Wednesday, October 31, 2012

REVIEW: Halloween Heat I-VI Collection

Title:  Halloween Heat I
Theme:  M/M Paranormal Romance
Authors:  Tristram La Roche, Renee George, Dianne Hartsock, Kiran Hunter, & Elin Gregory
Approximate Book Length:  73 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Love Lies Deep – This story left me a little depressed and a tad confused. The entire beginning of the story was about mourning a loss and I couldn’t quite tell what exactly had happened in the end. I like the concept, but the execution could have been a little smoother.

Idle Hands – Creepy and mysterious, this story held me riveted. Think sex club meets haunted house. I was left wanting more, almost as much as Travis and Matthew were!

Costumes – There is some erotica in this one, sure, but I think I’d actually classify this story as more of a horror. A strange door in the attic and once opened good luck figuring out what’s real and what’s not. It was spooky enough to unnerve me!

Eden – I was a little disappointed, a passage cut off right when it was getting good! The ending is nice and mysterious as I couldn’t tell which realm was which. Makes you wonder about mirrors and what might lie behind them.

Set in Stone – Yet another mysterious story, but I suppose any paranormal short story about Halloween is going to be a little mysterious. There was also a fun and sexy side too though. It took a minute to figure out what was happening during this little camping trip for a dare, but once I did, it made for a very enjoyable story with a neat ending.

Rating:



Links:



Title:  Halloween Heat II
Theme:  Menage Paranormal Romance
Authors:  Rachel Firasek, Selena Illyria, & Dawn Montgomery
Approximate Book Length:  41 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Master Me – While this was fairly hot, I didn’t really feel much connection until the end, which was bittersweet. The dynamic between the characters prior to that was simply really awkward to me, partly because of the sex while on the verge of shifting into a wolf thing.

Dragons at Samhain – Dragon shifters, ménage, and a bookstore fantasy…hello awesome! It was sweet, erotic, and even a little just plain cute in place! I just wanted more with these characters.

Witchvine Seduction – This one was surprisingly tender, erotic, and not necessarily what you expect from a ménage story. Being magically compelled to get it on can make for a very primal experience, but these three pulled it off without getting real rough. Very enjoyable!

Rating:



Links:



Title:  Halloween Heat III
Theme:  M/F Paranormal Romance
Authors:  Lilly Morgan, Milly Taiden, Lillian Diamonte, CP Foster, & Antonia Van Zandt
Approximate Book Length:  60 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

The Wolf Binds the Witch – I liked this one a lot. The magic was really neat, the wolf was adorable, and the characters were funny. The teasing and the sensuality just made for a great, fun, erotically creative story!

Mate Event – This is a great story of love and acceptance. It’s incredibly sexy, but there’s also some non sex related action between a couple of possessive female wolf shifters. It’s just so sweet and hot, I was swept away.

Tied – Other than being confused as to exactly what the guy was (I would’ve guessed shifter, but Fae was hinted at so I dunno!), this story was as emotional as it was sensual. I hate cliffhanger endings, and this one was pretty cliffhangery, but enjoyable none the less.

Night of Seduction – I thought this one had a lot of potential, and it was really very good, but even if it was just a bit teasing, him calling her “whore” constantly really killed some of the enjoyment for me. It kind of goes with the premise, but it was still a pretty uncomfortable scenario for me, plus her inability to ever see the guy she’s sleeping with just made for an awkward read.

Serena – I’m not much for lesbian stories (the love scenes are a little boring to me, what can I say I prefer driving stick *wink*), but this one was kind of fun, and I really loved the premise. The ending was great, if a little sad in a way, and made the whole story worth reading!

Rating:



Links:



Title:  Halloween Heat IV
Theme:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Authors:  Tara Lain & AC Fox
Approximate Book Length:  44 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Trex or Treat – Nice, private Halloween party for two after the kiddies have gone to bed makes for a funny, cute, sexy, and all around awesome read. I couldn’t get enough, and just wanted more. Short and sweet, and guaranteed to leave you with a smile!

Desert Candy – Who wouldn’t be flattered at having a secret admirer? I liked the costumes the characters wore to meet and I loved Dave’s character in particular. I can totally related to him being very shy. Sexy interlude that makes a very nice cap on this book.

Rating:



Links:



Title:  Halloween Heat V
Theme:  Menage Contemporary Romance
Authors:  Alyssa Turner, Jennifer James, Eden Summers, Vristen Pierce, & Ana Maria Pasion
Approximate Book Length:  68 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Thrills and Chills – This was a cute and sensual story that was so fun and left me wanting so much more; I wish it was longer! A girl goes to a party that starts with a haunted house, and they give her a real surprise!

Deployment Gifts – As I’ve said before, I’m not particularly into lesbian scenes, but I actually liked this one a lot, especially with Craig’s reaction to his gift! Great scenario, loved the dynamic between all three characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ending.

Phantom Pleasure – Exquisite. That’s the first word that came to mind after reading this. It’s a fantasy I can relate to, and she gets to live it. The anticipation was thrilling, and the execution beautiful. Cheers to this one!

Taking Candy – This story was a little too slutty for my taste as I prefer some romance with my erotica and that just wasn’t present at all. A girl sleeping with multiple guys, just to say she did, like a prize or trophy…just really disappointing premise, even if the threesome was kinda hot.

Trick or Treat – Wow, this story ended up in a different place than I expected, but not in a bad way. Very sexy, surprisingly sweet in some ways, and even humorous, particularly at the end. Guessing being a teenage peeping tom doesn’t always have bad consequences.

Rating:



Links:



Title:  Halloween Heat VI
Theme:  M/F Contemporary Romance
Authors:  Mina Carter, Brooklyn Wilde, Sue Lyndon, & Rhonda Laurel
Approximate Book Length:  59 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Party Games – Add a little sweetness and a lot of hotness together and you get this story. It was so good I was grinning like a fool the whole time and only wanted more in the end. Flirting on the phone on duty, or even off work time is a lot different when you finally meet the person face to face. Such fun!

Unmasked – Condense a full length romance book into a short story and that’s what this one felt like. Emotional, sweet, and sensual, it’ll definitely warm you up one way or another as a big shot lawyer meets a smooth jazz player while doing charity work in the wake of Katrina.

Punished by the Cowboy – A rougher brand of heat, there’s a little kink to this one that takes the sizzle to a different level. A spanking like that makes for a hell of a first date! She’ll never be late for a date again.

Masquerade – In a way, this story felt a little impersonal and I can’t decide if I’m disappointed in the ending because it felt too short, or if I’m just left with questions because the author meant to be that mysterious (even if slightly predictable). A big secret sex party where the masks never come off sounds kind of neat, but I like a more personal connection than that so this just wasn’t quite my cup of tea, though I love the idea of wanting to get you to let go of your inhibitions in the bedroom in general.

Rating:



Links:



In Conclusion:

I’d say that the fourth one was probably my favorite (with the fifth right behind!), but that’s due in part to the fact that there were only two stories so there’s less chance of coming across one that’s not quite your cup of tea. All of them had some great stories with a little bit for everybody, and all of them are ultimately very erotic making for great collections to make you smile and keep you warm on any Halloween!


Overall Rating:




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

INTERVIEW: Sarah M Ross


I got started in the blogging world because I read a book I loved, stalked the author, and decided I'd start a blog for when I got to writing. Now life took me in a direction that made me decide to dive into reviewing rather than writing for a long while, but that simply made me learn more about the world of being a blogger.

Along that journey, I followed blog hops. I entered to many giveaways, but also met some amazing people and found some really great authors and books. Among those that I first came across in my complete newbie days was Sarah M Ross. She'd just released her first book and I won a copy. I've been an awful person and haven't gotten around to reading it yet (won't make excuses, I simply haven't gotten to it yet), and I feel awful about it especially because I'd had every intention of doing so before this interview.

It is at the top of my list to review once I find a balance in my life between reading and writing (which will so not be in November O.O). That being said, she's been kind enough to do the interview anyway, and share her thoughts on her life as a writer and inspiration for her stories. Enjoy!


What’s your favorite part about being an author?
There is so much I love about being an author. I make my own schedule, I work in yoga pants and tank tops, and I am my own boss. I think the best part though is doing what I love. Not a whole lot of people get to pursue their passion as a career, and I am so thankful that I can!

Who’s your favorite author and what’s your favorite book?
How can I pick just one?! There are just too many awesome authors and books out there. If I go old school, I’d have to say that some of my favorite authors growing up were Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre) , Edgar Allen Poe (The Cask of Amontillado) , Stephen King (IT & The Stand), and Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night).

How’d Lucy’s story for the Patronus Series come to you?
I woke up one morning and the first half of the story was just there, screaming to come out. I didn’t dream it, it was just there. It was a Saturday in July and I remember telling my hubby that I had the greatest idea and I just had to write it down. I sat and wrote almost 8,000 words that day.

Did you know the whole story when you first started telling it, or did you just write as it came to you?
I knew the first part. I knew the premise, but not where it would lead Lucy and Max. As I wrote, the rest just fell into place.

You’ve also got the first book in the Earth Angel Trilogy now. What inspired you to write about angels?
I was inspired to write about angels after reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I loved those books, and knew I wanted to write about fallen angels too. I’d had an idea floating in my head before that about a boy who saves a girl after a tragic accident, but after reading that book, I knew Echo would be my next novel.

I also really liked playing with the expectations of good and evil. I don’t want people to assume with my books. Just because you’re supposed to be evil, doesn’t mean you can’t redeem yourself. And just because everyone thinks of you as a good guy doesn’t mean you can’t have a dirty little secret.

Have you always wanted to write?
I didn’t, but I always loved telling stories. I was always daydreaming and making up stories in my head. In college, I started writing them down. I just never thought it could be my profession. So I got a “real job” and did my “hobby” on the side. I started a few novels, but never finished them because I thought it was a pipe dream. So when Awaken came to me, I pushed myself to finish it, and now I couldn’t be happier.

How does the family like your work?
They love it!! My mom calls me almost every day and asks if I have a new book for her to read yet. LOL.

What gets you in the mind set to write? Do you just sit and crank out the words, or do you get some music going, or shut out any noise and distractions?
I can’t write with music, or any other noise. It distracts me. I like to write early in the morning (when inspiration is fresh) or late, late at night when everything around is quiet. For me, when I can clear away the muck of the day the story seems to flow out of me.

What do you think is the most important thing for first time authors to know and keep in mind?
I would tell them to realize that it takes time, and a ton of patience to be successful. And most important, if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you need to act professionally. Hire a professional cover artist, editor, and proofreader. Trying to do it all yourself will not result in the best possible product.

Name three random facts about you that readers may not already know.
Hmm… let me think. I would say:
1) I have a tattoo on the top of my foot (very painful!!)
2) My favorite show as a kid was I Love Lucy, and I have an orange cat named Lucy!
3) I have been growing and cutting my hair for Locks of Love since I was in college. I’ve donated my hair 7 times now, and plan to continue as long as possible.



I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn’t take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Find me here.


Awaken Available Now!

Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life.

Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose.

Further complicating her life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued.

Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

REVIEW: Kayla's Gift by Jayne Rylon

Recap:

As a naturist, Kayla is unashamed of nudity, especially as a masseuse too. She puts her skills to use on the crew working to build her new spa, and doesn’t even blush as she admires Dave’s body on her table. She never intended to share her lifestyle and extended plans for the spa, but ends up doing just that after a faulty truck engine strands Dave, Neil, and James at her home during a snow storm. Two days of bliss come to a screeching halt when the storm blows over and the real reason why they got stranded emerges. Can Dave convince Kayla that sharing herself with him wasn’t a mistake and that he wants more than just the two days she gifted him?

Title:  Kayla's Gift
Series:  Powertools
Book #: 3
Author:  Jayne Rylon
Approximate Book Length:  72 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Working our way through the crew, it’s Dave’s turn! The crew is working on a resort, and have to head home before a snow storm, but while Mike and Joe make it home to their women, Dave, Neil, and James get snowed in with Kayla. Overcoming the obstacle of her preference for nudity was just plain funny, and a little heated. Their time together while snowed in is steamy and sensual, but it’s the conflict at the end that’s the kicker.

I loved the story and the characters. At this point in the series, I can’t not love the guys, and each of their stories is sweet and fun. This is no exception, filled with respect and affection, but there were once again little things that bothered me a tad. The biggest problem was Kayla’s reaction to the conflict at the end. I think she overreacts and it makes for a slightly awkward ending. That being said, it’s still sexy and satisfying through and through. Yet another good sequel!

In Conclusion:

Jayne Rylon brings us Dave’s story in Kayla’s Gift, still showing us a bit of our favorites from the first two installments, but showing us a new character and fresh sides to the remaining three members of the crew. Sizzling and enjoyable, it keeps you engrossed in the series as a whole.

Rating:



Links:



Friday, October 26, 2012

TGIF SWAG Giveaway!

Happy Friday! It's the last Friday of the month and the last Friday before Halloween! To celebrate, I have a bunch of goodies for you. Below you'll find a picture, but that will only show half (if that) of what I'm offering up. There's a couple spooky looking magnets, something for Halloween Heat V, and oh so much more. Many of the items are signed, including some cover flats, postcards, magnets, cards...among the authors are Dianne Duvall, Tara Lain, Jennifer James, Ashlynn Monroe, Gabrielle Bisset...

If you want this nice big package *snickers like a 12 year old*, just enter the Rafflecopter below!

**OPEN TO US ONLY**



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Moonlight Masquerade Giveaway Hop



Big thanks to My Secret Romance Book Reviews and Dary Dreaming Book Reviews for hosting this giveaway hop!

Do you have a secret crush you're afraid to reveal yourself to? Worried they'll be either too sweet or too sour? Does the thought of hiding behind a mask excite you? Would you like to fall under the spell of a brooding dark vampire and let him sink his fangs into? Or how about a sexy shifter built thick and hard that you're just dying to pounce on? Well then, come join us as we celebrate all those things that are wicked on Halloween!

For my giveaway, I'm offering up a copy of Halloween Heat IV or V. I'm currently reading them all, and will be posting a collective review on Halloween, but I chose IV and V because those are the two that a couple of my good friends and favorite authors have a story in, Jennifer James and Tara Lain! Click the links to read more about them, then enter the Rafflecopter below if you want your very own copy!

Halloween Heat IV by Tara Lain and AC Fox
Halloween Heat V by Vristen Pierce, Ana Maria Pasion, Alyssa Turner, Eden Summers, and Jennifer James


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to keep hopping!




INTERVIEW: Nancy Holder


A few months ago, I was hunting for authors to do some interviews and guest posts and such, and I did this by perusing my Facebook friends. One of them was Nancy Holder, and even though she's super busy and seems larger than life to me, I took a chance...SHE ACTUALLY RESPONDED! She writes a lot of things, but I know her as a writer of Buffy books, so naturally I was super excited!

I am still super excited, because now I can present to you some questions she was kind enough to answer for me, despite having gone all fangirl on her lol. Please give her a very warm welcome and happy reading! :D


So when did you first get introduced to the Buffy world?
A friend of mine named Scott Ciencin told me that an editor friend of his was looking for a Buffy writer. This was before the show came on the air. I bought the soundtrack from the movie and listened to it for good luck!

Were you writing other things at the same time as the many Buffy books you published during the show’s reign (and after)?
Yes. I wrote books based on Sabrina the Teen Age Witch and fairytale retellings such as Spirited and The Rose Bride.

How did the collaborating go for writing the Watcher’s Guides?
It was great fun! We were able to divvy up various topics as well as interviews. Some of my favorite actor interviewees include Anthony Stewart Head, Marc Blucas, James Marsters, Amber Benson, and Alexis Denisof. I loved talking to all the producers and of course the crown jewel was spending time with Joss.

Did you end up going to a lot of conventions and things, or at the very least meet the cast? Have you met Joss Whedon, and if so, what did he think of your works?
Yes, I've interviewed Joss a number of times. I spent about a month total on set for the Watcher's Guides and also for The Angel Casefiles. I didn't ask him what he thought of my work. I was there to talk about his. :)

How did writing the Buffy books affect your fan base?
I've made incredible friends among my fellow Buffy fans. Some people only read my Buffy work, but others have branched out. I just wrote a Teen Wolf book, and the same is true, there.

While I have many books that I still to this day love, including The Gatekeeper Trilogy and The Book of Fours, my favorite is Queen of the Slayers. It may be blasphemous to say, but I actually prefer it over the comic book 8th season. How did you come up with that one and how was it received by the Buffy community?
Well, thank you! Every book I wrote was approved before I wrote it, which some fans don't realize. That has to happen when you're writing licensed work. What I did for QotS was watch every Angel episode where what was going on in the lives of the Buffy people was mentioned. It was very complicated!

Now that Buffy is in syndication and it’s not particularly relevant to keep writing about her, you’ve got a couple of series going co-authored with Debbie Viguié. How did that relationship and those series come about?
Well, I also have a brand new Buffy book out in December. It's called Buffy: the Making of a Slayer and it's got a lot of new material as well as images that have never been seen before. It's a tribute book from legendary book producers becker&mayer! published by 47 North, celebrating 15 years since the show came on the air.

Debbie and I have written three series together: Wicked, Crusade, and the Wolf Springs Chronicles. I met Debbie at the Maui Writers Retreat. I was her teacher (for a whole week) and I saw how creative she was, just an awesome writer. I had a four-book series called Wicked to write and I had just had a baby (and was also writing Buffy books.) I asked her to become my collaborator and we have been writing together ever since--ten years and eleven books!

Is there a story you’ve written that you could call your favorite or at least holds a special place in your heart for some reason?
That's like telling people who your favorite kid is! I do love The Rose Bride, which is a retelling of a rather obscure Grimm fairy tale. It's kind of quirky but I still remember the joy I felt while writing it. But I also loved returning to Buffy land with Buffy: the Making of a Slayer. And I have a Teen Wolf book out. It's called On Fire and it was really awesome to work on it. I tell people "Jeff Davis (the show creator) is my master now." But of course I will always love Joss.

What’s your favorite genre to read (if/when you have time!)? Favorite book and author?
I read a lot because I also teach in an MFA program. I love to read my students' work! My favorite book is a tie between The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and The Shining by Stephen King. Two haunted house stories!

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
READ. Read as much as you write. Do both A LOT. Be sure to learn basic grammar and punctuation because editors WILL reject you if you have too many errors. You don't want that to get in the way of getting published! TV and movies are great, but you need to absorb the written word.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I want to thank everyone who has read my stuff and supported me. Freelance authors lead kinda crazy lives. And I am hosting a Teen Wolf rewatch on Monday nights for Teen Wolf fans. It's on twitter. Just cue up the episode on your own device on Mondays at 10 Eastern, wait for me to type GO, start watching, and tweet! I host trivia contests. On October 22, we will be on season 1, episode 10. On October 29, it will be season 1, episode 11. And so on. I'm @nancyholder.

And...drum roll...Buffy: the Making of a Slayer will go onsale on amazon on December 11th!



Nancy Holder is a multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author (the Wicked Series). Her two new dark young adult dark fantasy series are Crusade and Wolf Springs Chronicles. She has won five Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association, as well as a Scribe Award for Best Novel (Saving Grace: Tough Love.) Nancy has sold over eighty novels one hundred short stories, many of them based on such shows as Highlander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and others. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, two corgis, and three cats. You can visit her here.


Hot Blooded Coming Soon!

Wolf Springs was just going to be a short stop for Katelyn McBride--until she turned 18 and could return to LA on her own. But Katelyn's plans have unraveled.

Katelyn wasn't in Wolf Springs a month when she was attacked by a werewolf. And now she carries that creature's curse in her veins.

But she's not alone. Wolf Springs is home to werewolves. And they swear that it wasn't any of them who bit her. Changing humans without permission means the death penalty, and they're none too happy about Katelyn.

The only explanation is that there's a monster on the loose--something wild and uncontrollable. Because Katelyn has some of its power.

And two guys want Katelyn: one dark and mysterious, yet perhaps the perfect confidant; the other ferocious and forbidden--a werewolf that she can't keep her hands off of.


On Fire Available Now!

Scott was just a regular guy until one bite changed his life. Now he struggles to understand who he is and what he might become. Is he more wolf than human—or is it the other way around? Whichever it is, it’s not going to be easy. Scott tries to control his urges, but mostly he’s scared that it’s his urges that could end up controlling him. On Fire is the story of what happens when you to walk the line between what you want and what you can’t help from wanting. Will the bite end up being a gift? Or will it be a curse? And what will it all mean for Scott’s relationship with Allison—the girl he can’t get enough of? Only time will tell if he should embrace his newfound powers, or if he should fear them.


Buffy: the Making of a Slayer Coming Soon!

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, this lavishly produced book is the first authorized, fully illustrated retrospective of the hit show. Offering in-depth commentary on the making of the series, the book explores the characters and mythology of the Buffy universe and follows the evolution of all seven seasons. Die-hard Whedon fans will also find insider information on his involvement in other projects, including Angel, Firefly, and more. Housed in a foil-stamped slipcase, this volume features more than 120 images, including rare behind-the-scenes photos, sketches, props and memorabilia from the Twentieth Century Fox archives, along with stills from the most pivotal on-screen moments. Tucked in the inside cover of the case is an envelope holding “Slayer Lore: Texts and Magicks for the Battle.” These 13 removable pieces are replicas of the ancient spells and prophecies the characters used on-screen to defeat vampires, demons, and other monsters, making this the ultimate treasure-trove for every Buffy fan.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Edge of Oblivion by JT Geissinger

Recap:

Morgan’s been labeled a traitor by her Ikati kin and now awaits her execution, but unexpectedly gets a small chance to earn her freedom. She must hunt down their enemies and destroy them for good, but she’ll have to do so with an assassin babysitter. Xander is the Ikati’s most loyal, trained, and feared assassin and he’s now charged with accompanying Morgan on her mission and carrying out her sentence if she fails. She ignites something inside him, something he thought long lost, but that’s just the beginning of the many unexpected obstacles that lie before them on this journey.

Title:  Edge of Oblivion
Series:  Night Prowler
Book #: 2
Author:  JR Geissinger
Approximate Book Length:  410 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

There’s so much that happens in this story that just has you glued to the page. Xander and Morgan are incredibly compelling and my heart just broke for them repeatedly. I love the members of the Syndicate that are introduced. I am also intrigued with the idea of a newly discovered colony, though I have no idea where that might go in future books and I fear how things will go with who I suspect is the villain of book 3. I can’t really say too much about the colony and the villain and all due to spoilers, so I’ll just say, go read!

This book also definitely felt like it had a darker villain than book 1 (which isn’t a bad thing!), though thankfully the worse of his transgressions occur “off screen”. I am a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of the characters we met in book 1 and what little we did see just didn’t have the same feel. I did have a big hiccup while reading. There are some definite parallels that can be drawn between some things in this story and some things in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world by JR Ward, which frustrated me for a while until ultimately the differences presented themselves enough to satisfy me.

In Conclusion:

A truly exciting sequel with many twists and turns, Edge of Oblivion will have you laughing, crying, and hanging on every word. It’ll have you up all night and wanting more!

Rating:



Links:



***Want to read Edge of Oblivion? JT Geissinger is offering up a signed copy to one lucky winner! Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 22, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Something of a Kind by Miranda Wheeler

Please welcome Miranda Wheeler, author of Something of a Kind, for which you can find my review here. Today she's talking about her inspiration for the story and what it means to her. Happy reading!

*****************************

My inspiration to write Something Of A Kind is a broad collection of things – photographs, documentaries, short films, conversations with anyone who would listen to the characters in my head, people with awe striking stories of encounters, tons of research – which included anything I could get my hands on regarding the Native Alaskan culture and some of the suffering areas of the state, particularly where my fictional Ashland weasels into our map… not to mention the innumerable backlist of works I’ve read prior to writing the novel! I struggle to put my everything into all my work, and I wanted to pull from a solid, varied background to create something entirely unique and diverse.

My premise for the book came most directly from the documentary Monsters and Mysteries in Alaska – it sounds corny, but I found something about it chilling and fascinating at once. I’ve been everywhere from Niagara Falls, Canada to Orlando, Florida – but I’ve never adventured horizontally across the States. I’ve never seen the Pacific, nonetheless been within arms-reach of Alaska, but I think I’ve personally witnessed every publically posted Kodiak moment (…a little geographical humor for my fellow nerds) along the Alexander Archipelago. Granted, the Last Frontier isn’t exactly the place most teenage girls dream of flying off to – but I think that’s what so explicitly intrigued me. I grew up in a little city isolated by a hoard of surrounding suburbs in the little and lovely Connecticut, but the Nutmeg State isn’t really the place for wanderers – the concept of being taken from even an almost too-comfortable place and dropped into something utterly unlike everything you’ve ever known wasn’t difficult to fathom. I recently went through a cancer scare with my own mother, and because I was diagnosed with a pretty nasty case of the generally horrible and chronic Ulcerative Colitis a few years back, I’m extremely well versed with the innards of a hospital, so I instantly related to the concept of my heroine recently losing her mother.

The hero was a different story. I grew up in a happy, middle-class blue-collar home on an uptown, north-end main street (literally, Main Street). My parents discourage working due to statistics suggesting poor academic performance when accompanied, and I’m the oldest sister to two little brothers, one being Sarah’s age and the other being just a little tyke in the first grade. Most of all, though, I think the hardest part was jumping in the head of a teenage boy. They seem so complicated and too simple, all at once – a baffling creature, really. I understand a lot about abuse and adoption because I’m a bio kid to ex-foster-parents, but that was the extent of my personal relation to the concept I’d drawn up for Noah Locklear. So I made myself relatable – I did research, I asked random people weird questions, I read personal blogs and tons of YA books from the male POV, I clarified constantly with my oldest younger brother and guy friends, I watched movies, did some homework in psychology and sociology, I skimmed the news for abuse cases daily for a few weeks, and I interviewed some loved ones who’ve been kicked around in their lifetimes.

Inspiration is 100% motivation, and motivation is 95% force and 5% letting your guard down. I think, in the end, one of the most important parts of being a writer is that you can’t wait for inspiration to come to you or wave a flag in your face. You have to seek it, go door-knocking, stalk and stalk, even call its naggy mother to insist you set up a rendezvous somewhere public so it can’t make a scene or flee – meet it in an alley and grab it by the throat, dragging it home and dropping all the little pieces spilt on paper. It wants to be chased and it is playing hard to get. Capture it.

*****************************

About the Author
A current high school student, 16-year-old author Miranda Wheeler lives with her loving family in her hometown of Torrington, Connecticut. An avid reader, she’s been whipping through books and producing novel-length projects (though none published prior to Something Of A Kind) from the early age of eleven. Having previously released short stories, some published in magazines such as TeenInk and others via “indie” mediums, she has many plans of continuing to write, as well as pursuing other passions and an eventual teaching career. While the official cover is a work in progress and the title won’t be released until the promotional media is obtained, several other projects are in the works: a YA steampunk novella, a YA paranormal romance, and a YA sci-fi-series, in addition to unofficial talks of a Something Of A Kind sequel.

Website/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads


Something of a Kind Available Now!

As a 17-year-old artist, Alyson Glass had her future mapped – she’d go to art school, study in Paris, and eventually make enough bank to support her single mother. The trouble is, things don’t always go as planned – especially a sneak attack of stage-four ovarian cancer.

Suddenly motherless and court-ordered to move in with her estranged father, Aly’s forced to leave behind her New York hometown for the oddities of Alaska. Ashland seems like cruel and unusual punishment – at least until her dad ditches her at a local restaurant and she crashes into a super-hot, guitar-playing diner-boy with a horrific home life.

Noah Locklear is used to waiting – waiting for his shift to end, waiting until his drunkard parents go to bed, and waiting for the day he can get his sister away from their dysfunctional family. The summer before senior year, the elusive researchers that ruthlessly pry into Ashland’s history shatter a final cord with Noah’s abusive father, one of the town’s elders. Unfortunately, as far as his parents are concerned, the new girl who’s changing everything belongs to the outsiders. With their relationship increasingly forbidden, the struggle of knowing who to trust reveals that nothing is what it seems.

As Aly encourages Noah to investigate the legends he’d always written off as stories, they uncover the one thing their fathers can agree on: there’s something in the woods.


Amazon/ Smashwords


***Interested in snagging a free copy of Miranda's debut book? She's giving away 5 ecopies! Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW: Something of a Kind by Miranda Wheeler

Recap:

Moving in with her estranged father following the death of her beloved mother, Aly is feeling lost and alone. Noah has a horrific home life and just yearns for a getaway. Meeting in a diner, they both find that something they’ve been missing. A quest to explain the impossible will bring them together and give them the courage to face their fathers who are adamant they let well enough alone and go their separate ways.

Title:  Something of a Kind
Series:  N/A
Book #: N/A
Author:  Miranda Wheeler
Approximate Book Length:  378 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  13+
Sexual Content:  Mild

Thoughts:

This is a multifaceted story. The romance was sweet and endearing, the mystery interesting and fun, but the home situations for both characters is just heartbreaking and depressing. It definitely gets some emotional investment from readers. We get closure on many aspects and there appears to maybe even be an opportunity for a sequel, but the ending felt a tad anticlimactic despite that.

Fundamentally, I like that the characters' points of view are separated by chapters, leaving no question who’s thinking what. That being said, I think there’s room for growth (but the author’s in high school, so props to her already and there’s plenty of time to get even better!). There were some slips between first and third person narration, some slow points, and the fact that the characters referred to pretty much everybody (including their parents most of the time) by name made it a little difficult to follow along the who’s who at times.

However the best part is probably Noah and Aly themselves. Personally, I believe it’s a bit unrealistic that a 17 and 18 year old would behave so chastely with only a few stolen kisses, but it’s also refreshing. They’re relatable; their fears and doubts about themselves and each other regarding their relationship is very authentic. They together were the highlight of the book.

In Conclusion:

A tale to tug the heartstrings, Something of a Kind is a sweet and mysterious read. There’s some coming of age elements and some perseverance in the face of adversity elements that make this a good YA read.

Rating:



Links:



Saturday, October 20, 2012

REVIEW: Morgan's Surprise by Jayne Rylon

Recap:

Kate’s best friend Morgan is about to celebrate her birthday, and when admitting to Kate that her birthday wish involves Joe from the crew helping to build her bakery, she didn’t notice him enter the room behind her. This leads to a romantic date where they get to know each other better. Joe’s determined to prove it’s ok to seek pleasure by fulfilling a fantasy she was once forced to feel ashamed of. After making her into the main dessert on her birthday him and three of his crew, he finds he wants more.

Title:  Morgan's Surprise
Series:  Powertools
Book #: 2
Author:  Jayne Rylon
Approximate Book Length:  63 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Having loved the first story, I was excited to continue the series and was not disappointed with the sequel! Morgan is Kate’s best friend, and when Morgan blurts out her birthday wish, Kate has to help diffuse the situation by confessing her adventures with the crew. It’s a small thing, but I love the girl talk between best friends, so I found that fun.

The first date is sweet and romantic, and I the drive home is a lot of fun. The next day is even better as she gets a birthday wish. The guys are cute as they try to surprise her, though it turns out a little differently than they planned in a delicious way. The best part is when she and Kate dish at the end, it’s sweet to see Morgan recovered from a past hurt because of Joe and be able to share that with her friend who understands all too well.

My only problem with this one was that it felt a little rushed. In the first book, Mike eases Kate into things, but here it feels like her and Joe’s relationship takes off so quickly and while he obviously didn’t push anything on her, I feel like she was put a little on display a little quickly. BUT, she rolls with it so it’s all in good fun and is still a very sexy, fun read!

In Conclusion:

A sequel to nearly match the blaze of its predecessor, Morgan’s Surprise is a sweet treat. Romantic, funny, and sexy, it’s definitely worth adding to your TBR list!

Rating:



Links: