Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blog Tour Spotlight: Storm Front by Susannah Sandlin

Storm Force

Omega Force #1

Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Date of Publication: March 19, 2013, in serial form for Kindle; July 9, 2013, in print, digital, and audio.

ISBN: 978-1477807576


Word Count: approx. 90,000 Amazon

Book Description:

As leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

Short Excerpt

Kell spotted the bird as soon as its wingtips cleared the edge of the cypress stand at the eastern rim of Bayou Cote Blanche. For a moment, he indulged a hope it might be a hawk in search of fish, or a pelican, or a cormorant, or a fucking giant mutant hummingbird.

Anything but an eagle.

“It’s her.” At the sound of his voice, Gator raised his spotted head and focused sharp, mismatched eyes on the horizon, barking furiously in his Catahoula big-dog voice, usually reserved for alligators and swamp rats.

Kell had been sitting on the porch of his cabin at Cote Blanche since Nik’s phone call from New Orleans two hours ago, waiting to see who’d arrive first—the man or the bird.

Should’ve known it would be the freakazoid eagle with the deceptively sweet name of Robin. He’d come to think of her as Razorblade Robin. Nik would have to rent a boat in Jeanerette and navigate the serpentine waterways of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Swamp to get here. Razorblade Robin could just sprout feathers and soar.

The midday sun glinted off the glossy reddish-brown wings of the golden eagle as it swooped over the smooth, murky water of the bayou and landed with a harsh caw at the end of his dock. Gator rose to his feet and looked up at Kell, asking permission to chase.

“Sorry, buddy. You don’t want to mess with that one. She can take you.” Hell, she could take both of them.

Kell took a final look at the pile of papers he’d been reading—notes about his team’s new assignment. Mostly, he’d been studying the photo on top of the stack. The woman, Emory Chastaine, an environmental activist well known in tree-hugger circles, had been photographed from a distance with a telephoto lens that gave the image a grainy feel, made worse by his generator-powered printer. But he could tell she was tall, athletic-looking in a t-shirt and jeans, shoulder-length blond hair, pretty in an all-American kind of way.

Not his image of a terrorist. Which made her even more dangerous.

Gator sprang off the porch as the eagle strutted down the dock toward them. He approached the bird in a crouch, his growls echoing off the still water. Damn dog never did listen worth a flip. Kell leaned back in his chair to watch the show. With a screech and a blur of feathers seconds before Gator reached her, the eagle morphed into a petite, waifish brunette.

Make that a naked, waifish brunette with a snark-tastic attitude who arched an eyebrow when Kell’s vicious watchdog turn into a slobbering, tail-wagging fool, jumping up and down so vigorously his black and white spots seemed to blur. You’d think the hound saw birds turn into people every day.

If Gator went the crotch-sniffing route, Kell might have to die of pure humiliation.

Not like the naked bird-woman came as any big surprise. He reached for the t-shirt he’d thrown across the other porch chair and tossed it to her as she approached, Gator dancing around her legs. “Put this on.”

Robin Ashton, five-foot-nothing of shapeshifter and the tracker for Kell’s new Omega Force team, caught the shirt and used it to wipe the sweat off her face. “It’s like a sauna out here. Pretty, though, if you’re into the primordial.”

She turned to study the bayou, a minor niche in the massive Atchafalaya basin, and Kell made it a point to keep his eyes away from her ass. It wasn’t that he wanted to look at it, exactly, but he was a guy, and it was right in front of him.

About the Author:

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

Website: http://www.susannahsandlin.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susannahsandlin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susannahsandlin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828129.Susannah_Sandlin

Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612183541

Cover Reveal: Just One Cup by Cassandra Giovanni

Title: Just One Cup
Author: Cassandra Giovanni
Genre: New Adult


Book Description:

Emma Walker was a writer who'd lost herself to someone else's anger--who had given up on ever feeling like herself again. Evan Levesque was a rock-god--the one all the woman wanted, but he'd never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life. With just one cup of coffee they'll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan's fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma's checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they'll destroy my soul--Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she's become because of it? GENRE: New Adult>Contemporary Romance

Author Biography:

Cassandra doesn't remember a time when she wasn't writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character's stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children's novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra will also release her first New Adult novel, Just One Cup, in the Spring of 2013. Cassandra is a freelance professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios, a photography and publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company's photography. She is currently studying to receive her associates degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.


When he came off the plane he was wearing aviators, a black button-up, dark wash jeans and those Converse shoes that I hated on anyone but him. He lifted his sunglasses and broke into a smile as I ran into his arms. He dropped his bag and spun me around as soon as I was in his arms.

"How did you know?" he asked as he set me on the ground, his hands tangled in my hair.

"You told me what flight you were on."

He shook his head and held my chin in his hand. "I've always wanted to have someone to wait for me—to spin them around and then do this."

He pulled my chin up and tilted it until our lips touched—soft at first and then the reminder that we hadn't kissed in two months came over us. The only thing that could pull us apart was the whistle that echoed through the terminal and then the incessant flash of cameras.

"Crap," Evan hissed, his forehead pressed to mine with his hands on either side of my face so they couldn't get a good picture of me. "You don't want them to know who you are yet, do you?"

I shook my head but said with my voice shaking, "I knew the risk."

He swallowed and then smiled. "Tilt your head down so that your hair covers your face from view."

I did what he said and then felt his hands slip the glasses over my eyes. As I looked up his cocky half-smile made me laugh.

"They look a hell of a lot hotter on you," he teased, throwing his duffel bag over his shoulder and wrapping his arm around my waist so that his fingers were in the front pocket of my jeans.

"I don't think that's possible," I replied, breathless from the feel of his touch as my t-shirt rose, exposing the flesh of my hip to his warmth.

"It’s very possible with you," he whispered into my ear as we made our way past the flashing cameras. "I can't wait to see the tabloids on this one."

"It would be much better if we did something dangerous, like locked ourselves in a public restroom."

He looked down at me through his eyebrows. "Really? That's not all that clean."

"I haven't seen you in two months," I said, turning and stopping in front of him. "I've thought about you every single day. Do you know what that does to a girl? Especially when pictures of you half-naked are strewn across the internet."

"I see you found those." His voice was edged with amusement, but his face was red in embarrassment.

I pulled on the collar of his shirt before leaning up on my toes and whispering into his ear, "I need some real ones."

"What do you need pictures of when I'm here?" he answered, his breath hot on my chin, voice seductive.

"I need you to burn the images into my mind then," I said before gently biting his ear.

His free hand drifted down the small of my back to my rear pocket. "I thought I already had."

"Mhmm...I need more."

"I have to admit I kind of enjoy this." He smirked down at me. "But teasing me like this is just cruel."

"Does the rental car have blacked out windows?" I asked over my shoulder as I turned.

I watched his Evan's Adam’s apple rise and fall. "I sure hope so."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blog Tour, Book Review and Giveaway: Nissa by Bethany Lopez

Title: Nissa
Author: Bethany Lopez
Published: April 23, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Book Description:

At 900 years old, Nissa is finally ready to follow her mother's path and become the best Fairy Godmother she can. She’s not thrilled when her first assignment turns out to be a teenage human girl with self-esteem issues, but she knows she has to start somewhere. Her assignment has dealt with bullies since her freshman year and they haven’t let up. If Nissa can’t help her regain her self-confidence her future is bleak.

To complicate matters Nissa experiences all the signs that she's met the being fated for her. This impossibility distracts her from her purpose. After all, fairies and humans aren't meant for each other. How can her heart believe otherwise? Can Nissa successfully complete her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother? Will the fates allow Nissa and Levi to be together? And even if they do, will Levi believe Nissa once she reveals the truth?

*Amazon*Barnes and Noble*Smashwords*

To see the full list of blogs participating in this tour please click HERE

About the Author:
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

My Thoughts and Review:

This is the first book by Ms. Lopez that I have read although I have purchased quite a few of her others but just haven't had the time to read them.

I will also admit, that what originally drew me to this story and to join the blog tour was the gorgeous cover. Yes, apparently, I am that shallow.

I have never been big on books about pixies or fairies, I like them well enough but they are not normally something I seek out to read and buy. I have no idea why this is, it just is.

The premises for this one had my interest piqued and I was all prepared for a good read with a somewhat serious nature attached to it, a light romance and hopefully some fun along the way as well.

I did get all of those things but I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed as it seemed more like this story really was about Nissa and her love interest rather than about her assignment. And while I wasn't looking for a really serious heartfelt read I was expecting something a little more.

I unfortunately never felt a connection to Nissa and had a somewhat hard time getting into the story until about half way through. I wasn't disappointed in the story per se just a little confused by the small amount of time spent on the the girl Nissa was trying to help and the bullying that Nissa was suppose to help her get through. It was almost more of an afterthought to the story by the time it was over and that made me a little sad mostly because I went into this expecting something a little different. 

Having said that though, I did enjoy the romance in the story and I think if I would have went into this expecting that to be the more prominent part of the story then I would have been more okay with it and not felt like I was missing a part of the story so much.

Overall I think this could be a really cute story. I really loved Nissa's brother and wouldn't mind seeing him be the main character in a sequel. 


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Cover Reveal: Until I Break by M. Leighton

Title: Until I break
Author: M. Leighton
Series: Book One in the Twisted Series
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: May 2013

Book Description:

In love, sometimes what you fear most is exactly what you need.

Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control.

And she doesn’t exist.

Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with.

Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare.

When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.

Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.

The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.

About the Author:
I was born and raised in the United States, and I’ve lived in several of the fabulous fifty. Though I currently live in the deep South, I spent much of my childhood up North and hope to return there one day. A few other things about me: I believe that sometimes you have to look really, REALLY hard to find the good in people, but it's there. I believe that I'm shrinking (I swear five years ago I was two inches taller). I believe my husband is quite possibly one of the most amazing men in the entire world (I can't be sure because I haven't met all of them). I believe coffee and chocolate, when combined, could be the basis for world peace. I believe that Jesus rocks and communism doesn’t. I believe that white makes me look fat and black collects lint. I believe summer's too hot, winter's too cold and fall was made for football. I like dogs better than cats and the first movie in a trilogy is invariably the best. But most of all, I believe that love conquers all.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Gambling On a Secret by Sara Walter Ellwood

Title: Gambling On A Secret
Author: Sara Walter Ellwood
Series: Book One in the Colter Gamblers Series
Published By: Lyrical Press (Jan. 17, 2013)
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:

When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?
Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitchesùthe Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.

Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wifeÆs betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, DylanÆs even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.

When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

CONTENT WARNING: Details abuse of a minor, drug abuse, alcoholism, swearing, spicy sex, murder.

My Thoughts and Review:

I love when I can get wrapped up in a story, especially one that I had no idea I was going to like as much as I did this one.

I have to say Ms. Ellwood really impressed me with how easy I fell into the story and how everything flowed so nicely. I have said this before but I always have a soft spot for two character, very much broken and damaged, coming together and finding love. I have no idea why but there is just something beautiful about two broken pieces coming together and creating a whole.

That is exactly Charli and Dylan's story. Dylan is an ex army Captain suffering not only from an injury and PTSD but from a broken heart as well. Swearing to never love again and drinking heavily just to get through the day he is the last and first person Charli needs in her life.

Charli too has a dark past filled with lots of guilt, pain and heartbreak. I couldn't help but fall in love with both of them.

This really was a great story. It has a slight edge of mystery that the mystery lover in me appreciated and of course the romance was a sweet one.

The ending was perfect and I look forward to reading more in this series and am really hoping the next book will be about Tracy and Zach because I want more of their story!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blog Tour, Book Review, Guest Post and Tour Wide Giveaway: Broken At Love by Lyla Payne

Title: Broken At Love
Author: Lyla Payne
Series: Book One in the Whitman University Series
Published: March 12, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Description:

When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

About the Author:

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked.  In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

Author Website: http://lylapayne.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyla-Payne/355992971175349
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lyla_Payne
Tumblr: http://lylapayne.tumblr.com/
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6903785.Lyla_Payne

Guest Post:

I love this topic! There are so, so many things that writers don’t know before they hit publish (or sell) their very first novel. None of them would probably make you change your mind about doing it, not if you love writing as much as I do, but being prepared for the future is half the battle. I’m happy to share the five biggest things I wish I’d known before I published my first book with all of you.

So, here we go:

1. Organization is something you want to do before, not after, you get buried. By this, I’m talking about email tags/rules/folders, spreadsheets to track sales, promotions or ads you’ve tried, and their results, spreadsheets of who you sent your review requests to, which bloggers responded, which actually followed through with the review, newsletter signups, website hosting, etal. Once your book comes out, you’re going to be busy with promotion and marketing, not to mention writing the next book, and you’ll be so glad you don’t have to take time out to get organized after the fact.

2. You’re most likely not going to be a famous gabillionaire after you publish one book. This might go without saying for most of you, but there are people who assume they can slap up a book and people are going to a) know about it, b) buy it, and c) tell a million of their closest friends to buy it, too. The truth is, there is no trick to making money from writing books, except maybe to write more books. Write a lot of them, make sure they’re well edited and proofread and designed, and put them out as fast as you can while maintaining that quality. You get into this because you love writing books, and in the end, that’s what’s going to make you successful.

3. Build time into your schedule to be available to readers, and also to pay it forward to writers who are a step or two (or fifteen) behind you. In this day and age, YOU are as much of a product as your book(s). People expect not only a lot of content, but they expect the content provider to be willing to contact and/or interact with them on the internet. In the same way, other writers will ask you questions, advice, for recommendations, to critique for them, to blurb their upcoming novels. It might not be part of writing, but it is part of having a writing career.

4. Say yes to promotional opportunities, at least at first. You need to exposure, and no guest post, no interview, no ARC sent out for review or Twitter chat engaged in can possibly be bad. No publicity is bad publicity may be an old saying, but it’s on the money. Say yes. You

can’t sell copies of your book if no one has ever heard about your book, and you need help to get that done.

5. Learn how to say no. I know, this kind of sounds contradictory to the last piece of advice, but the truth is, you can’t do everything. You can’t be constantly present on every form of social media, you can’t respond to every single reader email with an in depth response to their very flattering deconstruction of your story or characters, and you can’t possibly read and critique for every single person who asks. You can try, but down that path lies (further) madness. This one was probably the hardest for me—before I published, I pretty much said yes to everyone, but now, it’s impossible. You’re going to have to find a way to be okay with that.

Well, I guess that’s about it for today! There are a ton of things I figured out AFTER I published my first book, but these are the biggest five that come to mind. It’s quite a balance, between writing and promoting, and really nothing but experience can prepare you for exactly what it’s like—if it’s your dream, I certainly hope you get there one day!

My Thoughts and Review:

Quinn, oh how I love to hate thee. 

Really, I didn't not love Quinn in the beginning. Let's face it, the man was a dog. Treating women like there were nothing but a game. He had no feelings for them and certainly no respect. Very little remorse for the things he did and said to them and even less sympathy for the way he used them. 

It was pretty hard to like him. He didn't make it easy.

But then he managed to weasel his playboy self into my heart, like all good bad boys do. 

Oh my. I wasn't expecting this to be such an emotional read for me but it was. I really felt for Quinn. I wanted to smack him and give him a hug all at the same time. He completely stole my heart, even with his sleeziness. I couldn't help it, I saw through all the bad ways and pain into the man that I knew he was and wanted to be inside. 

Quinn was so very broken which we know coming into the story and anyone that knows me, knows I am a sucker for the broken ones. And while Emelie wasn't broken necessarily, she wasn't exactly whole either. They both had parents that expected way too much of them and wanted to control their lives. They both had heartache from a painful past but Emelie was so much stronger than Quinn and consequently everything that he needed to help him finally feel loved and learn to love.

I just love stories like this one and forever will. The author did a great job portraying two people that came together and were better for it. Better than they ever could be apart. 

I give this one 4 Stars!

Tour Wide Giveaway!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Title: Reboot
Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Book One in the Reboot Series
Published By: HarperTeen (May 7, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Dystopian
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description: 
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

My Thoughts and Review:

I started this one at exactly the right time. Right when I needed (desperately needed), something completely different and completely fantastic from the stuff I have been reading.
Don't get me wrong, I love contemporary but sometimes I just need something with a little bit of oomph. That little something something and that is exactly what I got in Reboot. 

I have been looking for something action packed, somewhat dystopian, a little mystery thrown in and heck a little romance too, since the beginning of the year and sadly just haven't found it until now. I thought I did on numerous occasions but the world building, character growth and that connection I need to the characters just wasn't there and I found myself walking away in disappointment each time.

Not this time.

This. Book. Rocked.


I won't even begin to do it justice with this review, I know I won't. But I loved it. I had so much fun while reading this. I loved Wren. I loved Ever. Callum (oh, especially Callum!), leb, Addie, Tony, I loved all the characters. 

This had just the right amount of action, adventure, intrigue, romance, a dystopian feel and an air of mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages. Heck, I couldn't read the pages fast enough. 

I wish I could go into more detail about the whole storyline but I am afraid if I do that I will give too much away and really I just can't do that to you because this is one that you just need to experience for yourself. 

Wren is a kick butt girl and she grows and changes with Callum's appearance in the story and with some help from friends and I loved that about her. And even though she changes somewhat she still remains that fierce warrior and I love that even more about her. She is one girl you do not want to tick off. 

The only thing I can say this story lacked was a little bit more in the world building department. We did get a lot of background but I still never felt like I got the complete picture about who the NARC were and how they were created. I understood their role in the world but never fully understood what happened to the rest of the world. Where did our government go? Why were there wars and the cities destroyed? Was it all because of the virus?

I have a feeling though that more will be said in the next book as the adventure continues and I am really looking forward to that adventure. This series will be on my auto buy list for sure. 

This was a great break out novel for Tintera and I really look forward to reading whatever she has in store for this series and anything else she happens to write in the future. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blog Tour Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Otherborn by Anna Silver

Title: Otherborn
Author: Anna Silver 
Series: Book One in the Otherborn Series
Published: April 4, 2013 by Sapphire Star
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:
Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her. What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future. 
When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? 
Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

About the Author: 

Anna Silver is an author and artist living in the greater Houston area with her family, pets, and overactive imagination. Her art, which includes oil paintings and fairy houses, has been featured in the Houston gallery Las Manos Magicas. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University in Austin. She has written web copy for private clients and freelanced for the Hill Country Current in Texas. Her write-up on a past-life regression was featured in best-selling author Brian Weiss’ new book MIRACLES HAPPEN.
 OTHERBORN is her first published novel. She is represented by Rebecca Podos and Nicole LaBombard of Rees Literary Agency. 

Book Excerpt:

“It feels weird, doesn’t it?” London asked.

“What?” Kim said, lighting a cigarette.

“This. Leaving. It feels weird to just start walking with no place in particular to go. Where you’ve never been before.”

“Yeah, it does,” said Zen.

Rye smiled at her but didn’t say anything and London felt even more put off. “You okay?” she asked him.

“As good as can be expected,” he said.

She blew off the uneasiness this created in her and said, “So, any dreams last night? Anyone see their Otherborn? Degan?” She didn’t want to say Avery, but they all knew the name was right there on the tip of her tongue. A chorus of no’s confirmed that they were dreaming no more.

London shrugged. “Worth a shot. Let’s do this.”

They moved together through the maze of the city. Capital City was laid out in an urban grid of buildings, towering sentinels and squatty old-timers all squished together like they were in a tin can. It was a long trek down Travis, past the park, and up the ramps that crossed the bayou which ran all the way to Old Green and the west wall. The ramps led straight onto the Ten, but they had to get past the Interstate Gates before they’d

truly be on their way. One stop for coffee set them back a bit, and Kim detoured at a corner store to grab a carton of cigarettes, courtesy of Capital City.

When they reached the ramps, they stood staring at the bayou below with bulging eyes. Here it ran thick and disappeared through a culvert in the wall to the north. They

were already pushing the scope of London’s territory, and they weren’t even outside the walls yet. She’d only seen the bayou a handful of times before. Kim leaned over and dangled his spit above the steady, deep, brown waters.

Rye chucked a pebble, watching it slip away beneath the surface. “Never really looked at the bayou,” he said matter-of-factly.

“That’s because it’s the color of shit. Not much worth looking at,” Kim said after finally letting his spit fall and mix into the rush. “Look!” he said pointing below. “Now I’m part of the bayou too.” He waggled his eyebrows at London. “We could’ve

taken the culverts out.”

“Yeah, if we wanted to drown,” London said. “Morons,” she muttered to herself, though she knew there were Scrappers who braved the culverts all the time. Occasionally, one washed up at Old Green, bobbing on the surface, all bloated and sticky.

She stared up the asphalt and rebar ramp where the Interstate Gates hung, their solid aluminum bars glinting a plain white-silver in the sunlight at their rounded corners. They were offset, one falling just a little lower than the other, its dull metal finish nearly scraping the road. At the middle, they were bound together in chains, a large black padlock looped through each end. The chains reminded her of Ernesto’s necklaces.

From either side, the walls wrapped around the city like giant concrete arms, holding it in a stony embrace. The Interstate Gates were its metal hands, opening and closing at the Tycoons’ will. But the spaces between the poles of the gates were wide and

gaping; anyone on foot could slip through them as easily as sand through fingers.

Beyond, the great asphalt snake of the Ten undulated through a thicket of uninhabited, decaying buildings swallowed by trees and overgrowth, their roofs and rafters, beams and walls rising from the flood of foliage like drowning men reaching out

desperately for help. The Houselands. Graveyard to the ones who got locked out. A chill ran up London’s spine. What the hell were they doing?

“This is it,” she blinked. It wasn’t a question.

“Yep,” said Zen, turning away from the sight of flowing water. “This is the one the Tycoons always parade in and out on.”

The Tycoons didn’t make appearances often. Actually, they didn’t make them ever. Just their cars. Capital City housed the presidential compound, the last remaining government office—farce though it was. Once or twice a year, their caravan would parade slowly through the streets and circle on its lawns, a centipede of black shining metal and rolling rubber. More often, they traveled by plane or helicopter, which could be heard coming first, their growing rumble a hungry beast in the sky, followed by the sight of flashing wings or whirling propellers. London thought they looked like giant, mechanical bugs.

“That way?” Rye asked, pointing where the trees eventually converged on the interstate. A visible wound in the concrete skin of the Ten exposed steel rods like rusty bones. Beyond the walls, civilization was losing its war with nature.

“Yep,” Zen nodded.

London raised an eyebrow. She hoped she was right about this. Either way, she didn’t want to hang around City Central letting Kingsnake pick them off one by one. And there was nothing east but more Tycoon control—the pits, the plants, the farms. She

didn’t exactly feel like visiting her dad’s grave today. They were going west. There was nothing else to do. “No point standing here thinking about it. May as well get started.”

As they approached the gates, London decided she wouldn’t look back at the receding city. Pauly wasn’t there, not anymore. Dogma would become just another dingy hole for city rejects. There was nothing in Capital City for her anymore. Whatever she had of value was tucked away inside a bag of memories or standing next to her now, in the form of Rye and her friends. She would leave her pain, her years of disappointment, and her grief over Pauly at these gates. There was nothing for them back there but death. Course, there may only be the same ahead. It was a chance they would have to take.

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Review: He's Gone by Deb Caletti

Title: He's Gone
Author: Deb Caletti
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Bantam (May 14, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Adult Contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars!

Book Description:

“What do you think happened to your husband, Mrs. Keller?”

The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.

As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

My Thoughts and Review:

Most of you know Caletti for her gripping and emotional YA reads, this is her first book in the adult genre and it is one heck of a leap into the genre. 

The writing style was completely different from anything I have read by her, heck it is different from most books I read period. It took me a little bit to get use to it and to get into it. 

This is a little bit of a psychological thriller, well, maybe not thriller per se but it does mess with you a little and really make you think. 

Did something bad happen to Ian? Did he run away? Murdered? Lost? What role did Dani play in his disappearance if she even did at all? What exactly is going on in this story?

Really it felt more like a journal. Almost as if Dani is talking to the reader as well as getting to see the story line of her conversations happening around her in the present as well as in the past. It isn't confusing by any means just....different. Strange if I am being honest.

But really once I got use to it, it wasn't bad at all, just not what I was expecting I guess.

I did enjoy this story but I didn't love it. It wasn't so much a mystery, although the mystery aspect of it is there, it was almost more of a look into the love life of Dani. Her past marriage, her current marriage. The choices she made, the decisions that will forever change her life. 

It all lead up to the disappearance of Ian and then when we find out what happened to him, it is all over rather quickly. Sort of anti-climatic really but it did keep me on my toes. I was never sure if Dani was responsible until the very end.

Overall, not a bad story and not a bad first leap into a new genre. Just go into this one expecting something completely different from her other work and have an open mind and I think you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Prophecy Girl by Cecily White

Title: Prophecy Girl
Author: Cecily White
Series: Book One in the Angel Academy Series
Published By: Entangled (April 2, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:

Amelie Bennett. . . . Ending the world, one prophecy at a time.

I was born to slay Crossworld demons. 
Big black flappy ones, little green squirmy ones. Unfortunately, the only thing getting slain these days is my social life. With my high school under attack, combat classes intensifying, and Academy instructors dropping right and left, I can barely get my homework done, let alone score a bondmate before prom.
Then he shows up. 
Jackson Smith-Hailey. Unspeakably hot, hopelessly unattainable, and dangerous in all the right ways. Sure, he’s my trainer. And okay, maybe he hates me. Doesn’t mean I’ll ignore the wicked Guardian chemistry between us. It’s crazy! Every time I’m with him, my powers explode. Awesome, right? 
Now my teachers think I’m the murderous Graymason destined to bring down our whole race of angelbloods. Everyone in New Orleans is hunting me. The people I trusted want me dead. Jack and I have five days to solve the murders, prevent a vampire uprising, and thwart the pesky prophecy foretelling his death by my hand. Shouldn’t be too difficult. 

Getting it done without falling in love. . . that might take a miracle.

My Thoughts and Review:

Everyone who knows me by now knows that I have a love hate relationship with books about angels and truth be told, I usually hate them. But, for what ever reason I am inexplicably drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I have to read them. I really can't explain it other than maybe I am just a masochist.

At any rate, of course I had to read this one. Thankfully this one isn't your average tale of a fallen angel or even just of an angel. In fact, this was a pretty fun read that took me completely by surprise. Completely. By. Surprise.

I fell right into the story and couldn't devour the pages quickly enough. This had a slight, Harry Potter meets Mortal Instruments/Vampire Academy feel to it. 

The main heroine is quirky and fierce and has no respect for the rules. She is a fighter and thrown into a world with a past and family history she knows little about. Sent to a school with as many secrets as  the ones Harry found in Hogwarts but with a twist. There are no witches and wizards here. Nope. This place is full of descendants of angels ,  Guardians, Watchers and Channelers are a few among them. 

Even though parts of this were a little predictable the premises was still original enough that it kept me completely entertained and flipping the pages as fast as I could read them. There was never a dull moment in the flow of the story. In fact, adventure and action seemed to be lurking around every corner .
With action around every bend, loveable funny characters (not to mention a hot leading man), a very entertaining plot line, and a uniqueness in the genre,  there really isn't a reason not to pick this one up and give it a try.