Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

So I got new Mr. Sketch scented markers in a care package from my girlfriend yesterday. Instead of writing text about Halloween, I doodled you all a greeting instead! Stay safe, be kind, and if you are allergic to chocolate or peanuts, you can totally send me your candy. (It was worth a shot right?) Feel free to share your costume ideas or pictures in the comments below. Happy Halloween!

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Fighter by Kira Adams

The Fighter (Foundation #2)
Release Date: 10/28/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Junior year was supposed to be
some of the best times of his life. Instead, Jace Austin lost not only his
mother, but also his identical twin brother. After time to heal and grieve,
Jace was able to confront his inner demons, and open himself up to love.

Senior year is shaping up to be more of the same; another day, another roller
coaster. His father believes Jace is to blame for the deaths in their family;
drinking himself numb. He can’t play the hero all the time, and one day soon
Jace is going to come face to face with that reality—and let’s face it, it
won’t be pretty.


Pieces of Me
Release Date: 08/11/14

Summary from Goodreads:
For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton. 

Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.


“So, how was your day? I noticed you were conveniently MIA at school today. You didn’t answer or return any of my texts or calls either—what’s up?” I caught the hostility in her voice.
“My father is what is up. It was like an episode of the Twilight Zone today. I don’t know what he’s up to, but I’m going to find out,” I vowed.
“Just be careful,” Peyton warned, her face crinkled with worry.
“Always am,” I lied, inching closer to her. I swiveled her chair around so she was now facing me and lowered my lips to hers in a short, sweet kiss. “How’s my song coming along?”
The look on her face gave her away.
“You finished it?” No one had ever written anything about me before. The idea that she went through all the trouble was fascinating.
She nodded, attempting but failing miserably at hiding her grin.
“I want to hear it,” I demanded.
“Now. I’ve been waiting forever!” Okay, to be fair, it had only been a week, but I was anxious.
“You’re making me nervous. What if you don’t like it?” Her hesitation was endearing.
“Not possible.”
She took a deep breath in, exhaling slowly. “Okay.”
She stood up and I took her place in the chair. She began wringing out her hands nervously and rubbing them up and down her jeans.
“Peyton, look at me, it’s just me. You have nothing to be nervous about. Imagine me naked if it helps.”
Her eyes bulged out of her head at my comment.
“Or not…” My cheeks grew red from embarrassment.
She began giggling, shifting the mood.
“Just remember…you asked for it,” she warned.
She took one more deep breath, closing her eyes before opening them again and beginning. “This is called ‘You’.”

Buy Links:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Createspace

About the Author

Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, and the Looking Glass series.

Author Links:
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Excerpt & Giveaway: A Native's Tongue by Michael D. Dennis

Title: A Native's Tongue
Author: Michael D. Dennis
Release date: June 2014

About the Book:

A Native’s Tongue, by Michael D. Dennis, was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon in ebook and paperback, and on Barnes & Nobel.

A Native’s Tongue is about a young man trying to find his way in the world. He struggles to keep the woman he loves while entangled in the sex, drugs, and tragedy of Los Angeles. It was inspired by real events,” says Dennis.

Book Blurb:

Charlie Winters has never been an overachiever. He is used to just getting by while living with his single mother and working a dead-end job at a cheesesteak stand. Meanwhile, he’s constantly grappling with the voice of his sister, who died in a tragic car accident years earlier, echoing in his head.

So when Violet, an older woman, sets her sights on Charlie and refuses to let go, he follows along. He soon finds himself immersed in a destructive relationship that still fails to fill the void within him.

But then he meets Jennifer, a mystical young woman whose energy and life convinces Charlie to pursue her, even through the darkest corners of Los Angeles, and sets their lives upon a path that can’t be stopped.

Escaping to the California coast, Charlie and Jennifer finally find what they’ve always needed. But a sudden illness quickly pulls them both back to LA. It is there, amid the sex, drugs, and split-second decisions that pulse through the city, that tragedy strikes—threatening to tear Charlie and Jennifer apart forever.

Love and tragedy collide in Dennis’s poignant new novel, A Native’s Tongue.


Chapter One

Jennifer Bannister’s footsteps echoed down the hall. The uniforms of the inmates dampened the sound. Her ears tried to follow the faint sound, if only to affirm that she was still moving forward. There wasn’t anyone to hold her hand. She just trusted that each sign would guide her in the right direction.

I’ll get there at some point, Jennifer thought, trying to convince herself that she was doing the right thing. You can’t get lost in here; they don’t let you go off course. Her words slipped away. She felt the cold air settle over her skin. She glanced at a placard marked Visitors Only.

In the cool air, her skin tightened. Jennifer shivered and wished she were somewhere warmer. Seeing Violet for the first time was going to be hard enough. She was going to look the woman she hated most in the world in the eye. She didn’t want to be shaking from the cold and covered in goose bumps.

Jennifer peered through the bulletproof glass at Violet. There were markings embedded in the glass, swirls that made it harder to look directly into Violet’s eyes. Jennifer picked up the phone and listened. Violet grabbed it and began to speak, “It was never you that he loved. You know that right?” Violet’s voice was raspy.

Her expressions and mannerisms changed from static to fully engaged. She stood up and waved her hands maniacally at Jennifer, and then she slammed her fist against the glass.

Jennifer hung up the phone. Her blonde hair got caught in between her hand and the receiver as she placed it back on the black hook. Turning, she slid out of the red plastic chair and down the corridor, guided by the exit sign’s green light. In the stale air of the prison, she searched for a pack of cigarettes, unsheathed a Parliament, lit it, and smoked nervously.

Two overweight guards carrying guns in nylon hip holsters directed her to the parking lot, where they offered her matching robotic waves good-bye. The midnight blue 2005 Jaguar xk8, which her parents loaned her for this visit, was the only vehicle in the parking lot row. Her parents thought she would feel safer in their car rather than her own bright red Honda.

In either case, she seemed to fit this car, or the car fit her a lot more. Her lean physique matched the lines on the Jag, and it made her feel more mature. She was constantly trying to act older than she was. Jennifer went around to the passenger side of the car and opened the rear door. She set her oversized black leather purse on the back seat and took out a translucent orange bottle filled with tiny white pills. She slung her head back, popped two, shut the door and walked around to the driver’s seat.

The heat had melted the surface of the Jaguar’s leather seats, reducing the fabric to a buttery texture. Jennifer’s blonde hair clung to the sides of her shoulders, heavy with sweat. She retrieved her car key from the passenger seat, pressed the key into the slot, and burst into tears, suddenly unable to move.

Jennifer hadn’t eaten all day. The heavy dose of Xanax caused her to feel excessively nauseous. She blacked out and fell forward, hitting her forehead on the steering wheel. The car increased in temperature with the late afternoon heat. Her powder-white skin grew red.

“Miss. Are you alright? Miss?” A young guard, Bill Marsh, had spotted the car, and decided to go in for a closer look.

When Jennifer didn’t move, he took out his club and smashed the window. She woke up from her temporary coma and lashed out.

"You Fuck!" Her voice was barely audible, even with the window smashed. Her energy was gone.

"Miss--I, I’m sorry you didn't look okay."

"I am! What business do you have involving yourself in my business? Do you know what you did? You just fucked up my car, you moron.”

“Look, I just saw you from my station.”

To Bill, her face looked familiar, though he couldn’t place where he had seen her before.

"You have no idea. Sitting in your stupid box, behind that intercom.

"I’m sorry, I know we’ll pay for the window. Hell, if the prison won't, I personally will." Bill said.

About the Author:
Michael D. Dennis is an author and playwright who earned a degree in English literature from Loyola Marymount University. Winner of a LMU Playwriting Award for his play Death of a Watchdog, Michael also had his play, Hen in the Field, produced at the Whitefire Theatre in 2012. His debut novel, A Native’s Tongue, was published in June 2014. Michael currently lives in Santa Monica, California with his girlfriend and two dogs, Jack and Aurora.
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-This giveaway will run from October 30th to November 6th, 2014
-This giveaway is open to ANYONE who can accept Kindle copies.
-This giveaway is open to those 18 and older (with parental permission of course)
-It is open to anyone over that age who can legally enter, receive, and use their prize.
-One (1) winner will win a copy.
-This giveaway is sponsored wholly by the publisher. I am not responsible.
-This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity.
-Winner will have 48 hours to reply, or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen using
-Invalid entries will be removed, so please don't cheat.
-Void where prohibited. Odds will vary. No purchase necessary.
-My opinions are my own. Information will not be stored or sold, and will be used only to contact the winners.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Bad Blood by Nicky Peacock

Title: Bad Blood
Author: Nicky Peacock
Release date: 09/05/14
Publisher: Evernight Teen

Book Description via Goodreads:

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.”

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.


We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty-six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.
“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.
“Maybe you should grow a pair.”
“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.
“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”
“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”
“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”
“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”
“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”
Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”
I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.
“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.
“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

Buy it here:
Amazon UK | Amazon US | Evernight Teen

About the Author:
I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?
Writing was really a natural progression. Right now I’m obsessed with writing: a YA Urban Fantasy novel, a Paranormal Romance novella series, and several short horror stories! So I’m currently living in a functional fiction coma – and loving it!
I’ve so far been published in 5 countries: USA, UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada and had short stories included in 40 anthologies with over 17 publishers.
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One lucky winner will receive eBook copies of all 28 books! That's a lot of supernatural Halloween reading featuring: vampires, mermaids, reapers, werewolves, demons, gods, dragons, ghosts, witches, a phoenix and much more! Books included are:

Soul Taken/ Soul Possessed/ Soul Betrayed by Kaitlyn Duncan
Crown of Ice by Vicki L Weavil
Tangled Tides/ Dangerous Depths by Karen Amanda Hooper
Shadows of Fate by Angela Dennis
Divinity by Michelle L Johnson
Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway
Darkness / Darkness Reigns by L M Justus
The Guardian of Bastet by Jacqueline M Battisti
My Sisters Reaper/ My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer
Soul Bound/ Soul Deep by Anne Hope
Daughter of Chaos by Jenn McConnel
Wicked Hunger by Delsheree Gladden
Shadow soul/ Shadow Heir by Kaitlyn Davis
Into the Fire by Asheynn Drake
Predator by Janice Gable Bashman
Whispers in the Darkness by Vanessa Barger
A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley
Prayer for the Dead/ Aeonian Kiss by Nicki Scalise
Keeper of the Lost Souls/ Keeper of the Innocent by Kristy Centeno

Thank you to all the authors who contributed copies of their books. And a special thank you to for their contributions.

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Special Character Giveaway:
Would you like to be a character in the Battle of the Undead books? Well here's your opportunity! Nicky Peacock is giving away the chance for you to create a character of your very own to star alongside: Britannia, Nicholas, Josh, Jack and all the others in the next novels. You could be immortalized forever in a YA book! All you have to do is send an email entitled 'Bad Blood Character Giveaway' with your character on to: battleoftheundead (at) hotmail (dot) com Please include their name, gender, description, and whether they are a vampire, zombie, Vambie or human - and don't forget to say whether they are good or bad. Nicky will choose the best character and get in touch with the winner directly. Deadline for entries is the 30th November 2014.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blog Tour Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway: Cover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless

Title: Cover Him with Darkness
Author: Janine Ashbless
Release date: 10/14/14
Publisher: Tempted Romance/Cleis Press
Purchase: Amazon | Cleis Press

Book Blurb:

If You Loved an Angel... How Far Would You Fall with Him?

What happens when the daughter of the village priest falls in love with an archangel banished from heaven? Milja’s heart is struck when she catches a glimpse of the preternaturally beautiful prisoner her father keeps captive beneath his church’s altar. Torn between tradition, loyalty and her growing obsession with the fallen angel, will Milja risk losing her family, and her eternal soul, for the love of this divine being? Janine Ashbless will transport you to a world where good and evil battle for true love.

Guest Post:

by Janine Ashbless

I’m not sure I should be saying this, but I never expected to write a novel – never mind a trilogy – about fallen angels. I thought all that was behind me. You see, Cover Him with Darkness started life as a short story in which it was never made entirely clear what the gorgeous male prisoner in the cell was – pagan god, titan, angel or demon. Then Cleis Press mailed me out of the blue with “What happened next? We need to know!” and suddenly, WHAM, I was up to my neck in the Old Testament, Orthodox iconography and the Apocalypse.

Not that this was unfamiliar territory – far from it. My family were (and are) Christians, and I’d been brought up in a Bible-believing/charismatic/evangelical circle, so angelic intervention was something categorized in an understated British way as ‘Not Impossible’. And we didn’t picture them as hunky guys with wings!

I was always, it must be said, one of those uncomfortable Christians that asked doubting, awkward questions about things in the Bible. Now of course there are (complex) answers to those awkward questions. Personally I ended up, in my twenties, cutting the Gordian knot and taking the simple solution, i.e. deciding that the Bible was fiction and God did not exist: “TA DA! The Problem of Evil dissolves into nothing! Hurray, now I can go worry about something else!”

But with writing Cover Him with Darkness, suddenly I’m back asking those questions. I’ve got angels who come to earth and have sex with human women (Genesis 6: 1-2). I’ve got a hot, messed-up anti-hero who’s standing up against God Almighty, and been punished horribly for it. And within my fictional universe there’s no room for doubt or atheism – given that several of the characters have actually met God. Eeeeek! How am I going to make sense of it all?

Well I promised myself from the start I wouldn’t dodge the issues, even though I was “only” (as some might see it) writing an erotic romance. I wouldn’t pretend that the questions of sexual sin, divine justice and free will were just invisible; I would face them down and try to come to some answers. Inevitably I’m going to upset people for whom my conclusions, in the fictional world, don’t fit their real-world view.

My mother has bought Cover Him with Darkness, by the way. Maybe I need to make my own plans for Christmas dinner...

Janine Ashbless

About the Author:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure – and that’s “fantasy” in the sense of swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore. She likes to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.
Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000, and her novels and single-author collections now run into double figures. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology Geek Love.
Her work has been described as: "hardcore and literate" (Madeline Moore) and "vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love." (Portia Da Costa)
Facebook | Blog | Amazon US | Goodreads | Amazon UK



I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with this book when I first agreed to read it. I admittedly haven't read too many books that deal with angels, fallen or otherwise. All that being said, Ashbless has set the bar for my expectations of angelic paranormal romance. I positively loved Cover Him with Darkness.

A large part of why I liked this book lies in the settings. It's set in a modern world, with the lead character Milja going to school in Boston. However, her home is a remote village in Montenegro that seems like it's set centuries ago. There's no running water or electricity, everyone knows everyone (and everyone's business), religion is still very close to the heart of the village, which is in the mountains. It's charming in a rustic kind of way, and if we're being completely honest, put me a little in mind of Belle's village in "Beauty and the Beast". I really liked this old-fashioned setting mixed with the modern world of cell phones, airplanes, and the internet.

The other main reason why I liked this book is simply Azazel, the fallen angel. He is deceptive and possessive and absolutely dreamy. What does that say about my own character? Eh. That's a discussion for a different day, I think. He's seduction and evil manifested into one body and much like Milja, I didn't want to be attracted to him but I found it to be impossible. Mmm.

If you are really devout or easily offended by blasphemy, let me tell you something, this is not the book for you. Fortunately, I am neither of those things and am a bit of a closeted heirophiliac myself. (If you don't know what that means.... Don't Google Image search it. I warned you.) This in short means adding an erotic, lusty love to a church setting is just my type of reading fun. But don't let that fool you. It's clear that there's a lot of study and familiarity with religious texts present in this book. I appreciated that I wasn't just expected to know passages or scripture quotes- I'm a little rusty these days.

There's a lot of lust in this book, yes, but there's also quite a bit of action and suspense that left me wanting to read more. I finished this book in a manner of hours simply because I didn't want to put it down. The pacing is excellent, and there's hardly a dull moment when it comes to fallen angels who have escaped from their prison.

Overall, this book is just really well written. I liked the characters. I liked the settings. I enjoyed the steamier romance scenes and all of the Biblical/holy knowledge that was sprinkled in throughout the text. It's good story telling, plain and simple. This isn't my first time reading a story by Janine Ashbless (I actually highlighted her short stories in my review of The Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica & Anything for You), but I sincerely hope to read more full length books like this one from her. I will also, after I finish this review, go back and read the original short story of Cover Him with Darkness.

This is a good book for anyone who likes the combination of sin, angels, sex, romance, domination, religious ideals, and steam. Thanks so much to Tempted Romance/Cleis Press for my copy in exchange for my honest review.


-This giveaway will run from October 29th to November 5th, 2014
-This giveaway is US & CAN ONLY
-This giveaway is open to those 18+
-It is open to anyone over that age who can legally enter, receive, and use their prize.
-One (1) winner will win a copy.
-This giveaway is sponsored wholly by the publisher. I am not responsible.
-This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity.
-Winner will have 48 hours to reply, or a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen using
-Invalid entries will be removed, so please don't cheat.
-Void where prohibited. Odds will vary. No purchase necessary.
-My opinions are my own. Information will not be stored or sold, and will be used only to contact the winners.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Raven by Pauline Creeden

Title: Raven
Series: (Chronicles of Steele #1)
Author: Pauline Creeden
Release date: 10/14

Book Description via Goodreads:

This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel - all four parts of the serial in one volume!

Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter is as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.


Two sets of footsteps clipped across on the cobblestone. Before they rounded the bend to the stable door, Raven’s fingers twitched over her knife. When she saw Gorman and the younger baron, she relaxed and continued attaching her weapons.
“Can I trust you?” Baron Darius’s voice rose hesitantly as he approached.
She smiled. “I’ve saved your life once and promise to do it as many times as necessary.”
“It’s the reaper’s way. A life for a life.”
“How many have you killed?”
Raven clinched her jaw. “Too many.” Her gaze met the butler’s. “Will he have his own horse?”
“No. The young master’s condition makes him subject to untimely fits. He would be in danger of falling.” His ice blue eyes held a fire unmatched by his frozen features.
“Right. I expected as much.” She placed her boot in the stirrup and mounted. “Hand him to me then.
The butler lifted him to the front of her saddle. She knew it would be an uncomfortable place to ride for a long period of time, but he’d only have to make it to Gregory’s house. On a horse, it should only be about four hours if they took it slow, less than three if needed.
A horn sounded, and the butler paled. “It’s him. The duke approaches.”
“Father is early.” The boy sounded happy but tentative.
Gorman gripped the horse’s rein and turned it toward the other stable exit. “We must leave by the north gate. The duke approaches from the south. You may have as much as an hour’s head start before he commands a pursuit.”
Raven swallowed hard. “That’s not enough time.”
“Follow me.” He released the rein and jogged forward.
The horse trotted in response. Even in the jarring up and down motion of the trot, the young baron remained silent. He gripped the chestnut mare’s mane with both hands. His knuckles glowed white under the lamps. Raven pulled gently on the reins to slow the horse to a more tolerable speed but followed the butler closely.
“Guards!” Gorman reached the gates, speaking in breathless tones. “Baron Solomon orders passage for this woman and the young baron.”
Raven recognized Grant’s red band before he turned around. He narrowed his eyes at her and barked the order to open the gate. Before she could urge her horse forward, Grant gripped the bridle by the cheek piece. He called back toward the butler, “Will she need guard?”
“That will not be necessary. She is capable of caring for the young baron on his errand.”
Even in the half-light, Raven could see the guard’s jaw tighten and nostrils flare in indecision. “Baron Solomon trusts this woman?”
The butler frowned and stiffened in disapproval. Still he answered softly, “Yes, with his brother’s life.”

Buy it here:
Amazon | B&N

About the Author:
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary is scheduled for release September 30, 2013, and has already been nominated for two awards in YA Science Fiction.

One of Pauline's short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group.
Facebook | Website | Twitter | Goodreads


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cookbook Review: The Tucci Table: Cooking With Family and Friends

Title: The Tucci Table: Cooking With Family and Friends

Author: Stanley Tucci

Format: egalley

Pub. Date: October 28th 2014

Source: Netgalley & Gallery Books

Summary from Goodreads:
Featuring family-friendly recipes and stunning photography, an all-new cookbook from New York Times bestselling author, beloved actor, and respected foodie Stanley Tucci.

Stanley Tucci's association with wonderful foods began for fans with the movie Big Night and resonated in his role as Julia Child's husband in Julie & Julia. But well before these films, he was enjoying innovative homemade Italian meals throughout his childhood, when family and food were nearly inseparable and cooking was always a familial venture.

Now, in a completely new, family-focused cookbook, Tucci captivates food lovers' imaginations with recipes from his traditional Italian roots as well as those of his British wife, Felicity Blunt, tied together with a modern American ribbon. The time-tested recipes include pasta alla bottarga, mushroom-stuffed trout, pork chops with onions and mustard sauce, barbeque chicken wings, and much, much more! Nothing will make you happier to spend time with family than the aroma of a hearty Italian dish sizzling on the stovetop.

Featuring 100 luscious new full-color photographs, The Tucci Table captures the true joys of family cooking. Buon apetito!


I've got to say, this book has a really wide variety of recipes, and a high volume of them too. This cookbook is a nice blend of "a little bit of everything", but draws heavily on Italian, British, and American cuisines. There's a lot of dishes in here that I was familiar with, which helped to set the familial tone that Stanley Tucci wished to give to the reader.

Each recipe comes with a fun little story that introduces the people in Tucci's life, and makes you feel like you know them too. It made the recipes seem more personal, as though this book wasn't mass produced, but given to you as something special. There's a fair bit of humor in this book as well, which made it very easy to flip through for recipes. It's clear that this book was written in love.

The book is divided by course for easy navigation. In addition to anecdotes about Tucci's family, these recipes are paired with tips on how to store these dishes, how to make them better, or how to work with substitutions in a pinch. I really appreciated that for some of the more difficult recipes that step by step photos were included. The photography in this book is lovely, and while there's not a picture for every recipe, there are a lot of photographs.

This is a book that virtually anyone can use. There are some basic recipes for those who are new to the kitchen, and more complex dishes for those of us who have more experience with cooking. A few of the dishes that I most look forward to trying include Isabel's New York Cheesecake Ice Cream, Baked Ham with Mostarda di Frutta, and Pan-Seared Loin of Venison with Red Wine, Juniper and Quince.

This is a solid book for beginners and more experienced home cooks alike who are looking for new meals to share with their families. Thanks to Netgalley & Gallery Books for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Here With Me

Here With Me (Together #2)
by Alla
Release Date: 10/28/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
JADEN BAKER is stoked
about college, new friends, and a second chance to erase the memory of being
bullied through high school. But moving on comes with a price. Her dad has made
arrangements for her to move into her brother’s apartment so her brother can
watch over her like she was a baby. But there's a glitch in her dad's plans.
There are also two roommates living in the apartment too. Suddenly, living in
an off campus apartment with three college-aged boys seems like a bad idea --
but not to Jaden. After all, Cade is pretty damn hot, making the whole forced
living arrangement and new baby-sitter a little more tolerable.

CADE JENKINS grew up on the opposite side of the tracks from his best-friend
and his privileged little sister. His dad bailed when he was a kid, and he
can't help but still care for his drug-addicted mother. But things are looking
up. He's met someone. Too bad she's his best-friend's fresh out of high-school,
inexperienced little sister. Awkward!

Just when it looks like things might be changing for the better, Jaden finds
herself battling severe depression and a broken heart when her high school
bully targets her once again. Cade, who'd love to pick up the pieces and make
her whole, must fight his own demons and family trouble.

If only they didn't find themselves falling irrevocably in love.

Buy Links:

Book One:

Buy Links for Where You Are:

About the Author
I go by Alla Kar. I live in the Deep South with my husband, Chihuahua and pit-bull puppy. I love to bring southern gentlemen, alpha males and all things new adult to life. I am an Amazon Best-Selling Author!

Author Links:
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I sigh and step out of the Beemer. This is where rich parents send their children for college. I don’t know how much the rent is, but I know it’s a butt load. Dad doesn’t think twice when Adam asks for money, or me. It’s like second nature to hand over wads of cash. It means he is taking care of his children. More like bribing them, but whatever helps him sleep at night.
I follow him up the three flights of stairs to the fourth floor. There is music vibrating from the other side.
Dad raps his knuckles roughly against the door.
He knocks louder, grumbling underneath his breath. His arm flies up, and he glances at his watch. He’s sweating in his damn suit. Only my dad would wear a suit to help his daughter move. Not that we have to actually do any moving.
Dad pulls out his cell. I figure he’s calling Adam, but it goes straight to voicemail. “Damn it,” he grumbles before pounding his fist against the door. “Open the door, Adam!” he yells.
I play with a dark curl hanging against my shoulder and bite my lip to keep from laughing. A bead of sweat drops from Dad’s upper lip. Then the door swings open and my eyes snap upward.
Holy Shit.
My. God.
A shiver shoots down my spine as I drink in everything that’s standing in front of me. He has dark brown hair that’s standing up like a woman has recently been raking her hands through it. My eyes drag down his body over each lean, long muscle. Tattoos cover his torso, from a long, tribal tattoo to something peeking out of his low-rise sweats, to a cluster of them along his other arm. Jesus Christ.
Something settles in my lower stomach, and I squeeze my thighs together to keep the heat in. Is this a dream? Are we at the right apartment? We have to have the wrong apartment. I glance at the door.
Nope, right apartment.
Dad makes a disgusted snort and waves his hand in front of him. It isn’t long before I smell why. Either a skunk died in their apartment or they’re smoking weed.
“I’m looking for Adam.”
My eyes settle on his dimples—of course, he has dimples—and then move with him as he rests against the doorframe.
“Adam Baker?” he asks. His voice sends another roll of lava under my skin while my toes curl in my Dolce & Gabbana suede, knee-high boots. Damn.
Dad’s teeth grind together. “Yes, my son. Is he here?”
Pursing his thick, pink lips, he strokes the scruff on his jaw with a long finger. Dad seems uneasy. “Adam. Hmm, Adam.”
His gaze drifts over to me for the first time, and my sex clenches. Lifting a brow, he rakes his eyes from my hair to my toes. I squeeze my already curled feet into my shoes. What. The. Hell?
Dad snaps his fingers in front of his face, and he drops his “I’m-taking-all-your-clothes-off-in-my-head-right-now” look. “Is Adam here?”
He smiles—God, he smiles—and I bite my tongue. He’s making fun of my dad, and I can’t help but grin. “Yeah, he’s in the living room.”
Dad pushes his way in. I wait in the hall unsure of what to do and fighting the urge to drink him in again. When I do look his left hand is wrapped around the top of the doorframe, and he leans toward me. His dark eyes penetrate me, and I’m trying not to lap like a dog from the heat of it.
“You can come in. I won’t bite you, Princess,” he whispers before his tongue darts out of the side of his mouth. “But no promises about licking.”

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Mini Review: An October Bride

Title: An October Bride
Series:: (A Year of Weddings, #11)
Author: Katie Ganshert
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 23rd 2014
Source: Netgalley & Zondervan

Description via Goodreads:

A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.

Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married---so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle.

While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications---the biggest being their true feelings for each other.

In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.


I'll start this review off by saying that I haven't read any of the other books in the A Year of Weddings series. I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and the promising blurb, and was in the mood for a quick romance that would put me in the proper autumn spirit. That's exactly what I got.

This novella has absolutely beautiful writing. I haven't read anything from Katie Ganshert before, but it's definitely clear that she's a talented author in this story. The descriptions are detailed, the characters have depth, the plot drew me in from the first few pages. All of these things, I usually find, are hard to come across in the format of a novella, where space is limited. While I do wish this story would have been drawn out into a book, the pacing and story-telling are well done and not at all rushed or cut to the chase.

The romance in this novella was sweet and clean without being cheesy. I fell in love with the characters and their stories rather quickly, and rooted for the not-so-real romance to bloom from early on. This book has a few laughable parts and a few sad ones, but there's this lingering feeling of hope throughout the text that I rather enjoyed. This paired with the fall scenery made for a pleasant reading combination.

One thing I wasn't aware of in this book was the Christian themes. This didn't hinder my rating or reading experience at all, it's just something that I neglected to realize at the time of download.

This is a great read for anyone looking for a short, clean, sweet romance. Though of course it can be read at any time, I recommend reading it in the fall season like I did. Though it's part of a series, it works as a standalone as well. Thanks to Netgalley and Zondervan for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves [66]

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we get to show off the books we've won, bought, or otherwise received in the past week. If a book catches your eye, *click* the picture to go to the Goodreads page of that book.



In My Inbox:
The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp
Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny
Twisted by Lola Smirnova

In My Mailbox:

Hollow Beauty by Khristina Chess *signed*, thanks Goodreads!

Be sure to enter to win an ebook of your choice from Felicity Heaton, 18+ here!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway of Spark of Light by Elizabeth Tuttle!

Title: Spark of Light
Series: Avery #1
Author: Elizabeth Tuttle
Release date: 09/25/14
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Book Description via Goodreads:

***Mature YA - This book contains mild adult language and sexual content.***

Nearly a century ago the world was decimated by a magical war. In their defeat, elves were captured by humans, cut off from their magic, and broken down into lifeless, drone-like slaves.

Avery is different. Somehow, her magic has always simmered beneath the surface. Never completely broken, she must pretend in order to survive. When Zander, her master’s nephew, brings her magic out in full force, she finds out what it’s like to truly be alive.

Ripped from Zander’s side and sent to The Farm, Avery doesn’t know if she’ll be able to hide her light and make it out alive. But there, she’ll meet someone who knows her true purpose.

The war isn’t over, and if Avery can survive, she could be the one to set her people free. All it takes is a little hope and a Spark of Light.

About the Author:

Elizabeth’s first writing award was in the 2nd grade with a story about a cat and a dog that overcame their differences and became friends. Satisfied with that success, she put her writing career on hold until the winter of 2012. Now, she spends most days in her pajamas making things up and writing them down. Her other interests include board games, being in nature, and binge watching shows on Netflix.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing List

Follow the rest of the tour by clicking here!



Five stars.


I simply adored this book. I will try to write this as professionally and un-spoilery as possible, but forgive me in advance if I get a little fangirly. I was drawn in from the first page, and I was hooked until the very end. I read this book within a day, and I was irritated by the fact that I had to do things that weren't read this book, like go to class and study.

I'll start with how much I really liked this concept. This book does something that I personally haven't encountered before- it combines the genres of high fantasy and dystopia. When I saw that this book included both a strange future America post-war setting and a race of enslaved elves, I knew I had to have it. These two genres are among my top favorites to read, and when you mix that idea with young adult and a dash of romance, it becomes the perfect match for me.

The characters were also a huge part of what made this novel so enjoyable. The main character, Avery, is a determined and rebellious elf-slave who is strong and independent despite her love interest, Zander. I loved watching both of these characters grow as a couple, as well as on their own throughout the course of the book. I also really liked that their romance is a bit steamy and risque than I anticipated, without being too explicit. Almost more importantly than the characters I loved are the ones I hated. Tuttle managed to make me hate characters but not because they were poorly written, but just the opposite. They were so detailed and so rotten that I became all the more invested in the story line because I hoped that they'd get what they had coming to them.

The world building is another thing that stood out to me in this book. I really liked the detail put into the book. Whether the characters were on the Ruler's estate, at the food lot, or at The Farm (the worst possible place an elf can go), I felt like I was actually there, and I was never lost or confused by what was happening, thanks to each vivid detail being included in the text.

This book's pacing is really steady and intense. It covers quite a decent amount of time, but it's done with well written elapses. It moves pretty fast thanks to the nonstop action and plot twists and the tremendously overwhelming amount of feelings I experienced at the hands of this book. I will say that some of these twists are predictable at times, but honestly I'd get swept up in some other plot line with such intensity that I'd forget that I'd predicted it at all, which helped to keep it surprising and exciting to read.

Spark of Light is one of the best books that I have read this year. It is a high speed fantastical dystopian that follows a forbidden romance between an elf slave and a human, and how they can work together to start a new revolution to make a better existence for both races. This is a mature YA read- there are some steamy but not explicit sex scenes and situations involving rape and violence, so reader beware. I'd recommend this to anyone who is a fan of dystopian and fantasy novels because this book is, in my humble opinion, a great blend of both genres. This is a book that you won't want to put down, and you'll curse to yourself when you find that you're out of pages. (I know I did.)

Thanks so much to the author/IFB Tours for my copy of this book in exchange for my 100% honest review.


"Afterward, when my heart has had about all it can take, I need you. I need this. You make it better. When I'm with you, I can breathe again." His arms tighten around me and he tucks his face into the crook of my neck, his hot breath sending a jolt of a different kind of energy straight between my legs.


I close my eyes and focus on calming the blood racing through my veins much too fast. I'd do anything for Zander. I'd take away all his pain if I could, but I haven't done anything yet. I'm just here, and for him it's enough. I know because it's like that for me too. Having him close makes everything tolerable. I'd tie myself up for a million whippings if it meant Zander would be there to hold me when it was over. I don't know how we got here, but being with him is everything that makes every day worth any pain that comes with it.


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