Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Secrets of the Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed

Title:  Secrets of the Henna Girl
Author:  Sufiya Ahmed
Genre:  YA
Pages:  270
Published:  March 2012
Publisher:  Penguin
Source:  via Publisher
Where to buy: 
Amazon

Synopsis:

Life as Zeba knows it could be over for good...

Zeba Khan is like any other sixteen-year-old girl: enjoying herself, waiting for exam results... and dreaming of the day she'll meet her one true love. Except her parents have other plans.

In Pakistan for the summer, Zeba's world is shattered. Her future is threatened by an unthinkable - and forced - duty to protect her father's honour.

Zeba has finished school for the year and is eagerly awaiting the results for her exams and is looking forward to school the following year.  The annual trip home to Pakistan to visit her parents relatives isn’t something she’s been looking forward to, she’d rather spend the summer with her best friend.

Arriving in Pakistan, Zeba’s life is drastically changed.  She finds out that her parents have promised her hand in marriage to her cousin and the wedding is happening in only a matter of weeks!  She has no say in anything – which Zeba is far from thrilled with.  She wants to go home to England and be a normal 16 year old – not married!

I was thrilled when I first got this book – the cover is not only gorgeous, but they story was intriguing.  I felt for Zeba, and hoped and prayed along with her in the book that someone could come and rescue her from this marriage.  This book had me completely engrossed – I had to find out what was going to happen!  Would they force her into the marriage against her wishes and the rules of their religion?

Would I recommend this book?  Most definitely, this book was a unique look inside a culture I’ve always found fascinating.  The rich colours, clothing and food have always intrigued me.  I loved the author’s style of writing and how well the story flowed.  Will I read more by this author?  Yes, I will definitely be looking for more by Sufiya in the future!

Review: Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel

Title:  Dust Girl
Author:  Sarah Zettel
Genre:  YA, Paranormal
Pages:  304
Published:  June 2012
Publisher:  Random House
Source:  NetGalley
Where to buy:  Amazon

Synopsis:

Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in "the golden hills of the west": California.

Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company — there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.

Callie LeRoux isn’t who she thinks she is.  When her mother “disappears” during a freak sand storm her world is turned completely upside down.  She attempts to keep the hotel running while her mother is gone, but finds herself caught up with some strange characters - a mysterious man, a strange family and Jack, a hobo boy.  Can she trust anyone?

This was an interesting read – a first for me by this author as well.  It was a unique look at life in America in the 1930’s during the depression, with some fae and paranormal elements.  Life wasn’t easy during that time period, and Callie’s world and everything she’s known has been taken away from her.  With rival groups of fae all hunting for her, can she find a safe place and will she ever be able to find her mother again?

The one thing I have to say I didn’t like was how the story ends abruptly, which means I’m hoping all my questions will be answered in the next installment of the series.  Will Callie find what she’s looking for?  Will her father’s family eventually track her down?  So many unanswered questions!

Will I read more by this author?  Yes, I’d like to find out what happens to Callie and Jack!  Will they be able to make it to California without getting themselves into too much trouble!  Will I recommend this book?  For anyone who enjoys fae stories; and this one is a very unique look in my opinion – will enjoy this book.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CANADA DAY BLOG HOP 2012

CanadaDayHeader

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Canada Day Blog Hop!

Co-hosted by myself, Chrystal of Snowdrop Dreams of Books and Carmel of Rabid Reads
(all fabulous Canadian bloggers!!)

We have a great group of Canadian Bloggers taking part again this year. 

Everyone will be hosting their own giveaway running from 12:00am on June 28th until 11:59pm on July 1st. 

Each blog will have their own set of rules and regulations for their giveaway. 

So make sure to check them out before you enter!

Now, onto my giveaway for the hop!

Rules:

1.  Open to residents of Canada & the US
(no PO boxes please!)

2.  Must be 16 years or older to enter the giveaway.

3.  To enter all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form!

The prize:

A SIGNED copy of….

From Genevieve Graham, author of Under the Same Sky, comes a sweeping romantic historical novel of one man’s strange gift and dangerous battles…

Dougal MacDonnell, a fierce warrior from the Highlands of Scotland, is able to hear the thoughts of other men and dream how the future will unfold. Devastated by the loss of his family during the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he fosters a deep hatred for the English. But when Glenna, the love of his life and a Scottish outlaw, is captured and shipped overseas, Dougal is forced to join an English army made of vanquished Scots. Now fighting on the side of his sworn enemies, he embarks on a journey that will take him across the seas to the colonies. There he will risk everything for the chance to find his true love.

Great isn’t it??  Also, Genevieve is a Canadian author!  Make sure to check out her first novel “Under the Same Sky”  which came out last year!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, make sure to hop on to the rest of the great blogs that are taking part this year!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Day in the Life of… Myra McEntire

 

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

--------------------

MyraMcEntire


Myra McEntire knows the words to every R and B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in the country music capital of America where her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated, she chose to channel her mad word skills into creating sultry Southern timeslip novels.

But if you catch her at a signing, she can probably be convinced to rap with you anyway.

Places to find Myra:
twitter-
@MyraMcEntire
website: MyraMcEntire.com

 

A Day in the Life

During the school year, a day in this life of a writer (who’s also a stay at home mom) is pretty regimented. Wake up around 6:30, get everyone ready for school, put them on the bus, come inside and have a dance and coffee break, work for a couple of hours, do housework for a couple of hours, work for a few more hours until the bus drops of my devilish angels.

But during the summer?

As it turns out, I’ve been on some kind of deadline for the last three summers. The difference this year is that I’ve had an actual full draft going into the month of June, and this year, well, I threw the (tiny) draft that I had away and started over. Because I am apparently a nutbag.

A Typical Summer Writer’s Life Day:

6:30 Up. Twitter and email scan. (This is why I always forget emails. I read them pre-coffee.) Coffee. Incoherent mumbling.

7:30 Gleefully discover The Husband is going to drop off the kids at Vacation Bible School – I’ve never been so grateful for a week of free mornings. Press him to discover if I have to go INSIDE to pick up children at lunch.

7:45 Breakfast for the kiddos, more coffee for me, shower supervision, wardrobe assistance, dental hygiene policing.

8:40 Push everyone out the door.

8:45 Sit on stairs and listen to the quiet. Pet cats, who’ve come out of hiding since the short people are gone.

9:00 Get to work. Check in with Jodi Meadows, who I’m usually on chat with every day, and make sure she’s working, too. Accountability is a wonderful thing.

I’m ignoring the phone, email, and social media this week, because I need to get a jump on this draft. I’ll pay for the backlog later, but my job is to write. Write books. Not tweets and emails.

I realize that I need to reread certain parts of HOURGLASS and TIMEPIECE, so I get a notebook and more coffee and take a seat at my kitchen table.

photo

10:30 Stop to put laundry in and unload the dishwasher. Take a dance break while I’m at it (Tell Me by Groove Theory, from a playlist Lauren Billings made me).

11:00 Back to work.

11:30 Leave to go pick up kids, secure in the fact that I don’t have to go inside, so it’s PERFECTLY FINE to wear my work clothes – tank top, yoga pants, hoodie. I don’t even brush my hair!

11:55 GO INSIDE TO PICK UP KIDS. The rules have changed. And, of course, my pastor holds the door open for me. He takes one look at my hair and says, “Oh, you’re writing today?” with a big old grin on his face. Punk.

12:30 Make turkey and cheese sandwiches. Get a text from Stephanie Perkins with a link to this video. Cry on turkey and cheese sandwiches.

Fear is an issue with this draft. It’s something I’m struggling with in a way I never have before. Third book in a series, more readers every day, and I don’t want to let anyone down. Mostly myself.

1:00 Finish up notes on HOURGLASS while my children play violent video games. I’m THAT mom.

4:00 Feed our hyperactive lab, Molly, and start dinner prep. The excitement. You must be overwhelmed.

5:00 Youngest leaves for baseball practice. I read. I READ! Gotta keep the creative well full. If it’s empty, you don’t have anything left to give the page.

8:00 Dinner. Post baseball. My waist is already bigger than my behind, so let’s eat late and compound the problem, shall we?

9:00 Put my babies to bed. Think of a scene I want to play with and do so.

10:00 Snuggle with The Husband.

11:00 Bed.

There are definitely more exciting days, but this is the kind I like. I take care of my family, check in with friends, and create worlds and people. I do what I’m born to do. And that’s the best kind of life there is.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Julia Quinn Reading Challenge - June Reviews


To sign up for the Julia Quinn 2012 Reading Challenge - CLICK HERE

Below is the link up for all your JUNE reviews.
Please link directly to your review, not just your website.
In the name field, please include the book title..
Example:  Aislynn @ S-R-C (When He Was Wicked)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lusting for Covers (8)



Lusting for Covers is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Queen's Book Palace, held on Sunday's, that allows bloggers to share their current cover obsession with fellow book lovers.

Click HERE for more information!

 

 

One Night Rodeo by Lorelei James

Available August 2012

All it takes is one night to change a cowboy’s life…

Barrel racer Celia Lawson knows better than to tangle with bull rider Kyle Gilchrist. The sexy cowboy’s love ‘em and leave ‘em ways have earned him a reputation on the rodeo circuit, and he’s always seen her as his best friend’s kid sister. But after one wild, tequila-fueled night, Celia wakes up to find out she’s gotten herself hitched—to a man she never should have married!

When Celia insists on an annulment, Kyle has no good reason to say no—except he isn’t ready to let go of his new bride. But then Kyle inherits a sprawling Wyoming ranch, and seizes the opportunity to enlist Celia’s help. She agrees to lend a hand—with two conditions: He has to get up to speed as a rancher within six months; then they’ll get a divorce. And their marriage will be in name only.

Kyle gives in to Celia’s demand, yet he's ready to prove to her he has what it takes to turn their one night rodeo into a lifetime of love….

Hot in Handcuffs by Shayla Black, Sylvia Day & Shiloh Walker

Available July 2012

Three Novellas of Erotic Capture

Allow yourself to imagine the man behind the dark sunglasses. Hear the purr of his zipper as he lowers it, then reaches for the shiny metal hanging from his black leather belt. It’s futile to resist arrest. Give yourself up to the fantasy. Besides, he thinks you’re so hot in handcuffs…

Arresting Desire by Shayla Black


FBI Agent Jon Bocelli never stopped wanting beautiful professor Lucia DiStefano. She’s interested in taking her first lover, and he intends to be that man. When her past puts her life in danger, Jon risks everything to save her and prove this fling is forever.

On Fire by Sylvia Day


When Deputy Marshal Jared Cameron investigates a series of arson attacks in a seaside town, the biggest blast of heat comes from sexy fire inspector Darcy Michaels—until their scorching after-hours affair is compromised by a secret from Darcy’s past.

The Unwilling by Shiloh Walker


Mica Greer and her former lover, ex-FBI agent Colby Mathis once shared an intimate past and a powerful psychic gift. Now, they’ve been reunited by a bizarre series of murders—and an electrifying passion that could put them both in jeopardy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Guilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark

Title:  Guilt by Degrees
Author:  Marcia Clark
Genre:  Murder Mystery, Thriller
Pages:  448
Published:  May 2012
Publisher:  Little Brown
Source:  Publisher
Where to buy:  Amazon

Synopsis:

Someone has been watching D.A. Rachel Knight--someone who's Rachel's equal in brains, but with more malicious intentions. It began when a near-impossible case fell into Rachel's lap, the suspect-less homicide of a homeless man. In the face of courthouse backbiting and a gauzy web of clues, Rachel is determined to deliver justice. She's got back-up: tough-as-nails Detective Bailey Keller. As Rachel and Bailey stir things up, they're shocked to uncover a connection with the vicious murder of an LAPD cop a year earlier. Something tells Rachel someone knows the truth, someone who'd kill to keep it secret.

Harrowing, smart, and riotously entertaining, GUILT BY DEGREES is a thrilling ride through the world of LA courts with the unforgettable Rachel Knight.

Sometimes events who seem completely unrelated turn into something the complete opposite.  When the murder of a homeless man lands in Rachel’s lap – she finds herself drawn into a case that ties back to the murder of Baily Keller, a police detective.  Can she figure out how these two cases relate to one another and the killer?

Life hasn’t always been fair or easy for Rachel Knight.  She lost her sister many years ago and hasn’t really been able to get past that.  She keeps the events and her feelings to herself, and pushing away anyone who dares to delve into her private life.  Can she find a lead on what happened to her sister all those years ago?  Does the person she’s hunting for know something?

This was a really interesting read.  We all know the name Marcia Clark – from the OJ Simpson case.  Which is what initially caught my interest with this author.  What was her writing style like?  Was she going to use real cases as inspiration for her book?  When I started reading I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but as I got farther and farther into the story I was hooked.  I thoroughly enjoyed the twists, turns and surprises the author puts in Rachel’s path.  And I loved Marcia’s writing style!

Without giving away anything – this book is filled with intrigue, a spunky, smart and feisty heroine who fights for justice.  With her own life at stake can she figure out who did it without getting herself or her partner in the line of fire?

Will I recommend this book?  Yes!  If you like intrigue, murder and a book that will hook you from page one up to the end – then this book is for you!  I know I’ll be adding the first Rachel Knight book to my wish-list and any others that come out!  Will I read more by this author?  Most definitely!

Stacking the Shelves (8)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Picked up this lovely pile of books at the local used book store this week.

The Husband Hunt by Lynsay Sands
How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth Boyle
Tempting A Proper Lady by Debra Mullins
The Pleasure of Bedding A Baroness by Tamara LeJeune
Graceling by Kristin Cashore

For Review:

(via NetGalley)

(via Bewitching Book Tours)

Amazon Freebies:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Day in the Life of.. Julia London

 
Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!
 
--------------------

julia-london-600x600

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than a twenty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Desperate Debutante and Scandalous historical romance series, as well as The Year of Living Scandalously, the first novel in the Secrets of Hadley Green series. She is also the author of several contemporary women’s fiction novels with strong romantic elements, including Summer of Two Wishes, One Season of Sunshine, and Light at Winter’s End.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Round Rock, Texas, with her husband. To keep up with all the Julia London news and excerpts, please visit http://www.julialondon.com.

6:20 am: Sun comes up, the dog starts to yawn loudly, and I get up

6:30-7 Feed the dog, drink coffee, read the paper, especially Carolyn Hax, the advice columnist. Who are these people who write her?

7:00 If I am going to run, I better get at it.

7:30 After futzing around with shoes and water and watches, I am out the door.

8:30 or 9:00: Stumble back in, gasping for breath and soaked. Why is it so humid in the mornings?

10:00 Showered and dressed for the day. Time to start work!

11:00 Still screwing around on Facebook, blogs, and Pinterest. Okay, now I am ready to work

11:30-1:00 I write. Usually the book that is due next, and in this case, The Last Debutante, the last book in The Secrets of Hadley Green series.

1:00-2:30 or so – I do stuff around the house (unload the dishwasher, laundry) or run errands (Starbucks. Occasionally the post office, but mostly Starbucks or something like it)

2:30: Back to work. But I have to check email first…

3:00: Working again, either on the book that is due, or the book that is due after that.

5:30: The dog starts to bug me. He’s hungry, he wants to go out. We mosey down to the mailboxes to get the mail. And we mosey back. I feed the dog. I stand in front of the fridge and wonder what I want for dinner. I close the fridge and go outside to check my plants.

6:30: Okay, I am getting hungry. Dinner.

7:30 to 8:00 I catch up on things I didn’t finish. A scene I wrote or writing blogs.

9:00 or so: The trash TV viewing marathon comes on. Usually involves a bachelor or a real housewife. Or, if I am lucky, men fishing on the Bering Sea. I keep working, writing a little, jotting down ideas to make it flow the next day.

11:30 or 12:00: Lights out

Book by Julia:

For more by Julia – click here!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer

Title:  The Wild Queen
Author:  Carolyn Meyer
Genre:  Historical Fiction, YA
Pages:  432
Published:  June 2012
Publisher:  Harcourt
Source:  via Publisher
Where to buy:  Amazon

Synopsis:

Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone.

Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hoping that a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again, but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts to bargain with her formidable “sister queen,” Elizabeth I of England, could cost her her very life.

A young woman who wants nothing more then love and security in her life, she makes some wrong choices and ends up paying with her life.  The story of Mary Queen of Scots is well known, as well as her demise at the hands of Elizabeth of England.

At the age of just five years old, Mary is packed up and shuttled off to her future in-laws in France.  Alone in a strange country she attempts to fit in with the French court and become friends with her fiance, the Dauphine of France. 

Unfortunately for Mary, life takes a drastic turn when her husband, the King dies.  Leaving her at the mercy of his family.  Stripped of her title, she returns to her native Scotland to take her rightful place as the Queen and rule her people.  While away in France, a great many things have changed in her homeland – will she be able to rule her people and win their loyalty?

This was a first for me by this author.  I’d heard great things about the “Young Royal’s” series from some fellow bloggers (and history lovers) so I decided to pick this one up and give it a go.  I was thrilled by Carolyn’s writing style and how she drew me into the story.  She writes with such detail and bring the story to live.

Will I recommend this book?  Yes!  For anyone who loves historical fiction or the history of the Royal families this is definitely something you should check out.  Will I read more by this author?  Oh yes, most definitely!  I have already added the rest of the “Young Royal’s” series to my wishlist!

More by Carolyn:

Review: Atlantis God by David Gibbins

Title:  Atlantis God (aka The Gods of Atlantis)
Author:  David Gibbins
Genre:  Action, Adventure, Mystery
Pages:  496
Published:  April 2012
Publisher:  Random House
Source:  NetGalley
Where to buy:  Amazon

Synopsis:

Atlantis. The world’s mightiest empire. Its secrets have been lost to the ocean’s depths, but in this high-action race against the clock, marine archaeologist Jack Howard is about to find out that the gods of Atlantis live on—through a terrifying new evil.

A lost Nazi bunker in a forest in Germany contains a dreadful secret. But is there a horrifying new dimension to the Nazis’ rule of terror? When Jack Howard, head of the International Maritime University, and his team of adventurers return to the lost island of Atlantis in the Black Sea, they realize they’re not just on the trail of the most sought-after treasures in history but are about to uncover a surprising link between Atlantis and the 1930s expeditions of Himmler’s Ahnenerbe, the Nazis’ Department of Cultural Heritage. But unbeknownst to Jack, shadowy figures from his past are joining forces—and they have their own ghastly vision for a new Atlantis. Can he stop them before it’s too late?

When I first picked up Atlantis God, I had no idea this was part of a much larger series.  What caught my attention was the word “Atlantis” and it was an immediate reaction to hit “Request”.  Anything on this subject has always caught my attention and I was thrilled when I found this.

Jack Howard is a world renowned diver, adventurer and underwater archaeologist.   His discovery of Atlantis (in a previous book) changed everything and it keeps coming.  When a volcano erupted blocking the way into the underwater city, he hopes he can get one last look before it’s lost forever.  Can he find the information he’s hoping for or will it all be lost forever?

This book had so many twists and turns, story lines that diverged and intersected and action jumping off the page I couldn’t put it down.  I had to know what Jack would find and how the story would unfold.  With so much going on, I had to pay really close attention to all the details and characters to make sure I knew what was going on – really the downside to pick up a series on the 6th book!

How the lost city of Atlantis ties in with a secret bunker in the middle of a forest is quite interesting.  The events leading up to what actually happens in that bunker and what they uncover is fantastic and I don’t to give anything away that might spoil the story line!

Will I recommend this book?  Yes! I would recommend starting with the first book in the series – which I’m in the process of hunting down myself.  For those who love Clive Cussler, Andy McDermott and the like – this is definitely something you should check out.  Will I read more by this author?  Most definitely.  I want to start the Jack Howard series from the beginning and see how he finds Atlantis to begin with!

More by David:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lusting for Covers (7)



Lusting for Covers is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Queen's Book Palace, held on Sunday's, that allows bloggers to share their current cover obsession with fellow book lovers.

Click HERE for more information!

 

 

How to Capture a Countess by Karen Hawkins

Available September 2012

Urged by her favorite nephew, the intimidating Duchess of Roxburghe agrees to transform a thorny Scottish rose into a lovely bloom. But even she isn’t prepared for fiery Rose Balfour.

At seventeen, Rose fell wildly in love with Lord Alton Sinclair, known as Lord Sin for his wicked ways. Stung by his indifference, the starry-eyed girl tried to win an illicit kiss, but then panicked and pushed the notorious rakehell into a fountain. Leaving Lord Sin floating among the lily pads to the mocking laughter of his peers, Rose escaped back to the obscurity of the Scottish countryside.

Six years later, Sin convinces his aunt, the Duchess of Roxburghe, to invite Rose to her annual house party, where he plans to get revenge by making Rose the laughingstock of polite society. To his astonishment, he finds she has become an alluring woman who threatens to turn the tables on his nefarious plans. Thus Sin and Rose begin an epic battle of the sexes that becomes more passionate at every turn. Eventually, one will have to surrender . . . but to vengeance? Or to love’s deepest passion?

 

When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen

Available September 2012

This hot new Regency trilogy full of fast-paced adventure, wit, and heat follows a glittering trio of celebrated courtesans whose fortunes depend on the ton believing the rumors about their mysterious lives.


Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance, is thrown into a whirlwind of deception, debauchery, and stolen diamonds when she witnesses the murder of the Duke of Pelham’s fiancee. The last thing the duke wants is to protect a woman of ill-repute…but as he uncovers his fiancee’s duplicity and spends more time with the lovely courtesan, the more intrigued he becomes...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Succubus Lost by Tiffany Allee

Title:  Succubus Lost
Author:  Tiffany Allee
Genre:  Paranormal
Pages:  211
Published:  May 2012
Publisher:  Entangled
Source:  via Bewitching Book Tours
Where to buy:  Amazon

Synopsis:

Someone is kidnapping and incinerating otherworlders beyond recognition, and detective Marisol Whitman, a succubus, races to find the murderer before he claims another victim. But her pursuit is derailed when her responsible younger sister vanishes. Marisol suspects foul play and enlists support from an unlikely source: an agent from the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, Valerio Costa.

When the trail pointing to everyone from vampires to witches dries up, Agent Costa admits to knowing more than he’s shared. Marisol’s sister’s kidnapper harnesses more magic than she can imagine—and they’re running out of time. To find her sister before her powers are drained and twisted beyond recognition, Marisol must connect the dots between cases and put her trust in Costa, a salamander who may burn her before she can solve either case.

When ashes turn up in an alley, detective and succubus Marisol is on the case.  As she starts digging into the investigation, her sister and friend disappear without a trace.  With the help of OWEA agent Costa she’s determined to find out who took her sister and why.

We briefly meet Marisol and get a bit of background into her sister in “Banshee Charmer” the companion novel to “Succubus Lost”.  I really enjoyed Marisol’s perspective in this novel, she’s a fantastic character! 

Bound and determined to do anything to find her sister, Marisol puts herself in the path of the kidnappers.  With the help of Costa, she digs into all aspects of the investigation and learns who she can and can’t trust. 

Like Mac and Aidan’s relationship in “Banshee Charmer”; Marisol and Costa have their ups and downs, trust issues and everything in between.  Can she really trust him?  There are again so many twists and turns in this story it kept me hooked from page one up to the very end.

Will I recommend this book?  Oh yes, if you loved Banshee Charmer, then you need to pick this book up as well.  For someone who love paranormals and mystery this author is definitely for you.  Will I read more by this author?  YES!  I can't wait to see what Tiffany comes up with next for the OWEA. 

Review: Banshee Charmer by Tiffany Allee

Title:  Banshee Charmer
Author:  Tiffany Allee
Genre:  Paranormal
Pages:  159
Published:  January 2012
Publisher:  Entangled
Source:  via Bewitching Book Tours
Where to buy:  Amazon

Synopsis:

When she’s sent to a crime scene and finds her second dead woman in as many weeks, half-banshee detective Kiera “Mac” McLoughlin is convinced a serial killer is on the loose. Incubi are extinct, her boss insists. But what else can kill a woman in the throes of pleasure? When her partner is murdered after using witchcraft to locate the killer and Mac is thrown off the case, her frustration turns to desperation.

Certain the killer is an incubus, Mac works behind her department’s back to chase down slim, sometimes perilous leads. While the killer eludes her, she does discover handsome Aidan Byrne, an investigative counterpart from the enigmatic Otherworlder Enforcement Agency. Mac typically runs her investigations fast and hard, but with Aidan at her side, she’s running this one “hot” as well. But Aidan knows more than he’s letting on—something that could shatter their blazing romance and add Mac to the killer’s growing body count…

This book has been honestly sitting on my TBR list for months.  When Tiffany’s second book came up on Bewitching Book Tours recently, it was just the push I needed to pick up this book.  Looking back, I wish I had picked it up sooner!

Mac is an investigator with the police department, she is also half banshee.  With the murder of her partner, she is thrown off the investigation and has to work around the normal channels.  With the help of Aidan, a member of the OWEA; she tries to track down the serial killer who has not only taken the life of her partner but many across the country.

Unfortunately for Mac, things don’t go according to plan.  With the killer on the loose she’s looking into every avenue to find him and has Aidan tagging along.  Their relationship goes from professional to hot hot hot in a matter of chapters.  They have an amazing connection but neither can really get terribly involved when there is a major case to solve.

I REALLY enjoyed this book, Mac easily made my top 10 list of favorite heroines.  She’s spunky, kick ass, isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done and keeps Aidan and the rest of the police department on their toes throughout the story.

With twists and turns this book keep me on the edge of my chair, quickly flipping pages to see what would happen next to Mac and whether they would find the serial killer. 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes!  For those who love a paranormal romance with mystery mixed in this is a book for you.  Will I read more by this author?  Most definitely!  I really enjoyed Tiffany’s style of writing.

Book Tour: Succubus Lost by Tiffany Allee

 
Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!
 
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Today is a VERY special A Day in the Life of… Exactly ONE year ago today my weekly feature started.  I had NO idea what kind of response I was going to get..

Make sure to click the A Day in the Life of… tab at the top and check out some of the past weeks authors!

So in honor of today’s ONE YEAR – I have special guest Tiffany Allee visiting!

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clip_image002_thumb1About the Author

Tiffany currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, by way of Chicago and Denver, and is happily married to a secret romantic. She spends her days working in Corporate America while daydreaming about sexy heroes, ass-kicking heroines, and interesting ways to kill people (for her books, of course). Her nights are reserved for writing and bothering her husband and cats (according to them). Her passions include reading, chocolate, travel, wine, and family.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

A Day in the Life of…

Thank you so much for having me! I'm afraid that my days aren't terribly exciting, but here's the gist of my average day.

7:00 a.m.

Struggle to figure out what that horrible beeping noise is. Realize it's the alarm clock. Smack in the general direction of the alarm clock until noise stops.

7:10 – 7:30 a.m.

Continue to hit the snooze button every ten minutes.

7:40 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Roll out of bed and wonder why the alarm clock didn't go off sooner. Damn thing must be broken. Put in my contacts, wash my face and brush my teeth.

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.

Ignore the sad, orphan faces the cats give me and point out their squishiness is a direct result of too much food. Wander out to the kitchen and feed the cats, who attempt to trip me at every step while yowling that they're starving. Pour some cereal, or make some oatmeal if I'm feeling feisty. I eat breakfast while watching a rerun of an old sitcom and petting the cats.

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.

Call my mom and chat. Find out all the latest family gossip.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Check email, Twitter, Facebook and Absolute Write. Promo, chat, and check the news. Make or update to-do list for the day.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Write or tinker with current WIP. Beta read if I have something in the queue, or write blog posts. Check email and twitter occasionally.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Warm up something for lunch, probably leftovers. Reassure the cats that they're not starving, and that the food I put in their dish only a few hours ago is still good. It's dry food for crying out loud. Toss hands up in disgust and ignore the beggars. Eat lunch while fending off cats.

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Check email and twitter. Quash desire to check for new reviews.

1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Write and occasionally pester sleeping cats. Fair is fair. Realize the Internet is too interesting and turn on Mac Freedom to block Internet access.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Glance around house and realize that the place is a mess. Make a desperate attempt to fix the mess before it's time to go to the gym.

5:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Feed the cats again so they'll shut up. Go to the gym with the hubby. Stare at women who do their hair and makeup and wear stylish cloths to go to the gym with barely concealed annoyance, then wish that I'd at least put on some makeup. Glare at husband. Glare at bike. Glare at treadmill. Check weight in locker room. Resolve to eat less.

6:15 – 6:30 p.m.

Call Mom again. Chit chat about the day, complain about the gym, and find out what the rest of the family is up to.

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Watch wonderful husband prepare dinner, while starving after working out. Decide that eating less is something best reserved for tomorrow, when dinner doesn't smell so good. Eat dinner and watch a little television. Pester hubby. Watch cats pester hubby.

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Write some more. Feed the damn cats because they're hungry again. Glare at cats and tell them they should learn some self-control. Make a cup of hot chocolate and resolve to have more self-control tomorrow. Give in and check reviews.

11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Take a shower. Read. Promise to put book down by midnight. Fail (again) and read far too late.

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In honor of today’s visit and the book tour for Tiffany’s newest book Succubus Lost – she’s doing a tour wide giveaway!!

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Someone is kidnapping and incinerating otherworlders beyond recognition, and Detective Marisol Whitman, a succubus, races to find the murderer before he claims another victim. But her pursuit is derailed when her responsible younger sister vanishes. Marisol suspects foul play and enlists support from an unlikely source: an agent from the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency, Valerio Costa.

When the trail pointing to everyone from vampires to witches dries up, Agent Costa admits to knowing more than he’s shared. Marisol’s sister’s kidnapper harnesses more magic than she can imagine—and they’re running out of time.  To find her sister before her powers are drained and twisted beyond recognition, Marisol must connect the dots between cases and put her trust in Costa, a salamander who may burn her before she can solve either case.

She’s giving away this incredible Salamander pin AND an e-book copy of Succubus Lost!!!  This is open to residents of the US only.

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All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Day in the Life of.. Gina Robinson (& Giveaway!!)

 
Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!
 
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GinaRobinson

I've always been a storyteller. Not that that's always served me well...just ask my parents. Ironically I suck at out-and-out lying. I have no poker face at all, which explains why I don't play. But embellishing facts for the sake of a good tale, I can do that.

I learned storytelling, or maybe inherited my ability for it, from my Italian Grandma Jennie, who was generally acknowledged by friends and family to be the best oral storyteller around. She mainly told old Italian fairy tales with moral endings, and family history, particularly about my great grandparents immigrating to the United States and the wild Pacific Northwest.

I always thought my family had a wonderful, colorful past full of villains and gunfights, evil revenuers, mining explosions, handsome strangers, mail-order brides, romance and passion, and little Italian gremlins that caused no end of trouble for everyone. But now I wonder...

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland to two kids from Idaho. They eventually moved back home and I grew up in Washington and Idaho where I became an avid reader and booklover. I’ve always loved romance, mysteries, and suspense novels.

As a kid I told stories to myself, which worried my parents some. It never occurred to me to write my stories down. In school I excelled in reading and English. So what major did I pursue in college? Electrical Engineering, of course.

I married my college sweetheart and went to work for several large defense contractors where I wrote...software. And read books during my lunch hour. I gave up the glamorous engineering life when I had kids for the equally glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom. At least then I got to tell stories on the job!

One day I took the kids to story time at the library and happened upon a brochure for an extension course in creative writing. I was so excited by the idea that I just knew I had to be a novelist. I never took the class but I did spend the next several years reading and researching.

Then, finally, I put fingers to keyboard and wrote a novel about villains and gunfights, mining explosions, handsome strangers and mail-order brides, romance and passion...

The book won several awards for unpublished manuscripts but, so far, remains unpublished.

Eventually I found my voice writing humorous contemporary stories with plenty of romance and suspense.

Let's get one thing straight upfront—my life is not nearly as exciting as the lives my characters lead. And while I really would like to bicycle down Haleakala on Maui at sunrise. Or spend a fabulous weekend in glorious Victoria, B.C. Or maybe take a surfing lesson. I definitely wouldn't want to be shot at, strangled, chased by assassins and murderous terrorists, or nearly blown up. Not even in paradise.

It's June, so I'm on my summer schedule, meaning I don't have to get a kid up and out the door for school. So my day here in suburbia starts quietly around 7-7:30AM, depending on how lazy I'm feeling. I get up, get ready for the day, and head downstairs to start my work day. I read and answer my email, send out business correspondence, check the weather (I'm a weather-watching maniac), Tweet, and possibly post on Facebook. Then I start writing.

I usually begin by editing what I wrote the previous day and then work into new material. I try to get up out of my chair every hour and move around, do a few crunches, squats, vacuum, fold a load of laundry, something to get a little exercise and keep the creativity flowing.

Between eleven and noon, I break for lunch. If it's a nice, sunny day, which aren't as common as I'd like here in the Seattle area, I sit out in the sun on the deck for fifteen or twenty minutes, plotting. Which to the untrained eye looks a lot like working on my tan. But while I'm soaking up rays, my mind is wandering and dreaming up clever plot twists and turns. That's what I tell everyone, anyway.

After lunch, I write until I burn out. Then I read industry blogs and make dinner. In the evenings, I often brainstorm with my husband, especially if I'm stuck or a scene isn't working. Or I read research material. Right now I'm reading The Art of Intelligence by Henry A. Crumpton and rereading excerpts of The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Readers may not think much research is required to write the kind of lighthearted, humorous spy romances I write. But before you can exploit the humor from something, you have to thoroughly understand it. And any humor should be grounded with an air of authenticity.

I think the thing most people don't know about writers, though, is how we work on many novels simultaneously. Before I was published, I worked on one story until it was finished to my satisfaction. But now I have many stories in different stages of completion. I'll often be doing some combination of writing one novel, revising another, working through copyedits on a third, writing a proposal for a fourth, and promoting a fifth.

I joke about sitting in the sun and thinking, but letting my mind wander really does spur my creativity. When I return to my computer, the story seems to flow more easily. How do you spend your lunch hour? What do you do to relax so you're ready to tackle the afternoon?

His lips are sealed...

THEY WERE UNDERCOVER LOVERS

If there’s one thing that can ruin a vacation, it’s running into your ex. Just ask Treflee Miller. If she’d only known that her husband Ty would be here in Hawaii—muscular, sun-bronzed, and infuriatingly gorgeous—she would have brought the divorce papers for him to sign. But life is full of surprises when you’re married to a world-class spy…

NOW THEY’RE STRANGERS IN PARADISE

Ty Miller can understand why his wife is tired of playing Mrs. James Bond. He’s never home, he’s always on a mission, and he’s usually surrounded by exotic informants. He has to admit that the perfect spy makes a pretty lousy husband. But for the sake of Ty’s security and Treflee’s safety, they can’t blow his cover. Not here. Not now. Not when his longing is so strong, her lips so tempting—and his enemies so close…

One lucky commenter is going to win a copy of “The Spy Who Left Me” – all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form!

Rules:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Open to US ONLY
  • Giveaway will be open until Tuesday June 19th.
  • Please read Stitch Read Cook’s policies for more information
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also by Gina:

** Lipstick Spy School is a free short story to read at Heroes and Heartbreakers if you are a website member!!**

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNERS (and lots of them!)


I have LOTS of winner's to announce, I apologize for the delay!
Winner's will be contacted by email.  Winner must contact me within 48 hours to claim their prize!

E-book copy of Devotion by Kristie Cook - TINA B (tbr0917@...) - Prize Claimed!

A signed copy of Inside by Maria V Snyder - ROSA G (rosa2gamble@... ) - Prize Claimed!

A copy of Sound of the Heart by Genevieve Graham - BETTY (bettysunflower@...) - Prize Claimed!

E-book copy of The Sweetheart Hoax by Christy Hayes - BN100 (fourseasonsny@...)

Winner's choice of an e-book by L J Charles - SALLY (berneathy@...) - Prize Claimed!
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lusting for Covers (6)



Lusting for Covers is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Queen's Book Palace, held on Sunday's, that allows bloggers to share their current cover obsession with fellow book lovers.

Click HERE for more information!



 

Holiday Affair

by Annie Seaton

Nothing more than a holiday fling…until he moved in next door!

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And Lissy would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted Lissy. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

by Molly Harper

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she'd like. Running all their daylight errands--from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg--gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship--and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

Cal - who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way - offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he's imperious, unfriendly and doesn't seem to understand the difference between "employee" and "servant," Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him - particularly those concerning nudity. Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue & romance--in the form of her very own stray vampire

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

From Entangled Publishing – THANK YOU!

From Bewitching Book Tours – THANK YOU!

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Hope everyone had a great week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Tour: Insanity by Lauren Hammond

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LaurenPhoto

About Lauren:

It all began with a dinosaur, a T-Rex to be exact. He was the main character in my very first short story. Me and T, well, we went places. He is the reason I won my first essay contest at age ten. And he is probably one of the number one reasons, I pursued a career in writing.

Throughout highschool, I was what you would call a rebel. Someone who had convinced herself that she had life figured out at age sixteen. Still, writing was my only safe-haven during that time. I wrote notebooks full of poetry, even writing fellow classmates papers for them.

Unbeknowest to me, creative writing, seemed to be my one, true calling, my passion in life.

At age twenty, I began writing my first novel. After that, everything seemed to fall into place.

I won Best Poets and Poems of 2007, and The Editor's Choice award for my poem, Summer Days.

Also, during that time I wrote or co-wrote fifteen different screenplays, some which earned me finalist spot in various screenplay competitions.

In 2010, I've come full force, with my novel Love Sucks, that was released by Punkin House Press, in August of 2010. On top of Love Sucks, I have six novels that are slated to be released through the next five years. Also, doing some various marketing work for authors and publishers.

I pride myself in telling fellow writers to always follow their dreams. Who knows where I would be if I would have given up.

Where to find Lauren online:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

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Insanity

Insanity by Lauren Hammond
Asylum Book #1

About the book:

Sometimes love...can drive you crazy.

Adelaide Carmichael and Damien Allen couldn't be more opposite.

Adelaide's mother abandoned her when she was ten years old, leaving her to be raised by her abusive and alcoholic father.

Damien on the other hand came from a wealthy family, was a local celebrity, and seemed to have a bright future ahead of him.

Despite their differences, Adelaide and Damien were young, wild, and fiercely in love.

And they had a plan.

They were going to run away.

Be together forever.

And their plan was set in motion, until tragedy struck and for some reason, Adelaide wound up in The Oakhill Institution for the insane.

Adelaide has no idea what she did to wind up at Oakhill, but she knows one thing for sure...

She wants out.

And after Damien follows her there to aid her in escaping, Adelaide slowly begins putting together the pieces of her memory that are missing.

And it doesn't take Adelaide long to figure out that sometimes...

That one true love never dies.

Excerpt:

Shoving my feet off the side of the bed, new surroundings burn my eyes. Tan plaster walls instead of thick white padded ones. One oblong barred window. Two dressers. Two closets. Two beds.

They've moved me to a different room.

A gentle squeaking noise bounces off the walls and my eyes avert to my right. Oh crap. They put me in a room with a nut job.

They say I'm a nut job.

But not like this.

Not even close.

She rocks back and forth on her cot, knees to her chest, twisting a piece of her wiry, red hair between her fingertips. Her freckled arms are trembling. She sings with vibrato.

I am slowly going crazy. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.

Switch.

Crazy going slowly am I. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.

Switch.

I think about screaming again. I think about plugging my ears. Somebody turn her off.

She lifts her head slowly, a maddening look in her big, brown eyes, an eerie smile crawling across her pale, freckled lips. “Shh,” she whispers. “They're coming for us.”

“Who's they?”

She shakes her head and lets out a cackle laced with the deepest kind of crazy. I think they put her in here with me purposely. They're trying to break me. They think if they put me around truly insane people that I'll accept my place here.

Well...They are wrong.

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Guest Post:  Top 3 “Crazy Love” Movies

Thank you so much for having me on the blog today!

I simply adore movies about love.

And movies about crazy love, well, that’s just the icing on the cake, lol.

I’ve made a list of my top three crazy love movies.

LikeCrazy 1. Like Crazy ~ Starring Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin

“Anna and Jacob fall instantly in love when they meet as students at an L.A. university. But Anna is British and when graduation approaches, Anna decides to stay and violate her student visa rather than returning to England. After a visit home, she is then unable to return to the United States. While fighting customs and immigration battles, Anna and Jacob must decide if their relationship is worth the distance and the hardship.” (image & blurb via www.imdb.com)

This movie was great. At least for me anyway. It follows a young couple who met in college over a span of time. They were separated because of immigration issues and it was crazy to me what some couples would be willing to do to make their “love” work.

Atonement 2. Atonement ~ Starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy

“Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.
(image & blurb via
www.imdb.com)

Oh the web of lies we weave. You never think that a fib from a child can seriously mess with your life. And you never think that, that lie can take away the love of your life. I LOVED this movie. It was heartbreaking, tragic, yet beautiful at the same time.

BlueValentine 3. Blue Valentine ~ Starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling

“Blue Valentine is the story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks.” (image via www.imdb.com) (blurb via www.amazon.com)

Even though there is no HEA in this movie, I still thought it was fantastic. The chemistry between Williams and Gosling was spot on and when you watched them fall in love it was infectious.

If you get a chance you should check out some of these movies if you haven’t seen them and be sure to check out Insanity!

Also by Lauren: