Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review: Miss World by Randi Black


It's 1993. Kimmy Ho's never really been happy (and thinks her life sucks). She's not really good at anything - or at least, that's what her mother says. But music makes her feel better, and gives her something to live for. 

Then, she gets raped on the day Kurt Cobain's found dead. And her life begins to suck even more. 

From his death comes her cross-dressing imaginary friend Joey, and her budding romance with Walter, the skinny kid from special-ed. Walter shows her love and the ability to feel pleasure again, but even he can't make everything better. Not when he also awakens a lust for violence and revenge that she never knew she had inside her.



Miss World was a book I wanted to read even before it was released—I was a child and teen of the 90s, and I really liked the idea of an honest, raw look at that time period through a teen girl’s eyes.  In fact, I think this may have been the first “indie” book I was really interested in.  However, I want to read EVERYTHING, and I’m a slow reader, and…it took me three years and a little push to finally read Miss World.  And of course now I’m kicking myself for not getting to it sooner, since it was even better than I expected.  A truly meaningful, emotional, sincere look at adolescence, Miss World was an incredibly refreshing read for me right now, in a year that seems filled with trend-based books.

I knew before going in that the main character in Miss World, sixteen-year-old (when the book starts) Kim Ho, is a victim of rape and that the book is raw and unflinching in its portrayal of the subject.  Still, I was extremely impressed by how the rape scene(s) (I’d argue that there are two, although the first is almost completely glossed over when it first happens) and their aftermath are dealt with.  While the rape itself is disturbing and painful to read, it’s told in an almost matter-of-fact way, with an emotional distance that illustrates Kim’s disassociation from the experience.  Then as the book goes on, we get hints of flashbacks and memories that somehow seem more intense than the rape itself.  I found this to be such an insightful illustration of the way trauma can affect you—during the initial event, your mind sort of shuts down and doesn’t take in the full extent of what’s happening, which allows you to survive it.  But then in retrospect, the experience builds and builds in your mind till it can become all-consuming, which is what can make a trauma so difficult to get over. 

I was expecting Miss World to be raw, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the book also contained one of the sweetest—although also imperfect and realistic—teen romances I’ve read.  Walter, the special-ed kid who’s nursed a longtime crush on Kim, is such a real teenage boy, and his character constantly surprised me as I learned more about him.  It was great to see Kim with someone who truly cared for and respected her, when she needed that so badly in her life.  However, Walter also has his own problems, which gradually drive a greater and greater wedge between them.  I see Kim and Walter as a couple who have a true connection, who might be perfect for each other, but who met at a time when both had their own issues to work out.  The ending is open—appropriate for a realistic coming-of-age novel—and hopeful about Kim’s ability to recover her self after what’s happened to her, whether or not she stays with Walter.


As for the 90s influence—it’s everywhere in the novel, and I loved it.  While I’d never want to be a teenager again, I’m glad I was one during the 90s.  I feel like that’s the last decade when pop culture wasn’t completely airbrushed, and despite the whole “slacker” thing, there was a genuine search for emotion and meaning and engagement with the world.  Miss World brought me back to that era in so many ways.  The imagery and the rhythm of the writing evoked grunge and punk music.  Kim’s strained relationship with her traditional Asian parents reminded me a bit of Margaret Cho’s 90s TV show, All-American Girl.  [Note: I haven’t watched that show since I was a teen myself, so I’m not sure if it was any good or if it really paralleled Miss World!]  All that was missing from Miss World were a few My So-Called Life references…but oh well, I guess you can’t have everything.

Miss World was only available in paperback for a while, but it looks like it's back on kindle, so you can grab a copy for only 2.99 here.  If you'd told me back in 1993 that 20 years later we'd be paying 3 bucks or less for our books, and 5 bucks or more for our coffee drinks...  It's a crazy world!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Blitz: Reap by Christina Channelle


Reap
Release Date: 10/11/13

Summary from Goodreads:
Foreign, or rather unfamiliar, would be the word I would use to describe how I felt.

Faintly, I could hear the glimmer of voices surrounding me in this dark haze, caressing my ears like skin against silk. I felt like I was in a cocoon of sorts, protectively enveloped, quietly drifting in some far-off place. I wanted to stay that way forever.

But we all know that what you want never really seems to happen in the real world.


Something’s not right in Mia’s head.

The first thing is that her name isn’t Mia. In fact, she has no clue what her name is—who she is. All that she knows is that she’s not like the ones who found her: Dante with his kind blue eyes, Amy with her child-like demeanor, James with his questioning gaze.

And Briggs.

The one she cannot decipher no matter how hard she tries.

As Mia tries to fit in with these people, a strange occurrence is amidst outside. And as she finally remembers who she is …

Well, let’s just say that things get a little more complicated.

(YA Paranormal Romance Novella)

Available from: (only $.99!)
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About the Author
A dreamer, Christina Channelle holds two degrees in health sciences but has always had a passion for writing. You will find her reading other young adult novels, or typing up a new story on her computer. When not writing, Christina spends her free time at the movies, listening to music, or eating sushi. She's a reality TV junkie and has a close relationship with many characters on TV that have been a topic of many heated discussions among friends. She resides in Ontario, Canada.

Her next project is the YA Paranormal Romance, REAP, to be released October 11, 2013.

Author Links:
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*GIVEAWAY*
3 - Ebooks of Reap with bookmark (INT)
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Book Blitz hosted by:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Regret Not a Moment by Nicole McGehee

RegretnotaMomentbanner

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Regret Not a Moment by Nicole McGehee, hosted by Hardcover Therapy.  This sounds like a fascinating, unique historical fiction novel, and I'm looking forward to reading it soon!

Regret - Cover

Buy Regret Not a Moment on Amazon

Synopsis

The year is 1930. Beautiful, witty Devon is the daughter of a prominent Virginia family. Many men have fallen under her spell, but none has captured her heart, until she meets New York tycoon John Alexander. Their future seems assured: they will marry, raise a family, turn their country estate into the best Thoroughbred farm in the nation. But what Devon cannot foresee are the conflicts that will drive away her husband or the tragedy that will devastate their marriage. Be transported from lush Virginia hunt country to sophisticated New York and the embassies of Paris. Travel from the Hollywood glamour of Hearst castle in its heyday to the turmoil of war-torn Cairo, and the enclaves of aristocratic England. Devon's tale takes you through the decades from peaceful pre-war America to the danger of World War II, and the racial unrest of the South of the 1950s and'60s. Enjoy the thrill of Thoroughbred racing with one of the first women to break into the male-dominated sport and one of the first African-American men to become renowned as a world-class trainer. Best-selling author Jennifer Blake called this book, "as warm and spirited as its heroine, as gracious as its Southern background, a tale rich with insight into the enduring nature of love and desire. I enjoyed it immensely." Iris Rainer Dart, author of Beaches (made into a classic movie starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey) called Regret not a Moment, "A bewitching book! You will never forget the captivating Devon Richmond..."

Add it on Goodreads.

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Excerpt

LIGHT spilled festively from the long windows of the Magrath mansion. The sight made Devon’s heart beat a little faster as the tires of her parents’ Cadillac crunched on the circular drive. Parties always filled her with anticipation, and the Magraths’ parties were among the most sparkling.

Built to resemble a French chateau, the lavish three-story Magrath home was a departure from the Georgian-style and antebellum structures that sprinkled the Virginia countryside. The architecture, a romantic fantasy of Helena Magrath’s Francophile grandfather, was complemented by a houseful of valuable antiques gathered over the course of seventy years.

As Devon entered the richly gilded Louis XIV-style salon, an arm through one of each parent’s, she searched the room for their hostess. All the faces she saw were familiar and she smiled at those closest to her. Then a circle of young people parted, and in their midst Devon saw a stranger.

Her scan of the room stopped at once and her gaze fixed on him. He was one of those rare people who, for no clearly definable reason, immediately drew the eye. He didn’t blend into the crowd, he stood above it. His charisma was due to something beyond good looks; something beyond self-confidence. It was a combination of eloquent gesture, carriage, expression — a magnetism that absorbed the attention. Though John Alexander was completely unaware of Devon, she found her eyes locked on his profile.

He looked no older than many of her friends, but he moved with utter self-assurance. He was no taller than the other men in the room, but his manner of carrying himself made him appear more powerful. He had the look of an athlete, with wide shoulders tapering down to a narrow waist. He gave the impression that he was extremely capable — no ... indomitable. His face was all male angularity, with a strong, almost stubborn jaw. His nose was slightly larger than average and had a small hook in it, which gave his face a keen, somewhat hard look. To Devon, the men standing beside him looked callow in comparison.
The Richmonds’ hostess, Rosalind Magrath, spotted her guests and moved toward them. As she greeted the new arrivals, she looked over her shoulder to see what was so enthralling Devon. The young woman looked hypnotized. When Rosalind saw the direction of Devon’s gaze, she smiled to herself. Giving Laurel Richmond a knowing look, Mrs. Magrath led the family across the vast room to meet the guest from New York.

Alexander turned as Devon and her parents approached. And he faltered in midsentence. Devon was looking directly at him in a way that made them seem alone in the room, and she was one of the most stunning women he had ever seen. He was incapable of looking away. It wasn’t just her beauty — she had about her an attitude of daring that fascinated him. And she moved with the kind of self-confidence usually found only in women at least ten years older.

Devon was unaware of moving through the crowd; unaware even of breathing. Unaware of anything but his eyes. And now she stood before him, staring up into those extraordinary eyes. Rimmed with long, dark lashes, they were so deep blue as to be almost navy. They were an arrestingly beautiful touch in a face that was otherwise rugged.

“Ah, our guest of honor,” Mrs. Magrath said, pretending not to notice the strange little island of silence amid the room’s conversational hum. “Mr. Alexander, I would like to present you to our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Richmond from Evergreen — and this is their daughter Devon. As I mentioned, she is to be your dinner partner this evening.”

The space between John and Devon hummed with electricity. “Then I am a very lucky man,” he said.
Devon almost never blushed. But now her mother was surprised to see that her cheeks were distinctly rose colored as she stared up at the stranger.

“How do you do, Mr. Alexander,” murmured Devon. She didn’t dare extend her hand to him. His touch would singe her, she was certain of it. The sheer physical impact of him left her almost breathless. She felt . . . naked.

And Alexander felt the heat in her. It was the kind of seductive heat that more practiced women tried to exude deliberately, but this young woman did it naturally. He knew she was innocent. And this combination he found arousing. His eyes refused to release hers. He was thinking what it would be like to make love to her. To take her and —

“Devon Richmond! Are you avoiding me again?” A laughing voice broke the spell. The elder Richmonds drifted away as Devon turned her head to greet Brent Hartwick, her former beau. Hartwick had recently married the Magraths’ daughter, thus Rosalind Magrath’s generosity in partnering Devon with the handsome guest of honor. Hartwick was one of the few people the Richmonds knew who had taken a large loss in the crash of 1929. Most of the other wealthy residents of Fauquier County and bordering Loudon County believed real estate was the best invest-ment and had scorned the stock-buying craze.

Hartwick was the exception. Born and raised in Upperville, Virginia, he had gone to live in New York, taking a job with an investment banking firm. As a gentleman of the 1920s, he had regarded his job as a pastime, nothing more. Until he became afflicted with stock-buying fever — and lost a fortune. Many believed that had been the reason he had stopped waiting for Devon Richmond to agree to marry him and had instead settled for the wealthy Helena Magrath.

Helena Magrath Hartwick quickly came to her husband’s side when she noticed him talking to Devon. She was conscious of the gossip that surrounded her husband and Devon, and was particularly jealous of the other young woman.

“Devon, dear, how lovely you look!” exclaimed Helena.

Devon was irritated at Helena’s habit ever since her marriage of condescendingly addressing unmarried women as “dear,” as though she, Helena, were much older.

“Helena . . . dear,” replied Devon, allowing a few seconds to elapse between the two words.

Helena turned to Alexander. “Devon is the most eligible young lady in the county. I promise she’ll keep you amused. Why, you’re lucky we didn’t invite one of our younger ladies to be your dinner partner. None of them would be even half as good a conversationalist as Devon.”

“And yet, a quick wit doesn’t necessarily come with age, does it, Helena?” asked Devon pointedly, to the chuckles of John Alexander and Brent Hartwick.

Helena, glaring at her husband, pulled him away, throwing over her shoulder, “Please enjoy your evening,” in a tone that implied she meant the opposite.

Devon turned to Alexander. “Was that wicked?” she asked, wincing comically as though she expected to be reprimanded. She was more herself again — the interruption had given her time to regain her poise.

“Yes. And well deserved,” replied Alexander with a smile. “The moment I saw you, I knew you were a woman to be reckoned with.”

“Well, I ...” Devon looked up to find his eyes boring in to her, wiping all rational thought from her mind. Try to remember what you were going to say, she commanded herself. “I ... I don’t like being patronized, and I’m afraid Helena does that sometimes.”

“I’m surprised she dares,” John said with a droll look. Devon did not seem the type of woman who would accept such behavior.

Devon simply smiled, annoyed that she couldn’t think of a witty rejoinder. She could again feel the turbulence rising in her body. She had to avoid looking into his eyes. If she could avoid that, she could remain composed. He must think I’m a tongue-tied ninny, Devon thought to herself.

But to John, who did not know her, Devon appeared composed. She would not meet his eyes, so that brief glimpse into her thoughts that had so aroused him was gone. And he was sorry for that. He had the sudden urge to speak to her of the unmistakable electricity between them, but he suppressed it, falling back on small talk instead.

“Tell me, Miss Richmond, do you like New York?” He was uttering conventional phrases, but his voice sent goose bumps through her, as though he were blowing on the back of her neck.

“Yes . . . yes, in a way.” What had he asked her? Oh, yes. New York. “We have a place there actually.” The home to which she so casually referred was a stylish five-story town house, purchased after the recent sale of the family’s Italianate villa on Fifth Avenue. Devon’s father, like many with old wealth, did not enjoy squandering it. He recognized that the era of Fifth Avenue mansions that occupied entire city blocks was coming to a close. The fact was, the Depression had caused many of the wealthy to scale down the wildly lavish socializing that had characterized the previous decade.

“Do you visit New York often?” John wondered why he had never met her before.

“Not too often,” Devon said. As she spoke, she began to feel more in control. “I like to visit, but there are too many people. Besides, this is my real home.”

“You don’t feel isolated here, living miles away from your nearest neighbor?” John asked.

“Not a bit. I rather like it. As you can see, we are a close-knit society.”

John found himself wanting to know more about what she thought, about what she did each day. He wanted to know everything about her. “Don’t you get bored in the country?”

Devon was growing intrigued with the conversation itself now. She was amused at the man’s assumptions about life in Virginia. “Mr. Alexander, I’ve never been bored a day in my life. The occupation of my mind does not depend on others.”

“No, I can believe that you do very well on your own.” He wondered if he dared ask the question that sprung to mind. Would she be insulted? It would be interesting to see her reaction. “Would it be impertinent of me to ask why someone as beautiful as you has not married?”

Devon, now completely unself-conscious, turned to face Alexander squarely. “Probably.” Her mouth turned up at the corners in a sly smile. “I suppose the Magraths have treated you to quite some amount of speculation on that subject?”

Alexander could not tell whether she was offended. As he was trying to decide, Devon burst out laughing. “Don’t feel uncomfortable. Everyone we know speculates on that. The fact of the matter is, I’ve never fallen in love with anyone. A very simple answer. Why everyone tries to complicate it is beyond me. I’m not going to give up my independence for someone I don’t truly love. And no matter how wonderful the rewards of marriage, one does give up a measure of independence, doesn’t one? Is that why you, Mr. Alexander, have never married?”

Now it was Alexander’s turn to laugh. He was thirty-two years old, and it was not uncommon for men his age to be unmarried. He was forward-thinking enough to know that it was unjust that Devon was questioned because she was unmarried while he could remain a perfectly respectable, even desirable, bachelor. Yet he was enough a man of his times to find her unconventional for even raising the point.

Turning serious, Alexander considered Devon’s question. He had loved women, even been in love. When he was nineteen he had wanted to marry a young Frenchwoman he had met while visiting Italy. Of course his family had been adamantly opposed to his marrying a Roman Catholic, as hers had been opposed to her marrying an Episcopalian, and somehow the two young people had not had the will to fight their families’ disapproval.

John’s second love had been a young married woman of his own set. She had told him that her husband was cruel to her. Captivated as much by his role as savior as he was by the lady herself, he had willingly begun a passionate affair with her. He had begged Janine to leave her husband so that he, John, could marry her. He smiled to think of his naiveté at age twenty-three. Of course she had refused. Only when her attention began to wander to another young man of his circle did he realize how stupid he had been.

Since then, he was rarely without at least one mistress, but he never again had the desire to marry. John enjoyed being free to travel, to explore new interests, to go out when he felt like it. He did not want to answer to anyone. Furthermore, as more of his friends married, he noticed that their wives, no matter how exciting before marriage, all seemed to turn themselves into replicas of one another. They occupied themselves in the same ways and had the same thoughts and standards.

“I’m pleased to see that you’re taking my question seriously, but you needn’t take it too seriously,” said Devon, breaking into his thoughts.

John laughed. “I’m sorry. I was trying to come up with an honest answer. Suffice it to say that judging from my friends, people turn dull when they marry.”

For a moment Devon forgot her attraction to John. The generalization annoyed her. “I do not intend to turn dull!” Dull! She thought about her parents. They were content, but not dull. She thought about her sister, married to a diplomat and living in Paris. That wasn’t dull.

“So you do intend to marry?” John asked, sensing her annoyance and anxious to move the conversation along.

“If I fall in love. And I’m certain I will.” Devon felt suddenly shy as she said the words. Her conversation with this stranger had taken a surprisingly intimate turn!

“And what will you do to prevent your marriage from becoming dull?” He asked the question with real curiosity, all mockery gone from his voice.

Devon thought the question presumptuous, and was about to say so, but something in the seriousness of Alexander’s tone, the studious curiosity in his eyes, stopped her rebuke. Instead, she mulled over her response, allowing the silence between them to lengthen.

Finally, she said in a thoughtful tone, “You see, Mr. Alexander, you and I disagree on a fundamental point. You say that the institution of marriage turns people dull. I disagree. I believe dull people give the institution a bad name. Maybe they attribute their dullness, their lack of adventure, to the inhibiting influence of their spouse. People do what they want to do, Mr. Alexander. When interesting people marry, and they retain their independent interests even after they are married, I see no reason why their marriages should not be equally interesting.”

“Well spoken, Miss Richmond. It is a point of view well worth considering.”

Regrets $1.99

Praise for Regret Not a Moment

“A sparkling story, a luscious setting, a memorable heroine.”
--Janet Dailey, author of The Calder Saga

“You will never forget the captivating Devon Richmond and her dramatic story. It is a bewitching book!”
--Iris Rainer Dart, author of Beaches

“The story is as warm and spirited as its Southern background – a tale rich with insight into the enduring nature of love and desire. I enjoyed it immensely.”
--Jennifer Blake, author of The Italian Billionaire series

“Passionate romance spanning three continents and three decades…Readers won’t regret a few hours spent with [this book].
--Kirkus Reviews

“This light, entertaining novel holds reader interest until the end…Recommended where Danielle Steel is popular.”
--Library Journal

“This well-researched novel holds a wealth of detail which makes characters and scenes come alive…Fascinating...”
--Romantic Times

About the Author

Nicole McGehee was born in South Carolina, but spent most of her adult life in the Washington, DC, area. She began her career in politics as a lobbyist and event planner for several medical non-profits. Later, she worked as a speech writer and legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. From there, she went to work in the West Wing of the White House. After leaving the White House, Nicole started her own publication on business and trade in Latin America and the Caribbean. She owned the journal for seven years, then sold it shortly after signing a two-book contract with publishers Little, Brown and Company (hard cover) and Warner Books (paperback). Her books have been translated into French, Spanish and German, and were also published in the United Kingdom and Canada. In addition, her travel writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Denver Post, the Miami Herald, and Honeymoon magazine. Nicole is co-author of The Insiders' Guide to Washington, DC, 3rd edition. In 1997, her first husband, Michael, died in a car accident. Devastated, Nicole sold their home in Virginia and moved to ski country in Colorado. Five years later, she met her second husband, David. They continue to live in Colorado. Nicole has an Associate's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and a BA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nmcgeheefiction
Website: www.nicolemcgeheefiction.com

Check out Nicole McGehee's other title No More Lonely Nights

lonely nights<br /> kobo

No More Lonely Nights takes the reader to the era of the popular television series Mad Men. 

Heroine Dominique Avallon has been raised in the opulent French expatriate community of WWII Egypt. But revolution and a doomed love affair with a British officer drive her into an arranged marriage with an older man who promises her a new life in America. Chafing under the stern gaze of her aristocratic mother, she is ready to escape the danger and heartbreak of Egypt.

When Dominique discovers her husband is a fraud, she flees their home in San Francisco for New York. For the first time, she is alone and impoverished. Desperate, she puts her glamorous experience to use, and triumphs as the mastermind behind sparkling galas for the city's most stylish department store.

Her good luck seems confirmed when a devilishly handsome New Orleans shipping heir sweeps her off her feet into marriage. But when her fairy tale becomes tarnished, her self-reliance is tested again, only now she has her mother and her daughter depending on her.

The homemakers of the 1950s and '60s have become the career women of the '70s and '80s. Facing hard times once more, Dominique must hurry to catch up, fighting for her true identity and career. Yet even as her struggling career starts to succeed, Dominique is faced with her most difficult choice yet. Will she risk her hard-won independence for the possibility of another chance at love? 

No More Lonely Nights is inspired by the true story of the author's mother and grandmother, and their tales of the glamour they once knew.

Add it on Goodreads.
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cover Reveal: Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart

Welcome to the cover reveal for Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart.  The cover was designed by Mae I Design, and the reveal was organized by Xpresso Book Tours.  I read Tracy's first book, and it was great, so I'm looking forward to this one!




Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart
(The Diatous Wars #1)
Publication date: February 28th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis:
When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?

Selection

War has come to Atalanta, infecting its quiet villages and lush woodlands, igniting whispered worries in its glittering capitol.

All across the dominion, young men are being Selected for Military and sent to the front lines…and eighteen-year-old Aris Haan’s childhood sweetheart is one of them.

Secrets

Pyralis Nekkos, Atalanta’s leader, has kept the truth from his people, that their dominion will fall…and much sooner than anyone could guess.

Galena Vadim, his reluctant ally, wishes she could forget their shared past...until her future seems to depend on it.

Sacrifice

And for the boy she loves, Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, will give up everything - her home, her name, even her face...

...only to become the key to her dominion's survival.
Add it on Goodreads here.

About the Author



Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.





Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Blitz: Wings of Arian by Devri Walls

Welcome to the book blitz for Wings of Arian by Devri Walls, hosted by I'm a Book Shark!  There's a giveaway too, so make sure to enter!

Pub Date: April 24, 2012 • Publisher: Stonehouse Ink • Format: Paperback/Ebook 462 pages • Age Range: Young Adult
Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie. With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life. She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar. However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation. And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions. 

Buy the Book:


Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head.
Find Devri:

Giveaway Alert!! Enter to win an ebook of WINGS OF ARIAN and a signed bookmark! Runs from 11/18-11/22. Thanks and good luck!

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And look for WINGS OF LOMAY, book four in the SOLUS series, coming January 2014!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Fire Walker by Nicole R. Taylor

Welcome to the cover reveal for The Fire Walker by Nicole R. Taylor, Book Two in the Devil's Tattoo series, with the cover designed by the author.  Nicole seems like such a cool person based on her twitter presence, and her books all sound so good too.  I hope you'll add them to your to-read list!


The Fire Walker by Nicole R. Taylor
(Devil’s Tattoo #2)
Publication date: December 16th 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

Dylan “Dee” Cosgrove is one fourth of Australian band, The Devil’s Tattoo. Loveable, cocky as hell, but one thing is missing. He’s never  been in love. He doesn’t want meaningless, he wants meaningful and all he keeps hearing is I’m sorry… Forever the good guy finishing last.

A year after their first tour, The Devil’s Tattoo are making it big in LA recording their next album. For Dee, all he wants is to stand on stage and play. After all, music is his first love. He could care less about the money and the fakery that comes with the LA scene and the big executive types with dollar signs in their eyes. But in walks the woman who is about to obliterate him and she’s one of them. So, what’s a guy to do when one look is all it takes?

Jessie Ware is an intern at Galaxy Records, New York. When she’s asked to go to LA to help her boss schmooze with the latest big thing to come out of Australia, The Devil’s Tattoo, it’s her chance to get her foot firmly wedged into the door. If she can pull this off, then there could be a permanent job in it. But she didn’t count on one thing. Dee Cosgrove and his cocky Australian attitude. He makes her question everything without even trying and it might just push her over the edge… if she doesn’t give her heart to him first.

The more Dee gets to know Jessie, the harder he falls and he’d walk over fire and back to win her over. That’s if she doesn’t deliver him straight into the ranks of the scarred and broken first.

The Fire Walker is a companion novel to The Devil’s Tattoo. It has a dose of drama, some colourful language, a HEA and some sex scenes.
It’s recommended for readers 18 and up.
Add it on Goodreads and purchase book one, The Devil's Tattoo, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About the Author

Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser.
She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first.

The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is available in e-edition and print from March 20th 2013

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter





Blog Tour: Ready to Go by Stephanie Mann


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Ready to Go by Stephanie Mann, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Read on for my review!  You can follow along with the rest of the tour here.


Release Date: 11/12/13
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Daniel is sick of his wonderfully boring and predictable life. He dutifully gets up every morning, goes to class, goes to work, and it never changes. He does, says and even wears exactly what others expect of him. He's so predictable that he barely notices just how unhappy he truly is.

One afternoon, everything changes when David meets a girl on the run from her own demons. She doesn't need Daniel's help, but he offers and she accepts--setting a course for an adventure neither will soon forget.

Together, on an impromptu road trip, two strangers become friends and a bit more, all while facing money problems, car problems, and tourist traps and the naked truth: they can't run forever.

Will they finally stop running long enough to discover true and lasting love?

Add it on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

My Review

Ready to Go was a very sweet, cute and hopeful NA coming-of-age/romance story that was refreshingly low on drama and high on realism.  This was the story of two ordinary people in their early (Nicole) to mid (Daniel) twenties, both of whom are uncertain about where they’re headed in life, who come together on what starts as an impulsive escape from reality, and ends up as much more.

Community college student Nicole has been planning to leave home for a while, but she impulsively quits her job and sets off before she’s saved enough money, so she quickly resorts to hitchhiking and sleeping in a public library.  She runs into Daniel, a medical student and part-time museum tour guide, when she kills some time (and takes a nap) in the museum, and then again the next morning in the library.  Although their initial encounters are a bit awkward, Daniel ends up skipping out on his classes and job for a day to drive Nicole a little further.  It’s not really clear why Daniel is doing this—not to Nicole or the reader, and not even to Daniel himself—but the further he gets from his everyday life, the more obvious it becomes that he’s as desperate to escape as Nicole is.  Daniel is studying to become a doctor because his parents have always pushed him to do so; he’s not passionate about medicine, and what’s worse, he gets sick at the sight of blood.  Not exactly prime doctor material, but Daniel’s always lived up to his parents’ expectations before…

Until one day with Nicole turns into another, and another, as Daniel ends up determined to take her all the way to California.

For the first half of the story, what really kept me reading was my curiosity about what exactly Nicole was running from.  She definitely seemed upset and uneasy about something, but I had a hard time getting a handle on the tone and direction of the story and just how serious her problem was.  When we did learn more about Nicole’s past, though, I was pleased with the way the author handled it—it was serious enough to justify Nicole’s emotional turmoil and her decision to leave home, but it wasn’t so dramatic that it upset the low-key, cute feeling of the novel.  Once we learned more about Nicole, what propelled me through the second half of the book was the question of whether Daniel would return to the life his parents had set out for him.  It became progressively clearer that Daniel needed this trip as much as, or more than, Nicole…but would he be able to escape his old life the way she had?

Most of Ready to Go takes place during Nicole and Daniel’s road trip across the U.S., and there were so many little things I liked about the book and the journey.  I loved all the strange, random little tourist traps they stopped at, which reminded me of my own road-trip experiences growing up.  I appreciated that Daniel and Nicole had a bit of a rocky start to their relationship, and a number of awkward exchanges even up to the end of the book.  Their time together felt real, which meant it wasn’t always super-romantic, but was true to life.  And I liked that the novel ended with the hope of something more between Daniel and Nicole, but not with declarations of love that would have felt premature after less than two weeks together.

Overall, Ready to Go is a sweet, quick road trip novel about two people trying to figure out what they really want to do with their lives.  Like life, the book doesn’t end with all their issues neatly resolved—but the last sentence definitely made me smile! 


Giveaway

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About the Author

Stephanie Mann lives in Massachusetts. Besides writing, she spends her free time working with fan conventions. She loves to travel, and has visited many tourist traps along the way.
READY TO GO is Stephanie Mann's first novel.

***Author Links***



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Tour: No Turning Back by Casey Peeler


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for No Turning Back by Casey Peeler, hosted by Hardcover Therapy.  I read this book when it first came out, and it was a fun, sweet, country-flavored YA/NA read!  Today I have an author interview and a lot of other goodies for you, so read on.


After getting involved with Dylan, the bad boy of the Dixon High Swim team, Charley decides to stay close to home for college. It’s just safer that way. Later, she realizes it’s a mistake, just like dating Dylan. She decides to put the past behind her and leave the small hick town of Grassy Pond. There is only one problem; she makes this decision three weeks before the fall semester begins.
Charley packs up her Honda and heads to Southern College. On the morning she’s about to leave, Cash walks back into her life. He has been her best friend since they were four and is the only one who knows the REAL Charley. She leaves her farm in Grassy Pond with all kinds of “what if” questions.
Charley decides to live her college career to the fullest. She finds a great group of friends, joins the swim team, and meets a guy named Joe. He’s got eyes that make ya wanna melt!

At college, she encounters a new problem. Charley has been away from home for only forty-eight hours before she breaks the two promises she made to herself. Will she be able to overcome her past? Find new love? What will happen with Cash now that he is back in her life? Will she find what she is wanting in Jackalope Joe? How will her first semester of college end? Joe, Cash, or alone?

Add it on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Book Trailer




Get to Know Charley





Author Interview

1.      Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

      I am a wife, mother, book blogger, special education teacher, country music lover, and the proudest dance mama you will ever meet!  I love spending time with my family, seeing Luke Bryan shake it for me, and feeling sand between my toes.

2.      What do you do when you are not writing? 

When I’m not writing I’m wearing the many hats of a mom.  You can find me blogging at Hardcover Therapy, singing loudly in the car, or enjoying the sunshine with a cold beverage!

3.      Do you have a day job as well? 

I’m a special education teacher.  I teach high school students who are working toward being job ready once they graduate.

4.      When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? 

I started writing NTB in April 2013 and finished it in August 2013.

5.      How did you choose the genre you write in? 

That is a very tricky question.  I <3 New Adult as well as Young Adult.  I know that college is a time in your life for growth, mistakes, and doing a bunch of stupid s***!  I began to think that would make a great basis for a story.  Currently, with teaching high school, I don’t feel I can cross certain lines as an author.  NTB can actually go either way, NA or YA, but it’s a pretty “clean” read. 

6.      Do you listen to music while writing? 

Sometimes, just depends on my mood and if I’m in the groove.  If so, you can guess it will be anything country!  My personal favorites are Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, or ANYTHING country!

7.      Bacon or chocolate? 

Bacon!  Hands down!  Chocolate covered bacon could be the best of both worlds!

8.      Do you ever experience writer’s block? 

It’s more like time issues.  With teaching, blogging, and running my sweet little girl to dance, I’ve really had to learn how to balance my time between the writing world and my family.  Needless to say, my family always brings me back to reality! ;)

9.      Do you work with an outline, or just write? 

I outline.  I have tried to just write, but then I just ramble.


10.  Is there any particular author or books that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? 

Honestly, growing up I hated to read and write.  I was a student who read what was required and wrote the minimum.  My senior year of high school I read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston, and I fell in love with the book.  I realized that once I found a type of book I enjoyed; I enjoyed reading.  As an adult, there are several authors who have influenced me.  Amanda Bennett has to be #1.  She actually helped me through the self-publishing process due to our blogger/author relationship.  Tiffany King would be #2; she is a phenomenal writer and I’m always awaiting her next release!  Finally, I would say Jamie McGuire & Aleatha Romig because I aspire to be like them one day!  They are living a dream that I’d love to be a part of as well!

11.  Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? 

The biggest challenge was formatting.  I honestly did everything myself with the help of my betas and a few close friends.  The week before publishing I thought I was going to throw it out the window due to Microsoft Word going non- responding… I was like a hamster in a wheel!  Working over and over! 

12.  If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? 

Not one thing… except the hamster in the wheel issue!

13.  How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? 

I market by blog tours, giveaways, street team, posts from friends, bloggers, and people sharing how much they <3 NTB!

14.  Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? 

No, that’s what I love about being Indie.

15.  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 

Well, NTB storyline is completely fictional, but the places are not.  Like I said, when I was in college we did some stupid s*** and I actually asked my friends if it was okay to use those experiences.  Some characteristics are based on people I know, but it’s more of just my way of giving them a shout out for their impact on my life.  Sorry to say but there is no Dylan, Jackalope Joe, Cash $, or Charley in real life.  I will have to say that Hank’s Tavern is a real location, but from what I understand from readers is that anyone from the South has a Hank’s Tavern!


16.  What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 

Chapter 12 Let the Meets Begin is my favorite chapter because this is where Charley’s life in Grassy Pond and Southern collide.  All of the people she cares about are in one location.

17.  How did you come up with the title? 

Basically, with everything Charley is given in life, she decides to leave home and not turn back.  It’s about independence.

18.  What project are you working on now? 

Currently, I’m working on Finding Charley (Full Circle #2) that will release in April 2014. I’ve found that country music is a great inspiration for novels!  I have two that I have floating around in my head just dying to get out!

19.  Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with? 

Yes!  I can say for sure that there will be a novella from Tessa’s POV!  I believe her insight into what goes on while Charley is away would be quite interesting!  I also love the idea of a Piper, Joe, or Cash as well! 

20.  What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 

Toughest criticism is when someone gives you a one star review, but doesn’t even finish the book.  Being a book blogger first, I would never give a one star to something I couldn’t finish.  I feel that is an injustice to an author.  Best compliment? There are so many!  One does stand out in my mind. One of my mother’s students got NTB off her desk one day, because of course, Mama’s gotta brag!  That student doesn’t like to read, but she couldn’t put it down.  I just hope I can continue to inspire YA to read.  I was just like that student, but it only takes one book to change that outlook!

21.        Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?  

Thank you!  Readers are what make it all worthwhile!  I never knew the impact that my book would have on people locally or international.  It has been amazing!  Support has been overwhelming at times!  One thing that readers can do that might not know the impact is to write a review.  Your words are an inspiration to others just like mine as an author!  Tell the world if you love a book! 


 No Turning Back Playlist


About the Author

Casey Peeler grew up and still lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter. Her first passion is teaching students with special needs. Over the years, she found her way to relax was in a good book.
After reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston her senior year of high school and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.
Casey is an avid reader, blogger (Hardcover Therapy,) and now author.  No Turning Back (Full Circle #1) is her debut novel releasing September 30th.   Finding Charley (Full Circle #2) will release spring 2014.
Her goal is to one day be an author who is recognized nationwide like Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Tiffany King, and Amanda Bennett.
When Casey isn’t reading, you can find her listening to country music, spending the day at the lake, being a wife and dance mom, and spending time with friends and family.
Her perfect day consists of water, sand between her toes, a cold beverage, and a great book!
More about Casey Peeler

Casey Peeler will also be a featured author at New Adult Sleepover Weekend!