Book Tour & Review of Caught in the Crosshair

3D Caught In The Crosshair

Publication Date: June 2013 / 244 pgs.

Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Lauren James had ignored the recent spate of calls from her brother.  After all, he was a big player linked to a major cartel, and he’d been dead to her for nearly a decade. Then she receives the one call she can’t ignore—her brother’s been kidnapped and will be killed if she doesn’t bring money. No matter how far gone her brother is, Lauren can’t turn her back on him completely. Deep down she’s always wanted to save him. Now, she’s forced into action because he’ll die otherwise.

Ex-Special Forces sniper Jaden Dean owns a private security firm and after losing his older brother to gang violence, needs to take down as many scum bags as he can—single-handedly if need be. And he was the best. Until he trusted the wrong woman on his last assignment and ended up nearly dead in the street.

On a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in, Lauren and Jaden will need to work together to survive and find her brother. The cartel seems to be one step ahead and Jaden’s operatives are being killed one-by-one. He will have to use all his specialized training and risk everything, including his heart, to outwit the deadly group and keep Lauren safe. Their magnetic attraction isn’t helping matters…because even a slight distraction might just get them both killed.

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Book Tour: Review and Giveaway for Battle-Tested Love (Battle for Love #2)

Battle Tested Love Lynda Bailey

Battle-Tested Love (Battle for Love #2)  by Lynda Bailey

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All she wanted was a little adventure…

Darcy Williams is desperate for some relief from her ho-hum life, but getting kidnapped by an outrageously handsome man isn’t at all what she had in mind. She needs to keep it together long enough to escape. Because escape is what she wants, right?

He’s a nice guy doing a bad thing for a really good reason…

Ben Gallagher loves his baby sister, Ana, more than anything. So, when she’s date raped by the mayor’s nephew, Ben has no problem sending said nephew to the ER. Now Ana’s gone missing and Ben will stop at nothing, nothing, to find his sister and ensure her safety—even if that means carjacking and kidnapping an innocent woman.

Things spiral from bad to worse…

When Ben is injured protecting Darcy from some thugs, he has to trust her if he’s going to get to Ana. And he has to ignore the passion Darcy stirs in him. Darcy learns Ben is actually a good man, one she’s starting to have feelings for. Can their fledging relationship stand the test of time —and the law?

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Book Tour: Review, Author Interview, & Giveaway for Hard Target (Elite Ops #1)

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Hard Target (Elite Ops #1)  by Kay Thomas

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Publisher – Avon Books

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Release Date – November 12, 2013

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17557325-hard-target?ac=1

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The first installment in the Elite Ops series, featuring sexy ex-military men … and the women who rescue their hearts.

Former DEA agent Leland Hollis wasn’t planning on being a hero. Recovering from an injury sustained during a drug bust gone wrong and with more personal demons than he cares to admit, he wants nothing more than peace and a chance to rebuild his life. But when Anna Mercado’s crazy ex shows up wielding a baseball bat, Leland can’t ignore his instinct to help. And after her son is kidnapped, Leland agrees to deliver the ransom into dangerous territory south of the border.

Anna has no choice but to go with this stranger she’s just met if she ever wants to see her son again. But getting the boy out of a violent cartel region involves risking everything. And for that Leland will have to convince Anna to do the scariest thing of all … open her heart and trust him.

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Blog Tour for Underground, Review of Grave Bound (Secrets # 1) & Giveaway

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Underground (Secrets #2) by T.R. Graves

Release date: October 13, 2013

 Age Group:  New Adult

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Cover for UndergroundBetrayal and loss have changed Emily Riddle in ways she never thought possible. With a death wish guiding her every move, she’s willing to compromise her morals, ethics, and instincts to bring to justice the men who’ve broken her heart… even if that means living a life underground, being someone she’s not, and pretending to respect the very men she’s positioning herself to take down.

As soon as she teams up with the district attorney, Tope Bryson, and agrees to be a member of his covert operation, she returns to the commune and convinces the patriarchal leaders she is the most qualified person to take on roles traditionally assigned to men. Desperate and without options, Owen, the commune’s leader and Emily’s father, agrees to a temporary change.

Emily takes full advantage of the opportunity and quickly proves to him, much to her brothers’ dismay, that he can’t live without having her in those critical roles and that she may be the best candidate for his next in command.

She and Tope quickly realize that the men of the commune consider a woman who threatens the good ol’ boy system that’s been in place for decades public enemy number one. Determined to protect Emily from her brothers, Tope plants an undercover officer and charismatic law student, Noah Babineaux, in the commune. Neither Tope nor Emily is prepared for the attention Noah pays her.

With a nothing-else-matters attitude, Emily focuses on her underground mission and pushes down her hate, anger, grief, and… blossoming feelings until they threaten to explode from the inside and tear her apart. It’s a race against the clock to get the evidence necessary—and ultimately, the retaliation Emily craves—before a life of submissive brutality, or sibling jealousy, kills her.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17317424-underground

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway for Sanctuary

Sanctuary Pauline Creeden

Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden

Cover (9)In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…

When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?

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Blog Tour for A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far #1): Review & Giveaway

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A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers

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William Morrow

Releasing Sept 17th, 2013

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Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for better part of the last few years…and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome. But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to Confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt…and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy on the eyes deacon…only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way. 

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When Tasty Tours sent out the notice about the upcoming book tour for A Little Too Far, I looked over the book’s description and decided no, I don’t think I’ll read this book. Lexie is probably not a character I’d really like or connect with. She probably likes the allure and danger of pursuing men who are off limits. Perhaps, if I want to be really honest with myself, I thought she’s probably going to be a selfish young woman, only thinking about what she wants and not considering the pain she has the potential to cause others who will be affected by her choices.

I admit I couldn’t help but think…temptress…whose alluring charm will eventually wear down the defenses of two men struggling to do what’s right, who know they shouldn’t want what’s forbidden to them, and who fall helplessly under the power she has to bring them to their knees if and when they find they aren’t strong enough to give into their carnal desires.

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So for me, it was no thank you, I don’t want to sit back and watch the devastation that’s bound to happen after a lust-driven tornado tears through the landscape of two men who are just starting out on their journey in life, following a path that seems to be clearly laid out for them.

However, then it seemed that everywhere I looked, I kept seeing some type of promo for this book, and I found myself unable to resist the hype. So I changed my mind and decided to take the plunge, read the book, and let the chips fall where they may.

I’m so, so glad I gave this book a second chance because it proved to be such an enjoyable reading experience. Lexie blew up all my assumptions, and the depth of her character,  as well as the inner turmoil she feels helped me see how real she is; she a good young woman who struggles with the guilt over her actions and feelings toward two men who play pivotal roles in her life.

When the story opens, Lexie has just experienced her first major heartbreak. Her boyfriend of three years has betrayed her, and even though she’s scared to let go of him, deep down she knows it’s the best thing she can do for herself. At the age of twenty, Lexie is just beginning to spread her wings and fly, both literally and metaphorically. The only problem with that is she’s afraid of heights, so flying isn’t her strong suit.  She’s leaving to spend her junior year in Rome, studying Art History.  For the first time in her life, she’ll be away from her family and friends. She’s taking a huge step toward life as an adult.  I thought Lexie’s fear of heights and flying were symbolic of the inner conflicts she must face and overcome  if she is to  to experience emotional growth.

Right before she leaves, though, she turns to her step-brother, Trent, after she has a painful run-in with her ex-boyfriend, who offers comfort and support.  Just as the book’s blurb indicates, she and Trent end up having “rock my world” sex that changes the dynamics of the typical “brother/sister” relationship they’ve tried to have over the past five plus years when they began spending time together while their parents dated and eventually brought them all together under one roof once they married. Needless to say, things get awkward around the house after that.

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The entire story is narrated from Lexie’s POV and in the present tense, which pulled me in. Her tone is casual, conversational, I felt like her confidant, the one who listened as she grappled with her range of emotions and feelings: desire, guilt, self-loathing, loneliness, fear.

The author does an excellent job of describing how close Lexie and Trent have always been. They are best friends, know each other’s deepest secrets, insecurities, and have supported each other emotionally through all the ups and downs of their teenage years.  So, it isn’t that Lexie goes home after seeing Rick, the man with whom she thought she’d found true love, and decides to jump her sexy hot brother to soothe her pain. Their relationship is complex and they’ve been pushed into the roles of brother and sister by their parent’s marriage. They’ve tried their best to fulfill their roles as siblings, but it’s clear from their history that the emotional bond they’ve forged is precious and rare, and the heart wants want it wants, no matter what they try to tell themselves. Unfortunately real life smacks them in the face, and they struggle to forget the incident happened and try to go back to the way things were. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and realistically impossible.

I think it’s great that Lexie leaves for Rome soon the incident with Trent. Being in Rome gives her a chance to deal with the shame and guilt she experiences and offers the chance for her to begin to find herself.

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She hopes that time and distance can help heal the fissure that has now emerged in her relationship with Trent. Rome allows her to focus on establishing her own identity, and one thing I like about Lexie is her passion for life. She channels her conflicting feelings into her love of art, and it’s the Reverend Alessandro who helps her begin to find her way.

Over time, she and Alessandro become close, and, just like Trent, he accepts her as she is and doesn’t judge or condemn her when she decides to share her feelings of shame, doubt, and fear with him. Alessandro, too, has had his share of demons to contend with, and their friendship grows after he shares his non-too-perfect past with her.  Alessandro is very attractive, and Lexie is drawn to him, but is certain she has nothing to worry about since Alessandro is very close to being ordained as a priest.  Again, though, the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes, consequences be damned.

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Lexie has some tough choices to make and she’s cognizant that those choices will have a significant and long-lasting impact on her future and the existing world of those she loves. Lexie’s a likeable young woman; no, she isn’t perfect and just like all of us, she wrestles with trying to do what is right on her way to finding happiness.  She’s authentic, full of vitality, and she perseveres through the emotional pain she experiences over the course of the story.  She has a spark, a vitality for life that draws others to her, including me. I was pleasantly surprised with the laugh-out-loud moments interspersed throughout the book that provide a bit of relief and offer a reprieve from the constant angst and conflict in Lexie’s life.

Lexie’s brassy style and voice along with a well executed plot made for a wonderful reading experience.  Forgive me for misjudging you, Lexie. I think fans of NA romance will really enjoy book.

Source: I received an ARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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http://www.lisadwrites.com/little-too-far.php

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LisaLisa Desrochers lives in northern California with her husband, two very busy daughters, and Shini the tarantula. If you’d told her five years ago she’d write a book, she’d have laughed in your face. As it turns out, she’d owe you an apology. Writing has become an addiction for Lisa and A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, is her first novel for adults. She is also the author of the young adult Personal Demons trilogy from Macmillan. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise. Connect with her online at www.lisadwrites.com, on her blog at lisadesrochers.blogspot.com, on Twitter at @LisaDez, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LisaDesrochersAuthor

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Thank you, Lisa, for introducing me to Jason Wade and Lifehouse

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Review of Hell or High Water (Lost and Found, Inc. #1)

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Hell or High Water (Lost and Found, Inc. #1) by Jerrie Alexander

Book Description halfsize

A woman in danger. A man she loves but can’t trust.

When ex-SEAL Nate Wolfe learns a woman from his past is in danger, nothing will stop him from protecting her. Not even her.

Dallas Child Protection Services Investigator Kay Taylor doesn’t want or need Nate in her life. But he doesn’t seem to understand the word no. He seems to also have forgotten the brand he left on her heart.

When Kay is taken and sold to a monster, the devil himself couldn’t stop Nate from doing whatever it takes to find her…but will he be in time?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Book Review 50 percent

“Nate,” she whispered into his neck. “You saved me.” Her flesh heated when his large hands flexed against the small of her back and drew her closer.”

“Come hell or high water,” he whispered, his warm breath sending heat streaks across her skin.”

Hell or High Water is a great start to a romantic suspense series involving a close-knit college group called Wolfe’s Pack who reunite ten years later, when one of their beloved members, Kaycie (Kay) Tayor becomes the target of a human trafficking operation.

Alexander has established a solid framework for the series by starting out with plot that is well-written and creating dynamic characters that make you want to get to know them better. I like that the author gradually introduces you to the main characters who will play an integral role in the series without overwhelming you with too much information. She establishes the relationships among the characters, provides just enough exposition about their individual situations as a set up future storylines, and gives them enough personality for you to connect with and emotionally begin to invest in their well-being and futures.

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The story launches right into the middle of a dramatic situation with Kay, an investigator for Dallas Child Protective Services, trying to escape her kidnappers. The lead-in creates interest and excitement; after all, it’s hard to put down a book when the character is in immediate danger! For me this first intense scene was over much faster than I expected, and it was a bit anticlimactic. However, Alexander more than makes up for any disappointment I may have had with this initial scene in the latter part of the book when she ratchets up the stakes heightening and prolonging the intense, suspenseful situations to the point I became edgy – as in biting my nails, holding my breath, wondering how much more I can take until the story’s resolution.

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And I loved every minute of the heart pounding action that takes place.

Kay is an amazingly strong heroine, and, even with her law enforcement training, I still admired how she kept herself together in the bleakest of situations.  I can say the exact same thing for Kay’s best friend, Holly. Both of them are fighters, both emotionally and physically against those who mean them harm.  Not only is Kay in physical danger, but her heart is as well when her former college love, Nate Wolfe, enters the picture determined to protect her no matter how much she protests.

Nate has recently returned to Dallas as a PI and is building a company specializing in providing security.  He’s knows he broke Kay’s heart ten years ago, and he doesn’t have any intention of trying to reenter Kay’s life until their mutual friend, Tyrell, calls to warn him about Kay’s situation. Kay is very angry and bitter toward Nate, and I wanted to know exactly what happened that tore them apart because it becomes clear early on they had so much more than a casual fling. The details of their past are gradually revealed as they struggle with their unresolved feelings for one another.  The chemistry, the sexual tension is definitely still between them.

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The major question is whether they can overcome the hurt from mistakes made long ago.

At first, I thought Kay was over-reacting once the reason for going their separate ways is revealed,

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but after I learned about about Kay’s personal family pain and suffering, I began to understand why she thinks Nate betrayed her. She immediately lets Nate know how she feels when he surprises her at home: “Get over yourself.” Her tone matched the hate in her eyes. “You really think I care enough about you to shoot you?”

Fortunately, Nate refuses to let Kay’s behavior deter him,  and he lets her know he won’t be cast aside so easily: “I want you. More than I want to breathe. Just know I won’t stop trying.”  

He’s changed over the years, and he’s no longer afraid of love.  I really appreciate Nate’s persistence and his willingness to take any opening Kay’s will provide: “He leaned down and grazed her lips with his. It was brief and she didn’t kiss him back, but then she didn’t bite him. All in all, he figured that was a good sign.” 

Although both Kay and Nate want to be together, both of them are reluctant to express their feelings so directly, and there were so many times when I just wanted to say to them:

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In so many books, the bad guys are exactly as they are meant to be portrayed. Bad. Guys. Yet, I was drawn to Johnny Darling, one of the central antagonists who’s part of the vile human trafficking operation that Kay stumbles upon. Johnny is not a nice man, and he can be counted upon to follow his boss’s orders without question. His loyalty to this man who took him off the streets and gave him a job outweighs any moral hang-ups he may have about performing his duties.  Yet, Johnny’s POV reveals a complicated man with a conscience, who seems to believe that the young women he helps to kidnap are sold for purposes other than sex, at least that’s what he tells himself, anyway. I just find it hard to believe that someone with his intellect and who is closely involved in the operation can really be this naive. Let me just say there is much more to Johnny than the one dimensional flat character you might expect, and he has the potential for redemption.

Overall, this is a great read from start to finish. The plot is engaging, the central characters are well-rounded, and the romance sizzles! If you enjoy romantic suspense, then I encourage you to check out this series. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Rating 4.5 shining suns

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T. Graham Brown “Hell & High Water”

When Kay appears wearing a faded George Strait T-Shirt –I definitely knew she was my kind of gal!

George Strait “True”

Review of Phase One: Identify (Territory of the Dead #1)

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Published May 8, 2013

Genre: YA fiction

Phase One: Identify (Territory of the Dead # ) by Rose Wynters

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From author Rose Wynters, comes a new zombie series set in Pleasant, Louisiana. Can this checkout girl learn how to survive in a world full of zombies?

Tabitha Alexander is an 18 year old that has just graduated from high school. Working as a checkout girl in the small town of Pleasant, her long-term goals for the future don’t go beyond enjoying the upcoming summer and enjoying her freedom.

Fate has something else in store for her, though.

One night, right before closing time, her world is turned completely inside out with the first screams and sounds of gunfire that tear through the dark night. Nothing will ever be the same again….. If they even survive.

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This is a great book trailer that encapsulates the plot and the song is terrific!

*****

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This book caught my attention a while back when I posted a spotlight for the start of this new young adult series about an eighteen-year-old girl whose life is irrevocably changed by a zombie outbreak. The beautifully illustrated cover, storyline of a zombie apocalypse, and excerpt I read enticed me to give this series a try, and by the time I finished I knew this was a series I would continue.

Phase One: Identify is a novella of approximately 86 pages that introduces us to a strong-willed, kick-butt protagonist, Tabitha or Tabs, and the rest of her small group that bands together to figure out how they are going to survive when the world as they know it comes crashing down all around them.

The story is narrated from Tabitha’s point-of-view only, so her character is the most well-rounded compared to the others who have yet to be fully developed.  I’m sure as the series develops, we will get to know the other characters better, and already I have begun to care about them and am eager to see what happens to them.

As an adult reading the book, it was clear to me that Wynters kept her targeted young adult audience in mind as she developed the plot. The writing style and casual voice are geared for juvenile readers. Furthermore, she does a good job of depicting the horrors of zombie attacks without the gory details that may be too frightening for younger readers.

The story starts off a bit slow but helps us get to know Tabitha and her outlook on life. She’s just graduated from high school, still lives at home with her parents, and has no definite future plans.  Just like most young adults starting their lives, she yearns for adventure, and definitely wants more than the monotony of working as a cashier in a small town grocery story. Little does she know, change is literally right outside the door.

Unlike some books that begin in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, Wynters immerses readers into the beginning of the apocalypse and, besides the action in the book, I was engaged in following the characters’ gradual changes in mindset as they begin to grasp that the laws, rules, values that once helped stabilize society no longer apply, and by refusing to adapt, they continue to put their lives at risk.  Tabitha’s Dad, Dan, is a prime example of this. When the outbreak first occurs, he is a pillar of strength who keeps hope alive when the others are tempted to fall into an abyss of despair.  However, as the plot unfolds, the young adults begin to see that his reluctance to act may get them killed. Dan still clings to the notion that the police and military will keep its citizens safe, and he is against the idea of Tabitha carrying a gun for protection.

Although the adults are in charge of making decisions at the start of the story, they begin to take a backseat as Tabitha and Jayden, the twenty-year-old next door neighbor, gather weapons and lead the fight to keep their group safe. They understand that violence is necessary because there is no reasoning with the hoards of blood thirsty creatures slowly surrounding them, ready to attack.

As with every good story, the danger escalates and the suspense builds as the group’s situation becomes bleaker.  The second half of the story is action-packed, intense, and the appearance of the mysterious, bad-ass Kellen toward the end gives Tabitha hope for their survival.

Although Tabitha has been crushing on Jayden for years, she is mesmerized by Kellen from the time she first lays eyes on him. And she’s not the only one.  I’m already anticipating the romance possibilities and conflicts that are sure to ensue as the dynamics of the characters’ relationships with each other evolve.

Overall, I found the reading experience enjoyable, but there were some aspects that I found troublesome.  When the outbreak begins, Tabitha seems much too calm in telling readers what is happening.  I don’t feel the range of emotions or shock that I would expect anyone to have in witnessing humans attacking and killing one another.  For me, the first part of the book lacked the vivid description I wanted as the drama unfolded.

Throughout the entire story I am amazed at how calm, rational, and logical Tabitha is no matter how dire the situation or how much pressure she’s under.  She doesn’t show the fear, confusion, and panic like the others around her, but perhaps her unusual attitude is what will make her a strong heroine as the series continues.

There were a few grammatical flaws, mostly with use of to versus too that over time did begin to bother me, but not enough to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. I knew this was a novella when I started the book, but I was frustrated that just as the story gained momentum and I began to get invested in the plot, I was met with an epilogue.  What disappointed me the most is that the book ended sooner than I would have liked.  I’m not a fan of novellas and rarely read them, so I wish that the start of the series had been a full length novel.  Others, especially younger readers may not mind this; it’s just my personal preference. So, I guess I will just have to patiently wait for the next installment.  Please don’t keep me waiting too long, Ms. Wynters!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rating 

3.5 Suns

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It would have been worth the complaint and subsequent chewing out I would have received, if the events of the night just wouldn’t have happened. I would later look back on this night and pray that things had ended differently. You can’t change events that are completely out of your control, though.

Even so, anything would have been preferable to that one moment when you find your reality has just been blown to pieces and would never be the same again. That’s assuming you live to survive it.

She was halfway to Jim, her teased hairdo bouncing, when it happened. A loud, panicked scream tore through the night, originating somewhere from the parking lot in front of the store. Even through the thick glass, we could hear it loudly. It sounded like someone was being murdered. I immediately stopped scanning, turning in an attempt to see what was happening.

A body slammed against the glass, face and palms pressed to the surface. It was a horrid sight. His pupils were red and crazed, his face extremely pale and dirty. Dark red blood was smeared across his cheeks and chin. The man stood still for a moment, just watching us with his crazy eyes. Something reanimated him. He slid his palms down the clear, clean glass, leaving a trail of bloody streaks.

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the blood. As odd as it sounds, I felt irritated. I’d just cleaned that glass when I first came in on my shift today. Knowing Jim, he’d make me clean them again before I could go home. After he chewed me out, of course.
I shook my head in aggravation, lost in my thoughts. Dimly, I heard one of the customers ask, “What in the hell is that?” It pulled me back to the present.

Nobody moved, to stunned to do anything but watch. Even Jim stared at him, his jaw slack from shock. The man started pounding on the glass with enough force to cause them to shake. It was obvious he was looking for a way in. I shook my head at his idiocy, and wondered why he didn’t just use the door.

The sound of repeated gunfire broke the silence. It sounded like a war zone outside of the walls of the store, and panic immediately set in. The customers abandoned their purchases and shopping carts, running straight toward the automatic doors.

“Don’t go out there,” I yelled out, suddenly afraid for the man outside to figure out the way in. For whatever reason, so far he hadn’t. To my way of thinking, if someone isn’t in their right mind enough to figure out how to get into a store, they didn’t have any business being there in the first place.

The customers ignored me, the first one getting close enough to activate the automatic door feature. With horrified shock, I watched him step through and into the outside world, but he didn’t get any further. The crazed man grabbed him roughly and immediately bit his face.

Nobody stopped to help him, to desperate to save themselves. As the other customers raced away, I watched a man slowly ate to death. There was simply no other way to describe it. Screaming, he tried to fight, but it was no use. Red-eyes was strong enough to lock him into place as he quickly tore chunk after chunk of flesh out of his struggling body.

With a gasp, I put both hands over my mouth and attempted to not vomit. My stunned mind simply couldn’t comprehend what it was seeing. I felt like I was trapped in a nightmare, one that I couldn’t wake up from. After another minute or two of screaming, the customer grew silent, his body limp.

I knew he was dead, but it didn’t stop the cannibalistic actions of the wild man that had hold of him. With loud smacks, he chewed every exposed section of flesh until finally he had his fill. At least, of him.

His red eyes swung in my direction. Without a second glance, he released the dead man’s body. It hit the ground with a loud thump, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. He was already dead, but even if he wasn’t, there wasn’t a thing in this world I could do for him. My death was waiting in those red eyes, if I didn’t figure out how to save myself in the next several seconds.

About the Author 50 percent

I’m just your average, everyday female that loves to write about passionate love affairs and the the ups and downs of falling in love with extremely hot, alpha, supernatural men that push all the boundaries when it comes to sex.

I’ve always loved romance, starting with books from my childhood like Cinderella or Snow White and Rose Red. As the years passed, I developed an interest in the paranormal and supernatural. My love of romance continued to grow stronger, prompting me to write books about what women really want. There really is magic in the pages, and what red-blooded woman doesn’t want a gorgeous man willing to do everything it takes to claim her?

I enjoy the shows True Blood and The Walking Dead. For some odd reason, I am extremely fascinated by zombies and the idea of living in an apocalyptic world, although I’m definitely grateful that we don’t! I’m not sure how long I’d survive without electricity, Internet, and all the other modern day stuff we take for granted. Still though, I love to write about them, and I hope it reflects in my series, Territory of the Dead!

I enjoy almost all things exotic from exotic food to exotic travels. When not working on my sexy alpha characters and real-world heroines, I like to travel, camp, and just enjoy life as much as I possibly can! I will try just about anything once, and twice if I like it. I enjoy meeting new people and getting to know my readers.

Author Links

http://rosewynters.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Rose-Wynters/121652694703696

https://twitter.com/author_rose

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7033186.Rose_Wynters

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Rose has put together a playlist to complement the book for you to enjoy.

*****

Purchase Links

OmniLit / Barnes & Noble  /  Smashwords

Amazon

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17903004-phase-one?ac=1

TastyBook Tours

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/07/now-booking-tasty-blurb-tour-for-phase.html

Blog Tour:Review & Giveaway for The Shadow of Mudflap

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The Shadow of Mudflap (Foxtrot Team 1)  by Christi Snow & MF Smith

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All the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Lubbock Red Cross.

Releasing: August 19th, 2013

Book Description

To us, first responders are heroes. But for them, risking their lives is a normal, everyday thing.

Mudflap:

Born the baby of the family, Mudflap has always had something to prove to emerge out of the shadows of his older siblings. He spent eight years as a Special Ops elite sniper and is now a firefighter. But at his heart, he’s just a normal West Texas good old boy who loves his beer, women and football, until the Department of Defense calls him up to say they need his skills again.

Shanae:

Shanae is a first responder of a different sort. She’s a trauma nurse who works on a medical evacuation helicopter team. But while she lives a life full of adrenaline every day, it’s just a cover for her real life, where she hides in the shadows and is secret agent, Shadowfox for the Lubbock Foxtrot Team (LiFT). She’s living the kind of life that most people think exists only in movies and books.

Working for two different branches of the government, Mudflap and Shanae are in a race against time and the terrorists who threaten the very heart of West Texas life, football. They’re working toward the same goal, but find themselves in a confrontation against each other and the lies they’ve each had to hide behind. Can love win out in the end or will the cost be each other and their very lives?

First responders are heroes every day, but this story tells the tale of when they become even more and find love along the way. The key is for them to stay alive so that they can complete their mission and just maybe live happily ever after.

On an ordinary day, they save lives. On an extraordinary day, they save the country.

Watch the Book Trailer

Book Review

The Shadow of Mudflap is an enjoyable story involving secret agents, a domestic terrorist organization, motorcycle gangs, and, at the heart of it all, Texas football.  If you don’t already know this, then let me be clear: Texans take their football seriously!   Snow and Smith do not exaggerate the importance of this sport one bit. I wouldn’t have believed it until I moved to Texas five years ago.  Football is sacred here.

Once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down  and pretty much finished it in one sitting. The characters are well-developed and have their own personal issues to confront as they covertly work to stop a local terrorist organization, the ALT who seems to have targeted the Texas Tech football team to advance its own agenda.

Mudflap Davidson, and yes that’s his real name, is a sexy, gorgeous firefighter who gets pulled into the conflict when the Army asks him to go undercover to watch for suspicious, threatening activities that may harm the Texas Tech football team.  Because of Mudflap’s role in the community and his skills as a former special ops sniper, he is able to easily slip into an undercover role working for the Department of Defense.

When he begins to pursue the pretty paramedic who helped his injured partner during a fire, he has no idea that she is really Shadowfox, an agent for the Lubbock Foxtrot Team, a top secret branch of Homeland Security hiding under the guises of LiFT EMS, who provide air and ambulance medical services in the area. The Foxtrot Team is also investigating the ALT, but neither agency knows about the other’s involvement.

Shanae is drawn to Mudflap’s  good looks and charming personality. However, she has no interest in more than just having a casual fling.  She works in a field dominated by men and based on her observations and limited personal experience, she has concluded that men only use women for sex. So, her motto is to do the same with men, without getting tangled up with emotional attachments. Her last relationship with a CIA agent, Seth, has also led her to believe men are controlling and jealous.  Shanae is willful and independent, and she’s doesn’t think relationships work for her. Ironically, though, she can’t help but see true love is possible since her twin sister is happily married.

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It was heartwarming and fun to watch Mudflap and Shanae’s relationship develop, and their periodic texting is witty, flirty, and heartfelt.  Their online conversations and the sexual chemistry between the two are powerful factors in drawing them together, even though Shanae keeps trying to pull away.

Although Shanae does what she can to keep her distance, Mudflap digs in his heels and continues to tear down all the walls she has erected to secure her heart. He has that wonderful blend of Alpha and sweetness that is hard to resist. Mudflap isn’t overbearing or controlling, and he patiently gives her space while still letting her know that he wants her.  The motorcycle is scene is my favorite where Mudflap’s alpha side emerges, and he bulldozes right through Shanae’s  emotional defenses. Let’s just say, this is one hot scene, where a fire hose might be needed but certainly wouldn’t be welcomed.  Mudflap and Shanae make a great couple, and I like that their relationship progresses over time and doesn’t overshadow the mystery and suspense in trying to stop the ALT’s plans.

This is a pretty quick read with a clear writing style and an engaging storyline that kept my interest. The authors do weave in some humorous situations involving Mudflap, a handgun, and naked people that lightened up the otherwise serious tone of the book.  As you read the book, keep in mind that it’s dangerous to interfere with Texans and football.

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I look forward to what’s next for the Foxtrot Team.

I received a copy of this book from the authors for an honest review.

Rating

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Read an Excerpt

Because everything about this book is set around a college football season, the book is broken down a bit differently than your normal book usually is done. Instead of chapters, there are weeks (i.e. the weeks of the football season) and there are also sections called Halftime Texting. These feature flirty little exchanges of texts between the hero, Mudflap, and the heroine, Shanae. The following is my favorite Halftime Texting section from the book…

Halftime Texting

Shanae: I have two cookies: one is a snickerdoodle, one is a chocolate chip.

Mudflap: Okay, that’s just mean when I haven’t eaten lunch yet.

Shanae: It’s a test. If I offer you one, which one do you take?

Mudflap: You’re testing me?

Shanae: Yes, now answer the question.

Mudflap: I’d take the snickerdoodle.

Shanae: Good answer, but why?

Mudflap: I have sisters. I know better than to get between a girl and her chocolate.

Mudflap: Did I pass?

Shanae: With flying colors.

Pause…

Mudflap: You weren’t just teasing about the cookies, right? I really am hungry.

*****

About the Authors

Christi Snow

Christi SnowAs an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When she turned 41, she decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she’d written over 150,000 words and hasn’t stopped since.

She’s found her calling by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She’s truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She’s loving this adventure!

www.christi-snow.com

http://smittenwithreading.blogspot.com (book review blog)

https://www.facebook.com/christisnowauthor?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/ChristiSnow

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5849322.Christi_Snow

M.F. Smith

MF SmithMudflap is a morning show personality for 96.3 KLLL in Lubbock, TX. He’s been on the morning show for seven years and in radio for over ten years. He’s entertained people all over the world, and has helped raise money for many non-profit agencies and charities.

Mudflap loves to see people smile and believes everyone deserves a hug.

KLLL radio station website

*****

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Winner’s Choice Ipad Mini (16GB) or Kindle Fire HD (16 GB)

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TastyBook Tours

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Purchase the book: 

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Review of Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek #4)

Book Cover

Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek #4) by Brenda Novak

Book Description

Sometimes home is the refuge you need—and sometimes it isn’t

Adelaide Davies, who’s been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She’s there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran’s restaurant, Just Like Mom’s. But Adelaide isn’t happy to be back. There are too many people here she’d rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago.

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she’s wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible—men now—are punished. But she can’t, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it’s better to pretend….

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won’t have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she’d rather forget. He only knows that he’s finally met a woman he could love.

Book Review

Brenda Novak has been on my list of authors to read for quite a while, and I appreciated the opportunity to review one of her books so I could get an idea of her writing style and her approach to romance. Whiskey Creek is the fourth book in this series and although it can stand alone, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had started at the beginning so I could have connected with other characters mentioned in the story who have probably been featured in previous books.

Whiskey Creek centers on the love story of Adelaide (Addy) Davies and Noah Rackham.  I would categorize this book as a contemporary romance with some mystery and a tiny bit of suspense as the full story about Adelaide’s brutal experience fifteen years ago is revealed and well as the repercussions that will follow if the truth comes out.

Novak delves into some sensitive, stirring issues that may be controversial or uncomfortable for some readers. She explores the multitude of emotions Addie experiences after her attack and the lingering effects it still has on her life, especially when she returns to Whiskey Creek to care for her ailing grandmother. Since Whiskey Creek is such a small town, she cannot help but run into the boys who hurt her long ago, and her reactions to seeing them again show her strength and courage that, at times, was surprising and admirable.  Throughout the book, I couldn’t help but wonder how I would react in her situation.

I like that Novak also takes the time to explore the mindset of the boys who were involved in the event and their reflections on their behavior now that they are grown men with their own families.  Getting the men’s perspectives brings up whether one evil act should define you for the rest of your life? Do they deserve redemption?

The first scene has a great hook that grabbed my attention and immediately pulled me into the story when Noah finds Addie who has been beaten and is trapped into an old, abandoned  mine. Addy is surprised and worried when she discovers Noah is the twin brother of Cody, one of the boys who participated in her cruel assault.  Noah becomes suspicious of Addy’s fabricated story about her abduction when she refuses to go to the hospital and talk to the police, but now that she and her grandmother’s lives have been threatened, Addy is determined to keep her past hidden, even though she may never find a sense of peace and resolution.

Although Addy has been attracted to Noah since high school, she does her best to avoid him when he tries to get to know her. Even though she used to dream about having a relationship with Noah, she knows that being with him will only make the situation worse. Getting attached to him will make it more difficult for her to keep quiet yet exposing this nightmare will devastate him and his family. Addy also has another secret that no one knows about and she can’t bear to think of the pain she will cause Noah if he learns the truth.

As Noah gets to know and care about Addy, he begins his own search to find out what she’s hiding from him.  While he pursues a relationship with Addy, he must also deal with his best friend, Baxter’s, secret and its potential to end a long, close friendship. At first I didn’t see the relevance of this story thread but now I think it foreshadows his decisions when his family and some of the citizens in Whiskey Creek impugn Addy’s reputation.  However, I still  think the story could be just as strong without including this complication.

For me, Addy and Noah’s romance budding romance was lukewarm. They are really strangers to each other and both have issues with intimacy and commitment. This may be a big factor in why I just didn’t feel they had a strong chemistry. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked Noah; he’s a playboy and sees Addy as a challenge when she doesn’t fall at his fit as other women do.  I also couldn’t believe the depth of Addy’s feelings for Noah over the years. Yes, it’s clear she has always had a crush on him, but in reality Noah barely remembers her. I found it hard to believe that he has always been the love of her life.

Novak includes the ongoing story threads of other characters who have been or probably will be featured in the series, but as someone who hasn’t read the other books, I was overwhelmed by trying to remember the characters and their connections to one another. Eventually, I just glossed over these sections and kept my focus on Noah and Addy.

The plot is somewhat predictable although Novak does throw in some red herrings to keep you guessing about the identity of the man threatening  Addy.  What really made this story worthwhile is the rich character development and Addy and Noah’s  growth as they face unresolved issues that have kept them from moving forward.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Rating

3 Suns

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About the Author

Brenda Novak

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.

When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking–she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!  (From Goodreads Profile)

Author Links

Websitehttp://www.brendanovak.com

Twitter:Brenda_Novak

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaNovakAuthor

Click on the book cover below to purchase from Amazon

Review of New Release Slow Summer Burn (Star Harbor #4)

BCover

Slow Summer Burn (Star Harbor #4) by Elisabeth Barrett

Book Description

As the sizzling Star Harbor series concludes, the fourth sexy Grayson brother, a dedicated DEA agent, shows a high-society beauty the true meaning of love.Cameron Stahl has everything, so why does she feel like her life is incomplete? A beautiful Boston socialite and a successful entrepreneur, she’s just opened her second boutique in Star Harbor and business is booming. But one searing look from Val Grayson sends fire through her body and shows her exactly what’s missing from her life: a real man who doesn’t play games and who makes her feel like the most desired woman on earth.DEA agent Val Grayson has always looked after his brothers. Now it’s his turn to find love—though Cam is the last sort of woman he ever dreamed he’d fall for. When courageous Cam realizes she has the insider connections to help Val take down a major drug player within Boston’s political elite, he can’t stop her from putting herself in danger. But as the drug bust of his career looms, all Val cares about is saving the woman he loves before it’s too late.Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Deep Autumn Heat, Blaze of Winter, and Long Simmering Spring.
*****

Book Review

Slow Summer Burn is the final book in the Star Harbor series where each book focuses on the lives of the four Grayson brothers, natives of Star Harbor which is a resort town outside of Boston.

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Unfortunately, I have only read the last two books in the series, but each of these books can stand alone.

I do, however, wish I had started at the beginning so I could have a stronger sense of the bond these bothers have with each other and the women in their lives. Also, although I didn’t realize it when I read book 3, a legend about the Siren Lorelei, pirate ship that sank off the coast of Star Harbor during the 1700s, is interwoven throughout the series as main characters find hidden keys that may open a treasure chest rumored to be buried in Star Harbor. The significance of the legend and the search for the treasure is finally revealed in Slow Summer Burn.

This is a great romantic suspense revolving around the mystery of  a DEA investigation into who is responsible for financing and transportation of drugs around the area. The protagonist is Val Grayson, seasoned DEA agent, who leads a team to discover the parties involved in this illegal operation. While investigating the main suspect, Congressman Kirkland, Val finds himself falling in love with Cameron, a Bostonian blue blooded socialite who defies all Val’s initial stereotyped impressions about her.

Although the novel is a genre-blending of mystery, suspense, and romance, it leans heavily on Val and Cameron’s love story. Barrett does a great job of helping readers to connect with and relate to both of these characters by having the story told from both of their POVs. Getting their thoughts throughout the book reveals their insecurities and shows that even though are from different socio-economic classes, they have more in common than they think.

When Val and Cameron meet at a social event, the attraction between them is instantaneous.

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The chemistry between them is sizzling; however, at first, Val is reluctant to pursue a relationship with Cameron because of her affluent family and their prominent status in the community.  He has avoided women like her in the past, but after one dance, he wants her even though deep down he thinks he could never make her happy.  He is perceptive enough to see beyond her reserved nature, and her vulnerabilities bring out a possessive side of him that he’s never had before.

Cameron is a wonderful, caring woman.  She is not one bit pretentious, and she gets irritated whenever Val tries to box her with his stereotypical assumptions that she will dress, think, and act a certain way based on her social status. For example, he’s shocked when she dresses in jeans for their first date. I loved watching Cameron prove to Val that she’s more than a pretty face. She’s practical, resourceful, and when she pulls out her power tools, Val knows he’s a goner.

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Like Val, Cameron feels stifled by her family’s expectations and obligations as she tries to be independent and still make her mother happy.  Cameron’s parents reminded me of the Victorian age where one must follow certain protocols deemed appropriate by someone of her breeding and stature.

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Growing up in such a repressive, stifling home has kept Cameron from fully embracing her life, with Val she can be herself. I enjoyed watching Cameron “let her down” and give her passions free reign.

Much of the story is about their personal struggles to take risks, find freedom, and discover the meaning of a real love that brings them happiness and makes them feel whole.

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Once it seems they may be able to overcome their differences in social class, Val’s job interferes with his desire to be close to Cameron. Her family is very close to Kirkland, the main suspect behind the drug operation that Val’s team investigates. His teammates urge him to use his connections to Val to gather evidence about the suspect, but he refuses to bring her into their mission. His fear is that if her friend is guilty and the truth is revealed, Cameron will believe he’s just been using her to get close to Kirkland.

The action and suspense increase in the latter part of the story as Val’s team searches for the mastermind behind the drug-running operation and tries to save Cameron when her life becomes endangered because of her relationship with Val. There are a few surprises along the way that kept my attention as well.  This was a great read!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Rating

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About the Author

Book Cover

Elisabeth Barrett lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses.

Author Links

 website,| Twitter, | Facebook.

Review of The Necromancer’s Seduction

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The Necromancer’s Seduction (The Necromancer Series, Book One)  by Mimi Sebastian

Book cover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: ImaJinn Books

 Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus

Book Description

She has never feared the walking dead. It’s the power required to reanimate the dead that startles her, seduces her. The power that dwells inside her…and is growing.

For Professor Ruby Montagne, being a necromancer has brought her nothing but heartache, and she walked away from that part of her life long ago. However, her quiet existence in San Francisco is shattered when she stumbles upon the body of a slain witch, and the supernatural community insists she transform him into a revenant to track the killer. But his murder was just the beginning, and Ruby soon realizes that the stakes are higher than anyone can imagine—and that revenants have nasty minds of their own.

Now demonic creatures have escaped into the human world, and zombies once again walk the streets. For humanity’s sake, Ruby forms an unlikely alliance with a witch, a zombie, and Ewan March, a demon warrior who sets her senses on fire.

She’s always distrusted demons and Ewan is no exception, but circumstances push them closer together, and Ruby not only finds it harder to resist him, she isn’t sure she even wants to. But she suspects his job of patrolling the portal separating humans and demons conceals a dark and deadly past that may consume them both.

With events spiraling out of control, Ruby unravels a plot that not only threatens the human and demon realms, but puts Ruby’s very soul in jeopardy. Because when the dead walk, no one is safe. Especially Ruby.

Watch the Book Trailer

Book Review

I’m a huge fan of the paranormal genre, yet this is the first book I have read that focuses on the magic of necromancy.  Ruby is a well-known necromancer among her supernatural community. Since both her grandmother and mother were also necromancers, Ruby knows about her powers and has grown up among other supernatural entities secretly living among humans: witches, demons, vampires, and werewolves. Necromancers are a rarity in this world and differ from other paranormals because they have never been fully accepted by other supernaturals or “supes,” who also fear their unnatural powers.

When the story opens, we learn that Ruby refuses to embrace her magical gifts and keeps her distance from other “supes.” As a college professor, she lives as ordinary a life as possible. However, after the death of her grandmother, Cora, leaders of the supernatural community solicit Ruby’s help in finding out who is responsible for the recent murders of other paranormal members within their community.

Ruby not only has moral objections about the repercussions of raising the dead, she has also experienced some trauma and pain in seeing how necromancy affected her mother. The mystery behind her mother’s death isn’t revealed until later in the book, but it certainly justifies her unwillingness to put her abilities to use. Ruby has the potential to be a danger to everyone around her if her powers are abused, and we see examples throughout the story of the damage she can wield when she becomes a pawn used by others in their quest for power.

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Initially, Ruby stubbornly refuses the Supernatural Coven’s request to raise Adam, a witch who has just been murdered and bring him back to life as a supernatural revenant so that he can provide information about the killer. Revenants differ from typical zombies because their souls, intelligence, and supernatural strength remain intact when they are raised from the dead.  They can blend in with humans and are much more difficult to control.  Only a powerful necromancer can bring them back to life.  Although Ruby has had little practice in using her magic, she finally agrees to perform the blood ritual on Adam after learning her grandmother may have been targeted for assassination as well.

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At first I had hard time accepting Ruby’s name. Ruby just didn’t seem like an appropriate name for a necromancer. The gemstone ruby is shiny and vibrant, but necromancers work in a realm of darkness and death.  Yet, after further reflection, I realized that the name Ruby is symbolic of a necromancer’s power. Rubies are red, the color of blood, and it is Ruby’s blood that has the power to raise the dead.  Sebastain does a good job of describing the actual ritual of raising the dead and the feeling of ecstasy that Ruby gets when she “plugs into” that power source.

As the plot develops in the ongoing search for a killer, a burgeoning relationship forms between Ruby and a very handsome demon named Ewen who is given orders by the Coven’s demon leader, Malthus, to protect her.

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Ruby has done her best to stay away from Ewen in the past because of her intense attraction to him and her refusal to be a part of his world. And after all, he is a demon.

The entire story is told from Ruby’s point-of-view which limits readers’ knowledge and understanding of the overall situation.  Yet, I was able to form an emotional connection with Ruby and could relate to her worried and frazzled state through much of the book. Her dry humor in the midst of danger kept me engaged and provided a bit of relief from the tension raised in the story.

On the other hand, there were instances later in the book, where I felt Ruby’s thoughts and actions were incongruent with the way she was earlier portrayed. In the beginning, Ruby seems to be a calm, rational, polished professional who proceeds with caution. Yet, her later thoughts and actions show a woman in emotional disarray whenever she’s in Ewen’s presence, and, as complications develop, her reactions are based more on emotion and impulse rather than logic. Even her language becomes crasser as the conflicts intensify.  However, if I were forced to raise the dead, control multiple “super zombies,” search for my grandmother’s murderer, and resist the advances of a tempting demon then I’d probably react in an even worse way.

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Hopefully, I’ll never find out.

Ruby’s resistance to learning about her past and her abilities now put her at a disadvantage and force her to wing it much of the time.

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She is still learning about her powers and doesn’t have full knowledge of her capabilities. Her pride also jeopardizes her safety because she won’t admit that at times she doesn’t know what she’s doing and, even more importantly, she doesn’t always have complete control over her revenants. At times she puts herself and other humans in danger of being attacked.

The book’s title implies a romantic seduction, and Ewen is determined to be the one to seduce both Ruby’s mind and body. He is strong, passionate, and possessive. However, unlike other typical alpha male characters, he doesn’t force his protective nature on Ruby; instead, he gives her space to make her own decisions.  At this point in the overall story, they primarily have a physical relationship without the emotional depth needed to have a long-lasting relationship. Ewen’s deception and demon honor also keep them apart when the truth about Ruby’s real identity and powers are revealed.

However, romance isn’t the only type of seduction in the book. Ruby is also conflicted over her increasing desire to use her abilities. The more she uses her magic, the more of a temptation it becomes, and the infusion of power she experiences when she performs rituals only heightens this form of seduction.

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I like the dual meaning behind the title.

The supporting paranormal characters are powerful in their own right and it isn’t always clear to Ruby or readers what their motivations are and whether they are allies who can be trusted. Even though they behave in a civilized manner, it remains clear that each has a monster lurking just below the surface ready to emerge when necessary.  For the first time, I actually found a zombie character likeable, but, then again, Adam is also a zombie with a conscience. He is the voice of truth and reason that Ruby needs when she questions her actions.

The story’s plot is well-executed and provides a nice blend of mystery and suspenseful action that kept me absorbed, especially in the second half of the book when truths are revealed and characters become expendable.   The story left me with a comfortable reprieve until the second book is released and I look forward to seeing what’s next in this new paranormal series.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Rating

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Enjoy an Excerpt

The last student dropped his blue book on my desk. Relieved, I shoved the article and books in my backpack. I needed to grab some papers before going home to get some much needed sleep, hopefully. As I exited my office, the heavy door slipped from my fingers and slammed shut, sending a resounding echo down the hall.

Then silence.

I’ve never liked empty buildings at night, too much empty space, too much silence.

The hallway was darker than usual. Looking up, I noticed some burned out lights. I walked faster, chased by the echo of my own footsteps in the hallway. As if playing on my fear, I swore another set of footsteps joined mine.

A scraping. A soft rubbing noise.

Dread crawled up my spine, grasping each vertebra with its talons. I rushed towards the elevator, still a good thirty feet away, driven by the unsettling sensation that something was bearing down on my back.

My breath strangled my throat at the now very real footsteps keeping pace with mine. I glanced over my shoulder into the fluttering shadows. A figure approached. Shit. I was pretty sure it wasn’t a janitor.

He snarled. Nope, definitely not a janitor.

I ran.

I sprinted for the stairs, not wanting to waste precious seconds waiting for the elevator. I swung open the door to the stairs and braved a quick look at my pursuer, now close enough for me to see the sick pallor of death on his face, that mix of puke-green, yellow and gray that not even the best makeup artist can camouflage. Or imitate.

Zombie.

But slow and laborious not. Real zombies moved fast, spurred on by some undead hysteria, and this bastard was faster.

I jumped down the stairs, taking three or four steps at a time. The zombie took five. My heel caught on one of the steps, and I landed on my knee with a loud crunch. I scrabbled on the floor, gritting my teeth against the ice pick spearing my knee down through the marrow of my leg. I stumbled and used my hands to propel me up and forward.

The zombie was so close I could smell its foul odor, more retching than one hundred rats decomposing in a dark basement. Too close. His hand clamped onto my arm, feeling like a cold noodle. Yuk.

Using the handrail as leverage, I spun, throwing the zombie off balance but inadvertently jerking him closer to me, close enough to see his oozing red-rimmed eyes. He hadn’t been dead long. His flesh was intact. He grinned at me, revealing black teeth, then squeezed one of my fingers down to the bone. I winced.

He garbled, the sound made when gargling water in the throat, then emitted a starved rasp, the hunger of the undead. Never satisfied. Always voracious.

Adrenaline spiked my limbs. I spotted a fire extinguisher on the wall and reached out with my whole body, using my fear as a medieval stretching rack until my joints popped. My fingers tickled the fire extinguisher until I managed to wrap my hand around the metal spout on the top and wacked the zombie across its head, causing it to tumble back down the stairs. I dropped the extinguisher in disgust, noting the bits of bloody flesh stuck to the bottom. I ran out the door and down the hall to the stairs on the opposite side of the building, the zombie’s furious clomps behind me.

About the Author

Mimi SebastianNoemi Ghirghi writes as Mimi Sebastian and raised herself on books and the strange and unusual with an unhealthy dose of comics and Scooby Doo. Loving angst-filled romance thrown in the mix, she decided to blend all those elements in a steamy mix in her first Urban Fantasy series, the Necromancer Books. The first book, The Necromancer’s Seduction, debuts July 15, 2013, with ImaJinn Books.

Noemi spent two years in the Ivory Coast with the Peace Corps and loves to introduce tid-bits from her experiences in her writing. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA. A transplant from the beaches of Florida, Noemi now wanders the desert in Phoenix, AZ, and attempts to balance writing with a day career, fantastic family, and household diva: her Amazon parrot.

Author Links

www.mimisebastian.com

http://mimisebastian.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/NecromancerSeriesMimiSebastianAuthor

https://twitter.com/SebastianMimi

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13508578-mimi-sebastian

Purchase The Necromancer’s Seduction on Amazon by clicking on the book cover:

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Spotlight of The Sedona Trilogy, Giveaway & Review of Desert Hearts (#2)

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Bad Vibrations (#1)

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Book Description

When a troubled client visits psychic Persephone O’Brien, the last thing she thinks is that she’s about to be drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy that will change her life forever. Accompanied by a distractingly attractive ufologist—and with a little help from an unlikely group of UFO enthusiasts—she races to stop the alien plot before it’s too late. 

Moving from the bright lights of Los Angeles to the red rocks of Sedona, Bad Vibrations takes the reader on a wild ride that never lets up until its unforgettable climax.

* This book is perma-free on Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes 

Desert Hearts (#2)

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Book Description

Falling for one man when you’re in love with someone else must be the quickest way to complicate your life…

A stranger staggers out of the desert and collapses in Kara Swenson’s Sedona home. He pleads for help, and despite her better judgment, Kara takes him in, gives him shelter and a place to stay. She doesn’t anticipate the dangerous attraction she begins to feel for him — after all, she’s been secretly in love with Lance Rinehart for more years than she cares to admit. Kara, who owns a UFO-themed shop and gives UFO tours in the desert outside town, thinks she’s seen it all. But when the shocking truth of the stranger’s identity is revealed, she finds herself having to make a terrible choice.

Watch the Book Trailer for Desert Hearts Now

*****

Book Review

Christine Pope has written a great trilogy that blends elements of romance, paranormal, and science fiction genres and is set in beautiful Sedona, Arizona.  The first book, Bad Vibrations introduces readers to a scattered group of UFO hunters and enthusiasts who come together to stop an alien invasion that threatens humankind. Although Pope does provide enough background information to inform you about the major events in the first book, and you could read it as a stand alone, I recommend starting with Bad Vibrations, which is currently free on Amazon. I don’t think I would have enjoyed Deserts Hearts nearly as much  if I had not read how everything began.  Bad Vibrations provides a more in depth explanation about the aliens’ plans to control humans.

Desert Hearts picks up where Bad Vibrations ended and features Kara Swenson and Lance Rinehart, two characters who played instrumental roles in the first book but remained in the background so that Paul and Persephone’s love story could be told. I actually liked Desert Hearts even more than Bad Vibrations.  It is more of a character-driven story with less external conflict and action than found in book one. Much of this second book focuses on character development, inner conflict, and the love triangle that emerges with Kara, Lance, and Grayson.

I loved Kara’s character. She is a genuinely nice person. Not only is she kind-hearted, but she cares deeply about others and their happiness.  I found it easy to relate to her feelings and experiences. She has the reputation of being “careful Kara” because she has always been the responsible one, sacrificing her dreams to take care of others.  Kara has been in love with Lance for the past six years even though he doesn’t seem to reciprocate those same feelings for some unknown reason.  However, when a mysterious, handsome man enters Kara’s world, the door for a possible romance is opened.  Over the course of the story, Kara realizes that this unknown man, who remembers nothing about his past, will forever change her life.

The man without an identity decides to call himself Grayson after watching a TV episode with a character by the same name. Although Kara is frustrated that she knows so little about Grayson, she is drawn to him. Grayson appears to be an ideal man, and his sincerity and openness to everything around him make him irresistible.

When Lance learns that Kara now has a man in her life, he is forced to confront his real feelings for her, and he doesn’t like the thought of losing her to someone else even though loving her may put her life in danger. I typically avoid plots with love triangles because I know, most likely, someone will be hurt in the end. What makes Kara’s decision even more difficult is that both men are lovable.  The romantic scenes in Desert Hearts are a bit more sensual than those in Bad Vibrations, yet I found them to be appropriate for the characters involved. The outcome of this love triangle was not exactly what I expected but one I could accept in the end.

There are lots of unexpected situations and shocking revelations that emerge as the plot develops, and I was riveted to this storyline.  The last part of the book becomes more action-oriented, leading to a holding-my- breath, biting my nails climax and an, overall, emotionally satisfying conclusion.   I don’t want to say too much about the plot because discovering the truth is what makes this story so engaging, but I will end stating that I am still clinging to a tiny bit of hope about Grayson’s future.

Over the course of reading the first two books, I’ve found that I have become attached to this tight-knit group of UFO hunters, and if I ever had to face an encounter with aliens, these are the type of people I would want watching my back!

I look forward to reading the final book, Angel Fire, which has just been released, but I have a feeling I will wish for this trilogy to develop into a series.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Rating

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Angel Fire (#3)

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Book Description

As winter closes in on Kirsten Swenson’s hometown of Sedona, Arizona, and the world moves toward the solstice, strange forces begin to converge on the quiet desert city, seeking to bring about the destruction of everything she knows and loves. 

Desperate to save her friends and family, Kirsten accepts the assistance of Martin Jones, a mysterious Man in Black who turns out to be far more than he seems. He helps to awaken the powers that have lain dormant within her…and also compels her to expose the shocking secrets buried in her past. But Kirsten soon learns that giving her heart might not be enough, and that the confrontation with the alien forces may demand her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

About the Author

Author

A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Christine Pope writes as the mood takes her, and her work encompasses paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, and historical romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Trilogy and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though…not yet, anyway! (from Amazon)

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristinePopeAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/christinejpope

Website: http://www.christinepope.com/

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*****

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Review of Starlight City

Revised Book Cover

Starlight City by Radford Lee

Book Description

When Black and his team are sent to investigate a foreign ship orbiting near the Harmonica space port, they’re killed onboard by a humanoid weapon built in the image of a beautiful woman. Several years later, Black is reborn through a miracle of science on an unfamiliar planet called Neon. He’s mysteriously set free and flees to Starlight City…

Book Review

This was a great science fiction novel that introduces readers to a futuristic world where we can see the effects of major scientific breakthroughs on a society that still retains some semblance of our lives today.

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The protagonist is Black. When the story opens, Black is in Starlight City on the planet Neon. Right away it is easy to see Black isn’t a normal human. He wears sunglasses all of the time to hide his unusual yellow- colored eyes that may draw unwanted attention to him. When he gets injured, we learn that his limbs can regenerate. His body has been altered by someone, but he has no memory of it.

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Lee does a great job in his vivid depiction of Starlight City controlled by Administrator Nahzier who is heavily involved in scientific human experimentation.  So far, Nahzier has created an army of quasi-humans called Alpha Humans who are blend of human and robot.

Their brains have been “reformatted;” in actuality, they have been brainwashed  to follow the Nahzier’s mandates.

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They are portrayed as “human killing machines” sent to patrol the city in order to keep citizens “safe.”  They serve under Nahzier’s rule and follow his commands.  I couldn’t help but associate the name Nahzier to “Nazi.” Was this intentional? Hmm…

Griff Hurst is one of these quasi-humans ,and his story describes the process of how he was changed. Griffin died as a result of a government sanctioned virus unleashed upon its citizens.  He was taken to Nahir’s laboratory and resurrected in a robotic body.  Griffin no longer exists, but Griff does.  Whereas, some science fiction writers avoid discussing the afterlife, Lee brings up the existence of a human soul and how it factors in to experimentation on the human body.

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I found this concept fascinating and one that I consider when reading science fiction.

Griff is different from other Alpha Humans. He has retained his human memories, and he has a conscience. He is disgusted by his new purpose of killing on command, and he refuses to allow Nahzier to manipulate others for the so-called greater good of society.  Citizens are afraid of the Alpha Humans and see them as “heartless humanoids.”  I found Griff to be symbolic of how it’s really impossible to completely change a human. When you throw in a soul and human emotions, they interfere with a total reprogramming of the human mind.

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As a result, Griff turns rogue and escapes Nahzier’s control. He joins Black and a group of misfits who work together to create an army to overthrow the Nahzier’s Regime. Because of the super abilities of the Alpha Humans, this is a daunting task. However, Griff knows the secret of how to cause these quasi-humans to malfunction.

As the story progresses, Black learns the truth of behind his kidnapping, experimentation, and escape.  Black is now a “prized specimen,” and Nahzier desperately wants him back because of his future potential for creating immortality.  Even at the end of the book, however, I was not completely clear on how Black is unique after undergoing scientific experimentation.  I hope his changes will be expanded upon and clarified in future books.

The plot does not follow a sequential time pattern. Journal entries by Griff’s father, renowned scientist Dr. Hurst, flashbacks from Griff and the back stories of other members of the rebel group provide greater depth and insight into the dynamics of Starlight City’s insulated world.

The journey eventually brings Black back to Earth where his story actually begins.

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The conclusion left me to infer that the story would continue. Even though Black was the protagonist, I was drawn to Griff’s character; he played such a major role in the book, and I wish he had been the leading character instead.  Griff’s relationship with the Alpha Human Jada is one I hope will continue to develop in future books.  There were minor grammatical errors strewn throughout the story, and it could benefit by one more round of proofreading. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this read and look forward to future books by Radford Lee.

I received a copy of this book from the author to provide an honest review.

Rating

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About the Author

Radford Lee

Radford Lee is a writing tutor and also teaches college composition courses. He has worked as a volunteer tutor for an afterschool Student Fellowship program where he also conducted a Creative Writing workshop for local community students. He hopes to continue building students’ reading and literacy skills and to cultivate talented young writers. Radford lives with his beautiful family in Ohio.

 

Find out more about Radford Lee and Starlight City in his interview for Sun Mountain Reviews

When and why did you begin to write?

I’ve always marveled at sci-fi films like Star Wars, and storylines in some of my favorite video games especially got my imagination going. But I first felt inclined to actually write fiction as a senior in high school after reading Watchers by Dean Koontz. I liked how he blended sci-fi elements in the storyline without overdoing it, as well as the suspense he was able to create on practically every page. I started to get this crazy idea that I could create something just as cool.

What attracts you to write in the Science Fiction genre?

There’s a lot I love about the genre; the most attractive aspect might be the ability to create an entire world from scratch. As the writer, I can also create all the rules, (as long as they’re fairly logical), beings, and can even make up words as long as I don’t take it too far. I guess as an artist, I just love to create, and Science Fiction gives me a vast canvas to let my imagination run amuck.

What inspired you to write Starlight City?

It’s hard to say exactly. I think the impulse to create a web of storylines around Black, the central character, was influenced by reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. The techno-dystopian setting of the city and some of the story concepts were partially inspired by Japanese anime films like Cowboy Bebop and Ghost In The Shell, which could possibly have inspiring roots in films like Blade Runner. As I’ve mentioned, though, some of my favorite video game narratives are a big part of my inspiration. The most influential by far are games in the Final Fantasy series, which I think have the most complex and intriguing storylines with the most interesting characters. In retrospect, I think the world of Starlight City resembles that of Final Fantasy 7 in certain ways.

Briefly describe the fictional world you have created:

This story takes place mostly on the planet Neon in Starlight City, a vast, futuristic metropolis powered by gravity and wrapped in a sterilized bubble called the “Ether Shield.” The city is populated by humans, quasi-humans, and robots. Starlight City is run on citizen law enforcement according to district and patrolled by fully armored Citizen Guards. Much of the action also takes place in “the Forests” surrounding the city. These Forests were created (or altered) by Nahzir’s Life Bomb, a nuclear-scale explosion that spontaneously creates an atmosphere and rapidly evolving life forms. The Forests are beautiful, exotic, and dangerous—inhabited by deadly mutants and contaminated by volatile microorganisms.

Which character in Starlight City is your favorite?

I think my favorite character is probably Griff. Though he’s often the least expressive character, he seems to have the deepest internal conflict, and his actions and decisions have the biggest impact on the story’s events. In my first draft of this novel, Griff was actually the central character. He was the first character I had in mind for this story.

What have been the most enjoyable and challenging experiences for you in writing this book? One fun and challenging aspect was creating a futuristic world that was believable for the reader without letting technobabble drain the life out of the story. Coming up with semi-plausible explanations for certain science fantasy elements, like converting gravity into an unlimited energy source, required lots of inspiration from random “what if” conversations with friends.  Still, the most challenging experience by far was coming up with an ending that would leave readers expecting the next offering but still provide some closure to the story. I’m still not quite sure how well I pulled that one off.

Which scene was the most difficult to write?

I’d have to say the hardest scene to write was the one where the main conflict between Black’s side and Nahzir’s Regime reaches its peak. There’s a preliminary battle in the chapter before it, and I didn’t want to overdo it with fighting scenes. I did quite a bit of surgery on this section, cutting it down to the essential parts and ended up pretty satisfied with the end result.

What ideas/concepts do you want readers to take with them after they read Starlight City?

I’d like readers to see the importance of comraderie and friendship shared among these “misfit” characters. They’re brought together by unlikely circumstances but form a bond and come to trust one another, and this is what allows them to stand against impossible odds. I also think readers should grasp the idea that science and spirituality can be connected. Science can attempt to explain phenomena beyond the physical realm rather than denying that such phenomena exists. Finally, readers should see that even in a world so technologically advanced as Starlight City, scientific achievement should never be valued above the souls of humanity.

What did you learn from writing this book?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that as a writer, you must absolutely love what you’re writing. There has to be a high level of excitement about the world and the characters you create which will force you to keep scribbling in the notepad, or sitting in front of the computer screen. The writer has to be addicted to the story and must keep coming back to fine-tune it. Most importantly, you have to love what you’re doing enough to ignore the people who think you’re wasting your time. This can be tough, as these are probably people who love you and think they have your best interest at heart. It’s important not to let outside pressures stop you from realizing and perfecting your vision as a writer.

Have any other authors had a significant influence on your writing?

As a reader, I tend to jump from author to author in search of a good book rather than reading through his/her entire archive. I’m definitely influenced by the classic works of Sci-Fi giants like Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Asimov, George Orwell and Ray Bradbury. Samuel R. Delaney is another Sci-Fi author I’ve enjoyed. I’ve already mentioned David Mitchell’s work, which certainly inspired me in terms of style and story structure. Besides these, I also admire much of Jonathan Lethem’s speculative works, and aspire to be as effortlessly entertaining as Kurt Vonnegut. I must add that I’ve long been inspired by some of the Harlem Renaissance writers, particularly Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and W.E.B. Du Bois.

What are your current projects?

Right now, I’m working on a theatrical audiobook of Starlight City, which should be completed before the end of this summer. I’m also drafting out ideas for both a prequel and a sequel to the novel, which I hope to release sometime around the fall of 2014.

What is the one piece of technology you can’t live without?

A lot of writers might say their computers, but I’d have to say my iPod, or anything I can use to listen to music. I simply love listening to music and even use it to write sometimes. It often helps me create the mood for a certain scene and get my ideas flowing.

 

Review of The Oxygen Wasters

Book Cover

Purchase on Amazon  The Oxygen Wasters

 

The Oxygen Wasters by L A Greyson

Book Description

A casual drink with a childhood friend turns Eden Franks’ quiet San Francisco life upside down, and leads him on a fast paced dangerous quest to eliminate five “Oxygen Wasters” in order to save the lives of his own family. Nine thousand miles away, a Sri Lankan housemaid fights for her life after suffering horrific torture and sexual abuse at the hands of her sadistic employers. In the isolated sand dunes on the outskirts of Dubai, a Saudi Arabian couple are kidnapped and left to die in the scorching heat. The Oxygen Wasters tells the story of how these character’s paths overlap, and how easily the line between survival and revenge becomes blurred.

Book Review

“The first skill is always the hardest.” 

(-from The Oxygen Wasters)

This dramatic thriller caught my attention because of its intriguing angle, a select group of average, everyday citizens get ensnared into a deadly covert multi-government-run operation called “The Project”  that forces them to become assassins of those deemed “oxygen wasters,” people declared unworthy to continue living because of their evil deeds and lack of respect for humanity.

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The protagonist of the story is Eden Franks who meets his close family friend John over drinks one night. Little does he know that meeting will make him question his ethics and values, prove his loyalty, and commit murder in the name of justice to save the lives of those he loves.

Do you remember  the days of dreaded chain letters? You receive a copy of a letter from a good friend who passed it on to you in the hopes of having future good luck or, as I can remember, to avoid falling under the letter’s curse.

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Once you have the letter, you have to decide what to do with it. Do you just ball it up, throw it away, and forget about it, thinking you won’t have any bad luck for ignoring the demand to send it on to a designated number of friends? Or do you invest the effort into passing it on to your friends in the hopes that the letter will continue its journey and all those involved will benefit in some way? “The Project” operates in a similar manner, except the stakes are much, much higher with deadly consequences for those who fail to fulfill their obligations within a specified time frame.

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John has passed the metaphorical chain letter to Eden. Eden must become an assassin and eliminate five people whose heinous crimes have gone unpunished.  Eden is an everyday, average citizen, successful businessman, husband, and father. He could be your colleague, your neighbor, or even worse…your friend.  John has just put the fate of his family and himself in Eden’s hands. If Eden fails to eliminate five targets within one year, then someone in John’s family will be executed. This looming threat serves to ensure the continuation of the program and its secrecy.

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I was a bit surprised at the process used to target someone. Eden isn’t just given a list of names; he actually has to select a person that he deems unfit to live any longer. However, he must have his choice approved by “The Project’s” secret board before he can proceed with the assassination.

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Eden also has to choose the method of for the kill as well.  It’s quite interesting to see his thought process as he makes these decisions.

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The storyline surprised me as well. I had thought more of the story would revolve around Eden’s journey to complete the mission and the inner turmoil and anguish he experiences.  Instead, however, much of the book centers on the “oxygen wasters” and their victims. Eden selects candidates from third world countries (Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bangkok) and travels across the world to find his approved targets. Greyson immerses readers into these foreign cultures and provides a glimpse into the suffering of those who live in poverty and the difficult choices they make to survive.

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Greyson has created villains who are easy to despise and pass judgment upon, and sympathetic victims who endure horrendous abuse.

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At times, I was uncomfortable reading about these violent acts. These scenes aren’t described in explicit detail but have enough description to make it easy to imagine.

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The antagonists were one-dimensional evil, stock characters with no redeeming qualities.  In fact, some of these characters and their actions were, at times, too far-fetched for me to accept.

I think the story’s plot would have been stronger if Eden’s played a more dominant role in the story. Too many POVs caused disruptions to the flow of the story and caught me off guard. The book could have used one more round of editing, but the errors really didn’t hinder my reading experience.

I like that Greyson left the conclusion of the book open for a sequel, and I appreciate the thought provoking ideas about morality and ethics that are raised in this story.

This debut novel shows a promising start to a possible series.

I received a copy of this book from the author to provide an honest review.

Rating

Sunny-icon revised 40Sunny-icon revised 40Sunny-icon revised 40

 

About the Author

author

I enjoy learning about new cultures, exploring new places, and have visited 79 countries so far, but have quite a few more still on my wish list.

I have worked in the field of Human Resources for over 20 years, primarily working with large US corporations with international offices. I hold a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Development from Brigham Young University – Hawaii.

Working in the corporate world, global traveling, world cultures, and current news events all largely impact my life, and greatly influence my writing.

The Oxygen Wasters is my debut novel.

Review of White Trash Beautiful

White Trash Beautiful

White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

Book Description

A word-of-mouth bestseller that’s captivating readers with its honesty, grit, and headstrong heroine, White Trash Beautiful is a story for anyone who has ever felt trapped in life, cheated by love—and longed for something more . . . 

Cass Daniels isn’t waiting for her knight in shining armor. She knows that girls like her don’t get a happily ever after. Not if you live in a trailer with your mom, work at a greasy spoon diner, and get leered at by old men. Maybe that’s why she puts up with Jackson—her poor excuse for a boyfriend, who treats her like dirt. Cass has learned to accept her lot in life. That is, until he walks into her diner. . . . 

His name is Tucker White, and he’s different from any man Cass has ever known. Tall, tattooed, and bad-ass gorgeous, he’s the lead singer of the rock band Damaged. From the moment they meet, Tucker sees something in Cass he just can’t shake. Something beautiful. Something haunted. Something special. And he’s determined to find out what it is—if only he can get her to open up and let him in. . . .  

Book Review

white trash: poor, uneducated Caucasians. They live in filth (e.g. rusting cars and old kitchen appliances fill the front yard,) they are poorly educated, they don’t care about their appearance (e.g. they are poorly groomed and overweight, wear dirty and tattered clothes,) etc. Though “white trash” can live anywhere, they are indigenous to the Midwestern and southern United States.

— Taken from the Online Slang Dictionary http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/white-trash

Teressa Mummert blends in many of the “white trash” stereotypes into her story about a poverty stricken young woman who still has a spark of hope for a better life.  I had to sit back and think about this story a bit before I could write this review because I wasn’t sure how I felt at the end. There were aspects about the protagonist, Cass Daniels, that left me feeling frustrated and conflicted while at the same time, I kept trying to justify her thoughts and behavior because I wasn’t walking in her shoes.

Mummert does a great job of setting a dreary, pessimistic tone in the first scene, even in the first sentence. She creates a disheartening, discouraging environment where it is easy to feel “beaten down” and hopeless.

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The story is told in first person from Cass Daniels’ POV. Cas has managed to squash down the sadness, frustration, and anger that pervade her existence, but those feelings are still simmering at the surface. Cass is a fighter, though; she still tries to push back and refuses to be a victim. Mummert is successful in showing that it’s hard to fight the urge to feel like a victim, and, at times in the story, I see Cass slipping into that role.

The setting of the story takes place around the Savannah, Georgia area, and I can’t help but note the significance and symbolism of this setting. Savannah was burned long ago, but has risen and is now thriving.  Cass lives in a tiny town on the outskirts of Savannah with limited opportunity to visit. How apt, Savannah is where Cass should be, but it’s still out of reach, still unobtainable, just like her dreams.

Cass is a realist; she knows there is no “knight in shining armor” going to ride in and rescue her. She knows that knight is never coming her way, but she still is able to acknowledge he’s out there. She still holds on to hope.  Ironically, a dark-haired, blue-eye knight does arrive at the restaurant where she works. However, he’s on a motorcycle instead of a horse, and his armor has been replaced by worn-out looking jeans and a tee-shirt saying, “I’m with the band.”

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Cass is wary of Tucker. Men like him only flirt with women like her for a good time, never for anything serious.  It’s easy for Cass to think that men see women as whores, and I can understand her faulty thinking since she grew up with a mother who sold her body as a way for the family to survive.

Tucker is extremely interested in Cass and isn’t deterred by her brush-offs. He keeps grinning and telling her, “I like a challenge.”  Tucker’s POV isn’t given in this story, and I see advantages and disadvantages in doing this. On the one hand, Mummert keeps the reader guessing about his attraction to Cass. Is she just a conquest for entertainment, or does he really care about her?

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When Tucker finally tells Cass the story about his childhood, his motivations become more believable to me. On the other hand, by not getting his POV, Mummert misses the opportunity to fully develop his character.

Tucker’s last name is White, and only upon my second reading did I catch the symbolism of this. Tucker grew up in similar circumstances to Cass, but, now he’s a rising rock star on his way to success, the implied label of “trash” has been dropped.  Furthermore, the name of his band, “Damaged” certainly applies to the majority of the characters in this story. These symbolic names just reinforce Mummert’s theme of never giving up because you can overcome the obstacles in your path to happiness.

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The central conflict in the book is whether Cass is courageous enough to pursue a brighter future. Cass is tethered to her past by her drug addicted boyfriend, Jackson, and her mother who seems to have given up on life and uses drugs as a form of escape. Meanwhile, Cass is desperately trying to make things better. She works tirelessly to save money to escape their run-down trailer and her dead-end job.  She keeps her savings hidden so that Jackson and her mother can’t steal it to buy more drugs. I applaud her efforts until I realize she still has this grandiose idea that she can take her mother and Jackson with her, and then everything will work out. Cass doesn’t realize that you can’t help those who refuse to be helped and to try to do so will only end in disappointment.

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Cass doesn’t love Jackson and perhaps never did. How can you love someone who physically abuses you and tells you how worthless you are?  Although Cass presents a tough persona to the outside world, she is weak around Jackson. She allows him to hurt her.  Even though her behavior may seem confusing, it is typical of abused women to do this.

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Jackson definitely fits the profile of an abuser. He’s insecure about his manhood, so he puts Cass down to make himself feel better. He uses her to lash out at a world that has finally broken his spirit.

I really wanted to despise Jackson, and by the end there is no doubt that I did. However, he wasn’t always this way or Cass wouldn’t continue to have him in her life. When she was younger, he played an important role in protecting Cass from school bullies and her mother’s frequent “boyfriends.”  He helped support Cass and her mother financially after their father abandoned them. Unfortunately, he was sucked into world of drugs, and now he is nothing more than a slave to its destructive power.

His hateful words and Cass’s willingness to believe them remind me of this quote from the movie Pretty Woman:

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This book reminded me in some ways of Pretty Woman. The stories are completely different, but both Cass and the main character in the movie have the same defeatist attitude at times, and, in both cases, it takes a man to awaken them to the possibilities that await them and to nudge them to move forward.

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I want the fairy tale

Cass is drawn to the love and affection that Tucker offers her, yet she refuses to embrace it because of some misplaced loyalty to Jackson and her mother.  Much of the book focuses on her inner conflict over believing her current life is what she deserves versus reaching out to Tucker and all the promise and goodness he represents.

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I admit, at times, I think she brings some of the heartache on herself. Her fear and guilt cause her to be indecisive throughout much of the book, and the tragedy that ensues is devastating.

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The book is a swirl of darkness and light, hopelessness and hope.

Cassie deserves happiness

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and in the end, she puts faith in herself and works hard to find that HEA.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Rating

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About the Author

Teresa Mummert

Teresa Mummert is an army wife and mother whose passion in life is writing. She is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels White Trash Beautiful and Suicide Note. Born in Pennsylvania, she lived a small town life before following her husband’s military career to Louisiana and Georgia.

Author Links

Website: http://www.TeresaMummert.com/

Twitter: TeresaMummert

Purchase on Amazon 

*****

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Music to Complement Book

Katy Perry “Not Like the Movies”

Linda Ronstadt “You’re No Good”

Hunter Hayes “Wanted”

Book Blitz: Review for When I Find You (Trust No One #2)

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When I Find YouA Trust No One Novel #2 by Dixie Lee Brown

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Avon Romance

Releasing July 16th, 2013

Book Description

Dixie Lee Brown continues her heart-racing Trust No One series with a sexy veteran determined to protect an innocent woman on the run.

As a former Marine, Walker could find a needle in a haystack. But when he’s asked by the U.S. Marshals to track down a nanny fleeing from the mafia, he’s sure she’ll be more trouble than she’s worth. Especially after the sexy little thing clubs him and leaves him for dead. Walker’s stunned by her courage—and her curves—and can’t help feeling drawn to this damsel trying to dig her way out of distress. He’ll find her, and when he does, it’ll take more than the mafia to tear him away.

Darcy Maddox never expected to be running for her life. But when it suddenly looks like foe may become friend, Darcy’s faced with a choice: Go it alone or trust a man she just met—never mind the way his touch gets her heart pounding. The choice seems simple enough until she realizes it’s not just her life at stake—it’s her heart. 

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Book Blitz: Review & Giveaway for The Purple Heart

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The Purple Heart by Christie A.C. Gucker

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Contemporary Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Categories: Inspirational, Military, Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Pagan Writers Press

Release Date: February 22, 2013

Heat Level: Sizzling

Word Count/Length: 52,000 words/164 pages

Book Description:

When does hiding the truth become an outright lie?

As an Army psychologist, Sydney Porter has heard her share of horror stories. The battle-scarred, down-trodden, and guilt-ridden have come to her office, seeking her help. When a highly decorated soldier is referred to her, she feels confident she can help heal his wounds. The chemistry between herself and Sergeant Aiden Thane is instantaneous. Sparks ignite and against her friend’s advice, she opens both her home and her heart.

Torn between a voice of reason and her undeniable feelings, Sydney begins to question just what is hiding behind her lover’s decorated uniform. What secrets are hidden behind his Purple Heart?

And does she really want to know?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations  and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

*****

Book Review

This book touched me on so many levels. It was nothing like I expected but in a very, very good way.  This story pulled at my emotions – I smiled, rolled my eyes, became frustrated, scared, and the suspenseful climax left me with goose bumps all over and my eyes filled with tears.

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Now, that’s a good read!

The story’s protagonist is Sydney Porter. Sydney used to be an Army nurse, but after dealing with so much death on the frontlines, she decided to obtain a psychology degree and shifted her career path in the Army to work with soldiers who are making the transition from Army to civilian life.   I found the book’s opening to be a bit slow, but it did provide an effective introduction to Sydney’s character, her background, and her career focus. In the opening scene, Sydney is presented as the consummate psychologist, professional, polished, and dedicated to helping others.

Upon arriving at work, Sydney finds a case file with her new client: Sergeant First Class Aiden Thane, a highly decorated soldier recently wounded in battle who is returning home with an honorable discharge.  The case file contains little personal information about Aiden, but emphasizes that he is a top priority and will be Sydney’s only case for now.  Not only did that strike me as unusual, but everything about this mysterious Aiden Thames did as well.

My interest in the book really picked up when Sydney actually meets Aiden. Sparks ignite when they shake hands, and that’s when Sydney’s professionalism metaphorically goes flying right out the window, and she begins thinking and speaking with her heart instead of her head.

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To say Aiden is an intense character is almost an understatement. He’s handsome, reserved, and Sydney practically melts into a puddle whenever he looks at her. She sees signs that Aiden suffers from PTSD, and she is determined to do her best to help him acclimate back into society.  However, her methods for doing this go far beyond the boundaries of a normal practitioner/client relationship.  Even though I was surprised when Sydney invites Aiden to stay with her, and I couldn’t help smiling as she mentally slaps her forehead for making such as rash decision:

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I just blurted out the words and even shocked myself. “Would you like to come stay and my place?”

***

“I’ve got a spare room, and it’d be nice to have some company.” I couldn’t believe I was saying the things that were coming out of my mouth. Word vomit. What was I doing? He was a complete stranger. A highly-decorated soldier stranger. A hot, highly-decorated soldier stranger…in uniform. He was becoming seemingly irresistible to me. “

There are a few more moments like this, when Sydney’s thoughts had me chuckling as she loses her composure around Aiden.

Sydney and Aiden have an instant, life-altering connection that, at first, I found hard to accept. Since Sydney doesn’t have any other cases, she concentrates on helping Aiden outside of the office. I keep thinking, “big mistake.” And just as I expected, their professional relationship  quickly crosses over into a personal one.

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More and more, Sydney sees Aiden as the man she’s been looking for all of her life instead of a man who has been emotionally and physically wounded from battle and needs psychological counseling.  For example, on their first night together, she suggests they watch a war movie, not even thinking about detrimental effects this could have on Aiden’s psyche. Aiden’s traumatic flashback during the movie is a clear indication that she really doesn’t know much about what this man has gone through.  In fact, she knows very little about Aiden.

Cheryl and her wife Gina, play an important role in the story. They are Sydney’s best friends and have become her new family, since her parents died.  Cheryl is the voice of reason: “Wow, Sydney, are you out of your mind? You have no idea what he’s like. He could be all messed up in the head from the war.” Gina, on the other hand, encourages Sydney to embrace the happiness that Aiden has brought into her life: “Just sit back and go with the flow and enjoy the ride, Syd. It could end tomorrow, a year from now, or never. So enjoy every little bit of it.”  I  understood both Cheryl and Gina’s perspectives, and just like Sydney, I kept swaying back and forth, about whether she is jumping into things a bit too soon.

Yet, how can I argue with someone’s feelings of falling in love, especially when Aiden tells her:

 “Sydney, I have waited my whole life to meet a girl like you. Actually, I think I was waiting to meet you. Now we have this one chance to have something other people search for their whole lives. It’s being handed to us. I don’t want to stop or slow down. I want to be with you.”

I’m such a sap when it comes to love.

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Their relationship isn’t easy. Aiden has secrets, and just as much as Sydney, I want to know to what they are. I was so intrigued that I read this book in one afternoon because I had to know what Aiden is hiding. It’s suspicious when he refuses to share anything about his past, and furthermore, throughout the story, he makes comments to Sydney that are so melodramatic I begin to question his mental stability:

“I can’t exist without you. You mean everything to me.”

***

“We’re running out of time.”

***

You are my entire reason for existing at this very moment in time.” 

His cryptic comments and pleas sound desperate, but why? They’ve only just met.  How can they have a love this intense so quickly? It can’t be real. By the end of the book, though, I realize their relationship isn’t within the normal realm of falling in love. Their feelings for each other push the boundaries of love beyond reality.

Destiny

The climax of the story occurs when Aiden’s big secret is revealed, and boy is it a doozie.

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I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming—the author does an excellent job of providing appropriate foreshadowing, symbolism, and imagery to gently and subtly lead the reader to this surreal conclusion.  My surprise compounded by goose bumps and tears left me wishing so much for a different outcome. However, the author does a good job of tying up the book nicely and leaving me with a feeling a peace about everything that happens.

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The only aspect that was problematic for me in reading the book is that, at times, when the author brings up the controversial issues of gay marriage, war, and the afterlife, she begins to proselytize. The characters and the events that occur in this story are powerful enough to raise my awareness of the issues and situations without a direct input of opinion.

Nevertheless, this book focuses on the undeniable beauty and power of love, destiny, and fate. The story will linger with me for a long time to come.

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I received a copy of this book from the author via this book tour for an honest review.

Rating

Good-Read-icon

*****

Read an excerpt from The Purple Heart

“Excuse me, Sergeant Thane?”

The soldier stood up, perfectly at attention, and addressed me with a serious, military tone and utter respect.

“Yes, Ma’am.” He offered his hand to shake mine.

My breath hitched in my throat immediately. Any man in uniform was to die for, but he was just drop-dead gorgeous. His dark, messy hair was longer than it should be for someone returning from a tour, and appeared as though he had just rolled out of bed. Sex hair is what I would call it, although others might refer to it as bed head. He must have been at the infirmary for some time. His face was squared and chiseled, and accentuated by a shadow of scruff. His eyes seemed to be piercing right through me. They were a deep shade of blue, but somehow had the appearance they were glowing. I bet now that he was home, all the girls would be knocking down his door, if he didn’t have someone already waiting for him. I couldn’t imagine he wasn’t already spoken for, unless he was a player.

I reached out to shake his hand, and when we touched, I could feel this humming vibration thing happening, from his skin directly to mine. It was reminiscent of something, but I couldn’t quite place it. I found myself holding onto his hand a little longer than was socially acceptably for a first meeting but just didn’t want to let go. I managed to stutter out a few words.

“Um, hi. I — I’m Sydney Porter. I’ll be handling your case.” This reaction was so unlike me. No one ever had this type of effect on me.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said, and he released my hand with a small squeeze.

“Maybe you can just call me Sydney, okay? You’re making me feel old by calling me ma’am.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said again, but this time, I noticed a small smirk make an appearance at the corner his lips.

“Okay then, great. Would you like to go to one of the meeting rooms to talk for a bit?”

“Ma’am.” He nodded his head.

I walked over to the nearest open office, and he followed quietly behind me. He was so silent I couldn’t even hear his footsteps. I wondered if he had been trained for covert military missions or was special ops. I showed him to a seat, which he stood behind until I took mine. One thing about soldiers, they were extremely respectful. I loved that.

*****

About the Author

cgucker-authorphotoChristie A.C. Gucker lives in NJ with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets. Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of her life. She has worked in the advertising industry for over 20 years as a degreed artist, but also works in the fine arts, especially sculpting out of stone or snapping photographs. Christie is also a singer and musician, and can be found singing on a few CDs.

After the death of her father, Christie searched for something to fill her desire to make a mark in this world. Her love of the arts and creativity allowed her to search for a new medium, which she found with a pen instead of a brush. Being an avid reader her whole life, and with her family cheering her on, she decided to take her shot, and began writing.

Christie is fascinated by the supernatural and sharks, and studies both avidly. You’ll be sure to find something spooky lurking somewhere in her stories. Her greatest joy is sitting on a beach with her family while surf fishing, flying kites or building sandcastles with her girls.

Christie is on FOUR Amazon Best Selling Lists: Romance, Short Story Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Connect with Christie A.C. Gucker

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author’s Page | AuthorDB

Dedication:

This book is dedicated to every man and woman who has served as a soldier to defend freedom for all. You are heroes. It is also dedicated to the families of those soldiers who give up their fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and friends so that we can have those freedoms. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Thank you all.

Special dedication to the soldiers in my family, My father, John P. Choida, grandfather Stephen P. Gaida, brother-in-law in-Darren Dreher, my father-in-law Donald Gucker and my grand uncles who have served or continue to do so for our country.

I want to give a special shout out to Battling BARE for all their hard work to help soldiers and their families recover from PTSD! They have a special place in this book!

 Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars – from KimCheck

“I have read 2 of Christie’s books and one of her short stories and I have to say I’m very impressed with her writing. I have had the pleasure of meeting her as she was so very gracious to call in to my book club and chat about her books and her writing which impressed me even more! The Purple Heart was a story that draws you in and makes you feel like you are living within the story line. This story took me to a place I did not expect at all. The characters in the book became so alive in my head that I truly felt connected to every turn the story took. I highly recommend The Purple Heart and will be sure to let everyone know how great it is.”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from tori muise

“This book had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t put it done! Beautiful book and I’ve been telling everyone I know to read it!!!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from Ireland

“This book was one that I could not put down. I started it on Friday night and finished it on Saturday night, it was that good! I did not want it to end. I can’t wait to read the next book that Christie Gucker writes!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from BRIAN E LAROCQUE

“Her best book yet! Great story and great characters! I loved the Cheryl and Gina story as well. I’m sure we will be reading more great stories from this new author!”

5.0 out of 5 stars – from Newest Fan

“Although I am an avid reader, I seldom feel the need to write a review for a book. With The Purple Heart, I just had to. I discovered this book by accident, wanted something to read on a cold winter’s day. I no way expected to be pulled into this love story. It pulled me in alright. Pulled at my heart strings. What a beautiful love story. Classic, romantic but completely unpredictable. Discovering this book and this author, Ms. Gucker was a delightful surprise. Can’t wait to read your other works.”

Purchase The Purple  Heart Now

Amazon: The Purple Heart | ARe | B&N | Smashwords

*****

Giveaway

Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter for your chance to win

 a signed print copy of “The Purple Heart”

and a signed bookmark from Christie A.C. Gucker. 

Contest is tour-wide and ends July 21. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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*****

 Click here to follow the Blog Tour for The Purple Heart 

Book Blitz: Review & Giveaway for Heavenly Hell

Heavenly Hell Blog Tour

Heavenly Hell by Aria Williams

Heavenly Hell

Series: Heavenly Hell Series (#1)

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: April 24, 2013

Edition/Formats Available In: E~Book & Print

Purchase on Amazon: Heavenly Hell

View on Goodreads

Book Description

You’d think being stuck in the body of a beautiful seventeen year old girl forever would be a gift. But when you are fallen, it is more like a curse.

Indiana was a beautiful angel, enjoying the perks of Heaven, until she was tricked by a demon to fall in love with him. She was forced to fall from Heaven and remain in her seventeen year old form, banished to Earth, for all of eternity.

Now, unable to cope with her banishment, she is a seemingly normal seventeen year old girl by day, while she spends her nights punishing men for the wrongs they have committed against women.

 Although Indiana has lived on Earth for thousands of years, she recently settled into a small town, where she has finally been able to make some lasting friendships. When a handsome, mysterious boy comes to town, Indiana knows something is not right. He might end up her ally, or she might end up in the fight of her life.

*****

Book Review

Heavenly Hell is the start to a new YA series that takes readers into the paranormal world of fallen angels who live among humans. This story centers around Indiana, a strong, feisty, sharp tongued angel banished from Heaven and forced to live on Earth in the body of a teenage girl.  Indiana fell from God’s Grace when she fell in love with a man who turned out to be a demon in disguise.

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Seventeen-year-old Indiana spends her time attending high school, year after year…now that is a nightmarish punishment for anyone to endure.

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She is also an investigator on the side, taking cases that involve men accused of mistreating women.

Indiana has decided that her purpose on Earth is to protect and defend women.  After she gathers evidence that prove a man in question is guilty of immoral or illegal acts toward a woman, she has no qualms about delving out her own means of punishment, even using violence to send a warning.  Needless, to say her methods are unorthodox and certainly not angelic.  Indiana’s methods for meting out justice become a focus for debate over the course of the book and also make her a target for someone out to destroy angels.

I applaud Williams for creating a strong, confident female heroine who is determined to resolve the injustices she sees around her.  At first, I was concerned that Indiana was going to be depicted as a flat, two-dimensional character,  just a “tough chick” with little room for emotional growth.

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However, I was pleased to see more depth to her character as the level of conflict rose and the plot unfolded.

In this story, Indiana’s formidable, yet questionable antagonist is Nate, a supernatural demon slayer who arrives in town with the intent to kill Indiana for her terrorization of seemingly innocent men. Nate’s mistaken identity of Indiana raises all kinds of questions and adds to the plot’s mystery and suspense. Although Nate’s POV provides sporadic clues about who is behind this deceptive mission, the mystery still isn’t solved by the end of the book.  In addition, I am still uncertain about Nate’s emergence into a supernatural being.  I just know that there are others out there like him who are endowed with the unique ability to kill immortal  angels and demons.

The growing antagonism and tension between Nate and Indiana keeps the story engaging. Nate wants to destroy Indiana, and, even though he is repulsed by the demon he thinks she is, he also has to fight his increasing attraction to her. Fortunately, Nate is a more than a single-minded robotic-like killer; as he gets to know Indiana better, he begins to question the information he was given about her identity.

The story intensifies as Nate searches for the truth about Indiana and tries to deal with his conflicting feelings for her. Meanwhile, something is changing in Indiana. Her invisible wings with a light pink aura are beginning to blacken.  Her growing anger signals a loss of control that she’s never experienced before. Furthermore, now that Nate has awakened Indiana’s heart, she is willing to consider having a relationship, but the question is whether she will turn to Nate, who has been her foe throughout much of the story or her loyal mortal friend Conner.  This is a clean romance that goes no further than kissing and hand-holding. Although there is a clear attraction between Nate and Indiana, I wish the chemistry between the two, that magical spark that ignites a romance would have been amplified throughout the story.

I found the cliffhanger ending a bit abrupt but compelling enough to leave me wanting to read the next book in this series.  I was also left with lots of questions about unresolved story threads that I hope will be addressed in future books.

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Although I enjoyed the characters and conflicts presented in this paranormal suspense, at times the pacing of the story drags along with too much detail about activities that don’t advance the plot.

Overall, I see a promising start to this new series and will keep a lookout for the second book in the series.

I received a copy of this book from the author via RBTL in exchange for an honest review.

Rating

Sunny-icon revised 40Sunny-icon revised 40Sunny-icon revised 40

*****

Enjoy a Teaser from Heavenly Hell

“Once your wings turn completely black, you will no longer be connected to God in any way. He will forgive if you change now, but you must ask for penance. God always forgives.

“I will not stop protecting women, ever.”

“You have been warned.”

*****

About the Author

Aria WilliamsMy name is Aria Williams, and I am a new author who loves to write Young adult and paranormal novels. I live on nine acres of beautiful pasture land in the central west of NSW. I work full time as a nurse, this is where I get a lot of my inspiration from. For me I find my inspiration in the form of many vices either good or bad. I write from the heart and use my novels to express myself. My first novel was born from my feelings of helplessness in a world where even the innocent die and many people are left wondering why. It felt right to create a character that could heal any physical illness with some minor consequences.  My second novel Heavenly Hell is from my personal experiences involving harassment, and the dominating role in which people in positions of authority take and use to their own selfish advancements. When I am not writing or working, I like to play with my dogs and have fun with my friends.

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*****

Giveaway

Click on the link below for a chance to win

Signed Copy of Heavenly Hell

Signed Copy of Banished from Grace

Charm Bracelets, Key Ring, Poster

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