28 June 2012

Freedom To Read Giveaway Hop

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Once again, thanks to I'm a Reader, Not a Writer and Mundie Moms, I've another giveaway for you guys :) There's tons of other blogs participating as well so make sure you check out the rest of them but clicking at the image above or the link below after the raffle copter.


Paperback Book Of Your Choice.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International. as long as The Book Depository ships to you.
  • Prize is a paperback copy of a book of your choice, so make sure the book you want is available in paperback.
  • Winner has 36 hours to respond or a new one will be picked.
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Make sure you check out the rest of the blogs participating in the hop here!

Blog Tour : No Hero by Mallory Kane (Review)

No Hero by Mallory Kane.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Romance, Mystery.
Publication : June 15th, 2012 by Entangled Publishing.
A darkly handsome New Orleans detective who insists he’s no hero is blindsided by his one-time lover, a sexy investigative TV reporter, who exposes his secret troubled past to the whole world...and nearly costs him his job. When the at-risk teens he mentors start turning up dead, his vow to protect the other kids hits a major snag...his only clue to finding the determined killer is held by the one woman he never wants to see again. Compelled to work together to solve the vicious murders before another child dies, their passion reluctantly reignites, and their mutual mistrust slowly turns to respect as she realizes there’s much more to being a hero than outward appearances, and his deeply wounded heart gradually opens to the possibility of love.

This is the first book I've read that's by Mallory Kane so I started reading it with no huge expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

No Hero is a pretty standard mystery-romance novel. There's a serial killer on the loose that forces Reaghan Conner, a journalist with WACT and Detective Gautier, a cop - two people who pretty much hate each other's guts - work together. The reason for their hostility is because they have a past :

'From her point of view, she’d done a news story, telling the truth about him. But she knew he didn’t see it that way. From his perspective, they’d met three times. The first time they’d flirted, the second time they’d kissed, and the third time she’d ripped open the secrets of his past and torn a hole in his life.'

Reaghan had done a story on Dev while he trusted her and let her in. Obviously, it's not easy to forgive or get past but circumstances make these two team up and they set aside their differences. I have to say that while I wasn't immediately fond of Reaghan, I absolutely loved Dev; he's an incredibly sexy and strong hero. I also liked the journalist-cop relationship, it made me think of Dewey and Gale from the Scream films but with different personalities.

What really caught my interest while reading this book were the crimes. The story begins in a way that has your complete attention and while romance does play a big part, the focus was the mystery. Mallory Kane's writing is vivid and descriptive; the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat. In all honesty, sure the romance was hot but the serial-killer-storyline is pretty much made this book for me. I'm a huge fan of thriller, horror and mystery novels/movies so I loved reading this. The romance was more of an added bonus for me.

If No Hero was made into a movie, I would watch it. It's gripping, interesting and definitely movie material.

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27 June 2012

Sacrifice of Passion by Misa Ramirez / Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

Sacrifice of Passion by Misa Ramirez / Melissa Bourbon Ramirez.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Romance, Mystery.
Publication : June 15th 2012 by (Dead Sexy)Entangled Publishing.
A tall, dark, single dad Texas rancher finds himself facing more than his stubbornly silent son when the chupacabra, a supposedly mythical blood-sucking beast, starts killing his livestock—and stalking the town’s newly returned veterinary assistant, the sensual woman who ran from the altar and broke his heart twelve years earlier. Determined to purge his sizzling memories of her from his all-too-vivid imagination, he seeks her help to get to the bottom of the disturbing animal mutilations, only to have her break through to his sullen son…and rekindle the love he’d thought was lost forever.

But her refusal to share a terrible secret sends her running straight into the lair of the chupacabra, plunging her back into her worst nightmare, and forcing them both to confront the wrongs of the past in order to stay alive for the future they desperately want.

Wow. This is one of those times when I don't even know where to begin.
I've known Misa for a while now as the awesome, super nice publicist from Entangled Publishing and ever since I found out that she's a writer as well, I've literally been dying to get my hands on one of her books. Sacrifice of Passion definitely didn't let me down.

The story begins in a ranch where one of Vic's goats is killed and drained of its blood. Understandably, he calls the cops but no one has any clue about what happened and they have nothing to go on except the ramblings of an old woman named Esmeralda, who's known as a witch among the locals, claiming that it was the work of a chupacabra. She also mentions one more thing; Delaney was back in town.

Sacrifice of Passion entirely different from what I expected, in a seriously good way. I thought it'd be a predictable romance with some sort of fight/history stopping the hero and heroine from getting together but this book went way beyond my expectations. Vic and Delaney have a past; they were in love when they were 18 and planned to elope but things didn't work out. That night went really wrong for both of them, each unaware of what really happened to the other. Now it's 10 years later - Vic is a single father and Delaney has intimacy issues.

So many things drew me in about this book! I loved the romance between Vic and Delaney; it's the kind that's flawed, bruised, faced betrayal and shows that there's still hope. The chemistry/passion and history between them was intense and powerful. Delaney and Vic are quite honestly, two of the most real characters I've ever come across, they're both imperfect and yet you can see what makes them special. I couldn't help but admire Delaney's strength through the entire novel, sure she has her weak and scared moments but she shows that you can make your way back from anything.

Misa couldn't have written this in a better way; I felt the emotions right alongside the characters in the book and the mystery/storyline kept my intrigued the entire time. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I like my stories with a touch of darkness, they're the ones that really give you a happy ending and what's better than overcoming a scary beast and emotionally damaged protagonists? I wasn't aware of chupacabra(s) until this book and the legend completely fascinated me while also spooking me out a bit.

Misa's writing is witty and so engaging. Maybe it was just me but I highlighted so many conversations between Vic and Del, the ones at the beginning were especially amusing, she threw in some humor in between a serious story and made it work.

'He still hadn't gotten over the fact that Zach had named the potbelly after his mother. Sheila had to be cringing, even six feet under.'

Oh and in case I didn't say it earlier - Vic is HOT. I love his attitude/cockiness. He oozes sexiness, believe me.

'She narrowed her eyes. "You work here?"
"I own here. With Ray." '

It's probably just me but I loved that line.

I don't know what else to say about Sacrifice of Passion except that it's definitely one of the best adult romance-mystery novels that I've read so far. If you're a fan of romance with a hint of paranormal, you'd enjoy this for sure.

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Blog Tour : Second Chances by Rita Oberlies (Guest Post + Giveaway).

Second Chances by Rita Oberlies.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : May 15th 2012 by Entangled Publishing.
Will the past keep them apart…

High-powered attorney Luke Braden knows that perfection only comes once in a lifetime, and for him it came and went in the form of his college girlfriend, Brenna Morgan. Circumstances beyond his control separated them before, but now that she’s back in Boston, Luke won’t let her slip away again.

…or give them a second chance at love?

For Brenna Morgan, returning home is the very last thing she wants, especially when it means facing the man who once became her salvation—and then dumped her at the first sign of trouble. But Luke is determined to make up for his past mistakes, and Brenna finds herself weakening against him. A decade of deceit lies between them, and he’ll have to fight if he wants to keep his second chance at love.

Thanks to Entangled for letting me participate in the Second Chances Blog Tour! Today we've a guest post from the author of Second Chances, Rita Oberlies, followed by an e-book giveaway so make sure you enter!

As children we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up. I remember a moment during my sixth grade graduation when the principal asked where we saw ourselves ten years down the road. Most of my peers dreamed of Hollywood, a starting position with the Boston Red Sox, even buying an ice cream truck (I hope you’re reading this Michael because I told you I’d remember). I wanted to write. Unfortunately it took me an additional two decades to figure out exactly what I wanted to write.

At heart I’m an optimist. Tragedy and heartache exist. We’ve all experienced them. That doesn’t mean the world is miserable. Romance reminds us that happy endings are possible. The best in romantic fiction tells us that you don’t have to be beautiful or wealthy to secure a satisfying relationship, you just have to be willing to work for it. As humans we long to connect with others on an emotional and physical level.

In my novel Second Chances my hero and heroine don’t invest fully in each other early on in their relationship. Brenna and Luke fall in lust and then love without acknowledging personal weaknesses and emotional barriers. This, of course, dooms their young relationship. Six years later they’re ready to try again. In writing Luke it was important for me to show that in many ways he was the more vulnerable character. He knew in his heart that Brenna was the woman he wanted for all time. This drives him throughout the book to prove that he could be her rock, her friend, and ultimately her lover.

Romance may not always be easy to find or easy to keep but it’s worth the struggle. A few weeks ago I sat with my eyes glued to the television watching the season finale of Castle. Fans of the show know that Richard Castle has been quietly lusting after his muse Detective Kate Beckett for years. In this episode he finally bares his soul:

“Four years, I’ve been right here. Four years, I’ve been waiting for you to open your eyes and see that I’m right here, and I’m more than a partner,” Castle said, tearing up. “Every morning I bring a cup of coffee just so I can see a smile on your face because I think you are the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I’ve ever met. And I love you Kate…”

Ah, romance. Raw. Honest. Powerful.

Thanks you Rita for taking the time out to tell us about your novel!

It's giveaway time now :)

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Prize is an e-book copy of the book, which is an adult novel so it's up to you to know whether you can read it.
  • It's the author/publisher's responsibility to ensure the winner gets the prize, not mine.
  • Giveaway ends on 10th July, 2012.

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Rita Oberlies grew up in the Boston area, the youngest in a family of six children. At an early age she developed an addiction to books, baseball and the beaches of Cape Cod. After graduating from Villanova University with a degree in English, Rita spent almost a decade pursuing a professional career in Employee Development. With the arrival of two children, Rita began writing stories during those brief periods of time when her young sons were sleeping. Today Rita resides in Western New York with her husband, their young boys, and a pair of adopted shelter dogs. Despite her best efforts, she remains addicted to books, baseball and the beaches of Cape Cod. Her novel, Second Chances, is her third published book.

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26 June 2012

Blog Tour : Shifting Gears (The Rider Series, #2) by Shawn Kirsten Maravel (Excerpt)

Shifting Gears (The Rider Series, #2) by Shawn Kirsten Maravel.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : Self-Published/India
Wesley Pierce, a Virginia State Trooper, is in search of the perfect log cabin to settle down in. After losing his brother and doing his best to care for the family he left behind he decides, a year after Nathan’s death, that he’s finally ready to move forward.

Olivia Michaels, a realtor in search of her own dream home and a way out of her parents’ attic, takes on a client who can help get her that much closer to affording her freedom. Little does she know that it isn’t the perfect home that she finds but through Wesley Pierce she manages to find herself. And maybe, if she’s capable of taking the leap, she might even manage to find love.


This novel, not unlike its predecessor in the Rider series, The Wanderer, is not a story about life altering suspense and mystery or a love that seemed impossible from the very start. Instead, this story is of love in its purest form. In life it isn’t mystery and excitement that drive our hearts but trepidation and the moment in which we all decide to jump unguarded into the arms of another.


“Do you have the hots for this boy?” her father asked in all seriousness. “Do we need to have him over for dinner so that I can show him my own gun collection?”
“Threatening the police isn’t one of your best ideas, Frank,” her mother offered in Olivia’s defense.
“He’s not the police, Katy. He’s some hormone driven boy who wants to sweet-talk our daughter into bed so that he can fire off a few rounds of his own.”
“Dad!” Olivia’s face grew hot with humiliation.
“I’m just speaking the truth, honey. He’s a man. Don’t think he’s never considered it. You’re a beautiful young woman. All I’m saying is that I’d like to send him a little message before he gets any ideas about trying to use my daughter for target practice.”
Olivia melted into her seat, covering her face with her hands.
“Frank, we’re eating.”
“Yeah, and?”

Shawn Maravel grew up in a small New Jersey town between somewhere and nowhere.

She attended Voorhees High School where she met her husband David. She participated in track & field and took Autobody and Sports Medicine Polytech classes in addition to her regular studies. She attended Raritan Valley Community College after high school where she majored in marketing. When her husband, then boyfriend, enlisted in the Army in 2008 she joined him in Katterbach, Germany where he was stationed. In Germany she took classes with the University of Maryland University College as an English major.

Shawn started writing seriously during the time that her husband attended basic training but she really began to take it seriously once he deployed to Iraq in 2009 for a year. Writing had started out as a way for her to cope with the long periods of time that they spent apart but slowly took on a life of its own, becoming something she did for herself.

She is currently living in Upstate, New York with her husband David, Rottweiler Nahla, and little-crazy-ninja-cat Sookie. Her interests include reading, writing, snowboarding, long walks with her husband and faithful canine, and watching movies.

Volition is Shawn’s first published novel. It is the first of a two book series followed by Severance. Her third novel, The Wanderer is a literary fiction novel the first in the Rider series, a collection of novels about men on motorcycles and the love they find along the way. Her fourth novel, the second novel is the Rider series is called Shifting Gears.

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23 June 2012

Snow White Blood Red (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #1) by Cameron Jace

Snow White Blood Red (The Grimm Diaries Prequels) by Cameron Jace.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Fantasy.
Publication : (Self-Published) May 29th, 2012.
I have always wondered why you never asked about my name. Was I so superficial to you? So stereotypical and mundane? Why did you treat me as if I were just the monster of the week? You know what I think? You never had the time to really hate me. You wanted to hate me, long before you even met me. You wanted to scrape my existence and avenge your childhood princess by laying all blame on me. What if they didn’t call me the Evil Queen, what if I told you the real story from my point of view instead of hers, would you ever think of me as an angel? Could I ever make you care? I know that deep inside of you, you adore me,but you’re just scared, afraid to admit how much you love the Snow White Queen.

This Grimm Diaries Prequels are a number of short books in the form of epistolary diary entries. The diaries are more of teasers for the upcoming series: The Grimm Diaries, allowing you to get a glimpse of what to expect of the series.

I haven't read/reviewed any indies in a while (except for books by J.L. Bryan which I absolutely love) because I just haven't had the time to accept any but I'm a huge sucker for fairytales so, when I was contacted by Cameron Jace to review Snow White Blood Red, considering it was just a novella and wouldn't take me long to read, I accepted right away.
I only realized after I read it that the first book in the The Grimm Diaries series, namely Snow White Sorrow (which isn't out yet) has been on my wishlist since May, 2012.

First off, I'm the kind of person who judges a book by its cover and I have say, I love this cover.
Snow White Blood Red is an incredibly unique take on fairytales, Snow White and happily ever afters. It's the first of around 5 prequels to the actual series known as The Grimm Diaries and in this series, Snow White's the evil one.
I'm completely fascinated with the idea for this series and I love that each prequel gives us a bit from various famous fairy tale characters such as Peter Pan, Prince Charming etc. The Evil Queen's perspective was certainly interesting and held me captivated. Her voice, for the most part was strong but I would've liked this to be a full-fledged fantasy novel rather than a mix between the present world and fairy tales as the random slang usage kind of ruined it for me a little bit.

However, despite the unique idea, the writing and editing are flawed. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was edited at all in the first place but the story has potential to be amazing. I'll definitely read Snow White Sorrow just for the creativity alone; I just hope it's edited better than this one.

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The Glimpse (Glimpse, #1) by Claire Merle

The Glimpse (Glimpse, #1) by Claire Merle.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Dystopia.
Publication : June 7th 2012 by Faber & Faber (UK).
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society, and as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe.

I received an ARC of The Glimpse to review a couple of months before its release but I couldn't get to it until now. Dystopian novels are one of my favorite kind of books so when Claire contacted me, I was more than happy to accept a copy to review.

Here's the gist of the plot :

Ana lives in a society where people are sorted out based on the condition of their health. Illness free people are classified as Pures while those with any form of disease/illness in their DNA are the Crazies and live as outcasts. When she's 16, Ana finds out her life may fall apart because her mother had an illness and there's a possibility of inheriting it since genetics has a lot to do with how a person turns out.
The only thing saving her right now from being banished is that she hasn't shown any symptoms of disease yet and Jasper, the boy she's about to be bound to, still wants to be with her despite her situation.

I can personally vouch for how incredibly sweet Claire is and I honestly hate writing this review right now.
I didn't really have any big expectations from this novel but I do know that I expected more than what I read.

The Good.

It's definitely Claire's writing. Her language and writing style are what made me get through this book.

The Bad.

Honestly, I think there was an idea for this book but somewhere that idea was lost or became unclear. The Glimpse is a novel that tried to have all the common dystopian elements that've worked time and time again but it just wasn't framed right.
Usually in dystopia novels, there's one thing that the particular society stands out for like maybe because they control your life, your marriage, choices etc or they have a specific system that everyone goes through during their adolescence but in this book, there's both and it could've worked but I felt that both the elements didn't receive the attention/importance that it should have, which ended up making the story fall short. The characters did nothing for me; Ana wasn't a protagonist that I could relate to, sympathize with or even like.

Also, the world building and character development weren't planned out completely because of which the story didn't flow smoothly. I felt like the chapters/pages were broken and there were details that should've been there but were missing. To be frank, I didn't understand what was going on a lot of times; one minute they were talking about something and then the story jumped to something else all of a sudden. To put it simply, it lacked direction.

Final Thoughts.

I'm usually picky about what I like but as a blogger, I've learned to alter my expectations to a more realistic level and not compare each novel I read to another that I loved from the same genre. Like I said, while The Glimpse certainly didn't fall short on the writing, it lacked direction. It was the story itself that I had a problem with because I felt that the chapters weren't well thought out. However, I do know a lot of people who actually liked this book so although it wasn't for me, there may be some who may enjoy it.

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22 June 2012

Somebody Like You (Sugar Shack #3) by Candis Terry

Somebody Like You (Sugar Shack #3) by Candis Terry.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : June 19th, 2012 by Harper Collins.
Welcome Back to the Sugar Shack

Straitlaced . . .

Chicago prosecutor Kelly Silverthorne has a perfect record in the courtroom and a big fat zero in the bedroom. When she loses her first case ever, she returns home to Deer Lick, Montana, to regain her confidence and shake off the "Sister Serious" moniker she's been stuck with since childhood. Only a few hours into her repentance, karma thrusts her face-to-face with yet another of her major fiascos—a one-night stand with the hottest cop in the county.

Rebel with a Cause . . .

Deputy James Harley has always played with fire. When smart and sexy Kelly pops back into his life, he doesn't mind going for a full burn. And that might be exactly what happens when his past threatens to catch up with his future.

A Match Made in . . .

Heaven only knows what Kelly's dearly departed mom has planned from the other side—especially since she's already meddled in Kelly's siblings' love lives. But even heaven knows that when love comes.

After reading the blurb of Somebody Like You, I knew immediately that this was my kind of book because after all, who doesn't like romance (except for guys - they don't count)? This is the first book I've read that's by Candis Terry and it was pretty much what I expected.

Kelly Silverthorne has a record of success. She has never lost a case, at least, not until the one in the beginning of this story. Due to lack of evidence (the body), Kelly loses one of the most important cases ever because of which a guilty man goes unpunished. Unable to face her failure and utterly embarrassed, Kelly flees to her hometown in Montana to get away for a while and that's when she runs into her former one night stand, Deputy James Harley.
James Harley has always had feelings for Kelly. However, Kelly's been completely oblivious to this and never saw him as anything more than a man she once slept with.

I read this book in 3 hours. I was hoping for a quick, light, sappy and cliche romance novel and Somebody Like You was exactly that. This book falls perfectly into the romance category; actually, it's one of the good ones in the genre. Kelly and James make an adorable pair and the chemistry between them is (as expected) hot.

Although predictable, Somebody Like You is everything that it should be - short, sweet and cheesy which makes it the perfect beach read. This is the kind of book that sates a girl's need for romance and happy endings. Although this isn't a book I'd go looking for at the bookstore, if I do come across it by chance, I'd definitely pick it up - this and all the other books in the Sugar Shack series.

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21 June 2012

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1) by Darynda Jones

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1) by Darynda Jones.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/ Paranormal.
Publication : October 2nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press.
From the author of The New York Times bestselling series that began with First Grave on the Right — a thrilling Young Adult novel garnering high praise and early buzz from major authors.

Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?

Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.

When I found out that Darynda was writing a young adult series, I literally squealed in joy. Not because it's young adult but just because it's another book by Darynda. She's definitely the coolest author I know and one of my favorite authors EVER.
Going in, I knew that it was going to be awesome and I was so right. I finished this book in one go; I stayed up until 3 AM reading it because I just. couldn't. put. it. down.

Lorelei's parents went missing when she was a child. No one knows what happened to them, they just disappeared one day. It's been years since the incident and on the anniversary of the day her parents went missing, a new boy shows up at school; A ridiculously hot, mysterious boy who's pretty much the epitome of tall, dark and handsome and ever since he popped up, things around Lorelei have gotten really weird.

Death and The Girl Next Door has all the awesomeness, if not more, of Darynda's Charley Davidson series. Just as I expected, Lorelei is a witty, smart, fun and kick-ass protagonist.
I found her thoughts/narration endlessly amusing and was laughing out loud so many times while reading this book. Lorelei and Jared literally had me glued to the pages. They're the kind of characters that just draw you in; especially Lorelei, who you can't help but appreciate for being so real.

You know how every author has a particular strength such as character development, writing style, plot etc? Darynda's strength(s) is all of them. This is one of those incredibly rare books where I found myself attached to not just the protagonists but even the supporting characters. Glitch and Brooklyn are amazing best friends and along with Lorelei, the three of them make an incredibly cool team that makes you wish you were a part of. As for the story - there isn't a single cliche moment in it. It's unique in a way that only Darynda can make it with her humorous and entertaining writing.

With a strong plot, sexy romance, brilliant and lovable characters, Death and The Girl Next Door is pure epicness all-around. There's so much more I want to know and I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in this series!

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20 June 2012

The Last Refuge (Dewey Andreas #3) by Ben Coes (Giveaway - US/Canada Only)

The Last Refuge (Dewey Andreas #3) by Ben Coes.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Political Thriller.
Publication : July 3rd 2012 by St. Martin's Press.
With time running out to stop the nuclear destruction of Tel Aviv, Dewey Andreas must defeat his most fearsome opponent yet.

Off a quiet street in Brooklyn, New York, Israeli Special Forces commander Kohl Meir is captured by operatives of the Iranian secret service, who smuggle Meir back to Iran, where he is imprisoned, tortured, and prepared for a show trial.

What they don’t know is that Meir was in New York to recruit Dewey Andreas for a secret operation. Meir had been tipped off that Iran had finally succeeded in building their first nuclear weapon, one they were planning to use to attack Israel. His source was a high-level Iranian government official and his proof was a photo of the bomb itself.

Dewey Andreas, a former Army Ranger and Delta, owes his life to Meir and his team of Israeli commandos. Now, to repay his debt, Dewey has to attempt the impossible ---to both rescue Meir from one of the world’s most secure prisons and to find and eliminate Iran’s nuclear bomb before it’s deployed---all without the help or sanction of Israel or America (at the near certain risk of detection by Iran).

Unfortunately, Dewey’s first moves have caught the attention of Abu Paria, the brutal and brilliant head of VEVAK, the Iranian secret service. Now Dewey has to face off against, outwit, and outfight an opponent with equal cunning, skill, and determination, with the fate of millions hanging in the balance.

If you've read my review of The Last Refuge by Ben Coes, you'll know that I loved it! If you haven't, you can check it out here.

Thanks to Ben, one of you can win a signed copy of The Last Refuge. Just enter through the Rafflecopter below :)

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is US and Canada Only.
  • The author/publisher is responsible to ensure that the winner gets the book.
  • Winner has 36 hours to respond with his/her address or a new one will be picked.
  • Giveaway ends on July 1st, 2012.
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BEN COES worked at the White House under President Ronald Reagan and was a White House appointed speechwriter at the height of the Gulf War. He was campaign manager of Mitt Romney's victorious run for Governor of Massachusetts and was a Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Ben lives in the Boston area with his family.

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And Laughter Fell from the Sky by Jyotsna Sreenivasan

And Laughter Fell from the Sky by Jyotsna Sreenivasan.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : June 19th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks.
Rasika has always tried to play the role of dutiful daughter. Even though she has a career that allows her to be financially independent, she still lives at home and knows she will someday marry an appropriate suitor. With her twenty-sixth birthday fast approaching, she agrees to an arranged marriage, all while trying to hide from her family her occasional dalliances with other men.

Abhay is everything an Indian-American son shouldn't be. Smart, curious, and ridden with angst, he spent his post-college year in a commune, only to leave and hop among various dead-end jobs, brooding about his inability to find what he wants to do with his life.

Old family friends, Rasika and Abhay seem to have nothing in common, and yet when the two reconnect by chance, sparks immediately fly. Abhay loves Rasika, but he knows her family would never approve. Rasika knows she has feelings for Abhay, but can she turn her back on the family rules she has always tried so hard to live by? The search to find answers takes Abhay and Rasika out of their native Ohio to Oregon and India, where they find that what they have together might just be something worth fighting for.

I don't think I can put into words how much I enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if it's because of my eclectic taste or because I can relate to it, either way, And Laughter Fell from the Sky has a special place in my bookshelf.

Where do I even begin? Abhay and Rasika are two very different people. Rasika has always been the pretty, obedient, smart, classy and prized daughter that would make any parent (especially Indian) proud, whereas Abhay, despite being a genius, is a guy that opposes everything his parents (and society) tells him to do/believe and hasn't found any direction in his life.

I can't point out just one particular thing that I liked about this book. Jyotsna Sreenivasan has perfectly captured the mentality of a lot of Indian families that have immigrated to the US. I'm not kidding, she got it spot on. From the closed society, frequent visits to India, reason for moving (high-paying job) to arranged marriages - this book certainly gives you an insight into Indian culture, although it can't be generalized.

Rasika and Abhay are both from Indian families who've moved from India to the US. Despite living in the US for years, their parents still tell themselves it's not permanent to make themselves feel better and have formed a closed society of Indians to feel at home in a foreign country. The problem is, these parents/families don't realize the what goes on in the minds of their children.

Born in the US, Abhay feels no attachment to his Indian heritage, despite being pressured by his family to confine to his culture, and he has never pretended otherwise.
Rasika has done everything she could to please her family and finally, around the time she turns twenty six, she agrees to an arranged marriage. After all, it's what's expected of her. Rasika has tried to rebel, tried to find love on her own but her gut has only led her to make bad choices in men so eventually, she just decides to go with what her family wants. However, call it fate or destiny, she runs into Abhay before her engagement and as the blurb describes, sparks fly. That night turns into the start of a secret love affair between Abhay and Rasika.

Abhay and Rasika just..fit. He's erratic, without a clue about what he's going to do and Rasika, while on the surface looks like she has it all figured out, is still trying to find out who she really is, without her family telling her what she's supposed to do; and some how you just know that they're perfect for each other right from the start. Although flawed, he's the guy that makes her question her thoughts, actions and even her intentions; the guy that makes admit who she really is, instead of who she tries/pretends to be.
Although Abhay's not a guy I'd pick for myself, I loved Rasika as a protagonist. Her thoughts, doubts and insecurities touched me and it was amazing watching her grow into more throughout the novel.

However, it's not all perfect. Abhay annoyed me. Frequently. Like I said, he's not a character I'd pick for myself; his thoughts and way of speaking didn't seem natural because realistically, no one's so..in your face as soon as you meet them. I just didn't find him very appealing but I could overlook those flaws because I understood Rasika and her world.

And Laughter Fell from the Sky is a sweet, wonderful love story about two people trying to make their relationship work in a judgmental society. I honestly enjoyed this more than I can express.
For those of you who have no clue about Indian culture, Jyotsna's vivd descriptions, lively weddings, unique characters and secret love affairs will have you captivated.

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19 June 2012

Cover Reveal : All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Contemporary.
Publication : December 11th 2012 by Entangled Publishing.
What if your life wasn't your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

I think to suits the blurb. What do you think? You like? Thanks to Entangled, I've an excerpt from the book below. Make sure you add it to your Goodreads to-read pile!


Olivia reached up, feeling the tender spots on her head. Her fingers brushed across a row of—were those little ridges made of metal?

"Careful. The staples are almost ready to come out, but it’s still going to be sore for a while."

Staples?!Her stomach rolled. I have staples in my head? She lowered her now-shaking hand. “Can I get a mirror?”

Mom looked at Dad, then back at her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Not until you’ve healed a little more.”

Mom patted Olivia’s leg. “You just relax. We’ll be back in a few minutes.”

The two of them left the room, but when Mom swung the door closed, it didn’t latch. Olivia could hear their voices in the hall.

“I still think we should…” She couldn’t make out the rest of Dad’s muffled words. “…know if I can do this.”

“…late for that,” Mom said. “We’d lose everything, including…” Her voice faded as they got farther away. “…have to move.”

Olivia could tell the conversation was tense, but the words were impossible to decipher now. Holding a hand in front of her face, she turned it back and forth. A plastic tube ran from her arm to a machine next to her bed. She peeked into her nightgown and stared in horror at the long red stripe running down her chest.


You’re alive. You shouldn’t be thinking about looks.

Lowering her hand, she scanned the room. I wonder how my face looks. From the way Dad stared at me, plus the fact Mom won’t let me see a mirror, it must be bad.
Brains are more important than looks.

That’s what ugly people say.

Olivia put her hands on her head and squeezed. “Stop it,” she whispered to her arguing thoughts, hysteria bubbling up and squeezing the air from her lungs. What was happening to her? Why didn’t she recognize her parents or know where she was? Who she was? Tears ran warm trails down her cheeks. “Just make it all stop.”

Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

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Blog Tour : Cicada (Cicada, #1) by Belle Whittington (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Another blog tour, thanks to AToMR Blog Tours! Make sure you check out the rest of the tour stops after you read mine by clicking here.

Cicada (Cicada, #1) by Belle Whittington.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : September 13th, 2011.
Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun... until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair's true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.


The adults were huddled closely together, talking low with expressions of worry and confusion etched on their faces. “What’s going on over there?” David nodded his head toward the group of whispering parents. Grandpa stopped speaking for a moment and glanced our way, the light from the fire twinkled in his eyes and caused his bushy brows to cast an almost evil shadow on his forehead.

Andrew elbowed me. “Short Stuff, go over there and eavesdrop for me.”
I didn’t have the chance. Grandpa motioned with a small flick of his hand to indicate that he wanted us all to come over and listen to what he was saying. I followed the rest, with my hands tucked into my back pockets, over to stand by Grandpa.

“Andrew, Blair, y’all been out in the back pasture recently besides today?” Grandpa was still sitting with his elbows on his knees, his glasses perched on his nose, and those evil-looking shadows on his forehead.

“No, sir,” we answered in unison.

“Hmph,” he looked back down at the fire and then across the flames towards the other adults. Mom and Grandma had faint looks of alarm on their faces. Everett’s dad, Mr. Forster, an older version of his son, looked perplexed and glanced to his right at David’s burly dad and cute, blonde mom. Mr. and Mrs. Hargrave looked exactly the way you would think they should. David got his brawn from his dad and his looks from his Mom.

“Well,” Mr. Hargrave spoke up after a moment, “who else could have done it?”

“What is it, Grandpa? Who’s done what?” My curiosity got the best of me.

Grandpa was my safe harbor. I never had to hide in the shadows when he was around. I never had to stand behind my own uncertainty. He was the one person who fully understood me.

Grandpa glanced at me and then up to Andrew’s wary brown eyes. “There’s one of them crop circles out in the back forty.” His eyes held Andrew’s gaze in a way that made it look as if they were communicating without words.

“Where? What part of the back pasture?” Andrew’s voice was lower now, almost like he could sense the growing dread deep inside me.

Grandpa’s eyes flickered back to mine. “Out near the little wood that Blair claims is haunted.” He looked back down into the burning embers of the fire, and I noticed an uncomfortable shift among the adults. “I was out in the barn late the other night, checking on the horses …” his gaze remained trained on the embers. “I heard what sounded like a helicopter out in the back pastures. When I went out back of the barn, I saw what looked like a helicopter circling Blair’s haunted wood … shining a spotlight out there.” He tossed a stick into the flames and glanced around at the other adults. They were sitting stone still, their eyes still on Grandpa. “I went back to the house to get my shotgun. When I came back out it was gone.” He shook his head. “I have no idea what it was. When I rode back out there yesterday morning, there was that crop circle. I don’t know what to make of it.” His voice trailed off.

Now it's Giveaway Time!

There're two giveaways, one is for an e-book copy of Cicada which is going on tour long and there're twelve copies to giveaway. Second giveaway is an electronic firefly in honor of the release of the sequel to Cicada; Firefly but this one's US only.

If you're wondering what an electronic Firefly is, you can check out the video here, it's really pretty so make sure you enter the giveaway(s)!

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Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There, in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and secrets that she weaves throughout her stories.

As a student of literature, Belle is earning her degree in English at the University of Houston. She hopes to teach literature at the college level some day.

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18 June 2012

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)
by Kendare Blake.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Horror, Paranormal.
Publication : August 7th 2012 by Tor Teen.
It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong... these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

I thought the cover of Anna Dressed in Blood was creepy but after looking at this one, I can't decide if it's scary or beautiful..or both. It's so magnetic, I swear I can't take my eyes off it.

Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite young adult reads last year. As soon as the release date was announced for Girl Of Nightmares, I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

Girl of Nightmares picks up a few months after Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas and his friends, Thomas and Carmel, are trying to move on with their lives after what happened with Anna and the Obeahman but to Cas, that pretty much seems impossible. He can't get Anna out of his head; he sees her everywhere, hears her when he's on hunts and everything leads him to believe that she's trying to send him a message. Cas needs closure and since he has no idea what happened to Anna, he needs to know she's fine and is willing to help her no matter what it takes.

This book has a different tone/vibe from Anna; while Anna Dressed In Blood was basically a trip down spook-ville, Girl Of Nightmares is all about answers. Don't get me wrong, although this one wasn't as frightening as Anna, it still gave me goosebumps.

You know how you read a book by an author, you love it and you expect the same results from the sequel? Well, Kendare Blake's writing is as mesmerizing as ever, despite the turn in direction. She's one of the few authors who does a terrific job with a male protagonist and point of view. I simply love Cas, throw in Thomas and Carmel, they make an unbeatable team. Just as with Anna, Kendare manages to provide entertainment through a dark novel without compromising on the storyline.

Girl Of Nightmares is hands-down one of the best young adult books of 2012; eerie, gripping and all kinds of scary, it will raise the hair at the back of your necks. Trust me, you won't be able to put this book down.

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15 June 2012

Blog Tour : Try Me (Take a Chance, #1) by Diane Alberts (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Try Me (Take a Chance, #1) by Diane Alberts.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Romance.
Publication : May 24th 2012 by Ever After (Entangled Publishing).
What happens in Vegas…can lead to romance.

It took one wild night for Sergeant Jeremy Addison to realize that Vegas? Was a bad idea.

Bloody. Bruised. Dehydrated. Abandoned in the desert, and left to stagger down the road. The only way this leave could get worse was if his savior was his ex-best friend’s sister…and the girl he’d loved since childhood.

The last person Erica expected to find on the roadside was her high school crush. She hadn’t seen Jeremy in seven years—ever since the night he said he loved her, and she ran away. Losing him then had been a mistake, but wanting him now could be catastrophic if he discovered the secret that chased every other man from her life. But with a tall, tattooed Marine determined to prove he’s always been faithful, can Erica resist his advances…or will she surrender ground and give love a try?

I think you guys already know Diane and I don't have to tell you how excited I am to have her on the blog again! Thanks to Diane and Entangled Publishing, I have an e-book copy of Try Me to giveaway. Keep reading :)

Try Me by Diane Alberts.

Hello, everyone! I’m here today to blog about my latest release, Try Me. It’s the first in a fun new series called Take a Chance.

In the book, the hero is an emotionally scarred Marine. He wakes up lost in a desert and confused as to how he even got there in the first place. He’s always screwing up, and this time just puts the tops them all. He’s certain he’s going to bake alive in the desert, and no one would even know—yet alone care.

When a car comes along, it has Erica in it—the same girl he poured his heart out to seven years ago. The same girl who ran away when he told her that he loved her. The emotions between the two have never died, and when you put them together? You’ve got one heck of a romance book!

The chemistry between the two of them is tangible. I loved how Jeremy is always pushing the limits, trying to tempt Erica into giving him a shot, and Erica really, really wants to—I mean, have you seen those abs?!—but refuses to give in. The few times she forgets all of her reasons and gives in? It’s hot.

Having the two of them with such a rich background, and all of the unresolved feelings, made for a fun read, and a hot book. But to truly get why they act like they do, you have to dig deeper. And even once they know all of each other’s insecurities and fears—the bond grows stronger. That’s what love is. But can they dig that deep, and get their happily-ever after? You’ll have to read it to find out!

Thanks so much for inviting me here today! Before I go, I wanted to share a quick contest with you! If Try Me hits the Top 100 on Barnes and Noble, I’m giving away a signed picture of Jeremy’s abs! Make sure to spread the word, because the more people who know, the better chances you get to walk away with hotness!

Thanks for having me here today! What’s your favorite type of chemistry—the kind like Erica and Jeremy, where a history is involved…or lust at first sight?

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Prize is an e-book copy of the book.
  • It's the author/publisher's responsibility to ensure that the winner gets the book, not mine.
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Diane Alberts current contracted works with Entangled Publishing are: On One Condition (February 2012, Ever After line), and Divinely Ruined (April 2012, Ever After line). 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 (TBA, 1NightStand series). Diane Alberts has always been a dreamer and had 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, a bird named Nemo, and two clown fish named Blue and Jewel. 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 and Decadent Publishing. She is repped by her fabulous agent, Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. She has, as of this date, two books contracted with Entangled Publishing, and five books with Decadent Publishing. Her February release with Entangled Publishing, ON ONE CONDITION, hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble Bestseller List. She has a lot of projects currently being shopped around by her fabulous agent, and her goal is to write so many fantastic books that even a non-romance book fan will know her name.

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14 June 2012

The Taken (Celestial Blues #1) by Vicki Pettersson

The Taken (Celestial Blues #1) by Vicki Pettersson.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Urban Fantasy.
Publication : June 12th 2012 by Harper Voyager.
He’s a fallen angel. She’s a rockabilly reporter. Together they must solve a deadly string of murders plaguing the mortal and the immortal worlds.

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was over fifty years ago when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Now he’s a Centurion, an angel who assists other murdered souls through their journey to the afterlife. But while Shaw might be an angel … he’s no saint. Haunted by the mysterious events surrounding his own death, he seizes a chance to wreak some vengeance when he witnesses a deadly attack on journalist Katherine “Kit” Craig.

Joining forces, the unlikely avengers take to the streets, hunting a killer whose trail of bodies stretches across Las Vegas and into an immortal netherworld. It is a dangerous trek that lead them into the darkest corners of Sin City and into the heart of an evil conspiracy extending beyond the lights of the Strip that could destory them both.

But destruction isn’t the only threat Griffin faces. The closer he gets to Kit, the more he finds himself bewitched by her mortal charms. Can he resist falling under her spell? And does he want to?

It's one of those times when I can't really decide on the rating. I'm going with 3.5 stars for this one.

When I read the blurb of The Taken, I was immediately interested because I'm a huge fan of all things urban fantasy.

I'm picky about the kind of writing style that I like and although it took me a while to get used to Pettersson's writing, The Taken caught my interest right from the very first line; you'll know what I mean when you read it.

I loved getting to know the protagonists of this book; Kit and Grif. The chemistry between them pretty much had me waiting/rooting for the moment when something would happen (between them). Oh, who am I kidding, Grif is HOT, even more for those who like the dark and broody type. But more than that, it was the mystery put together with Vicki's lively writing that really held my interest; throw in the bit with the angels and I'm sold.

However, I'll admit that the book's not without it's flaws. There were times when I didn't find the transition between the chapters to be smooth and I felt like they jumped from one thing to another. Thankfully, that didn't last forever.
Despite the promising start (or rather, the promising first chapter), The Taken, had the dreaded mid-book slump that had me skimming through the pages, only in this case the slump was in the beginning. It did pick up the pace after sometime and that's when things got interesting.
I should also mention that some of the words (specifically, slang from the fifties) were lost on me but I'm pretty sure that it's probably just me and that I may need to update my vocabulary.

To put it simply, I enjoyed reading this book. It had everything I need for a fun and entertaining summer read - a unique plot, engaging characters, budding romance and witty writing. I look forward to reading the next book in The Celestial Blues series.

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Blog Tour : Absolution (The Elohim Trilogy #1) by Louis Corsair (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Thanks to Dark Mind Blog Tours and Louis Corsair, I've got an excerpt + e-book giveaway of Absolution for you today. There's also a huge tour long giveaway going on at Dark Mind Blog Tours' website, you can visit it by clicking here.

Absolution (The Elohim Trilogy #1) by Louis Corsair.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Thriller.
Publication : May 1st 2012.
In 1947, a gangster murders private investigator Raymond Adams. In 2011, he's brought back to life for 24 hours to solve the supernatural murder of a Hollywood Adult film star.

When the son of a Pit Lord is murdered in Hollywood, the celestial beings in charge of the Four Realms ask Raymond Adams to figure who did it and find the victim's missing soul. Without memories of his life, he accepts the case to gain eternal peace. But the job is daunting:

24 hours to nab a killer...
24 hours to find a missing soul...
24 hours to unravel the victim's exotic private life...
24 hours to stop a plot to send the universe into chaos...

With only the help of a possessed cop and a medium, Adams must trek through a Hollywood underground filled with pornography, prostitutes, the homeless, and sadists, along with supernatural monsters. But can he solve the case when his own haunting memories keep surfacing, telling him exactly what kind of man he was in life?


I was in a preparation chamber made completely out of light. I hovered like a cloud watching child-like celestials regenerate and reanimate my corpse. They didn’t bother with new clothes and simply fixed up the suit I had been buried in. When finished, they vacuumed me into my old body, a loving experience I could only compare to dying.
“Cold...” I said and my throat was dry like the Mojave in the middle of summer. They explained my body was mostly dead but this would improve as time passed. To help me with the shivers, the merciful celestials threw in a brown overcoat, shoes, and a fedora.
“Gun,” I said. True I was dead, but the people I was going to deal with were not and I had a feeling they would want to stay that way. Protection was necessary.
They gave me a revolver loaded with ten Thunderbolt bullets. I also got a good watch to keep track of time, an enchanted magnifying glass, and a special rune to communicate with the Committee. The big people wanted regular updates on my progress.
The celestials opened a portal to the Realm of the Living and sent me through it.

Also, for those of you who'd like to purchase it, Absolution is only $0.99/£0.77 for as long as the tour lasts =)

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Prize is an e-book copy.
  • It's the author's responsibility to ensure that you get your book, not mine.

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Louis Corsair is an eight year veteran of the United States Army. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles, CA and attends Long Beach State University. He also works at the Peninsula Center Library in Palos Verdes, where books have become his family. To him, writing is more than a hobby or a passion; it is the only way to exist—at times life itself. The idea for Absolution came to him after watching news of a murdered Adult film actor in Hollywood.

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12 June 2012

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : June 12th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy.
But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

3.5 Stars

This is the first mermaid-based paranormal book I have ever read and though I was curious, I didn't really expect to love it because I'm picky about my choice of paranormal creatures. However, I after reading it, I realized this - Mermaids are utterly fascinating.

For some reason, I assumed that Lies Beneath would be just another paranormal love story but with mermaids..maybe something along the lines of The Little Mermaid but this had a whole twist to it. Mermaids aren't sweet, pretty and lovely. Well, they are pretty and lovely but they're definitely not sweet in Anne Brown's story; Mermaids are cold-hearted, cruel creatures who kill humans to take their emotions for their own, in order to prevent themselves from going insane.

It took me a few pages to realize that I was reading from a boy's point of view but that may just be me. Lies Beneath is a story of revenge; one that the White family has been waiting for a long time to take on a person called Jason Hancock. Calder's job is to get friendly with the Hancock family and lure Jason to the lake somehow so his sisters can kill him in a slow and painful way to get their fill of revenge. However, there's just one problem - Calder falls in love with Jason's daughter Lily and that pretty much screws everything up.

The storyline, while nothing exceptional, managed to hold my interest but mostly it was the part with the mermaids that had my complete attention; it's a whole new paranormal world for me and I loved reading about Calder and his sisters. Although Calder seemed a little too close to human a lot of times, his sisters definitely played the cruel, vengeful mermaids well.

Over all, if you're a paranormal fan but have never read a mermaid based story, give this one a shot! I enjoyed reading this book and I didn't even realize how quickly I was reading it (that's always a good thing). Even if you have read other mermaid novels, while I'm not sure if it's unique (since I have nothing else to compare it to), Lies Beneath still makes for an entertaining read and is worth checking out. I'm pretty sure I'll be picking up the next book in the series!

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The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
by Richelle Mead.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal.
Publication : June 12th 2012 by Razorbill.
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

I have to wait a WHOLE year for the next one? Richelle Mead, you're killing me!

The Golden Lily is hands-down my most anticipated book this year. I'll admit Bloodlines was disappointing but I could see where the story was going and I had faith in Mead to develop a swoon-worthy romance that makes my heart pound..and she did it.

While I don't think this series can ever compare to The Vampire Academy series, Bloodlines has it's own special place in my heart because, let's face it, we ALL love Adrian.

I absolutely loved every moment that Adrian and Sydney spent together in this book, I adored watching them grow closer, like it was the most natural thing in the world. However, The Golden Lily proved that this series is very different from VA; where VA was more action-packed and intense, Bloodlines is more realistic; the romance about two very different people falling in love unexpectedly and the story is a more young adult, it doesn't have any of the darkness or intensity that VA did.

Sure, there was a storyline going on regarding Sonya Karp, Vampire Hunters and all that but honestly, that didn't engage me much and I think that's the only problem I had with this book. The characters are as lovable as ever - Eddie, Jill and even Angie has grown on me and it goes without saying that I love Adrian and Sydney but the story lacks the captivating quality that Vampire Academy had.

To me, Adrian and Sydney made this book. The ending made my knees go weak and had me pulling my hair out because the book was over, but I guess it's a feeling I have with all of Richelle Mead's books when they end. To make it short, those who were let down by Bloodlines, for the most part The Golden Lily will not disappoint you. If it's romance that you're looking for, it's all there!

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10 June 2012

The Quintessential Gemini by Linn B. Halton (Interview + Giveaway).

The Quintessential Gemini by Linn B. Halton.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : June 7th 2012 by Sapphire Star Publishing.
For twenty-one years, the focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work. Love interests and hobbies came and went, but what has always been there for her—her only constant other than her cat delightfully named No. 4—was her nine to five habit. Until she’s replaced.
With her confidence dented, Katherine is angry at life and at herself.

She’s ignored hints of “changes to come” in her horoscope forecasts, written by the wonderful and renowned astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas.

Mark is now an “A” list celebrity in the UK and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on the new, but talented, astrologer James Kingman to help him run his web-site.

Katherine lives her life according to her daily horoscope. When Katherine finds James has been writing her daily horoscopes rather than Mark, Katherine’s life explodes in confusion and, unexpectedly, love as the three lives become inextricably tangled. Insecurity, self-doubt, guilt, stress, and frustration, coupled with village gossips and merciless reporters wanting eye-catching headlines leave Katherine feeling vulnerable and in need of guidance.

Now Katherine has to learn that the stars might be telling her that love is going to feature in her life, but when Katherine finds herself implicated in the headlines ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’ she’s just as surprised as everyone else! None of the men in her life are love interests – so what exactly does fate have in store?

I'm happy to have Linn, author of Quintessential Gemini, here with us today. Thanks to her, I also have an e-book giveaway for you guys following the interview!

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Passionate, enthusiastic and obsessive. I’m a Gemini, so many will identify…. (laugh)!

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Yes and no. It’s difficult for me to judge, because when I write I take on each character’s mind-set. I’m not conscious of writing on their behalf, I feel more like I am the scribe and I’m simply writing as if I were watching what was happening. There are shades of me in some of the characters, but it’s minimal, the imagination takes off and each is a unique person in their own right. I miss them after I write ‘the end’….

Favourite food?

I love eating out and will eat most things. One thing I could not live without is coffee, I know it’s a beverage but seriously, work would not get done without a strong cup of coffee!

When you wrote The Quintessential Gemini what was your aim?

I wanted to write something that was fun, quirky and romantic, with romcom moments. It’s all about three very intense people who are passionate about what they do and it was based on one simple sentence. ‘What if someone really did live their life according to their daily horoscope?’ It was fun to write!

Which genre do you like reading the most?

I guess my two favorites would be philosophical literary and dark or weird fantasy. But I don't like to genrelize! And I apologize for using that word. I swear I'm not trying to make "fetch" happen.

Any other book(s) in the works? Upcoming projects?

Two more projects this year. The next one is The Restaurant being published by Sapphire Star Publishing on Aug 2, 2012. It’s six individual stories all linking around the The Restaurant @ The Mill. It also has a resident spirit, a Victorian woman named Sarah. It’s about life, love, the baggage we all carry around with us and striving for a happy ending.

What is your favorite quote?

No man is an island, it’s from this poem:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
- John Donne

It’s one I’ve loved since a child and with each passing day I realise more acutely the relevance of it!

Name one thing you love and one thing you hate.

I love date nights with my husband, we are both very busy people and making time for each other is essential. I hate drizzly rain because it makes my hair frizz!

If you weren’t a writer what would you be doing now?

Hands-on renovating another property. My husband and I have worked on 13 so far, we feel the current one is our last, especially now I write full-time. We are very happy having settled in Arlingham, which is in the UK a stone’s throw from the River Severn.

I would also like to add a big ‘thank you’ for inviting me onto Kindle & Me, I’ve watched your website grow in complete admiration. It’s a joy to be here and it’s a pleasure to be with someone who is so passionate about books and so professional!

Linn xx

Thanks so much Linn, that means a lot to me! =)

As I was saying, thanks to Linn and Saphire Star Publishing, we've an e-book giveaway of Quintessential Gemini for you today. So happy reading!

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

  • Giveaway is International.
  • Prize is an e-copy of the book.
  • It's the author/publisher's responsibility to ensure that the winner gets the book, not mine.
  • Giveaway ends on 6/20.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes romantic fiction with a psychic or astrological theme and many of the paranormal events that feature in her books are real life experiences. Linn is also a featured new Author on http://loveahappyending.com/ and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups’ including ‘Reader/Author Team Reports’ on the website’s magazine-style blog.

Buy The Book :

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find The Author :

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook