Thursday, January 31, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Thunder by Taryn Kincaid


Thanks to Full Moon Bites Promotions for hosting this blog tour. Here's my review of Thunder by Taryn Kincaid.

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Recap:

Sean is the most eligible bachelor, and yet little the lonely widow Veronica asks anything of him and he frustratingly jumps to obey. Veronica is a witch struggling after the death of her husband. When she hears some bumps in the night, she goes calling the burly Sean. She can’t believe she’s called him away from his holiday weekend, but he can’t stay away and shows up on her doorstep, only to find they have a date anyway.

Title:  Thunder
Series:  1Night Stand
Book #: N/A
Author:  Taryn Kincaid
Approximate Book Length:  35 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Overall this is a pretty well written story. It was sexy and sweet with compelling characters that I wanted to get to know even better. This book is part of Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series, but also the second of the Sleepy Hollow series by Taryn Kincaid specifically. I’ve read the first one, but thankfully you don’t need to have done so to understand the context of Thunder.

I do have some issues though. While the characters were compelling, I wasn’t fully invested in their outcome, making the whole thing feel a little shallow emotionally. The witch thing felt pretty irrelevant entirely, and I failed to notice any significance of the title. The first one had a clear correlation, but this just didn’t have that which was a little disappointing.

The love scenes are sexy, but I think what really makes this story is the sweetness between the two once they get over their hesitation and frustrations. Despite Sean’s playboy nature, he wants to treat Veronica right. Plus it may sound silly, but my favorite part was actually the end where Sean takes care of Veronica’s mystery sound.

In Conclusion:

A nice balance of tender and hot, Thunder is a nice little quickie read before bed. Don’t miss out on a fun little novella!

Rating:



Links:



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About the Author
TARYN KINCAID is a multi-published author of sensual romance. Her 1Night Stand series stories, LIGHTNING and THUNDER are available from Decadent Publishing and wherever eBooks are sold. Her Regency romance, HEALING HEARTS, for Carina Press; her erotic paranormal, SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, for The Wild Rose Press, are also available wherever eBooks are sold.

Find Taryn Kincaid:
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Thunder Available Now!

Lonely young witch, Veronica Hardwicke, has struggled to get on with her life after the death of the elderly husband who’d left her a fortune and a sprawling estate in mystical Sleepy Hollow. When frightening things go bump in the night on a stormy Fourth of July, who better to call than the sexy developer and contractor, Sean Jones, who's been renovating her mansion for months?

Sean may grace the tabloid pages with a different supermodel on his arm every night, but it's Veronica who drives him nuts. Ignoring his instinct to stay away, he answers her summons.

Will the thundering passion of their 1Night Stand tear down the barriers between them?


***Up for grabs on this tour is an ecopy of Thunder and some SWAG. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Raising the Bar by Lucy Felthouse


Thanks to Full Moon Bites Promotions for hosting this blog tour. Here's my review of Lucy Felthouse's Raising the Bar. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour!

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Recap:

Kayleigh takes a gap year before starting University, and decides to swear off men while traveling. Upon reaching Spain and her new coworker, Luciano, she dumps that plan. He shows her a good time and raises the bar on her sex life.





Title:  Raising the Bar
Series:  The Edge
Book #: N/A
Author:  Lucy Felthouse
Approximate Book Length:  19 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

As with many of the stories from Decadent Publishing’s “The Edge” series, this story is really a tid bit story. It starts off a little abruptly, hardly able to get your bearings. Once you do though it’s a hot ride. There aren’t a whole lot of details about the settings, or even a great sense of the characters, but it’s meant to be a short erotic read, and it succeeds there.

That being said, I’m a fan of erotic romance, and this was lacking my HEA that I crave. Plus, I read a lot of things, but this was a little on the raunchy side for my taste, despite being sexy and hot. I will say that this was the first book I’ve read that had squirting in it, which is actually kind of interesting.

In Conclusion:

If you’re looking for a deep, thought provoking romance, this is not for you. If you’re looking for a quick and dirty erotic read, look no further!

Rating:



Links:


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About the Author
Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora's Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City.

Find out more about Lucy on her Website, find her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, find her on Goodreads, or get her newsletter.


Raising the Bar Available Now!

When Kayleigh takes a gap year before starting University, she decides she’s going to stay away from guys and just concentrate on having fun and experiencing life. That means going through a lot of batteries, but she’s happy and satisfied.

That is, until she gets to Spain on her travels and meets her new co-worker, Luciano. The scorching hot Spaniard soon has Kayleigh’s knickers in a twist— literally—and the time they spend together seriously raises the bar for her sex life. How will any other man ever compare?


***Up for grabs on this tour is a backlist title from Decadent Publishing. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Skin Deep by Sarah Makela


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. Please help me welcome Sarah Makela today as she shares her soundtrack for Skin Deep!

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Book Soundtrack for Skin Deep

Music tends to play a big role for me when I’m writing. Not only does it sometimes give me ideas, but also sometimes, I’m able to use it to get a better feel for a character or a scene. There were a few important songs for me when I wrote Skin Deep. One of which even helped me with the picking the title!

1. Concrete Angel by Gareth Emery feat. Christina Novelli – I’d even classify this song in particular as the “theme song” for the book. I found it while in the process of writing Skin Deep. To me, it fits what the characters go through during the book, especially regarding Angelique and Connor’s relationship. The song has a line in it that helped me pick my title, “You think you know me, but what you know is just skin deep.” Even though I’d heard the song like thirty or more times, I thought to myself, “Ah ha! That’s the title.”

2. The Emergency by BT – This song reminds me of Connor and his desire to have Angelique in his life. He wants her badly even though he’s not exactly sure why she’s run away from him. I like the line, “The future’s right in front of me, and I won’t finish last.” It’s exactly what I’d imagine Connor thinking.

3. Made of Sun by Kyau vs. Albert – This one was my go-to song during the sexual tension and love scenes. Favorite line, “Try to achieve in your smile. You were able to conquer my eyes.”

4. Beautiful by Ferry Corsten – With this song, it reflects when they’ve drawn closer to one another again. I think this line is perfect for them: “Baby I will follow you forever, ever. Nowhere else I’d rather be when you’re lying next to me.”

5. Stupid by Sarah McLachlan – This song loosely fits Angelique in the time before the story as well as early into it. She loves and wants Connor, but she doesn’t think things could work between them due to her magical panther tattoo and the fact she knows there’s a chance bad people could come after her because of her gift. She’s trying to protect them both. Although, she doesn’t know Connor is more than capable of protecting himself. “How stupid could I be? A simpleton could see that you’re no good for me, but you’re the only one I see.”

That sums up the soundtrack! If you guys check out the songs, I’d love to hear what you think. :-)

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About the Author
Sarah Mäkelä lives in North Carolina with her husband and cats. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, computer and console games, and traveling all over the world. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapters.

Find the author:
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Skin Deep Available Now!

Angelique had no idea her black panther tattoo would force her to abandon the love of her life—Connor O’Reilly—but she’s determined to keep him safe no matter how much it hurts. Her tattoo doubles as her feline familiar: loving, protective, dangerous, and with a life of its own. It’s also her deepest secret and draws enemies who desire its power for themselves.

Connor has no idea why Angelique left him, but he’s determined to win her back. As a werewolf, he has secrets of his own. Now his alpha is ready to force him to pair with an ex-girlfriend he can’t stand unless he can find Angelique and claim her as his mate. But even as their secrets threaten to keep them apart, hidden enemies seek to destroy their chance at love forever.


***Up for grabs on this tour are a $10 Amazon Gift Card and an ecopy of the book. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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REVIEW: Skin Deep by Sarah Makela

Recap:

Angelique’s feline familiar tattooed on her back is a powerful secret that some would kill for, so to keep him safe, she gave up the only man she’s ever loved. Connor doesn’t know why Angelique left, but he’s determined to have no one but her, despite having to hide his werewolf side. Once they are together again, their secrets threaten to tear them apart, but so does a much more sinister enemy…

Title:  Skin Deep
Series:  Feral Ink
Book #: 1
Author:  Sarah Makela
Approximate Book Length:  77 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

This was a pretty well done story. There’s mystery, danger, and of course love, all in a novella package. The plot was interesting, though a little weak in some places for me, with strong conflicts and compelling emotional ties between the main characters. After how bad things got, I think everything was wrapped up a little too easily, and I would have liked a little more in the way of world building. We get enough to understand the context of the situation and the state of the characters, but I wanted more background into the hunters that Angelique references often and the nature of her magic and familiar and such.

Ultimately I enjoyed the story and felt for the heroine when things got dire. I also enjoyed the love scene, feeling it was spontaneous, lustful, and oddly romantic. Connor was truthfully a sweet guy and I felt bad that Angelique had to keep pushing him away. I suppose my only real problem was that I thought the book would have benefitted from more length.

In Conclusion:

Overall, Skin Deep is sexy, exciting, and intriguing. It was a quick and engrossing read that will leave you wanting more.

Rating:



Links:



Friday, January 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Sonata by Blair McDowell


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. Please welcome Blair McDowell as she talks about doing research on her book Sonata! Happy Reading!

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On Research

I do extensive research for all my books, but SONATA presented some unique problems. It involves an existing police force, the Vancouver Police Department, the VPD. In Canada we have a rather unique system under which our national police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (familiarly known as the “Mounties” and recognized internationally by their bright red uniforms and wide-brimmed hats), but most larger cities, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and others, have their own metropolitan police. To confuse matters even further, Quebec has its own unique force, the Sureté.

The point is I knew nothing about any of them beyond the color of their uniforms, and my hero was a police officer in the VPD. Before I started writing I had two full pages of questions, many of which weren’t answerable on Google. They were questions of rank ( I of course wanted my hero at 32 years old to be of some more advanced rank, which I soon found out to be an impossibility. I assumed his university degree and police academy training after would put him ahead of others—only to find out that all VPD members have university degrees and Police Academy training. My hero had to be a “Constable” although he could also be “Detective” and plain clothes. He would report to his (considerably older) “Staff Sargeant”. And “Inspector” the rank I had mentally assigned him, was way up the chain.

I was fortunate to obtain “inside information”. Not in the sense that others couldn’t obtain the same information, only that chance put me in the way of getting it and getting it right.

It happened this way. With a friend, I run a Bed & Breakfast on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, north of Vancouver. Our guests gather at a communal breakfast table in the mornings. They are often curious as to how we came to be B&B owners and we answer their questions fully and usually amid considerable laughter. (Between us we have five degrees and here we are cooking bacon and eggs and making beds! Or as a friend put it, we retired to become cleaning ladies!)

To get conversation flowing among our guests we often say “And what do you do?” One morning the answer from a very pretty young woman was “I’m the community liaison officer for the VPD.”

I ran to get my two pages of questions. She was more than willing to help when she discovered the reason for my interest. She gave me her email address, and as I worked on my manuscript I consulted with her frequently. She saved me from making some serious mistakes. The denouement of Sonata takes place not in Vancouver, but on the Sunshine Coast. My hero, Detective Michael Donovan, has no jurisdiction there. The RCMP is in charge, there. That created another whole set of problems that had to be correctly resolved.

I like mysteries and detective stories with a large dose of romance thrown in. But they are fraught with peril. It would be so easy to do something ridiculous in them, so easy to make a parody of what serious law enforcement officers do.

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About the Author
I started to write soon after I found my first pencil. But I began to write for publication about 30 years ago -- professional books. I wrote six of them, all still in print and still in use. Only lately have I turned to fiction. I'd have done it a lot sooner if I'd had any idea how much fun it was!

I’ve lived in many different places. The US -- Certain cities call to me. I love San Francisco and Seattle and the wonderful Oregon Coast. Australia -- among the most open welcoming people in the world, and a wide open young country with incredible land and sea scapes, with amazing animal and bird life right out of science fiction. Canada -- HOME. The place where I belong.

I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places -- Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have spoken in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well -- but variety is indeed the spice of my life.

I keep busy -- and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. My interests?? Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing. And walking on the beach and swimming. At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. I've realized that may not be possible in one lifetime -- but trying has been fun!

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Sonata Available Now!

A jewel heist…

When renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing. Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case.

What chance can he have…

Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver cop with someone as famous as Sayuri McAllister? Especially when that cop is investigating her family and friends?

An unexpected marriage…

Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri.

Things take a dangerous turn…

Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents? Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger.


***Up for grabs on this tour are 5 PDF copies of Sonata. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Blood on the Moon by Cassiel Knight


Thanks to Juniper Grove Book Solutions for hosting this blog tour. Please welcome Cassiel Knight as she talks about her book Blood on the Moon! Don't forget to follow the rest of the tour!

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What sets your book apart from other books in the same genre?

This is an excellent question and really hard to answer. It’s hard simply because there are so many books in my genre that it is hard to really stand out. The story itself is unique since it focuses on Egyptian mythology and the children of the Egyptian Gods and Goddess plus brings in some of their legends. And I’m setting it in exotic places which is fun for the armchair traveler. While those things are great, overall, Blood on the Moon stands out is because of my heroine, Mia Langdon.

Sure, she’s tough with a heart of gold, but she’s more than that. I crafted her to be a strong confident woman that I think many of us (I know I do!) secretly long to be. She’s in control, for the most part, of her own destiny and her life. She makes her own choices and will live with the consequences but she’s smart enough to usually make the right choices. And can handle herself when she makes the bad ones.

Although it wasn’t explored in this book as much, she has sexual freedom as well. She’s not a shrinking violet afraid of sex but embraces her sensuality wholeheartedly. She’s not beautiful but striking and isn’t afraid to use her womanly wiles to get what she wants.

She may not appeal to some readers because while I wouldn’t call her perfect, she’s not every woman. Mia has the freedom I think many of us long for – the freedom to do what we want and when we want. And the resources to do it.

I hope, if you read Blood on the Moon, you’ll agree. I’d love to hear your thoughts here or at my site.

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About the Author
In the job that pays the mortgage and allows her to indulge in her real passion, writing, Cassiel Knight works for Clackamas County in the beautiful state of Oregon. Crazy- passionate about the romance writing industry, Cassiel has a paranormal romance series featuring fallen angels and demons, an urban fantasy novella and a new paranormal romance series that started this fall with Champagne Book Group. She writes paranormal romances with kick-assitude that blend archeology and mythology – just a few of her favorite things.

Find Cassiel Knight:
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Blood on the Moon Available Now!

Mia Langdon—tomb raider and adventure-seeker—has everything she wants. Freedom. Independence. No chains (a.k.a. a man). Her troubles begin when she’s attacked on a dig in Peru. Soon, she’s forced to use her tomb raiding talents to find the flaming arrows of an Egyptian goddess. In the wrong hands, this weapon could destroy the human race—and nearly had.

Used to doing things her own way, it isn’t long before she figures out that she needs the help of Harrison Braden Stanton, her stuffy, but so yummy, Egyptologist and ex-lover. There’s one problem. He despises what she does. As Mia and Harrison find themselves in the middle of a battle between the Egyptian gods and goddess, there’s no choice for the woman with a Grand Canyon-sized independence streak and the man working for the Egyptian god, Osiris, but to work together to prevent the destruction of all they love.


***Up for grabs on this tour are 10 PDF copies of Blood on the Moon, a Blood on the Moon bracelet, Key of Solomon print book, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Monday, January 21, 2013

BLOG TOUR: A Man to Trust by Cheryl Yeko


Thanks to Book Trailer Showcase for hosting this review tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so happy reading -- here's my review :-)

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Recap:

Angela’s survived an abusive marriage, but she tries to keep that to herself, making the lead detective in her husband’s death suspicious. Despite distrust on both sides, Angela and Jake find themselves undeniably attracted to each other, especially after being thrust together for her protection when she’s targeted by an unknown enemy. Can they learn to trust each other in time to stay alive?

Title:  A Man to Trust
Series:  N/A
Book #: N/A
Author:  Cheryl Yeko
Approximate Book Length:  206 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

Right off, the bottom line is I loved this story. The dynamics between everyone involved in the case, the family dynamics between Jake and his brother (and their kids), and the friendship dynamics between Angela and her best friend were so natural and multilayered. The case itself has depth and stays active throughout the plot.

The characters themselves were all very compelling. Other than the villain(s), there is no one that I did not like, in fact I generally only wanted more. Angela’s dark past with her late husband makes her so endearing. I cried for her as I read about the things she remembered and as she found goodness in her life. Jake is so noble and protective, it’s hard not to fall for him. I stayed completely invested in their outcome, but I was absolutely bound to Angela and wanted to scream at the injustice when things took a turn for worse.

I must confess that I only skimmed the villain’s POV sections, because I generally hate those, but they’re short and few and add to the complexity of the situation. The most important part of any story is its plausibility. This one is totally believable at every turn which is one of the things that keeps you riveted from the first page to the very last.

In Conclusion:

Overall, A Man to Trust is an emotional rollercoaster ride with a great balance of action, heat, and just plain tenderness. I doubt any romantic suspense fan will be disappointed!

Rating:



Links:



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About the Author
Cheryl Yeko lives in Wisconsin with her husband Patrick. She loves to read, write, play piano and spend time with her grandchildren.

Although she has spent most of her professional life as a legal assistant, she can also include realtor, small business owner, and virtual assistant/mobile notary to her varied background. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Wisconsin Chapter.

Cheryl is thrilled to be able to add author to her resume and would love to hear comments from readers.

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A Man to Trust Available Now!

The battered survivor of an abusive marriage, Angela doesn't mourn her husband’s death in a drug deal gone bad. But she’s not sure she can survive losing her heart to the handsome detective who assumes she’s a criminal, too.Tasked with Angela’s safety after she’s targeted by an unknown enemy, Jake discovers the beautiful widow is not what she seems. He soon realizes that trusting her goes hand-in-hand with desiring her, and passion and duty collide.Now it’s up to Jake to keep Angela—and their chance at happiness—alive.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

REVIEW: One Night of Need by Ella Jade

Recap:

Dominick is a college professor and while he refrains from getting involved with his students, the temptation of all the college girls is wearing on him. Alexandria has always had a thing for older men, but having been involved with the same guy since high school until he left her at the altar, she’s never indulged. They both seek Madame Eve’s assistance in fulfilling their fantasies, and it’ll their satisfaction will be beyond what either of them expected.

Title:  One Night of Need
Series:  1Night Stand
Book #: N/A
Author:  Ella Jade
Approximate Book Length:  32 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

Who hasn’t had a crush on a teacher at some point? This novella is all about a girl with a craving for an older man, and a professor wanting to indulge in the temptation of a younger woman. It’s a pretty hot read!

While I enjoyed the story, I think there was room for more development, particularly between the two characters. They only talk for a short time before jumping in the sack and, though their connection is tangible and endearing, the ending felt a little short and abrupt even if it was satisfying. I really just wanted more from their story.

In Conclusion:

If you’re looking for a short erotic read about fulfilling that timeless fantasy an older man and younger woman, look no further! Sweet, yet searing hot, One Night of Need is one you don’t want to miss!

Rating:



Links:



Friday, January 18, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Breathe by Elena Dillon


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. Please welcome Elena Dillon as she talks about the setting for Breathe.

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A lot of people ask me why I chose Lafayette, Louisiana for the setting of Breathe. I’m a native Californian and I have never lived anywhere else. I am, however, a travel agent. I love to travel. I’ve been many places and I have always wondered what it would be like to live somewhere else. I find the South fascinating, the people, the atmosphere, the accents and, of course, the food.

I think my fascination started with books like Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and Prince of Tides. The family and personal connections, the characters who said so much but so little at the same time, the humor, the sorrow and the love for the places they lived. I have only experienced that in books and movies. I have never seen that kind of love for home here where I live and it seems common in the South.

Louisiana seems mysterious and lovely at the same time. I was interested in the culture and the French influence. In Breathe, Jasmine and her family needed a place big enough to not stand out but still seem like a small town so Lafayette was my choice.

I enjoyed all the research I did on Lafayette and I hope I did right by it. I plan on continuing to write about the South. My second book is based near Charleston, South Carolina, in a beautiful, coastal town and I’m hoping to publish it in March.

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About the Author
Elena lives and writes in a suburb North of Los Angeles. She has never lived anywhere besides California which is probably a good thing since she hates being cold and is terrified to drive in the snow. She loves being a wife and a mother to her three kids and three dogs, although really the bulldog is the fourth child who has never matured beyond the toddler stage.

A self-proclaimed nerd, she has been writing since she was a child. She has only recently, however, come out of the closet about this to her family and friends. They now understand better, but not completely, why she talks about characters in stories as if they are real people.

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Breathe Available Now!

Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.


***Up for grabs is an ecopy of the book. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg


Thanks to Bewitching Book tours for hosting this blog tour. I'm promoting Grave Intentions today while the author, Lori Sjoberg talks about people who inspire her. Welcome!

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People Who Inspire Me

Thanks so much for having me here today!

I’m fortunate. I don’t have to look very far to find someone who inspires me to reach for my dreams. That person is none other than my aunt, Kathy Trum-Searah.

For as long as I can remember, Aunt Kathy has loved horses. We’re not talking your garden-variety childhood love that stems from reading one too many Black Stallion books (that would be me). Kathy grew up on a farm, so she knows practically everything about the care and training of all manner of equines.

A little over a decade ago, she left the comfort (and steady paycheck!) of a corporate job to pursue her dream of operating her own horse farm. Let me just say that takes guts. More guts than I have. She and her family have worked their tails off to make the Trum-Searah Farm the success it is today. Their farm covers 200 acres in New Braintree, Massachusetts, where they breed, raise, and train Connemara and Sport Horses. (They also have a small herd of Scottish Highland cattle, chickens, and other assorted fowl.) I visited a few months back, and watching the herd of Connemara horses galloping across the fields took my breath away.


So whenever I’m feeling down on myself or on my writing, I pull up my Aunt Kathy’s website (http://trumsearahfarm.com/) and look at everything she and her family have accomplished. It serves as a reminder that if I really want something bad enough and am willing to put in the necessary hard work, then it’s possible to achieve my own dreams. Thanks, Aunt Kathy!


So how about you? Who or what inspires you to reach for your dreams?

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About the Author
Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for staying out past curfew.

After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science, Lori worked for nearly a decade in retail management. When that got boring, she switched to financial planning, and then insurance. The writing bug bit a few years later. After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at work, and the creative half writing paranormal romance. When she’s not doing either one of those, she’s usually spending time with her husband and children of the four-legged variety.

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Grave Intentions Available Now!

He's handsome, reliable, and punctual-the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death's best agent-and now he's got more than his soul to lose . . .

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper-an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good.

Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can't be influenced by his powers-even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living-and a passion he can't afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he'll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah...and gamble on a choice even an immortal can't win.


***Up for grabs on this tour are two e-copies of Grave Intentions. Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

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Monday, January 14, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell - Hydra’s Nest by Fumi Hancock


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. Please help me welcome Fumi Hancock as she talks about her book, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra's Nest, and her experience in Africa. Happy reading!

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Building African Kingdoms, One Community at a Time with The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest Author, Fumi Hancock, her American Friends, and her colorful characters in Africa.


Come, let me take you to a Land;
     A Land of Deep Rich Forest;
          A Land where Knowledge is our Clothing and
               Unconditional Love Our Way of Life;
     There is a river which flows in the Heart of this Land;
Come drink from the river of wisdom,

Our destination is Africa….. (Fumi Hancock, 1996)

As the holiday season kicks up in full gear all over the world and as I journey on with the virtual publicity tour for my newly released Young Adult Fantasy Book, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest; I can’t help but reminisce over my experiences celebrating holidays in Africa. This great adventure called The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell beautifully brought back to my memory the wonderful times I’d shared with friends and family members, growing up in Africa. Armed with the desire to share this piece of me with my readers, I garnered up the courage, the enthusiasm and the commitment needed to tell the world how Africa can also be a beautiful place, even in its throes of poverty and difficulties.

As I share my humble and sincere heart with my readers, I continue to envision a world free of challenges, drama as we would often call them and desire a peaceful place where everyone can live in peace and harmony. I yearn for a place where children can move freely, live freely, eat freely and of course, never go hungry. It is my hope and desire that as I share my experiences with you; you will be moved to be a difference maker… reach out and touch someone in the most unusual and / or unexpected way.

To this effect, let me quickly share with you where my passion for this Young Adult Fantasy & Romance fiction emanated from…

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My name is Fumi “Stephanie” Hancock. I was born in Africa but have lived in the United States of America for over 30 years. A little over six years ago, my father, Prince T.A Ogunleye called me up and told me it was time to return home. I’d literally grown up in the US and this was now home to me. My father felt it was time to give back to Africa.

(source: wordlatlas.com)

This was an important trip for me as I’d not been back to my community in over 23 years! The trip was equally important because one of my cousins, His Royal Majesty, King Emmanuel Adebayo, reigning King of Emure Ekiti Kingdom, a place tugged away in the Western region of Africa was being crowned and my father felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my roots.

(Picture of His Royal Majesty King Emmanuel Adebayo & Queen)

The journey was exhilarating yet filled with anxiety as I did not know what I was going to encounter. I trusted my father, packed my bags and went back to West Africa with my family. It was the most incredible journey of my life… to witness a King’s coronation… no words could describe the feelings.

What was more important was the surprise which awaited me when I arrived in the community with my Tennessean friends! The community people rallied around me and reminded me of who I was… their princess who had been gone for long and was now back! I took the time to revisit my childhood boarding school and low and behold, all of my experiences at the school came rushing back.



(source: adassafoundation.org)

With all of this jubilation came social responsibility… to come back to the United States, let the world know of this region in Africa and help to make a difference in whatever little way I could.

(pictures of a classroom/school with no electricity and broke down furniture)

(Premature babies born in rural clinics with no incubators and no medical equipment)

(a child street hawking to raise money for food)

(a hungry child found on a street)

The King and his cabinet had a huge task on their hands and they knew it would require reaching out to all for assistance. It is amazing how when we reach out to give someone something that we may be lacking ourselves, how it turns around and blesses us back a thousand fold. Because of my children in Africa, my life and that of my volunteers have forever changed.

We came back home, reached out to whoever would listen to our stories and began plugging away at the needs in Africa. We hosted the King and some of his 63 cabinet members to a gala in Tennessee:

(Mayor Mike Dinwiddle, current Mayor of Spring Hill TN awarded an honorary chieftaincy title by his Royal Majesty, King Adebayo at a gala held in Franklin TN and Spring Hill declared sister city to Emure Kingdom)

To date, we currently sponsor 40 children who would ordinarily not have been able to attend school. We opened the very first state of the art library in that region ever…



With the help of some Song writers & artists in Tennessee, Friend to an Angel, a song honoring our African children, was debuted and used in raising funds for our programs in Africa. (Available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/theadassafoundationproje)

Today, I celebrate all of my African angels with the characters my readers will encounter in The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. These vibrant and most times feisty characters are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “those conjured in my head.” These characters as well as my African babies have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive.

Every year I would return to Africa (with my American Friends) serving the children in these communities through my non-profit organization the Adassa Foundation, I am reminded of the colorful ambiance and the need to share this part of the world with book lovers.

There is more work that to be done. I am constantly in need of assistance to help move our programs forward. Our next vision for this region is to build a Youth Center for Excellence where children can converge and learn rather than be in the streets roaming aimlessly. As we celebrate our holidays here in the US and all over the world, I urge you to consider joining me in putting a smile on yet another African angel’s face at www.adassafoundation.org or support by picking up the song: Friend to an Angel.

“I enjoyed the story of Jewel, it was fresh and in a setting that was new to me. The descriptions made me feel as if I was there. I experienced the place right along with our Jewel. Every page was beautifully written and I was engrossed from start to finish.” Review by Sara Bree High, Goodreads.com.

Well, mission accomplished Sara. I wanted my readers to be transported to a place where they’d never been before. I wanted them to see how other people live in other parts of the world… I wanted them to also see how people like them, who have travelled to live in Africa… how they adjust to the culture and setting. The characters though reside in Africa come from various parts of the world especially Europe. Enjoy the Behind-the-scenes pictures: (http://www.worldoffumihancock.com/#!behindrhescenes/ckg3)


A little about The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest?

A unique & thrilling African ambiance not familiar to many!

Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa.

The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest magically transports its readers from the rolling hills of Bloemfontein to the beautiful farmlands of Bela-bela South Africa. It is a fantasy-based coming of age story of a rebellious 17 year old teenager who (through no fault of her own) is thrust into an environment ridden with unfamiliar and unsavory demonic activities when admitted into a prep school in South Africa.

As Jewel Cardwell is relentlessly being trailed by an unapologetic family curse, she races against time to find answers before the curse wipes out all of her loved ones.

In the midst of this demonic war, she becomes entangled in a love triangle between a young rugged-looking Darwin Morton who she grew up with on Milner Court and the very wealthy and popular high school soccer team leader with the silver spoon in his mouth, Eric Broder. TRAILER: http://youtu.be/AZTSaChQ77E

Portions of the proceeds made this holiday season will be funding scholarships and the Proposed Youth Center.

Discovery Quizzes:
1) What is the Mission, the Vision and the Goal of Adassa Adumori Foundation? Clue: (a statement written in purple color) http://www.adassafoundation.org/
2) Can you mention two ways you can help to create awareness and be a difference maker with the foundation? Clues: “Friend to an Angel”, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell, and adassafoundation.org.

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The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra's Nest Available Now!

What would you do if you found out you inherited an ancient familial curse?

When free-spirited and more than a little rebellious, seventeen-year-old Jewel Cardwell gained admission to Grayton Preparatory School, a prestigious, girls-only, top-notch private institution nestled in the South African farmlands of Limpopo, little did she know it would begin a trail of mysterious and unfamiliar events, changing her life forever! At Grayton prep, a battle line is drawn between ‘good and evil’ especially when there’s a full moon and dark forces swirl and turn up in the form of hideous monsters and frightening demons. With her school fre-nemies, rivalry and treachery become the order of the day and Jewel is forced to question everything she thought she knew as she struggles to stay alive in a dubious place riddled with demonic activity!

Armed with a magical secret from her dying grandmother, a golden locket, she sets a new course in motion. In the middle of this whirlwind of events, she is caught between two boys: Darwin Morton, a lad she's known growing up, and Eric Broder, a soccer team leader with a silver spoon in his mouth. Why her love life has to get interesting now is a question she can't answer!

“I welcomed death with open arms, closed my eyes and listened as the aircraft made rattling and shaking sounds through the dreary weather. If this was my time to go, I would embrace darkness, as I had nothing else to lose.” -- JEWEL CARDWELL

Will Jewel be able to solve the mystery before evil is unleashed against those she loves?