31 December 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop!


January 1st - 7th 2013


Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Babs Book Bistro
.

First off, here's what I actually want to say!


Yup, Happy New Year everyone! Have a fantastic year ahead! Now, here's a little giveaway to start off the year :)

Prize


One paperback book of your choice!

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Winner has 36 hours to respond or a new one will be picked.
  • Giveaway ends on January 7th, 2013.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget to check out the other blogs participating in the hop!


Blog Tour : Make Believe by J.A. Belfield, Jennifer M. Eaton, J. Keller Ford, Terri Rochenski, Lynda R. Young, Kelly Said (Review + Giveaway)


Follow the tour here!


Make Believe by J.A. Belfield, Jennifer M. Eaton, J. Keller Ford, Terri Rochenski, Lynda R. Young, Kelly Said.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Paranormal Anthology.
Publication : December 3rd 2012 by J.Taylor Publishing.
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.

I always struggle at reviewing anthologies, which is why I usually try not to. I know that most people review each of the stories individually but I'm not going to do that because if I'm purchasing this book, I'd want to know if it's worth buying (as a whole), so here goes..

I can confidently state that Make Believe is written by a group of talented writers. All the stories have paranormal elements and the feel of forming part of a full length novel. They have strong story lines, despite their short length.
For the most part, these stories are all enjoyable; the premise is interesting and worth reading if you're looking for a quick and entertaining read, especially if you're a paranormal fan. However, I will say that some of the stories have common/seen-before tropes such as with Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski. Don't get me wrong, the story definitely draws you in, but there's nothing out of the ordinary. The virginal sacrifice is intriguing but I kept waiting to find out how she'd get out of it and the end kind of fell flat for me.

My only disappointment is with The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford. The plot itself isn't bad but I'm not fond of the dialogues. The story is set at medieval period and the conversations between the characters kept jumping from normal talk (like how we would speak) and you know, 'ancient' talk. I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job of explaining myself; what I'm trying to say is that the dialogues didn't make me feel connected to the book. However, it may just be me because over all, the story is engaging.

Birthright by Lynda R. Young is interesting and takes a surprising turn, which is impressive for a short story.

That being said, these stories do have the potential and quality to become full length novels. If you're someone who likes reading short stories, this book is definitely worth buying!




Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • As listed in the Rafflecopter.


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30 December 2012

Echo (The Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel

Echo (The Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : November 13th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin.
She inherited a magical destiny—and a mission to stop a powerful family of dark sorcerers. She never expected to fall in love with one of them.

There’s still so much Daire Santos has to learn about being the last Soul Seeker….and about herself. As her magical training becomes more intense, so does her relationship with Dace. But when she learns that his connection to the evil Richter family goes far deeper than she ever imagined, she begins to question if love really can conquer all.

Dace is painfully aware that he wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Richters’ dark magic—and now his brother Cade is determined to use his love for Daire against him. Dace is willing to sacrifice anything to protect the girl he loves —including his own life. But will Daire allow it? And what if defeating Cade costs not only his life, but his soul too?

Reviewed by Priya.

Echo was quite a journey and I'm still a little unsure of what to make of it. Hearing so much about Alyson Noël's writing and her extremely popular series, The Immortals, I expected a lot from this story. The premise of the story is original, delightful and interesting, very interesting actually. The concept of soul seekers, the different levels of worlds and spirit guides, and pretty much everything spiritual is exciting and intriguing.
The plot has the potential to be a really great series, and if there is one thing about Alyson Noël I have deduced from her writing style is that she can make this plot work. But, while I was satisfied on some fronts, unfortunately it doesn't mask the fact that I was disappointed by a few aspects of it. Like how Noël's writing, sometimes, failed to pull me in.

The thing I have realized about Alyson Noël's writing is that you feel either one of the two things: Amazement or boredom. It depends on what kind of writing style appeals to a person. And I, for one, found myself struggle with that most of the time since there is no middle ground when concerned with Noël's writing. I kind of expected more depth in Noel's writing, which was a bit disappointing. On the other hand, there were scenes so beautifully written, I couldn't help but fall in love with them. Especially, the elemental songs and the scenes surrounding them were brilliantly and intricately woven. Like I said, either engrossing or irritating.

Another thing is that, Noël doesn't delve much deeper into the emotions of her
characters; sad because her writing is actually quite descriptive. Dace and Daire simply lacked dynamics. They show very little development or progress emotionally.
Sometimes, I am unable to understand either of Daire and Dace, since they are just so
good and sacrificing, they almost seem inhuman (not in a paranormal way, but in a
like-a-cardboard sort of way). Though Dace has got his reasons being the good and light half of the soul that was split between him and his twin, Cade, but what reason does Daire have? Of course, I don't want her acting evil or bitchy, but Noël's idea of good and evil is mostly black and white, which is not bad but it doesn't exactly makes for some deep reading.

All that aside, I appreciated the change of POVs, which was quite refreshing. Of
all characters, I liked Xotichl the most. She was kind and badass at the same time. She made her own shortcomings her greatest strengths, and that makes her the strongest character in my opinion. Axel and Phyre equally appealed me and drew in my
attention.

I had expected Echo to be much dark and heavy stuff, but it mostly makes up for - strictly, in my opinion - a light reading after well considering Daire's ability to wield a blade, Cade's monstrous abilities and all the blood and gore in between (like I said, strictly in my opinion). Even though, Echo failed to wow me, overall it was definitely a pleasant read. Especially, for the fans of die-for-you romances
and; other-worlds; and concept of souls and afterlife.

My favorite lines from Echo:

The other side of midnight’s hour strikes a herald thrice rung

Seer, Shadow, Sun—together they come

Sixteen winters hence—the light shall be eclipsed

Leaving darkness to ascend beneath a sky bleeding fire





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29 December 2012

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay.
Audience/Genre : New Adult/Contemporary.
Publication : November 13th 2012 by Atria Books.
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

I don't think 5 stars does this book justice. I was up until 5:30 in the morning reading this and I didn't even realise that I had been up all night!

I am so glad that I decided to purchase The Sea of Tranquility and even more that I actually read it! I don't know if my review can actually nail all the reasons I loved this book but I'll try. Sure, the story is messed up at so many levels with both the protagonists - Nastya and Josh - having a truck load of baggage/issues but I swear, this novel has one of the best narratives I've ever read in a YA/New Adult book in a long time!

The characters are dark, intense, witty, humorous and sarcastic in a way that I completely love. They're just awesome. When I started reading this book, I expected dark, depressing and predictable but instead I got addictive, amusing and emotional. The story begins with Nastya, a teenage girl with a traumatic past joining a new school. The first thing you find out about Nastya is that she doesn't talk. At all. So I have to say that it's pretty impressive how the author nailed 70% of the story just through the characters' thoughts and observations.

Then there's Josh, the broody loner (but not in an uncool way) that everyone steers clear of. The chemistry between Josh and Nastya is striking right from the start and I loved watching them get close. I'll admit, the last 20% of the book is too dramatic for my taste but even then the good definitely outweighed the bad by a long shot. Ah, there are so many little things that stick with you from this book such as Drew's amazingness, sunday dinners, sunshines, cakes and ice creams, the list is never ending!

The Sea of Tranquility pretty much screams "Turn me into a movie, I'll get you an Oscar!". This is one of the best books I've read this year!



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26 December 2012

The Boys of Summer (Summer Series #1) by C.J. Duggan (Giveaway)

The Boys of Summer (Summer Series #1) by C.J. Duggan.
Audience/Genre : New Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : December 17th 2012.
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.


Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.


All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.


It will be a summer she will always remember.

I have spent almost a year looking for a book similar to Jenny Han's Summer Trilogy and I FINALLY found one..and it was even better! I loved, loved, LOVED The Boys of Summer! I devoured it in a single night. This is C. J. Duggan's debut novel, which pretty amazing because it sucked me right in!

Tess doesn't like to draw attention to herself, she prefers being in the background, have fun with her two best friends and drift through high school. However the summer before Year 12, everything changes. Forced by her two best friends, Tess reluctantly takes up a summer job at a local bar in the little town of Onslow and ends up having the best summer of her life.

C. J. Duggan has created an incredibly special, charming town and filled it with fun, lovable characters. I swear, this book just made me wish Onslow was real.
The Boys of Summer is full of humour, all about friendship, first times and of course, boys. I cannot stop gushing about this story, the characters and especially the writing. For me, this wasn't just another read. The Boys of Summer really made an impression because I felt like I lived through that summer and experienced everything right there with Tess. I even felt butterflies in my stomach (yes, over fictional boys and moments), that's how much I was into it!

The Boys of Summer is a must-read for anyone who loves contemporary romance and is definitely one of the best new adult books I've read this year! Believe me, it's all kinds of wonderful and you should get this now!

P.S. Australian writers are the best! I can't wait to read more from C. J. Duggan!


Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

21 December 2012

Guest Reviewer Needed!

Hi,

If you've been following my blog, you've probably noticed that I haven't been posting much lately and when I have, most of the time they aren't reviews.
The reason for this is because I'm back at school so between that and work, I hardly have time to read.

I've SO many review books piling up and I feel like a crappy blogger (which I really have been lately).

I need help.

I could use a guest reviewer to take on around two to three books every month. However, since these are print books and I live in India, I need someone from India as well (shipping international is too darn expensive).

So, if you live in India, love books and would like to review for me, I'd love to have you as a guest reviewer on my blog.

Please note that they're mostly new releases so some of them will be second or third in a series and you should be willing to read them.

On the bright side, you can keep the books (unless there's a reason I want it back).

Just e-mail me at vasan.anjana@gmail.com with the following information about you :

  • Name.
  • Age.
  • Address (so I can send you the books).
  • Contact Number (need it in India to mail books).
  • Preference : YA or Adult.
  • Genre Preference : Contemporary, Dystopia, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy or all.
  • Are you willing to read releases which are not first in a series?
  • Are you also interested in Indian writing?

That's all.

Thank you and happy holidays!

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Fiction, Romance.
Publication : April 27th 2010 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published September 1st 2008).
An enchanting first novel about love, madness, and Kenny G.

The Silver Linings Playbook is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with the magnitude of his wife’s betrayal.


During the years he spends in a neural health facility, Pat Peoples formulates a theory about silver linings: he believes his life is a movie produced by God, his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends are saddled with families; the Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, making his father moody; and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

When Pat meets the tragically widowed and clinically depressed Tiffany, she offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife, if only he will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their “contract.” All the while, Pat keeps searching for his silver lining. In this brilliantly written debut novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, deftly showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. The result is a touching and funny story that helps us look at both depression and love in a wonderfully refreshing way.

From the synopsis :

'A heartwarming debut novel, soon to be a major movie by David O. Russell.'

I'll second that. The Silver Linings Playbook is definitely heartwarming, among other things. It is special. The writing's wonderful and I loved being in Pat's head! It has been so long since a book made me feel all warm and fuzzy, this book is the first in a long time.

Pat and Tiffany are lovely, unique and perfect for each other. Matthew Quick has done a fantastic job of making you understand these quirky characters through his words. In the story, Pat's supposed to be sick but I love that he is genuine and believes in happy endings. The Silver Linings Playbook is full of memorable moments and characters. From 'apart time' to Dr. Patel (I had no clue that a shrink could be so cool), every bit of this story is delightful!

I haven't seen the movie yet so I can't compare. However, I can guarantee that this is a book worth buying!




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14 December 2012

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton (Giveaway)

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : December, 2012 by Etopia Press.
When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.


Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…








Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • The author/publisher is responsible for the giveaway.
  • As listed in the Rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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12 December 2012

Giftcard Giveaway sponsored by Cuponation (India Only)


To my Indian Followers,

You bibliophiles know the awesomeness of Flipkart. Thanks to a new company called Cuponation, I've a Rs.1000 voucher giveaway for you guys today :) Yes, you can buy some pretty awesome books with that.


All you avid readers out there, take part in the "quiz" sponsored by Cuponation. One lucky winner will get an e-gift voucher from Flipkart worth Rs 1000. Rest of the participants should not lose heart, you can avail great discounts on variety of products including books from here. You can also subscribe to the newsletters from Cuponation to get regular updates about new exciting offers.


I know the image says 'How Smart Are You?' but this is going to be slightly different.

I've decided to have a fun bookish trivia giveaway.

I have written some of my favourite quotes for you below. Just guess the book(s) they're from, tweet about the contest and one of you will win this gift card!

Simple enough? The quotes are from popular young/new adult/adult books! You can guess any or all of the quotes, the more you get right, the more entries you have.


Quote #1

“Like a horse, honey, somebody's gonna break you."
"Never. Going. To. Happen.”


Quote #2

“Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?”

Quote #3

“We live and breathe words.”

Quote #4

“As long as I know this" - he lifted our joined hands - "is mine to hold, I'll wait for you forever.”

Quote #5

“DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOU MONKEYS.”

Quote #6

“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

Quote #7

“Impulsive isn’t something you choose. It’s something you are.”

Quote #8

“I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”

Quote #9

“You need me? You yell. You want to leave? We go. I'll get you out of here, no matter what.”

Quote #10

“A lamb in a city of wolves.”

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is restricted to residents of India Only.
  • The company sponsoring the event is responsible for the giveaway.
  • Winner has 36 hours to respond or a new one will be picked.
  • Giveaway ends on December 22nd, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



07 December 2012

Blog Tour : In Bed with the Opposition by Stephanie Draven (Giveaway)


It's Kindle and Me's stop today for the In Bed with the Opposition Blog Tour! Enter the giveaway to win a copy :)

In Bed with the Opposition by Stephanie Draven.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Romance.
Publication : August 15th 2012 by Entangled Publishing (Indulgence).
Armed with a sassy haircut, a sharp wit, and a personal list of rules for all life's exigencies, Grace Santiago has everything under control. At least until Ethan Castle walks back into her life. Grace hasn't forgotten their disastrous affair in law school, but she can't resist his bad boy charm.

When Grace learns that Ethan has been hired by the other side, her loyalties—and her heart—are torn in two. Though their sexual chemistry can't be denied, they find themselves deadlocked. Ethan believes that all is fair in love and war, but he won't give up the fight—not even to win Grace's heart. So what can a good girl like Grace do, but learn to play dirty?

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Prize is a digital copy of the book.
  • Giveaway ends on December 14th, 2012.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!

A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves.

Stephanie also writes historical fiction as Stephanie Dray and has a series of forthcoming novels from Berkley Books featuring Cleopatra’s daughter.

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05 December 2012

Blog Tour : Captivated by You (Superstars in Love #1) by Diane Alberts (Giveaway)

Captivated by You (Superstars in Love #1) by Diane Alberts.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : November 6th 2012 by Swoon Romance.
Mark Delaney is a high profile movie star who wants nothing more than to visit his sister for the Christmas holiday before his big movie premiere. When he goes back to Colorado against his agent’s wishes, of course a snowstorm comes that lands his Maserati in a ditch. Stranded on a quiet road, he knocks on the door of the first house he sees—the same house that his former math tutor grew up in. Expecting to find an elderly couple donned in robes and hair curlers, he’s knocked off his feet when Lacey Robertson herself opens the door. She’s all grown up now…and Mark can’t help but notice.

When Lacey opens the door to find a tuxedo-clad man staring back at her, she can’t believe that the very same boy she pined after throughout childhood is on her porch. Having the famous star all to herself is intoxicating to say the least, but she resolves to resist the temptation of a blissful night in his arms. After all, he’s probably used to women throwing themselves at him on a nightly basis…and she won’t be one of the faceless crowd begging for his attention.

But when she finds out that he hasn't stopped thinking about her, despite his A-list life, will she fall into his arms for a single night of pleasure? Or will she dare to hope for more?

Thanks to Swoon Romance and Diane for letting me be a part of this blog tour! I've a giveaway for you guys.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Prize is a digital copy.
  • The Author/Publisher is responsible to ensure that the winner gets the prize.
  • Giveaway ends on December 12th, 2012.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Follow the rest of the tour!

11/16 - K Books
11/20 - I Love Lady P**n
11/22 - Talking Supe
12/03 - Hesperia Loves Books
12/04 - Lisa's Book Review
12/05 - Kindle and Me
12/21 - The Readiacs



Diane Alberts current contracted works with Entangled Publishing are: ON ONE CONDITION (February 2012, Ever After line), DIVINELY RUINED (Divine Temptations Trilogy #1, April 2012, Ever After line), TRY ME (Take a Chance #1, May 2012, Ever After line), and LOVE ME (Take a Chance #2, TBA, Ever After line). Her current works with Swoon Romance are CAPTIVATED BY YOU (the first in the series Superstars in Love, November 2012). Her current works with Decadent Publishing are: KILL ME TOMORROW (October 2011, 1NightStand series), RECLAIMED (December 2011), ABSOLUTION (March 2012, Honor Guard series), BROKEN (March 2012, 1NightStand series), and ESCAPE TO ME (August 2012, 1NightStand series). Diane Alberts has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn't until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she's not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.

She is a multi-published, bestselling author with Entangled Publishing, Swoon Romance, and Decadent Publishing. She has, as of this date, four books with Entangled Publishing, one book with Swoon Romance, and five books with Decadent Publishing. Her February release with Entangled Publishing, ON ONE CONDITION, hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list, and TRY ME hit #76 on Amazon. Her goal is to write so many fantastic books that even a non-romance book fan will know her name. Her Swoon Romance novella, CAPTIVATED BY YOU, hit #31 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list.

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26 November 2012

Scavenger Hunt and Blog tour : Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro (Nook Giveaway + Guest Post)



Thanks to Entangled Publishing for letting me be a part of this tour! I've a giveaway and playlist for you guys :) Read on..

Hellsbane (Hellsbane #1) by Paige Cuccaro.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Urban Fantasy.
Publication : November 20th 2012 by Entangled Select.
Twenty-three-year-old Emma Jane Hellsbane just found out she’s not human—or, at least, not only human. She’s half angel, too, and now Heaven’s got a job for her: round up all the Fallen angels and their red-skinned, horned devil-demon minions and boot their butts back into the abyss. Only problem? The demons and their Fallen masters fight back…and they don’t fight fair.

Luckily for Emma, she can put a stop to the constant threat of having her head hacked off if she figures out which Fallen angel is her father—and then kill him before he kills her. Of course, in the meantime, she’ll have to avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own Fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.

No one said being Heaven’s bounty hunter would be easy. But with a name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was born for the job.

Hellsbane Playlist

I don’t normally listen to music when I write. If I do I always end up either sit there singing or typing out the lyrics. LOL But I do like to collect mp3’s that help me think about the world I’m creating and the characters that people them. For Hellsbane Everlast put me in the right frame of mind. So here’s a quick list of songs:
Angel
Saving Grace
Who Got the Hooch
So Long
Painkillers
Lonely Road
I've Seen Better Days
Ends
Broken
Black Jesus
Carlos Santana & Everlast - Turn Your Lights On




Commencement (Hellsbane #0) is free on Amazon for the length of the tour. Make sure to get your copy!


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11/19 - Fiktshun’s Annex - Chapter 1 part 1 11/20 - Shortie Says - Q&A 11/21 - A Diary of A Book Addict - Chapter 1 part 2 11/23 - Winterhaven Books - Guest Post 11/24 - What The Cat Read - Chapter 1 part 3 11/26 - Kindle and Me - Guest Post 11/27 - A Life Bound By Books -Chapter 1 part 4 11/28 - K-Books - Guest Post 11/29 - My Shelf Confessions - Chapter 1 part 5 12/1 - All Things Urban Fantasy - Chapter 1 part 6

Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun. ​ Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, three cats, a parakeet and a bearded dragon named Rexy, in an ever shrinking house. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.

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Blog Tour : Gilded Wings (The Angel Chronicles #2) by Amy Lignor (Excerpt + Guest Post + Giveaway)


Thanks to Tribute Books for letting me be a part of this blog tour! I've an excerpt, a guest post from Amy and a giveaway for you guys today :)

Gilded Wings (The Angel Chronicles #2) by Amy Lignor.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : November 1st 2012 by Tribute Books.
The Beloved Angel/Warrior Team from Until Next Time Returns!

When Matt and Emily are sent on their second mission they have no idea how truly dark human nature can become…

Emily never wanted to face humans again. With the heartache that went on down below, she’s still trying to figure out how to save souls that don’t deserve saving. The only one she wants to see again is Jason - the young man she fell in love with who became the soulmate she simply can’t forget…

Matt was trained to protect and defend the souls down below. Longing to feel the heartfelt emotions that come from being human, Matt wants nothing more than to have just one life - one chance - to live and love the girl of his dreams…

The powerful team find themselves in a brand new century, living in the Gilded Age of New York City. Emily takes over the body of Anya, a young Russian girl who arrives on Ellis Island after a hideous tragedy. There she meets up with a strangely familiar young man by the name of Drew Parrish, who helps Anya survive in an unknown world of luxury, snobbery and…obsession.

What Anya’s inner angel doesn’t know is that the soul she loves is also back. This time around Jason goes by the name of Max Carrow. Once a quiet and kind boy, he’s now part of the ‘Four Hundred Club,’ and wants nothing more than to be among the most admired as he climbs the shaky ladder of society’s elite.

As two worlds merge, Emily and Matt struggle under the weight of their “Gilded Wings.” Not only will they have to figure out who they should fight to save, but they must also face a romantic choice that could destroy them both.

Excerpt.


He looked down at the answers recorded on the ship’s manifest. “It says here that Anya Kirkkomaski is traveling alone.”

Her full red lips tightened. “Obviously the members of the ship’s staff are not so very bright. Nor, apparently, do they understand my English.”

A smile tugged at the corners of Drew’s mouth. “Your English is just fine, miss. It’s hard to believe that they could be that feeble-minded.”

Anya shrugged. “Perhaps with all the accents they became confused. I’m sure we all look alike to them.” She took Gregori’s hand. “But their mistakes are not my problem.”

“Are you this lad’s sister? You are far too young to be his mother.” Drew’s heartbeat raced inside his chest.

Anya’s eyebrows rose up her soiled forehead. “Now, see that? You are quite bright. Perhaps you should leave your desk and go train the crew members on the ships.”

Drew couldn’t believe the in-your-face attitude of the young immigrant standing before him. Most people were humbled and grateful to be in a line that transported them into the world they’d been dreaming about forever. But this young woman, with tattered clothes and bruises apparent on every visible part of her skin, stood before him with belligerence shining in her gorgeous eyes.


Writing is Not a Solitary Profession.


A Room of One’s Own is the title of an essay written by Virginia Woolf that basically came from Woolf’s own belief that: ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own, if she is to write fiction.’ Now, in the time period Woolf was speaking in, she was perhaps correct, even though Jane Austen had proven years before (with the help of her father) that a woman could be published if the publisher didn’t know off-hand that the story was written by an actual woman. Woolf’s own father actually played into her belief because he only sent his boys to school, believing that females didn’t need to be educated - they just needed to enter into a good marriage. Woolf stated that for a woman to even have her own room “was out of the question, unless her parents were exceptionally rich or very noble.”

Thankfully, times have changed. Now, we all know that even when we have our own room the kids, spouse, dog, neighbors, etc. knock on that door - and usually right when we have a stellar idea (LOL). But whether the ‘room’ is the laundry room with a laptop hidden in the corner, or a lovely den (which I would kill for) with couches, a fireplace, and a massive lock on the door, our imaginations matter far more than that room.

Many writers will tell you that writing is solitary; it is one career where you’re alone. I have to disagree. The writing, yes, is much more easily done at 2:00 am when the rest of the house is asleep, but as far as writing being a solitary experience, I can’t see it.

The actual creation of the work comes with a lot of alone time and hopefully fast typing, but there are always family members and friends to bounce things off of. They give their opinions about the next twist, the character, the locale, etc., which truly helps the writing process. There are mentors - the people who support us no matter what. There are the cheerleaders who rave about us, the editor who tells us what needs to be cut back, added to or corrected even when we really don’t want to do it. There are publishers, public relations people, an agent, perhaps and the social media world of bloggers, reviewers and fans who create a ‘buzz’ about your writing if they enjoy it…and they’re the really cool ones because they share all kinds of opinions which brings new friends into you life that you never want to lose.

Add in to that group the actual voices in your head that you live with on a daily basis, and see? Writers have a whole ‘team’ that we love, trust and rely upon.

Perhaps if Ms. Woolf had lived in a different time period, or had realized just how amazing her writings were, she would not have fallen into that depression and walked into a river to take her own life. She believed the voices in her head were harmful, but for me those voices are more than helpful. They come from the imagination and I, for one, hope they never, ever stop talking.

So if you head down the ‘writer’s path’ and crave a room of your own (Gosh knows you’ll need one), be sure to remember to open the door sometimes. Because out there waits a really magnificent team!

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy


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Amy Lignor began her career at Grey House Publishing in northwest Connecticut where she was the Editor-in-Chief of numerous educational and business directories. Now she is a published author of several works of fiction. The Billy the Kid historical The Heart of a Legend; the thriller, Mind Made; and the adventure novel, Tallent & Lowery 13. She is also the owner of The Write Companion, a company that offers help and support to writers through a full range of editorial services from proofreading and copyediting to ghostwriting and research. As the daughter of a research librarian, she is also an active book reviewer. Currently, she lives with her daughter, mother and a rambunctious German Shepherd named Reuben, in the beautiful state of New Mexico.

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25 November 2012

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan (Giveaway)

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : October 5th 2012 by Mira Ink.
I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you dont, put the book back on the shelf, please.

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

Ah, I love the holidays! December is so my favourite month of the year.

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is such an adorable book and the perfect read for the holidays!
The story is set in New York and begins with Dash at a local bookstore that he visits often, when he comes across a notebook with a set of clues written in it. Curious and bored, Dash decides to play the game, which leads him on a search to find the owner of the notebook.

I'm still smiling from reading this book. It's written in multiple POVs and I absolutely loved Dash's narration. I know he's a teenager but he's so cute! When I began reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, I expected a quick, fluffy read and nothing more. However, this book exceeded my expectations. The characters, despite being teenagers, have depth, humour and wit. The dialogues make you laugh, sometimes cry and other times, give you something to think about.

I had initially given this book 3 stars but that was before I finished reading it. As you can see, I've changed my mind. Some of the lines were so deep and meaningful. This is a book that I'll treasure.
I loved every bit of Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, it was such a fun read a wonderful adventure.
I recommend this to everyone!

Thanks to MiraInk for giving me this book!

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  • Giveaway ends on 5th December, 2012.
  • Winner has 36 hours to respond or a new one will be picked.
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15 November 2012

After Dark (The 19th Year #1) by Emi Gayle (Excerpt)

After Dark (The 19th Year #1) by Emi Gayle.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : October 31st 2012 by J. Taylor Publishing.
What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists—which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

Excerpt.


Endless screams. Maniacal laughter. The scent of prey.

Chills raced up my spine.

I wanted to run. To hide. To bury my head in the grave beneath me.

Instead, I balanced on top of Samuel L. Wilson, someone’s ‘beloved father and son resting in peace,’ craving solitude and stressing like a vampire on a blood fast.

Good ole ‘Sam’ decomposed underneath the largest oak in Primrose Cemetery—a spot no human would visit at night except on Halloween. A night that should have been mine.

Mine alone.

A gust of wind pushed my sketchpad to my knees, flung hair against my cheeks and sent my colored pencils tumbling. Wind, I could deal with. Humans? I’d rather not have had to. A swipe of my hand through the air brought the drawing tools back up. I yanked my hair into a tail, twisted the strands around a Cerulean blue pencil and stabbed random colors into the knot for safe keeping.

My frustration with human-kind had reached its pinnacle hours before but ratcheted even higher as someone rattled the gates, girls giggled and dares to enter the cemetery from crackly-voiced, chicken boys reached me.

I slapped my pencil to my papers, my forehead to my palm. “All I wanted was an hour of uninterrupted—”

The sharp end of something way larger than a pencil pierced my neck.

I straightened with one intake of breath, dropping the yellow, number-two from my fingertips. My hand reached toward the uninvited object as I seethed between clenched teeth.

“Hello, Mackenzie.” His deep bass resonated with the confidence of his kind: the not-human variety.

“You’ve got to be kidding.” Whatever the tool, it pressed deeper into my flesh, and I itched to free myself from its penetrating hold.

“And once again, I have won the game before it began.”

“Only because you came up behind me.” A small orb of sunlight formed in the palm of my hand as I kept my neck as still as possible. With one toss, it zipped into the air above my head.

A pierced squeal emanated from behind me, and the point slid away.

Holy hell, that hurt! I jumped to the ground, somersaulted between Matilda Jane, Johann Rowe and the plastic flowers that lay between them. With another roll, James Peak’s extra large headstone concealed my entire form.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.” The crunch of branches under footsteps gave his position away.

With a deep inhale, my body began its shift into a new form. My incisors elongated. Heart stopped. Eyes burned. On the exhale, strength, cunning and innate wit filled me, matching that of my attacker.

I stood with James as a shield. “Bring it on, old man.”



Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years.

Ironically, those years were some of Emi's favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she's still in love with him to this day. She'll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.




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14 November 2012

Nolichuck! TJ's Wild Frontier Adventure by Jackson Keene (Interview)

Nolichuck! TJ's Wild Frontier Adventure by Jackson Keene.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Fantasy.
Publication : Treble Heart Books.
TJ’s just an ordinary fourteen year old kid with extraordinary problems at home and school: A broken up family from his parents’ bitter divorce, evil bullies almost every afternoon, failing grades, boring classes, snobby girls, mean teachers, cut from basketball tryouts, few friends.
Life is rough for TJ Cockrell.
And then that mysterious little green book had to go and throw him into the past. And not just any past, but into the untamed forbidding forests of 1802 eastern Tennessee along with the savage Indians, wild beasts, bloodthirsty robbers, backwoods ruffians, and log cabin living! Yup, it’s definitely not 2011 Knoxville anymore.
And he thought his present life was bad news! But TJ’s adventures are only beginning. Along the way, he fights off killer beasts and bandits and braves, meets the young Davy Crockett, gains a world of confidence in himself, finds his first real love, and is befriended by a fantastic frontier family who really has it together.
When he returns to the present, he’s a brand new person––but there are killers loose in his house, bullies waiting to beat him up at school, a pretty new girl at Highland High he hasn't even seen yet. And the aftermath of the little green book to deal with!

Interview with Jackson Keene


When and why did you start writing?

I've had the "itch" to write for 20 years. I finally woke up one day and realized that I'd be an old man if I didn't start soon! I wrote plays and short stories as a kid, and have had several ideas for novels over the years, but never jump-started my writing in a serious fashion until NOLICHUCK came along.


What inspired you to write Nolichuck?

NOLICHUCK was a combination of many things stewing around inside. I was born and lived in Tennessee as a kid, and knew some of its history. Like TJ, the main character of our story, I had to constantly fight off bullies in school. I always loved history, but wanted to write about periods of history that are less written and less celebrated than the great events -- a look at common people living everyday lives, so to speak. Davy Crockett was a childhood hero, and I wondered what it was like for him as a teenager. Of course, I originally planned to be a history professor, so naturally one of my characters HAD to be that. I was never the star athlete in high school, so I emphasize with TJ's disappointments in sports. Above all, I wanted a story that would deal realistically with the hard life issues that far too many young adults face today: Bullying, divorced families, struggling with grades, not making the "team", not part of the most popular cliques, mean teachers, boredom, unhappiness, few close friends, lack of meaningful communication with either parent, etc.


What is the hardest part of writing Nolichuck?

For me, developing strong characters and creating believable dialogue was the hardest part. Coming up with an imaginative plot with subplots is fairly easy, but fleshing it out with people and interaction that really captures the reader’s attention is what it's all about.


What is your favorite place to write?

In our den with its fireplace, the comfy couch (where I can catnap now and then), and my personal office set up is where I can fully concentrate on thinking and writing. Although, truth be told, some of my best ideas and plot revisions come to me just as I'm drifting off to sleep at night. I keep a notepad and pen next to the bed to capture "brainstorms" when they come.



Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The next book in the YA series is: Reds! TJ's Wacky War Adventure.


Jackson Keene was born sometime before the turn of the century in a little town that nestles close to the mighty Mississippi and not so far away from Graceland, either, the final home of the King, Elvis. Millington, Tennessee was, until 1993, home to Memphis Naval Air Station, at one time, among the busiest and biggest of U.S. naval stations in the whole world.

Born into a traveling military family, he attended seven different schools, and lived in five states (TN, RI, CA, FL and TX) before graduating from senior high school with honors. He obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in History and spent a year toward a Ph.D. in the same field before abandoning his dream of being a publishing professor.

However, he never lost his love of history, detailed research, or good historical fiction.

Rebounding nicely, Mr. Keene completed a M.B.A. in Economics & Statistics at the University of Oklahoma (leading his class), and gamely entered the gritty but fast moving world of business. For the first half of his career, he lived the real life of an advertising Mad Man including a stint as Director at iconic Ogilvy & Mather as well as SVP at two other marketing firms. In the second half of his business career, he was in senior management as a Director, VP, EVP, or Managing Partner with several software, telecom, and data service companies.

These days, he indulges in another of his loves, basketball – coaching and playing on his own Men’s Over 40 team, as well as volunteer coaching youth teams. A fitness fanatic, Mr. Keene works out as much as he writes, which is to say, every day. He also attends a most wonderful church, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship.

Yes, deep inside, he always had the desire to write. His first novel, a mix of historical & contemporary YA fiction, was published September 2011 by indy Treble Heart Books. The manuscript for his next novel, a combination of historical romance & family saga, has just been released to the publisher for scheduling. More news to come!

And already, he is beginning work on the second book in his YA series on TJ.

Mr. Keene lives in Plano Texas with his wife, Barbara, soon to be joined by a chocolate female dachshund puppy to be named Sprinkles. They have two grown daughters. Emily, the oldest, finished her Ph.D. in Mathematics in record time and was awarded the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship. Newly married, she currently lives in Berlin with her wonderful husband, Jim. Renata, the youngest, is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State, and is in junior management with a large automotive dealer services firm. Both daughters are avid runners, actively competing in marathons, halfs, 10K’s, and 5K’s. Renata is also a classically trained dancer and cheerleader, and in her not-so-spare time is co-captain of a busy dance squad for a semi-pro sports team.




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Blog Tour : The Destiny of Shaitan (Chronicle of The Three, #1) by Laxmi Hariharan (Excerpt + Giveaway)


The Destiny of Shaitan (Chronicle of The Three, #1) by Laxmi Hariharan (Giveaway).
Audience/Genre : All/Fantasy.
Publication : March 17th 2012.
Background: The Destiny of Shaitan, the first novel in The Chronicle of The Three series is a coming of age story, about a girl who falls in love only to realise that to be truly happy, she has to first find herself. Set in 3000 AD, when the galaxy is populated by humans as well as a half human, half alien race called half lives, this novel, tracks the protagonists from five to seventeen years old.

Synopsis: When Tiina accompanies her ex-boyfriend Yudi on a mission to save the universe from the ruthless Shaitan, she seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Driven by greed and fear for his own survival, Shaitan bulldozes his way through the galaxy, destroying everything in his path. Tiina wants Yudi to eliminate Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the powerful autocrat being killed by his son, but she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Yudi and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight—including getting rid of Tiina. The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?

Return to 7 Islands, (Chronicle of The Three, #2): The Destiny of Shaitan, ends with Tiina, leaving everything she knows—including Yudi and the world she helped save from Shaitan—in search of herself. The second novel in the series, titled Return to 7 Islands, follows Tiina as she lands in a futuristic Bombay—now reduced by a tsunami to its original seven islands—and helps Rai, in defending his childhood orphanage from the clutches of Sharmila, Shaitan's daughter. As she struggles to come to terms with her origins in an attempt to understand herself better, she discovers a surprise about her past.

Excerpt.


Pluto, 3016
The lightning strikes him down, charring him black with smoke ebbing out, and he awakes to the gut-wrenching pain.
Thump. Kreeee. Thump. Kreeeeee…
Yudi jolts into consciousness from the sound. He throws off the covers and pads onto the small terrace adjoining his bedroom, wearing just the pair of black shorts he sleeps in. He is on the eighteenth floor of a fifty-eight storey apartment block. The distance does not hinder the noise, which carries to him through the dawn air, growing louder by the second: Thump. Kreeee. THUMP. KREEEE…
Not again!
Down below, he sees the aged Plutonian female going about her early morning ritual of dragging the large steel pole, bumping down the sleeping escalator steps. Every morning at five o’clock without fail, that annoying noise wakes him up. And every morning he looks out the window to see her walking down the escalator, which would normally be running in the upward direction if it were switched on.
Why does she not take the path next to the escalator? It would make the going much easier for her. And where does she go with that one single steel pole every morning? He ponders her routine just as he has every morning.
Another of life’s great mysteries…just like the question of who my real father is. The thought comes unbidden, as if the urban chemistry swirling in the air is mocking him. The smog of the early dawn creeps in—a reminder of the clogged, urban city where he lives—masking the scene below until all he can see is his own face reflected in his mind’s eye.
Without turning, he reaches for the half-empty cigarette pack placed within arm’s length on the small wrought iron table on the terrace. He flicks on the vintage Ronson gas lighter, its golden casing long since rubbed away by frequent use to a dull brown. The cigarette paper crackles as it lights up. He pulls in a drag and exhales, watching the smoke as it melds with the smog, hitting the sticky side of the taller one hundred and eight storey-high apartment buildings on either side of the street. The smog slithers toward the other open window of the apartment diagonally opposite, where the young man living there often parades his women.
His heart begins to beat in sync to the thump, kreeee, thump, kreeee, even as the sound fades. He shuts his eyes. I am safe. I am safe. No. I am scared, so scared. Feeling so helpless is unstoppable, and the sensation grows within him.
After stubbing out the half-smoked cigarette with jerky movements, he reaches for another.
Athira’s voice rings in his ears. “Being sixteen isn’t permission to smoke your lungs out all in one go. You’ve got the rest of your life to live. Space it out a bit.”
He steels himself against the prick of consciousness that was bound to follow and continues to light his second cigarette of the day. As he pulls on the cigarette with his right hand, he plays with the faded Ronson in his left. Its smooth, much rubbed surface is a slight comfort. It’s the only reminder left of his father.
Adopted father, he corrects himself.
However much his logical mind tried to believe what Athira told him, his heart refused to listen. Athira would always remain both his father and mother. The man had not just raised him, but had showered him in love in a strong affectionate manner, which had bound them forever.
As usual, thinking of Athira sends his mind into overdrive and he shuts his eyes against the pain. He can feel every separate beat of his heart, realise the full breadth of his life, and discern each individual moment in that space.
So, this is how it feels to be powerless. His thoughts hang alongside the window and then hurtle against the glass, crashing into a thousand pieces in his mind.
Stop! Breathe! He admonishes himself, and clinging on, tries to haul himself up. Mentally, he stays suspended over the precipice for a few seconds, and then he is there, back on stable ground.
Yudi sighs and opens his eyes. Panic attacks have an annoying way of creeping up on him when he is at his most vulnerable. The images will come rushing back and once more his mind races over that well trodden memory path.


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While born in India, Laxmi Hariharan has lived in Singapore and Hong Kong and is now based in London. She has written for various publications including The Times of India, The Independent, Inside Singapore, Inside Hong Kong and Asian Age. Indian mythology inspires her work. When not writing, this chai-swigging technophile enjoys long walks in the woods, growing eye-catching flowers and indulging her inner geek.

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11 November 2012

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4) by Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4) by Darynda Jones.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Urban Fantasy.
Publication : October 30th 2012 by St. Martin's Press.
In Darynda Jones's Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.

First off, I love Darynda. Charley is one of the coolest characters I've ever read and Darynda's humour always has me looking forward to reading the books in this series. In Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, we finally find out more about Charley. Although we only get bits and pieces, it's enough to keep you engrossed and dying for the next book. The story begins with Charley still mad at Reyes; she has locked herself up in her apartment for two months without working but a new case finally comes along and the story picks up.

I'm kind of in the middle of a love-hate relationship with Reyes. He's hot as ever but I get mad every time he refuses to open up to Charley. The dude brings out my trust issues.
The best part about this book is that we finally get answers. The story's taking a definitely interesting direction and I can't wait to see how the the overall plot develops.

I just knew that that the book was going to end the way it did and I absolutely can't wait to get more Charley, Reyes and Cookie. As usual, Darynda doesn't disappoint. Charley Davidson is a must-read adult UF series!




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07 November 2012

Blog Tour : The Succubus Gift (The Telepathic Clans #1) by B.R. Kingsolver (Excerpt + Giveaway)


I'm happy to be a part of The Succubus Gift blog tour hosted by Dark Mind Book Tours. I've an excerpt and e-book giveaway for you guys today.

The Succubus Gift (The Telepathic Clans #1) by B.R. Kingsolver.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Urban Fantasy.
Publication : April 22nd 2012 (Self-published).
The history of the Clans, called the Sidhe by the Irish, stretches back to antiquity. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. In over 2,500 years, She has never bestowed more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

Brenna Morgan was orphaned at eight when her parents were killed in a plane crash. Through one foster home after another, she carried the ornate, carved wooden box her mother had left with her, keeping it always a secret. Then one night she stumbles over a man who claims her as family.

Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.

That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed -- with a willing young man of course.

The Succubus Gift Excerpt



Chapter - 1
We have been burned at the stake, locked up in asylums, drugged into a stupor. We are secretive for our own protection. - Seamus O’Donnell

She noticed the young man immediately when he walked past her, head down and in a hurry, but not only because he was so good looking. He had no thoughts, no mental activity, and that grabbed her attention in a way nothing else could have.
Following him, she stepped into a shop doorway when he stopped and looked around. She didn’t need to keep him in sight. She could feel his emotions, so strange coming from someone with no thoughts she could read, different than all the other people on the streets. Checking her mental shields to make sure they were as tight as she could make them, she followed him around a corner. He didn’t look back, seemingly not aware she was there.
Moving closer as he turned another corner into an alley, she stopped when he hesitated at the other end. He looked about before stepping out onto the street, but he never looked back. Realizing he couldn’t feel her, she closed the distance between them.
Scanning the area with her mind, she discovered two other men, farther away, who also were mentally shielded. Their emotions were completely different than his, and she shivered at the malice radiating from them. Every time the first man changed direction, the others soon followed. Although they couldn’t see each other, it was almost as though they could feel each other, just as she could feel them. Through the maze of streets in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, they danced across the city in the summer twilight.
He walked into a bar just a block off the water. She knew it had entrances on two different streets, and rather than follow him, she walked to the corner, out into the street, and stood in front of one of the unusual old triangular houses in this part of town. From her vantage point she could see both entrances.
Coming out the other side, he walked in the opposite direction, away from the harbor. He was doubling back, hoping to lose his pursuers, but they weren’t tracking him by sight or sound. She watched a man hesitate in front of the door the young man had used to enter the bar, stop, and then turn around.
He was walking faster now and she was forced to break into a run to keep up with him. He stopped in a small park, in a dark area near a building, turning and waiting for her.
“Why are you following me?” he asked as she approached him. He was tall with brown hair and blue eyes in his early twenties.
“Those men are following you. Do they want to hurt you?” she asked, looking up at him. “They don’t feel the same as you do.” His blue eyes widened. “They’re coming. They can feel you.”
“I can’t feel you, and I doubt they can either,” he answered with a puzzled tone in his voice. “You’re an O’Neill.” He took a step toward her. “Who the hell are you?”
She felt the other men at the edge of the park. “Why are you afraid? Are they going to hurt you?”
“I don’t know. They might try,” he answered, smiling nervously.
She covered him in her shield and saw his fists clench as the other men approached. The sense of menace radiating from them increased as they drew closer, moving stealthily. In the darkness, she couldn’t see them clearly. Large men, even bigger than the young man she was following, they had a rough look. One passed within only a few feet. He turned and looked directly at them, but continued on. She could see he held a pistol close to his body.
“Holy Mary,” the young man breathed when they were well gone.
She stepped close to him, out of the shadow, and looked up at his face. It was the first time he could see her clearly. His eyes widened in shocked surprise.
“Who are you?” she asked. “What are you? Do you know what I am?”
He stared at her pale face wreathed in black hair. His mouth opened, then closed. He swallowed and shook his head.
“Please,” she said, her voice cracking, “can you help me? I’ve been alone for so long. Are there more people like us? Do you know where to find them?”
Taking a deep breath, he leaned forward and in a low voice said, “Come with me. I’ll take you to someone who can answer your questions.”
He started off, then turned back when she just stood watching him. “I know what you did to make those men miss us. Thank you. I promise no one will hurt you if you come with me.”
They set off across the city together. After several blocks he turned up a street, similar to many in the area, where all the row houses looked exactly the same. They walked to a house halfway down the street and rang the doorbell. When the door opened, he entered, pulling her after him.
“Jared, what the hell?” the man inside stepped back frowning, his eyes scanning over her, lingering on her chest. “Who’s this?”
“I’ve been playing hide-and-seek with two thugs half the afternoon,” Jared answered. “Their shields and strength were pretty much a match for mine, and I just couldn’t shake them. Then I ran across this lovely lady who graciously extended her shields to hide me from them. Where are Seamus and my mom?”
“Shielded you?” She felt him attempt to read her mind. Her blue eyes flashed and she pushed back, feeling his shields bend under the pressure she exerted. His eyes widened. “I see. Seamus is probably in his office.”
Jared took her by the arm and led her down a corridor. They took a turn, then turned again into another corridor. Bewildered, she let him guide her. She had been in dozens of Baltimore row houses and they were small, open structures. She felt like she’d fallen down the rabbit hole.
They stopped in front of a door and Jared knocked, then entered when a deep voice said, “Come in.”
Inside a spacious office, a very large man with shoulder-length gray hair and a bushy beard was seated behind a desk. A tall, thin woman with sandy colored hair in her late thirties or early forties stood just inside the other door to the room. She took a tentative step forward, the blood draining from her face, and the man sat up in his chair, eyes riveted on the face of the young woman with Jared.
The young woman wore a white tank top and hip-hugger blue jeans that outlined her wasp-waisted hourglass figure. Thick, wavy black hair cascaded to her waist, contrasting with her pale complexion and sapphire blue eyes.
“I’d like you to meet … I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name,” Jared said, turning to her with a slight smile.
“Brenna,” she said.
“Of course. This is Brenna. I had a couple of stalkers follow me tonight. She helped me get home. Brenna, this is my grandfather, Seamus, and my mother, Callie.”
“Thank you for seeing my grandson home, Miss, uh,” the man said slowly. He had a faint but distinct Irish accent.
“Morgan,” Brenna supplied.
“Miss Morgan. I didn’t know he was lost, but thank you for your help,” he said with a faint smile.
“She shielded me,” Jared said. “Covered me to invisibility without touching me.”
Seamus’ eyes narrowed at this assertion, studying her closely. “That’s very interesting.”

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    About the Author :

    I write books combining Adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Science Fiction. I believe in fiction as an escape, with devastatingly beautiful women and incredibly sexy men.
    In my books, you will find characters with psychic abilities, such as telekinesis and telepathy, and a completely different view of a succubus than you've ever encountered before.
    I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master's in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.
    I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I've skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I've hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven't done enough of it. I've seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I'd like to see Banff.
    I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I'm currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.






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