Monday, December 23, 2013

Blog Tour + Review: Platform 21 by T.R. Patrick





Platform 21 (Beyond the Veil #1) by T.R. Patrick

Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Science Fiction
Pages: 347
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon


Luke’s life is about to take a dangerous turn.

But first he has to die.

In the year 2052, high school sophomore Luke Gibson considers himself an average teenager in a world on the brink of monumental change. Joining his parents and sister, Laura, at the first World Energy Initiative Conference, he is among thousands gathered in a Denver arena to celebrate free renewable energy when a massive earthquake strikes killing everyone in the stadium. The last thing Luke sees before his death is a girl reaching out to him—a stranger whose face he remembers from his dreams.

The end, however, is not the end. Suddenly, inexplicably, Luke is back home in Ohio and everything is different. His sister is gone, the victim in an unsolved homicide years before. Angela, his mysterious dream girl, is here also, and the only person besides Luke who recalls the previous reality. And now their determination to uncover the truth about Laura’s murder and their transformed world is making them targets—forced to flee for their lives from a nameless shadow organization and a government seeking vengeance for an unthinkable act of terror—as they stand on the threshold of a dark conspiracy that threatens all humankind.

With Platform 21, a brilliantly inventive and unrelentingly exciting excursion to a troubled near-future, author T.R. Patrick joins the ranks of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four) and other masters of YA speculative suspense fiction. The first book in the Beyond the Veil series, Platform 21 follows teenager Luke Gibson up to and beyond his death in a horrific terrorist attack in Denver in the year 2052. Reawakening in a world strangely transformed, Luke sets out to uncover the truth about his new reality—joining forces with Angela, a girl he had seen previously in his dreams, in a desperate race for survival that will propel them across the threshold of an insidious global conspiracy that threatens the future of all humanity.


If there's one way to describe Platform 21 that I'm completely sure of, it would be unique. The story sets itself apart from anything I've read recently, full of twists and turns that keep you interested. There's a lot more to this story than is first apparent, with multiple facets revealing themselves as you progress.

The sci-fi aspects were well-balanced; not too complex but also not completely glossed over. For this reason, it can transcend the YA label for sci-fi lovers. There is a delay before it really gets going, though.

Parts of the story are a bit disorganized or overly drawn-out. And occasionally character interaction was a little strained. But the story was still a great read. This is a great read for anyone who's a fan of sci-fi and mystery!



Giveaway!




About the Author

Author Timothy R. Patrick, born in 1985, started writing when he was only nine, delivering his first short story to his Mom for her birthday. Since then, writing has been an incredible passion. Every chance he could write, he took it. He even scratched out a few stories in Naval Boot Camp at Great Lakes, Illinois.

Tim spent four years in the Navy achieving the rank of Petty Officer 2nd class. He served three years aboard USS Chosin and was deployed twice in support of the Global War on Terror, and Iraqi Freedom. However, he would always be remembered as the guy who sat in the corner of the mess decks writing a book he would never release. He said it wasn't good enough.

After his time in the Navy, Tim became a Test Engineer working for companies like Scientific Research Corporation and Hewlett Packard. During this phase of his life he moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he bought a home and tried to settle into the American Dream. But Tim wasn't content with that, he wanted to do something more than work the 9 to 5. So, he tried his hand at politics and ran for Dorchester County Council as an Independent. They said he was too young and verbose. After losing the election, he decided to try his hand at writing instead.

Today, Timothy Patrick is the author of Platform 21 - the first installment of the Beyond the Veil series. Platform 21 is a novel set in the near future which follows a young man on a journey to solve his sister's murder in the midst of global conspiracy. His current project is The Vorago Initiative - which picks up right where Platform 21 left off.


Book Blitz: Siren's Song by Heather McCollum



Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press


Jule Welsh can sing. She enthralls people with her bel canto voice. But it takes more than practice to reach her level of exquisite song; it takes siren's blood running through her veins. Jule is starting her senior year at Cougar Creek High when her relatively normal world begins to resemble a roller coaster flying through a carnival scare house. Her mother is diagnosed as insane and committed, a psycho-stalker is snapping pictures of her to put into his homemade Jule-shrine, her voice is suddenly putting people into comatose trances, oh and the gorgeous new guy in town, Luke Whitmore, is interested in her . . . but also wants to kill her.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18389180-siren-s-song?from_search=true




Excerpt:

Luke stands next to me, and I swear I hear him inhale again. Tendrils of excitement take root in the simple brush of his arm against my hair. My heart pounds and my stomach back-flips. To hell with apathy! I spin toward him and barely control my gasp at his closeness. I lean back slightly so I can focus on his face. Time to take the offensive.

“So what? You were interested,” I throw up little quotation marks with my fingers, “the other night. But now you’re ignoring me?”

“It’s complicated.” He stares into my eyes as if willing me to just take his word for it.

I nod and repeat. “It’s complicated.” I frown. “Life’s complicated, or hadn’t you heard?”

He almost smiles. “I’ve heard that, actually.”

“So what’s so complicated that you’re not interested anymore?” Ah, the big question. I should get points for kick-ass bravery.

He shakes his head, sending the thick, perfectly casual mane swinging around his strong jawline. His dark, blue-black eyes catch mine again with an intense, hooded look. “Interested?” A low chuckle comes out more like a growl and I feel a prickle spider-walk along my shoulders. “More like obsessed.”

I blink. Did he just say he’s obsessed? With me? “O-okay. Lost here.” And a little creeped out.

“It’s better that way.” He turns to his locker and grabs a lunchbag. He walks away.

“Hey.” I can’t just let him go when he is finally sort of talking. “Did you bring me dinner last night?” A blush heats up my neck into my cheeks.

He turns back with a smile. “You like mushrooms. My mom makes a killer lasagna.”

“So, you broke into my house, fed the dog, left dinner, and turned on the lights for me. I almost called the police.”

He leans back against the lockers and glances at the ceiling like he is beseeching heavenly help. “I want to…I need to make sure you are…taken care of.”

My eyes narrow as I try to understand his words. “And you have decided to take on the assignment? Why?”

A sad smile touches his mouth as his head rolls across the lockers so he can look at me again. “I believe I mentioned being obsessed.” His face suddenly seems tired, older somehow, like he has lived a long time and is tired of the whole thing, like he is hopeless.

“How old are you?” I ask.

“Seventeen.”

“How long have you been seventeen?” I know it’s a ridiculous question, but my heart slams in my chest and I hold my breath, waiting for his answer. There is just something strange about him, something dark, and yet I’m drawn to him, want to know all about him.

He laughs and this time the smile reaches his eyes. “Since last October thirty- first.” He steps closer to me. I freeze as his warm palm cups my cheek, covering the whole expanse. “See, I’m warm.” He drops his hand. “And I eat lasagna, too. Lots of it.”

October thirty-first? Halloween? “Your cousin, Taylin, her birthday is October thirty-first, too.”

Luke’s smile fades and his gaze moves to a spot on my forehead, like he can’t look me in the eyes. “It’s complicated, Jule.” His eyes move down to meet mine. They are narrowed, fierce and sad again. He drops his voice even though the hall is virtually empty. “You and I,” he shakes his head, “we shouldn’t be together. I’m…dangerous.”

“You leave a dry towel for me on the porch, but you’re dangerous?” My eyes are narrowed right along with his now.

Luke swallows and glances away. “I can’t go into it. Just know that we,” he looks back, “we can’t be together, ever.” With that, he pivots on his heel and heads toward the outer doors, away from the cafeteria.



Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
About the Author:

Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology from the University of Maine, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and the Ruby Slipper Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart Finalists.

The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entranced Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination when she visited there years ago. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since. She currently resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Needing Her by Molly McAdams





Needing Her by Molly McAdams

Release Date: December 23, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Pages: 200
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N • iTunes

She's the girl next door.

Maci Price isn't really into relationships. Having four very protective older brothers has always made having a boyfriend very difficult anyway. But her friend is set on finding her the right guy—and thinks the mysterious Connor Green is the perfect pick.

He's her brother's best friend.

Connor Green is trying to find himself again. He loved, then lost, and it's time for him to pick up the pieces. His brooding is making his friends crazy, but Maci, who has grown up into a gorgeous and incredibly sexy woman, is about to break the spell.

They're made for each other.

When Maci starts up old pranks to get Connor out of his slump, an all-out war leads to a night that will break all their rules … and a relationship they must keep hidden. Together they're electric. Apart they're safe. And soon they'll each find that they're exactly what the other needs.



WHO IS THE REAL MOLLY McADAMS?

Molly McAdams is pulling a prank on the internet to celebrate the release of her prank-tastic novella, Needing Her, on 12/23! For eight days until Needing Her goes on-sale, the internet will be brimming with New Adult celebs like J. Lynn, Jay Crownover, Sophie Jordan, and more—all pretending to be the REAL Molly McAdams. All have filled out the same Q&A, so it’s up to the fans to guess which one is the real Molly! Each day, a new Q&A will go live on a variety of blogs, and if you guess who’s answering the questions in the comments, you could win a fabulous gift basket, including books from all the participating authors, as well as a prank “starter-kit,” for your own practical jokes. Here are the participants:

Molly McAdams
J. Lynn
Monica Murphy
Lisa DesRochers
Jay Crownover
Sophie Jordan
Nichole Chase
Blogger Yara Santos of Once Upon A Twilight

So see if you can guess who’s who by commenting, and you’ll be entered to win a lavish prize basket. And check all the other participating blogs until 12/23 to see if you can pick out the REAL Molly McAdams. Identities will be revealed, and the winner will be announced on 12/24, on these blogs as well as on the Between the Covers FB page.



12/19 – Molly McAdams Pretender #4

Favorite food?
Ain't no thing like a chicken wing, ya'll

Favorite color?
White. What? It's a color. It goes with EVERYTHING.

Favorite band and / or favorite song?
Anything from Lil' Wayne. I love him and his gold capped teeth. Don't hate. WHEEZY 4EVA!!!

How do you come up with your book ideas?
I pay attention to people I know in real life. I know some cray cray people.

What’s the best prank you’ve ever played on someone?
Oh lawd, once while road-tripping with my best bud for a signing, I convinced my publicist I'd been detained for questioning in a string of adult sex toy shop robberies committed throughout Texas because I was late reaching said signing.

What’s your fascination with cops and detectives?
Once you go pop a cop, you can't stop. Wait. That came out all kinds of wrong. I married one! Love me a man in a uniform.

What’s the thing you love most about Needing Her?
Green kool-aid and abs. Ya'll understand when you read Needing Her.



Participating Blogs

Monday, December 16th:

Tuesday, December 17th:

Wednesday, December 18th:

Thursday, December 19th:
Will Read For Books       

Friday, December 20th:

Saturday, December 21st:

Sunday, December 22nd:

Monday, December 23rd:



Giveaway!




About the Author

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. Some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling and long walks on the beach…which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom surrounded by her laptop and cell, and fighting over the TV remote. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm...or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.

Website   •   Blog   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter


Friday, December 13, 2013

Blog Tour + Review: Path Unchosen by Kim Cleary





Path Unchosen (Daughter's of Ravenwood #1) by Kim Cleary

Release Date: September 7 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Raven's Lair Publishing
Pages: 338
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon


When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that’s a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life.

Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.


The premise of this book was intriguing to me. It's like a combination of all the supernatural lore I love to read about: zombies, witches, ghosts. All rolled into one. These have always been some of my favorite subjects, and so I was excited to read this book. It was definitely ambitious and, as a result, sometimes overly complicated an convoluted. There were just so many elements, at times too many.

Another thing I struggled with was the feeling that, rather than reading about a post-zombie-apocalypse world, it felt like a historical fiction. This is a result of the lack of technology and supernatural elements that feel older. While it's not a bad thing in any way, I tend to not be a huge fan of historical fiction, so I was a bit disappointed.

Judy herself was interesting for the complete mystery surrounding her. Other than that, there wasn't a lot to her, and while she learned some things about her past, it wasn't as much as I wanted. Relationships between the characters were more complex and absorbing, but it still wasn't a well-developed element.

With all that said, the essence of the plot was enjoyable. We follow Judy as she learns about herself and searches to find the person behind raising the zombies terrorizing the town. The mystery, though not hard to guess at, was an entertaining progression.

Overall, I liked the story. The romance subplots didn't do much for me (which is very rare) and certain aspects felt dragged while others were sped-through, but it was still a good story for ghost and zombie novel fans.

Check out the other stop on the tour here!



Giveaway!




About the Author

Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.

When not writing, revising, or thinking about writing, Kim gardens, plays with her dog, chats on social media, catches up with friends or cooks an Indian feast. She is a member of Writers Victoria, Romance Writers of Australia, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and a certified chocoholic.

Kim grew up in Birmingham, UK, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in South Australia and has worked all over Australia and in London. She now lives with her husband and an adorable Cocker Spaniel in Melbourne, Australia.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blog Tour + Review: Bitter Like Orange Peel by Jessica Bell





Bitter Like Orange Peel by Jessica Bell

Release Date: November 1, 2013
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Vine Leaves Press
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N


Six women. One man. Seven secrets. One could ruin them all.

Kit is a twenty-five-year-old archaeology undergrad, who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. Life seems purposeless. But if she could track down her father, Roger, maybe her perspective would change.

The only problem—Roger is as rotten as the decomposing oranges in her back yard according to the women in her life: Ailish, her mother—an English literature professor who communicates in quotes and clichés, and who still hasn’t learned how to express emotion on her face; Ivy, her half-sister—a depressed archaeologist, with a slight case of nymphomania who fled to America after a divorce to become a waitress; and Eleanor, Ivy’s mother—a pediatric surgeon who embellishes her feelings with medical jargon, and named her daughter after “Intravenous.”

Against all three women’s wishes, Kit decides to find Roger.
Enter a sister Kit never knew about.
But everyone else did.


I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this book when I started it. The premise was interesting to me and I love emotional reads, but how this one man connected to all six women beyond the brief glimpse provided in the blurb nagged at me. Going in, this book definitely felt like it could go either way.

The main female characters were also this way. At times I would love them for their humor, honesty, or strength and at others I would want to shake them for the decisions they were making. But as tumultuous as it sounds, I became invested in their story. The up and downs, the well-meaning but overzealous attempts to protect each other. It was really like getting a glimpse into a family: imperfect and at times impractical, but still full of love.

With all of that said, they all made some really dumb decisions in their lives, and not just in the name of protecting each other. Ivy and Kit especially act well below their ages, seemingly, unable to move forward with their lives. And while it was frustrating at times, it also fed into their back stories well. The absence of their father played a role so clear that even Psych 101 wasn't necessary to see it. So even when they were frustrating, you saw what was underneath it, even if you couldn't condone it. I definitely couldn't. By the end, the only character's I really felt sorry for were Eleanor and Edyie, since they were the only two that were never, to me at least, selfish or childish over the story's progression.

The one thing that didn't sit well with me was the ending. A major bombshell got dropped, never really cleared up, and then it was over. The book would have probably rated higher for me overall if that weren't the case, and I really wish I'd known going in. There's also something to be said for the fact that I was invested enough to really want to read more.

Overall, I Bitter Like Orange Peel was an enjoyable read for fans of emotional dramas, but don't go in expecting a resolution.

Check out the other tour stops here!



Book Trailer




Giveaway!




About the Author

If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written. Jessica is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and annually runs the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. For more information, please visit her website.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blog Tour: Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus




Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus

Release Date: May 31, 2013
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Pages: 437
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon

From the author of Jack Templar Monster Hunter comes a supernatural thriller for adult audiences.

Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined. Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.


Excerpt from Night Chill


He popped open the door and raised his jacket over his head to block out as much of the rain as possible. Hoping not to wake the girls, he didn’t shut his door all the way, but let it rest against the latch so it was closed just enough to keep out the rain. He took off on a sprint to the pay phone, splashing through puddles that came up over his ankles.

The pay phones were under a short overhang but the wind was so strong that it provided little protection. Jack fished around in his pocket for change but came up with only pennies. He dialed ‘0’ for the operator and waited as the phone went through a series of clicks. A computerized voice said, “A,T and T,” and then a tone and more silence.

“Jesus Christ. Come on!” Jack started to glance over his shoulder at the Jeep, but the operator finally came on and Jack turned back toward the phone. He was halfway through giving his credit card number when he heard the blast of car horn behind him. It was followed by the same sound again. And again. Even in the rain it was loud and urgent. The Jeep’s panic alarm.

Jack was always hitting the panic button on the remote by accident. He dug for the keys in his pocket. God, the girls were probably scared to death. He found the keys and pressed the button as he turned around to point the device at the car.

There was a man.

Standing next to his car.

The driver’s door was open.

Jack dropped the phone and ran back to the car. “HEY! HEY YOU!”

The man didn’t acknowledge Jack but just stood and kept staring into the open door. Even over the noise of the rain Jack could hear the girls screaming as he got closer to the car.

How long was I turned away from the car? One minute? Two? He couldn’t have hurt them in that time. Could he?

“Get back from the car. RIGHT NOW!”

The man finally turned. He raised his hands in the air and stepped back. Jack slowed down a few paces from him. He wanted to check on the girls but he wasn’t about to turn his back on this stranger. Jack sized the man up. Late thirties, decent build, average sized frame, nothing too intimidating. Then again, the man could have a gun in his pocket and then none of his physical characteristics would make a difference.

“What are you doing?” The adrenaline tearing through Jack’s system made it come out more a threat than a question.

“Hi. Sorry about that. I was just making sure everyone was O.K. Bad weather and all.”

Jack moved to the open car door, putting his body between the man and the open door. Standing closer, he could make out the details of the stranger. Even in the poor light the man’s pale face stood out from the night, like a glowing mask. He might have been an albino except for the black pits for eyes. Jack didn’t like the look of the man’s thin, colorless lips that twisted into a forced smile as they stared each other down.

Something about the man didn’t seem right. Maybe it was the storm. Or the scare he got from turning and seeing the man unexpectedly appear at the car. Maybe it was that an hour earlier a man had died in his arms talking about the devil. Whatever it was, Jack’s instinct warned him of danger.

He was reluctant to let the stranger out of his sight but the girls screams were too much to bear. Quickly, he turned his head to make sure they were just scared and not hurt somehow. “You girls all right?” he called out. Becky and Sarah looked terrified, but unharmed. Jack relaxed a little. Maybe he was over-reacting. Chances are the stranger was just trying to help. This wasn’t California. It wasn’t so odd that someone would go out of their way to help out on a stormy night. And he knew Albert James had put him in a weird place emotionally. Satisfied the girls were fine, he turned back to face the man, ready to apologize. “Listen, thanks but--”

The man was gone.

Jack spun around. He didn’t see him anywhere. Then a voice came from the other side of the car, across the hood on the passenger’s side. “Pretty girls you have there. Very pretty.”

Soaking wet, Jack still felt the hair rise up on the back of his neck. All the tension returned. “Listen buddy. I think it’s best if you get out of here. Maybe you’re trying to help out, but you’re scaring my kids.”

The stranger leaned back to look through the Jeep’s rear window, then back at Jack. “Scaring them? Or scaring you?”

“Look, just get out of here. All right?”

“These girls don’t have anything to worry about from me.” The man rubbed the hood of the car with the palms of his hands. “I want to be their friend. Especially the little one. She’s very special. Sarah. That’s it, isn’t it? Little sweet Sarah?”

“Get the hell out of here right now,” Jack yelled over a thunder clap. Jack had only been in one fight as an adult but if the car hadn’t separated them he would have taken a swing at the bastard in front of him.

The man slapped the hood of the car in a slow beat. “Bam, bam, badda, bam, bam,” he murmured as he thumped out a rhythm, his eyes locked with Jack’s, a grin spread across his lips. “Feel helpless Jack? You don’t mind if I call you Jack, do you?”

“How the hell do you know our names? Who are you?”

“Oh, I know more than that about you. I know what you dream about at night. I know the secret you keep from California. That dark detail about yourself you don’t want anyone else to know.”

“I don’t know what--”

“Jack, you don’t really think you can stop the devil, do you?”

Jack froze. “What did you say?”

But the man wasn’t listening. He continued to beat out a rhythm on the hood, striking the car harder with each beat. Badda, bam, bam. He paused and held both fists out toward Jack. “Let’s find out, shall we?” His fists crashed into the hood. BADDA, BAM, BAM. On the last beat, he ducked down behind the car and was gone.

“Shit.” Jack scrambled into the car and shut the door. He dug at the controls on the armrest to make sure the doors were locked. They were. He looked across to the passenger side. The door shook from the man tugging on it. The girls screamed. Jack dug his hand into his pocket, desperate for his keys. Nothing. He looked on the floor, on the seat. He pressed his face against the window and looked on the ground outside. They weren’t there. When did he have them last?

Dreading what he would see, he raised his head to look through the windshield at the building in front of him. There, on the ground next to the payphone, were the keys to the car.




Giveaway!




About the Author

In addition to writing supernatural thrillers for adults, Jeff Gunhus is also the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles (www.jacktemplar.com). The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born and recognized as a 2012 Forward Reviews Book of the Year Finalist. Jeff has been a Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan since he was a kid reading their novels under the covers at night. Seeing Night Chill next to King and Koontz on the Amazon Bestseller lists has been a surreal experience. He leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole and five incredible kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blog Tour + Review: Death is but a Dream by Erin Hayes





Death is but a Dream by Erin Hayes

Release Date: September 29, 2013
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N


Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.

Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it's the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.

So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.

With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.


I absolutely love a good mythological fiction. The characters and stories involved in the original mythology offer an incredible playground for authors to adapt and make their own with an already epic jump-off point. Death is but a Dream was definitely one such tale. Set primarily in the underworld with appearances by a number of mythological favorites, we follow Callie Saunders, who is tasked with protecting Hades and Persephone's son Plutus from an unknown enemy in order to earn her life back.

The investigation leads Callie on a wild ride through the hierarchy of the underworld and will leave you guessing. I only wished more of the story would have been set there, because the mortal world is just so boring in comparison.

As far as the players in the story, I especially loved the concept of Plutus' character. Although his parentage differed from classical mythology, he was still made lame and blind by Zeus in order to keep the distribution of wealth fair and those qualities in this story gave us a wounded, gorgeous man/god you can't help but love. His relationship with Callie was rife with tension and overcoming self-loathing and -deprecation. And because I'm a sap, I ate it up like nothin' else. I'm not above admitting he was my favorite part of the story.

The one struggle I had throughout this book was there were a lot of scenes where the editing felt rough. I tend to be a perfectionist and a stickler, so this can really be a deal breaker for me. Examples ranged from scenes where phrases would be repeated verbatim to dropped words and misused tenses. If you're like me and this gets on your nerves, be forewarned. With that said, I was wrapped up in the story enough that, even though my inner-editor cringed and twitched to whip out the purple pen, I kept reading till the end. The intricacies of the plot and characters were enjoyable enough for me that I could pass over the tough bits, but without them I probably would've tacked on at least an extra half star.

Death is but a Dream was an enjoyable, quick read with just the right blend of mystery, romance, and mythology to keep you interested. If any of those subjects interest you, check it out!

Check out the other stops on the tour here!



Giveaway!




About the Author

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery Death is but a Dream and the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average. You can reach her at tiptoegirl87@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Twitter



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers



A Little Too Hot (A Little Too Far #3) by Lisa Desrochers

Release Date: January 21, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Goodreads  Amazon • B&N  iTunes  Play

From USA Today bestselling author Lisa Desrochers, comes the third book in her sizzling New Adult series.

If you play with fire…

Tossed out of college and cut off by her parents, Samantha West is in pretty dire straits. So when her rocker best friend hooks her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen’s club, who is she to turn it down? Plus, there are rules to dancing at Benny’s: No touching, keep your clothes on at all times, and never get closer than three feet. Unfortunately for Sam, her first private client makes her want to break every single one of them.

Harrison Yates is scorching hot, but he’s got a past that involves being left at the altar not too long ago. Sam is determined to make him forget about his ex, but when she makes her move, it flings her life into a spiral of chaos she never saw coming.

Because Harrison Yates isn’t who he seems to be. And his secret will probably get her killed.



Giveaway!




About the Author

Lisa Desrochers is the USA Today bestselling author of A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, and companions, A Little Too Much (Nov 12, 2013), and A Little Too Hot (Jan 21, 2014). Also in stores is her YA Personal Demons trilogy (Macmillan).

She lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Website   •   Twitter   •   Facebook   •   Blog   •   Goodreads



Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Blitz: Sisters in White by Melissa Foster




Sisters in White (Snow Sisters #3) by Melissa Foster

Release Date: October 9, 2013
Genre: Romance
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N

Danica and Kaylie Snow are about to celebrate the biggest day of their lives—their double wedding—on an island in the Bahamas. But no wedding is complete without a little family drama. The two sisters aren’t ready to face the father they haven’t seen since he divorced their mother and moved away to marry his mistress, and live with Lacy, the half sister they’ve never met.

While Danica has exchanged letters and phone calls with Lacy, Kaylie has fervently tried to pretend she doesn’t exist. Lacy is sweet, fun, and nearly a mirror image of Kaylie. To make matters worse, not only is Lacy looking forward to meeting her sisters, but she idolizes them, too. As the countdown to the wedding date ticks on, their parents are playing a devious game of revenge, and there’s a storm brewing over the island, threatening to cancel their perfect wedding. The sisters are about to find out if the bond of sisterhood really trumps all.



Giveaway!





About the Author

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women’s Nest, Fostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Join Melissa and the YaYa Writer Girls at their annual in-person event. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Twitter   •   Facebook   •   Website


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Finding It by Cora Carmack



Finding It (Losing It #3) by Cora Carmack

Release Date: October 15, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 307
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads  Amazon


Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.


Occasionally a book comes along that I love so much, that I relate to so well, that I want to just throw up my arms, say "fuck the system," and add a very petulant sixth star. And then proceed to stick out my tongue and gloat about it. I'm seriously four on the inside.

Anyway, Finding It is one such book. I'm really not sure how to adequately convey how much I loved this book. So, prepare for the awkwardness that is me trying.

    "Everyone deserves one grand adventure, that one time in life that we always get to point back to and say, 'Then... then I was really living.'" (Location 38, Page 1)

We met Kelsey in Losing It, back when Bliss and the gang were still in college and life was simpler. In order to find her new direction, Kelsey Summers took off on a trek across Europe - to party or find herself or run from her problems. Maybe some of each. This book so poignantly captured the feeling of being at a stage in life that makes you feel like you're obligated to have all of your shit together, when, ironically, most of us don't have a clue. It was a feeling we've all had and it was like I ached with how much I could relate to it. (If it's not clear yet, my feelings are a little on the dramatic side, but, hey, they're honest.) Take the following for instance:

    "I knew I was lucky. Blessed, even. But it was a lot of pressure... trying not to waste what you've been given. I wanted to accomplish something. To love something. To be something. But I didn't know how. I didn't know what." (Location 439, Page 31)

I dare someone to claim they've never felt this way with a straight face. The world is so focused on comparing hardships to assign value to them. But we all need to realize that accomplishments are accomplishments because they are difficult and there is no reason to place one over another. (/rant) The sentiment behind this is basically the twenty-something (and beyond) condition.

    "Sure, I had no fucking clue what I was doing with my life or where I fit in this world, but I was a part of it all the same. I'd left footprints across the globe, and though you couldn't see them and they didn't necessarily matter, I knew they were there. And that was enough for now. It had to be enough." (Location 1408, Page 106)

    "This funny thing happens when you graduate college. You hear so much about being an adult that you start to feel like you have to become a different person overnight, that growing up means being not you. And you concentrate so much on living up to the term "adult" that you forget growing up happens by living, not by sheer force of will." (Location 1807, Page 136)

I mean, really? That's just... god. I don't even know. I wanted to weep with how true Kelsey's feeling felt to me. It was incredible, and the book had barely started!

And, of course, because it's Cora Carmack and she's amazing, all of this gut-wrenching honesty was delivered with the kind of humor that's perfect and the kind of awkwardness we don't want to admit to living. And I felt Kelsey was especially hilarious. I've always loved Cora's female protags, but Kelsey was just so up-front. Her inner musings and wit made her the kind of person you really want to get to know. Here are a few of my favorites:

    "There was no room for unhappiness when squeezed between two sets of washboard abs.
     New life motto, right there." (Location 125, Page 7)

    "He lifted both hands above his head to hold on to the bar, and it revealed that same section of skin at his waist that had been driving me crazy for the better part of twelve hours
     My mouth went dry.
     Would it be weird if I reached out and touched the toned muscle there? With my face?" (Location 1719, Page 129)

    ''My brain is too foggy with sleep to pick which way to kill you, but give me five minutes and I'll figure it out.'
     'Kelsey--"
     'Sharks,' I said. 'I would like to give you a few paper cuts and feed you to sharks.'
     'I don't think there are sharks in Switzerland.'
     'Then I'll find an aquarium!'" (Location 2381, Page 180)

    "His abs could have rivaled all of Tuscany for the most gorgeous rolling hills I had ever seen." (Location 2472, Page 187)

I actually laughed out loud a few times. I really need to learn to be more discretionary about what I read in public, because I'm pretty sure I looked completely nuts. So it goes.

But, of course, beneath all the humor and bravado Kelsey was still struggling. With what is, truthfully, more than any girl should have to handle in a perfect world. She was the picture of perfection that hid a lot of darkness. And watching her come out of it, with Jackson's help, was really something beautiful. And she's just so funny. I love this girl.

    "'Come on, princess. Let's see what kind of trouble we can get into.'
     I wanted to get into all of the trouble with him. Every kind. Multiple times preferably." (Location 1740, Page 131)

Love. Her.

Which brings us to Jackson Hunt himself. Oh. My. God. The swoon factor was absolutely ridiculous. At times, I felt a bit like I was cheating on Garrick and Cade (a similar feeling to when I first read Faking It), but I've just come to the realization that each Cora guy is going to inspire this feeling, determined only by the last book I read. She's that good. Need proof?

    "He kissed me carefully, thoroughly, like a man who knew that desire hid with the devil in the details." (Location 1017, Page 75)

    "'People find home in new places, new dreams, new people all the time. Home should be effortless, like gravity.'" (Location 1757, Page 132)

    "'The best parts of life are the things we can't plan. And it's a lot harder to find happiness if you're only searching in one place. Sometimes, you just have to throw away the map. Admit that you don't know where you're going and stop pressuring yourself to figure it out. Besides... a map is a life someone else already lived. It's more fun to make your own.'" (Location 1779, Page 134)

    "'I'm going to kiss you, princess. But not now, not when you're telling me to. Not when it's just something you want to check off a list. I'll kiss you when it counts.'" (Location 1860, Page 140)

It's not even fair how wonderful he is. And the emotionally-wounded soldier bit is just too much. This is a Book Boyfriend capable of ruining all real boyfriends in one fell swoop.

Their story was beautiful in the way they helped each other heal, and I became so invested that I lived in fear of the inevitable fallout. Because it had to happen and even though I knew they would come out of it, I still didn't want it to happen. And then this:

    "If I believed the stories I learned growing up, God made the world in six days and on the seventh day he rested. I wondered if, like me, the eighth day was when he watched it all begin to unravel." (Location 2934, Page 224)

My brain was just a chorus of "no, no, no" and adamant denial. And then the breakdown wasn't too bad and I began to think, "hey, maybe this won't carve my heart out with a rusty spoon!" Yeah, I know. Pesky idealism.

    "It's a quiet thing when your heart breaks. I thought it would be loud, louder even than the air rushing around us when we'd dove off that bridge. I thought it would drown everything else out.
     But it happened like a whisper. A small, clean split. It broke in a second, and the pain was little more than a pinprick.
     It's the echo that kills you. Like the echo inside the Grotta Azzura, that tiny little sound kept bouncing around the cavern of my ribs, getting louder and louder. It multiplied until I heard a hundred hearts breaking, a thousand, more. All of them mine." (Location 3614, Page 278)

Oh, god. The feels. I didn't see it coming, which made it that much worse. It was heartbreaking and the outpouring of emotion it caused in me was a little humiliating, but it just made it that much better when this happened:

    "I said, 'Let's go home.'
     He kissed me again with the same detail, the same intricacy I saw in his sketches. Fire raged everywhere our skin met, and he said, 'I'm already there.'" (Location 3998, Page 307)

Finding It was quite possibly my favorite of Cora Carmack's books. It's really hard for me to tell. But regardless, it was fantastic and should be read by all. She's a truly incredible author, and this book just further proves it. Just go read it. And also follow her on Twitter and Facebook because she's adorable and awesome and... yeah. She makes me fangirl a little. This isn't even the first time. I'll stop embarrassing myself now.

And with that, I return to my combo book hangover/emotional coma.



About the Author

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. She's a New York Times and USA Today bestseller... and a nerd (mostly the nerd part).

Website   •   Twitter   •   Goodreads