Monday, September 1, 2014

Random Reads - September 2014 Pick!





Random Reads is hosted by I'm Loving Books, and for a reader that has a list that is way too long, this meme is perfect. It helps me to pick out a novel in the list that may be sitting there forgotten for a long while.

This meme is pretty simple. The idea is to pick one random book (or more if you are ambitious) out of your Goodreads To-Read list (or any other list you maintain) using Random.org and read it/review it in the upcoming month. 
It has been some months since I have participated in this meme, but I have been out and about enjoying the summer, and not written a lot of material for the blog. But fall is around the corner, and it's time to roll up the sleeves. 
Here is my pick for the September month. I came across this novel in 2012. I haven't read a fantasy in a while, so I am excited to get into this story.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13160603-vengeance-born



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20878454-see-through-me
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born…

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish leader, longs for more than her tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy…

Kalan is a Light Blade warrior who knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish horde have increased. As Chosen, leader of his people, he faces the task of stopping the demons.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, she agrees to free him in exchange for his protection. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they journey to the border and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into a civil war…  
Purchase Link: Amazon / The Book Depository 
If you are joining in the Random Read fun, leave your link. I will pop in to see your pick!

Happy Reading everyone!



 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Netgalley Review - The Heaven's Rise, by Christopher Rice






https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20878454-see-through-me
 
New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice brilliantly conjures the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou—where three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface—in this intense and atmospheric new supernatural thriller.

It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge


Purchase Links: Amazon / The Book Depository

Monday, July 14, 2014

Excerpt & Giveaway - The Phantom's Dance, by Lesa Howard



Good morning fellow readers! Feast your eyes on this beautiful cover and interesting synopsis of this novel. I love any "Phantom of the Opera" inspired or spin off storylines as much as a fairytale retelling. Not my favorite of the year, but I know it will appeal to many of you. To follow the tour and check out reviews "Phantom's Dance", click here for the tour schedule. Don't forget to check out the Giveaway at the end of the novel.

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and author for a spot on the tour, and the opportunity to read this novel.

Title: Phantom's Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
Release Date: March 1, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon / B & N 
Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18069990-redemption

Excerpt

Ms. Zaborov came for us during repertory again. She and Mrs. Hahn barely acknowledged each other, and I wondered if the competition between ballerinas ever diminished. It obviously hadn’t weakened between these two.
We waited a few minutes and gradually, two and three at a time, the football team trickled into the room. As they’d promised, they were in workout clothes not too different from what male dancers wear, sans the tights. The logo on their T-shirts was like Coach Howell’s, only on closer inspection I noticed the D in Davis High School was fashioned from a snake, its head forming the top of the letter, mouth open and fangs bared. These people were serious about their football.
I’d never been one to chew my nails. In ballet, hands were as instrumental as feet and were to be kept clean and manicured, but now, watching the super-sized, testosterone machines enter the studio, I had to resist the urge to gnaw off a couple of fingernails.
“Don’t look so scared,” Jenna teased. “They won’t bite.”
Oddly, when Raoul walked in, I realized I was no longer nervous. Quite the opposite. I wanted to impress him with my art, to show him who I was and of what I was capable.
Unfortunately, an awkward, invisible line appeared in the room, separating Jenna and me from the boys. We stood on our side, and they on theirs. Eventually, Ms. Zaborov entered and broke some of the tension.
“Ah, and here we are, ready to work, no?” A couple of the boys murmured a response, but Jenna and I remained silent.
Without pause, Ms. Zaborov stationed herself before the group and proceeded to lecture them on the importance of proper training for any physical sport or activity. She was a pixie among giants, but I knew she could snap one like a twig if need be.
Her discourse complete, Ms. Z. moved across the floor to the barre and commanded, “Christine, if you would please,” and I joined her.
“First, we will start with turnout. Christine will demonstrate.”
Placing a hand on the barre, I stood tall in sixth position. I felt exposed in my leotard and tights, since Ms. Z. wouldn’t allow us to wear a dance skirt because it concealed hip alignment.
“You see,”she waved a hand for me to move“notice how the hip is turned out.” I opened my knees, and keeping my heels close, I gradually adjusted my toes outward. “This allows for greater extension of the leg. Christine has excellent turnout.”
Somewhere in the crowd, a boy said, “Give me a few minutes with her and I bet I can make her hips turn out.”
     Sniggering and high fives bounced around the room, as heat shot up my neck and traveled all the way to my hairline. I tried not to look at them, and in averting my gaze, caught sight of Raoul in the mirror. He elbowed the guy beside him and gave him a dirty look. Then he mouthed something I couldn’t make out, but the guy grimaced and threw his hands in the air in mock offense. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like Raoul Chaney had defended me.

*          *        *

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


AUTHOR BIO
I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

Author links: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8056585.Lesa_Howard

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Netgalley Review - Mine to Take, by Cynthia Eden





https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20878454-see-through-me
 
Sometimes you want someone so much…
Sometimes you need someone so much…
Lust can become love.
And love can turn into a deadly obsession.


***

Skye Sullivan knows that someone is watching her. Not just watching—stalking her. Months ago, Skye was involved in a dangerous car accident. The accident ended her dancing career and sent her fleeing back to Chicago. Skye is convinced that her stalker caused the crash, and she fears that he won’t stop pursuing her, not until she’s dead.

When someone breaks into her apartment in Chicago, Skye turns to the one man she believes can protect her—Trace Weston. Once, Trace was her lover. Two lost souls, they’d come together in a firestorm of need and desire. But then Trace had pushed her away. He’d joined the military, vanishing from her life. She’d put all of her emotion into dancing, and she’d tried to forget him.

Now Trace is one of the most successful men in the United States. Rich, driven, and carrying dark secrets, he agrees to help Skye. He’ll protect her from the danger that lurks in the darkness, but Trace wants more than to just be a guard for Skye.

He wants her. And he’ll take her. The years have changed him, hardened him. He’s not just a poor kid from the streets any longer. Now, he can have anything—or anyone—that he wants. And the one woman he has always wanted has just come back into his life. He won’t let her go again.

But with the threats mounting against Skye, she suspects that her stalker may be intimately close. He’s a man who knows her too well. As his attacks grow ever more dangerous, she realizes that if she trusts the wrong man, she could be making a fatal mistake.

Lust. Love. Obsession.

Just how far would you go in order to possess the one person you want the most?

Author's Note: MINE TO TAKE is a sexy romantic suspense novella—it contains approximately 41,000 words. MINE TO TAKE is intended for adults. Sexy situations and adult language will be found within the pages of this story—please consider yourself warned


Purchase Links: Amazon / The Book Depository



This is a surprise 5 star, as I began this short novel not really expecting much more than a sexy novel that would have been easily forgotten.  But this was no such thing.

You want sexy? Yes you got sexy. Burning hot sexy. 

You want a thriller? You've got a thriller! 

And what an action packed story line this was, with a few twists and turns that I did not predict. That is what I loved most. I honestly thought Skye's stalker was one person, and it turned out to be someone else and I didn't even see it coming until the last clues began to tie together. 

In a recent sea of predictable literary adventures over the last year, this was finally the breath of fresh air that I was craving, served in a relatively short novel, so I read it comfortably in one sitting. It didn't need to be longer, because the author was excellent at world and character building. The only thing that I need more of... is more of Cynthia Eden's books. Which I will definitely be exploring in the near future.

As an added BONUS, at the time of this post, this was FREE on Amazon. To check to see if it is still FREE please click on the Amazon link above and grab it for yourself!




*I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author/publisher through Netgalley; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*


About this Author
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Cynthia Eden has written over thirty novels and novellas. She was named as a 2013 RITA® finalist for her paranormal romance, ANGEL IN CHAINS, and, in 2011, Cynthia Eden was a RITA finalist for her romantic suspense, DEADLY FEAR.
Cynthia is a southern girl who loves horror movies, chocolate, and happy endings. She has always wanted to write (don't most authors say that?), and particularly enjoys creating stories about monsters-vampires, werewolves, and even the real-life monsters who populate her romantic suspense stories.
Author Links: Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blog Tour Review - Bad Blood (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #3), by Nikki Jefford




I have been really lucky to be able to have read this series free for honest reviews. I have enjoyed them so much, I just jump at the chance to get the next installment. I was surprised that this 3rd book was not the end of the series, but it was a good surprised feeling. The story continues, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.

Thanks go out to Xpresso Book Tours & the wonderful Nikki Jefford for the opportunity to get my hands on this. Don't miss your chance to enter the blog tour giveaway at the end of the post. Book 1 is also on a FREE promotion for the duration of the tour, and you don't want to miss this chance to grab it! Click on the purchase links below to be taken to the purchase page, and download your free copy today.




Title: Bad Blood
Series:  Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #3
Author: Nikki Jefford
Release Date: June 4, 2014
Genres:Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase Links: Amazon / B & N 
Aurora returns from boot camp to a new assignment, an unwelcome roommate, and the increasingly amorous attentions of a certain vampire hunter.
College is starting, and so is Aurora’s undercover work at a network of swanky parties known as “Tastings” for high rolling vampires who like their blood laced with fine wine. But Aurora’s not the only one on the prowl. An underground investigation is under way to find out who killed one of Anchorage’s most prominent vampires… and Aurora is a prime suspect.
***Don’t miss STAKEOUT, Vol. 2.5, a 54,000 word novella featuring Noel Harper and the entire Aurora Sky gang. Now available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, & iTunes.***

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18069990-redemption

The following review is for Book 3 of this series. For my review of Book 1 - Transfusion: Aurora Sky click HERE. For my review of Book 2 - Northern Bites click HERE

The review may contain spoilers for the first two books, so proceed with caution!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Never Far Away, by Marysue G. Hobika


It is no surprise that I chose to host this blitz today. I love N/A as much as the best of zombie novels. Blasphemy, one may say! But it's true.

It's been a while since an interview has graced our blog. So it is with pleasure that an interview is featured today with Marysue G. Hobika.  We only posted the tour giveaway, so don't go anywhere until you have had a chance to throw your name in.

Thanks go out to Xpresso Book Tours & Author for putting this one on my radar.



Title: Never Far Away 
Author: Marysue G. Hobika
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Genres:
Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon / B & N 
All Theo Baker wants is to get on with his new life as a student at Columbia, but his dreams keep getting infiltrated by the one girl who stole his heart—Stella, his sexy neighbor back home. They shared a kiss that turned his world upside down; only she said it didn’t mean anything to her. But he knows she lied and all he wants is a chance to prove that they could have something real, but it’s hard pining away for a girl who’s been avoiding him for the past year and a half.

Incoming freshman Stella Freeman is excited about going to college for photography—her true passion. She’s never more herself than when she is behind the camera. Regardless of her father’s constant backlash, she follows her heart to the city where Theo is currently living. He’s the only boy she’s ever loved, but she’s pushed him away. Still, he’s never been far from her thoughts, even if he doesn’t know.

What will happen when their paths cross? Will they have a second chance to be with their one first true love?

This book is intended for audiences 17+

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18069990-redemption

Interview with Marysue G. Hobika
 
1-      What genre is your book? 

“Never Far Away” is my first crack at writing a New Adult/Contemporary Romance novel. My resume includes 3 YA novels, and I was ready to branch out and expand my style and audience. 

2-      What inspired you to write this novel? 

A real life event inspired this novel. I took a real situation—two neighbors fighting over seats on the back of the bus in elementary school, never really agreeing on anything, and placed these two antagonist characters years down the road. What happens? How are they different? The same? They share history, but can they share a future? 

3-      What book are you reading now? 

Currently I am reading short stories in Spanish and meeting with a great group of ladies once a month to discuss them. Hablamos en espaƱol todo el tiempo y me encanta. 

4-      If you could have breakfast with anyone past or present who would you choose, and why? 

I would choose my mother. She died when I was in my early twenties and so much has happened in my life since then that I’d love to share with her—I finished college, got my first job, got married, and had kids. I’d love to see the look on her face when I told her I’m a writer too. I’ll never forget the day back in high school when she drove me to school and I suddenly remembered I had written an essay on a whim for a contest and it was due that day—typed. (This was before computers were in every household). My mom sighed and took the essay to work and typed it for me and dropped it off at school, and I won. She was proud of me then and I’m sure she’d be proud of me know. After breakfast I’d like to have her show me how to make an apple pie with her homemade crust because that’s something I miss. 

5-         What’s your favorite dessert? 

 My mom’s homemade apple pie, of course. 

6-      How would you describe yourself in three words? 

Creative, Happy, and Kind. 


  Giveaway Time!

Open Internationally.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


BIO:
Marysue G Hobika grew up in Caledonia, NY and attended SUNY at Buffalo where she studied to be a Spanish teacher.  Currently she lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband, three children, and her two pugs.
She has learned that stories don’t write themselves and tries to make time every day to sit down and write. She does her best thinking while in the shower, driving her kids around, or right before she falls asleep. She keeps a moleskin notebook handy that a dear friend gave her as a gift, so that if an idea occurs she can write it down. 

She doesn’t know where this journey will take her, but she has a lot of characters and stories floating around inside her head waiting to be brought to life.

Author’s Links: Website / Goodreads

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