Monday, 30 September 2013

I'm back

Hey everyone!

I'm sorry about the shortage of reviews this month, I have been focused on my latest release and writing another one so I have just had no energy to read lately. However I am pleased to say I have been missing this blog and relaxing with a good book in the evenings so I am officially back as I have done what I needed to with my own work this month!

Reviews will be up and running again with in the next few days :)

Teaser Tour ~ Waking Up Dead by Margo Bond Collins + Giveaway

Hi, everyone! First I want to thank Lost to Books for hosting today’s stop on my pre-release teaser tour. I’m discussing my new paranormal mystery Waking Up Dead. It’s forthcoming from Solstice Publishing and available via Amazon on October 8, and I’m pretty excited!

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: Goodreads



When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?




Excerpt


“So I’m not the first ghost you’ve met?”
“No. You’re just the first one who’s talked to me in Wal-Mart.” She wiped the back of her hand across her eyes and turned to glare at me suspiciously. “Why you haunting Wal-Mart, anyway?”
“I’m not haunting Wal-Mart,” I said. “I was trying to find someone who could see me, who could hear me.”
“Well, why don’t you just go on back in there and find someone else?”
“Because I’ve been looking for days, and you’re the only one I’ve found. And I’m running out of time.”
“Looks to me like you already ran out of time, what with being dead and all,” she said.
“Thanks for the reminder,” I said dryly. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. If you’ll listen to my story, listen to what I know and what I need help with, then I’ll get out of the car and let you go if you decide you don’t want to help me, okay?”
“Promise?” She stared at me, her eyes narrow.
“Promise. Cross my heart,” I said, making the appropriate X over my chest. “Though I guess that the ‘hope to die’ bit doesn’t really apply here,” I added.
“Okay, then,” she said. “Talk.”
“First you have to promise to seriously consider helping me.”
She nodded. “Promise.”
So I told her my story, all about Molly’s death and Rick’s arrest. About my determination to help Rick by finding the real killer. She stared at me intently the entire time, her eyes wide.

About the Author


Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.




Connect with Margo



Book Trailer

Giveaway
Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of four copies of Waking Up Dead or a $10 Amazon card--and follow the tour or come back here once a day for even more chances to win!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Review ~ All Over You (Unforgettable You #1.5) - Beverley Kendall

All Over You (Unforgettable You, #1.5)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 6th May 2013

Publisher: Season Publishing LLC

Description:
An ex is an ex for a reason

To Rebecca Winters, it’s not just a saying or the title to a catchy tune, it’s a rule she staunchly lives by. Especially since the break up with her ex. What’s the point in trying to fix the “unfixable”? Besides, only a girl hell-bent on more heartbreak would go back to the guy who bailed on her when she needed him most. But saying no to Scott is becoming more difficult than surviving the breakup itself. And unfortunately for her, the kind of pressure he's exerting is making her rule all too easy to break.

Scott Carver has given up trying to get over his ex. He’s still in love with her and their year apart has done nothing to change that. Yeah, he knows he screwed up. Just how royally, he wasn't aware of until now. So when Becca agrees to give him a second chance, he grabs on to it with both hands. But it’s clear the only way things will ever truly be right between them is if he comes clean…about everything. He can only pray the truth doesn’t send her running—for good this time.


*Due to language & sexual situations, recommended for readers 18+ yr. 
Warning: The sensuality level of this short novel is high

My Opinion

I didn't realise that when I requested this novella I had previously been accepted to review it with the former title Those Nights in Montreal. It was only when I went to download it to my kindle did I notice and although I prefer the new title, I really like the old cover better.

Anyway this book was a believable, fun read that included a lot of detail for a novella. The back stories with each character and the history between Scott and Becca was interesting and I liked how they developed emotionally throughout the narrative. I also loved that the author managed to create suspense in such a short amount of space and had me turning pages hoping to find out what was wrong with Scott's family. I was worried that it wouldn't be revealed as I watched the page count go down but thankfully it was and the suspense was left right until the end.

The characters in All Over you were believable and easy to relate to, which is unusual for me in a novella. Both Becca and Scott interacted nicely together and I loved Becca's stubbornness and Scott's cheeky side, for me they worked really well together. There were both sweet, funny and hot moments in the book and all were described in a nice amount of detail. I wasn't so keen on the start but as soon as they ended up in Montreal things really picked up and I was enthralled in the world the author created. A few times the book had me laughing out loud and once again a novella put a smile on my face.

The only thing that annoyed me slightly was there were a few references I didn't understand. This is probably down to my age but I do find it irritating when I read a comparison that doesn't make sense because I don't know who the person the character is being compared to.

Overall, although I haven't read the first book in the series it didn't hinder me in the slightest. This was a short, quick and easy read. It kept me hooked and there was a surprising amount of detail included for a novella. I would definitely recommend and will be checking out the rest of the series.

                 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Book Blitz ~ Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1) by Mia Hoddell - Excerpt + Giveaway


Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell
Release Date: February 2013

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ASIN: B00BDQ3QGA
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9

Blurb:
The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.

Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.




Available from:
Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu
and only 99c / 77p on Kindle for September!


Praise:
“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)



I will admit I scoffed at the way it started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)


About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.



Author Links
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***Excerpt***

Happy with the amount of photos I had collected I started to head back out of the forest, still flicking through my shots. As well as close ups, I had taken a few landscapes and as I was almost at the edge of the forest I noticed something in one of the photographs that made me stop.
In the left hand corner was a figure that looked mostly human, but was blurred as if they were moving on the spot.
A cold shudder shot through me.
Looking over my shoulder I became slightly panicked and felt as if someone was following me.
My eyes flicked and searched the shadows. Even though there was no sign that anything had ever been behind me, the forest looked different now - dark and threatening.
Instinctively I broke away and ran, still clutching the camera that was displaying the freaky image. Surrounded by trees I didn’t stop until I was free of the forest and back in the open light and sight of my house.
Throwing open my door, I slumped against the inside of it, regaining my breath from the short sprint. Once I had recovered I looked down at the photo once more, just to make sure that I hadn’t been seeing things. The old saying “the camera never lies,” came into my mind and for the first time I wished it not to be true. Sure enough though, as I looked down at the screen, the figure was still there and this time I noticed a red and orange glow around where its feet should have been. The image almost looked like the person was on fire but I thought I would have surely noticed if there had been a burning man in front of me.


***GIVEAWAY***

Mia Hoddell is giving away an Amazon gift card this month only there is a slight twist: the more entries she receives the more money she will put on the gift card to giveaway! For example:


No matter what = $5
100 entries = $10
150 entries = $15
200 entries = $20
and so forth...
So if she gets 1000 entries she will give away $100, there’s no limit!


To enter all you have to do is buy or have bought Deadly to Love. It's only $0.99 or £0.79 on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway! This will also unlock extra entries for you so you can earn more points by sharing the giveaway. Remember the more entries she gets the bigger the prize for you so share!


Monday, 23 September 2013

Book Tour ~ Fallen by Stacy Claflin - Excerpt

FallenFallen

Fallen is the prequel to the Transformed series (Deception, Betrayal, Forgotten) and it’s also a novella, so it’s a pretty quick read—and a fun one. It’s from the perspective of one of the antagonists in the series. (Tweet about it) Since Fallen takes place before the series, you don’t need to have read any of the other books to read it.

About Fallen

Samantha Erikson is a vampire with one mission: to rule the world. She’s spent decades winning over the world’s most feared vampire, Vince Moretti. Just when everything is going according to plan, he sidetracks her with the assignment of pretending to be a high school student in a small town. It’s humiliating enough to go from stilettos to sneakers, but Samantha must also follow the most boring person alive: the teenage girl who stands between her and the throne. When she has had all she can take, she finds a fun distraction: an attractive football player who isn’t scared of vampires. There’s one problem. Against her better judgment, she falls in love with him. Now she must decide between the mortal she adores and a place of power in the vampire world. If she tries to have both, she could lose everything.

Excerpt from Chapter One

“She must die.” Raising an eyebrow, I looked into Vince’s dark eyes. “Who?” “The rumors are true, Samantha,” he said, and then bit into his caviar. I took a sip of wine. “Which rumors, exactly?” He ran his fingers through his short, spiky hair. “She’s alive.” My mind ran through the list of she’s that he could be referring to. Then I looked at him again. “You don’t mean…?” Eyes aglow, he nodded. “Marguerite Westerfield is alive and well. As it turns out, her watcher never had her killed. I threatened the lives of her daughters, and yet Mattie still risked it all to save Marguerite. She merely hid the child.” I leaned over the table toward him. “She wouldn’t be a child anymore. How old is she now?” “Almost sixteen, if I remember correctly. She was close to three when she was supposed to be killed.” He sighed. “So she’s already gone through her transformation.” Vince shook his head. “No, not yet. That’s what has made it so difficult to track her down. She was hidden amongst the humans, being raised as one. Marguerite probably thinks that she is one,” he said, and laughed. I grinned, flipping my long, dark blonde hair behind my shoulder. “What’s the plan?” He narrowed his eyes slightly. “You’re going to pay her a visit.” “What?” I asked, sitting back. “Are you kidding? You’re sending me?” “You’re perfect for the job. You’re a quick thinker, unlike most of the goons I have to deal with, and you look like you could be her age. She’ll probably trust you if you play it right.” Wonderful. I was getting sent out on a job instead of sticking around with him. But I couldn’t argue. Nobody crossed Vince. No one that lived to tell about it, anyway. I gave him my most seductive smile. “Actually, it could be fun to mess with the humans. I haven’t mingled with them in decades.” “I’m glad to hear it, Samantha,” he said, smiling. I loved it when he smiled at me, because he was one of the most powerful vampires alive. He could have been with anyone, but I had won him over. “I thought you might put up a fuss.” “Oh Vincey, you know that I love a challenge. That’s how I ended up here in this room with you.” He laughed. “That’s true. Most everyone is afraid to even look at me, but not you. That’s what I love about you.” He reached across the table and intertwined his fingers with mine.

About Stacy

Image of Stacy Claflin Stacy loves writing, reading, and watching Young and New Adult Paranormal and Paranormal Romance. Her favorite TV shows include the Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Fringe, Pretty Little Liars, and the Lying Game. When she's not busy writing, she's spending time with her family and running a preschool from home. STACY'S OTHER BOOKS The Transformed Series: Deception Betrayal Forgotten Chasing Mercy

Connect with Stacy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ stacy.claflin.author Twitter: https://twitter.com/growwithstacy Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ growwithstacy Goodreads: http:// www.goodreads.com/author/show/6591338.Stacy_Claflin Website/Blog: http://stacyclaflin.com/

Friday, 20 September 2013

Review ~ Facade - Nyrae Dawn

Facade (Games, #2)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 2nd 2013

Publisher: Forever

Description:

Can love save them?

After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is all right. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been—and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.

To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies’ man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his fa├žade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.

Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together—or tear them apart forever?

My Opinion

I'm torn, I wanted to like this but I just can't. On one hand it was full of the angst and drama to be expected from a new adult novel and on the other none of it felt real. It took me a week of dipping in and out of the book to finish until as it couldn't sustain my interest for long periods of time due to the angst. I did finally get to the point though today, with 40% remaining where I forced myself to finish it as I just wanted it out of the way.

My main issue is the drama and pain the characters go through. There was just too much of it and it was too heavy. The writing was intense and for me it just brought me down as there was no light among the dark. Even when Adrian and Delaney were together there was always the secrets that the reader knows bringing the atmosphere down. I just couldn't keep reading for long periods of time as it was depressing.

As well as this the use of swearing was excessive. I have nothing against it when used to emphasise a point but Adrian swore almost every sentence. I think there were like 6 on the first page (and that's reading on an iPod). It just lost all meaning for me and rather than emphasise anything it just became irritating. I get he was meant to be this tortured guy who was trying to drink and smoke away his problems but for me it lacked believablity with the use of language and attitude - especially with Delaney introduced and wanting to fix everything. That really didn't seem realistic.

There were a few good moments between Delaney and Adrian where their pasts were forgotten in the moment and these were enjoyable to read. I also didn't see the twist at the end coming. That was a big shock to read. However these moments were few and far between, going right back to troubled characters straight away and leaving me thinking "here we go again."

The writing was mostly well done. It does need another edit but hopefully these will have been picked up before publication as I'm reading an ARC. There are some sections that don't flow as well and are a bit monotonous, leaving you feeling like you are reading the same section over and over again but I enjoyed the dual points of view, with the chapters split between Adrian and Delaney.

Overall, for me this book was a struggle to get through as it was just so down beat. Even with a silver lining it did nothing to make me feel happy, relieved or anything for the characters. For me there needed to be some light in the middle of the book to keep my interest as I hate reading sad thing. For that reason I probably wouldn't buy it as I don't understand paying to be made to feeling crappy. If you like contemporary book it may be for you but for me - well I need to go for a run now to pick my spirits back up!

                           

Monday, 16 September 2013

Book Tour ~ Kiss me in Paris by Kimberly Kinrade & Dmytry Karpov - Guest Post

 Kiss Me in Paris
NA Contemporary Romance
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1187 KB
Print Length: 314 pages
Publisher: Daring Books (25 Jun 2013)
ASIN: B00DMTXQHA

No one knows my secret. Ever since high school, ever since I started living in fear, no one has known the true me. But then I met him, and I couldn't hide anymore.

He became my hero, saving me from the villain of my past. He became my friend, his smile a blanket of warmth. And he scared me. Because he, this beautiful man, he might become more. Then he'd see the real me, and I couldn't let that happen.

My name is Winter, and what I desire most I can't have.

Flashes of the night I was drugged rush back to me. His strong arms carrying me through the streets of Paris. The feel of his heart beating as my head rested against his chest. The soft press of his lips against my forehead when he thought I was asleep.

Oh shit. I'm falling for the cowboy. Cade.

But we can't be anything more. He has his own secrets. His own darkness he keeps hidden, like the letter he keeps with him everywhere he goes.

The letter he refuses to open.

***

New Adult Contemporary Romance - 87, 000 words - Standalone in the Kiss Me series.

Travel the world with the Deveaux's as they find love, and trouble, in all the right places.


5 stars "I experienced every emotion as each character felt it. Every tear, every laugh, all of the fear, anxiety, and stress, I experienced every last bit of it. And even though this is a romance, there are tears. I cried more times reading Kiss Me in Paris than I did watching Nicholas Sparks' The Last Song. Kiss Me in Paris left me hollow when I finally finished it. I feel as if a piece of me was left in the words as I read. And for once, I have a book to call my favorite." ~Merumei on Amazon

5 stars "A timeless and beautiful love story that will sweep you off your feet, but it's also much more than that." ~Amy Conley, Amazon

5 stars "Beautifully drawn characters and stunning pallets that bring you in to Paris itself." ~Stormy, Amazon
Guest Post
Married to Your Co-Author: 5 tips to staying happily married while writing a book together


Many couples would find it hard to work together day in and day out, with desks just a few feet apart, particularly if their job involved subjective creativity and intense deadlines.


We (Kimberly Kinrade and Dmytry Karpov) have worked together like this since we moved in together, after several months of long distance dating. This dating involved constant phone calls and 24/7 internet access, so even then, we were nearly always together.


While we have our own projects, as full time writers we are always involving each other in everything, from design, to music to story ideas. We've written a few short stories together in the past, but Kiss Me in Paris was the first full-length novel we co-wrote together.


The journey was an intense one. It was the first contemporary romance either of us had written (since both of us come from fantasy/paranormal writing), and we wanted it to be more than just a love story. We wanted Kiss Me in Paris to be a novel that would evoke deep and varied emotion from its readers, that would make you laugh and cry and fall in love, all the while living vicariously through Cade and Winter as they learn to follow their dreams, heal from the past and open up to each other and to life.


So how did we do it and still live our own happily ever after? Here are 5 tips we learned to surviving the creative process while married.


  1. Get on the same page, figuratively speaking.


If you're going to co-author with someone, you have to share the same vision for the book, the characters and the plot, or it's dead in the water before you even start.


This was actually the easy part for us. We're a lot alike, and our writing style and approach to novels is very similar. We couldn't have done it if not for that.


We rarely disagreed about the novels content. When we did, we asked for outside opinion (usually from our editor, Tracy Riva, or our awesome beta readers) and discussed the pros and cons of our different approaches. The approach with the most pros always won out, but we often found creative ways of fulfilling the intent of the other person, even if not in the exact way they'd wanted.


  1. Learn to compromise.



When you're writing a book with someone else, you can't always have it your way. You have to work together, not just on the content of the book, but on the speed with which you write, edit and release the book.


We learned to comprise. Kimberly really pushed to get the novel finished, while Dmytry really pushed to keep editing. We balanced each other out, and finished a high quality product. It's never good to launch before the book is polished, but also, you have to know when to let it go and move on, otherwise you'll spend your whole life on one book. Together, we created a book that we can both be proud of, even if we did have to delay the launch a few times.


During this, we both acknowledged what the other person brought to the table, and how together we were doing something we couldn't have done on our own, at least not in the same way.


  1. Play to your strengths.


Every writer will have their own strengths, and in a co-writing situation, you need to play to those. In our case, Dmytry is the faster outliner and I'm faster at prose. We also each enjoy those parts of writing more, so that's how we divided our tasks. We'd talk through the book, the characters and the story and make sure we both contributed to the big picture of what happened, then Dmytry would write detailed outlines for each chapter.


He also added a lot of dialogue, as he is very good at writing dialogue.


Kimberly would then flesh out the chapters, add prose, add more dialogue and even scenes and tweak as necessary.
We would then re-read the chapter together, changing and editing and adding and deleting, until we were both satisfied that the chapter was a 10. Once we'd done that level of editing on it, we sent it to the first round of editing, then beta readers, then editing some more. At the last, when we knew the content was exactly what we wanted, we sat together for two days straight and read through every single word of the book OUT LOUD. We then polished and perfected the prose, and sent it once again to our two editors for a final review.


It was an intense process, and there were nights we lost our patience, but it was worth it in the end. By playing to our strengths and using our team well, we created a book we're very proud of.


  1. Balance real life together.


There's a unique factor in co-writing with your spouse that you don't run across in co-writing with someone else. That is real life. You know, three kids, dishes, dinners, cleaning the house, unclogging the toilet, doing laundry, mediating disputes and investigating mysteries (who really did take that 28 cents minion #1 says was stolen?)… these things don't disappear when you're writing a novel.


But we were both so busy and had so much work. Neither of us wanted to stop our work to, you know, feed the minions. But we had to. Because it's our other job, and also, starving minors in your care is still illegal. This isn't the Hunger Games. So we had to delegate tasks, support each other and also, let some things go. Our house is never perfectly spotless, but when we're on deadline, let's just say we turn a blind eye to, oh, everything. As long as the living room where we write isn't a mess, we ignore the rest.


  1. Don't mix business and pleasure.


This is the hardest one for us, but probably the most important. Our marriage and our business are two different things, as overlapped as they might often be. When we disagree about something in our book, we can't let it become personal and affect our marriage.


But when it's 4 a.m. and you've been working for three days straight and you're tired and grumpy and stress-eating and the other person disagrees with you. Well, it's hard NOT to take it personally and blow up.


We usually handled this with humor. Because what else can you do? We have the best job in the world, and we're both hard workers and very ambitious, but we're also ridiculously in love. So, we snap, and then we laugh and hug and kiss and maybe take a break to, you know, research a few of the steamier scenes we're writing for the book. Because we can. We're married.


Through it all, the greatest part of working together was seeing our dream for this book realized as early readers responded with such enthusiasm to our 'book baby.' We learned a lot about ourselves and our marriage, and about writing and life, while creating Kiss Me in Paris, and we're super excited to tackle our next big project, Kiss Me in Cairo.


And this next book will likely hold its own set of challenges. Neither of us have been to Cairo (whereas Kimberly studied in Paris), it will be more mystery/romance, and we want each Kiss Me book to be romance, but also be unique unto itself.


But we've never backed down from a challenge, and we work so well together, that in the words of Barney from "How I Met Your Mother"…


Challenge Accepted.

Pick up your copy of Kiss Me in Paris on Amazon, B&N, and wherever ebooks are sold (Except iBooks, sadly, because they are taking FOREVER to publish books. So if you have an iPad, iPhone or iAnything, get an Amazon app for free and you're set). Look for the paperback and hardback coming soon.






About Kimberly Kinrade

Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes romance (contemporary and paranormal), fantasy and paranormal stories for all ages and still believes in magic worlds. 

She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.





Kiss Me In Paris is touring with Fiction Addiction for the following:

The giveaway on this tour is an Amazon GC $50/£30


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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