Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Insatiable Reads Tour: Lila Lacroix - A World Away (@insatiablereads)

Join us for the Insatiable Reads Summer 2013 Tour

Today we're hosting Lisa Lacroix and her new novel

A World Away

From the blurb:

College sophomore Sophie Burnette has just been dumped by her boyfriend, is losing touch with her high school friends and is generally tired of her life in her small Midwestern city. When she sees an ad for doing a semester abroad, she jumps on the opportunity.

Philippe Vaillancourt is a graduate student with a turbulent past who can’t help but immediately fall for Sophie when she walks past him in the park one day.

Sophie’s heart, however, has already been captured by local photographer Jacques Lafleur who shows her a Paris Sophie couldn’t have dreamed existed. But when circumstances throw Sophie and Philippe together, and she begins to realize she’s heading down a dark and dangerous path, will Philippe be able to bring her back, or is Sophie already in too deep?

An excerpt:

Philippe and I met at the Louvre this time, since it was both our days off. We decided to make a morning of it, and I felt that familiar tingle down my spine as I saw him approach, as I’d gotten there first. I really need to start being the one who shows up later for things, this makes me seem desperate I thought to myself as he came up to me and kissed me on the cheek again.

“Hello, Sophie. I’m glad you’ve decided to explore the museum with me again. It certainly is more fun with company, especially company as sexy as yourself.”

“Well, I don’t even need to go into the museum to see art when it’s standing right here in front of me,” I replied, my eyes twinkling. If Philippe wanted to flirt with me, I sure as hell could flirt right back at him. Who knew, this was our day off. Maybe after the museum we would go back to his place, or mine, and then… well, the instant I started thinking about it I felt my panties moistening, my breath catching in my throat, my pulse racing. I hoped Philippe didn’t notice. More than that, I hoped he felt the same way.

“Shall we begin, my lady?” Philippe asked, leading me towards the entrance to the museum. We walked together in silence as we headed towards the French Paintings section. Philippe wanted to show me some of the best works of his homeland. We were led through paintings so incredible, so realistic, I was amazed. Philippe explained to me that the heyday of French painting was after the Renaissance, in the classical period, and then impressionism.

“Most of the best impressionist works in Paris are at the Musée d’Orsay, not here, but the best Classical works of this country are in these rooms” Philippe told me.

When we arrived at the painting by Jean Louis David, The Consecration of Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Josephine, I was amazed. The name of the painting was a mouthful, but it was nothing compared to the actual artwork. I had seen the painting before, of course, printed in some of the books I’d read about Art History, but that was nothing compared to seeing it in real life.

I had expected the painting to be maybe two feet high by three feet wide. Instead, the painting absolutely filled the room. It was at least twenty feet high, and thirty feet wide. The painting was basically life size, with Napoleon in the center standing around six feet tall as he held high the crown he was about to place on the head of his wife, Josephine.

“That’s incredible,” I whispered to Philippe as we gazed at the painting.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Insatiable Reads Tour: Anna Antonia - Mad For You (@insatiablereads)

Join us for the Insatiable Reads Summer 2013 Tour

Today we're hosting Anna Antonia and her new novel

Mad For You

From the blurb:
I had gone to high school with Gabriel Gordon. Despite his heavenly name and matching beauty, Gabriel was anything but angelic. Rich, spoiled, and far too cynical for his age, he could easily charm the skirt off a prim beauty or a young teacher or two. Gabriel Gordon was mad, bad, and ...well, you probably know the rest. The years hadn't changed him, despite taking over his father's company and expanding it into a multinational corporation. Unfortunately, it was just my luck that I found myself working in Gabriel's building. Although I had managed to avoid him for the better part of a month, a chance encounter in the elevator proved he was still an arrogant man who showed far too much interest in the shape of my mouth and nape of my neck. From then on, Gabriel bedeviled me, teased me, and more often than not, made me want to throw things at his head. Still, just as in high school, I couldn't help but see the pain behind his lazy grin and the shadows in his crystalline gaze. When Gabriel confessed his love for me, I should have been the happiest woman in the world. Too bad I couldn't believe him...
Emma Adams had always considered herself level-headed, even-tempered, and most of all, sane. So how did she become someone who couldn't seem to push Gabriel Gordon away? No matter how sweet his words could be or how easily passion exploded between them, getting involved with the outrageously wealthy playboy had to be the height of insanity. Given their tumultuous natures and personal demons, there was only way a relationship between them could survive: in madness.
An excerpt:

“Why are you in such a rush?” I barely managed to grab my purse before he completely hauled me out of the cube.

Gabriel looked over his shoulder at me and grinned. “We have to get you ready for the ball, Cinderellie.”

I struggled to keep up with his long-legged stride. “Gabriel, slow down.”

“No time.” He stopped and scooped me up in his arms. I cried out in surprise. Gabriel tossed me in the air and I let out a shrill scream.

“Put me down!”

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review: King Perry by Edmond Manning

King Perry (The Lost and Founds, #1)From the blurb:

In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry's "kingship" and transform him into the man he was always meant to be. Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as "the one true king." 
Even as Perry rediscovers old grief and new joys within himself, Vin and his shadowy motivations remain enigmas: who is this offbeat stranger guiding them from danger to hilarity to danger? To emerge triumphant, Perry must overcome the greatest challenge alone: embracing his devastating past. But can he succeed by Sunday's sunrise deadline? How can he possibly evolve from an ordinary man into King Perry? 
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Heather's rating:

This book is one strange, crazy, lovely read. I had no idea what was going to happen for 99% of the story. I was totally, completely clueless, just like Perry. Throw away your rulebooks, ladies and gentlemen, and go along for the ride.

I honestly have no idea what to make of this book. If I had to describe this incredibly indescribable book I would say that it is a journey-type story. This is not a traditional romance novel. This book belongs in a similar category as Woke Up in a Strange Place but I liked this book eons more. The story follows two men, Perry and Vin, and their adventures over the course of a weekend. I can't decide if Vin is psychopathic or a divine genius. He is certainly not what I would consider normal.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spotlight: Stacy Moran - Blood Myth

Today we shine the spotlight on Stacy Moran and her novel

Blood Myth 

From the blurb:

Zakah Sange was born into a world of dark magick, always living in the shadows of his father, the Raka King. He was dangerously sexy and enigmatic; he used power and control to shape himself into a hard and cunning man. Zakah became a warrior, a weapon and the master of his own violence lurking within.  Sorina Ruzicka was the great granddaughter of the evil god Akhekh. She was born into a legacy of magickal gifts that she wanted no part of. After years touring as a blues singer she returned home where she only wanted the seclusion of the mountains. A chance meeting with the mysterious club owner forced Sorina into the battle of her life. Can a willful witch, accept the controlling nature of a demon who demands submission? Trusts will be tested, lines will be crossed and a fate neither of them expected will be played out.
An excerpt:


Outside her cottage, the wind rose and whirled fiendishly. Rain pelted at her windows. Sorina wrapped her arms around her up drawn knees, resting her head on them. She felt his emotions. She sensed his need and what he wanted her to understand, but she didn’t understand.

“Sorina.” Zakah made sure his voice was warm, sensual, caressing, velvety, and soothing. “Don’t try to understand, my little rabbit.”

He could feel her anguish even though she tried to hide it with her stubborn chin and defiant eyes. A shadow flickered from a candle. Her eyes followed the shadow. She gasped up at his tall, dark, well-muscled frame which appeared out of nowhere. Sorina stammered, looking up at him towering over her.

“What are you doing here?”

She looked like a scared rabbit. He never felt regret or pity, but to know he was the cause of her fear broke his heart. Zakah couldn’t stop himself; he did something he had never done in all his long years. He wanted to give comfort, take away her fears. Zakah gathered her into his arms, imprisoning her against his hard chest.

“Breathe, Sorina. It will help.”

She pushed against the wall of his chest. “Let go of me. I am not a child who needs to be cradled or spanked.” She emphasized the last word.

Zakah ignored her struggle to pull away from him. He held her close to his chest, his hand stroking over her back slowly. He buried her face in the wealth of her luxurious hair, breathing in the sweet scent of citrus. Sorina found the strength to pull back from his embrace.

“I saw you. I felt you when you were using that rod on that woman. You were imagining she was me.” Her breath caught in her throat when he threaded his fingers through her hair. Zakah gripped her scalp in his strong hands, yanking her head back and the look in his eyes seared her to the bones.

He lowered his head, his mouth inches from her plump lips, so that she could feel the warmth of his breath on her skin. “Yes, I did imagine she was you. I wanted her to be you. I needed her to be you.”

Sorina was silent. She started to tremble in his arms. He knew his words were beginning to sink in. Zakah took in the sad shadows and fear lingering in her large, golden green eyes.

Her heart was pounding. “I want you to leave.” She pushed at the wall of his chest.

He merely tightened his hold on her. Zakah could not hide the bit of enjoyment he was getting from her struggle. “You do not want me to go, Sorina.”

“Yes, I want you to go, Zakah.” His smug look of amusement infuriated her, making her work to keep her voice under control.

“You are safe with me, Sorina. I would not allow anyone or anything to harm you.”

She swallowed nervously, whispering defiantly, “Just you.”

About the author:

Stacy (SAM) was born in West Virginia but now finds herself living in Texas. She has loved writing since the first grade when she completed her first book, The Land without Rules. Her mother will tell you it was a brilliant book. Throughout her school years she was in journalism and has been an avid reader of all literature. She has always craved the feeling of discovering an author's world for the first time. Now she devotes her time to creating her own worlds. Stacy focuses mainly on paranormal romance and poetry. She loves creating dominant male characters and headstrong females for her books.  Stacy now finds herself on a new journey and finally has taken the leap to go after her dreams. She recently finished a poetry book, Whispers in the Dark with two fellow authors and finished her first novel Blood Myth in her Myth Series.

Social Media: Website

Buy this book: Amazon

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy reading.

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or booksellers listed. All materials in this post provided by the featured author.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Spotlight: Ashley Nemer - Blood Series

Today we shine the spotlight on Ashley Nemer and her

Blood Series

Blood Yellow
The lines are drawn, and Zayn and Nikole must face each other in a battle of forgiveness and power; each attempting to right their wrongs, each battling their own inner demons. Haydar and Leigh prepare for war, rounding their men and setting into motion courses that cannot be undone. The tales will fall in line as the four of them come face to face with each other, and they will watch loved ones perish. When the dust settles and dawn breaks, who's going to be left standing and who will be missing? Will Nikole forgive Zayn for his betrayal? Will Leigh and Haydar overcome their differences? Will Adara say yes? Blood Yellow...Because the stories only just begun....

Blood Purple
In a world we think we know, live other races entirely hidden from the mortal perspective. Creatures of legend, of fable and myth, their very history and nature have allowed them to walk side by side with humans since time immemorial. They are warriors, they are hunters, and they are Algula. Vampire. And in their own midst, a battle is brewing for supremacy, for dominance, that can and will affect all around them. Old hatred never dies and vengeance is a fiery sword that cuts a bloody swath.

An excerpt from Chapter Seven – Blood Yellow Nasir watched as they wheeled Adara into the emergency room with Zayn following close behind. He knew this was going to be hard on the couple. They had a flimsy relationship at best. He didn’t know what would happen at the end of the day, the staff was being very tight lipped about Adara’s condition. No one would say if she was going to lose the baby; if she did, gods help them with how Zayn would take that news.

Nasir knew he needed to call Nikole. That wasn’t going to go well. She would be furious she hadn’t been the first one notified. He paused marginally before pulling out his cell phone. No one liked delivering bad news, especially not to an on-edge, pissed off royal Algula. He started to dial her number but stopped when he heard Zayn commanding orders at the medical doctors. He slipped his phone back in his pocket as he ran into the emergency room.

“Zayn, what happened?!?” Nasir asked as he rushed through the double doors to find Zayn shouting at the doctor.

“He said I can’t be in there as they examine her. I told him that’s unacceptable. I am his King, and I order it,” Zayn roared out to Nasir as he pushed through to the exam room.

The doctor and Nasir looked at each other in silence. They both realized there was no stopping Zayn when he was like this. The doctor accepted this and went back into the room to finish the evaluation on Adara. Nasir stepped back into the waiting room and he pulled out his cell phone. He dialed Nikole’s number and hoped she was in a better mood than her Akh.

He let it ring a few times, and then heard her pick up the phone. “Nikole, you need to come to the hospital quick. There has been an accident and Adara is in trouble.”

He heard the anger immediately in the tone of her voice.

“What do you mean an accident? Where are you? Is she hurt badly? You should have called me sooner. When did this happen?” she bellowed through the phone.

He didn’t want to tell her it was Zayn; that would hurt her too badly without knowing the full story.

“Well, someone showed up at her apartment, and there was some sort of fight; the details are still a bit hazy. She is unconscious at the moment, but the doctors think she is going to be fine. I’ll tell you more when you get here. Please come quickly.”

He took a moment to pause, catching his breath when she came back at him.

“Nasir, what are you not telling me?” He [couldn't] tell her. Not like this….

”Please, just show up soon.”

About the author:

Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs, Toto and Doogie. They have been together for over 8 and a 1/2 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend Laura gave her "Ashes to Ashes' by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger. Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life; they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life 'Reach for the Stars' and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and displays come from. With her parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.

Social Media: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase links: Blood Yellow | Blood Purple

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy reading.

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the books, author or booksellers listed. All materials in this post provided by the featured author.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kindle Weekly Deals~ Week of 7/20/13- 7/26/13

"Reaching the Edge" by L.M. Somerton- M/M, erotic romance~ Price drop to $0.80!

"Texas Pride" by Kindle Alexander- M/M, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $1.99!

"Wanderlust" by Skye Warren- Adult, erotic romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

Blogger Book Fair Day 5: Jean Murray, Heather Allen and Drako

Hi, and thanks for joining us on day 5 of the Blogger Book Fair. Today we welcome

Jean Murray, Heather Allen and Drako


First up, Jean Murray and her novel

Soul Awakened

the 2nd installment in the Keys of the Cursed series.

From the blurb:


Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family's worst enemy.

Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.

An excerpt:

A familiar refuge of horror.

Black and desolate like his soul, the darkness draped the landscape of Bakari’s world. His prison for how long? He could gage only by his hunger, an unbearable pain burning through his chest and eating away what little of his soul remained. The darkness consumed everything, but his insanity.

Until now.

The onyx obscurity wavered into shades of grey. Bright sunlight danced and flickered in the barren corners of his mind beyond his reach. Bolts of lightning ripped across his skin and mind and tore at the fine fabric of his consciousness. The sheets of darkness fell like ash and scattered into the cold abyss.

His mind retreated—fearful. He had been tricked before only to suffer at the sadistic hands of his captor. The next arc struck harder and deeper. The white inferno fried what tendrils of his coma remained. In the wake of his agony, the soft caress of a human soul and the scent of sweet honeysuckle penetrated his skin. The very element that fed his power—living energy.

Like water for a dying man, the human’s energy trickled but did not satisfy his ravenous hunger. His chest clenched into a ball of fire, ignited by the minuscule energy he absorbed into his soul. The vitality extinguished as quickly as it came. Left barren and wanting, rage consumed him. The goddess Kepi would pay for this new level of depravity. To have living nourishment so close, but denied to feed his dark hunger, was a torture like no other.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: One True Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O'Shea

One True Thing (One Thing, #2)From the blurb:

Dustin Davis spent years wishing for a prince but kissing frog after slimy frog. When he sees Archer Kyriakides for the first time, Dusty thinks his luck has finally changed. Archer could be The One. But their hot and cold romance leaves Dusty confused: why does it feel right one moment and wrong the next? It doesn’t make sense—until the day Dusty meets Archer’s identical twin, Asher, and realizes he’s been seeing them both. 
Asher Kyriakides dreams of being a fashion photographer, but he’s stuck with a job he hates and an irresponsible playboy brother whose habits drive him absolutely insane, especially when he finds out Archer is dating the cute little blond Asher can’t seem to forget. Torn between loyalty and desire, Asher does nothing but try to warn Dusty away. 
But when Archer finally goes too far, Dusty turns to Asher for comfort, and Asher knows he can’t refuse. It isn’t long before they realize they’re falling fast, but more than one thing stands in their way, not the least of which is Archer, who isn’t quite ready to stop being a thorn in his brother’s side.

Heather's rating:

This story was a bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and the delicious fluffiness that is Piper and M.J.'s writing, but it didn't resonate with me.

I had a few big negatives. I didn't love how pushover-y Asher was and I think Archer was a bit too villainous. It didn't quite feel real. I'm sad to say but I also think that the sex was... not that hot (gasp!). Maybe it is because I think of Dusty as somewhat childlike. He seemed too innocent, too pure. The sex scenes just felt sort of... wrong to me. The instalove also rubbed me the wrong way.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Day 3: Lillian MacKenzie Rhine, Nina Pierce, Leigh Ellwood

Welcome to Day 3 of the Blogger Book Fair. Today we feature

Lillian McKenzie Rhine, 

Nina Pierce 

and Leigh Ellwood


First up, Lillian MacKenzie Rhine with her new novel

Memoirs of a Succubus

From the blurb:

Sex is the ultimate carnal desire, a sharing of energy and light between one or more individuals. Natalya Hart is in a world of sinful flesh where her power sharing is grossly one-sided. Having reckless tryst after reckless tryst, living in a state of the orgasmic now, Natalya becomes faced with a dilemma. Should she continue on a path of indulgent behavior or investigate her lewd acts seeking answers to questions that loom? Two men, one on each side of her double-sided morals, guide Natalya until the bitter end, wanting her to choose one or the other. Should she stay untamed, listening to the man who reassures her about her natural-born tendencies? Or should she seek out the white picket fence, becoming a “good girl” with the one who falls in love with her at first sight?

An excerpt:

After showering and dressing in a plain white tee and jeans, minus boxers as he knew she would request, he headed to Natalya's townhouse arriving with 5 minutes to spare. Finding the door ajar to Natalya's lavish three-bedroom, four-bath, split-level residence, he stepped into the darkness of her domain with caution.
At this point in their acquaintance, he knew that the object that he was seeking would appear in the only room with a candle showing a single violet flame. Curious as to where she purchased candles, he asked her a few months back but with annoyance she informed him that the candles were found in the basement of her home when she moved in. As he stalked through the foyer, he could smell the familiar scent of lavender and vanilla permeating the air on the lower level, alerting him to the fact that his prize was soon to appear.
Walking past the sitting room with urgency, he took a fleeting moment to admire the upscale decor of her domain. With soft, rich chocolate leather furnishings set in contrast with the icy, chill of the iron metal tables, coupled with the nude paintings of women, the entire room looked like a decadent box of chocolates.
Soon he started pacing down the hallway leading to the kitchen, when he halted with abruptness. The downstairs bathroom had a shimmering glow of plum light escaping through the door frame. He closed his eyes inhaling the delicate scent of vanilla and chamomile.
Mmmmm. She always smells good enough to eat.
His mouth watered from the memories of her. Before he took the step of no return, that he became accustom to for the past few months, he took a deep breath, shook his head, turning the knob with a costive hesitation.
“Here we go again.”

About the author:

Lillian MacKenzie Rhine is a writer who weaves stories together in her mind; creating an articulate quilt patched together with interesting characters and riveting plots. She has an open approach to genre writing where the pen dictates the theme written on the pages. Each chosen word that Lillian MacKenzie Rhine engraves into her stories will connect with her readers’ reality at some point in his or her past, present, or future.

Social Media: Facebook | Blog

Buy this book: Amazon


Next up, please say hello to Nina Pierce and her new book

A Touch Of Lilly

From the blurb:

Ex-Chicago detective LILLY D’ANGELO has a secret she doesn’t share with anyone. A master of the one night stand, she’s given up ever finding a soul mate and thrown herself head first into her career. That is, until she captures the wrong alien. Kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade, she’s shipped into deep space. Barely escaping with her life, Lilly now travels the galaxy working as a bounty hunter using her secret talents to bring down criminals and seeking revenge on the one male who ruined her life. Agent DALLAS SAWYER works for deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left several of his team members murdered, a president executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of a passionate night they won’t soon forget and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.

An excerpt:

Insatiable Reads Tour: Andra Brynn - Where I End and You Begin (@insatiablereads)

Join us for the Insatiable Reads Summer 2013 Tour

Today we're hosting Andra Brynn and her new novel

Where I End And You Begin

From the blurb:

In Japan, they say there's a red thread of fate that binds people who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. It may tangle, it may knot, it may stretch or fray, but it will never break. It is a future as indelible as the past.  I hope that isn't true. I pity anyone destined to meet me. 
For Bianca Ray, the past is always catching up, one way or another. Now in her third semester at college, it's doing it again. Too much drinking has led to plummeting grades and rising absences, putting her scholarships in peril. When she makes it clear that she needs help--all over the floor of her history class--she's given one last chance to shape up: seek therapy and bring her grades up by the end of the semester, or she's out. Enter Catholic seminarian Daniel McGuire. The last thing Bianca wants is an aspiring priest to counsel her on how to live her life, but the handsome graduate student is different from the holy rollers she fled from at home. Gentle and unobtrusive, he helps her pick up the pieces and find a new way to live: not running from the past, but facing it head on.  But opening up her heart to release the pain means that something else can come in. As Bianca and Daniel grow closer, their relationship moves onto dangerous ground. When they finally cross the line, the fragile courage Bianca has built up threatens to fail her. Can she exorcise the ghosts of her past, or will they catch hold and drag her down where not even Daniel can reach her?
An excerpt:


I blink. The voice didn’t come from the phone. Slowly I turn, teetering on my feet, to see Daniel McGuire lounging not twenty feet away against the brick facade of the bar. A cigarette dangles from his fingers, the cherry brilliant in the dark, his face a nightmare of clashing colors in the neon light. He’s staring at me with his mouth open, his phone pressed to his ear.

In a daze, I turn my phone off.

“I was just calling you,” I say.

A smile flits across his face as he lowers his own phone. “I know,” he says. “Any particular reason?”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ARC Review: The Social Code by Sadie Hayes

The Social Code (The Start-Up, #1)From the blurb:

Welcome to Silicon Valley, where fortune, success – and betrayal – are only a breath away...

Eighteen-year-old twins Adam and Amelia Dory learned the hard way to rely only on each other, growing up in a small town where they understood the meaning of coming from nothing. But everything changes when both are offered scholarships to Stanford University – and catapulted into the dazzling world of Silicon Valley, where anyone with a good enough idea can skyrocket to fame and fortune in the blink of an eye…

Amelia is almost as pretty as she is smart – almost. A shy girl and genius, she is happiest alone in the computer lab, but her brother has other plans for her talents: A new company that will be the next Silicon Valley hit, and will thrust Amelia into the spotlight whether she likes it or not. Where Amelia’s the brains, Adam’s the ambition – he sees the privileged lifestyle of the Silicon Valley kids and wants a piece of what they have. He especially wants a piece of Lisa Bristol, the stunning daughter of one of the Valley’s biggest tycoons.

As Adam and Amelia begin to hatch their new company, they find themselves going from nothing to the verge of everything seemingly overnight. But no amount of prestige can prepare them for the envy, backstabbing and cool calculation of their new powerful peers.

Sandra's rating:

One big fat MEH!

The book I was given by the publisher via Netgalley appears to be all three earlier novellas( The Start-Up (The Start-Up, #1), The Anti-Social Network (The Start-Up, #2), The Beautiful Code (The Start-Up, #3)) wrapped into one.

Interesting plot, without too much tech talk, but I feel a little cheated by the ending. Which wasn't. There wer too many questions unanswered.

I can't help but think that there will be additional books after this one, especially considering that this book ended in a spot that didn't even attempt to wrap up the subplots that permeated this book.

And this is precisely why this book failed for me. It starts out interesting enough - smart girl and her twin brother are freshmen on scholarships at Stanford after spending most of their lives in group and foster homes and find themselves the next big thing in the Tech World after Amelia codes an app for the iPhone that allows the user to control various other appliances in their environment.

Excellent idea for a book. Epic fail on the delivery.

For starters, the subplots (love triangle starring Lisa and Sundeep and Adam, T.J.'s daddy issues, the threat from The Family, Patty's hankering for her sister's fiance) distracted from the actual main story. I didn't get the inclusion of Patty at all, other than her purpose of functioning as a rat who tells T.J. about Amelia's findings about his daddy's next big deal.

It's a convoluted mess, and the only one I actually liked throughout this book was Amelia. And Roger. Roger was cool, a bit in the background, but supportive and savvy and smart.

The story is fast-paced, and contains a lot of well-researched information about the seedy underbelly of Silicon Valley and the Tech industry. And yet, despite all that research, there are obvious errors.

There's a sentence about lines of ones and zeros and Courier typeface while talking about Amelia sitting in front of her PC screen and coding. I don't know anyone who codes in binary - there are programming languages - and this just seems complete nonsense.

ARC Review: Mordred and the King by John Michael Curlovich

Mordred and the King
From the blurb:

It is the sixth century. The classical world is dying, rapidly being replaced by the world of the Christians.

Prince Mordred is the son of Morgan le Fay, the witch-queen devotee of the Great Goddess, who rules Wales. Morgan and her fellow cultists have for years nurtured a plan to regain control of England, the Christian country ruled by Morgan’s brother, King Arthur, and to destroy everything Arthur has built. And Mordred is key to their scheme. But he has plans of his own.

On a hunting trip to the border of Wales, Arthur and his party lose their way and end up in Morgan’s realm. Visiting her castle, Arthur is glimpsed by young Mordred, who falls instantly, hopelessly in love with him. In no time Mordred begins to plan to escape from his mother and join Arthur in England.

But before he can act, his mother carries him off on an odyssey that crosses the breadth of Europe. Everywhere they witness signs of their dying civilization. Finally they arrive at ancient Colchis, center of the Goddess’ cult, where Mordred encounters a mystical age-old evil that changes him forever.

Sandra's rating:

As someone who loves Arthurian legend, requesting this book from Netgalley was a no-brainer. After reading, I had to mull over this review for a while, because I wasn't quite sure how to rate this or how to put my thoughts into words.

The author did his research, that much was clear. The Arthurian legends are alive and well in this book, as far as the important characters are concerned. Arthur, Morgan le Fay, how Mordred came to be, the widening gulf between the old faith and the Christians, the landscapes - all of it was the way I remembered it from my previous reads of books based on Arthurian legends.

And this author included additional information, such as the travels Morgan undertakes while dragging Mordred with her, and the education he receives at the hands of Geoffrey, his tutor.

I'd have to do more research of my own to verify if India was known to the people in England and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean during the ending of the 6th century A.D., because that seemed a little far-fetched (wasn't it Marco Polo who first traveled that far East?), and if the travels undertaken by Morgan would have been possible for a female, even if the boat hugged the coast lines. There is no mention being made of other wars going on during this time, and they don't seem to encounter any other warring armies. Again, possibly a little historically inaccurate, as Rome had already fallen at that point, and the Vandals, Goths and Franks (and others) were warring with each other, if my history lessons don't fail me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

ARC Review: Runaway Groom by Sally Clements

Runaway GroomFrom the blurb:

Life is good for fledgling dress-designer April Leigh. She couldn’t be happier that her sister has found a new love, and is excited about her very first commission, June’s wedding dress. When April discovers June has invited runaway groom Matthew Logan to the wedding, she has to intervene. Matthew’s presence will ruin everything – her father hates him, and just the sight of him in the church might give her mother a heart attack.
Matthew Logan has no intention of going to June’s wedding, but when intriguing April arrives on his doorstep, he can’t resist getting to know her better. When a disaster forces them together neither can deny the passion that combusts into a red-hot affair.

Discovering the truth about the past shifts April’s feelings from lust to love, but bitter experience has taught Matthew to guard his heart.

When it looks as though Matthew will lose her forever, will he fight or flee?

Sandra's rating:

This was a cute little romance, albeit with a somewhat stilted and purplish writing style. The premise is a good one - jilted bride (June) getting ready to get married again, invites her runaway groom (Matthew) to her wedding. Bride's sister (April) thinks this is a bad idea, and secretly seeks him out to talk him out of going. Falls for him, and vice versa. Should make for a fun, quick summer read, right?


Blogger Book Fair Day 1: A.K. Morgan, Constance Phillips, Sara Jay

Today we feature A.K. Morgen, Constance Phillips and Sara Jay


First up, FADE (The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One) by A.K. Morgen

From the blurb:

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be? 
When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him. When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them. Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

An excerpt:

The wind howled around me, flinging cold rain this way and that. Frigid drops stung my face and hands. The vinyl awning overhead shook and rattled in time to the thunderclaps echoing from every direction. Energy crackled in the air as lightning splintered trees miles away. The resulting clamor forced Reverend Don to shout just to be heard above the fury of the storm. Even so, I only caught every third or fourth word of the prayer he offered.

I didn't need to hear what he said anyway. There were no prayers to raise the dead. I knew because I'd tried. I'd begged, pleaded, and prayed to every god I could think of over the last four days, and none of my efforts changed a single thing.

My mom still lay in the gleaming wood casket in front of me. And I still couldn't breathe. I'd tried that for the last four days, too, but my breath felt lodged in my throat. It burned when I inhaled. It burned when I exhaled.

Was that normal?

I wasn't sure.

I lifted my eyes from my waterlogged, black shoes as Reverend Don continued shouting. He bowed his gray head over his Bible, his shoulders hunching against the driving rain pummeling us from all sides. The few mourners who'd braved the storm alongside my dad and me to attend the graveside service huddled in groups beneath useless umbrellas, soggy tissues clutched in their shaking fists. Mascara ran in rivulets down more than one face, but whether from the rain or tears, I didn't know.

I couldn't remember if I'd put on mascara before leaving the house, but I did know any smudges beneath my eyes were from rain. I hadn't cried yet, and I didn't know if that was normal either.

I didn't think it mattered one way or another though. My life stopped making sense the moment I'd opened the door to the state trooper on Saturday, and every hour since had flung me further and further from normal. Who cared if I cried now or later?

My mom was dead, and tears wouldn't change that.

Besides, if I let myself cry now, I wouldn't stop. I'd keep on until I ran out of tears, and I couldn't do that. I needed to keep moving forward. One step at a time. Sprinkle dirt over her coffin. Thank her friends for coming. Pack my things. Transfer colleges.

The list seemed endless, but if I stopped long enough to think now, I'd fall apart. Eventually, I'd run out of things to do, I knew that, but I didn't know what to expect when I did. When I had nothing left to plan or store or do . . . is that when I cracked? When I shattered like Humpty Dumpty?

As a murmur of "Amen" went up from Mom's friends and co-workers, I almost hoped I did get to fall apart then. Being strong and brave hurt. Especially when I just wanted to hit my knees and scream until I passed out.

But when do we ever really get what we want, anyway?

About the author:

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three dogs, and demonic cat. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and plans to save the world some day. When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

Connect with the author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy this book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Secondly, we have RESURRECTING HARRY by Constance Phillips

From the blurb:

Devastated by Harry Houdini’s unexpected death, his widow, Bess, clings to his promise to deliver a coded message from beyond the grave. She’s determined to provide the bridge for him to cross, just like she assisted him on the stage, even if that means befriending her husband’s sworn enemy. In order to save the only woman he’s every loved from self-destruction, Harry puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper, Jaden. He gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch. Even with Harry’s soul and memories, Erich feels out-of-place and disconnected from everything once his. Will Erich be able to help Bess over her loss and will any good come from resurrecting Harry?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kindle Weekly Deals~ Week of 7/13/13-7/19/13

"Dance For Me: by Helena Newbury- NA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed" by Anna Campbell- Adult, regency romance~ Price drop to $1.99!

"Alrik" by Carol Lynne- M/M, paranormal~ Price drop to $0.99!

"Real Ugly" by C.M. Stunich- NA, erotic romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

"Love Love" by Beth Michele- NA, chick lit~ Price drop to $.99!

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