August 31, 2013

Blitz: Rock My Heart by Selene Chardou

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Synopsis

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“I thought I knew what I wanted but someone forgot to tell me that you have to embrace the ugly in a relationship in order to appreciate the beauty of what you have created between another person and yourself. The following is what happens when you think you can take a short cut but in life, as in love, easy doesn’t come without difficulty, and if you want love to survive, you have to fight for it each and every day.”Sydney Landvik

Syd and Kaz survived getting together in the most unusual of ways, a rigorous world tour and his crazy ex-wife but their relationship will be tested more than they ever thought was possible. Now that Sydney is expecting their first child and they are engaged, demons from Kaz’s past rear their ugly head and cause a catalyst that will spin their world completely out of control. Kaz reacts in the only way he knows how and that is to shut down his emotions while contemplating a deal for Scarlet Fever that could set them up for life and finally give them the stability they need. Meanwhile, Syd reacts to the situation in a way that is completely unbecoming and may spell the end of their relationship and the happy ending she has craved for so long. Can two people—who have gone through the fires of lust and love—reconnect with what brought them together in the first place and make peace not only with themselves and each other or will the pressure prove too great and tear them apart for good? This is the explosive conclusion to one of the most exciting and twisted love affairs in rock history.

Meet the Author

Selene Chardou is a world traveler and the alter-ego of Elle Chardou. Ms. Chardou’s writing is all about hot romance and exciting times with the wild, damaged, out of control and/or the rich and famous set in the New Adult realm. She is currently working on In Too Deep, the conclusion to The Lovers Duet, and The Will To Love, book two in the Scarlet Fever Series, which chronicles the relationship of Will, the bassist of Scarlet Fever and Laurel, Syd’s BFF who fell head over heels for the hot rocker. Ms. Chardou has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Cover Reveal: Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams

Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams
(Darkworld #1)
Publication date: September 30th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her,  and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be.
AUTHOR BIO
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book,Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.
 
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August 30, 2013

Spotlight on: Bitter Cold by J. Joseph Wright

Title: Bitter Cold
Author: J. Joseph Wright
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction

Purchase Links:
Amazon

Synopsis:
Journalist April Murray always went after her stories with the tenacity of a pit-bull, only she never thought she’d be covering her own demise. Braving a winter storm, in a sleepy Oregon town, she investigates a possible radiation leak at a defunct nuclear plant. What starts as a routine assignment takes an ominous turn when a boy is attacked by a lethal and mysterious predator that lurks in the snow, turning it black as night. With the help of a local handyman and his son, April finds herself in a battle for her life, and soon discovers the ravenous creature living in the frost isn’t the only one who wants her dead.

Bitter Cold…Don’t go into the snow.




Bitter ColdBitter Cold by J. Joseph Wright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.**

This was a very good book. It reminded me a lot of a Stephen King story, but maybe not quite that creepy! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and didn't want to put it down until I read the last page.

April Murray is a hard nosed journalist who is on the trail of a killer story. A local nuclear plant is covering up what she thinks is a leak that is contaminating the area. However, when the bigwigs at NWP try to scare her into backing off the story, she suddenly ends up in danger....in more ways than one. Not only is there a possible nuclear radiation leak in the vicinity, there is also a strange "monster" that is traveling in the snow and devouring anyone that comes too close. She teams up with father and son duo, Jeff and Logan, when they take her in during a blizzard, and they witness first hand the gruesomeness of the oil-like "blob" when a teenage boy has his foot eaten off when he gets caught in it. From here it's a race against time as Jeff, April, Logan and a handful of neighboring survivors try to stay one step ahead of a certain death by the black snow.

While this story is fast paced, anxiety inducing, and cringe-worthy at some points, it is has a few very sweet and touching moments that showcase both human bravery and selflessness, and that of man's best friend. There were two scenes with Sadie (a German Shepard) that actually brought tears to my eyes. I also admired how determined Jeff was to warn as many people as he could about the danger they were in, and his single mindedness when it came to protecting his son. April was also one tough cookie when faced with hard situations. She didn't back down from the black snow, or from the corporate bullies who were trying to threaten, and then kill, her.

I thought that the idea of a oil-like blob that travels through the snow and dissolves people was equal parts horrific and brilliant. Definitely a very scary image to picture. I don't know what was more terrifying though, the thought of something like that ever happening, or the scenario that Jeff and April faced - they knew it was out there and how deadly it was, but no one would believe them!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a well written, fast paced, suspenseful action/horror book, this one is definitely worth checking out!

View all my reviews

Author Bio:
J. Joseph Wright is the author of JACK JAMES AND THE TRIBE OF THE TEDDY BEAR, an Amazon #1 bestselling epic science fiction fantasy, and Amazon bestselling Horror Novelettes CEMETERY PLANET and FUGUE. Additionally he has compiled many of his popular shorts into the HORROR FOUR Anthology Series. J. publishes every month a new work and has a big library on Amazon.

J. married his soul mate Krystle on October 24th 2007. Although they have no kids yet, J. and Krystle are huge animal lovers. They settled down in the country with 5 acres outside of Portland, Oregon. Krystle, works as a Graphic Designer and marketer for J., who writes Paranormal Romance, Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror.

Blitz: A Dark Road by Amanda Lance


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Synopsis


Loner James McKay wants nothing to do with Hadley Grayson. After all, the last thing a drug dealer needs is the pretty, new girl trying to be friends. Walking distractions like her lead to trouble, the kind that can get you 10 to 15 behind bars. Likewise, fencing champion Hadley Grayson isn't thrilled about her family uprooting her during her senior year of high school. At least there's James McKay, the quiet, mad scientist who is as adorable as he is mysterious.

Though McKay may reject the idea of friendship, he gets one whether he wants it or not. But once the lies are told and the rumors spread, the dangers of meth making and dealing are impossible to avoid. Between secrets and overdosing classmates, McKay and Hadley will learn that loneliness can be a two-way street, changing both of their lives forever.

Meet the Author


A native of New Jersey and lifelong nerd, Amanda Lance recently completed her Master in Liberal Arts at Thomas Edison State College after her BA in English Literature and AFA in creative writing.

She currently resides in Easton Pennsylvania with her boyfriend and their spoiled hound dog. She is a cliché booknerd who is terrible at math, clinically obsessive, and prone to addictive behavior. She may or may not be a recluse.

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Excerpt

Because I stayed up late trying to finish up a batch, I ended up forgetting to set the alarm. The only reason I wake up is because Dog is running something fierce in his dreams again, maybe looking to catch uncatchable tennis balls. The final blow comes when he kicks me directly in the kidney, making my leg jerk up so that I almost kick him in the face.

“You’re lucky I love you, you furry son-of-a-bitch.”

He gives me a look that tells me to go screw myself and yawns in my face.

“Jerk.”

It’s past ten and I don’t want to hear crap about missing more classes, so I don’t bother to do anything except brush my teeth and throw on some semi-clean clothes. My skin is probably combustible by this point anyway, so showering won’t make any difference. Then again, maybe I would get lucky and catch fire at some point throughout the day.

At least that would lighten things up.

Hardy har har. Ain’t I clever?

No surprise. The Stooges are already waiting for me in the parking lot when I get to school. Twitching more than usual, Sam Anderson looks like he’s about to pick out the last of his hairs from his head. I guess that’s why he cut it so short to begin with. And I swear if Ryan Fuller’s face breaks out anymore, FEMA will have to declare him a natural disaster area. I can see the signs and yellow caution tape now. Warning: Standing too close to this junkie may cause you to go blind from his ugliness.

And that’s the thing about meth; it makes you ugly, but not just on the outside. We all end up ugly on the outside eventually (don’t get me started about western standards of beauty) but crank makes you ugly on the inside, like evil stepsister ugly. So ugly that I almost forget when we all used to be friends; Sam, Ryan, Luke, and me, before Mom left and Frank started using, and all that other shit. Maybe meth makes it easier to forget. I don’t know.

I must have become too weird for them to hang out with. At least until I had something else to offer them, something that helps Sam and Ryan make weight for wrestling and help Luke make the money for the car he wanted. Then suddenly I’m their best friend again.

Poof!

Presto!

Alakazam!

Even that didn’t last long, because now their eyes bug, and they itch, and twitch. They bug, itch, twitch and they sell. They sell for me. I know it isn’t smart to shit where you eat, but I keep everything in-check by keeping them in-check. I mean, I don’t even have to pay them; they work for product, for Christ’s sake.

I make them their own batch, battered down and diluted so I get the most use out of them for my buck—so to speak. If anything ever did happen, if they ever did turn me in to save their own asses, all anybody would see is a few strung out losers with a story. It would be my word against theirs. And on paper I’m an honor roll student who has never bothered anyone.

Then there are other ways of getting rid of evidence should I ever need it, so I’m not too worried about The Stooge aspect of business.

I know instantly when I see them that they must be hurting. In a way it’s funny, these guys have no concept of self-control, and they always end up bingeing on what I bring them. Half the time, they want even more than what our original arrangement dedicated and I have to remind them that they’ll have to pay me on top of working for me.

“McKay! McKay!” Before I can even get out of my truck, Luke is all over me, practically jumping on the windshield like Dog used to do when he was younger. But when I give him the look, he simmers down a bit and backs off. I thinking figure people are watching us from the windows. I know they aren’t, but I still can’t help but think it.

“Dude, how ya been?”

I look around, and because the school day is half-over and the parking lot is deserted, but I don’t want to risk a security guard finding us out here, I hold them off a little longer.

“I’m not giving you anything.”

“Dude, we’re starting to feel the pain here.”

As if I cared.

Then Anderson makes that whiny sound in the back of his throat and Ryan is scratching at the sores that have formed on his arms over the last few weeks and I am thinking: college, college, college. Out, out, out.

So I dangle a possibility in front of them.

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August 29, 2013

Spotlight on: Darkest Legacy by Allyson Gottlieb

Title: Darkest Legacy
Author: Allyson Gottlieb
Genre:  Fantasy, Paranormal

Purchase Links:
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Synopsis:
Everyone has secrets they'd prefer stayed buried. But information wants to be free... and so does Tamara Kingsley's ex-lover, incarcerated on the maximum-security prison planet, Alpha.

Tamara has done things she's not proud of, but that was years ago. Now the headmistress of the Silvermist School of Magic for Girls, she has an honest life, one that makes her happy. For the last twenty years she's fought like hell to keep it that way, and she thought she'd succeeded.

She's about to find out just how wrong she was to think her past was dead and gone.





Darkest LegacyDarkest Legacy by Allyson Gottlieb

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**Book provided in exchange for an honest review.**

This novella had a lot of potential. It had an interesting story line and characters that I felt like I really could have connected with, but it was just too dang short. I know that that's sort of a ridiculous statement when reviewing a novella, but it's the truth. This book was 50 pages on my e-reader (and probably only 45 pages of that was actual story), so there just wasn't enough "meat" to the story for me to really sink my teeth into. I feel like if this story were a little more fleshed out and developed it could be really amazing.

The story centers around Tamara Kingsley, headmistress at an all-girls school of witchcraft. She learns that her ex-lover/friend has escaped from a maximum security prison planet after being locked up for crimes he committed twenty years ago. Tamara was the main reason that he was imprisoned since she betrayed him and reported him to the authorities once she realized what he was planning. Now that he has escaped, she just knows that he will be coming to find her so that he can have his revenge.

The story is told in a series of present day events, and flashbacks to the past when Tamara and Valentine first become friends. I really liked Valentine from the early days, and I was hoping that there would be some sort of redemption for him later on. However, the build up and resolution of the conflict between him and Tamara was over so quickly that there was no time for any sort of development. The climactic scene between the two of them was very unfulfilling.

I really liked the character of Valerie - Tamara's best friend. I would have liked to see her used more in the story. I see that there is a sequel coming out to Darkest Legacy, so maybe we will get more of a story there.

Overall, I recommend this novella if you are looking for a quick and simple read. It was very well written and interesting.

View all my reviews

Author Bio: 
Allyson Gottlieb was born in California, but can't wait to go away to college and trade sunshine, bikinis, and fruit smoothies for autumn leaves, winter coats, and hot cocoa. When she's not busy working on her next bestseller, she can be found devouring books, obsessing over far too many TV shows, baking, spending time with her family and friends... and occasionally doing some homework. She has been writing since second grade and has no plans to stop until she runs out of stories to tell - so basically never.

August 28, 2013

Spotlight on: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
(The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Publication date: April 30th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


Purchase Links:
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Synopsis:
Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.



The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy, #1)The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really ended up enjoying this book! I went in to it with no real expectations - I didn't read a blurb or synopsis beforehand - so I was looking forward to being surprised. It was a quick and easy read, and I was captivated by the story and characters.

At first I thought that the story was going to be a typical New Adult romance that featured Allison and Ethan. They have a long standing attraction between the two of them, but he is a player and she is afraid that he will hurt her. Plus, she has the added complications of trying to prepare to take care of her schizophrenic mom now that she's an adult, and she feels that Ethan would just be an unneeded complication. However, things take a turn for the fantastical when Allison's absent father suddenly appears on her doorstep claiming that he is a fairy, and that he is the reason that her mother is sick. And he says that he can find a way to help make her better. The plot gets kind of twisty at this point, and it was a little confusing as a lot of new characters with exotic names were introduced all at once, but the story line was spot on. It was tight and well-written and kept me turning the pages all the way to the end.

I do have to say that I am extremely glad that I signed up for this blog tour. Sometimes I forget just how much I enjoy a good fantasy novel. A lot of times I get caught up in all of the angsty, moody, New Adult books, and forget that originally I was drawn to make believe and imagination. This book reminded me of that.

This is book one of the a trilogy, so I should have been expecting the ending to be a bit of a cliffhanger, but it stops in a really exasperating place. I really, REALLY, want to know what happens next and can't wait to read book two.

View all my reviews

AUTHOR BIO
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

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Website: http://www.laurahoward78.blogspot.ca/
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August 27, 2013

Spotlight on: Unexpected Angel by Sloan Johnson

Unexpected Angel (Isthmus Alliance, Book One)
Author:  Sloan Johnson
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica, BDSM

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Synopsis:
Tasha Skinner finally shed the baggage of a failed marriage. Now, she’s looking forward to a night of margaritas and man-bashing. Tasha’s friends have other plans, including Leather, Lace and liberation.

Dylan Caprese didn’t want to go to Marquee, but he and his friends were on a mission. They took it upon themselves to make sure things didn’t get out of hand when wannabe Doms mixed alcohol with playtime at the monthly Leather and Lace night.

From the moment he set eyes on Tasha, he knew there was something different about her. She wasn’t some bondage babe who thought she knew what it meant to be into BDSM. She was much, much worse; she was innocent and trusting. He can tell she is something precious.

When Tasha’s past threatens to destroy her, Dylan begins to realize that while their paths have never crossed, their lives most definitely have. Will he be able to save her before it’s too late?





Unexpected Angel (Isthmus Alliance, #1)Unexpected Angel by Sloan Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really liked this book, but didn't quite fall into all-out love with it. The concept was good, the characters were solid, and the writing was superb, but something just held me back from "clicking" with it entirely.

Tasha Skinner is a young woman who just got out of a very bad marriage. She married her high school sweetheart and then allowed him to control and manipulate her during their ten year marriage. While he wasn't physically abusive, per se, he was very mentally and emotionally abusive and belittling. He pretty much made her damaged goods. She has a hard time trusting men, and is very insecure and hesitant in everything she does. However, she allows her best friend Holly to drag her out to a "Leather and Lace" night at a local club to celebrate her divorce. It is there that she meets Dylan Caprese who takes it upon himself to save her and her innocence from the depravities that are going on inside the club. The story takes off from there, and has several interesting twists and turns along the way.

First off, I had a hard time liking Tasha. I felt sorry for her and admired the small bursts of spirit and sass that she showed, but for the most part she was weak. I wanted to see her grow more, and become more independent and self confident. Towards the end of the book she did take a few baby steps, but I wanted to see it develop earlier in the book.

Dylan was an amazing character. I never really thought that I could find a bald man sexy, but damn! That cover is all kinds of hot. Plus his alpha-male, Dominant tendencies paired with the tenderness and patience that he shows Tasha make him the most perfect man ever! Zeke and Tommy were definitely h-o-t also, and I'm really excited that the next book will focus on one of them. Holly, I hated from the beginning. She just came across as so selfish and self-absorbed to me that I couldn't understand how Tasha so adamantly maintained that they were best friends. Maybe she'll redeem herself in a future book. Meh.

My second semi-disappoint with this book was the lack of more BDSM focused sex scenes. There was a little bit, sort of an intro course if you will, but from the x-rated cover and the blurb I was expecting (and hoping for) a lot more! The lack of hard core stuff fit with the story line and Tasha's journey and her innocence, so I can't complain on that front. I have to admit that it probably worked better with the story and with Tasha's trust issues for it to be as tame as it was, but I guess it's just my inner perv coming out that wanted more, lol. I wanted more x-rated steaminess between Tasha and Dylan!! Oh well, maybe it's part of Sloan Johnson's evil plan to lure us in a little at a time. If that's the case, it worked! I can't wait to pick up the next book to see what happens.

I also wish that the story had been fleshed out just a bit more. There were a couple of things that were mentioned briefly that I really wanted to go back to in more detail. For instance, it is mentioned that Dylan owns a tattoo shop. Would that happen to be the one that Tasha goes into at the beginning of the book? Just what all exactly is Dylan involved in since it is apparent that he is rich? At one point, Tasha also mentioned having to go to brunch with her family, but it never comes up again. Did she blow them off, or did she go and not mention Dylan? Seeing more of her family life would have been nice. For instance, would they have approved of her getting back out in the dating world, did they know what kind of relationship she had with Nick, etc.? Dylan also mentions a couple of times that he wants to hire Tasha to come work for him and be an integral part of his company. I would have liked to see this conversation take place, if not her go ahead and come work for him. Maybe in the next book.....

I was also able to predict the ending from pretty early in the book, but even knowing what was coming, it was still a good read. Overall, I did like this book and would definitely recommend it to everyone looking for a good read. Can't wait to read book two in the Isthmus Alliance series and see what happens next!

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And here is a little bit of a treat for those of you looking forward to book two in the Isthmus Alliance series, Unexpected Protector:


Author Bio:
Sloan is a Midwestern mom who began writing nearly seven years ago as a way to make money while staying home with her daughter. Now, with two kids in tow and having written more articles on how to assemble various pieces of furniture than she can count, she is reaching to make her dreams come true.

Unexpected Angel, her debut novel, is set to be released in August 2013.

Sloan loves to hear from her readers!
authorsloanjohnson@gmail.com
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August 26, 2013

Blitz: Mine by Scarlett Metal

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Synopsis

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Alexandra opened her heart and let herself be vulnerable to Paul. The walls around Paul's heart were torn down by the feisty Alex. Both of them are happier than they've been in a long time.

Paul's ex-wife comes to town and turns their life upside down with news that shakes Paul to the core, making him question everything he's ever done. Will Alex be reminded of why she’s never trusted anyone and leave? Can Paul show Alex that she's the only one for him before it's too late? Or will someone else from their past destroy them beyond repair?

Meet the Author

Scarlett lives in the Midwest with her family. When she's not busy writing steamy stories, she can be found with her nose in a book, camping, or geocaching with her family. She loves Diet Coke, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and 80's hair bands.

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