Thursday, May 30, 2013

Andromeda Rising by James Ramsey Blog Tour and Giveaway

Blurb:

I should have been paying attention. Growing up on the run from religious fanatics gave me more than a few good reasons to be careful, but I was just too tired to be as vigilant as I should have been. My mind was occupied with my latest case—a missing nine year old girl. I was usually good at my job, but sometimes I needed a little extra help from magick. I always managed to track down a cheating spouse or the occasional runaway, but now it seemed more children were missing from the streets of Seattle and nothing I did worked.

A cat jumped on my shoulder and jerked me from my exhaustion induced stupor. I spun into a defensive crouch only to see the cat had landed on the sidewalk behind me.

Time seemed to stop for a moment when the cat spoke.

“RUN!”

My name is Jocelyn Matthews and if I live through tonight, I’ll tell you all about my life as a witch.

{Source}
For the past ten years, Jocelyn has been living as a closet witch in Seattle. When the Inquisitors that have been after her from the time she was nine finally manage to find her, Jocelyn is thrust into a world she never guessed existed. From talking cats to dark elves, she'll have to do something she's never done before: trust someone other than herself. If she wants to find the children that have been going missing all over the city, she'll have to open her eyes to the bigger picture and find her place, not only for her safety but for the city as well. 

My Review

This is a really fun, fast read.  It isn't a short book, but it was really interesting and James kept me hooked from start to finish.  Andromeda Rising is a fresh, new take on a paranormal world with a little sci-fi/fantasy twist.  Joss is no helpless heroine.  It is one of the things I loved about the story.  She has a good heart, always doing what is right even if it means she gets hurt or worse.  She puts others before her and ignores all prejudice and/or bias that she was taught.

I wasn't sure at first how I felt about the concept of her familiar (a cat) actually talking.  When I first read "RUN!" I had assumed it was a mental thing - like she was able to communicate with the cat because of her gifts.  Shortly after that we find out that as a familiar he actually talks (there is more to it than that, but I don't want to spoil anything!)

I was a little disappointed in the lack of romance, but in all honesty it wasn't a necessity with this story.  It's that good!  Kuddos go to you Ms. Ramsey for creating a story such as this.  I loved it and am dying to read the next book in the series.  I'm really crossing my fingers for her and a certain someone... Again.  No spoilers!  I have my theories though!  

Have you read this book yet?  What do you think will happen between Joss, Teo, and Calean?

About James Ramsey

Often accused of being lost in her own world, James spends most of her time at home with her husband and a menagerie of animals. 

She blames her love of the written word entirely on her Grandfather who owned a bookstore, feeding her addiction regularly. Cutting her teeth on illustrated fairy tales she quickly moved on to Farley Mowatt and Lucy Maude Montgomery. 

Proudly standing in line till after midnight for five of the seven Harry Potter books she was the only one there without a child.

Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, Keri Arthur, Jean M. Auel, Dan Brown, Stephanie Laurens, Christopher Paolini, Stephenie Meyer, and Jane Austen represent just a fraction of the titles found in her personal library. 

She is rarely found without a bag full of notebooks, iPods, and her Kindle. 


James Ramsey will be giving away three signed copies of Andromeda Rising!

Enter Here:

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!



The ‘Andromeda Rising Virtual Book Tour’ is a Pure Textuality Public Relations promotion.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Tour - The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Synopsis: 

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

My Review

I really enjoyed this story.  It was a very different Fae story than I am used to reading.  I love when an author takes a common idea and changes it so that it seems like something completely new.  Laura Howard created a wonderful new world to experience.  The characters were easy to relate to and I loved that Allison is not this helpless girl that needs everyone to do everything for her.  Something that I really enjoyed was the way Laura created each character's personalities.  It is sometimes hard to get a feel for other characters when a book is written in one characters point of view, but she very made a few characters seem very ominous.  This book has some great villains that you'll love to hate!

The only issue I had with this book was some of the names.  There is a guide in the beginning of the book to help with pronunciations, but I did ok just kind of winging it.  Some of them are a mouthful! 

All in all it is a wonderful, quick read.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Excerpt

Sean jogged over with the bat and held it out for me, grinning. “Pick your pitcher, Allie-O.”

The smirk on Ethan's face was a challenge, and I couldn't resist. “Ethan has the ball, he can pitch to me.”

He made a big show of stretching and winding up before he finally tossed the ball at me.

I smacked the ball over the pool house, and Sean started shouting and cheering, making me smile. Ethan shook his head, but he was smiling. He clearly thought I would be an easy out.

I made it all the way to the final round, kicking Sean and Jeff out of the game. I'd played softball and run track all through school to pad my transcripts.

“You gonna let her win, E?” Jeff called, winking at me from the picnic table where he sat drinking a beer.

Ethan chuckled, showing off those damn dimples. He looked down at the ball in his hands and back up at me with a grin. “If I do, will you let me take you out?”

I snorted, trying to look braver than I felt. “Not a chance.”

“Wait a sec. I like this. Let's make a wager,” he said.

The guys were all hooting and hollering at me, my face was no doubt crimson.

“What do I get if I win?” I bit my lip, feeling all their eyes on me.

“I'm thinking, hang on,” He held up his finger, his brow furrowed in thought. His eyes widened with excitement, and I knew I would regret whatever he had to say.

“If I win, I get a kiss.” If it was possible, my cheeks grew even redder. They were all laughing and making cat calls now.

“And, if I win?” I looked up at his face.

He looked at me for a second, considering. “If you win, I won't ever ask you out again.”

This earned a chorus of “Yeah, right” and “No way” from the guys.

My mouth fell open, I had not been expecting that, but his face was sober. The laughing around us fell away for a second, and I could only stare at him feeling the color drain from my face. His expression remained solemn, and he met my gaze head on.

I nodded stiffly, and swallowed. “All right.”

His grin came back in full force. “Oh, and Al?”

I raised my eyebrows at him.

“I won't lose.”


About Laura Howard

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

Buy The Forgotten Ones on Amazon!

Enter here to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a signed paperback of The Forgotten Ones!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review - Concealed in the Shadows by Gabrielle Arrowsmith

Synopsis:

Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033—her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister, who is her only family and entire world. She hopes they will be lawfully reunited, but is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape the captivity of Miles County so that they can be together.

Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to those who dare to cross the electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of technology. Even if they were to survive the escape, disappearing into the forgotten forests and towns of the past seems an impossible task.

What Sydney doesn't know is that she is the particular interest of two opposing forces. With deceit, fear, and warfare surrounding her—can she trust the party that aims to help with her fight against the other? Can she open her heart to receive and return unexpected love? When her sister’s life becomes jeopardized, Sydney will have to weigh a new love against the only enduring love she has known. The cost could be deadly…

How will she choose?

My Review

I was never a huge fan of Dystopian style novels until about a year ago.  Two amazing authors had me review their third novel which happened to be the first in a Dystopian YA series.  After that I decided to branch out a little bit and try out some other novels of the same genre and read The Hunger Games.  What I now love about these types of books are all of the many places the genre allows an author to go.  I have read many in the genre up to this point, and I have to say that Concealed in the Shadows has to be my favorite.  Gabrielle Arrowsmith has taken what our society obsesses over today - media - 30 years into the future.  

The United States has completely changed after the third World War started, though no one seems to even realize that anything is going on outside of their own county.  Everyone is glued to their government issued tablets, which seem to have replaced the smart phone completely - Gasp!  What is most shocking is the way she created a society that revolves around information media so much so that they do not realize anything going on around them.

There is one specific part near the beginning of the novel where Sydney and her sister are traveling to their hostel, carrying luggage that is too large and heavy to navigate with themselves, and no one even looks up at them.  No one notices that two young women are struggling with anything - no help is offered, no eyelashes are batted in their direction.  This is the norm on the inside of the counties.  Now, without revealing too many spoilers, there is a section in the story that Sydney gets to experience what it is like to be on the outside.  She learns that humanity does still exist.  While walking down the street people actually smile at her.  Some stop and say hello or introduce themselves.  

That is one of my favorite sides to this amazing story.  Arrowsmith paints a picture of what out world could actually turn into if we continue to rely on all of our technological addictions.  She really makes you wonder if this is where we can be in thirty years.

All of that aside, this book is wonderful.  It is very detailed, but not to the point it is over done.  I was hooked before I had even finished chapter one, which is something that usually does not happen for me.  I feel in love with the characters, each and every one of them - even the few who were a bit annoying (on purpose not because of poor character development!). And the cliff hanger!  Oh, the cliff hanger!  Of the many series I have read, the end of this story was by far the best ending we could have asked for; although many of you will more than likely be angry because it truly is an ending that leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat in suspense, just to be ripped away from the world you were drawn into without knowing what is going to happen.  I could not even guess what was going to happen throughout the entire book.

I cannot wait for the next installment of this series, which I am sure is going to be just as brilliant, if not more!

About Gabrielle Arrowsmith

Gabrielle Arrowsmith was born to her loving mother, father, and older brother on August 16th, 1988. She grew up in the small town of Ham Lake, MN enjoying soccer, school, and adventuresome play with her brother and cousins.

As she grew older, her desire to write led her to fill many diaries and notebooks with her thoughts, poems, stories, and scripts. Her other childhood hobbies included reading, playing soccer, acting, and playing piano.

Gabrielle recalls high school as the time when she first believed in the worth of her writing. Her AP Language and Literature course both challenged and celebrated her craft. Aiming for perfection caused her to slave over her work, but only so much as to allow time for her other college-level courses, soccer, track, National Honor Society, and school plays.

From 2006-2009 she attended the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. Atypical of a college student, Gabrielle looked forward to writing papers in her various courses. Gabrielle played collegiate soccer for the Saints, held work-study positions, acted in theater productions, and volunteered often.

Since college, Gabrielle has enjoyed teaching third through sixth graders in various school settings. She is now substitute teaching in order to pursue her passion for storytelling through both writing and acting. She also continues to play and coach soccer

Stalk Gabrielle Here


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Many Masks of Phantom - Guest Post by Laura DeLuca


This is a very exciting post for me. Recently I signed up to read and review the first two books in the Dark Musicals Trilogy (Phantom and Demon) by Laura DeLuca.  I loved them SO much that I decided to have the author of the wonderful series do a guest post on my blog.  This is my very first guest post and I am so excited that Laura DeLuca is popping my guest post cherry!

Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post for an excerpt from Phantom, the blurb and an excerpt from Demon, and a GIVEAWAY!  Also, don't forget to come back and visit my blog on June 6, 2013 for my review of both books in the Dark Musicals Trilogy!

Blurb:

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.


Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.


Many Masks of Phantom - by Laura DeLuca

People often ask writers how they come up with their characters. Are they based off real people or are they entirely fictional? For me, it’s normally a mix of both. I might give a character the first name of one friend or the last name of another. The bad guy might have the same name as the nasty customer I had to deal with at work that day. And sometimes characters completely create themselves. But I have to admit, that the characters in Phantom were inspired by the people around me more than any other book I have written. I thought it would be fun to introduce some of the people who helped make Phantom one of my favorite novels so far.

Rebecca Hope - Rebecca is the main character, and she gets the lead role of Christine in the play. She isn't really based on anyone in particular, but I did give her a few of my own characteristics. In the first chapter, I mention that she was normally hiding in the orchestra with her violin instead of trying out for a role. That was totally me in high school.  I was always too shy to try out for the musicals, even though I really wanted to. But unlike Becca, I was actually a much better violinist than a singer anyway, so I was better off where I was. She also shares my nervous energy, and of course, we are both obsessed with the Phantom of the Opera in all its incarnations.  

Author Laura DeLuca with Jay
Jay Kopp - In my book, Jay Kopp is the class clown. The one making jokes at all the wrong times, and who thinks he is a whole lot cooler than he really is. The real Jay Kopp is not much different. Instead of the class clown, he is the office clown. Here is a man who is in his forties, but still makes faces behind the executive president's back while he's handing out awards. A man who every single solitary day, walks out the door at closing time and yells, "Stick a fork in me, I'm done."A man who has somehow wound up with the nickname of "Muffin" among his female coworkers.Some of his other shenanigans include tapping a picture of my husband (than new boyfriend) all over the office, including the toilet seat, and dressing up as Flavor Flav, and no, it wasn't Halloween. As you can tell, our little group had a tendency to stray away from corporate etiquette and we loved every minute of it.  All that being said, Jay is actually a really sweet guy, a hard worker, and a wonderful husband and father.  I think I stayed pretty close to Jay's real personality in my book. I just made him thirty years younger.

Mr. Russ - Mr Russ is the school janitor. He's a little on the dirty side and he’s definitely not all there. Again, he is based on a real person, but I can't say his name because I don't want to get sued. When I was working, there was an old man who worked in one of the buildings on the same street. I would run into him at Wawa all the time, and he decided he had a crush on me. Finally, he came in the office one day with a pack of tickets for the Lion King on Ice, and wanted to take me and my children. Ummmm...creepy!  Of course I told him as nicely as possible that I couldn't do that, and explained I was in a relationship for the hundredth time.  He got a little angry, I got a little freaked out, and thus I had to turn him into the creepy school janitor in my book. His name is different, but his physical description is right on. If you read this book, you'll understand why he made me nervous.

Carmen Webber - Carmen is one of Rebecca's best friends. When I created Carmen, I was really thinking about one of my best friends, Viv.  I gave her a lot of Viv's personality traits, but when it comes to her looks, I was thinking more about her daughter Sarah. Sarah is closer to Carmen's age.  So she sort of wound up being a combination of them both, but she definitely has a little more attitude than either of them.  On a side note, their last name is Zarfati, which is also the name of one of the characters in my Destiny series.

Debbie O'Neill  & Wendy Wright - Both of these girls got their first names from people I worked with.  Wendy is the class snob, and there was a girl at one of our offices in North Jersey that always had an attitude when she called. Plus she sounded like a valley girl. I was trying to decide on a name for Wendy and she happened to call that day in a particularly miserable mood, and so she became my b***h.  With Debbie, it was more a physical thing.  Someone was leading a meeting and she looked exactly the way I envisioned Debbie, so she took her name.

Darlene and Matt
Darlene & Matt - Darlene is a good friend and was my former High Priestess before she moved out of state. She opened her arms to me when I was new to the Craft and completely on my own, and I learned a lot from her. When she didn't get "a part" in Destiny, I promised to put her name in Phantom. She took it a step further and asked me to add in her best friend Matt as well. So I made them someone's parents. What's funny is, I never really intended to include any parents in the book, but adding Darlene became a big part of one of my favorite scenes. Meeting Darlene & Matt is a fun part of the book, so I can't say too much more. But if you met the real Darlene, you would definitely find that she and her namesake have the same remarkable ability to speak in complete paragraphs without taking a single breath.

Tom Rittenhouse - This is the guy who gets the role of Raoul, the hero. Tom is very much like my first real boyfriend, even though I don't think I realized it myself until I read back through the book when it was done. He was a surfer. He was the star of the high school musicals. He even had hopes of being an actor someday. He did get a few small parts in TV and Broadway in college, but as far as I know, he gave up on Hollywood and is back home now.  Darron from Destiny has some of his characteristics as well. I think since he was my high school sweet heart, and my first love, he comes back to haunt my high school characters...

Temptest

Tempest - Tempest is a Gothic Belly Dancer. I consider myself truly blessed to have not only met Tempest, but to have shared Sacred Space with her on a few occasions. About three years ago,  I was introduced to Tempest through my best friend and coven sister, Donna. She was taking her belly dance class at a local gym, and convinced me to come along.  The class was fun, but was nothing compared to watching Tempest perform live. When she begins to move, it’s like she is magically transformed into the Goddess herself. Her movements are fluid and graceful. Her costumes (which she often designs herself) are enchanting. She has created her own version of Gothic Belly Dance that is elegant and breathtaking. It literally brought tears to my eyes. Even as a writer, I find it hard to express just how amazing it is to watch her perform.  Tempest is one of the most beautiful women I have had the privilege to meet. It is a beauty that emanates from her soul and is transferred to the fluid movements of her body. All the wisdom of the ages is expressed in the poetic motions of her dance. She is a true artist.


"Lord Justyn"

JustynPatko (AKA-Lord Justyn) - When I tell people that Lord Justyn was based on a real person, most of them look at me like I'm crazy. They think he's my imaginary friend.  But, nope, he’s is real. Like my character, the real Lord Justyn is a Gothic Pagan who also happens to be a musician and an actor.  I have never spoken to Justyn outside of cyber space. We met on MySpace before I met my husband. I don't even remember how. But I do remember how all his notes would have a little old world charm in them. We would talk about books and movies, and, of course, magic and the Craft. He even read Destiny way before it was published. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a little crush on him. But in the real world, when we lived in different states and I was a single mom, there was no way it could have worked. Not to mention the fact that I am several years older, and not really the cougar type. Maybe in another time or another life it could have happened. But in this life, I could only make him into one of the most amazing characters I have ever created. It all started because I was writing him an email while Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical was playing the background. I started to think how great he would be in the role of the Phantom...one thought led to another, and Phantom was born.


Finally, Justyn’s last name came from my friend Jared Patko. He was handsome. He was fun. He was hilarious.  He was an amazing artist. He also suffered from severe Bipolar Disorder. In 2009, Jared took his own life. I had just started writing Phantom when this happened, and I wanted to immortalize him in some small way. I had promised him I'd use his name in a book eventually, and he had hoped to draw the cover art. Phantom is also dedicated to Jared as well as the real Lord Justyn.

Well, that pretty much sums it up. It’s amazing how even the smallest things that people do and say can touch our lives and bring about inspiration. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for these folks will probably depend on who lives, who dies, and who the killer really is. But you'll have to read Phantom to find all that out. I have to wrap up this post with one of my favorite quotes. "Be careful, or I'll put you in my novel!"

Sneaky Peak from Phantom

The orchestra tuned for its virtuoso, and Justyn stood ready. But no one else was ready for the magical performance he began. Beside her, Carmen was rambling on about something mundane. Rebecca elbowed her to silence so she could listen to the perfectly thrilling tenor. As she listened to the song unfold, the world around her started to slip away. Gone was the high school auditorium. Gone were the rowdy teenagers. The Gothic stranger on the stage had become the embodiment of Erik, and Rebecca watched him in all his dark glory, belting out his tormented love through the words of his song. And she was as breathless with wonder as Christine herself must have been when the masked stranger serenaded her in the candlelit labyrinth of the opera house. In that moment, Justyn wasn’t just portraying the phantom. Justyn was the phantom.

                                                 “Let the music touch your soul.
                                                 Let the darkness make you whole.
                                                 Do not fear what is unknown.
                                                 Your true path has now been shown.
                                                 Listen to the words I sing.
                                                 Embrace the peace that night will bring.”

As he continued to sing in his deep but somehow angelic voice, Rebecca found that she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. With every line, her heart began to beat faster.  She truly felt the arms of night wrapping her in a warm embrace. She could almost feel the hands of the phantom glide along her body as the words poured forth. The music caressed her. It possessed her—mind, body and soul. Each word left her longing, yearning for more.

She was gawking so obviously, it was hardly surprising when Justyn felt her eyes on him and steadily met her gaze. She realized her mouth was hanging open in stunned awe, and she quickly snapped it shut. His lips moved into just a small hint of a smile. He never took his eyes off her while he sang the final verse, making her cheeks flush to the point that she felt almost feverish. But it wasn’t embarrassment but excitement, arousal even, which was sending her mind spinning in so many directions.

When the song was over, and Rebecca had recovered just a hint of her composure, she couldn’t help but burst into a healthy round of applause. A few scattered people joined in, including Debbie and Carmen after she nudged them in the ribs. But only Miss King seemed to truly appreciate the brilliance of his talent as much as Rebecca did.

“That was amazing, Justyn!” the teacher gushed.

“Lord Justyn,” he corrected as he stepped down from the stage.

A few others complimented him as well, but he took in all in stride. In fact, his serious expression never faltered as he stepped down from the stage. He seemed almost bored, like it was all he could do to hold back a yawn, despite the smiles and words of encouragement.

But not everyone in the crowd was pleased as Justyn glided down the aisle, so ethereal in his dark garments that he still resonated the spirit of the Opera Ghost. Miss King might have been excited about the newest male addition to her cast after being limited for many years, but Tom and his group of boisterous companions glared at him as he passed them by.  Jay sneered and tossed a balled up piece of paper in Justyn’s direction, but the Goth was quick, and caught it in his hand without missing a beat.

“I think you dropped something,” he said.

His speaking voice was no less melodic than his singing voice, but something about his tone made Rebecca shiver. He tossed the paper back at Jay, who was nowhere near as coordinated as Justyn. He practically fell off his seat in his efforts to catch it.

"Hey vampire,” Tom called when Justyn went to walk away. “Are you sure you can handle the competition?”

Justyn smiled, a cool, sarcastic half-smile, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Are you?”

Miss King didn’t notice the short confrontation, and Justyn vanished from the auditorium as quickly and mysteriously as he had appeared. Only Rebecca had noticed the very real tension between the two boys. She wondered if it was a bad omen for them to start off the production with hard feelings and envy. That could only lead to trouble. The kind of trouble that could end with someone getting hurt.  The kind of trouble that Rebecca would do whatever it took to avoid.

About Author Laura DeLuca


Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.



Buy Phantom on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble!

If you haven't read the first book in the series, now is a great time to get your copy. To celebrate the release of Demon,  Phantom is now on sale for only $1.99 exclusively on Amazon!


Blurb:

When Justyn and Rebecca set off for the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn

It doesn't help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca's father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.
Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.

Sneaky Peak into Demon


“What the hell are you looking at?” Livy demanded.

At first Rebecca just ignored her hostility. She walked back to her cubbyhole and opened it to stowaway her bags until practice was over. She was going to forget the whole stupid idea and just walk away. But Livy was still standing there, leaning against the lockers, looking just as sad as she did angry. Rebecca couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She was reminded of how horribly everyone had treated Justyn during the production of Phantom and thought perhaps Livy was just as misunderstood.

“Livy,” she started, “can we talk for a minute?”

The Goth just gave her a dirty look. “I don’t know what we could possibly have to say to each other.”

“I just wanted to apologize about what happened at the party,” Rebecca spoke with as much sincerity as she could muster. “No matter how we feel about each other, I never meant to … to embarrass you the way I did.”

Rebecca had never seen the cliché of flashing eyes come to life like it did at that moment. “Don’t you dare!” Livy spat. “Don’t you dare pity me!”

“That’s not what I meant,” Rebecca tried to explain, though she knew she was fighting a losing battle. “I just regret—”

“Do you want to know what I regret?” Livy interrupted and actually shoved Rebecca against her locker. “I regret not ripping every strand of hair out of that pretty little head of yours when I had the chance. This isn’t high school, Becca! We aren’t going to be friends. And I’m not going to stop until Justyn is mine and you run back to New Jersey with your tail between your legs. Is that clear enough for you, deary? Don’t try to make nice with me again.”

Livy stomped away, and Rebecca just stood there, feeling shocked and a little stung. She couldn’t believe how vicious Livy could be. So much for olive branches. Instead of trying to hand her one, Rebecca should have shoved it straight up her….

“Wow.” Frankie came up beside her, shaking his head. “It’s girls like that who give PMS a bad rep. I seriously think the next play she should star in is the Taming of the Shrew.”

“There’s no taming that one,” Rebecca replied, still shaking her head.

Buy Demon on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble!

***

Oh, I did mention a Giveaway, didn't I?  Here is what is up for grabs!


Enter Here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cover Reveal - Winter Fire by Lizzy Ford



Synopsis

With a Dark witching seeking revenge against him, Beck, the eighteen-year-old Master of Light, must find a way to protect those he loves, the witchlings - and his heart. His duty is further complicated by Morgan, a beautiful Fire witching with a secret that threatens to destroy the progress he's made protecting the Light.

This is the third book in the bestselling Witchling Series. "Dark Summer," the first book in the series, is currently rated as the #4 Top Rated Teen Romance on Amazon.

I have read the first two books in this series and LOVED them!  Be looking for my review of Winter Fire, as well as the first two books in the series, on June 3, 2013! Winter Fire will be available to purchase on June 21, 2013!

About Lizzy Ford

Lizzy Ford is the author of over seventeen novels written for young adult and adult paranormal romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling Rhyn Trilogy, Witchling Trilogy and the War of Gods series. Considered a freak of nature by her peers for the ability to write and release a commercial quality novel in under a month, Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring.

In late March 2012, “Damian’s Oracle” (Book I, War of Gods) was featured in USA Today, an indication that Lizzy’s career is just starting to take off!

In November 2012, Lizzy signed with Margery Walshaw of Evatopia, a literary management and production firm representing writers and their books to TV/movie studios in Hollywood.

Stalk Lizzy Here


Monday, May 20, 2013

Review - STRINGS by Kendall Grey

***Let me start by saying that this review is for 18+ ONLY!  There will be lots of dropping the F-bomb.  You have been warned.***

Blurb:

STRINGS is not suitable for slut shamers, uptight stone throwers, Holier-Than-Thou prudes, humorless virgins, persons with chronic neck or back pain, pearl-clutching bitties, those who disparage crude humor or vulgarity in their many forms, closed-minded people with sticks up their asses, or anyone under the age of 18. The vile, base language and shocking, unholy sexual acts contained herein are not condoned by anyone with a lick of sense and should certainly not be reproduced without proper training and protection. The potty-mouthed and perpetually horny "heroine" (the term is used loosely) of this book does not resemble a normal, well-adjusted, or remotely believable person in any way, shape, or form. The author acknowledges that the characters in this book are shallow and two-dimensional; the plot is both ridiculous and insipid. She makes no apologies for any of it.

* Readers are strongly advised to wear latex gloves whilst reading to minimize contamination risks.

Free-spirited musician Letty Dillinger adheres to a strict, “no strings attached” policy when it comes to men. After a wild night of unabashed sex in a fancy hotel room, she never expects to see the adventurous stud she dubs “Shades” again. When her all-girl rock trio books a tour at the last minute as the opening act for their archenemies, Letty’s shocked to discover she knows the competition’s new lead singer. Intimately. Shades is no longer a one-night stand. Now he’s the guy she has to one-up on stage every night for the sake of her career.

Sharing close quarters on a bus with her sexy nemesis and his bad-boy buddies puts Letty’s Golden Rule to the test. On this tour, guitar strings aren’t the only things being played. And when heartstrings are pulled too hard, they’re bound to snap sooner or later.


Review


There are not enough words in the English language (US English or UK English for that matter) to describe the awesomeness of this book.  It is dirty, sexy, fun, erotic, thought provoking, a little scary at times, and honest.  Now, don't take that the wrong way!  Just like the Warning in the synopsis states, the book doesn't resemble a real life-style (kind of), and there are things that the characters do that makes you tilt your head to the side and say, "is s/he for fucking real???"  However, Kendall Grey has created character with real mental issues and did not sugar coat them!

There were parts in this story that had me laughing so hard that my eye balls were leaking fluid everywhere - quite similar to Letty's lady bits through most of the book.  Seriously, the girl is a walking advertisement for the alternate uses for Poise Pads.  Shades would look at her and she's just start dripping all over the place.  Granted, had she chose to wear panties on a few occasions, that issue wouldn't have been such an issue.  But we are talking about a Rocker who has a reputation to uphold.  Panties be damned!  She burned panties like our mothers burned bras.  It was a statement.  One that allowed her to jump Shades on a whim... without having to drop panties.

This book was wonderful, really, but do you know what I loved most about it?  The book was written so that a mother could feed her children.  This author is not an Erotica author.  Writing erotica is not an easy task for everyone, but when you need to get some food on the table and pay the bills, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done.  Kendall's genre is Urban Fantasy.  She has a wonderful series out called Just Breathe.  She put her blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lot of cash into creating these amazing books.  But sometimes, things do not always go as planned.

What is even more amazing about this book (as I am 100% positive will be amazing about the entire series once it is finished) is that after she started writing this book, she ended up loving this book.  The story came so easy to Kendall that it only took a total of two months from start to "Publish" button.  And what's more, it put food on the table and paid the bills for the next few months in a short two weeks.  How amazing is that?  Something that she was a little uneasy about doing turned into something that she loved doing!  

But here is the kicker.  Kendall did a guest post on another blog (link is in her post on her blog that will be shared at the end of my review) as a way to help other self-published authors, or authors that plan to self-publish.  It was a very generous thing to do, especially in my eyes, because I plan to publish as many books as I can before I die.  Like Kendall, I don't want fans, I want readers.  I want people to appreciate the time that I put into my books and actually enjoy reading them.  I also want to be able to keep a roof over my families head and food on the table in the process.  Let's face it, that is life.  You can work at a dead-end job, struggling for the rest of your life, or you can struggle doing what you love.  Either way, it isn't easy.  But how wonderful would it be to do what you love and provide for who you love at the same time?  Kendall tells us how to do that, while still enjoying ourselves.

I do not know Kendall personally, but she is officially my best friend, whether she likes it or not; and I intend to get to know her better, because she is my kind of people.  She is honest and does not sugar coat or bull shit her way through life.  She works hard and has been rewarded for that hard work.  I love her, and I love her books, and it makes my heart sad to know that because she wrote an article on how the publishing world works she is being punished for it.  Literally.  Have a look here, please, so that you understand why I am taking the time to make this post.  Then please buy a copy of STRINGS on Amazon, read it, and leave a review! Then share her blog post and ask your friends to read the book.  

I'm going to stop now before I get angry, start crying, and then start name calling better than a sailor, because what has happened to her was a major crossing of the line.



About Kendall Grey

Kendall Grey is the self-appointed past, present, and future president of the Authors Behaving Badly Club. A whale warrior and indie freedom fighter, she spends summers in the corner (usually with a dunce cap on her head) and winters hunched at the peak of Mt. Trouble, fiery pens of fury (complete with invisible ink) flying across the pages. She has a big set of cajones, and she's not afraid to use them. In her spare time, Kendall speaks your mind so you don't have to.

Kendall lives off a dirt road near Atlanta, Georgia, but don't hold that against her.

Stalk Kendall Here

Buy any of her Just Breathe trilogy and help save some whales!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lucid By Natalie Roers - Super Book Blast


BLURB:
 
Being hailed by critics as an intelligent new voice in young adult fiction, Roers' debut novel tells the anything but ordinary, coming of age story of a small town, teen aged, misfit named Travis Hunter.

Disfigured at birth and ostracized at school, Travis dreams of acceptance and secretly yearns for the affection of a beautiful young woman named Corrine. When a mysterious doctor promises to help Travis through something called lucid dreaming, Travis suddenly finds himself ushered into a secret society called "The Lucid", a collection of social outcasts like himself, who have created their own world inside of dreams.

When Travis discovers he is able to bring Corrine into these dreams, he gets more than he ever bargained for and soon finds himself learning the secrets of love and life in a fantastic unconscious world.

An instant classic, Lucid is a timeless story of self-acceptance with a fresh paranormal twist.

Excerpt

Corrine’s breathing quickened and she pushed against my chest to break the hold. 

Not wanting to let go, I grabbed at her waist again, but she stopped me. 

“What did you do that for?” I asked, my voice low and raspy. Even I couldn’t  tell if I was asking why she kissed me or why she had stopped. 

Corrine stepped back even further and looked down at her legs.  That’s when I saw it. The shin of her left leg was starting to fade. 

“Travis, I don’t know you,” she said softly. “If this is real, though? If it’s really real, like you say it is? I want to meet you. Do you understand me? I want you to come and find me as soon as you wake up.”

The light around us changed. It was sunset. Amazing reds, golds, and purples, streaked across the sky.

Praise for Lucid

"Roers' debut novel heralds the arrival of an intelligent, heartfelt voice in the world of young adult fiction. The rich characters, emotional complexity, and confident prose are matched only by the landscape of dreams that Roers sets them against... a landscape brought vividly to life by the author's seemingly boundless imagination. This is a novel that respects its readers as much as its characters, and that's a beautiful rarity."
~ Mike Flanagan, Filmmaker, Absentia and Oculus
"Natalie Roers' debut novel is both riveting and relevant. More than a paranormal/fantasy/thriller, this is a complex tale that cuts to the very of heart of issues facing young adults today. Well sculptured characters and powerful imagery propel Roers' fascinating narrative."
~ Jason Tinney (Award-winning freelance journalist, musician, actor and the author of the story collection Bluebird.)
"Lucid is an interesting story and a fun read."
~ Amy Carol Reeves, author of Ripper and Renegade
"Natalie Roers' voice is amazingly confident for a first novelist. Her journalist's eye for human detail draws you in, and makes you care about the people who populate the LUCID world. The more I got to know them, both awake and asleep in the world of lucid dreaming, the more time I wanted to spend in their world."
~ Jeff Howard, writer for Film District and Focus Features.

About Natalie Ross



Natalie Roers is a veteran writer, voice artist, and on-air personality. A journalist by trade, Lucid is her first work of fiction. She is busy at work on her second novel and hopes to raise money and social awareness for worthy causes with each book she writes. Natalie plans to donate a portion of every sale of this book to her favorite anti-bullying organizations. She lives with her husband Cory, and son Austin, in Columbia, South Carolina.




Links for Lucid:


Natalie will be giving away a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to one randomly drawn commenter! The more you comment, the better your chances to win.  Check out all of the tour stops here to increase your chance of winning!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Danger Game by Caitlyn Nicholas Blog Tour


BLURB:

Flick likes computers. She’s good with them, and they do what she tells them, mostly. People, however, are more of a challenge. 

But when a terrifyingly dangerous program is stolen, and her mentor killed, Flick finds herself on the run. The police are convinced she’s committed murder, and a sinister weapons developer will stop at nothing to force her to work for him.

In Ben’s line of work being suspicious keeps you alive. So when Flick turns to him, he quickly realises that she’s up to her neck in trouble and hasn’t fully grasped the danger she is in.  

First he has to keep her safe, and then, together, they have to figure out how to save the world from an epic meltdown.

***
Keep an eye out for my review of The Danger Game!
***


Exceprt

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” Ben asked.

Flick looked at his reflection in the mirror.  “I don’t know.”

His face had a closed off look, and at her words a deep frown creased his forehead.  He folded his arms across his chest.

“What exactly don’t you know?” 

“I don’t know who you are. That’s for certain.” 

His eyes narrowed and a muscle jumped in his jaw.

“I think I should talk to the police.” She pushed past him, out of the bathroom, aware that they were alone.  “I’ll take them up to Andy’s office, they’ll need to know about it.”

“That sounds sensible.” 

She glanced at him, but his face showed nothing but bland impassivity. 

“It seems unreal to me. Like a bad dream.”

“Civilians always feel that way at first. Its normal.”

“Civilians?”

“People.” He shrugged.

About Caitlyn Nicholas

I began writing in 2005. Exhausted, pregnant (sure I was going to expire from morning-sickness) and coping with a demanding toddler, I decided the time was right to embark on a writing career. (In hindsight I may have been suffering from a scorching case of sleep-deprivation).

Still, it kinda worked out. My debut novel - and the first manuscript I'd ever written - Running Scared, was published in January 2007.  My next book, Secret Intentions followed.  Then I had a short story published in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance (MBSOR) in 2010 - my story is called The Grey Man.

In 2012 my novel Drive Me To Distraction was published, and my novella The Danger Game came out just before Christmas.  My next book, The Bunker, will be published in July 2013.


Stalk Caitlyn at these websites:


Buy The Danger Game on Amazon, Amazon UK, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes!

Caitlyn will be awarding three prizes: a $25 Amazon GC and Caitlyn Nicholas gift bag to one randomly drawn commenter, and a Caitlyn Nicholas gift bag to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.  The giveaway is international!!

Enter here:


Check out other dates for the Blog tour.  
The more you comment, the better you chance to win!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Let Love In by Melissa Collins - Release Day Blitz & Giveaway



Synopsis:

What would happen if you lost everything?  If the people who were supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how would your world change?  
That’s exactly what happened to Madeleine Becker when her parents died when she was ten years old.  Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is forced to start all over again.  The only way for her to move on is to build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her logic: she can't get hurt if she doesn't fall in love. 

That theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He understands Maddy's pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate his world.  Maddy's inner strength, snarky personality and breath taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past. 

Together they find out what happens when they let love in.

Excerpt

There was a group playing quarters on the island and another group lining up shots on the breakfast bar – so not my scene.  I just shrugged my shoulders, opened the door, pulled out a bottle of water and, when I turned around to walk back outside, I face-planted into a wall of solid muscle. 
“Hand me one?” His voice was smooth and... gruff at the same time.  Red-faced, I turned back around and got him his water, glad for the cool respite that the opened refrigerator door offered. 
“Here you go.” I could not peel my eyes away from his mouth as he moved the bottle to his lips.  They were perfect - beautiful and full in a completely masculine way.  I watched, completely fascinated, as his throat moved, downing the water in three or four large gulps. He wiped his mouth with his forearm and I couldn’t help but let my eyes travel up the rest of his arm to his biceps and shoulders – those were the same as his lips – perfect.  Amazingly, gorgeously, utterly, divinely perfect.  Muscled and tanned, his arms were mouthwatering.
My knees wobbled.  My heart thudded.  Thousands of butterflies spread their wings in my belly. 
“Thanks…” he stared blankly at my face for a minute and I couldn't help but wondering if he liked what he saw.  He cleared his throat and roused me from my little daydream where the gorgeous boy is mesmerized by the maybe-a-little-above-average looking girl.  That’s when I realized he was asking for my name.
“Maddy.  Sorry, my name’s Maddy." I nearly choked on my tongue to get my freaking name out.

About Author Melissa Collins

I’ve always been an avid reader.  Majoring in English Literature was a no brainer.  Becoming a teacher and instilling my love for reading into my students was also a no brainer.  I’ve spent the last ten years teaching and I’ve loved (mostly) every minute of it.  When I was home on maternity leave for my third son, I discovered a new genre that sparked my creativity.  My passion for writing sprang from my love of reading and once I knew I had a story to tell, I couldn’t wait to get it out there.  I only hope that my readers enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.  



Giveaway!

Here is what is up for grabs :


1 – Signed Paperback
1 – Hand-stamped Let Love In Necklace (from Sassy Riley)
1 - $5 Amazon Gift Card and Swag Pack


Let Love In Necklace from Sassy Riley

Enter here:
If for any reason the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can also enter at Melissa's website.  Just click here!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Saving Me by Kelsie Blanton - Blog Tour


Blurb:

Sixteen-year old Peyton Jones had it all: straight A's in school, the perfect boyfriend, and nothing to worry about but keeping her GPA up. Then one night her perfect world is suddenly ripped away from her. Everything she has ever known changes and she goes from having a perfect plan to watching her world crumble around her.

Steve Gibbons was the quarterback of his high school football team...until the new guy showed up and stole his spot, causing him to lose his chance at a scholarship. Football was his life and now he feels like he has nothing.

Drawn together after losing hope for their futures, Peyton and Steve become best friends, but as they grow closer, a colossal secret is revealed changing everything. Will Peyton be left to face her inevitable future alone, or can she trust enough to let someone else in?

My Review

This book is one of the many reasons I love doing reviews.  This isn't the type of book I usually read, nor seek out.  If it weren't for signing up to be a host for this tour, I would have never picked it up.  I think the entire time I read this book my jaw was on the floor and my mouth was catching flies.  

I'm not going to give you information about the whole plot.  That's what the blurb/synopsis is for.  Plus, I really want you to read this book.  My heart pounded when reading a specific part of this book.  I cried for Peyton.  I was angry that I couldn't help her.  I was angry of the way she was taken advantage of.  I was angry that while reading the story up to that point, I had no idea of Aaron's true nature.  

It was easy to kind of guess the direction some things were going to go, but it didn't draw me away from the story.  I was actually a little glad that I was able to prepare myself for it to happen.  

Here are a few things that I want to point out: 

1) If you are pro-choice - please keep reading this book.  It is worth it, trust me!  Even I gave a few eye-rolls about some of the situations, but please do not let that deter you from finishing the story.  It really is about the bigger picture, and that is not about making a decision to abort a pregnancy. Besides, I am pro-choice, and that choice includes a woman's right to not abort. 

2) There is a fairly graphic scene pretty much at the beginning of the book.  This is a Mature YA novel, but if you are unsure about whether or not you want your teenage daughter to read it, then you read it first.  If my daughter were 15/16, or maybe even 14, I would have her read this story.  I think it would be a wonderful way to help prepare her for real world horrors that can, and do, actually happen, without completely terrifying her.

What is Date Rape?

Date rape is, well, rape.  It is just a way to classify being raped by someone the victim knows: acquaintance  friend, or even lover.  Even if you have had a sexual relationship with this person, and you say no, it is still rape.  Period.  I hate to be cliche, but no means no.  Not maybe, not later, not "I'm playing hard to get." 

Because of the nature of date rape (also knows as acquaintance rape), many law enforcement agencies also classify the act as domestic abuse - used as a separate charge, not to replace a rape charge. 

Where to get help if you are a victim:


Search engine for local crisis centers:


Help for friends and family:


Helpful Links for Victims of Domestic Violence:


About Kelsie Blanton

Kelsie Blanton is a fun-loving young woman from a small town in Kentucky. Writing has always been her passion and when she’s not working at her full-time job, she is at home writing on something. Her hobbies include reading, writing, singing (poorly), dancing (again, poorly), and talking…a lot.

Surrounded by amazing friends and family that support her, Kelsie is following her dreams. Happy reading


Email: kelsie_blanton@yahoo.com


Excerpt from Saving Me

I froze, too afraid to move. The steps began to get louder as each second passed. My heart was pounding to its own quick rhythm. A hand grasped my shoulder and I squeezed my eyes shut expecting the worse. I began to quiver uncontrollably, wanting to scream, to run as hard as I could, but my feet were frozen. I could only stand there as my tears mixed with the rain pouring over me.

The grip was released, and suddenly an arm snaked around my back turning me in the opposite direction. I couldn’t muster up the courage to look at the person helping me. I could only assume it wasn’t Aaron. Whoever it was had too gentle of a touch. Yet instead of feeling relief a sense of nausea washed over me. Granted, I was momentarily safe, but the emotions coursing through me had made it—for a brief moment—feel like it was happening all over again. 

I didn’t want to be vulnerable in front of anyone who could take advantage of me. With my heart going 100 miles per hour in my chest, I tried to push away from the person and nothing happened. They didn’t budge and their grip around me was too strong. After many deep breaths, I got the courage to glance up into eyes the color of emeralds—eyes filled with concern. My legs gave out and I sagged in his arms. Steve didn’t hesitate. He slowly lowered me to the wet asphalt and sat there while I sobbed into his already wet shirt.


Buy Saving Me on Amazon and Smashwords!


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