For YA & Adult Readers!

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Blog Tour Event: The Devil's Daughter, Plus a cozy giveaway

FBI Agent, Eden Collins is going home...to catch a killer!
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Tawny Weber's Call to Honor Release Event

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Amanda Hocking's dazzling new read FREEKS, now available!

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
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A Romance as Sweet as Strawberry Wine!

How do you know if a first love is made to last?
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Sohpie Kinsella's new read #MyNotSoPerfectLife is witty and fun

Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tour Review: Falling For Summer by Kailin Gow

FALLING FOR SUMMER

Loving Summer: Donovan Brothers #1
by Kailin Gow
Publication Date: December 15, 2012
Publisher: The EDGE Books
Pages/Format: 246; Paperback, ebook
Amazon
Love hits you when you least expect it, grabs you, sucks you in whole, and twists you around until you could hardly breathe. Love hurts like a sucker punch, that’s both glorious and beautiful. Falling for Summer was like that for me, every time. – Nat Donovan

The Donovan Brothers

Two brothers as gorgeous as they are dangerous.

Nat Donovan, the older more responsible brother with the passion of a starving man. Knows what he wants, but knows he can’t have it without giving up everything.

Drew Donovan, the really bad boy, the black sheep, the one who has a devil-may-care attitude, wants what he wants, but knows he would have to go through the ones he loves to have it.

Nat and Drew Donovan has known Summer Jones since they were kids. She had always been the girl next door who was best friends with their little sister Rachel and was cool enough to play with the guys. Now Summer is all grown up, gorgeous, and scorchingly sexy without even knowing it. Responsible older brother Nat, who had always tried to keep their friendship platonic, now can’t stop thinking of her and wanting more. Carefree Drew, who had always had a crush on Summer, but knew Summer’s heart was already taken, can only fall further for her. But no one had anticipated what would happen between the time the Donovan brothers fell for her and now. No one knew how hard they would fall.

YA-Mature/New Adult Contemporary

* Continues where Loving Summer left off, featuring mostly Drew and Nat's Point-of-View.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: Cocoon by Kate Oliver

COCOON

The Metamorphosis Trilogy #2
by Kate Oliver
Publication Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher: MAB Books
Pages/Format: 246; Paperback, ebook
Amazon--B&N icon
It seemed to me, then, that love exists balanced on the edge of a knife, with self-doubt on one side and temptation on the other. And if you succumb to both, there's nothing for you but to be sliced in half, right down the middle of your wanting heart.

I was so, so close to the blade of that knife.

To save the girl he loves, Will Mallory destroyed his only means of returning to his own world, a decision that lays heavily on Will and Cara as they try to navigate the new life--the human life--they're building together. In the sequel to the acclaimed Caterpillar, a horrifying mistake sends a frantic Cara on a mission to the other side of the country to find James Napolitano, Will's genetic twin. Meanwhile, Will is stalked by a woman from his past, who promises to teach him the control of his Eolian abilities that he's sorely lacking, but at a price that may be too high for he and Cara both.

Temptation and danger lurk at every turn as Cara and Will are forced to confront their greatest fear: that the love they've nearly died for may not be enough.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: Apollo's Outcasts by Allen Steele

APOLLO'S OUTCASTS

by Allen Steele
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Pyr
Pages/Format: 300; Hardcover, ebook
Source: Publisher
Amazon--B&N--Powell's
In the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile classics, crafted with a modern sensibility. Jamey Barlowe has been crippled since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. He lives his life in a wheelchair, only truly free when he is in the water. But then Jamey's father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup detat that has occurred overnight in the United States. Moreover, one of the other five refugees is more than she appears. Soon Jamey is front and center in a political and military struggle stretching from the Earth to the Moon.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost + Book Trailer

THE PALADIN PROPHECY

Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages/Format: 560; Hardcover, Audio, ebook
Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that has lasted for millennia.

Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Get Your Copy of True Love Way Today!

True Love Way, a chick-lit novel written by the fantastic author, Nancy Scrofano, is definitely the perfect gift to give to a loved one! I reviewed True Love Way, during it's recent blog tour, and loved every minute of it. Marlo Spencer is a bright character that will have you crying in sympathy and laughing with in the moments of pure happiness. Check out my 5 Dove review and get your copy of True Love Way today!
Marlo Spencer relishes all things retro. Old TV shows, classic movies, and even the collectible lunch boxes to go with them. In fact, she's quite cozy in her Malibu apartment, surrounded by her treasured knick-knacks and vintage memorabilia. It's her best friend, Nik, who doesn't get her fascination with all that "old junk," as he calls it. He especially doesn't understand why she's so keen to get back to their hometown of Napa when her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris and nary a single phone call, eager to reunite with her. So, when Marlo heads up north to wine country to rekindle her relationship with Josh, Nik tags along, claiming he was already planning to visit his sister, Savannah, Marlo's gal pal. Once they reach Napa, however, dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and past betrayals are revealed, leaving an unsuspecting Marlo to pick up the pieces. Can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?

Purchase on Amazon: Ebook--Paperback

Click on ad to go to Nancy's website!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: BROKEN by A.E. Rought + Book Trailer

BROKEN

by A.E. Rought
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Pages/Format: 384; Paperback, ebook
Amazon--B&Nicon--Powell's
Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Release Day Blitz: FALLING FOR SUMMER by Kailin Gow

FALLING FOR SUMMER

Loving Summer: Donovan Brothers #1
by Kailin Gow
Publication Date: December 15, 2012
Amazon--Goodreads
Love hits you when you least expect it, grabs you, sucks you in whole, and twists you around until you could hardly breathe. Love hurts like a sucker punch, that’s both glorious and beautiful. Falling for Summer was like that for me, every time. – Nat Donovan

The Donovan Brothers

Two brothers as gorgeous as they are dangerous.

Nat Donovan, the older more responsible brother with the passion of a starving man. Knows what he wants, but knows he can’t have it without giving up everything.

Drew Donovan, the really bad boy, the black sheep, the one who has a devil-may-care attitude, wants what he wants, but knows he would have to go through the ones he loves to have it.

Nat and Drew Donovan has known Summer Jones since they were kids. She had always been the girl next door who was best friends with their little sister Rachel and was cool enough to play with the guys. Now Summer is all grown up, gorgeous, and scorchingly sexy without even knowing it. Responsible older brother Nat, who had always tried to keep their friendship platonic, now can’t stop thinking of her and wanting more. Carefree Drew, who had always had a crush on Summer, but knew Summer’s heart was already taken, can only fall further for her. But no one had anticipated what would happen between the time the Donovan brothers fell for her and now. No one knew how hard they would fall.

YA-Mature/New Adult Contemporary

* Continues where Loving Summer left off, featuring mostly Drew and Nat's Point-of-View.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Just One Night, Part 1: The Stranger by Kyra Davis

THE STRANGER

Just One Night, Part 1
by Kyra Davis
Publication Date: January 21, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Star
Pages/Format: 128; Ebook
Amazon--B&N--Powell's
Kasie knows who she’s supposed to be. But one passionate night with a mysterious stranger will teach her who she wants to be. You should sleep with a stranger, her best friend whispers in her ear as they take to Vegas for one last pre-wedding fling. Despite her best intentions, when Kasie Fitzgerald enters the casino and sees him, a man whose tailored clothes belied a powerful, even dangerous, presence, she loses herself to the moment. Maybe it’s the dress, much shorter than she’d ever normally wear, or the Scotch, but something makes her give herself over to him more completely than she's ever done with a man before.

It was supposed to be just one night. But right as she’s thinking she wants more, he shows up in her office with an agenda. As the billionaire CEO of a company that’s engaged her PR firm, his demands just became her reality...and he desires so much more than just some attention in the boardroom.
Tempting, seductive and purely romantic, The Stranger is absolutely fantastic! Every moment that Kyra Davis leads readers through is realistic and past the edge of provocative. Just One Night, Part 1 introduces readers to a loose girl bottled up tightly inside the perfect good girl. From showy, skintight designer dress in Las Vegas to ultra-conservative business wear in Los Angeles, Kasie Fitzgerald is a hot and spicy contradiction. The beautiful thing about her contradicting attire is that she's about to discover the inner self that gave in to heated desire with a stranger.
What I love about The Stranger is that it's seriously sensual without losing the focus on the main character's real issues. Kasie believes in achieving perfection in every level of her life, personal and secular. She's soon to be engaged to her steady, very steady, boyfriend of six years who drives home the obsessive importance of perfection. Kasie's character unfolds in stages. The outset of the story shows that she's the kind of woman who never does anything out of order. When she decides to go through with the one night stand with Mr. Dade, her perception of herself begins changing.

Deeper into the novel, Mr. Dade charges back into Kasie's life and she really begins to explore the free spirit roving about inside of her, looking for an outlet. Her boyfriend, Dave, feels like the complication, the obstacle that keeps her from being herself, but she just can't let him go. Sometimes I didn't know whether to smile with delight or sigh in disappointment when she seriously examines her relationship with Dave, then changes gears when she contemplates letting loose with Dade. The conflicting emotions and desires in Kasie kept me reading and sitting on the edge of my seat. Davis certainly pushes The Stranger to a emotional climax that will leave readers waiting in anticipation for Part 2, Exposed!
*eGalley provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Add The Stranger to Goodreads
Connect with Kyra: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Cover Reveal: CAMP BOYFRIEND by J.K. Rock

CAMP BOYFRIEND

Camp Boyfriend #1
by J.K. Rock
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Format: Paperback, ebook
Add to Goodreads
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?
I am a big fan of Spencer Hill Press and a big fan of YA contemporary. So, when those two elements are combined to make Spencer Hill Contemporary, I am one HAPPY camper!

This cover is perfect, and I'm not just saying that! :) It feels contemporary and young, very simply fresh. I certainly know I'd gravitate toward it if I saw it on a bookstore bookshelf. I probably wouldn't even read the description before heading to the checkout line with it gripped in my excited fingers.

I'm surprised it's the first of a series, but I like to think the more the merrier in this situation.

Let me know in the comments: What do you think of Camp Boyfriend's cover? Are you excited for the story?

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly


IRONSKIN

Ironskin #1
by Tina Connolly
Publication Date: October 2012
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages/Format: 304;Hardcover, Audio, ebook
Amazon--B&N--Powell's--Indibound--Audible
Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tour Review: VEER by Alyssa Rose Ivy + Giveaway

VEER

Clayton Falls #2
by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Publication Date:November 2012
Pages/Format: 286; Paperback, ebook
Amazon--B&N--Smashwords
Only when you let go can you learn to live.

Between the death of her mother and pushing through law school without her best friend, it's been a tough year for Becca. Needing a break from Boston, she moves to a tiny coastal North Carolina town for a relaxing summer. After bumping heads repeatedly with a local cop, she realizes her summer will be anything but quiet.

Three years after a career ending injury ruins his chance to play Major League Baseball, Gavin has a distrust of northerners and lately girls in general. He wants nothing to do with a girl who is only in town for the summe
r. When the two give in to their impossible attraction, they realize that they may just have found the key to freeing themselves from the ghosts of their pasts.
Veer takes readers back to Clayton Falls, the small southern town that brought Molly back to her high school sweetheart and gave her the chance to confront her past. Molly's best friend from college, Becca, is visiting for the summer. She's hoping to deal with the grief and disappoint life has brought her in the last couple of months since the start of her second year of law school. Alyssa Rose Ivy continues to showcase her writing in the contemporary romance genre.

It was great to see Molly and Becca connect in Veer. Their relationship is real and the kind that can weather all types of storms, as evidenced in the story. Becca has issues hitting her from every angle, even when she expects Clayton Falls to help her relax and gain perspective. While the plot flows similarly to Derailed, I think the romantic couple was very well written. The complexity and understanding that flows between Gavin and Becca was not overstated. There's much in the story that digs deeper into Gavin's past, surprising because he never seemed to have that kind of baggage, but it added depth to his character. The fact that Gavin wanted Molly in Derailed was a little hard to get over once he started going after her best friend, but ultimately he was a perfect focus for this story.

Veer wasn't breathtaking, but the connection to the story is a lot stronger and makes for a more memorable addition to the series!
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*

Add Veer to Goodreads
Connect with Alyssa: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Reviewed in conjunction with:

GIVEAWAY

The giveaway is for one (1) ebook of VEER by Alyssa Rose Ivy.

Dates: 12/12/12 - 12/18/12

To enter:
  • Must be US resident
  • Must be 18 or older

Enter the giveaway form HERE

*Note: This is my first time using a Google form, so please contact me with any questions or concerns!


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Tour Review: FLUKES by Nichole Chase

FLUKES

by Nichole Chase
Publication Date: October 2012
Pages/Format: 162; Paperback, ebook
Amazon--B&N-- Smashwords
Meena has a secret guarded closely by her family—a secret as dangerous as the sea, and buried just as deep. When court appointed community service workers are assigned to Flukes, the family-owned animal sanctuary, everyone is on high alert. It doesn’t help that Meena finds herself attracted to sexy-as-sin Blake Weathering, one of the new workers. If he wasn’t so distracting, she might be able to land Flukes a much-needed cruise line contract.

Blake Weathering, the first in his family to attend public school, has developed a tough image. Unfortunately it lands him in trouble. Now banned from his high school graduation ceremony, getting his diploma is dependent upon a community service gig cleaning fish crap. No diploma, no trust fund fortune—and no way to escape his overbearing father. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a mysterious girl with teal eyes who pulls at his heart strings.

When Blake discovers Meena’s secret, they are both thrown into a desperate search for information about her past. Two worlds pull them in opposite directions, and they will have to fight to hold onto all that really matters.
Flukes is a lovely novel. Sweet and adorable will most likely be the first two words to pop into any reader's head whenever their thoughts turn to Nichole Chase's latest YA novel. Meena lives in the Bahamas with her adopted parents, helping them run their animal shelter, Flukes. Since she's been home schooled her whole life, her biggest worries aren't bullies or boys, but the secret she's hiding. That dynamic changes the moment she meets Blake. Blake is assigned to work at Flukes because of an incident that leaves community service as his only option if he wants to receive his high school diploma. While Meena may believe that staying away from Blake will protect her secret, she learns that maybe her secret isn't in too much danger with him.

Flukes flows at a very quick pace filling readers up with romance and mysticism. Blake and Meena ruled this story and every moment that Chase spends on their growing relationship is well spent. However, for readers who love the catch of suspense and strong hints of danger, Flukes doesn't have much of either. The limited amount of conflict in the plot gives the story a breezy feeling, as if anything bad that might happen will be very easy to overcome. Out of the whole novel there's just two or three scenes that provide real conflict in either Meena or Blake's lives and they're short-lived or too simple. The impact could have been much greater on the intensity of the plot, if Chase expounded when it came to relating the issues to readers.

Meena's sweetness coupled with Blake's protectiveness takes the novel's romance to a warm, cherishing level. Chase's characters are strong and humorous, giving Flukes a lightness that will make readers sigh with contentment throughout the story.
*ebook provided in exchange for an honest review*

Add FLUKES to Goodreads
Connect with Nichole: Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

 
Reviewed in conjunction with:

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Blast: For What It's Worth by Karey White

Blog Tour December 2012
Tour Schedule
For What It's Worth 
by Karey White

Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending. Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Praise for For What It's Worth

Reading Karey White’s books, like eating chocolate cake, is always satisfying and brings a smile to my face. For What It’s Worth is light, romantic, and delicious. It’s a great pleasure read. Sit down and get lost in the charming world of wedding cakes and love. As an added bonus, each chapter  starts with a recipe, so it’s a novel and cookbook all in one. A fun read!
—Teri Harman, KSL columnist, Studio 5 contributor, and author of Blood Moon, available June 22, 2013

I just loved the book – loved it. Hated putting it down and hated finishing it. Karey White is my new Maeve Binchy, her writing as warm as the bakery her novel is set in. For What It’s Worth surprised me, made me smile, say “no” out loud in a public place. I love when a character feels like my sister. I didn’t want to finish it, so now I may try the recipes that began every chapter.
—Amanda Dickson, author and radio personality

This book oozes charm, romance, and mouth-watering recipes. If you want to escape reality and curl up with a darling story, For What It’s Worth is the perfect fit. Thank you, Karey White!
—Rachael Anderson, author

This is a book worth every penny of the price. In the business of baking wedding cakes, every detail must be perfection, but this story remembers that real life is oh-so-messy. White’s clear and honest writing left me hungry for good food, a close family, and a little romance. A beautiful marriage of food, family, and faith.
—Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings, 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Book Trailer




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Connect with Karey: Website | Twitter | Facebook



Book Blast Giveaway Details
$50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash from Author Karey White
Ends 12/14/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Karey and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

{Review} KEPT by Shawntelle Madison

KEPT

Coveted Series #2
by Shawntelle Madison
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages/Format: 336; Paperback, ebook
Source: Netgalley

Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she’s now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door. Nat’s father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss’s deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Powell's
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Monday, December 3, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy

DERAILED

Clayton Falls #1
by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Publication Date: September 2012
Pages/Format: 260; Paperback, ebook
Source: Blog Tour

When you're lost sometimes the only place you can go is home. Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, Molly finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart Ben, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind. Looking for an escape, what she finds is a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Derailed is a nice story that gives readers a taste of Alyssa Rose Ivy's writing for an older audience. Molly drops everything, leaving behind the tragic memory of a fiance and her goal to finish law school, and moves back to her small town home in North Carolina. She doesn't exactly return to happy feelings and wonderful memories, though. All that she ran away from in the first place, including high school sweetheart Ben, rushes to meet her at her front door.

Derailed's story line is interesting and definitely romantic, but I didn't go gaga over the main character. Molly was kind of flat and didn't have a unique characterization. I enjoyed reading her story and trying to figure out what was going through her mind, but Molly was very forgettable. Her high school sweetheart was determined, a gentleman, and the kind of guy every girl would love to meet. Ben didn't have as much page time as Molly but I felt he had more personality and was more well-rounded. He was the exact personification of a small town guy.

The romance of the novel is the better part of the plot. It's consistent, hot, and the kind of romance that radiates comfortable vibes. Molly and Ben's reconnection is sweet with hints of sultriness. I love that it was rough at first, their new connection began slowly and grew into something completely unexpected.

Derailed end on a note of Molly's closure with the past and opening to a future of new beginnings. It's like her story came full circle and she realized that she's found the place where the pieces fit and she can move on from past hurts. The Clayton Falls series is just beginning and I'm excited to see where it's headed!
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*

Add DERAILED to Goodreads
Connect with Alyssa: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

~Book Trailer~

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

{Review} Make Believe by J.A. Belfield, Jennifer M. Eaton, Kelly Said, Lynda R. Young, Terri Rochenski, J. Keller Ford

MAKE BELIEVE

J.A. Belfield, Jennifer M. Eaton, J. Keller Ford, Terri Rochenski, Lynda R. Young, Kelly Said
Publication Date: December 3, 2012
Format: Ebook
Source: Won

Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place. With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death. After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible. She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her. Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

Petrified by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.

Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield
From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong. Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
The Make Believe anthology features short stories with paranormal themes that will make minds ponder impossibilities. While not as emotionally in depth as J. Taylor Publishing's previous anthology, Tidal Whispers, Make Believe's fairy tale-like essence will capture readers' attention from the first suspenseful story of sacrifice.

Terry Rochenski's Sacrificial Oath was an excellent portrayal of faith and love. When an impossible oath is laid before a young woman, faith in her goddess and love for her father are the only causes of motivation. The connection between Alesuelah and her father was powerful and a great focus point for the plot. Following is J. Keller Ford's Amulet of Ormisez, which is surely the most mysterious of the six stories. The story is detailed and features a less commonly written about creature, the selkie. The plot excitingly unfolds bit by bit as readers are introduced to Elton who returns home to a changed brother and a web of events to unravel. I love that Ford managed to weave a little romance amid all the action!

Lynda R. Young's Birthright and Kelly Said's Petrified by far the most unique stories with unfamiliar story lines. Birthright glimpses into the life of a grieving woman who only wants to get away from bustle of the city. The small town she chooses to settle holds more than the key to recuperation as she discovers the powers her mother and sister once warned her about, her birthright. Petrified changed the pace of the anthology by bringing on two perspectives. The story opens with Sterling, a son looking to solve the mysteries of his father's illness and his kingdom's strange weather, and then introduces Lochlyn, a healer of sorts who has just lost her mentor. The plot is interesting and though-provoking, which makes Petrified one of the six stories that stood out the most for me.

The last two stories of the anthology: Jennifer M. Eaton's Last Winter Red and J.A. Belfield's Escort to Insanity were a little longer and felt to be the lighter stories. I say with certainty that Last Winter Red has the best setting. I was pretty much in awe at Eaton's thorough conception of the post-apocalyptic type of world in which Emily believes that inside the borders of Terra, the Reds are safe. Outside the wall are the Grays and a dangerous, contagious sickness. All angles were covered: disease, less than perfect living conditions, an untruthful Council, death, betrayal and little romance, too! Escort to Insanity provided the strongest connection to its main character. Cole had a big personality, even when she felt constricted by the demands of her father. One classy function with a paid-for escort, though, changes her perception of the world, herself and her relationship with her father and gives this story a twist I did not see coming!

While I wish every story had as strong a character background as Cole's, Make Believe turned out to be a hit anthology that I can't wait to revisit! The wonderful authors who contributed will definitely force readers to feel the cold, while enticing them to believe in the unimaginable.
*eARC won from publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Winter Mysteries & Thrillers!


Hi! Welcome to my stop on the Holiday Giveaway Hop organized by JKS Communications! Make sure you click on the tour banner for the full schedule and a chance to win more great books.

I'm so excited to participate in this giveaway, especially because one of my favorite mysteries of 2012 is on the giveaway list, Murder for Choir! I'm also excited because I've decided to split the list so that TWO winners will each win a set of books categorized under Mysteries and Thrillers! Check out the sets of prizes available:

PRIZE #1:

Even as a struggling opera singer, Paige Marshall has never seen anything like the uber- egos of Prospect Glen High School show choir. As their new coach, she’s getting an icy reception from championship- hungry students who doubt she can take them to a first-place trophy. Toughing this gig out may prove harder than scoring her big break… Especially now that her best young male singer is suspected of killing the arrogant coach of Prospect Glen’s fiercest rival choir. For Paige to clear his name, she’ll have to sort through a chorus of suspects—and go note-for-note with a killer who’ll do anything to knock her out of the spotlight for good…

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide. The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them. Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for answers—but meets with bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden.

THE SAUSAGE MAKER’S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IS HEADING FOR THE FIGHT OF HER BATTLE-SCARRED LIFE. It’s the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. Women’s consciousness is being raised and they’re beginning to find their places outside of the home. But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanski is nowhere near her home in California. She’s in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law. Since her father is the small town’s leading citizen, Kip isn’t overly worried—at first. But the personal grudge the DA holds for all the Czermanskis is about to find a foil. Kip. What follows is a wild ride through Kip’s present predicament and her past. Family dynamics and sibling rivalries, magnified by her counterculture attitudes and feminist beliefs, will lay bare Kip’s life before the crowded courtroom, right along with the self-important Czermanskis’ darkest secrets. Kip’s rebellious reputation is well known by the townsfolk. Plus, she cannot fully trust her own attorneys. Things both personal and legal spiral out-of-control. The Sausage Maker’s Daughters is a superb character study and a riveting courtroom nail-biter, with an ending that evokes a gasp of, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming.”

PRIZE #2:

Provocateur explores that aspect of the human experience that surrounds the age-old contest between men and women. It is the story of Nadia, a young Russian woman who comes to America through a mail-order-bride program. She becomes employed in an enterprise operated by an ex-CIA agent named Olga, whose agency, through clever missions, extracts large amounts of money from wealthy men. In her “assignments” Nadia must get the best of powerful men that are at the top of the male order. Nadia, born an orphan, rises out of a life of poverty and despair, where she had no experience with affection, to face her struggles and take on the challenges of her “profession.” She is a complex, enigmatic woman of superior intelligence who must “win” through her finesse and feminine prowess.

The powers of hell that lie within are very real…Following his murder, Andrew McMurray finds himself transported to the depths of hell. There he is indoctrinated as an apprentice to a demon master, Sonneillon. Exposing Andrew to the dark reaches of his evil powers, Sonneillon demonstrates a demons’ ability to posses, torment and control the thoughts and actions of the living. Andrew’s ultimate goal following his apprenticeship? Revenge on his wife, Katelyn and young son, Joshua, both of whom he holds responsible for his murder. As Katelyn rebuilds her life, following her husbands’ death, she meets Michael Gordon, a recent escapee from Corporate America, who has his own troubled, tragic past. As their relationship grows, they realize they share something more than their burgeoning love for one another — the powers of hell have deeply impacted their pasts. Evil continues to insinuate itself into the pair’s lives, bringing with it haunting and unspeakable horrors. Andrew’s plan of revenge begins to materialize once he inhabits Joshua, having him act out in often violent and disturbing ways. With possession of Joshua’s mind and body complete, will hell’s ultimate evil goals come to pass, or can the local priest of a small Maine town exorcize Father from Son? At stake, doom-laden repercussions for all involved…and perhaps the world as a whole.

‘Pulp Fiction’ meets ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ in this tough, funny, sexy and fast-paced story. Pete Watts is a former undercover narcotics cop who got way too close to his job. He now runs a music rehearsal studio in which all manner of eccentric musicians come through. His soon to be ex-girlfriend is a talented singer with a sleazy manager who is in the habit of giving his clients drug habits, occasionally overdosing them to move their recordings up the charts, with the full support of the shady entertainment company for whom he works. This universe of people is inexorably drawn into a war between two violent drug gangs, viewed through the perspective of the Napoleonic leader of one gang. He has recently signed on a strange, but beautiful ex-mercenary, who wears makeup in the form of multi-colored tears running down her face. These tears are, in fact, decals on which different poisons are concealed, hence the title. Some survive the Trial of Tears, some don’t. The story’s taut climax is set in a posh townhouse in which only the courageous will emerge unscathed. While it certainly has its share of humor, action and suspense, it is also a story of friendship and redemption, as well as being a love letter to New York City.

TRADE SECRETS is the financial story that has never been told – it takes the reader on the trading floor of the world’s largest Exchange where money was pocketed before a trade was processed. When Remy Masterman becomes a member of the Exchange to unearth the details about her father’s car crash, she comes head to head with Zach Silverman, once her father’s partner and now Chairman of the Exchange. During the crash of 1987 when Zach’s bagman, Jason, faces bankruptcy, his high-heeled wife, Sarna, learns to trade in order to save their mansion from foreclosure. As the lives of these two women intersect, Remy falls in love with Ken Baldwin, never imagining how their careers will collide. Sarna begins a steamy affair with another trader who turns out to be an undercover agent for the FBI during its probe into trading infractions at the Chicago exchanges. When Jason’s clerk is pummeled, along with those investors who misplaced their money with their faith, he and Sarna create a bold, sexy scheme to save Remy and rid the Exchange of those who try to get away with murder.

To Enter:
  • Giveaway dates - December 1, 2012 - December 8, 2012
  • Must be a US resident
  • Winners must respond to notification within 24 hours or new winners will be chosen
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