Monday, January 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: Unbeautifully Loved by Emma Grayson


Coming in April 2013 - UNBEAUTIFULLY LOVED by Emma Grayson



Blurb:

On the run from her dark and painful past, Lexie Todd is finally forced by her best friend Mollie into settling into a new place for the first time in months. Having been hurt in more ways than one in the past, the last thing Lexie is expecting or wanting is to meet someone as persistent and annoying but incredibly gorgeous as Lukas Gunn.

When an incident leaves Lexie banged up and rattled, Lukas knows there’s more to her than meets the eye as something is haunting her to the core making him nothing but determined to make her his and protect her from whatever it is that casts the dark painful shadow behind her eyes. But when her past shows up and pulls Lexie back into the nightmare she already once escaped while leaving her closest loved ones in danger it’s up to Lukas to save her from her darkest nightmare relived.

Will Lukas be able to save Lexie? Or will Lexie succumb, only having known what it’s like to be Unbeautifully Loved?


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Award-winning YA series The Specialists - Blog Tour

Today, we welcome Shannon Greenland and her award-winning YA series The Specialists, which is being released in ebook format by Penguin Publishing.

Hi, Shannon. Thanks for joining us today.

For this post I thought it might be fun to do some FAQ’s about The Specialists that aren’t listed on Shannon's website but that still frequently get asked.

Q: In Model Spy Chapling is my favorite character. Do you know a little person?

A: No I do not personally know a little person. Chapling very unexpectedly popped into the novel one day. For whatever reason the moment he did I saw a little person with fuzzy red hair and a level of hyperactivity that would zing him off the pages.

Q: Down To The Wire sure has a lot of people breaking into things. Have you ever broken into something?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Entangled Publishing Calls for Bloggers

ATTENTION PLEASE!

Hi! *waves*

Please read below for an exciting opportunity with Entangled Publishing. 

Calling all bloggers! 

Calling all bloggers! 


 
 needs you! 

 Be part of The List. 

One of the publicists at Entangled Publishing is compiling a list of book bloggers. 

Here are the requirements: 

 Do you have a blog? 

Do you love to review books? 

Do you want access to books before they release? 

If your answers to these questions is a resounding "YES" then you're the right blogger for the job. To be a part of The List, go to Kate's blog and follow the instructions.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Blog Tour/Giveaway: Eire's Captive Moon by Sandi Layne

Today we welcome Sandi Layne and her new novel, 
Eire's Captive Moon, which is available now.


From the blurb:


Éire’s Captive Moon, the first book of the Éire’s Viking Trilogy, brings you to the unsettled era of the early Viking raids along the coast of Éire – today’s Ireland.
Red-striped sails make their first appearance on the shores near the village of Ragor and the peaceful life of the villagers is obliterated in one deadly raid. Agnarr Halvardson and his overlord, Tuirgeis, have come to Éire for treasure, honor, and slaves. After slaying her husbands, Agnarr claims Charis, the healer of the village, as his personal medicine woman – and sex slave. Cowan, a local prince, is captured by Tuirgeis to serve as translator for trading journeys. Leaving the smoking ruins of Ragor and Bangor Monastery behind them – as well as the children Charis had carefully hidden from the Northmen – the invaders sail away. 
Cowan, a Christian, is captivated by the pale, widowed herbalist, and finds himself in love with her by the time they reach Nordweg, where they will spend the winter. He is compelled to leave her, however, to serve his master. The winter brings many trials. An invasion from another village’s warriors throws Cowan and Charis together more intimately than she is prepared to handle equitably. Her own feelings are growing uncertain, though she reminds herself that she has to return to Éire and the children she left there. As winter passes in Nordweg, Charis plans vengeance upon Agnarr even as she learns to see him differently. 
Beset by accusations of witchcraft, hounded by Agnarr’s betrothed and her slave – a refugee Charis herself healed more than a year before – and having to adapt to the strange language and customs among the people around her, Charis still makes her plans. Will she be able to put aside her feelings and escape when spring returns?

BIOGRAPHY:  Having been a voracious reader all her life, Sandi never expected to want to write until the idea was presented in a backhanded manner. Once the notion occurred to her, though, she had to dive in the deep end (as is her wont) and began by writing historical fiction. She has since written more than twenty novels—most of which will never see the light of day. Sandi has degrees in English and Ministry, has studied theology, spent years as an educator, has worked in escrow and sundry other careers, but research is her passion. She won an award for Celtic Fiction in 2003, but as well as history, she is also fascinated with contemporary research and has self-published several novels in the Inspirational Romance genre. She has been married for twenty years to a man tolerant enough to let her go giddy when she discovers new words in Old Norse. Her two sons find her amusing and have enjoyed listening to her read aloud—especially when she uses funny voices. A woman of deep faith, she still finds a great deal to laugh at in the small moments of the everyday and hopes that she can help others find these moments, too.



MFN: Hi Sandi, and welcome to My Fiction Nook. Let's start with the first question: What was your inspiration behind Eire's Captive Moon?

Sandi Layne: The inspiration to write something with this flavor came after reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. But the plot for this story happened, seriously, in a dream I had in which a man who wasn't a Viking was fighting in a snow-swept square against a man who WAS a Viking. And the fighting took place in the North. That was in my dream so the book sort of led to that scene and away from it.

MFN: What kind of research did you conduct into Viking raids and the lives of people in the 9th century Ireland and what is now Norway?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ARC Review: Eire's Captive Moon by Sandi Layne

Éire's Captive Moon (Éire's Viking, #1)From the blurb:

Éire’s Captive Moon, the first book of the Éire’s Viking Trilogy, brings you to the unsettled era of the early Viking raids along the coast of Éire – today’s Ireland. A wounded refugee from the violent Viking raids on Éire’s coast is healed so well by Charis of Ragor that Agnarr captures the moon-pale woman for his own and takes her home to Nordweg to be his slave. Also captured is Cowan, a warrior gifted with languages. He is drawn to the healer of Ragor and finds himself helpless before her. In more ways than one! Through the winter, Charis plans a fitting vengeance upon her captor for the men he killed. She also prepares to return to Éire and the children she left behind. But will her changing feelings interfere with these plans? When two men vie for her heart, will she give way before either – or both? 

My rating:




This book is a re-edit of the previously published novel Captive Irish Moon. When the new novel was offered as an ARC, I jumped at the chance.

Eire's Captive Moon tells the story of Charis, a healer, and her struggles after being captured by marauding Vikings and taken by Agnarr as his leman/slave.

The book starts out with Charis' father running from someone and having to abandon her near an Irish village for her safety. Charis grows up and learns the healing craft, though this part is skipped over and insinuated.

When we meet her again, she's married to Devin and Devlin, twin warriors, and living in a small village near a monastery. From the start, it's clear that the author has done her homework, as life in the 9th century in Ireland is described in accurate detail, including the distrust of a monk who calls her a witch.

When Vikings land on the shores to invade the monastery and steal its riches, they also happen upon Charis' village. The ensuing fight is well described, and Charis is forced to leave with the Vikings. One of her captors, Agnarr, is impressed with her healing skills and decides to keep her for himself. Charis vows revenge since he's also the one who has killed both of her husbands. She knows she has to bide her time but killing Agnarr is never far from her mind.

Sandi Layne describes in rich detail the life and customs of the people of Nordweg (Norway); her beautiful prose only serves to draw the reader more into the story.

Her cast of characters is captivating: Charis with her moonbeam hair, Cowan the Kingson, who is also taken as a slave, Agnarr, who despite his pillaging and raping is likable and relatable, and Tuirgeis with his shrewd thoughts and observations. They become alive in the pages of this book and it is to the author's credit that she's able to create such a rich cast. Even the not so likable characters, such as Magda and her slave, enrich the plot immensely.

And throughout, the author returns to specific themes: perseverance, forgiveness and determination. I was on occasion torn between admiring Charis' for her unforgiving stance and wanting to rattle her for being so single-minded that she didn't see the forest for the trees.

And I want to commend the author for the extensive research that went into this book, not only the historical facts but also herbology, mythology and excellent character development.

If you like historically sound novels with a little romance, this book is for you. Give it a try.

I received a free ARC directly from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return.

Goodreads Book Page
Goodreads Author Page

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time,


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tourstop/giveaway: TC Anthony and Three Stages of Love: Lust


Welcome!



Today, TC Anthony has stopped by and brought with her an excerpt of her debut novel Three Stages of Love: Lust plus two e-copies of her book for two lucky winners.



From the blurb:

Three Stages of Love: Lust is the first book in a suspenseful new erotic romance series that explores the questions that young women have while embarking on their journey through life and love. Eva’s transformation from prim and proper to fun and dominating proves to be one of the most erotically intriguing personal makeovers around. Her passion for her career and life goals ultimately gives way to uninhibited encounters that leave her intoxicated and yearning for more. Eva’s emotional battle between her heart and mind leave her juggling with a desire to have it all and a profound fear of losing everything. Written to illustrate the average, driven woman’s point of view, Three Stages of Love: Lust tackles the everyday fears and desires that young women have in an intoxicatingly erotic way. A gripping, palpitation-inducing romance full of underlying themes that are extraordinarily relevant to modern women, this enthralling erotic novel by T. C. Anthony is a must-read for women of all backgrounds.

Excerpt: 


I was furious and yet filled with excited emotions that he had entered a forbidden place just to get me alone. "What the hell are you doing? I doubt you are stupid, but the men's bathroom is the one where the stick figure on the door isn't wearing a dress."
I stepped forward, showing my ability to be strong in his presence. "Oh, and this note. I don't get it, but I will tell you this: I don't like people snooping into my business, and the loveliness of my voice isn't for your benefit."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

ARC Review: Aris Returns by Devin Morgan

Aris Returns: A Vampire Love Story (Infinity Diaries Trilogy, #1)
From the blurb:

Psychologist Sarah Hagan thought she had her life under control. She pulled herself together after a painful (and unexpected) divorce. She’s currently dating a successful but neglectful attorney—a relationship that is adequate, if not totally satisfying. She has a few good friends, lives in a beautiful condo in the heart of Chicago, and loves her work as a therapist. From the outside, it looks like her life is almost perfect. it only takes one patient -- a handsome younger man named Carlos who is on parole for car theft -- to put her well-ordered life into a tailspin. As she regresses him with hypnotherapy, she discovers an unusual presence. Is this some elaborate alter ego that Carlos has created or is something much stranger going on?
My rating:




When I first read the blurb, I was intrigued by the premise and requested the galley. It sounded like a fresh idea, and I couldn't wait to get started on the book.

After reading the book, I'm no longer intrigued, but rather disappointed. While the premise sounds great, the execution leaves much to be desired.

We are first introduced to Sarah Hagan, a 37 year old divorced psycho-analyst who specializes in past life regression therapy. We are told about her daily life in details ad nauseam, to the point where I was asking myself who edited this book, and why all these minuscule details were allowed to remain. Not only is everything described to the smallest piece of information, the writing is also rather juvenile, with short, choppy sentences. Not a great start.

The author then introduces Colleen, a parole officer and one of Sarah's best friends. She comes to Sarah with a request to help one of her parolee's, Carlos Havarro, to stay clean and crime-free by working with him through past life regression therapy. Carlos is a young twenty-something who's had a hard childhood and got into criminal activities as a teenager trying to escape his slap-happy father. He's portrayed as somewhat assertive, trying to get Sarah to meet with him outside of their session, with an attitude that could be described as cocky on occasion, but then is also giving a somewhat sensible side, with trying to get away from the gang and realizing that he's been giving another chance. As a romantic interest, I found him too young and unsuited for Sarah.

As Sarah begins to work with Carlos and hypnotizes him, a new character, Aris, emerges. Aris is a vampire, who was first turned when he was a soldier with Alexander the Great's army. Staked by Alexander himself, he languished for nearly 500 years before being 'awoken' again. With each new therapy session, Aris reveals more of his journey and how he came to England during the time of Henry VIII, he of the six wives. The author seems to have done her research into that time period very well, and incorporates some of the historical details accurately while still spinning them to fit Aris' involvement.

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