Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review: Sinner By Maggie Stiefvater



Synopsis:  A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?


Lisa's Review:  I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, via the publisher, for an honest review. However, I also purchased a copy. 

This book was AMAZING!! A HUGE 5 stars. I highly recommend it. 

Both Cole and Isabel are wounded and sometimes it appears as if their wounds are unrepairable. Your heart just goes out to them both. There were times throughout the book where I wanted to yell, "NO, don't do that!" But underneath, I understood it was their way, it needed to happen that way, on their terms, so they could overcome their inner struggles.     

Maggie's ability to capture their raw emotion is true talent. This is why I love her writing. The book was well paced and kept my attention throughout. 



New Releases: July 22nd, 2014




Endless (Shadowlands #3) by Kate Brian 

An unthinkable betrayal threatens everyone Rory loves in the third installment of our dark, thrilling Shadowlands series from New York Times best-selling author Kate Brian.

Rory Miller didn't just fall in love with Tristan Parrish. She fell in love with the idea of forever. He was the one who told her the truth about her existence in Juniper Landing: that her mortal life is over, and she will now spend eternity on the island, helping others in limbo move on.

But like Juniper Landing, a bright island with dark secrets, Tristan is too good to be true. The mysterious, heartbreakingly beautiful boy Rory thought she knew is responsible for unthinkable evil-sending good souls to the Shadowlands in order to get himself a second chance at life on Earth. He has already claimed Rory's friend Aaron and her own father, but when SPOILER Tristan sends her sister, Darcy, to the Shadowlands, too, Rory decides to take matters into her own hands. She will do anything to save her family, even if it means going to hell and back.


Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3) by Susan Dennard 

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.


Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.


Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translator)

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. . . .

His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.


I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Hidden Enemy by Pittacus Lore

You know we have been betrayed.

You must discover why.

You must learn the truth.

They have put a plan in motion.

They have infiltrated your government.

They have already turned some of you.

They will do whatever it takes to have your planet.

The battle lines have been drawn.

Whose side are you on?

Extraction (Extraction #1) by Stephanie Diaz 

"Welcome to Extraction testing."

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too. 

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.


Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O'Rourke 

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.


One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington 

Name of overseas edition of Between The Lives. 

Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is... 

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?


Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore 

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson. 

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend. 

While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?

Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.


The Fire Wish (The Jinni Wars #1) by Amber Lough 

A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . . 

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.



The Year of Chasing Dreams (The Year #2) by Lurlene McDaniel

The companion to The Year of Luminous Love.


The Burnouts (Quarantine #3) by Lex Thomas 

Lord of the Flies in a 21st-century high school setting.Welcome to Quarantine 3: The Burnouts , where readers of The Maze Runner, Gone, and Divergent go when they're hungry for more dark, compelling survival stories.

When an explosion rocks David and Will's suburban high school one morning, a deadly virus is unleashed on the school. After a year of quarantine, with no adults around, the students have created their own society. All of the social cliques have developed into gangs-The Nerds, The Geeks, The Freaks, The Sluts, The Skaters, The Burnouts, The Pretty Ones, and The Varsity-and each gang provides a service with which they can barter for provisions. Without a gang, it's almost impossible to secure food, water, territory, or supplies. In the final installment in the Quarantine trilogy, the brothers are reunited on the Outside and it appears as if, for once everything is going right. But inside the school, Lucy is alone with no gang and no hope, until the Burnouts welcome her into their filthy arms.


Shifter's Claim Part III by A.C. Arthur 

Giving her body to Sebastian "Bas" Perry was inevitable, but sacrificing her heart wasn’t in the plan. Now, as they face a killer together she wonders just how far she will go to be with this man.Sebastian "Bas" Perry is in too deep—with Priya and with a rogue that’s out for revenge, but this sexy shapeshifter will protect Priya Drake from all paranormal terrors…by any means necessary in Shifter’s Claim Part III, from The Shadow Shifters series by A.C. Arthur.


Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin #11) by Jennifer Estep 

In book eleven of her New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series, author Jennifer Estep continues “one of the best urban fantasy series going on the market” (Fresh Fiction).

Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…


Tom Clancy Support and Defend by Mark Greaney

One of Tom Clancy's most storied characters, Dominic Caruso, is the only one who can stop America's secrets from falling into enemy hands in this blockbuster new novel written by Clancy's longtime coauthor.

Over the course of three decades, Tom Clancy created a world alive with prescient action and remarkable individuals. In Tom Clancy Support and Defend, Dominic Caruso is presented with the deadliest challenge of his career.

Dominic Caruso. Nephew of President Jack Ryan.  FBI agent and operator for The Campus, a top secret intelligence agency that works off the books for the U.S. government.  Already scarred by the death of his brother, Caruso is devastated when he can’t save a friend and his family from a terrorist attack

Ethan Ross was a mid-level staffer for the National Security Council. Now he’s a wanted fugitive on the run with a microdrive that contains enough information to wreck American intelligence efforts around the world.  The CIA is desperate to get the drive back, but so are the Russians and various terrorist groups all of whom are closer to catching the fugitive. Only Caruso stands in their way, but can he succeed without the aid of his Campus colleagues?


Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady Series #16) by J. A. Jance

 Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.


Hounded by David Rosenfelt

Andy Carpenter isn’t sure what to think when he gets a mysterious phone call from a good friend, policeman Pete Stanton, asking him to drop everything, drive to an unfamiliar address, and bring his girlfriend, Laurie Collins. He certainly isn’t expecting to show up at a crime scene. But that’s exactly where he arrives—at the house where Pete has just discovered the body of ex-convict Danny Diza. Upstairs are Danny’s now orphaned four-year-old son and basset hound. And that, Andy discovers, is why he and Laurie were called to the scene—Pete wants them to take care of the boy and the dog so they won’t get thrown into the “system.” This is already asking a lot, but soon Pete needs another big favor from Andy. Pete himself has come under suspicion for Danny’s murder, and he needs defense attorney Andy to represent him…and to find out what really happened in Danny's house that day.

David Rosenfelt has done it again. Told with his characteristic humor and wit, Hounded is at once a heartfelt story about family and a page-turning legal thriller.


The Old Blue Line: A Joanna Brady Novella by J. A. Jance

Butch Dixon has been taken for a ride …

Not a jump in the car, see the sights kind of ride. He's been taken for everything he has. He's lost his house, his restaurant business, his savings, his car, his best friend, his faith—all to his conniving ex-wife. But that was seven years ago. He picked himself up, left Chicago, and started over in Peoria, Arizona, running the Roundhouse Bar and Grill. He doesn't look back on those bad years; there's no point. Not until two curious cops show up at the Roundhouse.

Faith, Butch's ex-wife, has been murdered, and the evidence points to him. Stunned, Butch quickly realizes that the black-hearted woman is going to ruin him again, from her grave. Lucky for Butch, the Old Blue Line, a group of retired—but still sharp and tenacious—former legal and law enforcement coots, have taken it upon themselves, as a favor, to make sure he doesn't cross that thin line. After the dust settles, Butch's life is again upended—when a little red-haired ball of fire, Sheriff Joanna Brady, takes a seat at his bar.


The Forsaken (Quinn Colson Series #4) by Ace Atkins

The extraordinary new novel in New York Times-bestselling author Ace Atkins' acclaimed series about the real Deep South—“a joy ride into the heart of darkness” (The Washington Post).
Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a pair of paratrooper boots. Less than two days later, he was accused of rape and murder, hunted down by a self-appointed posse, and lynched.

Now evidence has surfaced of his innocence, and county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out not only to identify the stranger’s remains, but to charge those responsible for the lynching. As he starts to uncover old lies and dirty secrets, though, he runs up against fierce opposition from those with the most to lose—and they can play dirty themselves.

Soon Colson will find himself accused of terrible crimes, and the worst part is, the accusations just might stick. As the two investigations come to a head, it is anybody’s guess who will prevail—or even come out of it alive.


The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble 

Trading Places meets Pride and Prejudice in this sexy, saucy romance—first in a new series from the author of YouTube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Three friends. One Wager. Winner takes all.

The Earl—‘Lucky Ned’ Ashby. Pompous, preening, certain that he is beloved by everyone.

The Miller—John Turner. Proud, forced to work as the Earl’s secretary, their relationship growing ever more strained. 
The Doctor—Rhys Gray. Practical, peace-loving, but caught in the middle of two warring friends.

Their wager is simple: By trading places with John Turner and convincing someone to fall in love with him, Ned plans to prove it’s him the world adores, not his money. Turner plans to prove him wrong.

But no one planned on Phoebe Baker, the unassuming governess who would fall into their trap, and turn everything on its head…

Three best friends make a life-changing bet in the first book in a witty, sexy new Regency trilogy from acclaimed author Kate Noble, writer of the wildly popular Emmy award–winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.


Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen 

Dakota Halifax loves to be in love. In fact, as one of Las Vegas’s premier wedding planners, she’s built a whole career around romance. Which is why her own wedding has to be nothing short of perfect. And then her fiancé jilts her. While she’s waiting in her wedding dress. On a cruise ship already out at sea.Once back on dry land, Dakota tries to pour her heart into her business and weekly wedding advice column, Get Ready to Wed. But how can the heartbroken celebrate others’ true love? When she reconnects with her childhood best friend, surprisingly sexy and all-grown-up casino bouncer Brendan West, Dakota wonders if maybe she can fall back in love with being in love.

But then her ex reappears, begging for another chance, and suddenly Dakota questions if she’ll ever understand love. Can someone once-burned and twice-shy ever find her way down the aisle again?


Taken by Lora Leigh

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh has captivated millions with her sizzling tales.  Here, together for the first time, in a short story collection:

Reno’s Chance

Ever since she was a girl, Raven has longed for her friend's brother, Reno, a Navy SEAL. What she doesn't realize is that his true mission is to get into her heart.

For Maggie's Sake

Maggie is in custody with Joe's SEALs team.  Joe, her ex-lover, thinks Maggie is hiding information.  He plans to seduce her to get it, but when an enemy captures Maggie, only Joe can save her.

Atlanta Heat

Em has wanted Macey forever. But as a SEAL under the command of her overprotective godfather, Macey is off-limits…until a kidnapping attempt forces them to share close quarters—and a forbidden desire.

Night Hawk

For three years, Travis “Black Jack” Caine and Lillian “Night Hawk” Belle have been meeting, late at night. No names given. But tonight is different. An enemy has returned, and Travis and Lillian may never meet again.  Are they brave enough to give in to desire and stand together?

Cooper’s Fall

Former ranger Ethan never expected to get an eyeful of prim Sarah Fox from his window. But now his blood is on fire for her.

Sheila’s Passion

As an ex-Marine, Nick's been through some hard things.  But when it comes to Sheila, he has his biggest challenge yet. Sheila has sworn off love, but when Nick tempts her into becoming friends with benefits, he intends to make her his forever. 


A Perfect Life: A Novel by Danielle Steel

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel comes a heartwarming and inspirational novel about a mother and daughter who face challenges, cope with celebrity, and overcome tragedy while maintaining the outward appearance of . . .
A PERFECT LIFE

The epitome of intelligence, high-powered energy, and grace, Blaise McCarthy is an icon in the world of television news, asking the tough questions and taking on the emotionally charged issues of world affairs and politics with courage and insight. A single mother, she manages her well-ordered career meticulously, always prepared on the air or interviewing world-renowned figures and heads of state. To her audience, Blaise seems to have it all. But privately, and off the set, there is another untold story she has kept hidden for years.
Blaise’s teenage daughter, Salima, was blinded by Type 1 diabetes in childhood, and her needs have kept her away in a year-round boarding school with full-time medical care and assistance ever since. When Salima’s school closes after a tragedy, Salima returns to her mother’s New York City apartment, and suddenly they face challenges they’ve never had to deal with before, and that Blaise feels ill-equipped to handle. A new caretaker provided by Salima’s school creates as many problems as he solves. Handsome, accomplished, thirty-two-year-old Simon Ward, with strong opinions on every topic, questions how mother and daughter view themselves and each other. Simon opens new doors for both of them and refuses to accept Salima’s physical limitations. He turns their world upside down, and the three become friends.
Then everything starts to unravel and Blaise can’t keep her two worlds separate anymore. A beautiful young anchorwoman is hired at the network; it is no secret that she is being groomed to take Blaise’s place. Her career as she has known it is threatened, and her previously well-ordered life feels totally out of control. For the first time, Blaise’s life is not perfect, but real.

In this unforgettable tale, the incomparable Danielle Steel has written a novel that pulsates with emotion and honesty as three people face the truth about themselves. A Perfect Life is about what we do when facades fall away and we can no longer run from the truth. As old ideas fail, everything changes, and life is suddenly brand-new.


Administrative Control (Immortal Ops #6) by Mandy M. Roth 

Captain Lukian Vlakhusha is having issues with his newest target, Peren Matthews. Something about her has left him staring at her picture and wondering what it would be like to touch her soft skin. When the time comes for the team to strike, Lukian senses danger and aborts the mission. He makes an attempt at meeting Peren and is set in his place by an independent young woman who knows what she is, and isn’t, looking for in a man.

Lukian is having trouble telling Peren that he’s what she fears most, a werewolf. Can they make the passion that burns between them last, or will Lukian’s condition be too much for Peren?

Shape shifter Romance: Contains adult situations, paranormal themes, violence, and is not intended for the faint of heart.


Veiled Target (Veilers #1) by Robin Bielman 

Never take Fate along on a date. The kiss goodnight could be deadly.

A Veilers Novel, Book 1

Tracking down Veilers—non humans—is only a sideline for Tess Damon. Vengeance for her fiancé’s murder is her reason for living. But with two botched jobs on her record, if she fails to eliminate her next mark, she’s dead. She’s not afraid to die, but not before she gets even. Too bad fate has a really bad sense of humor.

Hugh Langston, a wolfen half shifter, lives to keep both humans and his pack safe. But when rogue humans kidnap his apprentice, his rescue mission is compromised by a hot-as-hell, kick-ass woman who makes him think only one thing: mine.

Tess tries to ignore her feelings, but temptation trips her up. Especially when Hugh figures out he’s her next target and forces her into an inconvenient alliance that tests all the laws against their attraction. Now, with the line between good and evil getting blurrier by the minute, it becomes clear Tess’s only hope of living to see another day—and finding a murderer—lies with the one man she’s supposed to kill.

Warning: Contains one obscenely hot alpha and the woman who wants to love him before she kills him. Look out for a blind date, scorching sex, humor, lies, and untamable attraction.


Weekly Wrap #23




                                                               
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: Manroot by Anne Steinberg



Synopsis: In the spring of 1939, Katherine Sheahan and her father, the taciturn Irishman Jesse, are looking for work in the isolated tourist town of Castlewood, Missouri, which offers bathing, gambling and adultery. Jesse gets a job as handyman and Katherine as maid at a small hotel. Jesse drinks and neglects his work and eventually disappears, abandoning his daughter. Katherine discovers the ginseng, the manroot, and other secrets of the foothills; she discovers herself as a natural healer who has inherited this gift from her Navajo Indian mother. She also has a special but unwelcome gift. She can communicate with spirits. 

Among the hotel s regular clientele is Judge William Reardon, a local hero who metes out justice by day, then drinks the foul taste away at night. Escaping his sterile marriage, he becomes captivated by Katherine. He is like a man reborn. Theirs is a union of like-minded souls, but a dangerous dark magic is released. Can their love survive? 

A powerful, haunting novel that explores the powerful themes of identity and destiny, love everlasting and its brutal twin, violence.

Lisa's Review: I received this book from the author for an honest review. 

This book is filled with a lot of raw emotion. At the point you feel happiness for the characters, something happens and your struck down with another emotion. It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster but it is really well written. 

The characters are complex and endure some difficult situations, especially Katherine. My heart really went out to her. She endured a difficult upbringing and as she entered into adulthood it didn't become easier for her. 

This book also contains a magic quality to it. It really becomes prevalent towards the end. 

The book was well paced and kept my attention. I really enjoyed it and recommend it. 

Purchase Link:   Amazon

Friday, July 18, 2014

Author Spotlight/Interview: Kate Jarvik Birch

 
 

Kate has loved writing ever since she was a little girl. She wrote her first novel in fourth grade (the main character was suspiciously similar to herself). As an adult, her essays and short stories have been published in Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, Saint Ann's Review, Scissors and Spackle and in a forthcoming issue of Indiana Review. Her first play, (a man enters), co-written with Elaine Jarvik, was produced in 2011 by Salt Lake Acting Co.


Kate studied painting and drawing at the University of Utah and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 2005. The pattern and texture in her mixed-media floral paintings are inspired by her love for textile design and the decorative influence of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Her work is currently being published by Poems Publishing and is sold internationally. Over the years her paintings have been used in feature films and TV shows, such as Glee and 21 Jump Street.
Kate lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and their three children. 

 
 
Goodreads  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.


Sarah's Review:  **FIVE STARS**  I absolutely LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down! I loved the whole idea behind it and thought it was very interesting. The last few chapters had me a little anxious for what was going to happen. I'm curious on the whole kennel thing and I hope we find out more for the next book. I hope to sweet baby Jesus there is another book!




What's your favorite thing about being a writer?
Besides getting to work in pajamas? Definitely getting to be a dreamer. My creativity is the thing I love most about myself, so getting to use that part of me every day and getting to share it with other people is the most gratifying feeling in the world.
 
 
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! I wrote my first “novel” in fourth grade. It was written by hand in a dark blue hardback journal (and illustrated too, I should point out). Whenever my teachers asked us to dream about where we’d like to be when we grew up, I always envisioned myself writing books.
I spent a lot of time practicing. I remember having play dates with friends where we just sat in my room and worked on our “Great American Novels”.  
 
 
Who inspired you to write?
My mom! Not only did she read me fantastic books about talking mice and prescient rabbits while I was growing up, but she was a writer herself. My mom worked as a journalist for our local newspaper and I was always so proud of what a cool job she had. On days when I got to visit her at work, I remember sitting by her desk listening to the click, click, click of her fingers against the keys and feeling like that was a magical sound. It was the sound of ideas coming to life.
 
 
How would you describe Perfected?
I’ve heard people calling Perfected a dystopian novel, but I’m not sure it actually falls into this category. I’d actually say it’s speculative fiction. Besides the fact that the government has passed legislation allowing people to be genetically bred as “pets”, the world is almost identical to our own.
 
 
What was your inspiration for writing Perfected?
I’ve been an animal lover ever since I saw my first pony at the carnival when I was two and I’ve been a mini zookeeper ever since. At the moment, I have three dogs, two ducks, a bunny and a hedgehog. The dogs are like tiny shadows, constantly in my periphery (if not underfoot or on my lap). I’ve always assumed that they were happy (even lucky) to have me for an owner to shower love and affection on them, but the writer in me wasn’t satisfied with this assumption. She saw a story inside them. So in my mind, the next obvious step between having dogs for pets and wondering if they were happy with their lives was wondering what it would be like to be a pet. Bing! An idea was born. What if people were pets? What if I were given the choice between a life of idle luxury and freedom, which would I choose? 
 
Is there a second book in the works? If so when is it due out?
Yes! Book two is scheduled to come out next year. I’m so excited for people to get a more in-depth view into the world that Ella lives in. In book one, it was difficult to do too much world building because the story is told through Ella’s point of view, but her understanding of the world has grown greatly by the time book two takes place and readers will get a chance to dive deeper into the dark world of human “pets”.
 
 
What book are you currently reading?
I just finished reading FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell and LOVED it!!! I’m currently reading two books: FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo, which just won the Newbury, and SWAMPLANDIA by Karen Russell.
 
 
Can you share with us what you're currently working on?
Besides finishing up book two in the PERFECTED series, I’m finishing up a middle grade novel that I’m co-writing with a friend. I’ve also got a few picture books that I’m working on. There are always a billion ideas rolling around in my head and I’m trying to decide which one to focus my attention on next. Just this past week an idea for a new YA novel has nudged its way to the front of my mind. We’ll see, maybe it’s the next project.
 
 
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Hmmm… let’s see. I love candy! I’m a big fan of mornings, but I love to sleep in. I’ve always wanted to live on a farm. Oh, and I’m an artist. I graduated with a degree in painting and drawing, which is one of the reasons I must, must, must write and illustrate a picture book some day. 
 
 


 

Thank you to Kate Jarvik Birch for this wonderful giveaway!
(Girl not included in the giveaway)
 
 
 

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Cover Reveal: Red Hot Blues by Rachel Dunning

RED HOT BLUES
Standalone Novel. Approx 250 pages.
Book Release Date: July 20, 2014



Ginger:
There's nothing sexy about me, except my voice.
I’m not attractive. I have short black hair and a plumpy body. Yes, black hair. Not dark brown, not brunette, plain black. I guess my eyes could be called an asset--they’re blue, a pretty cool blue I might add. But that’s not much when you’re pushing forty pounds over your ideal weight and the last time you wore a bikini was six months after you hit puberty and people made fun of you.
Right, I’m overweight. I’ve been on diets, cycled, done spinning, Atkins, running, jogging, jumping, breathing, crash-diet, yo-yo diet, no-sugar diet, no carbs diet, outright starvation, balanced diet, all-you-can-eat diet, sushi diet--
I eventually gave up.
I’m a dreamer. Always have been. But I’m not a go-getter.
The worst came when I was seventeen, when I was already fully developed, when I was sporting hormones that get you thinking about sex at all sorts of odd times of the day; when I was so hot for...Brett Lexington...that I would’ve done anything to be with him.
Brett was in the football team. Brett had girls drooling all over him. Brett got the blonde, the brunette, and the Latino girl with tits larger than melons.
Brett also got me. Completely.
And then he dumped me.
It scarred me for life.

 

 

Ace Travers:
The storm, the hurricane, the thunder and lightning in my head for a man I hate, a man I can’t think of because it burns my skin and hurts my heart, disappeared when I heard her voice.
Completely disappeared.
I need to hear that again. Peace. I need peace. I need peace in my mind. She brought that to me--a moment of it. But a moment is more than I’ve had in over a decade.
A decade of running.
A decade of fighting.
A decade. Of hating.
Before, as a kid, I ran away in my mind, through my music, in those adventure books I used to read. Now, I run for real, road after road after road. Looking for peace in a head filled with erupting volcanoes.
And finding none.
Except tonight.
Tonight.
It was there, peace--a moment, a precious, priceless, all-engulfing moment.
A man could hunt that moment like water in an arid, dying desert.
A man could hunt that moment like food for a starving body.
A man could hunt that moment like the seductive woman he desires, after years in jail, in prison, barricaded, alone, with no one. Except himself.
A man, finding it once, would hunt that moment if every army in the world stood in his way and barred him from it. Forever. Endlessly.
Peace. A moment.
I need to see her again.
 
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Blitz: Hot Shot by Lynn Raye Harris

 
 
Title: Hot Shot
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Cool under pressure... Until now.

Hostile Operations Team sniper Jack "Hawk" Hunter is cool, methodical, and utterly lethal. Nothing rattles Jack's calm. But that was before he learned he fathered a child three years ago--a child who has just been kidnapped.
Gina Domenico is a superstar, a pop sensation with a string of hit records. But deep inside, she's still the lonely girl she's always been. When Jack saved her from an arms dealer, they spent three unforgettable days together waiting for rescue--and Gina fell hard for the sexy soldier before he walked away forever.

But now she needs his help and she'll do anything to get it. Though Jack can never forgive Gina for keeping his child from him, he'll do everything in his power--and HOT's--to bring their son home safely.
Nothing is what it seems, however, and their fates hang in the balance as someone else pulls the strings...and brings them ever closer to an explosive confrontation that could either save their son--or cost them everything.
 
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A few minutes later Jack came into the bedroom. She thought she should tell him to knock first or something, but she didn’t have the energy. The barriers that would normally be there between her and a man just weren’t there with Jack.
“You didn’t eat enough on the plane. I ordered room service.”
 
“I’m not hungry.”
 
“Gina.” He walked into the room and stopped in front of her. His blue eyes roamed her face while her heart kicked up. When he met her eyes again, her breath hitched. “You have to rest and you have to eat. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and you need to be strong. That’s one of the rules on a mission. Take care of yourself or you’re no good to your team.”
 
“I’m not part of your team. I’m just me.”
 
“You aren’t alone on this. We’re here, and that makes you part of the team. I’m ordering you to eat, same as I’d order my spotter or anyone else under my authority, and then I’m ordering you to rest.”

“I’m not under your authority.” Maybe she should be angry at the way he was talking to her, but she was oddly touched. God, just blame it on stress and a situation outside her control. She needed to push this man away, but she couldn’t seem to do it.
 
“Think of this like the island. I’m the one with the experience. I know what I’m doing. I got you out of there, didn’t I?”

 She nodded.

 “Trust me to get you out of here too, okay?”
 
“All right.”
 
He lifted an eyebrow. “You gonna eat when the food gets here?”
 
“Depends on what you ordered. I hate squash, for instance.”
 
“Then I’ll call and cancel the squash sandwich.”
 
She couldn’t help but laugh even though it had an edge that could turn into panic at any moment. “You didn’t order anything of the sort.”
 
“No.” He backed away and reached for the door handle. “Put on your pajamas. Get comfortable.”

“I don’t wear pajamas. I don’t wear anything.”
 
He stopped in mid-swing and she wanted to laugh again. She did wear pajamas, but she’d wanted to rattle him. Just because.

“Well, honey, you can come out here in nothing if you want, but it’ll probably be embarrassing for you and the delivery person both. Still, you can tip him good and I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

He shot her a grin before shutting the door behind him. Gina stood there with her heart pounding and her pulse skipping and wondered just what it was about him that made her want to get beneath his skin.
 
 
 
 
USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." To date, Lynn's books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
 
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