his balls heavy and full. “I’m not sure you realize what you’re getting into with me, Kenna. Because I’ve missed the hell out of making you come.” “Oh, God,” she rasped. “God can’t save you. Not from me. Not tonight.” He swung open the door, the motion-activated lights coming on as they moved into the play room. Others occasionally used this space, but he used it most. He’d designed and installed the furniture, suspension hooks and shackles, and pulley systems in the room for all different kinds of bondage play, and he’d outfitted the storage cabinets with every possible implement he’d need, too. And he had just the thing in mind, for tonight. “Feet down,” he said. The way she slid down him nearly drove him insane, and then he stepped back and considered her body suit. It was so fucking sexy that he hated to ruin it, but PVC was a bitch to get on and off. “I fucking love and hate that body suit right now,” he said, planting a stern expression on his face. Amusement flashed across her eyes. “Sorry, Sir,” she said, not sounding sorry at all. A thought came to mind and he retrieved a roll of red Kinesio tape from a cabinet. Tearing a length off he said, “I’m going to allow you the suit. This time. But I need you to tell me where the prosthesis ends and your arm begins. Can you do that for me?” “Yes,” she said, lifting her arm as he moved in. “The stump extends about two inches below my elbow.” “Here?” He held the tape over the black of her suit. When she nodded, he gently applied the red marking around her forearm. “Once we start, you have carte blanche—for tonight—to speak. I want you vocal. I want you telling me how I’m making you feel.” He nailed her with a stare. “Don’t let me hurt you. Don’t even let me get close.” “I won’t, Master Griffin. I can handle this.” “I doubt don’t it, Kenna, but I will cut the scene if I have even an inkling that I’m causing unintentional pain that you’re not owning up to.” He arched a brow. “Are we clear?” She gave a fast nod. “Good. Then spread your feet and put your hands at your side. Now.” Her ready compliance fucking slayed him. After all this time, it really did. “Mmm. Very good. Now, don’t move a muscle unless I tell you to. Because the scene begins right now.”   

   blasphemy_guyropes    

"A searingly sexy story with some of the hottest scenes I've read in a long, long time. Laura Kaye shows her mastery of the BDSM world. I'm eagerly anticipating more in this bold new series!"

~ Cherise Sinclair, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters of the Shadowlands Series

 

"Smoldering and sexy, Laura Kaye's Blasphemy series is everything I look for in a romance. Haunted heroes and strong heroines populate this one of a kind club and I can't wait to see the big bad Doms fall one by one."

~ Lexi Blake, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters and Mercenaries Series

    HARD TO SERVE - cover

Meet the Masters of Blasphemy in Hard to Serve, now available

Amazon 

exclusive until September 2016 in paperback and ebook


Laura Kaye - author picAbout Laura Kaye: Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.        

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Two to Go by Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright - Review





Author: Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright
Publication Date:  19 September, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Series:  Pantera Security League, book 2
Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Shifter
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 Stars


Book Description:

**The mystery and epic romance of the Pantera Security League continue in TWO TO GO, the second story in our new, sexy Bayou Heat offshoot!** 

A Dark, Dangerous Fairy Tale

A Prisoner of Body

Once upon a time, a young Pantera female called Elyon was ripped from her family and left to roam the jungles of South America. She foraged and fought to stay alive. And by the time she was rescued, she’d grown into a Badass Beauty who could kill without mercy. The Angel of Death.
The Perfect Hunter.

A Prisoner of Blood

Cage fighter, Max is no prince charming. The human male has spent his entire life protecting his parents. With every strike, every win in the illicit matches he fights in New York City. Night after night he’s forced to shed blood and crack bone, as a slave to the men who hold his parent’s prisoner.
But when an Cinderella in black leather walks through his doors, for the first time in his life, Max wonders what is truly worth fighting for.


My Review:

Another great addition to the Pantera family of stories.  I love that Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright decided to take on the stories of the Pantera Security League.  This spin off from the Bayou Heat series has a lot of the same feel that we've come to love in Bayou Heat but I find it to be a tad darker and I have to say I like that.  I like the idea of the 6 person team that works on the fringes of two worlds.  They're clandestine, practically rouge, and each one of them has a history that will break your heart and melt it into a puddle all at the same time.

In Two to Go we meet Eylon and Max, two bad asses with broken hearts.  Max is the perfect man for Eylon because while he's been tortured and held captive for years by Pantera nemesis, Christopher Benson he has known deep love.  The love of his parents a love he has help his entire life as he waits for the chance to free them.  I loved Max's strength and the fact that even though he's spent his life in captivity he has a huge heart that is open to love.  I also love the he recognizes Eylon's strength, that he knows she can take care of herself and he gives her the room she needs to be herself but also holds her close and gives her the love that she has unknowingly craved her entire life.

Eylon is a fantastic heroine.  She's bad ass plain and simple.  She is a woman who has and can take care of herself. I loved her strength and also her vulnerability.  The only thing I can say I wish is that we had gotten more of her back story.  She has such a moving story all her own that I could have read half a book about that alone.

That's always my challenge with these and the Bayou Heat stories, I always want more.  I never feel unsatisfied with what Alexandra and Laura give us but I would never, ever, complain about getting a full length novel.  I can't wait for the next one!



~ Happy Reading ~ 




I'm not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother's knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library. Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.

Years later (no, I'm not admitting how many) I'm still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.








Unlike many of my peers in the writing world, I wasn’t a writer or a reader until I left high school. During my youth I was into theater, song and dance, commercials and boys. I loved romance surely, but I had never read a romance novel until my late teens. With that said, I remember the day I did like it was a moment ago – my aunt gave me the Jude Deveraux novel, Knight in Shining Armor and I couldn’t put it down until the very last word. Then I went straight to the library and got another – then another until I’d read everything she’d ever written. After that, it was McNaught, Howard, Schone, Kleypas, and the Silhouette line, Desire. I instantly loved those emotional, sexy reads, so much so that I began to carve out ideas for my own stories, themes that were unique to me and moved me. In 1997 I enrolled in UCLA extension writing classes, met my mentor and critique partners and since have never stopped writing. I was committed then and I still am now; the need to tell my own romantic stories a full on obsession. My first manuscript was rejected, and though the second one was as well the editor who’d rejected it wanted to see something else from me. I had something (note to authors; always keep working, even after you’ve sent in a proposal) and sent it right away. The day I got the call telling me Desire wanted to buy Cinderella and the Playboy was the best day of my life. That is until I married my husband, and had my two beautiful children. But I must say, writing is much like motherhood – tough, grueling, surprising, delicious and for me, a dream come true.

I was born and raised in Minnesota. It’s where my love of all things green, wet and grown in the ground comes from. As you read above, before writing I was an actor, singer and dancer, specifically a BALLROOM dancer – an instructor and competitor as well. That work took me to many places like New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. I live in Los Angeles now, but I’m always thinking about greener pastures – literally.




Broken God by Nazarea Andrews - Review







Author: Nazarea Andrews
Publication Date:  20 September, 2016
Publisher: A&A Literary
Series:  StandAlone
Genre:  Fantasy/Romance
Age Recommendation: 17 and Up
Rating: 3.5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 



Book Description:

Power is a strange and broken thing.

He was the sun god, the god of healing and song.
And prophecy.
Apollo has lived alone for centuries, content to spin out the years wandering a new and strange world, lost in the past and endless versions of the future. He has cut all ties with the remains of Olympus and his power, and hidden himself in humanity.
His twin thinks he’s depressed, spending his time in coffee shops, hospital waiting rooms, and concert halls…and nothing matters. Not really.
Until her.
Iris. With her teasing mouth and soulful music and eyes that remind him of the past.
He can’t resist her smile.
A girl as wild as he was, once, with a poet’s tongue and the body of a siren, who for one night makes him forget all the years and everything he gave up.
And he can’t stop fate.
Gods knows he’s tried.
He can’t help taking her.
Even if he knows better.
When Iris wakes up screaming, caught up in visions of the future, Apollo realizes that he didn’t leave his power quite as far behind as he thought.
He’s the god of prophecy and he’s been running from it, for centuries.
Iris is everything he has to avoid.
Now he has a furious Oracle on his hands, his sister trying to fix him, and someone is killing the gods.
It’s not just his tenuous sanity that hangs in the balance this time.
It’s all of Olympus.
Godhood really wasn’t supposed to be this hard.





My Review:

I love all things Greek mythology so I was excited when this book crossed my path, then I saw the cover and my heart gave a little flutter, and after reading the description I got even more excited! 

This is one of those books that is extremely hard to review for various reasons but mainly because you can't talk much about it with out giving important parts away.  I think that the best part of this book for me was the different take on Apollo.  Apollo in everything I've read before now has always been cocky, a bit of an ass...no a big ass, and so full of himself he can't see past his own nose.  This Apollo...this is an Apollo you've never seen before.  He's caring of his family, (though they would never understand that) especially his twin sister, (who in much of mythology he never got along with, etc) he's quiet, introspective, deep, and mad/insane.  This is an Apollo who doesn't make me hate him, it's an Apollo that makes me feel all the feels.  I wanted to wrap him up and hug him tight, hum him quiet songs and sit with him in the beam of sunlight.  I loved his Apollo and am a bit sad to say that since this is a standalone I won't get the chance to see more of him.  

I also enjoyed Iris, she's strong willed, she's compassionate, she's likable and the perfect match for Apollo.  She is what he needs on so many levels, she sees him, she sees past his godhood and into the man that he has become after thousands of years and hundreds of years on the brink of total insanity.  

Now, here comes the hard part.  This can be a challenging read.  Challenging because it bounces back and forth in time quite a bit and you have to keep up, although there is clear delineation between the two time periods with the use of italics, but the constant back and forth can get overwhelming.  There is also the fact that Apollo is going insane so at times his mind wanders and his thoughts are scattered, he will have visions and well we all know how confusing prophecies can be. Also, was Del one particular oracle of Apollo's or was Del all his Delphi Oracles?  I have yet to figure that out.  One minute I think it was one and his last one before he made his fateful choice, but then at times when he is reminiscing he speaks of Del in the sense of multiples.  Are Del and Iris two separate beings, is Iris a reincarnation, is she just the next in a long line only since thousands of years have passed Apollo looks at her differently so in actuality she is the same as all the other Delphi but he's the one that has grown? I never do well with two people being merged into one though so likely that's simply an issue for me and won't bother anyone else in the least, haha.    You will want to go into this in my opinion with a basic knowledge of Greek Mythology, even if Apollo is portrayed differently than you've ever seen him the other gods and the basics of the pantheon are all the same.  

Now, I will mention that I was reading an ARC copy so there may have been changes to all of my issues by the time you get the final copy in your hands.  I love the concept of this story, I love the characters, I loved the twists and turns, I just think the book perhaps needed to simmer a little longer.  for all the kinks to be worked out and written more clearly.  I think that this is a great story though and I hope that any fans of romance and Greek mythology will give it a try.  The way this Apollo is written is enough of a reason to read this book because it is so different from any you've read before but there are a lot of other really good reasons to read it too.  Definitely give this one a try!  


~ Happy Reading ~ 










Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.